Course 5 Post 4

Working with Colleagues: Good times and a Reminder that Teaching is  Subjective

English teachers (who teach reading and writing workshop)

English teacher reading the Gruffalo, the exemplar text.

The English teachers thought students would use pen and paper to write out their storyboards (StoryBoarding: Connections). In front of the class, I asked if students could have a choice: paper or digital, as students would need to work on a storyboard together but then copy it for each team mate (one copy for the authors and one copy for the illustrators).The teacher agreed that paper or digital was okay. Then, they reminded students that studies have been done that show different parts of the brain light up when they write and this helps with creativity. After the class, the teacher told me privately that they really recommend that students spend more time writing and not using their computer, because it helps make connections in their brain.

What do you do when another teacher recommends that students write their work out on paper, even though using tech would allow students to collaborate and share the same document?

Are there studies that show writing lights up the brain to increase creativity and if so, do researchers consider writing to be more useful for developing creativity than typing?

Are their studies that show typing on a keyboard also lights up the brain?

Art teachers

Before the students began writing and drawing, I gave a mini lecture about producing original work. I reminded them to review their notes about analyzing children’s books: the techniques they identified that the author and illustrator used to convey their message. I also reminded them about plagiarizing words and using copyrighted photos.

Art teacher giving feedback.

Art Teacher giving tips.

Afterwards, art teachers visited the illustrators and really helped out the students. They told students to have an image of what they wanted to draw visible, as a guide. Then, students could analyze the image and break it down into shapes. Some teachers encouraged students to use the layering function in their drawing apps and showed them how to use it. As I walked around, I started to notice that students were finding images from Google, layering them, and then tracing the outline in their apps.



Student using an image as a guide


Student using layers

If students are younger and averse to using their own drawings (because they are ugly, they think they can’t draw, etc.), is it appropriate to allow them to trace things that are factual/realistic without copyright infringement? Would this be considered fair use?

How do you convince students, in one project, to create their own content when in previous grades, it was okay for them to make their work look nice rather than it be their own content? 



One comment to “Course 5 Post 4”
One comment to “Course 5 Post 4”
  1. I really value the questions that you ask Melanie. These questions are ones that I could ponder over for hours. As you mention teaching and learning is subjective and sometimes being aware of what we are teaching (content) but also how students are learning (as communicators, collaborators, thinkers etc) is also relevant. As with most tool questions, I think it comes down to what is the purpose, what am I asking students to learn as a learner and in their learning. When thinking about this I love the split screen approach to objectives.

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