As discussed last week in the post about creating my G.A.M.E. Plan (Goal, Action, Monitoring, Evaluating), my goal is to promote post-project student reflection and collaboration using technology. Ever the Art teacher and visual learner, I’ve color coded them to differentiate between the two when I discuss how to put these plans into action.
Goal 1: Student Reflection
Resources Needed: Typically, in an Art class, reflective activities take two shapes: whole group verbal critiques or written self-reflections using guiding questions or an Artist’s Statement format. The problem with these is that they’re often frustrating for both student and teacher, as most high school students are reticent to go out on a limb and express themselves about their own work, or examine a classmates work critically. So, I need to try some new tactics. As part of my research to find new ideas for reflective activities, I discovered an excellent article on the importance of reflection. It can be viewed HERE. So, now that we know the importance of reflection, how do I do it? Here are some ideas I’ve uncovered trolling the internet:
- “Video Confessionals” Appropriating the common “Reality TV” format of placing a student alone in a room with a camera and allow them to speak openly and honestly about their feelings regarding a project.
- Voice Thread. Have students photograph their work at three or four points during the project and, when finished, create a voice-over slideshow using Voice Thread.
- Art History Text Entry: While perusing sites offering ideas for reflective activities, I found one that suggested students create a resume listing the skills and experience they’ve gained by completing the project. This got me thinking about putting a piece of Art in a bigger context. What if the student had to create a paragraph describing his or her art and explaining where it would belong in an art history text. Is it more expressionist or technical? Does it represent a more modern or classical aesthetic. Putting Art in context often helps a person view their own work more objectively and might allow the student to evaluate it more thoroughly.
- Virtual Art Openings. Posting student work and short, succinct Artists statements on a class blog are an excellent way to encourage reflection. A person never looks upon their work the same once it is on display for all the world to see. And with the read/write capabilities of a blog, a viewer can comment and the artist can respond, opening up a dialog for everyone to either participate in or just observe.
Additional Information Needed: As always, I am engaged in an endless search for new ways to encourage students to attach meaning to what they’ve done and, more importantly, encourage them to want to do better in the future. I welcome suggestions for reflective activities eagerly!
What Steps I’ve Taken: Since I am on sabbatical to raise my young son, all of my steps have been to improve my own self-reflection skills. I am excited to return to teaching and model them!