Category Archives: video lessons

A Video for an Imaginary Staff Meeting on “BALANCE”

Never enough time… (Naomi’s photos)

Note – I first learned of this video from the Film English blog, a blog well worth following.  If you are looking for an additional lesson plan for students with this video, I suggest visiting  Cristina’s blog, Blog de Cristina .

There’s never enough time at school to talk about some things. So many truly pressing issues take priority. And aren’t we are all in a hurry to get home at the end of the day?

Or maybe issues such as “balancing all the ways a teacher should ideally be meeting the students’ needs” simply seem obvious to everyone. No point in discussing obvious things, is there? That’s what blogs are for – I shall hold an imaginary staff meeting. Perhaps you’ll join me?

Different Strokes, different colors, different needs…
Naomi’s Photos

At my imaginary staff meeting, everyone is sitting comfortably,  sipping their favorite beverage and not worrying about the time (I did say imaginary…)  I would begin by showing the following powerful video. Without uttering a single word, this video manages to be truly moving and to raise several issues worth discussing. I’ll settle for discussing the following one.

Alike short film from Pepe School Land on Vimeo.

In what ways do teachers strive to keep the balance in their classes between letting students express themselves and learning the material that must be learnt? On one hand, when watching the video, it’s truly heartbreaking to see the child’s creativity being snuffed out. The child literally loses her colors! On the other hand, we are doing children a big disservice if we don’t teach them how and when to follow rules. If you don’t learn to form your letters in the standard, accepted way, no one will be able to read what you have written. If you don’t learn the importance of coming to class on time (because perhaps you stopped to watch your street musician) you may have a hard time holding a job in the future.

We like to think of book reports or projects as opportunities, or outlets, for students to express themselves, but is that enough? I teach in the format of a learning center, which enables students to get up and move around during the lesson, and do a little “happy dance” if they need to. Which is something I’m pleased about but I don’t think that’s the point either.

A balancing act…
Naomi’s photos

If we return to the video for a minute, think what would have happened if the teacher had responded differently to the little girl’s drawing. Perhaps she could have said that she would create a folder for the child’s lovely artwork so it could be kept and admired but now she also needs to practice her letters. Otherwise no one will be able to understand what she writes. In other words, the teacher tries to get her to see the point of what she is asked to do, gets her on board with the rationale.

Isn’t understanding the point of what you are doing a critical step in taking ownership of your learning? Then, perhaps, it would be much easier to find the balance between academic learning and self-expression. It is, of course, easier said than done. Teachers have to prepare students for high stakes exams. Sometimes the reason for doing something is “it’s on the exam…”

Then again, perhaps the whole take away from a teacher’s perspective should be that making the student feel noticed and special can make a world of difference. It can let her keep hearing the violin play in her head!

What would you say if you attended my imaginary staff meeting?

 

 

Fun for Children who are Seriously Sick – A Guest Video Post

The tired puppet – courtesy of puppeteer Ruth Levi
(Naomi’s Photos)

Veteran teacher Marlene Saban has kindly sent me a video lesson to share on the blog. She teaches both junior-high & high- school. A reading passage about a special camp (run by special people!)  devoted to bringing some joy to the lives of children grappling with illness, inspired Marlene to add a video as a lead-in exercise (in the case, a short advertisement) and another one directly related to the topic of the reading passage. Since no hearing is needed to understand the advertisement and the other video is meant to be shown without sound, (the students must read the captions in English!), Marlene’s video lesson certainly can be used with deaf and hard of hearing students too!

Marlene used this lesson with a strong class of students in the seventh grade ( 13 year olds).

Here is the lead-in advertisement:

Here is the main video:


Here is a downloadable document with Marlene’s lesson plan and worksheet.

Enjoy!

Fun for Sick Kids- by Marlene

Utilizing the Gift of Texting

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season!

Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

ICYMI , EDO, IDC – Do you know what these abbreviations stand for? Do you care whether you know them or not?

