Showcase Lesson #3 Reflection:
In this lesson, my high school Video Production class learned about Mini DV tapes and how to use them in our school’s camcorders. I applied Marzano, Pickering and Pollock’s (2001) strategy of “Cues and Questions” by using the author’s examples of questions from “Classroom Instruction That Works”. The questions brought students into a discussion as I held up a Mini DV tape and asked, “What is it? What action does this thing usually perform? How is this thing usually used? What is this thing part of?” (p. 115). I went on to ask students further questions about the tape to get students to think about its purpose. The students seemed to really enjoy answering the cue questions, especially because they were able to draw from what they already inferred about tapes. The students talked about the different qualities of tapes and connected them to film and other media, while also bringing up their similarities and differences. The students also discussed how they thought tapes actually worked and had pretty accurate guesses. I followed Marzano, Pickering and Pollock’s (2001) advice when they state, “Waiting briefly before accepting responses from students has the effect of increasing the depth of the students’ answers” (p. 114). This motivated students to rely on their own knowledge and critical thinking to answer the cues. It was difficult for me to just stare at the high school students until they started raising their hands and it did create a nice awkward silence. This is something that I should probably get used to because the wait was definitely worth the student’s discussion that followed.
I also applied Marzano, Pickering and Pollock’s (2001) strategy of “Generating and Testing Hypotheses” (p. 104), and this worked but I think that it needs some polishing. In this activity I wanted to students to make guesses about what challenges they thought the Mini DV tapes would present. Many of the students understood what I was looking for them to do, but a large number of students were confused. In the future, I think that it might help to give students better instruction on what I am looking for and examples for them to follow when having the students create hypotheses. While exploring the use of “Generating and Testing Hypotheses”, I found that it was helpful to have the students explain their hypotheses to the class. This supported my reasoning for this activity as I took the idea from Marzano, Pickering and Pollock (2001) as they state, “…the process of explaining their thinking helps students deepen their understanding of the principles they are applying” (p.105).
In the following class where the students did the Mini DV camcorder activity, students did show that they had a good understanding of how to use the technology. After students digitized their footage, they did see the difference with shooting on tape, and even further understood the challenges that I was asking them to look for. The students were able to write these conclusions on their handouts, and I feel that the students now have a good grasp on how tapes have been used in the past and how we can still use them today.
Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., & Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom Instruction That Works. Alexandria, VA: Association For Supervision and Curriculum Development.