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  • My classroom archives would consist of student's presentations.  Students have produced podcasts, poster presentations, movie trailers for novels they have read and stories they have created.  I think it would be important to archive these to see what they were reading and responding to at this time in history.  Their views on events would be captured in this digital snapshot.  I would also archive grade reports, classroom enrollment lists, attendance, and phone logs.  Special Education paperwork is already archived.  Data collection paperwork would need to be archived.  Personally, I keep notes students have written and artwork they have produced for me.  Correspondence between school personnel would need to be archived as well-emails; professional learning community-the journey and progress our department has undertaken; memos; training provided to us to do our diversified jobs. These are a few of the items that I believe would be archived in order to reflect the classroom.

  • Here's an interesting difference between the "origin" stories of the National Archives and the Library of Congress, as I understand it:  The Library of Congress was at first Jefferson's enormous personal library, sold to Congress by the retiring and strapped Jefferson.  That original library was weighted with works reflecting Jefferson's catholic taste, of course, and inspired a lot of controversy.  With that start, Congress over time appropriated more money and added to the library, so that it is a modern-day Library of Alexandria. It sort of grew like Topsy. The National Archives, on the other hand, about a century later, was deliberatety conceived and, after about thirty years of discussion and planning, finally funded. 'Historians, please correct me.

    Anyway, isn't this all fascinating? History is not a mechanism. It's more like narrative woven together in part by a lot of things that just happen---much like "real life."
    OK, on to the assignment: Dallas nails it, as usual, since teachers need to archive a lot of administrative  and historical class items. She also archives the histor of her career teaching sixth grade and the artifacts of students. Other posters describe how they keep class records and student work.  When I was teaching, I kept portfolios for each student and released them to the students at the end of the year. For my records, I archived exemplary examples of student work and of professional authors' work, indexed to unit plans and to writing genres that I taught as the curriculum unfolded.  Ditto for the literature classes.  If I were teaching today, I would digitize these things and free up file cabinets; but, with the availabilty of primary sources online, I would saturate every unit with primary documents, records, photos, and illustrations from NARA and other archives and libraries. This doesn't exactly answer the question, but it gives me a chance to think about how a literature, writing, or drama class today can take on so many dimensions with primary sources rather than with derivative sources.       In our work in ASD now, we archive all of our funded grants, including teachers' grants, along with the pertinent documentation, notes, RFPs and funders' guidelines, and reward letters and budgets. This is important stuff to keep, especially since grants are promises and contracts, however elastic and experimental. I have used many of these for grantwriting classes.  We also archive not-funded grants for the planning and ideas that go into them. They, too, are historical records of ideas and program development that inform much of the curriculum and PD and some of the programs that have "come true."  Periodically, we cull through all of this stuff and triage. We also are scanning and digitizing. We have in the past archived manuals, PD material, and funders' programs via hard copy. In today's world, that kind of material is largely online or digital, thank goodness.

  • I don't have a classroom, but I have a department - the ASD Grants Office. We keep electronic and hard copy files on every grant we write. The files include the application package, all documents submitted to the grant competition, meeting notes, emails relating to the project, and research used/cited in the proposal. Files are organized by fiscal year.

    We also keep a database of grant produced by our department, grants by others in the district, and grants from community partners when ASD is involved. Our collection ranges from small, simple teacher grants to huge, complex, multi-year, multi-million dollar projects! (Including our three Teaching American History grants :) ).

    We recently have started to digitize the paper documents that previously were kept only in hard copy format. I've learned to scan handwritten notes and convert separate emails into one document. Having scanned notes makes it easy to search for information, which we sometimes do when questions come up after a grant project is launched. It also makes it easy to retrieve information that is relevant to future projects.

  • I would classify my classroom archives into two categories, the same as were mentioned in the Archival Milestones: public and private documents.  I suppose I have more private documents that are comprised of grades, attendance, teaching notes, assignments, assessments, etc.  These documents are necessary for my job since they are either required by "the man" or for keeping my sanity in terms of running my classroom smoothly.  The public documents would primarily be the student work examples that I have kept, maps and other wall hangings, etc - the things that add "flavor," but are not necessary to making my classroom run. 

    One of the biggest issues I have with my classroom archives is finding a system that I like and will stick with using.  The first couple of years I used binders to house assignments and assessments by class, but in the last couple I've gone more towards a standard file cabinet.  But I always seem to have a sheaf of papers that just don't seem to "fit" anywhere, and they pile up on my desk until the end of the year when I finally discard, find a place for, or in a fit of being done and over with the school year, shove into a box to be dealt with next year...which somehow doesn't seem to happen. What do the National Archives do with things that don't seem to fit anywhere?  How do they come up with categories for filing documents, and how often are these revised/created?

  • Now with the "Age of Zangle" most of my grades are archived in the "ether."  I was listing the the things that I archive in my room.  It is way more reminiscent of the closing scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" than actually an organized system.  I do tend to kind of lump things together by subject.  I have whole folders of exemplary projects that I keep as models for other students to see.  In addition, I have many old lesson books and activities that are stored high up in a bookshelf.  I also have a "warm fuzzy" folder that I keep for interesting or uplifting communications that I have from students, parents, and community members;  this seems to me closely like what I have seen in NARA from personal diaries and private letters.

