I am a life-loving, energetic, fourth grade teacher. On my website, you will find ideas and tips for integrating technology into your classroom, upper elementary resources and classroom activities that engage and motivate students.
Searching for videos is my number one frustration with using videos in the classroom. I have tons of videos saved as bookmarks on my laptop, but keeping it all straight and finding videos easily can be time consuming. Boclips makes it so easy to search for relevant content and save videos to use for years to come! This post details how you can maximize your search and walks you through the best way to save the awesome videos you find. This post contains some affiliate links to make your life easier! Any purchases made through one of these links earns us a small commission. at no extra cost to you. The commission helps to support the blog so we can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own. If you haven't used Boclips yet, it's a free site that has educational videos that you can use in your classroom. Best thing about Boclips, the videos are all ad-free and there are no pesky pop-ups either! Click here to create your free account.
Searching on Boclips:
I try to use videos in a variety of different ways in my classrooms. They keep the lessons engaging and exciting. Simply searching for a video to use can take up tons of prep time! Boclips makes it easy to search for relative content for your subject matter. Here are some tips to maximize your search:
Use the video in window preview option. This has been the biggest time saver for me! You can preview a video right from the search screen, no reason to click into full screen mode. The video will be small, but it is easy to tell within the first few seconds if it is what I am looking for (obviously I watch the whole thing before showing my students).
Get specific with your search. The video library on Boclips is huge. Don't waste time searching for "electricity" when you are really looking for "electrical circuits". The more specific the better. If you don't find what you are looking for with that search, you can trim down the specificity and search more broad terms.
Scan the video lengths before previewing a video. The videos on Boclips vary in length. I have used videos that are as short as 30 seconds and as long as 12 minutes. The video length is listed on the original search screen on the video description (top right).
Type in key words - don't use phrases. It's okay if your search doesn't make 100% sense. Using key words only is a great way to bring up videos that cover the standard you are looking for.
Search for a collection to cover your standard. Boclips offers a collection option to gather videos that focus on a specific subject matter. You can scroll through the collections to find multiple videos that you can use.
Saving Videos with Boclips:
I think this is my favorite feature of Boclips (next to it being ad-free). Boclips allows you to curate video collections. When you do a video search, there is an option to "save". When you click this, you can save it to any existing collection or create a new collection to save it to. I have collections for math vocabulary, social studies, force/motion, landforms, influential people biographies, and more. The options are truly endless.
You have complete control over your collections. You can go in and edit collections (delete videos, rename it, add additional videos, delete the entire collection, etc.). All video collections are private when they are first created and you can make it public under the collection options.
Another option would be to copy the link from a video and create QR codes or share directly with your students via Google Classroom (or similar management system).
So tell me, have you checked out Boclips yet? What else do you want to know about the site?
Using video in the classroom is a great way to motivate and engage learners. This post is going to explore how you can use the site Boclips to find videos for your students, how to share videos using Google Classroom, and how to generate QR codes for videos. This post contains some affiliate links to make your life easier! Any purchases made through one of these links earns us a small commission. at no extra cost to you. The commission helps to support the blog so we can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own. I love using video in my classroom in a variety of ways (click here to see how I use video). With that being said, sharing video successfully can be difficult. We are lucky enough to be 1:1 with student devices. Giving my students access to videos on their own devices is ESSENTIAL. It allows them to pause/rewind as necessary to ensure that they are understanding the content being presented.
If you haven't found Boclips yet, it is a great site that you can use to find educational videos to use in your classroom. There are no ads, linked content, or popups! Create your free account by clicking here. Then, do some searches to find some videos you want to share. Next to each video is a "copy link" button. When you click this it will automatically save the video link to your clipboard so you can share it with your students.
I use Google Classroom with my students to share content, assignments and videos. For videos, I share them with my students in the stream. Add a quick title in the description and then click the link icon to add the video link.
It's really that simple. When my students click the video link on their devices, they will be taken to a new browser window that is completely ad free. All they need to do is click "play" and get right to work. The video is embedded in this browser window (with no need to log-in) so you know it is going to be safe for students. There will not be any inappropriate content lingering on the side or end of your video.
Another great way to share videos with your students is with QR codes. This is especially useful when you are not in a 1:1 district or when you are using videos in a center. To create a QR code, I use the site QR Code Generator. You do not need to create a log-in to use this site. Just paste in the link (from the Boclips site or other video source) and click "create QR code". You will then need to then go over to the right side and click "download JPEG". This will save the QR code to your downloads on your computer.
