Using Clips to Make Thinking Visible

I recently had the opportunity to co-teach a lesson with a former student in her middle school math classroom. We were looking for ways that students could demonstrate their problem solving processes and make their thinking visible as they interpreted word problems into equations and expressions. Clips felt like the perfect partner for this work!

First, we asked students to create a storyboard, so they had a clear plan of action before recording on the iPads. Here's a teacher-created example storyboard that we shared with students.


Example storyboard containing stick figures and speech bubbles to plan for video creation in Clips
Example storyboard
After students created their storyboards, they were ready to start recording! Because Clips is so easy to use, most students created their videos, start-to-finish, in less than 20 minutes. They included acted-out scenes of their assigned word problems, posters to show their expressions and equations, and narration to describe their thinking. Here's a teacher-created example video that we shared with students.

Students were excited and engaged in this work. The enjoyed acting out their assigned word problems, and the active nature of this part of the assignment seemed to help support their thinking in translating their scenarios into expressions and equations to solve.

Video is a powerful tool for making thinking visible. How else might we use a tool like Clips to help students document the learning process while also creating a polished final product?

4 replies

December 03, 2022

Very fun video Jessica! Yes, students would be engaged in learning by using Clips. Loved hearing your voice and seeing the emoji - I’d certainly want to learn math like this!

December 07, 2022

Thanks, Cheryl!

April 28, 2023

Great way to make math more interactive for students, rather than seeing a bunch of equations on a worksheet.

May 15, 2023

Thanks, Brian! I was definitely impressed with all the "math talk" we heard in each group as they interpreted their scenarios and planned their videos. The lesson took a couple of days (two 50-minute sessions), but it was well worth the time to see what students created and hear their thinking in the process and final product!

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