Documenting – Zoom Boards

created with Typorama by J.Bevans 2016 CC

created with Typorama by J.Bevans 2016 CC

We are coming to the end of a Course that the ATL’s have been taking, online from Project Zero called Making Learning Visible. The Course is inspired by the innovative educational philosophy that originated in Reggio Emilia. 

Documentation is visible listening. Carlina Rinaldi

Making Learning Visible has a goal to create and sustain powerful cultures of learning in classrooms and across schools that nurture individual and group learning. Though the project focuses on using documentation as a central pillar of group learning.

So we have been listening and looking closely at what has been happening in our classrooms. Looking at group dynamics, thinking about what and how groups share their ideas and thoughts, and wondering how to support children in becoming better at working in groups. One of the provocations during the course was this amazing video The City of Reggio – The Boys City

By learning in groups, we also learn about the cultures and values of others. By seeing how these unique perspectives influence the learning process, we gain a greater understanding of what we learn as well as each other.

Zoom Board

For our final project we had to create a Zoom Board. A Zoom board is a documentation panel that offers a close look, as with a zoom lens, at the children’s and teachers responses and understandings of their classroom’s research question. 

The goal of the Zoom board is to help the children to understand that collective knowledge and questioning is more powerful than individual, and from a teachers perspective it is understanding the next steps to take in the planning process.

Zoom Board – The Process

I loved using a Zoom Board as a way of recording and reflecting on what was happening in the classroom. It gave me guidelines and sparks for where to go in the Unit that we were working on (Celebrations and Diversity). It is a time consuming exercise but gives huge insights into the children in my class – what type of learners they are, how do they learn in group situations.

My Zoom Board

For my Zoom Board, I created a Google Slide Presentation. In the presentation are links that allow you to see the provocations and the children’s responses during the thinking routines. There is also a video which is a piece of work created by the children to share with other schools around the world.

I think that creating a zoom board in this way can give more exposure to the zoom – not only can it be shared in school (with students, parents, other teachers, administrators). But it can also be shared to a wider audience online to other educators, for example.

I am displaying the learning journey on a bulletin board (including this zoom) outside my classroom which changes and adapts as the learning does.

Photo by J.Bevans CC

Photo by J.Bevans CC

Please click on the presentation to expand it or click here

Moving forward…

There are many things I will take away from the course but one of the biggest is that I will leave the course knowing when not to intervene. Children (and all groups for that matter) have an amazing ability to work in a group situation. We need to give them the skills and concepts by modelling this to them.

Here is a reflection from the course using the thinking routine I used to think… now I think 

  • What can teachers and students do to create and sustain learning groups within and outside the classroom?
    • I used to think that the teacher should be the person who chooses the learning groups as children struggled to make positive choices to help and sustain learning.
    • Now I think…that children can make great choices, when working in groups, to help their learning. Through conversations, discussions, modelling, and group work children can organise and maintain group dynamics for the benefit of student learning and thinking. The adult plays an important role in documenting the learning and group dynamics so that they can receive feedback or show documentation to the children to help future groups.
  • How does documentation shape, extend, and make visible children and adults individual and group learning.
    • I used to think…that documentation was more based on final products.
    • Now I think…that documentation plays a vital role at any time in the learning process. It helps all parties involved in the learning because it makes the learning visible for all to see; from students, teachers, administrators, parents etc. It is more helpful to document the process rather than the final product because that immediately impacts on what will be taught next, and the needs of the students.
  • How do learning groups create as well as transmit culture, values, and democracy? What opportunities and responsibilities does this create?
    • I used to think…that in the correct environment and with the correct balance, learning groups can be a wonderful place to work.
    • Now I think…it is the class and schools role in transmitting the culture, values and democracy to the learning groups. It is our role to celebrate diversity in learning groups – understanding that we all have key insights in helping the learning groups collective knowledge be greater than one individuals.

I would love to know your thoughts, ideas and wonders. Join in the conversation…

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1 Response

  1. February 1, 2017

    […] Created Zoom Boards to show children’s thinking and our thinking […]

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