To Show Or Not To Show? Good Question!
As for me and my class, I do; when it is appropriate and only for about 10 to 15 minutes.
I usually do this on a Friday, and it is at the end of our day.
This is something my students really look forward to.
I incorporate videos into what we are studying.
This usually has something to do with our theme or science unit such as weather, electricity, leaves, apples, buttterflies, the life cycle of a frog etc.
I have some super 8 to 10 minute science lessons on tape that are outstanding. I also own all of the Magic School Bus videos which I show in two parts.
My students enjoy watching their favorite stories that have been made into videos such as Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Gorilla, as well as many of the Arthur, Clifford and Berenstain Bears books.
I choose the ones that help teach the life-lessons they need to know like not being a bully, not talking to strangers, treating people fairly etc. Many Dr. Seuss' books are also on video. I also use video's for fire safety, counting, and the alphabet.
I feel that this is an effective teaching and learning tool; we usually have some wonderful discussions after a video that involve even the most shy and quiet children.
I tell my students a "secret question" I want them to be listening for the answer to. At the end of the program I'll ask who knows the answer. Sometimes a video is longer than the 15-minutes I have alotted. I will show the rest on day number 2.
Our principal has a rule that he must see all videos before we are allowed to show them to our students to make sure they are appropriate.
I've also plugged in a themed video at the end of a party day. The lights are out, the children are exhausted and it's a nice way to sooth and calm them down; they chill and unwind. It gives me an opportunity to clean up and pack up their things as well. It's amazing what one can do with 10-15 minutes of quiet time.
I'd enjoy hearing what you think about this "hot topic" and how your school handles it. firstname.lastname@example.org