Making Learning Visible: Documenting Learning

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In the sphere of arts education, Making Learning Visible is a “buzz” phrase.

What kind of organization is needed to make it manageable?

How can I take the ideas behind MLV and make them my own?

All of these questions came up earlier this week at the Wednesday Arts PD for the middle school teachers in the SMCSD.

Visual documentation of a chosen unit is a vital way for the students to recognize how they traveled from one end of a project to another.

Documentation is a terrific form of assessment for a teacher; allowing him/her to step back and reflect on what really happened.

Visual documentation is also a catalyst to inspire excitement about learning within the school community.

Ascha Drake and Arlene Shmaeff showed the teachers several possible ways to visually show a unit unfolding.

What was the essential question?

What were some curricular goals? What were some artistic goals?

Get into the rhythm of photographing students working and exploring and experimenting.

Archive written reflections and save any process work.

Making Learning Visible is essentially telling a story, and leading the viewer along the footprints of thinking and learning.

In our PD sessions, teachers shared work and ideas.

They visited one another’s classrooms, and explored ways to make the process of documenting manageable.

And they continue to reinforce a sense of community and respect as colleagues and educators.

As the year continues we will continue the conversation, and teachers have talked about being inspired to make the learning in the classrooms come alive through documentation panels.

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