Thursday, 26 May 2011

Filming is tough, yet rewarding!

What can I say but that making a WBT video is TOUGH, yet rewarding!  A rolling grand salami to all the expert WBT teachers out there who have put out a video!

These past few days I have been filming with my laptop - with no teacher aide in my class, and with my regular camera girl working, I had no choice but to use extreme measures.  After watching the playbacks of my videos I have learned a lot about my teaching and my students.  Below are my top 10 tips for filming your very own WBT video:

1. Prep your lesson and practice, practice, practice what you are going to say before hand.  Really think about how you are going to execute your lesson!  What examples will you use?  I found that how I put my sentences together and execute my gestures is key to a good lesson - I need to be clear and concise with the correct emphasis on the right syllable for the kids to express themselves to each other.  It seems funny to say this being a teacher for 7 years now but I find myself reflecting on how often I actually do this:)

2. Prep your students.  Teach them to ignore the camera/computer.  This is EXTREMELY tempting for them and has resulted in some hilarious outtakes that I laughed myself silly over in private.  Also, the more you film, the less they notice.

3. Think about which students are going to be pulled out of the classroom and at what time.  Plan to film accordingly to avoid interruptions.

4.  Challenge students to be good leaders and reward the ones who perform with spots on camera.  Pump your students up with positive reinforcements.

5. Create a "Do Not Disturb" sign for your classroom.  This will save you from inopportune interruptions.

6. Film a lesson you have already given previously, especially if you are relatively new to WBT and the power pix.  You and the kids will feel more prepared and will give a better performance.

7. Repeat yourself at least three times while students mirror your gestures, followed by mirrors and words.  They say that you need at least three repetitions to learn something.  I have noticed that it takes three times before all of my students are mirroring my words and gestures.  It just takes some students awhile to put everything together.

8. Teach students to talk, not yell at one another.  Review the actions of a good teacher.  A good teacher turns to their neighbour, speaks clearly, and helps with big gestures.

9.  Give time for students to finish their thoughts before cuing them to teach their partners.  Allow time to pass before saying Switch!  A lot of my students rely on each other to lead them in the right direction with the wording.  Several students take a second or so to gather their thoughts.

10. Finally, emphasize focus.  I have found that moving the class from Class to Team to Winners to Champions is an amazing tool to increase focus for even my most distractable!

During filming today, we were comparing and contrasting the less than/more than symbol and the equal sign.  One student did an excellent job with his partner so I called him up to teach the class.  At first he claimed he did not know what to say.  I coaxed him up there.  Only as he started did I realize how nervous he was!!! I guided him through it and he did a great job yet I could visibly see how hard it had been for him.  Previously, I had wondered if he was just resistant to participating.  My eyes were opened to just how much confidence and skill it takes for students to teach the class.  I was so proud of him.  What wonderful skills we are giving our students by using WBT.

One more thing: I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the assessment part of WBT.  Yes! No Way!, Cutie! and the final written assessment (I have been using recipe cards.) give me such a great quick and easy picture of who has mastered the concept and who still needs help!  Can I get an OH YEAH!!

Quiet on set!  It's show time!!


  1. Thank you for the great tips. Have not done a video yet, but I will definitely refer to your suggestions. Oh yeah!! Great job!

  2. Thanks Nancy! It is a lot of fun!!!

  3. Great list of tips! I attempted a few videos but haven't posted any. If only I had had your list. LOL.