Concept Clips - A Math Task

A multi-disciplinary approach to mathematics instruction promotes the exploration of numeracy concepts beyond traditional algorithmic problem practice. 

The Concept Clip task is a short video, created in Clips, where students are challenged to discuss math concepts with language as well as numbers. They are asked to define a mathematical concept in their own words and provide their own examples of the concept. Because students make their conceptual understandings visible by creating a video with Clips, their work can provide the student with metacognitive reflection through the creation process, while simultaneously providing assessment opportunities for the teacher.

In my classroom, possible topics of the assignment range from more generalized vocabulary, such as “fraction” or “integer,” to more granular vocabulary such as “zero pairs” or “variable.” This way, students can get a taste of explaining big ideas as well as more specific concepts.

Students may use the scripting and/or storyboarding supports below to support their video creation. My criteria is that videos must be less than 1 minute long and I hold this as a firm expectation, which in turn urges the student to be clear and concise in what they choose to share. 

A blackline master for the Concept Clips project. Provides prompts for students to storyboard their mathematical explanations
Concept Clips planning blackline master

Here is a sample video from one of my students so you can get a feel for the structure of the Clip.

In my experience, many students - even those who are strong in math - initially struggle with the Concept Clip task. Applying language to describe mathematical processes can be very challenging. However, deep content understanding has lent itself to future ease in both understanding related concepts and manipulating strategy applications when problem solving.

*It should be noted that Concept Clips serve as a small part of my middle years multi-disciplinary instructional approach to mathematics, and other methods such as collaborative problem solving, whole-class and small-group discussions, hands-on activities, and problem practice round out effective instruction. 


All Comments

Posted on August 27, 2022

What a wonderful assessment tool! Having students explain or teach what they know really shows what they know. And having them do it via Clips is a real engaging plus!

Posted on August 31, 2022

Definitely! What I've found is that in talking through the concepts, they're almost "teaching" it through the process, enabling them to become more masterful with their understandings!

Posted on August 31, 2022

This lesson encompasses so much creativity in the math classroom! The storyboard organizer is so helpful in scaffolding the assignment so that students include all the elements you're looking for. I could see this activity being used beyond the grades you listed into high school!

Posted on August 31, 2022

I love your planning guide. (Thanks for sharing!) Planning for video content is such a crucial step to creating quality products. It really helps students understand why they are including each piece in their video.

Posted on September 08, 2022

This is a wonderful lesson to learn more about math vocabulary. The language of math is so key to deeper learning and understanding. The lesson would be a great addition (no pun intended) to the Mathematics Area under Teaching and Learning.

Posted on September 08, 2022

This is a great activity for development of academic vocabulary. It would be great for any subject matter. Our students need to be "using" vocabulary, not just writing or defining it. This is awesome!!!

Posted on November 04, 2022

Vic!! Thank you so much for sharing this! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! 🫶🏻

Gabrielle (L&L team)

Posted on December 06, 2022

Using this for percents! Thanks for sharing!

Posted on May 31, 2023

We do something very similar with other content vocabulary, specifically in ELA, but we really like this concept in our math classes as well. Thank you.

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