The Value of Virtual Learning: A Collection of Classroom Videos for Use in Remote Learning Environments

by Ann Carlyle, Math Solutions Author
January 29th, 2021

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Welcome to the third blog entry in The Value of Virtual Learning series. Want a chance to WIN a copy of one of Math Solutions’ video-based publications? Keep reading!

Throughout the pandemic I’ve been teaching remote classes to a group of preservice teachers who are required to have a practicum experience as part of their learning. This experience requires them to observe teachers and students in real classrooms and then document their thoughts and wonderings. However, with most if not all of the teaching happening in a virtual environment, I faced a dilemma: How was I going to get my students real classroom experience? 

Enter Math Solutions’ videos. Over the years I’ve acquired a library of Math Solutions’ resources—my go-to for learning new ideas and refreshing existing ones. Many of Math Solutions’ resources come with video clips that were filmed in authentic classrooms. I started pulling these videos up online and sharing them with my students—and the result has been powerful. Though nothing can beat being in an actual classroom, these videos give my students the opportunity to “visit” a variety of schools across the United States and observe teachers implementing successful teaching practices in a wide range of classrooms, from rural to urban, private to public.

Math Solutions, upon learning of this newfound use of their videos from not only me but many other professors and teachers, collaborated to put together a collection of twenty of our favorite videos, available at no charge for use in virtual settings. In the following blog, links are provided for each video; however, if you’d like to access the entire virtual learning collection at any time or learn more about each resource, please create an account at My Online Resources and use the key code VVLG to register.

The following are a few ways that I have been using these videos with my students; I hope you get as much use out of this collection as I do—and we welcome ideas and insights on how you’re using the videos.

Task 1: One-on-One Student Interviews

One of the assignments I give preservice teachers is to interview children to observe errors or common incorrect responses. In lieu of live interviews, I share the following video clips of interviews that have transpired in elementary classrooms. Students choose an interview, watch it, then share their understanding of the child’s mathematical strengths and needs.

  • Task 1, Video Clip Option 1: Observe an individual counting assessment with kindergartner, Yulitza (from How to Assess While You Teach Math, Grades K–2). 

Task 2: Mathematical Practices

I use the following videos to find out how preservice teachers think about the mathematical practices, as well as give insight on how students think about alternative algorithms.

  • Task 2, Video Clip Option 1: Second-grade teacher Ms. Thomas explains how a student, using a number line, said “you don’t have to subtract to subtract,” making sense of the relationship of subtraction to addition (from Number Talks: Whole Number Computation). 
  • Task 2, Video Clip Option 2: Author and teacher Sherry Parrish encourages fourth graders to think about efficient strategies (from Number Talks: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages). 
  • Task 2, Video Clip Option 3: In Mrs. Foley’s fifth-grade classroom, students use the ideas of length, width, and height (with models) to explain volume of rectangular prisms, shedding light on the mathematical practice, Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning (from Talk Moves: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Classroom Discussions in Math). 

Task 3: Students Explaining Their Thinking

For this task, I ask preservice teachers to observe number talks in classrooms where teachers ask students to explain their thinking. Students choose one of the following two clips.

  • Task 3, Video Clip Option 1: In this third-grade classroom, the teacher explores how students can add 38 + 37 in a variety of ways, making sense of place value (from Number Talks: Whole Number Computation).
  • Task 3, Video Clip Option 2: First graders in Ms. Moylan’s class explain how they add three numbers together using what they already know about doubles reasoning (from Talk Moves: A Teacher’s Guide for Using Classroom Discussions in Math). 

Ready to Explore?

Seeing real teachers teaching is an important part of the preservice experience. In lieu of my students not being able to go into the classrooms of local teachers who are striving to help their students make sense of mathematics, I’m grateful for the use of these well-documented and supported videos. 

We’d love to hear from you and about your experiences using video with preservice teachers. Share your thoughts and enter to win a free copy of a video based-Math Solutions publication here. Three winners will be drawn randomly on February 26 and notified via email. 

Interested in more? Click here to read the first blog article in this series.

More articles are forthcoming in The Value of Virtual Learning series from our Math Solutions authors. Subscribe to our blog to learn more!


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