Service Learning Documentation

Service Learning Documentation 2016 2016 (word)    

Service Learning Documentation 2016 (pdf)

matt-working-with-clay-21The Reggio Emilia philosophy talks about the role of documentation as a form of reconnaissance. The “information you gather” will communicate what the students are learning. 

In this role your purpose is to carefully watch and listen to your students.  The evidence you collect must be composed thoughtfully, carefully, and professionally.

  • Bring your phone and sketchbook/journal to record actions, comments, and dialogue between students. Consider the significance of these statements and conversations in relationship to the goal of the lesson.  You will need to consider what you want to listen for and observe during the lesson. Cameras to take pictures and video are available to checkout.
  • Take multiple photographs and video of the art making during each session. You need to document the process of the creation of art.  Avoid taking “snapshots” (image or video) without a context.IMG_2324
  • Your goal is to unveil the emergent artistic behavior: How are students making artistic decisions? How are these decisions similar among students? What is the role of reflection by students during and after the act of making art? Document and present the beginning, middle and end of the artistic creation. (This does not have to be of one particular student—although it could be.) Consider having students share in the documenting, if appropriate.
  • The final step in the documentation process is to compose your evidence in a form that allows the viewer to consider the process of making art that occurred during the lesson. Consider the relationship between image and text.  Avoid evaluative statements. Quotes from each student presented with an image, or video, work well in providing insight into her or his art making. Let the student “tell the story” through the documentation you provide the reader. Your documentation will be presented on a blog. Blogs from previous classes can be found at:
  • Documentation needs to be placed on your blog the following Monday after your lesson. Examples of a single blog entry can be found at:

  • Each blog entry should be introduced with:
  1. Project/Lesson
  2. Essential Understanding (from National Standards or CAS’s GLEs in Visual Art
  3. Intended Outcomes
  4. Skills
  • Remember, your documentation needs to highlight discoveries and insights. Avoid descriptions such as:

Peer Teaching 002“First we created a color wheel to learn how to mix paint.  Then we experimented  with color. Finally, we painted  a  self- portrait.”

When you focus on discovery and insight, the same experience might be written as:

“In this image Jessica commented that ‘Yellow and blue make green. I can use this color to make grass.’ As she continued to create her color wheel she often suggested possible ways for how she might use each color. After experimenting, Jessica noted that she could probably create ‘a thousand colors’ if she needed Here is a video excerpt of her talking about the process of making new colors. After thinking for a while Jessica announced, ‘I’m going to paint the dream I had last night.’”

“Documentation shows students that their work is valued and provides an archive that traces the history of the class and the pleasure in the process of learning experienced by the students and teachers.”

NOTE: Save artifacts collected as you document learning. You will be sharing some of this information in another form throughout the program. Also, for a variety of reasons, do not include the faces of students in your images. Remember, we are interested in the development of a work of art and the decisions students make along the way—not what they look like.


For your blog (word)     For your blog (pdf)

Description is important to providing a context, but the main point of the blog is to demonstrate what learning/thinking occurred during the art making process.

Consider verbs that demonstrate learning/thinking. In the process of making or creating or exploring or experimenting, the student…





Planned and anticipated, recognized, questioned…

Assessed by…

Judged and…


Observed that…

Created by… to (intent)…

Explored by and realized…

Experiment and found…

Acknowledged by saying/doing…

Experimented and then realized…

Analyzed by…

Combined materials and stated….

Resolved by…

Show the beginning, middle, and end of their making.

Consider commenting on affective qualities exhibited during learning/thinking. The student…

Looked puzzled, confident…

Seemed surprised, hesitant, confused…

Expressed frustration, excitement, displeasure, curiosity…

Consider how you might include your own prompts (questions) that encouraged your students to reveal their learning/thinking.

More specifics about the blog introduction:CooperHomeFebruary11015

  1. Project/Lesson. Describe the possible activities for the lesson. For example: In this lesson, we will learn about mixing colors; using primary and secondary colors to make new colors. We will create a painting with acrylic paint on canvas based on games.
  1. Essential Understanding. From the National Core Visual Art Standards or Colorado Academic Standards in Visual Art found in the handout, choose one or two that most closely represents the “big idea” addressed through the experience you have planned.
  1. Intended Outcomes. What will the students learn as a result of this experience? This learning should be observable (measurable). For example:

          In this experience students will:

            – be able to mix colors to produce new ones

            – be able to create a painting properly using acrylic paint

            – be able to write a list of new discoveries

            – be able to explain about her painting process

  1. Skills. Skills are different types of learning that are transferrable or applicable to other areas of our lives. As a result of mixing color, for example, Jessica might be able to use information to make assumptions. This is a skill. Comparing and contrasting the colors created is another skill. While Jessica is comparing and contrasting colors in this situation, hopefully she will use this skill to be able to “compare and contrast” in other situations. These skills would be identified here.


            – Make observation and inferences about color mixing

            – Compare and contrast colors created

            – Plan work

Go to for assistance with Artstor, Photoshop, Adobe, iMovies, Google Docs and WordPress. You will find helpful tutorials to walk you through the process of creating documents with these services.

To upload a video to YouTube: Uploading Videos to YouTube


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