A couple of months ago, I was introduced to the joys of time lapse photography by my 11 year old. I have used it a number of times now and have decided it is possibly my favourite reflective tool.
For those of you who can’t imagine it, here is one I found on the internet (there is no way I am uploading my ones – I value my job too highly).
I filmed my time lapses by using Lapse It (for Android) on my tablet but I have also seen some fab ones filmed with iMotion (for ipad). I have no idea how one would approach it using a normal camera, but I’m sure it’s possible. Finding a good place to prop up my tablet was my greatest challenge.
The benefits for me in terms of reflection were:
- It allowed me to see roughly how long students were spending on activities (independent, whole class, collaborative etc) and which students “flagged” first.
- I could focus on individuals or groups of students to see the reality after I gave an instruction.
- As a whole class, I could see quite easily how engaged and how active students were about their learning.
- I was able to watch my interaction with students and the interaction of my LSAs to see whether any were left behind (yes some were).
- As an English teacher, I am always concerned about spending too much time reading and too little time writing – I was able to judge at what point the first students started to drift and at what point most students had lost concentration (the average was between 2 mins – 7 mins into reading!).
Now you may say, I should know this stuff already and I did (intuitively) but now I have hard evidence I can go back to next year. I can look at my planning, my use of LSAs, how long we read for and write for, when we do reading and writing, my movement around the room and how fun my learning time is and see it with a new pair of eyes.
And best of all, my lessons are reduced to 1.5 mins each!