Making their thinking visible through video

It is just after exams and I decide to let the students to make their thinking visible through video. I am quite pleasantly surprised by what they have given me just within 30 minutes. This is their first try. Yes, some of you may argue that these are easy problems but I am still very proud that they can explain it clearly

Actually, I had this crazy idea last year for this as I wanted the students to explain their questions in practice paper. I did not really get around doing that as I was  afraid that the students can’t produce “audioable” video and they have difficultly articulating their steps.

I am glad that I am proven wrong. They can do it if they know what they are doing.  The students have been watching quite a fair bit of youtube videos and they are trying to model after the You Tubers. Thus, creating a decent audioable video is not much of a issue for them.

As I watch their videos, I can hear snippets of “me” in the explanation especially in algebra and geometry problems. I am of course happy with that. I always celebrate small success as this is the only way to keep sane! Trust me, you need to be very positive and “Ah Q” when you are teaching academically challenging class. Perhaps, they just need to connect the dots together and have a breakthrough in their Mathematics!

What should I do next? Continue doing this but take note of the following:

(1) Set the success criteria

[Update] After going through the students’ videos, here are the things that I want the students to look out for when they are solving word problems:

  • Read the questions
  • Highlight the mathematical information (e.g., numbers and mathematical terms)
  • Explain the mathematical information in your own words
  • Explain each step clearly. Do not just say the number statement. Know why


(2) Give them doable problems.

(3) Model the problem solving process.

(4) Allow them the freedom of expression but emphasize the need for mathematical content accuracy.

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