Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thoughts on Teaching and Learning: A Fun Break (with some thinking about writing...)

Over the past several weeks, I have found myself doing a lot of reflection trying to get this online teaching right.  I keep meaning to get my thoughts on paper but then get caught up in the day-to-day work of teaching in this pandemic era.  I know if I can catch my breath, there is a lot to learn and reflect on during this time. So, I decided that every day in May, I will share my thoughts on Teaching and Learning.  This is Day 14.

I am not often a binge watcher. It is a frustrating thing to my family, but I can't sit for 10 hours and watch 20 episodes of a Netflix series. However, I did find myself binge-watching The Holderness Family videos this week. You might remember them from a Christmas Pajama video a while ago. I remember watching it and thinking it was cute, but their quarantine videos have made me become a big fan. A huge fan.

This What Happens Now? video popped up in my Facebook feed and I was quite amused. Not enough to start binge watching but a few pleasant moments laughing at this.

Then (you know how these YouTube videos conveniently go right on to the next one...) I saw this one and boy I could relate.

But I couldn't help but notice the brilliance in the song rewriting.

Then I was hooked. This family is hysterical, and they are capturing so much of what the world is going through. So, I kept watching.

My writing teacher brain kicked in and I could not get over the brilliance of these videos.   Pure entertainment--but what must it have taken to create these? They are telling really important stories in this fun format. They are capturing lots of history in a clever way. The writing and word choice, the music, the visuals, the video special effects.  I couldn't help thinking about digital writing and what these videos could teach me about possibilities for our kids. Does this genre of writing have a name? How do all of the pieces of each video fit together? How do we make room for things like this in our writing classrooms?  I keep watching these over and over, thinking about the creation process.

These videos REALLY made my day a whole lot better when I discovered them and binge watched.  One of the best purposes for writing and creating I can think of. Granted, the Holderness Family brings professional knowledge, tools and access to these videos. I continue to be amazed at all that people are posting these days --from their homes--it really does open up the possibilities of what our students can do, in and out of school with creation and digital tools. The writing process, word choice, added visuals, etc. make these Holderness Family videos very complex pieces. They have reminded me that I have to continue to expand what I think writing looks like and think about what I can learn from all the videos, podcasts etc. that are helping us get through this pandemic/quarantine.

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