Bulb Archived: Talcott ATLAS 2015-2018: D’Addario (Year 2, 2016-2017)

ATLAS Survey Y2

School Name: Talcott

Teacher Name: D’Addario

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.

Please type your response here.

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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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?

Essential Question: How can “becoming” help us to understand words, meaning and numbers?

The students I was working with are mostly were ELLs.  They are in the first grade and are working on Math Word Problems.  Students at this age love to pretend.  They have a great sense of natural empathy.  The idea of the project was for the students to see a Math Word Problem as a story.  In their groups it was their job to tell the story through acting and the use of props, photography and the text of the Math Problem.  If they could “become” the characters in the story and experience it visually the math would take care of itself.

I believe this was successful as the students engaged with the text and made it come alive.  You see the feeling portrayed in their character’s expression as well as their understanding of the math as displayed in their framing and who and what are in the photos.

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.

The research we did was through recall and visualization of camera angles.  We discussed the close up, the medium shot and the introductory shot and how they are used in movies and illustrations we are familiar with.  We discussed where the camera is placed to change perspective and show height.  Students experimented with camera angles to find angles that fit the description in their word problem.  Below is an example of a bird flying away.  Notice the low angle of the camera and the use of the tree in the background.

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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?

The students in the class are duel language students, taught mostly in Spanish.  Most of their Math Word Problem experience is through Spanish.  In this project the world problems were experienced in English.  To lift the words off the page by making the project a visual experience helped the students to “see” and in turn, have a stronger understanding of the text itself.

Each group had people in three roles.  The Director of Photography was responsible for the framing and angle of the shot.  He or she controlled the camera.  The Director blocked the scene by placing the actors.  The Actors portrayed the different characters with shape and emotion.  They collaborated in putting all of their jobs together.  By taking on the roles that are part of the artistic process of making a film, students were able to delve into and experience the world of a Math World Problem and gain a deeper understanding of it rather than having just read it on a page.  The idea is that this type of experience will help the students in the future to visualize the Math Word Problems they experience.  They “became” the word problem.

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

Please type your response here.

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 granted their roles based on their preference.  They were either and Actor, Director or Director of Photography.  They were given their props for the scene and their word problem.  From there, all choices were their own.

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

We watched our final projects on the big screen.  Students were given time to figure out the Math Problem before the answer was revealed to see if the story was successfully told visually.  After students got to speak on how they put their story together.

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?

The space of the room changed my instructions.  If you see the above shots you will notice there isn’t any interference from others.  All students were working in the same space.  When we first started out I had assigned sports in the room but had failed to point out how a camera can expand  that space.  Note the photo below.  The students had captured what was in the word problem -“Jhaneria has two hula hoops”  However, other things were captured in the photo as well.  The need to instruct about the isolation of the wanted captured image was something I learned.  Notice the difference between the two.

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

This was shared with parents and administration on our showcase day.  It was very exciting for students to present their work to a larger community.

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?

Each group had people in three roles. The Director of Photography was responsible for the framing and angle of the shot. He or she controlled the camera. The Director blocked the scene by placing the actors. The Actors portrayed the different characters with shape and emotion. They collaborated in putting all of their jobs together.

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?

Going into the project I wasn’t positive the students would be able to handle using the camera-or being a Director of Photography.  They proved to be quite adept at it.  

During the project the classroom was loud and messy.  However, stepping back and watching them-leaving them to work on their own and figure things out-the students really rose to the equation and found their way through it.  While they made their shots I would review with them, question why they made their choices and allowed them to stick with their choice or change it based on those conversations.  The final choice was always their own.

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

Ms. Sanchez is their classroom teachers. She had been working with Math Problems with teh students.  We created the Math problems together and I helped the students to dramatize them.

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 thought visual learning would be most affective for duel language taught students who many were ELLs.

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 technology they used was the camera.  Each group had people in three roles. The Director of Photography was responsible for the framing and angle of the shot. He or she controlled the camera. The Director blocked the scene by placing the actors. The Actors portrayed the different characters with shape and emotion. They collaborated in putting all of their jobs together. Much of it was trial and error.  The choices on how the camera was used-angles, type of shot, blocking and framing was all theirs.

The research we did was through recall and visualization of camera angles. We discussed the close up, the medium shot and the introductory shot and how they are used in movies and illustrations we are familiar with. We discussed where the camera is placed to change perspective and show height. Students experimented with camera angles to find angles that fit the description in their word problem. Below is an example of a bird flying away. Notice the low angle of the camera and the use of the tree in the background.

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

It gave the students ownership and freedom.

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.

The camera is an eye.  The point of the project was for us to bring the Math Word Problem to life.  Acting it out without a camera would have provided the same focus of the eye as when the camera was present.

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 students with through trial and error when they blocked the scene and set up the camera.  Each shot they took was looked at and decided if they wanted to use it it or take it again.  Therefore, self-reflection and analysis was happening through the creation.