How did I come up with video warm-ups?
It all started when I was asked to teach AP Calculus. For some teachers, that may be no big deal. Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine….I was not a math major. My major was accounting. Therefore, I only took a few math courses in college. Regardless, I was excited and eager for the challenge. I remember loving Calculus in high school and college.
I was sent to an AP summer seminar for training. Oh boy, I quickly learned I was in over my head. Everyone in my seminar was a math major and had taken several levels of Calculus in college. The last time I took a calculus course, was 14 years prior when I was a freshman in college. I was definitely a little rusty. The seminar was a weeklong and there were moments I thought the instructor and my classmates were speaking a different language. Luckily, I made friends with a nice group of ladies that took me under their wing and helped me through it all. I decided that I could do this, but it was going to require a lot of hard work the first year.
I received a lot of awesome resources from the seminar that I planned on implementing in my class. However, I was still nervous. I knew I’d be re-teaching a lot of the topics to myself and therefore not as solid in my knowledge of the content as I was for the other classes I taught. This made me realize that I cannot be the only instructor my Calculus students could rely on for information. Not a problem, right? I can just ask a math colleague to assist when needed, right? Wrong. I am a one-person department. Yep, I was about to teach AP Calculus for the first time, along with my three other courses – Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and Precalculus and no other person was around to help me.
I had to come up with a plan. That’s when it dawned on me that there are tons of math videos on YouTube. I spent the rest of my summer and part of the school year, finding videos on YouTube to coincide with every section in my textbook that I needed to cover for the AP exam. I didn’t want to use the videos to flip my classroom, because I still wanted to be my student’s main instructor, and answer any questions they had as we worked our way through the content. But, I did want them to be introduced to each topic by another math teacher through a short video, so they would come to class with some prior knowledge of the day’s lesson objective. Then, before I started the lesson, I would give them a warm-up based on what was covered in the video. I did this for two reasons, to confirm they watched the video and to help me gage to what extent they understood it.
After we got through the first unit, I could tell it was working. The students liked learning from several teachers and seeing the content taught a few times helped them grasp the material quickly. I shared a few units of the warm-ups with a colleague of mine from another school because he shared several of his resources with me and I wanted to return the favor. A short while later, he emailed me asking for more video warm-ups. He said his students loved them and wanted more! That's when I knew I was onto something. I began making them for my Algebra 2 class as well. And guess what, they loved them too!
Through this process I discovered several other benefits video warm-ups have, which I will share in another post.
Here are my other posts on video warm-ups:
Wondering where you can find my video warm-ups?