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Document Camera Uses

Compiled By: Mrs. G

Looking for creative ways to use your document camera. Here are some ways other teachers use theirs.

Document Camera
Posted by: biyubelle

Got my very own about 4 months ago.

science experiments/ demonstrations
projecting magazines (newspaper) pages for reading and discussion
handwriting demonstrations with "real paper"
coin counting with real coins

As a matter of fact, I don't think I turn it off during the day because the children and I have it constantly in use.

NOTE: I assume the document camera is connected to a projection system that allows you to project both your computer screen and your document camera images (separate ports). However if it does not, you can still project what's on your computer screen through your document camera and onto the screen. (At least I can with mine. I just downloaded the software that came with the document camera.)

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Posted by: imalith

I've had one for 4 years now and I could never go back to an overhead. My favorite part is model writing for my students. I teach a mini lesson, model it under the document camera and then they write their own. No longer blinded and overheated by the overhead, I can concentrate and write more freely and with student inclusion.

Students also may easily display their work for others to see. Even just simple things, such as who wrote a "Perfect sentence" and then they show it and everyone can see it. I used to make transparancies of student work. It was such a hassle that I rarely did it, now we just pop it under the camera during those teachable moments, rather than after the fact.

I have now hooked up one of my student computers to the projector and I can show video clips, look up words on a computer dictionary program, do research on World Book Online, show CNN kids news, etc.

Teaching feels much more current with this new technology. It is much simplier and saves immense amounts of time.

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Document Camera
Posted by: cinaminsweet

I have one and they're great! At first I didn't want to give up my overhead and our tect coordinator assured me that I would never need it again since I had the camera. And she was right, I certainly don't miss the overhead at all.

I use it during reading when I'm reading a story out loud and they can see what place I'm at in the story. When students answer their brief constructed response questions, I'll put their responses on the visualizer and we score them together so they can get in the process of seeing how they will be graded during the state tests. In math, I put all the manipuatives on there so they can see me counting money, place value blocks, or comparing fraction strips. They are a very valuable tool for the classroom.

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I love my document camera!
Posted by: m&mTeach

We've had a document camera for a few years. I love it for the many reasons already mentioned . . . Any book/text becomes an instant shared reading text. Shared or modeled writing. Math and science manipulatives. Revisiting student work.

But I also love it for art and craft lessons. You can zoom right in and fold, cut, color, rip, glue . . . and the students can see it all clearly. It's fantastic for multi-step, complicated projects. I've been amazed!

I still kept my overhead projector. I placed it on the ground. Students use it during centers or independent work time. They project onto a blank chart paper. I placed all my old transparency poems for them to reread as well as some pointers. They do lots of rereading and get to play teacher at the same time. They love it!

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Document Camera
Posted by: fourselfs

I use mine for every subject. Of course anything I need projected or enlarged. I shoot mine onto my whiteboard and use it as an interactive worksheet. We can do whole group activities where the students come up an write on what ever we are doing. I do a lot of editing this way. I also use graphic organizers this way. I can projected it on the board and the students fill it in. This week one of our math lessons was measuring to the quarter inch. I was able to project one inch of a ruler on the whiteboard and the kids could come up and divide into 1/4 inches. I also have an interactive tablet that the kids can write on and it projects on the screen. We use this for whole class writing. I hope this helped.

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Re: Do you have or use a Dukane (document)Camera?
Posted by: MrsD

I have a doc cam and I use it for EVERYTHING! My favorite is to use it for Show and Tell. No more complaints that a child can't see something. I use it in every subject. You can use it like and overhead, you can put workbook pages on it so you can do the first few problems together as a class, you can put webpages on it, power points... I could go on and on. (Can you tell I am the tech point person for our grade level? LOL)

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No title
Posted by: Risa

We've been back for about 4 weeks. I got mine about 3 weeks ago and I am HOOKED!

One of my first uses came very accidentally when I wanted to read aloud a picture book that had small important details in the pictures. I placed the picture book under the camera and was able to project the images so that students could ALL analyze the pictures and find the details described in the text! This time it wasn't confined only to the ones who were closer to the book. I was thrilled with that machine!

What I love MOST about it is that I can zoom in on specific text features when we are talking, for example, about similarities and differences between fiction and non-fiction. Just a few days ago, I was able to use the document camera to place the book on the table, focus in and label captions, diagrams, bold text, italicized text, highlighted vocabulary words, etc., etc.

I LOVE that I can be spontaneous and not have to first make overhead transparencies for whatever I'm teaching. I can take the exact piece of paper my students might have and place it under the camera to point out whatever I need them to see. This morning I was able to show them exactly how to read the directions on the page and underline or circle key words. (Usually I would first have to write the words on the white board, and then explain what they are to do, so it is definitely also a time-saver!)

Another great use is to show student work either as an example or as a work in progress where students might offer their suggestions, as in writer's workshop. My students LOVE seeing their work projected!

