I designed the class historian work based on work created by Dr. Sheri Vasinda in her 3 rd & 4 th grade multiage class. In her class, the students would carry a clipboard and write about their day. The next morning during morning meeting, the student would read the historian's record and share about their day. Dr. Vasinda's work helped students think about and remember the work from the previous day in a compelling way. In this work, I wanted to extend this work to early childhood students (Kindergarten in this case) who are just developing their writing skills. To do so, I used technology to support their thinking. Students would carry an iPad around during the school day and take pictures of their learning for the day. Of course, they end the day with many, many pictures. So, they exercise their developing skills for determining importance, a critical literacy skill, to select the pictures that best represent their learning for the day. Then they use iMovie to pull in the photos. Using voice over, they describe and reflect upon their day, developing two additional important literacy skills. Students also use their oral language skills which further extends their developing literacy. Movies are then uploaded to the school's vimeo account and viewed in class.
This work places students in the role of creator and designer. Students make important choices and do real world thinking and work; all of which were noted in my educational philosophy statement. This artifact has tremendous educational strengths, but it does require a commitment of time to get all students fluent with the iMovie app. We are also working on several other options to streamline the process for students so that they complete the reflection without assistance.
This artifact certainly reinforced my beliefs that all students, even very young children, can think and reflect deeply on their work. It is also work that allows teachers to have rare insights. This work uncovers students' thinking about their learning in a way that reveals misconceptions and invites clarification.