"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"I learned a new great way to make videos and it helped me study."

The fifth graders have reflected on their experiences while creating the science presentations. See: We're a Creation Station: the Making of the Science Presentations. The entirety of the presentations are here.

I am pleased with the students' feedback. I think they are honest and reflective responses. The pie charts and graphs below are telling. I have much to reflect upon as I adapt this project for next year.
I should leave more time for filming and editing. 

Scores are out in October. Check back with me then.

This was our hope - an authentic audience!

Nice that higher level thinking wins out, but I would have liked to see more references to citing sources.

Actually making things with one's hands is still popular - yay!

I observed this and have plans for next year.

This is a bit sad, but honesty is good, often the things that are the hardest are the least popular.

Again, making things with your hands never gets boring (thankfully).

This reinforces my idea of having the students master a few technology tools 
as opposed to learning about many,

Same as above.

AND NOW for their actual voices!

What did you learn?
A dangerous, but important question, this is (queue Yoda voice). This is where the essential understanding meets the proverbial road, did I meet this learning goal?  The answer is Yes and No. I did want them to learn how to make a Common Craft video, but what I really wanted them to learn was that there are many ways to express one's understanding of a topic - I want them to see the technology as a tool for that expression. I need to do a better job of explicitly stating and reiterating the essential understanding - in this case that we can choose and use specific technology tools that help convey knowledge. Choosing the right tool for the job is the first step. Here's what they said they learned:

"I did not learn anything but I relearned a lot. I really liked our project"

"Nothing (all review)"

"I learned about all the different topics, what a Common Craft Video is, and how to film a successful informational website."

"How to make a common craft video and different things about the water cycle"

"I learned how to make a common craft video (and that it is super hard)."

"How to make a video presentation with paper and other materials."

"I learned about energy"

"I learned a new great way to make videos and it helped me study."

"Lots about lots of things but I learned most about my topic, Sound and Vibrations."

"What I learned from this project is more sites I can use to find information."

"Almost everything about sound waves, life cycles, animal adaptations, minerals, water, rocks and the food chain"

"I learned how to make a Common Craft video"

"All of the things we have to know for the MCAS"

"I learned about the food chain, water cycle, energy, sound, animal adaptations, states of matter, space, plants, life cycles, and rocks and minerals."

And HERE. I save the best for last.  When asked what I could do better next time, the students gave be suggestions that I plan to incorporate next year. My biggest takeaway - they need more time, but how can I squeeze more time out of an already packed school day?

What can I do better?
"Let people use more resources."

"Maybe I would give them more time"

"Have teachers record"

"You could maybe get some more books because I know my group didn't have that  many things to find information for our topic."

"I think you did it perfectly, but maybe give time to watch videos in Library class, and let us choose groups!!!"

"Make dead lines for each step of the way"

"I think it would help some people if you had a few sentence starters for the script."

"Next year the kids should have more time to finish the project or begin earlier."

"I'm not sure you could make it better."

"Give them more time to practice their scripts"

"More time"

"I think if there was more info in some of the topics, and if there was not any repeating topics in the different classrooms.  Also make sure that the google presentations weren't so long, and didn't move from one side to the other so fast."

"You could let students choose their topics"

"I think this was awesome and there is nothing else I can think of to make it better."

"You can maybe let the students chose partners and topics?"

"Divide the project into specific parts and let the students choose equal parts of it to do, so that one person doesn't do all the work."

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