In our last post, we shared a quick way to set up a DIY Document Camera. Now we want to show you how this tool can be used for a variety of ways to support remote teaching and learning.
One of the reasons we love the use of the document camera for remote teaching and learning is that it can make teaching feel both personal and interactive, two elements of face-to-face learning that we know many of you miss. We also know that our teaching is most effective when we use tools (e.g. anchor charts, mentor texts, samples of student writing, manipulatives or a white board) and techniques (demonstration, scaffolded practice) that help make our teaching stick.
Here are just a few of the many ways you can bring these same elements to your remote teaching with the help of your DIY document camera:
1. Let them see you!
Sometimes the most simple ideas are the most powerful, and this one is no exception. The relationships you have built with your students serve as such an important foundation for remote teaching today. Your students crave this connection. While we all might appreciate a team to help make us camera ready with a Pinterest worthy backdrop, nothing is as important as just being yourself! What your students care about is the consistency and connection to you, so step out from behind your Google Slides and let them see you speaking directly to the camera while you teach.
2. Build Anchor Charts as you Teach:
Many of you in workshop classrooms know the power of anchor charts for teaching mini-lessons. You can use your document camera to build a mini anchor chart while you explain and demonstrate your teaching points. Naming the new teaching point while you simultaneously place a post-it on your chart will help draw your students’ attention to the new learning. The use of color and quick sketches will also help make your teaching stick.
3. Using Mentor Texts:
One of the simplest uses of a document camera is for reading aloud and for teaching using mentor texts. Just place the text right under the document camera and you’re ready to go!
4. Looking at Student Writing:
You can show student writing directly under the document camera and then mark it up as you would typically do to highlight craft techniques and illustrate opportunities for revision and editing. While you can also certainly do this work with digital texts and annotation tools, for young children especially, it will be important to show writing that looks just like their own writing! Place post-its in the margins notes, highlight parts using your old-fashioned highlighter, circle words or phrases–just as you’d do in person!
5. Using Manipulatives or Writing on a Virtual White Board:
Phonics lessons are a perfect example of a time when you want to show how to do something! Using a blank sheet and a dark marker will allow you to use the document camera just as you would a white board. You can also use letter tiles and other manipulatives right under the camera to show the process of building and decoding words.
Using a DIY document camera is a great way to support teaching and learning in this remote world. Let us know how it goes for you! Leave us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.