Sunday, December 5, 1999

Helpful Hints

These suggestions were submitted by David Taggart, a 5th grade teacher in Muscogee County, who has been using PeachStar video resources in his classroom for six years.

Teaching to the Tube

* Preview what you're going to show in the classroom. You need to see what is going to be shown. This allows you to plan what you need to emphasize and reinforce. And you know what your class is like. The PeachStar Program Guide is very good, but it is not perfect. A program listed as "Grades 2 to 5" may not really be suitable for a high-performing 4th grade class.
* Tape it; don't show it live. Teaching from a VCR allows you better control for instruction. You can stop the action on the television, go into discussion, and then return to the tube. Not to mention fast-forwarding through the boring parts.
* Get a wall-mount for the TV and the VCR. They only run a hundred bucks or so, and they put the action up high, where it can be seen across the classroom. Plus, mounting them that high allows you to roam the classroom and stand by your problem children, able to control the action with your remote control.

Thanks to David Taggart for taking the time to share his good ideas with colleagues across the state. Send your Helpful Hints to Wagers Chenault by phone at (404) 685-2588, or e-mail, or fax to (404) 685-2556, or mail to 260 14th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. Include your name, title (with grades and subjects taught, if you are a classroom teacher), your school and system, and a phone number or other contact information.