After months of spending the majority of my work time searching for funders (all right guys: “come out come out wherever you are!”) and learning more about what other educators and film makers are contributing in this area, today I began participating more actively in the editing of our video. Ah! Yay!! Tom has pretty much completed the third step in this very complex project. First we narrowed 300 hours down to 100, next we made a stab at picking out some highlights for a 45 minute sampler and a 7 minute sampler, both of which we have used to get feedback. Now he has narrowed 100 down to about 12. He has created assemblies that define a range of activities and themes, and we started reviewing them alphabetically!
Today I saw sections on Afternoon meeting, Animals, Arrivals, Art, Assessment, Bird calls, Bonking, and Campus cleanup. It shakes up my thinking to see the footage as elements to play with, rather than chronologically, as we did with our first pass through. My mind is racing to the next stage, of course, where we create a basic structure for the film, but Tom is helping me learn patience and the importance of careful craft. The sections will not stay in their current forms but they are edited enough to be able to feel their essence, and I find myself picking out easily the parts that matter most to me: shots that show the character of the student, or catch for me that mysterious quantity called “authentic learning.”
I can see that I will have my work cut out for me coming up with just the right amount of commentary to explain the contexts and purposes without making the film too wordy. Tom had just a few shots in the Assessment category, as he also has sections for Math assessment, Reading assessment and Writing assessment as well as Self assessment. He used this section for shots of the small group of students who took the STAR test that is mandated by NCLB and the State. Most of the parents in my class opt their students out of this test. I am not in favor of high stakes standardized tests, and find little value in standardized tests even when they aren’t attached to rewards and punishment. How will I talk about that? How much importance should we give it? Guess I better make some written rough drafts of my own.