Non-instructional films in class

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by Tyler B., Nov 24, 2013.

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  1. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    A staff member shows Disney films to her class every 4 or 5 weeks. This is a "reward" for getting points on their behavior program.

    A parent who has a sibling of one of my students in her class asked me what I thought of the practice.

    Inwardly I'm thinking, "90 minutes of instructional time lost. What a waste!" But I merely said I would not be comfortable with the practice.

    What do you think of of showing non-instructional films in class?
     
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  3. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Every quarter (well, whenever my kids make their behavior goal... which usually ends up being at the end of the quarter), I do something fun... I might show a fun movie, do a class kickball game, I'll put on my own performance (the joy of being a former music major...), etc. Does it take time away from class? Oh yeah... but it helps keep the kids focused (you'll see them quieting their classmates down trying to earn more!), and I personally time it for days when my kids really need a chance to calm down. Our first quarter reward was on the day of the quarterly math test, and past experience says I wouldn't have accomplished much the rest of the day, anyway.
     
  4. BumbleB

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    A film is too long and time consuming, IMO. Students in my classes receive 20-30 minutes of PAT time if their class period fills two rows on their game board (depending on how "good" the class is, this usually takes 4-5 weeks).
     
  5. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Personally, I wouldn't have an issue with a reward VERY infrequently (maybe twice a semester), but it doesn't matter because it's not allowed in my school.
     
  6. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    At my previous school, we'd usually show one a quarter for various reasons.

    There are copyright issues to consider.
     
  7. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    I don't like it. So far this year, I showed the Charlie Brown Halloween movie during the last 30 minutes of the day before fall break, and the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie during the last 30 minutes of the day before Thanksgiving break (Friday). I also will show non instructional movies during indoor lunch on rainy days. On those days, I do not get a break (there is no one to relieve me), so I really need to create one for myself by showing a movie. But that is not during instructional time.

    When I do a class party for a behavior incentive, It is usually something interactive like fun art projects or minute to win it games. I will probably show another 30-45 minute movie before Christmas break. I don't like doing full length, 90-120 minute movies.
     
  8. smurfette

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    I used to do one near the end of the year after the end-of-year picnic, when the students were all tuckered out anyway. Anything else came during lunch bunches, when students got to eat their lunch in the classroom as a reward, so not during instructional time.

    However, I would not discuss another teacher's practices with a parent. The parent should be addressing the concerns with the other teacher or administration, not you. If a parent did come to my like that, I would let the other teacher know that parents are questioning the practice, as a heads up.
     
  9. Ted

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    This was my first thought. I think I would say something "neutral" like: "Well, each teacher chooses their own system for rewards, if any." I would not want it to start getting around by parents that "Mr. M. doesn't like how Miss L. handles her class."
     
  10. Linguist92021

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    Any school I worked at had a policy that movies cannot be shown as a reward, and they had to be instructional or somehow tie into the curriculum.
     
  11. Special-t

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    If my students are done with their classwork and homework from other classes, I will show a movie on the day before a long break. Even though my students are 14+, I will only show animated or G-rates movies.
     
  12. Go Blue!

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    Perfectly fine as long as Admin doesn't mind/care.

    I try not to judge what other people do in their classrooms and I never judge publicly.
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    What is sad about this is that you can find a very educational movie that is also entertaining. There is no reason to waste 90 minutes of class having students watch a Disney movie (probably for the 5th time) and have no assessment on it. Rewards are okay, but they should never come at the cost of learning.
     
  14. gr3teacher

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    That's assuming that there is no educational value to it. If you asked most of my kids, they'd probably say that there was no particular educational purpose to me showing, "The Lion King," but they all still managed to make connections to our science, social studies, and language arts curriculum from it.

    Granted, doing it every 4-5 weeks is definitely a bit much. That was probably the only really fun movie I'll show before June.
     
  15. Reality Check

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    I agree!

    My other thoughts are, we're dealing with human beings, not machines.
    Second, in Pennsylvania, we have a state minimum standard of 990 hours of instruction every school year. 90 minutes for a movie every now and again.............who cares?

    Lastly, I know there are teachers like to think they're all splitting atoms in their classrooms everyday, but they're not. And they have the arrogance to think that everything they do everyday is SO important, but it's not. A lot of what we do is important, but everything, everyday? No, that's ridiculous!


    ;)
     
  16. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Probably because that's the law. ;)

    It's a little more complicated than that, but...yeah, showing Toy Story or whatever as a reward isn't okay.
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree with others that you shouldn't be talking with a parent about another teacher's practices.

    In general, I think that the occasional movie as a reward is okay. By "occasional" I mean once or maybe twice per year, particularly if the movie is full-length. Even when it's meant to be a reward, I think that there should be some sort of assignment or activity to go along with any movie shown in class.

    I think that rewards can be very motivating for students. If losing a class period once in a semester to a movie means that my students are actively engaged and attentive the rest of the time, I think that it's a class period well spent. Generally, though, I think it would be better to watch a movie as a reward in smaller chunks, like 10-15 minutes at a time. I know that my admin would be okay with that, as long as my students were fully, actively engaged during non-movie time.

    Every admin is different. Before anyone here goes and shows any sort of movie to their classes, I highly recommend getting admin approval first.
     
  18. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I don't do it, but that doesn't make it a bad thing. Every 4-5 weeks seems often, but if it motivates students then it must b working. My class just earned a reward and voted on extra time in the computer lab. We'll be doing that for 1/2 an hour tomorrow. They REEEEALLLLY wanted a piñata, but I'm saving that one for later in the year... that's a hard one to follow!
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Yes, there is educational value to many movies that were made mostly for entertainment. Teachers can be great in showing connections with these. I am talking more about the teacher that shows Cars or Alvin and the Chipmunks for 90 minutes with no discussion. The only comments from the children are "I own this movie" or "I have seen this movie 10 times". My point is we can do better. With a little effort finding educational movies at any age is not that difficult. Most are free at the public libraries or available on NetFlix.
     
