How to make a back-to-school video to get your students excited for the year

Emily Tsay for Life, for Schools, Higher Education, Schools (K-12) Leave a Comment

Teachers! It’s the beginning of the school year. A time when we’re busy setting those foundational aspects of our classroom to make for a strong classroom environment to survive the trials and triumphs of true discovery, failure, and learning that will take place over the year.

Things like setting expectations, classroom norms, building excitement for the learning that will happen, letting your students get to know you and each other, and setting up the scaffolding for a classroom environment that is truly fun, engaging, creative, supportive, and rigorous!

Reach students through video this year. Video allows you to convey a message that can help build a deeper connection by including speech, images, text, and sound. Here are four types of back to school videos you could make:

?Idea 1: Classroom expectations

We know how important it is to set up expectations and norms to make for an effective and inclusive classroom experience. Try getting across your expectations in a fun way! Check out this video from educators Tracy Stegall and Christina McCann, where they send a message from the “future” to their 6th grades on how to take care of their computers. But the bigger message was even more impactful: the possibilities and dreams of what the students will be like in the future, and what their district’s new 1:Web initiative hoped to achieve. You’ll have a captive audience with something like this! Christina, the 1:Web coordinator said, “I was surprised to hear the students spontaneously clap at the end of each video.” Read more about their process here.

What you’ll need to make a video like this:

  • Know the purpose of the message you want to share
  • Storyboard it!
  • A green green (green wall, green sheet, green butcher paper)
  • Backgrounds (you could pick from WeVideo Essentials Library, with over 400,000 images and video)
  • Add any other interesting graphics (the camera overlay in the video above and other effects are in WeVideo)

?Idea 2: Learning goals

What better way to introduce learning goals than to do it in a way that piques a student’s interest and curiosity. This book talk by Andy Jacks got his students excited to read this book, especially because two wily students made him shrink and stole away with him in a book.

What you’ll need to make a video like this:

  • Two student accomplices
  • A green background AND floor (tip: use a long sheet of fabric or paper that drapes from wall to flow)
  • WeVideo’s animation tool (to make teachers shrink)

?Idea 3: A glimpse into the teacher’s life

Remember that feeling when you saw your teacher at the grocery store? It was kind of strange, but exhilarating, right? I remember how my students searched the deep crevices of the internet to find YouTube videos of me. Students are so curious about their teachers, and letting them in to know who you are, besides who you are as a teacher, is something that really helps build those relationships. So, why don’t we let them have a peek into our worlds?

Here’s one idea on how to make a video on this that taps into what students are already watching. “Routine videos” are SO popular on YouTube these days. “Routine videos” are videos that show some sort of routine, like “My morning routine” or “My bedtime routine.” You could create a “Back to School Routine!”

Here’s one we found on YouTube by @my2ndgradelife. This one seems like the audience is more for fellow teachers, so think your students audience when you storyboard your routine!

What you’ll need to make a back to school routine video:

  • Think about what your students would love to know about you
  • Film it!
  • Cut out the parts you don’t want
  • Add some text
  • Add music (you could pick from WeVideo Essentials Library, with over 100,000 pieces of music and sound effects)

?Idea 4: Advice from the previous year’s class

This idea requires some backwards planning, so maybe you can save this one for next year, but this is a great idea from educator Christy Ireland of Buckingham Charter Magnet High School. She had her students create an “advice video” for incoming students. What a wonderful way for students to reflect on how they have grown and to pass on that knowledge to the incoming class!

advice video
What you’ll need to make an advice video from a graduating class:

  • Have students reflect on the things that helped them be successful in your class
  • Provide a platform for them to jot down these idea, like these “#_____” papers Christy Ireland gave her students
  • Have students film, write, or take a picture of their piece of advice
  • Enlist some students to piece it all together
  • Add some fun transitions from WeVideo

Do you have more ideas? Want to share what you create? Post it in the comments below or show us on twitter @WeVideo