Bulb Archived: Perez ATLAS 2015-2018: Koss (Year 3, 2017-2018)

School Name: Perez Elementary 

Teacher Name: Anne Koss

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. 

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? 

Muriel trying out some new techniques on You Doodle.

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? 

How does digital manipulation compare with manual manipulation? A big idea that we discussed is manipulation-changing things from the way they normally are. Not only did students have to manipulate their photos (two different ways) but they also had to manipulate fractions to create equivalent fractions. They had to literally manipulate paper to figure out how to equally divide the same paper in many different ways and shade in the same amount even though they were different numbers. They had to check their work by mathematically manipulating the original fraction into an equivalent. 

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. 

Hilda’s digital 2/4 

Students were given a brief description and demonstration of the You Doodle (pro) app. They were eager to dive into it to try out their own ideas. Because the app has an erase or go back function, the students felt free to experiment fully with all of the other options. I did demonstrate the blur feature, but Hilda discovered that she could put shapes on first and then blur (above bottom left). 

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? 

In art class, we experimented with folding 6″X6″ squares of paper into different amounts of equal parts. We chose one of them and shaded in portions of the sections to make a fraction. The students named the fraction they created. (ex. 6/8) Then they chose another paper and were asked to shade in the equivalent of the first fraction. (ex 3/4) This hands-on experience was very helpful in experiencing  how dividing the same whole (6X6 papers) into different amounts of sections could happen. It also helped them to see that 6/8 was the same as 3/4 etc. They applied this same procedure to their two 6X6 photos and created equivalent fractions again, this time confidently because of the discovery process we had done earlier.  

Students experimenting with paper folding. 

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

I had a basic idea of the project-the math portion as well as the arts, but they discovered many new things along the way that I hadn’t considered. There were time during the fraction folding that they would discover a different way to fold and still be correct. Soon, they were leading the class. I would call on someone to share their solution to the next challenge and the class would agree or disagree. Someone else would step up and offer their solution to the same problem. The same thing started happening with the digital manipulation. They would discover new aspects or techniques and share them with each other. 

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? 

They were shown the very basics of the You Doodle app. They explored and discovered many different ways to use it and applied them to their portraits. They chose from a variety of materials to use for their manually manipulated photos. They chose how they wanted to display their two photos together and how/if they wanted to design that presentation as well. Some of them chose a theme or message they wanted to communicate through the project, either within the photos and or presentations. 

Jayden’s “Flash” digital photo
Students working on various stages of their projects.

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

On You Doodle, they were constantly reflecting on their work and deciding if they wanted to keep their last choice or erase and go back to try something else. They often worked together on the iPads to share ideas and thoughts about the work of their peers. They reflected on the inquiry question at the beginning and end of their project. They recorded their responses at the end and attached them to the final pieces. 

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? 

I learned that I don’t need to know everything about an application to present it to students to use. They want to do their own learning and exploring. 

Giovani made his shirt into “crystals”.

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

Student work was displayed at the ATLAS showcase and we took a field trip there to see the gallery. They thought it was amazing to see their work in a real art gallery. It will also be shown at our school’s art gallery for our fine arts showcase in June.  Parents, teachers, students and community members will all be attending. 

ATLAS showcase

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? 

They discussed their work with each other throughout the project. Students who were excited about something they discovered were eager to share the information with others. 

Arianna gives Ailani a suggestion. 
Jayden and Nathan discussing design choices. 

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 wasn’t sure how much they knew about fractions and/or equivalent fractions, so I had a very basic plan to discuss and assess. I knew from their math teacher that they had just covered the concepts, but I wasn’t sure how well they understood it. The paper folding process was very helpful for me to see what they understood and for them to physically manipulate and discover the idea of equal parts. 

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

I met with the fourth grade math teacher and discussed what concepts she would be covering soon. She mentioned that students have a hard time with equivalent fractions and that was coming up in the next few months. We coordinated when she would be covering and I followed up directly after. Students had some knowledge of equivalent fractions before we started our projects, but had a much better understanding after our paper folding and shading part of the process.  

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 selected YouDoodle because you could draw right on it (for dividing it equally) and because you could erase. Students were much more willing to experiment when they knew their attempts weren’t permanent. It really freed them up.


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. 

As I have written earlier-they made their own discoveries and choices on how to manipulate their photos. Some of them chose to just aesthetically manipulate while others had personal meaning as to why they made the choices they did. 

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

I learn the basics of an application and present to them the simplest way to use it. They try it out for themselves and teach me new things that they have discovered. We all learn from each other. 

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

It met my expectations. I had to do some manipulating myself to figure out the logistics of getting the images to come out the same size (they had to in order to be equivalent fractions) and how to get the images saved and printed from all different locations. It worked out ok that I only had 1o iPads and 26 students because they could work on the manual photo while waiting for their turn on the tablet. 

I also chose a video to project that explained equivalent fractions that did a fairly good job, but the personal experience of the paper folding was when I heard the most, “Oh! I get it”(s).

Students are working on different parts of their project to allow everyone a turn on the iPad. 

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. 

Well, they had to think about their thinking (metacognition) many times to make sure that their fractions were indeed equivalent. Even though we had planned the fractions ahead of time, students would forget that aspect of the project and have to check that they were still equivalent even as things changed as they were working. They had to apply what they knew about fractions to the screen using technology and old school rulers. They had to analyze the changes they were making to their photos and decide whether to keep them, add to them, change them, or erase them. They self-reflected at the end as they wrote their artist’s statements describing their experience with digital vs. manual. 

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

Muriel discovered that she could zoom in really close to create small detail like the Perez logo. She said that she could never have done it that well manually because it was too small to be able to get that detailed. And as I have said previously, being afforded the privilege of being able to completely erase without damaging the image really gave them a lot of freedom. The application could do many things that they couldn’t do with art supplies.


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

It forced me to look at an idea in a different way. My idea for this project at first was light on the technology side, but after discussing it with a CAPE teaching artist, we brainstormed many different ways to insert more technology. This worked out wonderfully for what I wanted the students to learn and it enhanced my idea instead of changing it.