Part of the work of our blogging cohort is monthly one-on-one coaching calls where each teacher gets to check in, share, reflect, ask questions, etc. I love what I’m learning from these truly amazing teachers who are so wide-open and willing to share their learning, both in our discussions and via this blog. I notice that, as I’m listening to them reflect verbally, my frequent response is, “Blog post! That is a blog post!” I’m thinking….This is so great it must be shared! Other people need to read/hear this, too.
One prevalent topic this month has been using a digital platform (like this blog or Seesaw) to document and reflect on learning with students. Hadas and I bounced ideas about different ways to introduce ideas of blogging, reflecting on learning and creating and sharing learning artifacts. I shared a few examples with her and thought it might be helpful to share them here as well.
Before I do that, I’d like to recommend a book. The book Visible Learners by Mara Krechevsky, Ben Mardell, Melissa Rivard and Daniel Wilson (researchers from Project Zero) does an incredible job of articulating (using superb examples) WHY this matters and how documenting learning actually changes the way teaching and learning happens, making it more authentic, relevant and meaningful. If I were to teach a class on documentation, I would certainly use this book to inspire and instruct the process.
Here are a few of the strategies and corresponding examples that Hadas and I discussed.
Write a post together with students: This example is from a second grade class. We had created digital trading cards together in class, and we collectively wrote the post afterwards. The post served to help the students recall and articulate the steps they took, as well as to share their learning with others.
Teacher writes post and students comment: In this example, the teacher posed a question and opened the comments for discussion to take place. Many students and parents joined the discussion.
I’ve seen this strategy used frequently as a way to introduce students to the blogging platform and to extend learning discussions beyond the classroom.
Student-created artifacts and reflections:
When students are given a platform to share artifacts of their own learning process, what will those artifacts be and how will they be used? Here is an example of a video created by a 4th grader.
Not only does the student share the artifact, she reflects on her learning specific to the creation of the artifact.