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?
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I'm an educational blogger and curriculum designer. I am enthusiastic about providing creative, comprehensive, and clear resources for middle and high school math teachers. My goal is to create content that is easy to implement for the teacher, and helps students Connect Knowledge with Understanding - One Lesson at a Time.