Hi friends! This blog is for teachers and families- all for the sheer joy of literacy. When we are enthusiastic about reading and writing our students and our own kids become excited to read and write. I hope that we all can be models for those in our care- how did you show your passion for reading, writing, learning, language, or words today?? It's in those small, daily moments that we teach kids to love literacy.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer Teaching Tipster: Video Book Review

We're always looking for a new way to give a book report, right? These video book interviews may seem fairly obvious, but I'll give you a run down on how and why I used video book interviews with some students. And, if you scroll down, you can watch the end product.

I working with a couple of my students this summer on their reading. It's all very low key. I wanted to give them time and space to discover the joys of readings. Our school is very standards focused, so there usually isn't a lot of class time for projects or the arts- even if it is literature based. With these two girls, also best friends,  we've done partner reading, read alouds, multiple trips to the library, and a couple of  hands-on projects in response to their readings.

The girls recently finished Elisa in the Middle and Jigsaw Pony. They did a video review of these two books (see videos below). These were books they chose on their own. They partner read Elisa in the Middle. They checked out 2 copies at the library and switches off (2 pages at a time) reading it aloud to each other. And one of the students read Jigsaw Pony independently. She likes horses, so this book was a natural choice for her.

I think video reviews make for fun summer projects, but I can also see them being used in the classroom (or home school) setting. Every body has a quick way to video themselves nowadays (phone, flip camera, computer camera).  Videos lend  themselves to deeper comprehension. I didn't give much direction before the girls made these videos because I also want to use this as  an assessment to see how well these two students are able to synthesize information after reading. It definitely gives me valuable insight on how to tweak their instruction in the future. Distilling information to find the main idea will be one of our big focus's in the weeks ahead.

Why use Video Book Interviews with your students?
  • Students will syntheses book material, which is high up in Blooms' Taxonomy
  • Students learn how to perform (and write) for an audience
  • Students practice purposeful writing when creating interview questions and their responses
  • Students practice public speaking
  • Students evaluate the video of themselves post-interview, encouraging meta-cognitive thinking
  • Students will understand that reading books is a (fun) social event, and hopefully this will encourage reluctant readers to read 
  • Repeated practice readings encourages reading fluency

Video Interview How-to

  • Discuss how to write open- ended interview questions
  • Brainstorm which type of questions would work best for a book review
  • Discuss the nature and length of the responses to the interview questions
  • Discuss performing for an audience and what that would entail (expressiveness, voice projection, non-verbal communication, etc...)

    Before you shoot the video:
    • Have the students create cue cards or notes to read responses from
    • Create a rubric together, or review the rubric you've created, especially of you're doing this for a class
    • Have the students practice their responses several times
    • Brainstorm ideas for students to make it their own. The two students I work with wanted to title  the interviews The Joy of Literacy, because they knew we were going to post them on this blog. I loved seeing them coming up with their own ideas and having fun with it.
    • Get dressed up and set the stage! The girls wanted to wear my heels for the interview (very fun of them). They also got coffee cups (filled with lemonade, of course!), set up interview chairs, and filled a basket of books on the table behind the interview.

      After you shoot the video:
      • Watch it together. Pause to ask clarifying questions
      • Assess according to a rubric, especially of you're doing this for a class
      • Share with family, classmates, or community to get their feedback

      Elisa in the Middle:

      Jigsaw Pony Part 1

      Jigsaw Pony Part 2

      Let me know if you have any feedback for the girls, I'll make sure to share it with them!

      Also, I'd be interested how you might use this with your own kids or in your classroom. Leave comments below.

      I'm linking up at Teach Mama:

      Be well! Read on!

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