Bulb Archived: Hoyne ATLAS 2015-2018: Porter (Year 1, 2015-2016)

School Name: Thomas Hoyne Fine Arts Elementary School

Teacher Name: Andre R. Porter

Directions: Below are questions that will help you to complete your Project ATLAS Digital Portfolios.

For each question, please include your written reflections. You are also encouraged to provide other multimedia to deepen your written reflections and exemplify your analysis. Multimedia can include images, sound files, and video clips.

Please annotate your multimedia, describing why you have chosen these particular artifacts, what you are interested in your audience knowing about them, and why they are important to share.

Section I: Arts Integration – Documentation. Please upload documentation from your project. Please include a variety of media forms for your 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.

Our project was re-examined and re-evaluated to encompass a new format. With the aid and input of our school’s administration, we determined it would be a good idea to engage the students by having them to create videos that would serve as representation of Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) for the whole school environment and would serve as an example for Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS).

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?

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Students brainstorming on how they will proceed.

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?

Our Inquiry Question was “How can we use the Arts and Technology to inform and persuade positive activity within our school environment”?

The “big ideas” addressed were related to the following Illinois State Standards: 27A-Stage I

(2) Analyze how the arts inform and persuade through movement, sound, and image; (3) Examine the purposes and effects of various media (e.g., film, print, multimedia presentations) in terms of informing, entertaining, and persuading the public; (4) Justify an opinion about the purposes and effects of various media in terms of informing and persuading the public.

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.

This particular group of eighth grade students has been studying/researching the effects and influences of the Arts on societal norms (specifically in Chicago) for some time now. We have utilized multiple lesson periods throughout both their seventh and eighth grade academic years to really delve into how musical artists have either positively or negatively contributed to society through their artistic works (music and/or video) or through their actions outside of their creative genres (i.e. political/social activism, continuing education, promoting legal/illegal activity, etc.). Students have previously completed research papers detailing the aforementioned subject matter while also including dedicated time for constructive dialogue among their peers comparing and contrasting the musical artists. This allowed for students to continue further debates into their interpretations of the influence of the Arts.

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?

During the students’ research process, they were required to interpret verses of songs specifically referencing similes, metaphors and idioms used by artists (many of them from the genre of Hip-Hop) to invoke story telling. Many students discovered how well versed these artist were in creating fiction and or re-examining auto-biographical accounts through their lyricism to engage the listeners in a way similar to that in reading a book or hearing the prose of a poet storyteller.

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

The evolution of this curriculum in essence is still ongoing as students are now referencing the videos when discussing positive behavioral trends within the school. Students of all multiple grade levels can be heard at times referencing the PBIS videos when they see others off task in the halls or during instructional periods.

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 were placed into four groups with seven participants each and were given opportunities to work independently throughout class time and during recess periods. Students collaborated to create their own storylines and design the video presentation.

Creative session in which students are discussing story lines

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

Prior to the final submission of their projects, the 8th grade students used time effectively by having in-class screenings of their videos to receive feedback from their peers. Students constructively critiqued and commented on the video selections offering insight on what worked well and what could use continued refinement.

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?

Throughout the creation process, I periodically reviewed student videos on the iPads to gauge progress and determine is additional assistance was needed. I offered guidance in the form of discussing camera angles, shooting locations, script cohesion and full group participation. In some cases I modeled aspects for students and in others I asked for their interpretations/visions for their projects and refocused their efforts in identifying whether they were meeting aspects discussed. 

10. Describe how the students’ work was shared in the school or publicly. Why was this an important part of this unit?

The students’ work was shared with the entire student population via a screening process that was to promote positive behavioral scenarios within the school environment. The screenings took place in Kindergarten thru 2nd grade; 3rd thru 5th grade and 6th thru 8th grade settings to allow for feedback and Q&A from fellow students and instructors.

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?

Students created together in small group settings. They worked with each other to develop the concept of how the video projects were to be written, directed, shot and acted. 

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 collaborated with my students by offering suggestions and constructive criticism on their projects. There were instances in which I served as a cameraman to allow for all members of the group to be capable of being active participants in their videos but I followed their directives and visions. 

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

During this first year project, collaboration was done by several faculty members as they took part in acting in videos for our students and most specifically, the idea for this particular project came as a result of a professional conversation between our school’s principal and myself. 

 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?

Choosing to use iPads and iMovie were actually the result of utilizing what was available and what I felt comfortable with being able to assist my students with during instruction and editing. I was not personally familiar with many other video platforms at that time and I wanted to ensure that I could competently provide appropriate encouragement and feedback for my students growth.  

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?

Prior to this exercise, I believed that using a computer and projector to display content was sufficient enough to lead instruction. I grew as an educator by allowing myself to continually learn about new platforms and tools that could enhance my educational process. 

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.

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.

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

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