Reflecting Digitally in the PYP
Unit: How We Express Ourselves
Age: Grade 3
School: Tokyo International School
At the end of each Unit of Inquiry as a PYP teacher, I have gotten into the habit of asking the students to review the unit by writing a reflection. In this reflection they would write about what and how they learnt, what was a highlight, what they could do better, how they could improve and what they were proud of. They were free to make judgements about the unit and suggest improvements for future students in this grade level. Often the reflections were written well, with quite a bit of thought and perhaps an opinion or two. Most students enjoyed reading them aloud to their friends, teachers and parents. Some students enjoyed “Da Vinci-esque” doodling on their pages and explaining their images and why they drew them. And that was fine too.
However, taking into account our embracing of 21st century learning, I felt that this was an avenue I could explore digitally. Our school has recently embraced the Readers Writers Workshop and the children have established a real love of writing. This is great but I sensed lately “too much of a good thing” was starting to make my students a little uninspired. So, to challenge my students, I suggested that they reflect………online.
In my professional studies recently I have been exploring visual literacy – the power of the image. So, using that as my inspiration, my challenge to the students in my class was as follows –
How we express ourselves Unit Reflection
1. Create a keynote presentation, where only the first and last slide have words on them. These words must capture the viewer`s imagination.
2. In between these two slides, upload images that are relevant to what you are going to talk about.
3. Write a shortened script to assist you.
4. Use no annoying/irritating slideshow effects and adjust your slide transitions so you have ample time to speak and allow the viewer to absorb the image.
5. Upon slideshow completion, record your narration.
6. I will assist you in publishing it to our class YouTube account.
Now, what I had to really explain to my students, is that anyone can make a presentation and read it verbatim. I told the class that most people can read nowadays and do not need slides to be read to them. Therefore they were not to include on the slides any of the information they were going to present verbally.
As of now, more than half the students have uploaded their digital reflections to the web. I have then embedded their presentations into our class web page for the students` parents to view. Some of the students chose solely to reflect upon the summative assessment whilst others have completed their presentation encompassing the forms of expression we explored during the unit.
In conclusion, what we have done here is present our learning in digital form. A form that can be easily accessed anywhere, a form (hopefully) that maintains our audiences interest.
Tips; Students need to have a grasp of keynote – including uploading digital images into the presentation. Recording their voice should not be a problem. Children need to practice and rehearse before narrating their slideshow.
Below are a few of the presentations my students produced.