Today’s Contributor: Carmia Adley, CIC and innovative 6th grade ELA teacher at Dobie Middle School.
I wanted to try something new this year: Screencastify. I’d seen it used for professional development, and almost every teacher I follow on Instagram uses this resource. At first, I thought I had no use for it, but after thinking about it, I realized how beneficial this could be for students, especially our ELL and special education population.
I tried it for the first time in my class this week. We are reading a novel. Usually, I would stand in front of the class and speak for about fifteen minutes getting them prepared to read the novel. This time around I talked for about five minutes and directed all the students to the course I created in BLEND for the novel. I let the students know they would be watching a Screencastify lesson on the topic of the novel and taking notes. At first, they groaned because taking notes can be a bit boring. However, I explained to them that as they followed along, they would be filling in the blanks, not just blindly writing. They would then study the notes for a discussion after the video. They loved this idea, and it was a new way to have them interact with their work. They asked if they could pause, rewind, and watch it again if they needed to. They were excited to take ownership of their learning and this made me beyond happy. I saw students pausing and writing, really taking their time and the discussion afterward was amazing.
This is something I plan to use in the future, especially for interventions. Not all students will get it the first time, and we don’t always have time to review things over and over again. This is a great way for them to revisit a lesson, receive interventions, or be introduced to something new. It’s like having a one to one conversation with a teacher. This time it was fill-in-the-blank activity. Next time it will be something different. I can now highly recommend using Screencastify.