Thursday, April 26, 2018

Every project is a story...

Every project is a story

Lately I've been coalescing my thinking and teaching around this single notion. That every project is a story. Students are telling stories about their learning. Some are written stories; poems, reflections, personal narratives and so on. Some are media based; presentations, videos, music. Regardless of the medium and regardless of the expectations and rubric, any good project a student creates, that truly demonstrates their leaning ,is one in which they tell a story. They tell their story of their learning.

And with any story, start with the why. Why am I telling it? Why am I making the choices I'm making? Why is this the way I telling it?

We have been doing video PSA projects around social issues using WeVideo. We are using a modified Ignite style presentation as the final project for a Colonial America unit. A series of blog posts about a new maglev science unit.

Stories. Different topics, different purposes, but all stories.

To help keep students focused on the important points, and to not get caught up in the flash (which I usually refer to as the rainbows, unicorns, and fireworks), they need to focus on the writing. The story. Keeping the focus on the narrative.

Could vs Should
Want vs Need

These words are always on the board in my lab. I want students to keep asking themselves these questions as they are creating their stories.

"Could I add a waving emoji to my Colonial America Ignite presentation?"

"I want to use some cool sound effects to my social issues PSA?"

Sure, both are technically possible.

"But should I? Do I need to? Does it add to my narrative? Or does it distract?"

I want students to not only create engaging products, but I want the to create engaging projects that focus on the story of their learning and don't distract from their purpose. Their why. And to think about who will see, read, and hear their story. It shouldn't just be about their teacher, their purpose for telling their story should be greater than that.

It's where I'm at right now, trying to keep focusing on the purpose and making meaningful and purposeful decisions. Trying too...

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