We have been learning about how to create different graphs as well as how to calculate mean, median, mode, and range in my math class. I then had them use their knowledge of these topics to decide which store would be the best one to buy a new television from based on 10 different television prices. I have done this activity in the past and the kids always seem to enjoy it; however, this year I took it a step further and had the students shoot a commercial using Windows Movie Maker. It was the first time that I had ever had students create a video and overall it went pretty well.
First of all, the kids really enjoyed it. The commercial definitely gave them an opportunity to get creative and work together. Students wrote scripts as well as brought in and used props to go with their commericals. Some students were nervous when it came to shooting the video but in the end everyone contributed and they were really supportive of each other. Also by adding the commercial to this activity it added another dimension to the math and it helped them realize how the work relates to the real world.
As I said this was the first time that I have ever had students create a video and it was definitely a learning experience. One thing that I would do differently next time is I would make sure that all groups do a test run first. I had a couple of groups that created their video, but then were not happy with the outcome so they wanted to shoot it again. I think that this can be avoided by having them conduct a test run first. Also, even more specifically, I would make them do the test run in front of me so that I can add anything that I think is necessary. I really enjoyed all of the commercials that my students made; however, some of them put together an excellent skit but didn't include the math as much as I would have liked.
I look forward to finding new ways to have students make videos and I feel like the more often we do this the better they will become!