I’m not interested in texting / Internet abrreviations for their own merit. I have no plan to have students memorise them. I’m interested in them  as a tool to expose my deaf and hard of hearing teenage students to some of the commonly used phrases they represent. Teenagers like abbreviations. In addition, I have a few hard of hearing students whose distorted hearing causes them to adopt very odd versions of what they think they heard on television… They are interested in such phrases.

For this acitivity students must first begin with the worksheet. On the worksheet they are asked to match abbreviations to their meanings. Then the students are asked to watch the lovely (absolutely lovely!!!) short video “The Present”. As they watch they are required to rewrite the text without abbreviations.

Enjoy!

Here is the worksheet: utilizing-the-gift-of-texting

Here is the video-lesson section:

 

 

Highlighting Prepositions with some Romance in Rome

Wishing everyone a wonderful year! Naomi's Photos
Wishing everyone a wonderful year!
Naomi’s Photos

My deaf and hard of hearing EFL students tend to completely ignore prepositions. I don’t take it as personal affront since they demonstrate an equal lack of interest in using them in their mother tongue as well.

You don’t need prepositions when you use sign language.  It’s all clear without them.

When they do use them there is language interference because many prepositions are used differently in different languages (this year I have students who speak or sign Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Amharic and French at home!). For example, in English you live “on” a street but in Hebrew you live “in” a street.

I know the lovely video below could be used for many many other things (feelings, wishes for the future) but I use videos for what I need and it does a good job of highlighting  the direction of movement.

Especially as I’ve never had the opportunity to teach “bump into” before!

All this doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the other issues as they come up. I’m just not going to include them on the video lesson.

One more thing.

My teenage students love romantic videos…

*** Many thanks to the amazing Regina Shraybman for finding this video for me!

*** For companion flashcards – see this post:  here: http://visualisingideas.edublogs.org/2016/10/13/flashcards-for-romance/

There are two versions below. The first option offers mutliple choice options and is easier.

 


A reader, Julia Mor, kindly organized the material into a worksheet format. Thank you Julia! Click on the link to download it.

preposition-romance-worksheet

 

Going Green – or NOT

 

Not just green... (Naomi's Photos)
Not just green…
(Naomi’s Photos)

In class my high-school students and I encounter a substantial number of reading comprehension passages that have to do with the environment. I think it is a “safe” subject for book & exam writers and is most certainly an important one.

However, this week I became worried that my students now think that every mention of the color “green” has to do with the environment. Despite being aware of the fact that one shouldn’t be teaching lots of idioms together, all at once, I felt I needed to highlight the fact that not every use of the word “green” is related to the environment. So I’m using the video below as a trigger. The related worksheet appears under it.

Going Green

“Hmmm”, you might be saying now.

“This teacher has completely ignored all the wonderful personification going on in this video”.

“But”, I would argue, “I use videos to serve a purpose and don’t build lessons because I found a great video (I waited with this one for more than two years!!!)”.

You might be staring at me, patiently or not, at this point.

Okay okay.

I needed to find a way to use the video for the weaker levels, those teenagers studying elementary level material. Something which could be also be good for the teachers I work with as part of my counseling job who do teach younger learners. So I related to the topic of feelings without actually using the term “personification”. I’ll let every teacher decide whether it is time to introduce the term or not. (See exercise below)

(Note – I specifically began with multiple choice questions before moving to open ended ones, since my students need modeling).

Enjoy!

 

 

“Pizza Cat” to the Rescue!

 

Naomi's photos
Naomi’s photos

A little introductory exercise that is suitable for struggling middle school learners working independantly for the first time at the the computer – simple but not babyish.  This is their first exposure  to Edpuzzle and Edmodo (with Quizlet to come, as its flashcards can be easily embedded).

I reccomend using in “full screen” mode – then the questions and the visuals can be seen at the same time.

The  original video can be found here.

Note: The next step is The Egghunt series, which has already been posted on this blog.