Rather than stand up, turn my back to my students, and then write on the whiteboard, I use a small whiteboard when I need to explain something in writing. Today I did it when we went over place value homework and a student didn't understand how we arrived at an answer.Gosh! I could go on and on, but I'm sure there others who will share their own ways of using this LONG OVERDUE piece of equipment!

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A few unusual uses....
Posted by: Margaret916

The Kindergarten across the hall had baby gerbils (oops! we thought there were two girls...surprise!) and when momma gerbil thought we were watching she'd put the babes in a new spot and hide them. The kids could never get a peek -- but with a well placed document camera trained on the cage and projected to the screen momma gerbil didn't know and those kinders saw the naked blind gerbil babies during that first week! Without disturbing momma! :)

We watched those babes grow and change and chart their progress (my 4th graders were just as thrilled to peek in to check progress)

We also used this method when their eggs hatched and did a candle-ing (spelling?) lesson with the document camera so many more could see.

Lucky that her camera was a flexible neck and very versatile! :)

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Love the Elmo!
Posted by: jabnphillips

I use the ELMO almost daily for math. Whenever we do an activity or I am introducing a game for them to play, I project it through a projector onto a screen. I can zoom into the areas I want them to notice and them zoom out as I demonstrate the game. I even play a round or two and if dice is involved, I roll the dice where they can see the result. They absolutely love this and I spend much less time talking about how to play the game or do the activity.

My favorite lesson so far this year was probability where we used spinners. They would come up and spin and the class recorded their results. We then chose colored chips out of a bag and laid them out for the students to record. Another lesson, I used pattern blocks and allowed the students to show fraction parts with them. We also do Hands On Equations and I use ELMO instead of the teacher's stand. The students love being the TEACHER:)

I could go on and on about the uses of ELMO. I often demonstrate an assignment by projecting it on the screen. Transparencies aren't necessary, since I just have to lay the paper on ELMO!! I've also projected pictures for science lessons and demonstrated graphs, grids, etc.--everything in full color!!!:D

OK--I'll stop, but the sky is the limit with this little guy and I'm learning every week something else I can use it for. My students absolutely love working with it and think it's awesome. They often talk about it like it's a person. They'll say, "Are we using ELMO today?" "Is ELMO visiting us today?" Letting them come up and demonstrate is also a great incentive for my class. I let them know I will choose those students who are interested and are paying attention.

Good luck--oh, I teach 4th grade math and science.

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Love my document camera!
Posted by: Meggin

I love some of the buttons on my document camera, like the title button that allows me to display the objective on the top tenth of the screen throughout the lesson. I also use the freeze button when teaching math. They do a practice problem; I freeze the image of the problem and also do it. When all are done, I un-freeze the image, and wowie-zowie, there is the solution. The freeze option works especially well for me, a left-hander. I can freeze and un-freeze as I talk the class through a review of homework, showing the answers without my hand getting in the way. Also, my kids love seeing the negative image--they call it night vision!:p

I joined Quia and devised games for review before state testing. They love playing a Jeopardy-like game, boys vs. girls. I also made some hangman spelling games that they ask to play.

My projector bulb blew after I'd had it about a month. I didn't know how to teach without it anymore! And, believe me, I was a hardcore overhead addict! The 3 days the tech folks took to replace the bulb seemed like 3 months!;)

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AN ELmo is great for Science class
Posted by: Judy24

Our science teacher gets really close up to plants and bugs to show parts of each. The ELMO isn't a microscope but it gets the item so magnified that it's incredible.

Only one drawback that I've ever noticed was that it magnifies my hands and they aren't pretty under the ELMO. I look like an old lady even though I'm 32. It shows every freckle and the smallest wrinkle line. :)

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Document Camera lesson plan
Posted by: Mrs. G

Here is a lesson plan I wrote for using the document camera. It is on creating horizontal and vertical time lines for the American revolution time period.

Document Camera Uses
Posted by: Rita1stGrade

I LOVE my elmo and use it for EVERYTHING! I use it to show student work samples (the kids love this), display a book so we can read it together, display a book for parents/audience to see when the kids are doing readers theater, model a math lesson using manipulatives, model for kids how to hold a pencil or put spaces between words (they can see my hand or a child's hand doing this), have students show their photos that they bring in when they are student of the week, and much much more. I love it that I can put a copy of whatever we are working on up on the elmo and I don't have t remember to make a transparency for everything! Every teacher should have an elmo. I have a projector as well so I can project onto the big screen.

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Science using the Document Camera
Posted by: Mrs. G

You could teach about magnetism using your document camera.

Put a magnet under a thin paper plate and then sprinkle iron filings on the paper to reveal the shape of the magnetic field.

You could also show how a magnetic compass works using the document camera. It would be big enough for all the students to see.

There would be no mess or student injuries because you would be demonstrating.

Posted by: Socks

The coolest thing I used my Elmo for this year was during our insect unit. During class we noticed that one of our mealworm pupa was getting ready to come out so I put it on the Elmo in a clear container and zoomed in on it. A few hours later we were in the middle of math class and we had to stop to watch it emerge. It really was super cool! I attached a picture so you can see.

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