Ways to Use QR Codes:
Print the QR Code large to have students scan throughout the lesson.
Print the QR Codes small and develop a scavenger hunt. Hide them around the room and have students scan to watch videos to answer specific questions.
Print the QR Codes to use in a center.
Print the QR Codes and use as an early finisher activity.
Print the QR Codes on a "QR Video Pad" for students to use at home or in the classroom.
The last option listed there is my absolute favorite. Putting together a variety of videos and content that all focuses on one topic is a fantastic way to excite even your most reluctant learners. It is so easy to do! I find 6-8 videos or website links and generate a separate QR code for each one. Then I place each one into one document. I created a FREE TEMPLATE for you! Click here to download!! You will need to download to use in PowerPoint or use Google Slides to edit. Add your QR codes, print and go!
I would love to hear how you share videos with your students or how you use QR codes in your classroom. Leave a comment below and tell me all about it!
Integrating video into your classroom will increase engagement, facilitate learning, and excite your learners. This post shares a variety of ways that you can use video in the classroom and it even includes a FREE video response page for you to use with your students! This post contains some affiliate links to make your life easier! Any purchases made through one of these links earns us a small commission. at no extra cost to you. The commission helps to support the blog so we can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own.
Video is an ESSENTIAL component in my lessons and my classroom. I have pulled together five different ways that you can use video into this one post. Technology always presents a few challenges, so let's address those first!
Issues with Video (with Solutions):
1. Popups/Ads: This is my number one problem with videos. Even with strong firewalls in place within our district, I am always hesitant about what will pop up or the ad next to a video that I am using/assigning. By using a website such as Boclips to search/play videos, this problem is completely avoided! Boclips has no ads and does not have popups in the videos either. There are also no video recommendations at the end of the videos (wahoo!). You can sign up for a free Boclips account by clicking here.
2. Searching Time: I can spend hours searching for videos. I usually use at least one video each day in my lessons. Even if I spend five minutes searching for each video, minimum of five videos a week... that's 25 minutes of time spent JUST searching. Although there isn't a direct solution for this, I have found a few things that can definitely minimize search time. First, find a few video channels for each subject that you can check first. Second, use a grade level in your search to help key in on the age range you are needing it for. Finally, use Google - not just your favorite video sites. Google is great for pulling up the specific content that you need.
3. Accountability: It's hard to know if students are truly paying attention when watching a video. Students can zone out so easily. There are a few things that I have found to help with this. Using some kind of video response sheet (like the freebie below) makes students think about what they are watching. The second thing is using a site like EdPuzzle to integrate comprehension questions directly into the videos.
Ideas for Using Videos:
1. Within Lessons: Videos are a great tool to use to extend your lessons beyond the classroom. For example, if you are talking about the various regions of the United States, showing a video of each region helps students understand the wildlife, terrain, and landmarks. I always preload the videos as different tabs before students arrive. This helps from wasting time when students are in the room. When I lesson plan, I add the direct links in my Planbook to keep them organized.
2. Early Finisher Activity: My students are OBSESSED with these early finisher boards. About once a month I develop an early finisher board for the units we will be studying. The videos are each 5-10 minutes long. If a student gets done early, they simply scan the QR code with their iPad. When they finish a video, they fill out a response (we do it digitally now but you can grab a printable form below). This response isn't graded! It's only purpose is to keep my students focused during the video.
3. Homework: This isn't a common one for me, but I know a lot of teachers that assign video as homework. Our sixth grade math teacher has a "flipped" classroom. She assigns nightly videos of her working through the content and explaining vocabulary. At home, students take notes on the video and come prepared the next day for their assignment. Using videos as homework is an easy way to differentiate work too!
4. Centers: Videos during centers is one of my go-to activities. Again, QR codes work great or you can share a link with students via your management system (like Google Classroom). I usually type up 3-5 specific questions that students need to answer about the video content for accountability during this center.
5. Reteach: There are times when certain content needs to be taught in a different way. I LOVE using sites like Khan Academy for finding videos to use as a reteach tool for my students who need just a little extra support.
I think everyone's first stop for videos is YouTube, however I have been using a new site recently and am in love with it. The site is called Boclips. It was developed for educators to find educational and appropriate videos for their students. You can create collections of videos, it is completely ad free, and the videos can easily be shared with students. OH... and it's FREE! You can create your account here or by clicking the photo below.
