I thoroughly enjoyed working with the grade four students while creating digital stories. I will definitely use this project idea in my classroom. This was a great learning opportunity for teaching with technology and I learned how to support my students interests and learning needs. This project challenged my students to think creatively as well as to build on their problem solving abilities. It is an engaging project for the students to teach others about their thoughts. I know there are many possibilities for students to create these stories in various subjects in the Saskatchewan curriculum.
It was a wonderful to see the students engaging and learning to create their own stories. I saw the confidence and pride in the students while they worked on their stories. This project gave them a sense of ownership of their learning. They had to make choices to create their stories and decide on the text, pictures, fonts, and transitions appropriate for their stories. It took responsibility and co-operation to create the stories. It was rewarding to see the happiness and excitement the students shared during the process of creating the stories.
I felt that my job moved from directly teaching the students in the lesson, to becoming a facilitator to their learning. I took the role of supporting the students and offering suggestions rather than telling them what they should do. The stories were solely their creations. It was a great experience for me to learn how to let go and allow the students to explore and make their own decisions. As well, it was rewarding to know I am helping them develop skills and tools they can use in the future.
Reflections from the students during our process:
“This is the best assignment ever, Miss Teale!”
“This is fun!”
“I didn’t know I could do that.”
“Can we do this again?”
To wrap up our learning and exploration of digital stories, I am visiting the Grade Four students again before the end of April 2009 to have a celebration of learning. We are going to invite the parents in for the afternoon and share all the stories the students created about storms. It will be a great opportunity for parents to see what the students have been working on and for the students to share with their classmates the work they have completed. I look forward to celebrating at the end of the month! As well, I will be creating a CD of all the stories for each student to take home and share with their friends and family.
Here are a few examples of our storm stories:
The Crazy Storm
The Big Storm
The Hail Storm