Ladies and gentlemen, it has begun! My goal is to partially flip my classroom this year and I’ve found the means to do it. I suppose I should have posted my action plan first but I couldn’t help myself so here’s my action plan along with a description of what I’ve done so far:

Since the boys I teach French to only see me for 90-120 minutes in a 6-day, I figured I needed another way to exposure them to oral french. The AIM (Accelerative Integrated Method) program that I use – it’s the one with the French plays and the gestures – sells DVDs that can be sent home but those cost money and can easily be lost. I originally wanted to record these DVDs and post them to YouTube but that would’ve violated a copyright law or two. However, in a course I was taking on AIM delivery, we were told by AIM that we could record ourselves doing the gestures and saying the words and post them. Here’s the end result of that (please excuse the nasty Movember moustache):

Youtube vocab

However, when I first tried that, a colleague pointed out that I couldn’t control the videos that would pop up on the side bar. One of the videos was about swearing while another was about Rob Ford and his “leisure pursuits”. My colleague suggested I try TeacherTube.┬áIt’s pretty much like Youtube for teachers since it doesn’t have ads or inappropriate videos that pop up on the side. I haven’t had too many problems with it, though there was one time when I couldn’t get the video to display even though the audio was fine.

TeacherTube vocab video

So far I’ve had decent feedback and some kids have even showed it to their younger siblings. Eventually, I’m hoping to switch back entirely to Youtube once I’ve got enough videos on my channel. I’m hoping to release about one video per week, though eventually I’ll release different videos for each grade I teach. Let me know what you think!

5 Responses to “A journey of a 1000 e-miles begins with a single e-step…”

  1. Sandy Gibson said:

    To keep you all updated, I’ve put four videos online now, though one of which is purely holiday vocabulary. My goal is to do about one per week, though I’d love to do one for all the non kindergarten grades I teach (ie: 1, 2, & 3) per week. We’ll see what can realistically be accomplished. In the meantime, enjoy this one-minute video of holiday words, complete with a very stylish hat:

  2. Celeste Kirsh said:

    Sandy, this is a great way to keep your students engaged in French learning when they are not in class with you.

    Something I struggled with (and found various solutions for) was in regards to increasing the level of accountability with watching the videos. Obviously some students just won’t do their homework, it’s part of the territory that we have to deal with, but are you needing the students to “do” anything with the videos when they return to your class or is there some system you’ve developed to figure out who is watching and not watching (and how to entice the non-watchers to participate).

    I’d love to hear what you’re experimenting with and steal some your successes!

    • Sandy Gibson said:

      Hi Celeste,
      Thanks for your comment. Assessing who has seen the videos and who hasn’t is certainly an interesting challenge. As of now, I’m just reviewing the actions and gestures from the video in class, but since I do it with the entire class, it’s difficult for me to assess which students know the words well, and which are just mouthing the words and following along. Consequently, I’m addressing it in Stage 2 of my implementation.

      Stage 2 involves sending out a Google Form with each video. The form will be a multiple choice quiz with the words from the video and certain English translations. Students in Grade 3 should be able to complete these forms by themselves but Grade 1 & 2 students will complete these forms with their parents to help with the reading component (and because I e-mail the video links to the parents anyways.) This information will then go to a master form that will allow me to see who completed the form and how many questions they got right.

      At first, completing these forms won’t be mandatory but it will have a significant positive effect on their grades. While some may argue that it may not be the students themselves doing the work, I maintain the important point that a) it shows the students that French has a place outside the classroom, and b) it gets the parents involved, which in my short time of teaching I’ve learned is a powerful motivating factor for students. Furthermore, the parents will feel good because they’re helping their students learn and getting a visible return on their tuition.

      I’m not sure what level of participation I’ll get off the bat, but I’m hoping that the keenness of the parents will bring it up to 25% – 50%. I’ll model the completion of these forms in class with all my students and rewarding the completion of these forms with ClassDojo points and other tangible incentives. Most importantly of all, I’m crossing my fingers for no technical glitches!

      I’ll keep you posted on how this works out Celeste, but in the meantime, feel free to steal away!

  3. Mardi Michels said:

    I’m interested to see how you fare with this over the next few months Sandy. I’ve always (until 2 years ago) sent the DVD of the gestures home with Grades 3 and 4 (and sometimes 5) and always offer that as an option for boys coming in after grade 3 to help them “catch up”. When I send home the DVDs I send home word lists each week too so they know which list to practice. Each week, my “vocabulary teaching” in class mirrors the list they are working on at home and it’s pretty obvious who has and hasn’t been working on saying the words with the gestures (they should not be gesturing).

    I’m really interested to hear whether you think all the extra effort is worth it!

    I know AIM is working on a student portal online so the gestures can be accessed everywhere and I (with AIM’s permission) have been working on a plan where the gesture lists (from the DVDs) are divided into “podcasts” and able to be viewed (from a secure, password protected page) on a student’s iTunes account (so, any device). We’ll chat next week, ok?

    • Sandy Gibson said:

      Thanks Mardi. This is good to know. Perhaps I could get on board with the podcasting and the student portal. I’m excited to hear more about it on Friday.