NYSEC 2012

I (Blank) Because...
Combining ELA, Art and Technology to Align with the Common Core
NYSEC Conference, 2012

Christopher Toffolo, ELA Teacher
Rachel Florman, Art Teacher

About I (Blank) Because...
Why do you do what you do? Each year at Cambria Heights Academy we pose this question to our incoming ninth-grade students. Students propose an idea, write a script, and combine their recorded voice with video or still images. Through this project, we learn about each other while building a community of people who are thoughtful, well-spoken, introspective, creative, comfortable with technology, and comfortable with sharing ideas.

Materials and Resources for Teachers
Want to do this (or something like it) with your students? Feel free to use and build from our ideas and materials:

Project Description and Rubric
We introduce this project to the students by showing our example videos, and inviting the students to familiarize themselves with the project rubric by grading our work. Students get two separate final grades for this project: one for the script (graded with Cambria Heights Academy's schoolwide writing rubric) and one for the video.

Big Ideas, Required Skills, and Common Core Learning Standards
Following a module-planning format espoused by Mary Moss from the NYC iSchool, we started  planning by determining what students needed to know to successfully complete this project. The list includes big ideas (which turned into daily aims), required skills (which we used as daily objectives), and Common Core Learning Standards.

Handouts and Graphic Organizers
We made a series of handouts and Graphic Organizers to help students plan their projects, and to give ourselves a chance to provide written feedback at many points along the process. (We also filled out all of the graphic organizers and wrote two drafts of our own scripts, which meant that we referred back to our own videos fairly often as we explained the steps of this project)