For the 2021/22 school year, I'm on a sabbatical to work on a few writing and storytelling projects that have been percolating for a while. This fall, I am attending a Playwrights Residency in the Leighton Studios at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The atmosphere is secluded and serene at the Banff Centre. It's inspiring to walk outdoors and then warm up in the studio with some new writing.
I've been assigned to the "Davidson" studio, which sits on the edge of a little gully at the end of a secluded pathway, and whose windows are angled just-so for maximum privacy.
Inside, the studio has more than I need, namely the piano in the middle, because I don't play. Instead, I rely on the stereo for my soundtrack. Yet, one can't help but feel creative in this place where so many artists have composed, written and created.
I've put my trusty Smith Corona in the window so I can start my day with some "creative calisthenics" just typing some words manually, like a journal. It gets me going, and makes me spend just a little less time on the computer screen every day. It's become as important to my process as exercise and being outdoors on the Land.
So the goal during this residency is to draft the manuscript for a new stageplay that I'll be workshopping in the coming months with the Chromatic Theatre's Playwrights Unit in Calgary. Having this studio space and dedicated time to write, along with the comraderie and support of the other playwrights in the program, is a wonderful experience! It's inspiring to learn, write and create on the slopes of Sleeping Buffalo Mountain!
Create original content with your students for the Page, Stage & Screen by writing to be read, speaking to be heard and representing to be seen. There's a world of difference between creating for an audience and doing assignments for a grade. It's way more joyful to create written, spoken & visual stories with purpose for authentic audiences. So, adopt a Maker Mindset and design learning experiences with students that follow the creative journey from Imagination through Creation to Exhibition!
You can build #VisualLiteracy and #CreativeConfidence by practicing the habits of creators with your students to make print, visual, live, media and physical creations that you are proud of! For a little inspiration, start by listening to first-grader, Brookleyn, as she shares about what it means to be a maker.
Making learning visible means fostering creative confidence in your students through the three acts of the creative process: Imagine, Create & Exhibit. With a purposeful Maker Mindset, create high quality, original text, images and designs with your students and share them with real audiences.
The Creative Process
in Three Acts
Follow Macki in her creative journey with her teacher and peers in the VAM Academy, and see how creative confidence is fostered through opportunity, mentorship and trust.
In this new Rocky View Studio animated film, a student on a school field trip to the Alberta Foothills finds her voice and shares an inspiring story about the Land with her peers. It's amazing what students can create when given the opportunity, mentorship and the support of their peers!
This online celebration of student voice and creativity is arranged on a beautiful rvschools google site and features student speaking, writing & representing through artwork and reflection. Check out the PWE Grade Four Power of Art Portfolio!
This visual essay reflects on life during and after lockdown. This format of storytelling begins in the writing process, in which students are prompted to think about their own experiences. After feedback and revisions, the film is recorded and assembled before sharing publicly on youtube. This film was selected in the top ten at Skills Alberta online in May this year!
This music video was created by the student from the ground up, including the hilarious lyrics & music, performance & recording. The result represents a project submission for Media Arts class, but it also serves as a delightful exemplar of originality and creativity. Given the opportunity to create, students will often surprise us with their capabilities!
The RockyTalks - RVSLA Connect Summit 2020 features the stories, speeches and videos created by the students in the RVS Leadership Academy. This series showcases a variety of themes and styles to communicate the presenters' messages.
As the school year approaches summer, schools are going to be creative in how the celebrate and exhibit the learning from the year, especially learning from home! In order for us to design engaging programmes for our communities, we recommend a workflow that invites home-made videos from the community, such as speeches, presentations, addresses, testimonials & performances, then assembling the content into a video programme, and sharing the virtual celebration on school YouTube Channels and social media.
Check out these Practice Guides to help you create meaningful and purposeful virtual video programmes to share with your audience:
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In order for us to design engaging programmes for our communities, we are forming a Community of Practice to share ideas and workflows to crowd-source videos from the community, such as valedictory addresses, testimonials & performances, to assemble the content into a video programme, and to share the virtual ceremony on school YouTube Channels and social media.
Click below to check out the Virtual Grad Practice Guide:
Produce Your RockyTalks!
- Draft, Critique & Revise
Design cycles of feedback, critique and formative assessment to accompany your students’ inquiry & study in any subject or grade level. The straightforward method to create a presentation script is to submit a Google Doc to a Google Classroom assignment for review. It’s always helpful to share with your students one or more teacher and student exemplars of the project in which they are engaged.
