How do we share our lessons with other teachers?
You can share every document you make -- lessons, worksheets, activities, warm ups, exit tickets, etc. -- but this way lies ridiculousness. What percent of your work is new or interesting? Is anyone really just going to use all your worksheets? Sharing everything is sharing nothing.
Writing about lessons is a better way to share. You only put out the interesting stuff, and you get to make the case for the quality of your lesson. You can include snapshots and pictures of kiddies creating the things that you helped them create. This is good.
I wanted to try a new way of sharing a lesson, though. I took 43 minutes of classroom time, and I squished it into 2 minutes. I tried to faithfully convey what I thought the crucial bits of class were. Here's what (I think) I ended up with:
- A representation of a lesson that would've made more sense to me as a first-year teacher than a written post about the class. Actually seeing parts of this thing happen make it seem a bit more doable.
- A sense of what it looks and sounds like when kids talk in my classes. That's the thing that interests me most when I visit other classes, and something that's especially difficult for me to pick up on from a written explanation.
- An entirely contextualized lesson. This is what this version of this lesson looks like in this classroom. In writing up a lesson report we tend to abstract away lots of the concrete details of teaching, but these things matter in situating what someone else has created in relation to your own work.
- It's quick. That matters too.
In the end, I created the sort of thing that I'd like to see others make. I hope that you do.
- I'm submitting this video to mathagogy.com, because this is exactly the sort of thing they want to do.
- It hardly seems worth sharing my files, but pipe up in the comments if you want 'em.
- For the record, my impression is that my approach to teaching probability is pretty typical. I have a few nice curricular touches -- the Plinko board is a great scene-setter for the entire unit -- but this whole thing is more about the video than the content, imho.
We're wrapping up the year here, and I don't know if I've got another two-minute experiment up my sleeves. The next stage of this, for me, might be in the fall.