Seeing is believing! We’re sharing out some great videos that TpT Teacher-Authors have created. Hear straight from the creators about the experience of diving into the world of video.

This week, we’re showcasing What is a Math Talk? by Whitney at The First Grade Roundup. Here are a few fantastic elements that stood out to us:

    • Whitney includes a brief table of contents where she explains exactly what her viewers are going to learn about. This is a great way to help the viewer make an informed decision about watching your video.

    • It’s a great mix of Whitney on screen and the use of slides. We know that it can be intimidating to think of an entire video of you talking. Since this video has a lot of information, breaking it up with slides and having Whitney explaining math talks with her audience helps with the flow of the video and keeps the viewer connected. Nice!
    • Having your computer in the shot is totally OK! You can steal a glance or two to make sure that you’re on track and hitting all of your main points. This is a good option if you don’t want to use a teleprompter app or if you just can’t seem to remember exactly what you want to say.

"Learners make sense of their math world by talking about it!" says Whitney Shaddock. See how she effectively brings this point home in her math talk video.

Let’s hear right from Whitney!

What steps did you take prior to filming your video?

Before I video, I use this document to storyboard my ideas and my goals. This is essentially like my lesson planning routines for the classroom! This has really helped organize my thoughts and help me stay focused. After storyboarding my goal and essential questions, I turn those essential questions into slides in Powerpoint. I used the same design on Powerpoint as the resource the video is tied to so that it would be more coherent. Then, I added any additional materials I thought would be needed for teachers to implement the video ideas and added links to related resources in my store! After that, I set up my video set and I am ready to film!

What was the most challenging part of the process?

When I first decided to launch my blog (after two years of my family trying to talk me into it), I was scared to death. So scared that my husband had to grab my computer from my hands and literally press “publish” for me because I was too nervous to do it. Videoing was the same way. It was so so hard for me to turn on the video and think about my face being on camera. But, like blogging, after I finished editing my first video, I was completely over my fears and now am super excited about adding more video to my store!

What did you learn about making video?

The main thing I’ve learned about making video is that it is a whole lot like teaching. When I’m planning for a video, I’m essentially writing lesson plans. When I’m videoing a model lesson, my brain is engaged the same way it is when I’m teaching first graders. It’s almost like the camera is my class and I’m teaching — just on video! The other big thing I learned is that sometimes unpolished is better. I’ve surprised myself with how little I’ve “cut out” in the editing process because I feel like teachers want to watch people who are relatable, realistic, and who make mistakes just like we all do! That’s what has helped me settle down my perfectionist personality and relax so much in making videos!

Is there one piece of equipment you’d recommend? Why?

I’d definitely recommend a microphone! I’m using this one and love the difference it’s made in sound quality. Just that one change helped make my videos sound more professional. Also, another tip I learned: Move that mic off of the camera. For my math talks intro video, I had the mic on the camera. For my first math talk model lesson video, I moved the camera onto the table right in front of me and that simple change made the sound noticeably clearer and louder!

Whitney’s set up in the dining room of her house. Notice the overhead lighting and the lamp behind her chair.

Can you tell us about one or two of your videos that you really like? How do you hope these videos will help educators?

I really like my math talk videos because it’s a series (although not completed yet!) of videos that will help teachers see math talks in action. Math talks are something that I’ve been doing in my classroom for many years, but have never blogged about them because it’s really difficult to help someone understand a math talk in a blog post. So, I’m super excited to give teachers the opportunity to watch a math talk lesson from start to finish. And I’m especially excited to turn this into a series of math talk model lessons from subitizing to addition and subtraction to shapes and measurement talks as well! I’m hoping that this will make implementing math talks easier for teachers and help teachers see that there are so many things that can be taught through math talks!