I always find it interesting to look at the Instagram #BestNine collages that people start sharing in December. What posts make it into the Best Nine, and what ones do not? Every year, I’m a little surprised by my collection. I don’t have a separate personal and professional Instagram account, and almost all of my posts showcase learning in the classroom. That said, my Best Nine rarely include these classroom posts, and for the ones that are included, they are almost always the ones that show the final product instead of the process of learning.
My #bestnine2017 seem just about right: a lot around classroom design, a good story to feed the soul, and a selfie for good measure. Interesting though that while I use IG for largely classroom learning stories, not one of them are included in my best nine. Hmmm … #iteachk #teachersofinstagram #ctinquiry
As educators, we speak often about the value in the process. It’s not always about what’s produced, but what children thought and learned along the way. I think that this is really important, as does my teaching partner, Paula. We actually spend the majority of our time discussing the process.
- What have we observed?
- What have we heard?
- Where does the interest really lie?
- If something is not working, why might that be? What could we try instead?
- How can we better support growing interests?
- What is each child’s next step? How can we facilitate this learning?
- What materials might we include next? How will this change the learning?
Both of us are rarely concerned about the final product. At times, we’re hoping to produce something beautiful, such as these paintings that students created together for our June Art Auction.
Even with the few cracks, I still think it’s quite beautiful. Excited to add this Jackson Pollock-inspired art to our school’s art auction at the end of the year. ❤️❤️❤️ what our K’s did here with acrylic paint and a huge canvas! Was a full week art exploration! #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry #art
That said, we were as committed to documenting the process of these creations, as we were to capturing the final products … maybe even more so.
Continuing to add to this Aelita Andre’s inspired work. Really considering design choices, and experimenting with different lines and designs. Their discussion around their decisions even speaks to communicating through art. Will continue to extend this tomorrow. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #iteachk #teachersofinstagram #ctinquiry #art
Today we added a layer of blue on top of the black. First we experimented with sponges, but then there was a lot of spreading, so then, @paulacrockett showed them how to flick paint. This led to lots of giggles, but also students noticing and discussing new images in the paint. Tomorrow, based on feedback from students, we’re going to add more colours on top: really exploring thin lines and flicking paint! SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #iteachk #teachersofinstagram #ctinquiry #art
Having a look at our collaborative art work. Sharing our reflections and what we see. Trying to step back and really having a closer look while using artwork to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Will tweet out some additional videos as well. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #iteachk #teachersofinstagram #ctinquiry #art
We worked on starting this new canvas today. Discussions around their paint choices and problems that happened during the process. Now we have a background. Tomorrow, we’re exploring a new technique that will involve artistic #problemsolving. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry
The colour mixing didn’t work on the table today because of the dollhouse action, so @paulacrockett and the students helped move it onto the small table. They created and discussed some great colours. Even did some reading of colour names. Then kids worked together to write their own colour names. We will be extending this tomorrow as we make some colours to use on our canvas instead of the drop cloth. ❤️ SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #teachersofinstagram #iteachk #ctinquiry
We painted the background of the canvas on Monday, mixed the colours on Tuesday and Wednesday, experimenting with the action painting technique, and then added the paints to our canvas this afternoon. Great to see the kids thinking about their creation of lines and the places on the canvas that needed more paint. So great to hear the conversations around this canvas. ❤️❤️❤️ SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #ctinquiry #teachersofinstagram #iteachk
Initially kids thought that this painting should be called sunshine or lemon, but now rainbow or fountain seemed like better options. Milla decided to survey the class. We have a winner. Data management through painting! ❤️ Would love to hear even more of her thoughts about the results. SWIPE ⬅️ FOR MORE. #ctinquiry #teachersofinstagram #iteachk
Today, @paulacrockett and I get to be “Cinderella.” Not the going to the ball variety, but the get down on your hands and knees and clean, variety. It’s us against the 🎨… we’re hoping to come out on top! 😂 #ctinquiry #iteachk #teachersofinstagram (I will say, a masterpiece does take time, thinking, and a little mess … )
I’m not a huge Pinterest user, but I do look at Instagram posts regularly for ideas. I like some inspiration. Paula and I both do this. When I just see the final products though, I wonder about the messy wonderfulness that helped get students to this point.
- How did they start?
- What problems did they have along the way?
- How did they solve them?
- What changes did the educator team make to the learning space during this project? What impact did these changes have on the final outcome?
- What did the educator team learn from this experience?
- What changes might they make if they were to do something similar again?
A photograph or video of the final product rarely answers these questions or provides insight into the process. Thinking about my Best Nine though, and the likes and feedback that I get on my regular Instagram posts, I wonder if the final product may matter even more than we say. Do people want to see problems or do they want to see perfection? In the days of Pinterest, maybe there’s a bigger push for the beautiful photographs versus the messy process. Are there more people out there, like me, that wonder about what’s not shared? With all of the pretty pictures being posted, are many of us reluctant to share the less pretty ones? On this Snow/Rain/Ice Day, I can’t help but do a little thinking about what people share online and what they don’t. Have others also been wondering?