Bulb Archived: Murphy ATLAS 2015-2018: Hawkins (Year 2, 2016-2017)

School Name: Murphy Elementary 

Teacher Name:Paula Hawkins 


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

Directions: Please answer the questions based on a project completed during the 2016-2017 school year.

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.



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?



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?

Which documentation method is best for preservation of choreography? The big idea, is for students to understand there is more than one way to look at things and more than one way to document and or record information.  In a time where technology is so prevalent for this generation of young students, it is important for them to recognize the value of using other means. The question addresses the big idea by the activities the students were given to align with the question.   

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 unit was integrated with math and students had learned graphing to record and measure information. This skill was needed for students to graph their choreography. This prior knowledge enabled the students to apply the same skill in an area outside of math. They were able to see the big picture and usefulness of that particular method of documentation in their arts discipline. 

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?

Students had used a certain criteria to choreograph a short dance phrase.  They were given the method of graphing to record their choreography.  This enabled the students to discover how a skill that they learned in math could be used for other purposes.  This documentation allowed them to analyze their work differently.  On paper their movements are still and they were able to categorize/label their work providing an easier method of assessment.   

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

The curriculum evolved with students comparing writing documentation to video documentation.  Additionally, the criteria of video documentation gave students various view points and ways to see dance differently.   Students were given the assignment to zoom in, to focused on a particular body part, to video dance in a different location and to video dance from a different perspective.  

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 collaborating in small groups to create a short dance sequence.  They had to use 3 dance elements; locomotor, non-locomotor, and freeze.  It was the student’s choice what locomotor or non-locomotor skills they used.  It was also their creative choice how they organized  their dance, use of pathways, level changes, directional changes, speed and force were all self-directed. 

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

The students viewed their work and their peers work then had a class discussion about the process, how they felt about it and comparisons between paper and video documentation. The observations students made were analytical.  Right away they  noticed the fact that mistakes show up on video that you don’t see on paper.  They also quickly determined how it was easier to categorize and or analyze their work on paper.  Basically they assessed both methods as useful but to serve different purposes.  

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?

After observation of student artifacts, it came to my attention that some students needed more time to learn their dances.  During the video process some student referred to their notes to determine what dance steps to do next.  It was also clear that I needed to spend more time on video protocol and how to avoid capturing images that are not intended.   

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

During our Fine Arts Festival, parents toured the building viewing student work.  Student’s videos were looped on iPads set up in a classroom for viewing.  The student’s written work was next to the iPads with an explanation of the process. Teachers, parents, students and staff were able to view the student’s work. 

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 started the process working in small groups and stayed with the same group throughout the entire process.  In the beginning the students collaborated to create a short dance sequences. Then they worked together graphing their choreography and later they videoed the choreography.  

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?

As a class, together we decided what criteria would be used for their dance sequence.  I lead the discussion, as we discussed what we wanted to document  for purposes of saving their choreography.  Students also helped with the decisions of the locations in the building that could be used to video their work.  Additionally we discussed how the product would be assess.  

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

The 3rd grade teacher I worked with attended our one of our ATLAS meetings.  We met and she discussed what her unit plans were. We discussed the collaboration of dance with math and what we wanted the students to gain as an outcome.  It was our objective for the reinforcement of the core subject integrated with the arts enhance student understanding of both disciplines.  

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 generally present students with video or images of what  inspired the unit or what  the results of the unit should resemble.  That is a basic use of technology as a learning tool and I wanted the students to experience a hands on use  of technology as part of their learning.  I was eager to implement one of the skills I learned from  one of the many ATLAS PD’s and selected one that was basic enough for 3rd graders. The activity criteria presented a challenge for students and a vocabulary. 

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.

The use of the digital media technology gave students experience videoing moving objects.  The criteria directed and guided their use of the video camera and gave them vocabulary to identify what they where doing and what they later observed of their peers work.  They learned from direct instruction, asking questions and hands on experience via trials and errors.  

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

I used the technology in the same manner in which the students were guided to use it.  This was necessary in order to trouble shoot any problems that could potentially occur with the equipment.  The more knowledgeable I am of the subject or activity being taught, the more likely the outcome of an enhances learning environment.  In addition to this, looped iPads were laid out for display in the classroom and students walked around to view the work of their peers. They analyzed, compared and assessed what they saw which also enhance their learning.   

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.

When I look back and think of the student’s reflections, this unit exceeded my  expectations.  I was surprised at how quickly and easily the students were able to identify the differences, benefits, and limitations of the two forms of documentation.  It was also fulfilling for me to observe the process, their enthusiasm, and their excitement to work with technology.

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.

Students where given video vocabulary and instructions on how to implement and produce the desired outcome.  After these instructions they were given video cameras and actually videoed their peers; applying the use of their knowledge.  After viewing one another’s work they did self and peer reflections; analyzing and assessing what they saw .

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

This is an example of the zoom in critierion. Student’s performance quality improved on camera.  They became more self aware and were driven to perfect their performance.  


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

The integration of digital media technology inspired me to integrate more units with media technology.  I am motivated to use more of the tools and ideas ATLAS PD’s have provided and to do some self learning by spending more time exploring the use of technology.