In Photography and Film we’ve been working on finishing our first projects. Photography students did a documentary photography project documenting their day in 50 Photographs. Film students did a short film the was the autobiography of an inanimate object.
Photography students created contact sheets and engaged in peer editing of their photographs. During peer editing the photographer explained their photographs to their peer editing group and then discussed why or why that photograph should be part of their final 50 photographs for the project. The editing groups were looking at the compositional elements in the photographs, the camera angles used and the subject matter as it related to the story of their day that was being told through their 50 Photographs. Although I did not instruct the students to use one particular thinking routine as I moved between groups I heard students asking each other what do you see? why do you say that? and the photographer presenting their photographs saying I used to think, but now I think. I observed my student remixing the thinking routines we have used in class to look slowly and think critically with each other about their work.
The final project will be either an iPhoto slideshow with captions or a Photo Book. Students engaged in another round of peer reviews as they each sought to select one image from their project that will be in our gallery on campus.
In the finishing of this first project, our field trip to the National Portrait Gallery and the beginning of our second project I have observed that the student documentation and reflection has become routine. Students are in the rhythm and habit of documenting their learning and through their exit tickets reflecting on our activities and their process. My documentation has become routine but in the business of school I had lost my time set aside for reflection. Today is parent-teacher conference day and as I am using my time between parents to reflect on our Project Zero integration these past three weeks I also find myself excitedly looking forward.
In the CPSR course my first year students have finished programming their Scratch games and the second year students have begun their work with the Lego EV3 robotics kits. In this class we also use the exit tickets but I have found it more challenging to get my second year students to engage in a deeper reflective process about their learning.
Our class time is spent building and programming the Lego EV3 bricks to run a series of basic programs that teach the use of the motors and the sensors. As we move into the advanced instructional projects which include more complex building with the expansion kits the students will be challenged to create their own programming. Here is where I see an opportunity for some creative thinking routines about problem solving and process. Think, puzzle, explore and 3-2-1 Bridge are routines I have not yet used but hope will stimulate the creative problem solving needed for advanced robotics.