Teachers, you have so much information to share at the start of the school year, that it can be a little overwhelming — both for you and for your students. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of five videos that’ll tell students what they need to know and keep them engaged, even when they’ve already heard a bunch of first-day-of-class speeches from other teachers. Take a look:
This can be a short and sweet rundown of your class rules like in the video below, or you can make it more interactive. If you have a class where you agree on rules together, then let students help come up with illustrations for each rule or take pictures of the right way to behave (for example, a picture of students raising their hands to ask a question).
Another way to acclimate new students and get them excited for the coming year is to create a classroom tour video. Show off your learning centers and your library, or show pictures of past projects and student work. If you teach science or another hands-on class, a classroom tour is a great way to show that materials students will be using and explain how they should be used.
A paper syllabus can get lost, but a video can live on your class website and serve as a reference for students throughout the year. So create a video explaining to students what they’ll be doing in class, what books and materials they’ll be using, and the grading system. Need an example? Here’s “Magistra” Evelyn Beckman’s Animoto video, which she uses as a syllabus for her Latin III Honors class and to share her expectations for the upcoming year.
Parents can be even more nervous than their children on the first day of school, but a quick video showing how the day went can help put their minds at ease. Post a video on your class site, so parents can log in and see their children working on first-day projects. You’ll foster a connection with parents by letting them know that you’re committed to including them in their children’s education. As a bonus, your students will probably be delighted to see themselves on video.
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about teacher introductions, but that’s because they can be important tools in making new students feel comfortable in your classroom. These videos can also help students find out a little bit about you, your background, and your teaching style, so they have a sense of who they’ll be spending their days with. For example, Roxanne Langley of Magnolia Junior High used her video to introduce her family and hobbies to her new students as well as her teaching background.
Video is a powerful way to focus students’ attention on what you need them to know for the coming year. Post your videos on your class webpage, and they’ll be references for the rest of the year — ones that can’t get lost at the bottom of a backpack.
Note: The video examples in this article were created with Animoto Memories, an Animoto legacy slideshow-making tool. As of October 2018, all Animoto customers have access to our new easy-to-use, drag-and-drop video maker.