Today I really discovered the value in recording students. This morning, my students were introduced to a new shared reading piece. While it was a fairly long piece, there were lots of simple sight words in it that they knew, and the students learned it fairly quickly. Before going to gym, we used the AudioMemos app on the iPad to record the students reading, “Changes.”
After recording their reading, I played the recording back to them. It was incredible! Right away, the students told me that they liked how everyone read in a clear, loud voice, but that they need to work on reading together. The one student that read ahead of us some of the time, immediately identified this, and he spoke about slowing down.
Without recording the reading, I could have offered my own descriptive feedback, but I think that it was much more powerful coming from the students themselves. I’m confident that when we record our reading tomorrow, they will be more cognizant of reading together as a group while also continuing to remain loud and clear. Fantastic!
Then during math centres this afternoon, I used my digital camera to record three students describing how they located various numerals on a hundreds chart. You can listen to their explanations below:
I love how much information I can get from these few minutes of recording time. I can tell if the students can identify various numerals, I can tell how they solve different math problems, and I can see if they are using one method for solving these problems or multiple methods. I can also hear them counting independently, and I can see if they demonstrate the mental math strategy of “counting on” or “counting back.” No matter what I might have written down in my anecdotal records at a centre like this one, actually having this recording gives me far more information than I would have ever written. I can now plan my next lesson based on the skills and needs of my students. I adore my digital camera!
Have you recorded your students in the classroom before? What role do these recordings play in assessment? I would love to hear your thoughts!
Update From Today — September 22nd
After yesterday’s audio recording of our Shared Reading Activity, the students listened again to what they did, and then re-recorded their reading today. They thought that they sounded much better: they were reading better as a group and they were all consistently reading the words too. This just shows me the power of self-reflection.
Have others had similar experiences to this one? I’d love to hear about your experiences too!