  20. Linguist92021

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    If it is the law not showing movies as reward, then why would any teacher do it?
    The kicker is that, as it has been pointed out, most, if not all movies can be somehow educational. Of course it's harder to relate something to math, or even science if it doesn't seem to have anything with the subject, but there can be a way.

    With English, it's so much easier. There can be discussions, writing assignments, analysis, etc.
    At the very least, a movie could be tied to Character education. All a teacher has to do is write up some type of a plan showing how it's tied to a standard, a current or previous lesson and what activities there will be. Then, reward or not, it's ok :)
     
  21. 2ndTimeAround

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    I worked with a teacher that showed Cars to 5th graders. It was an awesome supplement to her physics unit.

    I know a lot of teachers that give five minutes at the end of every class if the kids are good. That's 25 minutes a week. Four weeks of that and you have a feature movie.

    I agree with others that the OP should not have said anything to the parent.
     
  22. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I am not a big fan of that but understand that in some occasions it is probably alright to do. I do rewards like that but it takes a while to earn. Once all my kids have 10 days in a row of speaking English in class, we will have a small celebration. Probably pajamas for the day, and popcorn and a 20-minute short video. I hate taking up academic time, but I also have to have some way to motivate the kids. We just started this English system and it has taken them since the beginning of October to almost earn it. Next time I will raise the bar to 20 days or so. I do show movies if we have a designated party day, like Halloween (the only thing we do that day is a parade and party), and this Wednesday from 1:3o to 2:30, our designated Thanksgiving celebration time (we might watch a Charlie Brown Thankgiving video or something).
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nope, never.
     
  24. DrivingPigeon

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    At my school, movies that are just for fun are not allowed at any time for any reason. If we want to do a whole-class reward, we are encouraged to keep it academic (computer lab free time, showing a 30-minute Magic School Bus video, etc.), or something that will not take away from academic time (wear PJ's for the day, bring a stuffed animal, chew gum, etc.).

    IMO, a short move clip that is tied to a comprehension lesson, or a science video is ok. Kids can watch movies at home.
     
  25. RadiantBerg

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    It doesn't make sense to do at the HS level given we have less time with the kids, but I don't have an issue with elementary teachers doing it---no more than maybe 2 or 3 times during the course of the whole year. The amount you describe is a bit excessive. .
     
  26. Peregrin5

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    I show two movies a year. October Sky and Contact. While neither explicitly teaches anything in the standards (that's what I'm there for) I don't think either are non educational sometimes teaching then far more important lessons than I could directly teach.
     
  27. ATwainedTeacher

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    Every story/novel we read in class, if students find out that there is a movie version of it, they always beg to watch it. I think in English classrooms that this happens a little too often, but like others have said, it's so easy to connect these movies to instruction. Still, I have so much to cover that I can't imagine wasting so much time.

    I am allowing my students to watch the film version of The Odyssey this year. It's the first time that we have watched a film so far, and we may do another one with a novel in the Spring, but that's it for me. I wouldn't have done the movie this time around if I could have started a new unit; however, we're taking a test Monday, and Tuesday is the last day before Thanksgiving break. It seemed like an appropriate time to reward the students for their hard work so far this year. I still always have a fairly rigorous assignment attached, however.
     
  28. Croissant

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    This. I'm of the opinion that many of our problems in education come from trying to make every single millisecond educational. I think sometimes we have to let kids be kids and them some time to let off some steam. I know that will make me unpopular here. It always ruffles some feathers when I say it (I don't apply it) at school.

    Anyway, movie at te end of each gradin periods seems perfectly acceptable to me. The promise of it as a reward probably cuts out a lot of the instructional time that would otherwise be wasted on behavior.
     
  29. readingrules12

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    Those are great examples of entertaining movies that also have some educational value as well. :thumb:
     
  30. dave1mo

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    If bribery with wasted instructional time is the only way to manage classroom behavior, there are bigger issues at hand.

    Neither waste of time is acceptable.
     
  31. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't necessarily agree. A lot of sturdy, solid behavior management programs call for the use of rewards, even heavy/big rewards.
     
  32. Jerseygirlteach

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    We will be showing a holiday movie right before the break. The kids will be permitted to wear pjs and we will be serving them hot chocolate. It is considered a special treat and the children are really looking forward to it.
     
  33. Go Blue!

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    EXACTLY.
     
  34. BumbleB

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    :rolleyes:
     
  35. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Bribery is something given in order to pervert the judgement or behavior of a person in a position of power. Showing a movie is not bribery, it's positive reinforcement.:2cents:
    That said, I ONLY show videos that are content related. And only in short increments.
     
  36. dave1mo

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    You're purchasing good behavior with something that has no instructional value. It's bribery. The children are in a position of power if bribery is necessary.
     
  37. RadiantBerg

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)
     
  38. dave1mo

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  39. RadiantBerg

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  40. microbe

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    Teachers love leaving videos for the sub! I don't believe I've seen one yet that wasn't educational. Most even tied to what the students were currently learning.

    I really don't see the point of showing a non-instructional film when there are so many great educational films out there.
     
  41. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    I'm not going to lie, one of my favorite lessons of the year is when I teach WWII propaganda and get to show the students a bunch of 1940s Disney and Looney Tunes cartoons. Not only do I get to watch cartoons, but I get to see their reactions at seeing horribly racist Bugs Bunny. :lol:
     
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