Today was the last day of Camp Power. Back when we met for our first day of training in June, the principal overseeing the program, Mary Anne Gage, mentioned that one of her goals this year was to capture the stories of Camp Power. As an educator that’s very passionate about pedagogical documentation, I was intrigued by this goal of hers. Would this provide an opportunity for documenting both staff and student stories? What about parents? An idea began to form.
During the course of the camp program, I not only witnessed, but was also a part, of some incredible growth. In 15 days, not every moment of growth can be captured by a standardized assessment tool. A child may not move up in a DRA (reading assessment) score or jump a level in math. What growth might we observe? It was in the areas of risk-taking, perseverance, self-regulation, and attitude, where we saw the most growth. How do you capture this growth though? This question of mine led to an email request to our site staff, wondering if people would share their stories. The stories aren’t only those of educators though. The 15-minute video below provides a different measure of growth: short snippets of experiences that campers, parents, and educators all allowed me to share in this format.
I keep thinking about the #visiblelearning hashtag that Lisa Noble introduced me to a couple of years ago. This compilation of stories becomes part of this visible learning, but a wonderful conversation with principal Mark Degner, reminds me that the stories shouldn’t stop here. How might this summer’s learning impact on the upcoming school year? I’m excited to follow-up on the stories in the video to see what happens next. Looking at the year ahead, I’m also wondering about the professional learning that educators do at school. We often fill out forms to track our learning and growth. Could a similar video option allow for educator reflections in a different way? What other options could we use to collect stories from the field? Just as we differentiate for kids, I wonder if educators might also benefit from professional reflection options. I love how oral and written reflections combine here. Do stories play their own important role in data collection? Our Camp Power reflections make me think that they do.
This is such powerful stuff, Aviva. I am so impressed with the willingness of your coworkers to be genuinely reflective about their learning. The bike story is amazing. Pulling in many voices really captures a learning moment in time. I do think that something like Flipgrid would let you “check in” over time with different participants and see how things are playing out through the school year.
Thanks for your comment, Lisa! When I put the idea out to staff, I was hoping that I might just get a couple contributing. I was thrilled with how many people did, and shared so openly. I think that a few more might have if that last day didn’t quite get away from us. Maybe FlipGrid would also give other interested people a chance to contribute. I’ve added to other people’s FlipGrids before, but never made my own. This would be perfect though. Now you have me thinking more about how to connect with everyone during the year to get some updates. This is definitely one of my goals!