Our school is currently going through some major changes. As a part of some committee work, I will have to miss time in my classroom. Assigning practice problems does not always work to best support students and there is increased difficulty when you have to miss multiple days. This can also be difficult when you have a week with a strange schedule. For example, last week we had the Pathways Fair on Monday, the Choice of Studies process on Tuesday, and we administered the WIDA ACCESS test on Wednesday. As a part of committee work, I was out all day for a training on Thursday. Simply leaving practice exercises was not going to be in the best interest of students - instructional support was necessary and many students were ready for new content. However, it is impossible to guarantee that your substitute has a strong understanding of your content area, especially in math. As a result, I created some instructional videos using the app, ShowMe. I set up my computer with the projector and instructed the substitute to play the video for each class. Below are the videos I left.
When I returned to my classroom the next day, students had mixed reactions to the video. Some of them liked the ability to take notes, while others were a little lost. While I had stated in the video that students should have the ability to pause the video, that doesn't mean it happened. Next time, I will designate individual students to run the video controls in order to ensure the videos have the best possible impact on student learning. Leaving videos for a sub will be an ongoing project this year and I will be sure to update my progress on my blog. That being said, I believe strongly that schools should make it easy for teachers to leave video sub plans and provide the necessary support for students. This would help both teachers and the guest teachers provide students with the supports they need to keep learning, even when their teacher is away.
Mattea Garcia is a passionate creative professional dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.