Student Video as an Ongoing Portfolio
for reflection, observation, research, and working collectively using learning centers for independent work.

Download the video portfolio information as an Adobe Acrobat file. In addition to being online, you can download the information as an Adobe Acrobat file. To read the handouts listed below click on the desired handout and it will download to your computer. To read the handout you will need Acrobat Reader which comes with most computers (Macintosh and Windows). If you do not have a copy of Acrobat Reader you can download a copy at the Adobe website.

1. Student Video: Overview

Students will regularly video and observe each other to share ideas, see growth, and learn needs.

Two or three students will work collectively. There will be a specific goal that can show how the students are doing over a period of time. For example students will initially read a leveled reading book or read their writing. The readings should be several minutes in length.

Each student will have their own video tape. It is recommended to use a regular VHS camera if available since the camera does not need to be mobile and students can easily borrow the tapes to watch at home on a regular VCR. The students work in pairs or threes. Each student has a role. If there are three students working collectively, an excellent third role is lighting.

The clamp lamps and spot lamp pictured above can be found at a local hardware stores. It is recommended to use a 50 - 75 watt spot lamp. Halogen bulbs cost a bit more but are very effective. To provide more stability when using the clamp lamps you can also use one of the inexpensive heavy duty clamps as pictured at the right. To mount the camera I recommend NOT using a tripod as they are easily knocked over (especially by adults!). Instead I recommend attaching a camera head to a surface - either a table or moveable cart. Inexpensive camera heads as pictured below can be found at a camera store. They have a thread on the bottom that can be used to attach the camera head to a table or cart. This is also great for doing stop action video.

2. Student Video: Learning Center in Action


    1. Students select their reading materials

    2. Students get their video tapes

    3. Students go to the video learning center

    4. Students determine each participant’s role. This can either be done collectively or by selecting a letter or number from a basket to determine the initial roles.

First Video

    1. Get ready - everyone positions themselves

    2. Action – with lighting and reader in position, the camera person starts video taping

    3. Stop and Rewind – switch the camera to VTR and rewind the tape.

    4. Watch the reading on the video tape

    5. After watching the tape, share a compliment

    6. Ask a question about the story

Second & Third Video

    Repeat the same order of events as in the First Video. Change the roles of the participants.


    In an Idea Book or Journal in words &/or drawings.

    1. Something I did well when reading

    2. Something I’d like to improve at when reading

3. Student Video: Collaboration & Insight

Selecting Student Teams

    The students decide who they are working by:

    a. using a set schedule.

    b. selecting three (or two) names from a basket that contains all the student names. After they select their name, it is put in another basket until all names have been selected and participated. Then all the names are put back into a basket and the procedure begins again.

Selecting Student Roles

    The students decide on their roles by:

    a. using a set schedule.

    b. selecting their roles from a basket. After they select and complete their initial role, they can follow a schedule of what role they would do next.

Reflection, Observation, & Research
Regular collaboration through reflection, observation and research are important components and outcomes of using video. After recording each video, the students immediately observe the video to share positive observations and ask relevant questions. This provides a collective spirit while building observation and research skills. After all three have finished the video, it is very helpful to provide a means of reflection.

4. Student Video: Ideas

    Video Ideas - Language
    a. Reading a book
    b. Reading their own writing
    c. Pantomime idioms
    d. Reading a poem
    e. Storytelling
    f. Students sharing and editing each other’s writing
    g. Performing language patterns
    h. Explanations
    i. Directions
    j. Pair/share on a topic

    More Video Ideas
    a. Silent quick math
    b. Directions for origami
    c. Map directions
    d. Science procedure
    e. Art techniques
    f. How to make a video

5. Student Video: Teams and Roles

Two Students

First Video

Second Video

Student A

A - reading

A - video camera

Student B

B - video camera

B reading

Three Students

First Video

Second Video

Third Video

Student A

A - reading

A - lighting

A - video camera

Student B

B - video camera

B - reading

B - lighting

Student C

C - lighting

C - video camera

C - reading

Students would determine the teams and their roles through a set schedule or a fair means of regularly selecting teams so all students have a regular and equal opportunity to video tape.

Robert Price - 66 First Place #3 - Brooklyn, NY 11231 - 718.855.8548 -