Our thanks to Aviva Dunsiger of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board for permission to repost the article below. All content and links are provided by Ms. Dunsiger. If you have a summer learning story to share, please contact us here.
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.
Thanks to one other educator, who sent me her reflection to share. We never got a chance to record this reflection, but she gave me permission to post it here.
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 and the email 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.
Twitter: @avivaloca Aviva’s class blog: oslerk.commons.hwdsb.on.ca