    I was just recently at NARA in DC and noticed the amount of things that we don't always think of as "artifacts,"  such as posters or multi-media.  I hadn't really thought about it this way, but the posters and personal items that we teachers hang in our classrooms are also great examples of archived materials because they inform those visiting the classroom of who we are as people, and also what is important to us.   It is eye-opening to look at the things we "collect' in our classrooms and view them through the lens of an artifact that is worth keeping, let alone examining.

  • This is an interesting question given that I am now a "K-12 Educational Technology Coach", which means that my job is divided between working on projects with students (normal classroom teacher experience), working on professional development projects for teachers, and working on system-wide technology rich support projects (e.g. Web-filtering system, Moodle Server, Web-conferencing system, etc...)

    It seems to me from what I read that an archive collects working records, as opposed to a museum that may actually create artifacts for educational purposes.  This made me think about the working records of the non-student part of my job.  Everyone so far has done a good job articulating the working records involved with teaching students, so I will concentrate my comments on the professional development and system support aspects of my job, and restrict myself to a couple of observations for now:

    • The vast majority of what I (and many other 21stC. district support personnel) do is digital in nature with no tangible record immediately available without some intermediate printing process.  What I "do" and the artifacts I "make" are strings of 1's & 0's recorded on various computer servers.  To get a snapshot of these records, one would need to archive data from Moodle servers, Ning servers, Web-conference recordings and email servers (and periodically revisit them to collect change)
    • Having spent the last seven years out of the classroom and working with the central coordinating aspect of our learning organization, it has become clear to me that a great many if not all of these personnel are acutely aware of records and purposefully will avoid leaving them when dealing with areas that they perceive as "sensitive" within the political/cultural framework of their position in the organization...

    What this means to the world of archives and archivists is a whole other story...  :-)

  • My class archives have changed with the advent of digital technology. I used to have to keep hard copies of everything, but now I can keep more in much less space. I've always kept grade records, lesson plans, and hard copies of anyting I created or unit plans. As an elementary teacher I also kept each year's class photo. I still take photos of my kids on the first day of school, but I used to throw the hard copies away after a few years. Now I can keep them for longer. With the computer it's also much easier to access those copies from the past.  I remember file cabinets full of units that I could never seem to file in a way that made them easy to find. It's much easier now. In recent years, I've added photos of students working and of final projects. It's also easy to scan work in, which makes it easy to keep copies of student created books.

  • I keep digital files of Professional Development classes, District Wide Inservices and other trainings for future use.  I keep specific paperwork forms, book lists by lexile level and other useful information digitally.  When this information becomes outdated I can simply delete it.  I store this information in digital folders by topic like PD or CHAMPS or Everyday Math for ease of use.  I am currently taking two classes, and two webinars so the computer is my friend.  Nonetheless, I do use notebooks to house the syllabuses and readings so even if we have a power outage (and it happens often enough) I can still access my class information.

    My most valued records are student assessment records--benchmarks and progress monitoring--as well as diagnostic testing and reading levels.  These records not only focus my lessons but also allow me to partner students and create quads for daily work. I keep student records in individual notebooks near my desk.

    I do write lesson plans but they simply show what I will be doing.  I have the lessons outlined digitally and I have tubs that hold the materials needed for a particular lesson since much of my work has an art integration of some kind and requires stuff. I have so seldom taught the same grade or subject twice in a row that I have not saved much from year to year except those lessons that are more skill than grade-level specific and all of that finds it's way into a tub or banker's box.

    I keep all my grades in PowerSchool online and only keep paper copies until the report cards are printed.  I keep unit tests and quizzes in a file cabinet by subject and any other paper that may show students' particular strengths.  These are primarily for parent conferences and are given to the family after the meeting. 

    I keep photographs and video files of my class on iphoto. Later I down load them to a cd/dvd for safe keeping.  Sometimes these photographs are used in year books or for a digital program so they do come in handy.

  • My music classroom archives includes copies of concert programs (I conduct two concerts with the general music classes, band and choir per year), photos, recordings, and videos of concerts, band and choir rosters (it's nice to track students through middle & high school), lesson plans, and inventories of classroom and band instruments.

  • As I continue to think about what I archive in my room, I'm realizing that I really don't have much in the way of physical documents, records, etc.  I do keep all of my lesson plans and resources for every class I teach in digital form.  I have resources organized by subject (social studies, English, science, math, art), and then by class.  Each class is broken into units usually labeled in the order they are taught in the course.  I then sort the items for each unit into folders for lesson plans, video clips, worksheets, assessments, etc. 

    Other items that are "archived" on my computer are call lists to parents from previous years and grades.  I teach the same students for the duration of their high school experience, so it's important to me to know which parents I was in touch with in prior years in case we have issues repeating throughout a student's time with me.

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