 

 

A Video Review of “Thank You M’am” by Hughes

 

Compare and Contrast (Naomi's Photos)
Compare and Contrast
(Naomi’s Photos)

We’ve been studying the story “Thank You M’am” by Langston Hughes for a bit over two months. It’s part of our literature segment in the EFL program.

I felt that my deaf and hard of hearing students need to review the story before taking the summative assessment.

I found a video which was obviously made by young people – Mrs. Jones in the video has braces! The creators stuck to the basic  story line but there are some obvious differences. That actually is useful, as the higher order thinking skill “Comparing and Contrasting” is one we are working on.

Although I’m using this video review without the soundtrack for obvious reasons, I think the fact that you can see the characters talking but not hear them serves as a useful review for students without a hearing loss as well. Especially as the video is not entirely faithful to the text . One example I found amusing was that the creators  felt the need to take inflation into account – Mrs. Jones gives Roger TWENTY  dollars instead of ten.

On the other hand, the dialogue serves as more material to compare. In short – enjoy!

 

Uncovering Motives in a Video Lesson

 

Naomi's Photos
Naomi’s Photos

“Uncovering Motives”, “Generating Possibilities” or perhaps “Inferencing”. I think all these Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) can be discussed with this lovely video.

These thinking skills make it seem like a good pre-reading activity for teaching the story “Thank You Ma’m” by Langston Hughes (in our literature program) despite the fact that the boy depicted in the video isn’t a teenager. The video isn’t childish so I believe the students will not have a problem.

Though frankly, I actually began working on the video as a way to use “modals” in context. So you’ll see that element there too.

Some of you may notice that this video wasn’t made on the EDPUZZLE site, which I love and use frequently. I’m taking an in service training course on EDTECH with Hishtalmoodle (highly recommended, interesting & with excellent support for participants) and it seems there is a lot of redundancy in the field of educational technology. Many programs offer similar services. As part of the course requirements I experimented using Zaption. I did not conduct an in-depth comparison of the two sites but am very happy with the large (and constantly growing larger) set of comprehensive features for use in class that Edpuzzle offers and did not find any reason to switch programs. In addition I am not happy with the way the Zaption is displayed when embedded in the blog. Please note that you must scroll sideways to see the questions.

Once again, thanks to the blog “Film English” for introducing me to this video.

 

 

Even Cavemen learn to Share Eggs!

P1020260
Okay, this one doesn’t EAT eggs, but is certainly connected to them! LOL! (Naomi’s Photos)

 

Remember the old saying: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”?

Well, I’ve decided to put some eggs in a new basket.

I’ve opened a virtual stand at a very organized, very large and official site, where teachers sell materials and lesson plans, called Teachers-Pay-Teachers.

For openers, I’ve revisited those delightful cavemen who learn how to share and collaborate when hunting for eggs (with the blessing of Paul Yan, their creator), but have taken the film in a completely different direction:

FEELINGS!!!

Those animated cavemen are really expressive!

Preview of worksheets
Preview of worksheets (17 pages).

 

My stand is called, unsurprisingly, Visualising Ideas, and it can be found here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Visualising-Ideas 

All the virtual stands give a free downloadable activity, so it’s really worth browsing the site.

 

A Valentine’s Day Video Lesson: A Silent Melody

Many thanks to the lovely Beata Gulati for sending me this video in time for Valentine’s Day!

Anything to do with romance goes down well with my teenage students. This video has no spoken dialogue, the vocabulary level of the written English is simple, all is understood when watching the video in silent mode, and the heroine is Deaf! It’s as if the film has Valentine’s Day written all over it!

The use of that particular kind of alarm clock in the video doesn’t make sense. I “complained” about it to Beata but that’s just quibbling. Frankly, I think it is an opportunity to expose the students to the phrase “it doesn’t make sense!” If you watch the video and don’t understand why it doesn’t make sense, scroll down to the end of the post. I’ll explain it there.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Deaf people use an alarm clock that vibrates. The clock has to be placed on her bed for Swetha to be awoken by it.