Establishing routines in the classroom does not have to be boring or take up a lot of class time. When you see your students only once a week, like I do in the art room, it can be difficult to get all these routines set up at the beginning of the year. As a specialist, I know that students can forget what you taught them when their next class is a whole week later! So... this past summer I was thinking: how can I get my students to learn the routines WITHOUT using too much precious class time to go over them?
In the beginning of every year, I go over the procedures in the art room, (it seems) over and over (and over!) again. And I need to do it for every class I have, kindergarten through fifth grade. I have found that routine review is not needed just at the beginning of the year, many classes need review during the year. Honestly, when I’m repeating the same thing to class after class, it makes me feel like I hit “rewind” and then “play,” over and over again! You could say that it was starting to get to me. And inevitably, I’d forget to tell a class (or two) something really important! Of course, I wouldn’t discover that until something went awry during the class. Ugh! I knew there had to be a better way. Through my PLN (Personal Learning Network) on Twitter, I discovered many resources about using video as a powerful tool for learning. So I decided to create some videos for my students to learn the routines and procedures in the art room using the puppets in my art room. I discovered that students listen to puppets more than they listen to me! Even though the puppets really are me!
So this is how I started: I found it easiest to film the puppet talking while I held my iPhone, filming it selfie style. I did grab some teacher friends to film me demonstrating some other sections. In my school, students are required to “sign out” when they use the restroom. This is a difficult concept for my younger students, they really do not know where to go, so I decided to have “Alien” show them what to do. After watching the video, many kindergarten students ask me how Alien walked down the hall. So cute!
For the other intros, I needed images with text to title the videos, which required a little app smashing. Those YouTube how-to videos helped me again! I created the images I needed by taking stills right from the video with this video 2 photo app and then writing the text over it in an app called Over. In Over, you can add text and artwork to your photos. Phonto is another app for basic photo editing and for adding text. For Alien's signing out video, I took his still and altered it in PicSketch, then opened that image in Phonto to add the text. I saved the image to the camera roll and dropped it right into iMovie. Here is a great resource I found about inserting video and photos from Apple support.
Establishing routines can be fun with puppet videos! Honestly, my students love them! I showed some of the videos again to classes who need review, and students keep asking me to create new ones. The puppets and I are trying to decide which video we should make next: where supplies are located in the art room OR how to wring out a sponge properly and wash the tables. And we are all so happy that explaining routines takes no time at all: just show the video!