Back at the end of October Clarence Fisher tossed out an idea. I wasn't sure how to do this with my students. For whatever reason I had trouble wrapping my head around it. In spite of that I joined in. My inability to picture this (along with life in general) made me hold off for a while. This week I finally got started. Each day I sent home three flip cameras with kids to record whatever they wanted that afternoon/evening.
My reactions to this (which is not yet complete as I have more students still to participate) have varied but all been strong. Initially I was astounded by how excited they were when they returned the cameras to school the next morning. I didn't have to ask for them. They pulled them out of their backpacks with a flourish, ready to share their lives.
Then I watched a few and loved seeing what six-year-old filmographers do. The joy was so obvious and infectious. I wanted to just sit and watch but had to pick the kids up from music.
Finally when I had the chance to really dig into the videos I was overwhelmed by the generosity of my students' families. They allowed my students to record their homes and their lives. I watched them reading bedtime stories, making dinner, playing with siblings, and giving tours of their homes. My perception may be off, but I feel like I know these students so much better now than I did before watching these.
Here's a brief taste:
I did not edit that in any way. That's what you get when you give first graders a video camera and set them free. I am in love.