Video Response Freebie:
This handy form can be used in your classroom for practically any video that you decide to use. It is a great way to hold students accountable and check-in with their learning. Grab the FREEBIE here or by clicking the photo below.
Boclips is a great new website that is sure to engage and excite your students. It features millions of educational short-form videos that teachers can use to grab students' attention. Boclips has partnered with some amazing content partners to offer you videos from a variety of sources. Oh, did I mention... its both free for teachers and completely ad free. This post contains some affiliate links to make your life easier! Any purchases made through one of these links earns us a small commission. at no extra cost to you. The commission helps to support the blog so we can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own.
I wanted to share about a new site that I have been using on a weekly basis in my classroom. I am always looking for ways to integrate video into my lessons because it is engaging and it truly amy students to make real-world application to the content. My biggest frustration with educational videos is the lack of ad-free and easy searches. I waste so much time on YouTube searching for the "perfect" video for a lesson on XYZ. Half time time, I end up just picking something to avoid having to scroll through yet another page of videos.
Boclips was developed to provide educators a streamlined way to find worry-free digital content for their students. All of the videos are AD-FREE and firewall restrictions are lifted so you won't have issues sharing them with your students (please tell me I am not the only one that has this problem from time to time). All the videos on the site are uploaded by approved content partners or the Boclips team, which gives me the peace of mind to know that I am not going to inadvertently share inappropriate content with my students. We all know those pesky "watch next" video suggestions that happen at the end of YouTube videos... you just never know what is going to come next! Not anymore though. Boclips doesn't have suggested videos at the end or similar videos on the page at all.
The teacher interface is SO easy to use. After you create your free account (click here), you can search for just about anything. I have found myself using this for Science, Social Studies, Digital Citizenship, as well as Math Vocabulary. There are millions of videos on the site, but the search feature has been pretty kind to me so far. I haven't had any weird video suggestions pop-up within the first few pages of videos and usually I am finding what I am looking for in the first 7-10 videos. PLUS, I am 100% okay searching with my students watching because I know the content that will appear is all kid-appropriate.
Boclips has recently added a few great features which have made me start to use it more and more. One feature is the option to save videos. Once you find a video that you just don't want to lose, you can easily save it to your collection. Simply click "save" and then add a new collection to save it to. I have collections saved for my science topics and other subjects. Boclips has also curated collections (as well as teacher published collections) that can be easily found and utilized for multiple videos on the same subject matter.
I use videos in my lessons in a variety of ways. First, they serve as a great anticipatory set and they really do excite kids. I use videos to add additional content to the lessons, there are just some things that kids understand more when they see it in a video. Finally, I use videos to bring the world to my kids. Boclips videos are easy to share via Google Classroom (or other classroom management systems). The ads are still blocked and firewall restrictions are off which makes viewing safe for your students.
Are you considering a flexible seating classroom? I went all in this year and I couldn't be more excited about it. My students love it and I am seeing them be more successful every day! This post shares tips and tricks for how to implement, ideas for flexible seating options for an upper elementary classroom (that would totally work in a younger grade too), as well as resources and a FREEBIE for you!
This post contains some affiliate links to make your life easier! Any purchases made through one of these links earns us a small commission. at no extra cost to you. The commission helps to support the blog so we can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own.
What is Flexible Seating?
First, it is essential to know what flexible seating is and the purpose it has in the classroom. Flexible classrooms give students the opportunity to choose what type of learning space works best for them. These classrooms have numerous options for students to choose from to increase their attention and engagement during the day. Flexible seating classrooms can be extremely structured, while still allowing for student choice. Research supports students being comfortable while learning. Think about yourself. Where are you sitting right now while you are reading this? Probably not on a hard plastic chair in a desk that more than likely doesn't fit you. Am I right?
Flexible classrooms also support student collaboration. Many flexible seating classrooms include options on wheels (chairs as well as bookshelves and tables) that can easily be moved around to create open spaces. In my classroom, our flexible seating options are all easy for students to move to new spots and we can arrange our room in many different ways.
Flexible Seating Options:
There are numerous options that you can use in your classroom. Always be considerate of your students' physical needs when choosing options. Wipeable or washable surfaces are essential! Here is what I have in my classroom:
You can also find great ideas on Pinterest! Keep an eye out at garage sales for dorm chairs, futons or small couches that you could easily throw a cover over. The futon is definitely the #1 option in our classroom!
