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Month: January 2016

Using My Videos In Class

Using My Videos In Class

I wanted to share one of my in-class strategies for using the videos in my 4th edition combined algebra text. For the latest edition I created over 3000 short videos – conceptual, technology (TI-84), study skills, …

In this article I am focusing on the videos I made that correspond to the examples in the textbook as well as the two associated Quick Check exercises. (Each example in the textbook has two corresponding Quick Check exercises.)

Round One – Example Video

I start by opening up an example video and playing it until just the problem shows on the screen. We discuss the problem together, and I work through the problem on the board. So, this is the standard approach I have always used in class, except the problem is on the screen instead of me writing it down. The gain here is that I want my students to know they can check this video after class if they need help at home.


Round Two – Quick Check a

Again, I open the video to the point where just the problem occurs on the screen. I then ask the class to try the problem and check with their neighbors or group members when they need some help or they have finished. I make my way around the class at this point and take questions/offer suggestions as well. Once the class has finished, I fast-forward the video to show the entire solution and ask if there are any questions or comments.


Round Three – Quick Check b

I use this video to see how well students understand what we have done. I advance the video to the point the problem shows up and ask my students to “race the video.” Students work through the problem while the video is playing. The goal is for the students to finish before the video. (As there is some explanation included in the video, the time is not necessarily a problem for most students.)
If students are having trouble with the problem, they can always look to the video screen for pointers. I remind students that they should add notes to indicate where they had trouble, and to mark down exactly what went wrong, so they are better prepared when facing similar problems in their homework.



I have found this approach to be rewarding in several ways.

  • It constantly reinforces to my students that there are videos in the e-text that can help students to understand the material.
  • It provides me with a nice selection of problems to cover in my class. This is really handy with applied problems – less time for me to write the problems on the board, and students know that the problems can be found in the text so they do not necessarily have to copy down the entire problem.
  • Some topics and concepts really only require one classroom example, but it is convenient to have 3 available in case students struggle when I do not expect it.
  • “Racing the Video” turns out to be a really fun experience, and provides students with the validation that they need. Learning to make their way through a problem in a timely fashion is important as well.

I hope you consider giving this a try in your classroom. If you have any questions, or if you try it and want to give me some feedback, please leave a comment – George

uCLID – New Blog Project

uCLID – New Blog Project

At the beginning of the new year I started a blog project called uCLID. Each weekday, and most weekends as well, I intend to work my way through one of the propositions is Euclid’s Elements. It’s been a lot of fun. You can keep up on my progress through the “Blog” tab on my website, or by going directly to this address:

I just posted Proposition 24 in Book 1 today, so that puts me halfway through Book 1.

Enjoy – George