Proudly PENCIL Virtual Learning Series

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Proudly PENCIL Virtual Learning Series is a video series created to help bolster Metro Schools online resources for students. Volunteers are creating 5 – 20 minute videos about various educational topics. Here’s how you can help:

1. Pick a topic
  • Elementary School: Reading
  • Middle School: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Mathematics)
  • High School: Virtual Field Trips, Virtual Job Shadows & Professional Perspectives

See below for tips & topic ideas.

2. Record

Using your phone, computer, or camera, create a 5 – 20-minute video, about the topic you selected. For posting purposes, make sure to have your phone sideways (horizontal) when creating the video. 

3. Upload

Upload your video to PENCIL’s Dropbox. PENCIL will review the video, add a title slide, and add it to our PENCIL YouTube Channel. Please note: All videos must be reviewed and approved before posting.


  1. Using your phone: position the phone horizontally, so that it films in widescreen format
  2. Using your computer’s camera: position the computer so that it’s at your eye-level
  3. Make sure your primary lighting source is in front of you, not behind you
  4. Start the video with an intro, such as “Hi! My name is [insert first name] and I [insert your relationship with PENCIL; Examples: I am a PENCIL Partner at Overton High School OR I am a PENCIL Reading Partner at Buena Vista Elementary]. Today, I will be [insert what you will be demonstrating or doing; Examples: Reading you one of my favorite books, Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin OR showing you how to build a bridge out of random household items]”
  5. Be creative/fun and keep it simple
  6. Ask the people you are quarantined with to be a part of the video with you
  7. Use everyday household items as props, especially if students are supposed to replicate what you are demonstrating in the video
  8. End with a simple closing (Example: Thanks for watching, and keep working those brains)


Topic Ideas:

Reading activities intended to help improve student literacy and reading comprehension

  • Read a book
  • Financial literacy (saving/spending)
  • Linguistically speaking: how we learn language?
  • Social skills development
  • Self-leadership development

Creative, fun activities designed to encourage learning in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM)

  • Science – Fact or Fiction: Questioning Science
  • Technology – How does it work? Or, what is technology?
  • Engineering – Building projects using unconventional materials
  • Art – Ask & Answer, what is art?
  • Math – Making Sense of the Numbers then give it context, make relevant

Field Trips – A virtual introduction to industry where students learn more about the industries of focus in their career academy

Job Shadows – A deeper dive opportunity for students to spend a day in the “real world” of a career area related to their academy

Professional Perspectives – Videos that highlight career and interpersonal skill development activities to support academic success as well as career and college readiness

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