Bulb Archived: Eberhart ATLAS 2015-2018: Rodriguez (Year 3, 2017-2018)

School Name: Eberhart Fine & Performing Arts Magnet Cluster School

Teacher Name: Mary Rodriguez

Section I: Arts Integration – Documentation. 

1. Documentation should not only provide a narrative, or story, of your project, but should also provide evidence of students’ engagement in the unit inquiry. 

6th grade students collaborated to storyboard, script, film & edit an iMovie based on a social emotional learning topic of their choice.

2. Through your documentation, please provide student artifacts that depict the range of work completed. For example, what were the various ways in which students responded to various aspects of the project? 

Discovering Student Abilities

Section I: Arts Integration – Inquiry 

3. What is your Inquiry Question for your ATLAS curriculum unit? What big ideas does this inquiry question address, and why do you think the question successfully addresses these? 

This integrated unit focused on the idea of social emotional learning. Students were asked to consider the following questions:

1. What is cooperation?

2. What is my role on this team, and how does it contribute to the success of the group?

3.  How can we translate visual imagery, to writing, and writing to performance?

4. How did student research help them to engage more deeply with the unit inquiry question? Explain how your students conducted research for their ATLAS project, and how that research opened up avenues for further inquiry. 

In their homeroom, students had already been working on the “In Focus” Social Emotional Learning curriculum.  Research for this project involved the groups going through their SEL notes, which include pertinent data on each subject as well as personal reflections on topics such as bullying, risk taking, and appropriate ways to express various emotions.  Collectively, the groups had to decide which topic was most engaging to them, and would lend itself to a narrative that they could act out.

Students collaborate to determine their SEL theme & storyboard ideas.

5. Describe how the unit inquiry opens up avenues for interdisciplinary connections between the arts and academic content. How did arts processes and/or research practices facilitate students’ understanding of the academic topics addressed in the inquiry question? 

For this project, students used their written notes to choose a theme that they outlined visually via a storyboard, and then scripted on Chromebooks. As the visual arts teacher, I began by reminding students of the parts of a story, and explaining the purpose of a storyboard. I showed students a short video of Disney artists story-boarding ideas, and we discussed elements they should include such as different scenes, and changes in camera angles.

Parts of a story outlined.
Storyboard illustration.
Using Social Media Responsibly storyboard.

 Once the storyboards were complete, the students began scripting their movies. My cooperating teacher, Ms. Segal, met with each group to help them revise their scripts.

Ms. Segal discussing revisions with the class.
Small group revising session.

6. How did the curriculum evolve based on the unit inquiry process? 

The unit ended up taking longer, and being more involved that I had initially anticipated. As students began using the iPads to film, we would have to take different approaches in order to achieve successful outcomes, with how recorded sound, for example. The editing, which I initially imagined doing as a whole class, over the course of a couple days ended up also being down in small groups after the first whole group session, so I could provide more individualized attention to each group.

Section I: Arts Integration – Create Works 

7. How did students self-direct while creating their artistic work during the ATLAS project? Please provide any examples for the ways in which students made their own aesthetic choices and direction for creating their artwork. Examples might include but are not limited to: how did students make choices about the use of materials, how did they decide what they wanted to communicate, how did they make decisions about how to present work? 

Students had a lot of autonomy when it came to this project. They chose the topic of their movie, assigned themselves the roles of actors, camera person, and director, they also selected the format of their movie. For example, one group chose to do a informational talk show format instead of acting out a story. 

Talk show format skit.

8. Please explain what opportunities the students had to reflect on their experiences and react to the work of their peers. 

During the filming process students would view their takes, and decide whether or not to film another take of the same scene. On a few occasions a group realized that an additional scene would be needed to to move the narrative forward. During the editing process, the groups had to select their favorite takes of each scene and edit them together. During this process, it would sometimes become apparent that something was missing, and the students would have to come up with a creative way to resolve that issue. When all the movie were finished, we had a class screening with an opportunity for the artists to explain their film and their classmates to critique it.

9. How did the students’ artifacts from various stages of the ATLAS Unit impact your teaching practice? Please provide artifacts that exemplify your points. What did you learn about your teaching practice from looking at these artifacts? 10. Describe how the students’ work was shared in the school or publicly. Why was this an important part of this unit? 

Each artifact informed the next. Students used their notes to develop their storyboards, and their storyboards to write their scripts. Revising the scripts clarified their ideas for their performance.

From storyboard…
to script…
…to edited film.

Section I: Arts Integration – Collaboration 

11. How did students collaborate at different stages of the project? Examples might include but are not limited to: did the students research together, did they create together, did they critique together, did they present together? 

