Our large public high school serves 89% Latino students, many the migrant students and/or part of the free lunch program. Reading and writing are often tough challenges to our students due to their various levels of competency in the English language. I teach English, grades 10, 11, and 12. These students are enthusiastic about creating their own stories and using multiple types of media, but are often put off by the huge amounts of writing in an English class.
Whatever we are studying, my students always show a higher interest if media is involved. By working as a team to create videos, my students will have the chance to relate to each other in a constructive way. This is so important in a school that has various gang dynamics. Creating video's is also very useful to include students who have a tough time writing a perfect essay or competing in a knowledge game in class. The student interaction sponsored by creating and watching video's can also help my students to continue working on their listening and speaking skills of the English language in a way that is less intrusive than giving speeches in front of the class, etc.
If we had a video camera, we could record the class projects we've done such as historical retellings, interviews, social issue debates, and our own personal stories and songs. By using video, my students will be empowered to create and share products that can transcend learning disabilities and share them with each other.
By being a part of this project, you will help my students to see themselves on screen and in a new light. They will realize that they are intelligent and have a lot to share with each other. By creating video's I can share student work with younger students, creating a vision of older student role models outside of the gang persona that seems to be shadowing other role models. This is a tool not just for learning, but also for the social growth that my students need in their society.
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