This is the most important part of a flexible seating classroom. You must set up clear expectations and procedures to maximize the benefits of flexible seating. As a class, we talked a lot about why were going to have flexible seating, how the classroom would look/feel with flexible seating during the day and at the end of the day, how flexible seating options were to be used, and the procedure for choosing seating options.
Our procedure for choosing: I devoted a bulletin board to our flexible seating option posters. At the end of the day, all names are taken down (they are attached with velcro). Names are drawn one by one and students choose their flexible seating option to start the next day. My students are able to switch throughout the day if they need to, however I wanted to avoid the mad rush in the morning for the favorite options. You can grab these posters HERE. The resource includes 25 different options to match all flexible options in your classroom!
We also set up end of the day procedures. I wanted to be sure that our flexible seating options were not an inconvenience for our custodial staff. They do an awesome job in our classroom, so we thought about all the ways we could make it easy to clean. I purchased small plastic plates at the Dollar Tree to use to "hold" the yoga balls on the tables overnight (I also put about 2 cups of salt in each of them before blowing them up to lessen the rolling). The wobble stools get stacked on top of the tables. Our chair discs get stored under the futon. It all needed a procedure, so we worked as a class to develop one.
Discussing "What If" Scenarios:
Giving students time to think about various "what if" scenarios encourages them to use their problem solving skills to brainstorm a solution. I printed out eight different scenarios and taped them up around the room. My students then did a museum walk to read the scenarios and record what they would do. We then had a class meeting to discuss the eight scenarios. It was the perfect activity to kick off our flexible seating!
Communication with Parents:
Parents love to know what is happening in their child's classroom. Many of them have not had experience with a flexible seating classroom, so it is important to answer questions from the very start of the year. I sent home a letter to parents when all of our flexible seating options started arriving. I also created little "oops" notes to send home if students used their flexible seating option inappropriately. This continuous communication helps parents feel more at ease knowing that the classroom is still managed and an appropriate learning environment for their child. Students also signed a contract for flexible seating at the beginning of the year. A copy of this contract was sent home for parents too!
This goes without saying, but I think it's still important to mention. You need to be flexible with flexible seating. The procedures, layout, rules, etc. cannot be steadfast. About midway through the year, I realized that our flexible seating needed a refresh. Students were distracted, behaviors were unusual (and increasing), and our room felt a little chaotic. We held a classroom meeting to discuss feelings/thoughts and I was amazed at what my students shared. We made a new plan for our layout (to be sure that no backs were to the front of the room) and changed a few procedures. Everything has been going so much better since that conversation.
Kids truly have great ideas, we just have to give them a chance to share them! I have learned so much during my first year with flexible seating. More importantly, I am so glad that I decided to jump on the flexible seating train and transform our learning environment!
I put together a free resource full of the materials shared in this blog post to make the transition to flexible seating just a bit easier for you! Click HERE to download.
Do you have any questions about flexible seating? What are your students' favorite flexible seating options? I love to hear about new ideas to integrate into our room!
With technology being ever present in the classroom, teachers need to be teaching digital citizenship. What is it? Why is it important? How do I go about teaching it to my students? All of these questions are going to be answered in this five part series all about digital citizenship. Let's start with What is Digital Citizenship?
What is Digital Citizenship? First, let's discuss some terms that are important to know when discussing digital citizenship.
Digital Citizen: a person who uses information technology to be a part of societySocial Media: any website or app that allows users to create and share content and socialize with others. Digital Citizenship: using technology in a safe, appropriate and responsible way that promotes positive online interactionsDigital Footprint: the trail or traces that a person leaves every time they are online, all bits of information about yourself that is available to othersDigital Citizenship is like a road map for how students should be using technology and the internet. Students are getting information off of the internet and they need to know how to process and use that information all the while staying safe.
"... students must be active, creative, knowledgeable, and ethical participants in our globally networked society." (U.S. Department of Education, 2010)Why is it important to teach about Digital Citizenship?Many of our students have access to devices that will connect them to the world digitally. These devices can connect them in new ways that can be both positive and negative. Teaching about digital citizenship will prepare them to tip the scale towards the positive interactions instead of the negative ones.
Laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPods.... our students have access to many of them. Instead of looking at these devices as a toy, Digital Citizenship helps guide students to realize that these are tools that can help them learn while connecting them to the world. By teaching digital citizenship, you will be preparing your students to use social media in an appropriate and beneficial way. Many students do not realize that they leave behind a digital footprint with each interaction that they have online. This footprint can impact their lives forever if they are not acting in a responsible manner while being online. Think about the time you spend online and all of the things you see. From ads to negative posts to inappropriate websites, it is all out there for our students to see and find. Many sites lend themselves to ease of cyberbullying which is another challenge our students face in the world we live in now. By teaching digital citizenship, you are teaching students how to navigate the rough waters that our students tread while they are online. Why Digital Citizenship in the classroom?For me, it's a no-brainer. Many districts are starting to adopt 1:1 or shared technology initiatives. In addition, many teachers are beginning to incorporate technology as part of their homework or in relation to classroom assignments (project-based learning activities, research projects, Genius Hour projects). This added use for technology in the classroom means the pressure is on us (don't worry... it's on the parents too) to teach our students how to function in the digital world and how to be digital citizenship. So where do you even begin? Don't worry- I've got you covered. I took some time to map out the 5 main steps to teaching digital citizenship in a handy guide, wrapped it up with a pretty bow and I want to share it with you for FREE! Simply click here or the image below sign up to have the guide and free printables sent right to your inbox!
Wanting to come back to this post later? Click the image below to pin the post!
Let's face it, teachers could use some extra money. I recently entered the world of online ESL teaching and I am loving every minute of it. Continue reading to find out my top 5 reasons why I teach ESL classes online. This post contains affiliate links to make your life easier! Any sign-ups made through one of the links earns us a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This commission helps to support the blog so I can continue to share content and freebies with you. All views and opinions are purely my own.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE teaching my students in my classroom. However, there is just something exhilarating about teaching online. The classes only last for 25 minute so you have to use the time wisely, get through all of the content and still have fun with the student! The company I work for, gogokid, provides all of the lessons. There is little to no prep, which is a great change from the regular classroom. Plus, I wear my pajama pants to teach! Who doesn't love that!?
Chinese students value education and so do their parents. It is important for them to start to learn English at a young age. Most of the students I teach are excited to be there, excited to learn new words and they may even be excited to see me! The kids surprise me day in and day out with their knowledge of English, even at the age of 4! Most of the time, the parents are sitting in the room with them so the behavior is great too!
I schedule ESL classes online based on MY schedule. I don't feel rushed or start to panic because I have a class. I was the one who opened the slots, those times work for me! I found that I had some extra time in the mornings this summer and this was a great way to utilize that time. Gogokid allows you to set your own schedule, with the "peak" times being 7 PM - 9 PM Beijing Time, which is 6 AM - 8 AM CST. These are considered the prime hours for getting bookings, even when students go back to school in the fall.
After being in the classroom for 6 years, I feel like I have seen and done a lot. This addition of teaching online has refueled my desire to be a teacher by giving me a challenge. Y'all it's not easy to teach a student who speaks little English new words and phrases. I am always looking for new ways to engage my ESL students, peak their interest and help them comprehend English words and phrases. This challenge keeps me going lesson to lesson.
You are probably thinking, that's all fine and dandy... but is it really worth it? I have found the answer to that question to be a solid YES. Gogokid salaries range from $7-10 per class (so $14-20 per hour). They offer incentives based on your performance, which are easy to achieve! Right now, I am making about the same per hour teaching ESL online as I am in the brick and mortar classroom.
Plus, gogokid is offering an incentive for new hires right now. If you sign up, successfully teach 3 classes in your first 30 days (with no negative feedback from parents), you will earn $300! I earned that $300 in my first two weeks as a gogokid teacher, and I know many of the teachers on the platform also earned it.
The best part about the pay? You can qualify to earn subsidy pay for peak slots that don't book. If you open those peak slots I talked about ^^^ and they don't book - it's $$$ in your pocket. Gogokid offers 60% of your base pay as subsidy pay. You get PAID for NOT teaching! That's a win in my book.
Want to check out the company? Click here to head over to their site and sign-up. The application will take you a maximum of 5 minutes to complete!
Want to know more? I have set up a Facebook Group to answer questions about the company, help people get hired and show you the ins/outs of teaching ESL online! Click HERE to join!
Feel free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions about teaching ESL online. I am an open book and happy to share any information and answer any question!