Upon reading the first chapter of A Guide to Documenting Learning, by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano and Janet A. Hale, it was obvious that my style of documentation has been OF learning. Basically, I tend to photograph or take video clips of my students activities in class. I then post these artifacts on my new classroom blog or in the school hallways.
Now my eyes have been opened to a whole new world of methods and tools that can enrich not only the way I record what happens in the classroom, but the lessons themselves, and deepen the learning for my students.
I am ready to challenge myself and try to bring documentation to a new level…into the realm of For learning, where students are given feedback during the lesson and take steps in order to improve the quality of their work.
I believe that I am beginning this work in art class where students are being asked to reflect on their art work, analyze where they deviated from the lesson’s goals or how they could improve the quality of their work, and then make a second draft of their project, maintaining a consciousness of the goals they are trying to achieve.
In Kindergarten, students designed their own version of Noah’s ark from tin foil, then floated it and counted how many animals it was able to support (in Hebrew). When it sunk, we discussed how the design could be improved in order to hold more animals.
Going forward, my first goal is to experiment with new tools. Earlier this week, I met with Melissa who introduced me to Edpuzzle. We discussed how this tool can be used for my art classes (especially middle school) to enrich instruction, add creative time and assess students learning through questions embedded in the videos they are required to watch. Currently, we are working on a still life project using different pencil shading techniques with a zentangle patterned background. This week I will ask the students to watch two short videos and see how it affects their progress.
Another tool we discussed is using QR codes. Up until now, I have been posting finished art work with a summary of the goals of the lesson. I am hoping to take short videos of the students discussing their work and then adhering the QR codes to the matted artwork for viewers to hear. The challenge will be finding the appropriate time to take the videos.
I am looking forward to seeing the results and reflecting on what did and didn’t work.