The Need For Recording

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:

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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!


16 thoughts on “The Need For Recording

  1. Great examples of self & peer assessments as well as evidence of learning! Thanks for sharing. I am wanting to record the speech of my pre-k kids to show evidence of growth.

    • Thanks for the comment, Maureen! I’m glad you liked the examples. Your idea sounds great too! I love seeing evidence of growth over the year. Please share how your recordings go too!


    • Thanks for your comment! The iPods are great for recording. I love having students record themselves too. Thank you for the 100’s Game suggestion too. I really like this one as well, but it’s blocked at our school. That’s actually went I found the ABCYa one.


  2. I might try this tomorrow in my class. We were working on trading up and down today using place value charts. Some of my students were having a hard time recognizing that 10 in the ones column could be exchanged for a group of ten, or that 10 groups of 10 could be exchanged for 100. A great activity that I do with them is give them a number like 237 and say find the missing number using placevalue chart. I’ll give them 1 hundred ___ tens and 7 ones. I’m trying to get them to see that 13 groups of ten will change the 100 to a 200 and leave 3 in the tens column. Hard for some of them!

    So do you play back the video you made to all the students, or just the ones you recorded?

    • Thanks for your comment! This would be a great lesson to record, as then the students could reflect on where they had difficulty. In the case of the videos today, I was using them for my own assessment, so I didn’t play them back to the students. I did play back the audio recording to the whole class. In the past, I’ve done both. It depends on my purpose of the recording. Do you just want the individual student to reflect on his/her own work, or do you want the student’s peers to help the student problem-solve? I hope these questions help you with your decision. I’m interested in knowing how the lesson goes!


  3. Thanks. I’ll keep you posted. I like your suggestion on the playback. Would be good to help those who were still having difficulty. Perhaps partner with a student who did understand to explain it to them in kid talk!

  4. Aviva, I really appreciate this blog post. I am really making an effort to use more technology in my classroom this year. During calendar we have been trying to find numbers on the 100 chart (on the IWB), and this fits in so perfectly. I love that you recorded their thinking too as it truly does tell you their thinking. It’s also easy to go back and listen during report writing time or share on you blog or during parent teacher conferences. While having a class blog is still new to me, you continue to provide me with ideas to add to my blog.

    I also love the recording of student reading. Right now I have individual students read to the class and after some modelling by me, the children learn how to critique one another. The recording is another excellent way for them to hear themselves read, so that the critiques from their peers (or their teacher) makes even more sense.

    Thank you for sharing your learning with me -and the world 🙂 . Karen

    • Thanks for the comment, Karen! I love your two recording examples. These would both be great things for you to use for assessment, but also for your students to use too. I would love to hear what else you record!


      P.S. I really like your idea of sharing recordings during interview time as well!

  5. Hi, great idea, unfortunatly I don’t have much tech in my classroom to do so, but will think of sth soon. BTW, I think I should record myself too, just to see the speed of my talk, as I speak a lot and fast but don’t see or hear myself as others do. I came to this idea, last night sfter I saw myself on reginal TV talking about the school project we were doing on and I noticed how fast I speak, maybe too fast, even though it is clear and loud, or that was just stage freight. 🙂 So, will have this in mind. Love your work Aviva! I hope I will be able to share with you the our classroom when we decorate it, as for now it’s only has desks and chairs, the board and one old computer with a projector but, with Internet connection, and I am happy with that. More than I had when started working! 🙂

  6. Thanks for the comment, Marjana! Congratulations on appearing on the news too. I think it’s a great idea to record yourself. I do this all the time as well. It’s great for my own reflection too. If you can find a tool to use, it’s worth it!

    Looking forward to hopefully seeing some class pictures soon too!

  7. Hi Aviva,
    Another thoughtful piece. Not only is this a wonderful way for peer and self assessment it also provides you with documentation of growth over time. Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. Thanks JoAnn! Sorry for the late reply. I don’t know how I managed to miss your comment. I’m hoping that these recordings provide exactly what you said they would. I’m definitely excited to do more of this in the classroom this year!

    Have a wonderful weekend too!

  9. Hi Aviva,
    My name is Brooke Thompson and I am a student at the University of South Alabama enrolled in EDM310. My major is secondary education/ social science. I love the idea of recording your students so that they can help to improve each other and themselves. In my future classroom I plan on using as much technology as possible including: blogs, podcasting, Google Docs and hopefully so much more. I have read a few of your past blog posts and they are all so interesting, I love reading about how others use technology in their classrooms! So many great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

    Brooke Thompson

    • Thanks for your comment, Brooke! I’m sure you must be learning a lot in your class, and as time goes on and you try this out with your own students, I’d love to know how it goes. These tools really can be great for learning!


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