Bulb Archived: Budlong Collaboration Laboratory 2017-2018: Rajska & Domingo

2017-2018 Collaboration Laboratory

Sylvia Rajska and Jerico Domingo

1) Describe the context of your school, neighborhood, or classroom. 

Our school is a public school in an urban and low-income (79.7%) community in Chicago. We have over 60 countries represented at our school. Some have been here for a while; others just came to the States a few months ago. 

2) Big Idea:  Identify 

3) Inquiry:  How do you identify?

4) Academic Content(s): Science, Social Studies

5) Artistic Discipline(s): Photography, video, performance, sculpture, fashion

6) Standards Addressed: (Common Core, Next Generation) 


4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. (Flat to Fat unit)

Illinois Arts Learning Standards

4th VA:Cr1.2.4

a. Collaboratively set goals and create artwork that is meaningful and has purpose to the makers. (Silhouettes and Masks)

7) Please describe what you did and what you made for this project: 

Our unit plan was 3 themed units with 5 lessons in each unit, for a total of 15 lessons.

The first unit (first 5 lessons)  focused on the structuring of a cell.

This unit was called Flat to Fat where we magnify the inner works of a cell by creating inflatable models out of plastic bags.

Flat to Fat Unit. #budlongbeautiful

The second unit will was called Masks and Silhouettes focusing on individual identity: family background, race, religion, gender etc.

Students using paper mache to create their masks. 

The third unit was the Big Picture in which we learn the science behind cameras, lenses, and light. Combining the aspects of identifying things from microscopic to telescopic we finished the semester with a photo shoot focusing on ways of observing ourselves and others. 

Jerico taking photos during our photo shoot. 

8.) What did you learn about yourself, your partner(s), and the students? How might what you learned impact your teaching practice? 

As a teacher, I learned more about letting go and providing students with less structure. Many times, the questions turned into looking for the “right” way to do something, while there was no right way to do it. As a teacher, I was looking for ways I could incorporate it as a grade, but also seeing how I can work more on questioning students based on what artifacts they were creating and realizing that sometimes there is no grade that can be put on something. It is more about the process than the product. I believe this will impact my teaching practice in the way I see grades as being more abstract at times, than something concrete. I do not want their grades to play into their identity. 

9.) How did the collaboration challenge your understanding of teaching, learning, and art-making?

It most definitely had me take a step back and learn at the same time as the students. This was great for the students to see that their general education teacher does not know everything. They are learning just like them! I looked at the way I am questioning my students and the validation that is needed when art-making truly surprised me. I wondered as I am teaching and students are learning, is that how they are feeling validated? If so, something needs to change. I look forward to collaborating with Jerico next school year as well.