Bulb Archived: Washington ATLAS 2015-2018: Thornton (Year 2, 2016-2017)

School Name: Washington
Teacher Name: Dean Thorton

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.

This school year has been a year of transition. We have a completely new administration which means major changes across the board for all teachers & staff. This affected integrated lessons as well as changes made mid year. This year I continued music math lessons by talking to math teacher on where the students were in their lessons. Math scores need to improve at our school. My goal was to reinforce what they’re learning in math while opening they’re eyes to how much math is involved in music. In the subject of reading I dealt with lyrics. This helped with my rhythm lessons as well as my music history lessons.

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?

Not all students responded positively to the music math until they began working. They had fun doing the assignment. The subject of the lyrics dealt with the voices of protest during the civil rights movement. This lined up with the black history lessons in their history and reading classes. Students were interested in the messages in the music and how effective they were. 

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?

Is math needed when making music? How can a song make major changes n the world.

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.

I had students look up the artists (on the internet) with compositions that Made great changes in history. They had a better understanding of how these songs had such a great impact and had comments & questions for the next class. Students doing music math had to refer to their notes given by their teachers of both subjects to better prepare for upcoming assignments. They also had comments & questions.

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?

Reading, counting & performing rhythm causes students to use their basic math skills. They begin to see how important math is to music. As far as learning in both subjects, many students find that one helps the other. Students  find that reading & writing lyrics is the same as reading & writing a book or paragraph with music attached. They begin to see that lyric is as much a part of a song as the instruments or the drumbeat.

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

In music math students begin to experiment with each other coming up with new ways to reach the same solution. Some made the connection and openly said to another student “This just like we did in math..” With the lyrics conversations went in two directions. There were questions about exact times when songs written actually made a change and how long before change took place. Other conversations had ah-ha moments when discovering how certain notes in the rhythm of lyrics fit and worked together. There were also discoveries on how tempo effected the notes that would be used. Academic conversations focused on words and phrases that could take on many different meanings.

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 chose to work together as well as help those who may have still had questions about their project.

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

There are always students who want extra time, extra work or have questions and comments. They come to me on my break same time every day or after school. Many comments, questions & suggestions were brought up.

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?

Student artifacts effected my pacing and the amount of info I gave at one time. 

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 brought up in their peers’ classes as well as assembly presentations.

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? 

Many worked in groups comparing results, coming up with solutions & suggestions for each other (filling in missing or overlooked information) as well as looking for alternative solutions.

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 visited each group while they were working and questioned what they were doing, how & why. This helped me regulate the pace and content I shared with them.

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

Teachers met with me during lunch and sometimes after school when we could catch each other.

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 originally wanted the I pod but the I pad was also needed for visual presentations although I couldn’t use it in time, I looked for other components until I could use the I pad. 

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. 

Digital media in my school is used for documentation, presentation, artistic expression & performance.

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

I use this technology as both critique & documentation.

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. 

This is used as an assessment & checklist to see what went well, what didn’t go well & why  and how to improve on the next assignment and performance.

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 were put in a position of being on the outside looking in. They were able to objective critique themselves, see successes & see failures and how to improve the next time.

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

When my students know they’re being recorded, most of them put they’re best foot forward. They simply didn’t want to or be seen making mistakes.

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

Integration of digital media builds more interest for my students and keeps them focused.

It also aids me in my teaching as well as making my lessons and presentations more fun and more easier.