This was a group project, so students collaborated at every step. They determined everyone’s role in the group and assured that the jobs were distributed equally. For example, students who enjoyed drawing might have done the majority of the story-boarding, but their classmates contributed the ideas. One student may have typed the script, but everyone was involved in coming up with the dialogue. Some students enjoy acting, while others preferred to be behind the camera. 

12. In what ways did you collaborate with the students for this unit. How did the students impact the way in which the curriculum was implemented? For example, how did students help you plan, develop, and/or implement the curriculum? 

 I have a 45 minute period of the day called “Class Support” during this period I go into a classroom teacher’s room, and work with their class everyday for a quarter. As MCLT, I use this period to work on my arts integrated units. The opportunity to have two teachers in the same room at the same time was ideal for this project, because I was able to pull each group out 1 at a time to film around the school, while Ms. Segal remained with the rest of the class teaching the SEL curriculum. Due to this small teacher to student ratio, the students had a lot of input in the pace and sequencing of the filming, the locations, and the editing process. We were able to work at the student’s pace, and spend more time with an individual group if necessary.

13. How did you collaborate with other teachers in your school to plan and/or implement the unit? 

Even with the co-teaching period, Ms. Segal and I had very limited co-planning time. We discussed the unit in class, and via email. She lead the discussion of the social emotional learning curriculum, and did the majority of the script revising with the class. I taught the lesson on story-boarding, facilitated the filming of the iMovies, and taught editing. I shared the unit plan, the movie clips, etc. with her, as well as the students by creating a shared Google Drive folder. 

My experience with co-teaching throughout the course of the 3 year ALTAS program has really been each teacher teaching to their strength while the other facilitated, with the responsibilities being divvied up, and one teacher doing the majority of lesson planning. It’s just very hard to do true collaborative co-teaching when isn’t regular planning time built into the schedule.

Section II: Technology Integration 

14. What was your process for selecting this form of digital media technology? Why did you think this form of digital media technology would be ideal for student learning? 

I knew I would be using iPads, since this was the technology that was readily available. Furthermore, I knew that the co-teaching opportunity provided by the class support period would facilitate filming, and after two years of the ATLAS program I felt proficient enough with the technology to tackle an iMovie project.

For the last two years, Eberhart has had a school-wide focus on social emotional learning, so my arts integrated units have revolved around themes in line with our SEL curriculum. Filming skits was a natural creative outlet for this kind of learning.

15. How did students use digital media technology to direct their own learning? Provide artifacts to show evidence of how students used the technology to direct their own learning. Examples might include but are not limited to: making choices about technologies to use, using technology to facilitate experimentation, using technology as a research tool, to express themselves artistically, and/or to make meaning of their experiences. 

16. How did you use technology to enhance the learning environment for both you as a teacher and for the students? 

This lesson would unit have been impossible without the use of technology. Students could have storyboarded, scripted, and acted out skits, but filming & editing the skits adds an entirely new visual component. Students had to consider how to compose a shot within a frame. They had to make artistic choices when editing their movies. This additional component takes a unit I would otherwise consider more reflective of the dramatic arts, and infuses visual concepts such as composition, space, balance & unity.

17. In what ways do your chosen technology resources align with your goals and outcomes for student learning? Looking back at the unit, how did the technology meet, not meet or exceed your expectations for facilitating student outcomes. 

Overall, the technology worked well for this unit. As I have said before, creating movies was a good choice for expressing social emotional learning themes. iMovie is a fairly simple and intuitive program, and it provided the students enough freedom to make choices about their movies, while still giving them the structure to create a successful product. When I do something like this again, I think I will order some external mics, because the sound quality was not great.

18. How did the use of technology contribute to students’ application of higher order thinking skills? Examples of student higher order thinking skills include metacognition, self-reflection, analysis, and application of knowledge or skills. 

The filming and editing process required students collaboratively assess and revise their work. Presumably, when students make any art, they are revising and making choices along the way. In my class, the intermediate and upper grades maintain sketchbooks and typically students are required to create a sketch before starting on a final draft. However, I don’t think the editing process has ever been as conscious and deliberate as it was for this project.

19. How did the use of technology drive student creative artistic expression? Please provide student artifacts that exemplify how technology supported their artistic expression. 

3 V’s 1 L- Bullying iMovie
Using Social Media Responsibly

20. How did the integration of digital media technology impact your teaching practice? 

This program has really broadened my concept of what is capable in the art room. It has encouraged me to take chances, and opened up opportunities for student’s to collaborate on group projects, as well as evaluate and revise their work.