Reflecting on Online Learning from February to June… in August 2020

I am a visual arts teacher in elementary school. From February through June, my team and I collaborated to create meaningful and interesting art activities through screen-casting. Later in the semester, we would offer live draw-along and live art-making sessions on Zoom as well as a schoolwide art show through SeeSaw blogs for kindergarten, grade 1, and grade 2 and through Flip Grid for grades 3 to 5.

  • What action(s) might you take in order to prepare for online and blended learning?
    • Become more familiar with setting up breakout rooms and playing with the settings in Zoom to best facilitate learning appropriate for each grade level.
    • Since I am in Beijing and I am Team Facilitator, I feel responsible for helping train new staff in all of the tech and how it relates to art and teaching in the elementary school.
    • Brainstorm ways to design interesting lessons to accommodate students in Beijing who will have access to ISB’s art room and the materials, as well as the students who are outside Beijing with limited materials.
  • Considering your previous experience with online learning, what are your instructional strengths & areas for growth?
    • Strengths:
      • Screen-casting
      • Developing power points with clear directions and COLOs
      • Developing meaningful and fun art projects for kids using minimal art materials
      • Collaborating with my team where we each contribute our strengths
    • Areas for Growth:
      • Running live meetings with students
      • Developing art projects beyond the draw-along during live sessions
      • Using Padlet bookshelves to have students post their learning in breakout room groups in relation to learning about an art concept or artwork for discussion. As a team, we have been looking for ways to integrate art history and art appreciation in a fun and meaningful way and this may be it… especially since there are options to record audio for the younger students.
  • Using the 5Cs of online learning, what goals might you set for yourself in anticipation of future online instruction?
    • CARE: Check-in on students more often. I think I did ok with this in an asynchronous way in SeeSaw comments and checking in with students who weren’t participating through email, zoom meetings and WeChat calls. Occasionally make and videos about an art tool or technique that incorporates a funny personal story.
    • CLARIFY: I think this was a strength of mine in online learning. I needed to be clear in instructions and objectives in order for students to understand. I would like to polish my skills in this area over the year.
    • CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT: remind students of online meeting protocols
    • CONSOLIDATE: Further pare down content and wording to include only the most pertinent information. We kept most screencasts to 7 minutes or less.
    • CAPTIVATE: think of more ways to grab kids’ attention in videos and zoom sessions
  • How might you achieve these goals? Who might you reach out to for support?
    • Review all of the materials posted on the Padlets of Jennifer Wathall. They are rich resources there, but I didn’t get to look at everything
    • Research youtube tutorials about Padlet
    • Brainstorm with the visual arts department on ways to hook kids.
  • If you had a magic wand, what might the 5Cs of online learning look like in your classroom?
    • Care: check-in with each student while they are working and give verbal feedback to seesaw reflections
    • Clarify: students can watch screencasts at a station that includes pertinent information or show a technique they can try.
    • Classroom management: I think sometimes offering station rotations would help keep them motivated and on task
    • Captivate: Have a video hook or quote each day at the beginning of class and maybe a check-in (like, “stand up if…”)

Reflection on Survey Results

Last Thursday, I gave the tripod survey to a group of fourth-graders at the end of the day. The survey was given in their homeroom and not in my classroom. I was told not to answer questions, but just be there. I read the script and students were already familiar with the survey as they had done one with their homeroom teacher earlier in the week.

Our survey results came out on Tuesday and while most of the data is helpful, I have some questions. Overall there was one student who gave the lowest scores in each question. I wonder if he/ she understood the questions. On my lowest “c,” “Consolidate” the phrase “a lot almost every day” was used.  They have an art class twice in a six-day cycle, so not every day.  I wonder if this wording confused students.

My highest “C” was “captivate!” They truly are interested in what they are making in visual arts classes!  I am glad that I am so high in “classroom management” and “challenge” was the highest.  I always think I am weak in classroom management, but the results differ.

My goal before the student survey to work on is “consolidate,” which was also the area of the survey with the lowest results. In the short time frame of art class, it’s hard to have time to “review and summarize lessons” each class time. As a team, we are working on strategies like exit tickets, entrance chats and embedding the objectives into the power points, as I often forget to read them.  The survey area that was the lowest for me, is also my goal for the year. Glad they match!


Here are the specifics:

Which C is lowest? Consolidate  I review and summarize lessons to help make learning coherent and memorable.

“My teacher takes time to help us remember what we learn.” (medium) It’s true, we review a bit but not every class. I just want them to get working on their artwork. Slowing down is a goal.


“To help us remember, my teacher talks about things that we already learned.” (Low) It’s true, in a 40 minute period and I saw them a few days before, I do not spend much time reviewing.


“My teacher takes the time to summarize what we learn each day. “(Low) I wonder if the kids got stuck on the idea that they don’t have art each day, and answered no.

In this class, we learn a lot almost every day. (Low)  I wonder again if “every day” tricked them. I was not supposed to explain, but wonder if the wording was “every session” or “every class,” if this would have been higher.



Exit ticket… in a hurry

My goal is “consolidate.”  I want the kids to connect their knowledge. Clarissa recommended some kind of exit ticket to show one thing the kids learned on their way out of the classroom. Due to time restraints, this is tricky when one class is exiting, another is coming in.  Grade 1 students are learning about families. On the fly, I thought of students showing me how many people live in their house using their fingers.  It was quick and easy.

4th Graders Making Connections

Today, 4th graders were printing their self-portraits. They drew their self-portraits on foam, reviewing video clips and proportion handouts they used in grade 3. Because they printed last spring, the process was fresh in their memories.  The returning students taught the new students. They felt comfortable experimenting with the printmaking process.

Teaching Goal: Consolidate

Within the time constraint of my 45 minute visual arts time slot, I get so involved explaining, demonstrating and then getting the students working on the artwork. Then it’s time for clean up routines and in walks another class.  At the end of class, I often forget to review what we have learned relating to the objectives, EUs and EQs. 

To help correct this, I have already developed a system for posting the content, language and cultural objectives with icons students will soon associate with the objectives.  Karla and I will work on this together in our units in grades 2 and 4 which we co-plan. I will include slides that refer back to the EU and EQs for the unit with prompts for kids to turn and talk, consolidating their learning. 

Also, I believe that the goal of Consolidate, will help me to slow down and get the students to be more reflective of their learning, not just when they are writing reflections.

Max thinking


Welcome to your Professional Learning Blog! This is a place for you to post your goals, and reflect on them throughout the year.

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