- Rehearse & Record
When the script is finalized through the writing process, ensure that the AF144-A Consent Form is on file to begin the presentation phase. Student presenters will benefit from rehearsal with their teacher that includes feedback and an opportunity to revise and improve. The easiest way to listen and respond to a student rehearsal is in a video conferencing environment like Google Meet. Of course, students can record their presentations and submit a Google Drive video link directly into your Google Classroom Assignment for feedback, but you can also do the recordings yourself on your laptop, if you have the permissions complete.
- Upload, Organize & Share
When you have all the videos, upload them to your teacher RVS YouTube Channel and organize them into a playlist with a title and description. The link to your playlist can be embedded into your Google Site or Schoolblogs as well as shared on your social media. Please share the playlist link with @RockyViewStudio, as well, for inclusion in the RockyTalks online exhibition.
Every letter, essay, speech and story begins with some form of the Writing Process. The same goes for a message that you want to share with your students and their families. When you prompt your students to create, they benefit greatly from sharing their drafts with you and receiving timely feedback and formative assessment to improve their work for their audience. It's a common practice to share drafts and scripts in Google Drive and Classroom for the cycles of critique and revision to get the words just right!
Creating a video of your message, speech, presentation or story is a fun and engaging way to exhibit your work for your audience. It’s a straightforward matter of recording yourself with your laptop or mobile device camera. You can make the images look a little more professional with these simple tips: Record in a quiet room, face the natural light of a window, steady your device at eye level, frame yourself like a portrait and try to speak into the lens. You can record directly into the Google Drive app, or using your movie editor, like iMovie, on your laptop.
Sharing your videos with your students is best done on your RVS YouTube Channel, so that your audience can view it easily on any device. If your students share videos with you for exhibition, they can be uploaded to your channel, as well, and organized into playlists. The videos that you share with your students, whether they are personal messages, instructional lessons or visual essays become powerful exemplars for your students to create videos for you that fulfill the curricular outcomes of Write, Speak & Represent.
If you haven't started your RVS YouTube Channel with a personal welcome message for your students, fear not! You can check out last week's tutorial video How To Launch Your Channel with a Personal Message to get started.
First, you've gotta face it, the window is a lamp, not a backdrop. Turn your chair or desk around so the natural light pours in on you, rather than casting you into a silhouette.
Steady your device (camera, tablet, laptop, phone) on your table or desk, so that it is pointing at your eye level, even if you have to stack some books under it. So, you should be able to look your camera in the eye, and whoever is video chatting with you will feel like they are, too.
Plus it's also a perfect opportunity to launch your Youtube Channel!
So, here is a little how-to video to get you started by recording yourself on your laptop in iMovie and launching your Youtube Channel by connecting to your RVS Google account.
Stay tuned to the Rocky View Studio channel for more lessons in the coming weeks. Next will be a tutorial about sharing videos of your Teaching & Learning by recording lessons on your laptop!
Since schools closed, many teachers want to connect with their students in a personal way, and a short video recording is a great way to share a personal message that they can enjoy any time. This challenge begins by recording yourself on your laptop in iMovie, then connecting directly to Youtube to launch your channel and uploading your first video to your new Channel!
Record Your Lessons!
After connecting with your students in a personal message on your channel, the next challenge is to populate your channel with original content. It’s easy to record lessons and presentations that you have already created in Keynote, PowerPoint or Google. The tutorial video about recording your lessons will guide you through the process of recording your presentation as you advance through your slides and turn them into a narrated video that can be shared with your students on your YouTube Channel.
Curate Your Playlists!
After you have connected with your students via a Personal Message from your new YouTube Channel, and you have created and shared one or more video lessons, you may want to organize your channel with YouTube Playlists and Sections on your Channel’s Homepage. Not only can you organize your own videos into curated playlists, but you can also add sections of playlists from other channels, too.
Share Your Learning!
The RVS YouTube Channel hosts presentations of RockyTalks from all over our learning community, from teachers and students in every grade, from every corner of our region, all shared publicly in the RockyTalks online exhibition! This year, teachers can share their YouTube playlists of RockyTalks videos that their students created at HOME, in any subject or format including speeches, essays, position papers, opinions & editorials, learning stories, numeracy/literacy/design, Arts & CTS, creative writing, poetry & spoken word, and more! Follow the Practice Guide to share your students' presentations in the RockyTalks 2020 Exhibition!
Rocky View Studio
on Sabbatical 2021/22
Rocky View Schools