#AmplifyEd with Images and Videos

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Our next #D100chat is on May 3rd, and our guest moderator will be Kristin Ziemke!  Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke wrote the book Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom.  We decided to try some ideas out from their book to prepare for the upcoming chat!  They have specific sections called "Three Things to Try Tomorrow" that are quick and easy, but could really enhance our teaching dramatically.

The Challenge:

I chose to try Study an Image or a Video Clip, which is found in Amplify.  I love using images for instructional purposes. They suggest using an image or a video clip, and having the students jot down their thinking individually using a What I See/ What I Think organizer, and then having a conversation with the class.

The Lesson:

     I was working with +Tyler Haar on developing classroom conversations to prepare for his upcoming book clubs.  He had just started a unit on Activism, and he decided to focus on Cesar Chavez by showing a video of a non-violent protest.  He planned on showing this video:

     After watching the video, I decided to add an image from the time period first to explicitly teach them to see details before they infer ideas.  I also wanted to leave a space for questions they might have, based on the image and video.   I had created my own organizer before reading Amplify, so the language I used was I see.../ I infer.../ I wonder...

Image from Getty Images (Cathy Murphy)
     We looked at the image above and pulled out specific details that we saw.  We then practiced combining a few of the details they saw to infer something.  For example, the Mexican flag, and religious symbol of Guadalupe, and the word "paz" together meant they might be praying for rights for Mexicans.  After we made a few inferences, they watched the video and added more details that they say, and ideas they inferred.

     Once we had a few inferences in mind, we had them watch the video clip and jot down what they "saw" in the video during the protest.  When the video was over, we arranged ourselves into a rectangle and had a classroom conversation about the image and the video.  We made sure to use some accountable talk stems and spoke in complete sentences to grow ideas using support from the media and using our own ideas.

My Reflections:

     I have used videos and images before to close read, but I hadn't really thought to use an image prior to watching the video to really capture a snapshot of ideas prior to viewing.  The video above is set to music and the video quality is less clear, so I thought it was important to teach the strategy of close reading with a "stationary" version of the protest.  I do think it enhanced the conversation, and we ended up talking about the reasons people would protest, and whether it was safe for the children that we saw on the video, and was wrapped up by a student saying that they "were begging for freedom."  The verb choice she used (begging rather than fighting) really started a nice beginning for this activism unit.  

     The best part?  One of the students said this:

     I think they were able to grow ideas with each other because of the time we spent looking at the picture, and then the video, before having our conversation.  The visuals and media gave all students access to the content.  Thanks, +Tyler Haar and +Katherine Whisler  for welcoming me in!

Your Turn to Take the Challenge!

     Do you do something in your classroom that enhances instruction while using tech, either from Amplify or that you have tried?  Or do you want to try using images and videos to start a classroom conversation like I did?  We would love if you share the idea with us, either on your blog or by adding a quick idea to our Padlet Wall!  We will officially challenge our district after the #D100chat on 5/3/2016, but you are free to take a sneak peek!

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