We’re always improving the features we offer you, and that’s why we love getting your feedback on what we can do to make ManageBac even better. Today, we’re delighted to share a new feature we’ve introduced after it was suggested by one of our schools, the International College of Spain, Madrid. We’ve expanded our DP Arts Journaling functionality to all MYP Arts Classes!

This creates a space for students to digitally record their projects, process and responses in any MYP Arts Class. It’s automatically available in any MYP Arts Class – Arts, Visual Arts, Dance, Drama and Music – and there’s no need to select anything.

It gives your students a handy space to:

  • House their work
  • Record their processes and reflections
  • Connect their posts to the Arts Objectives

Teachers and students can filter their Journal Entries via the MYP Arts Objectives to track and see how they are engaging. Learning outcomes can be filtered using four categories: A – Knowing and Understanding; B – Developing Skills; C – Thinking Creatively; and D – Responding to Art, these combine to develop metacognition and a creator awareness of the “why” of their work.

Top tips for journaling in the MYP Arts

Journalling supports teaching and learning in the Arts, as well as preparing students for the expectations of the DP Group 6 Programme. Here are some of our top tips for making the most of this fantastic new feature in the MYP Arts:

  • Focus on the process: give your students the time and space to create a record at specific times. For example, ask them to take a photo of their work at the end of each lesson and upload it to their journal. This creates a timeline of process and progress on a piece of work.
  • Give them question prompts: a blank page can be very difficult to write on, but you can provide your students with the scaffolding of a journal entry by giving them quick question prompts. For example, “Record in your journal what you have improved on” or “Record in your journal a connection you have noticed between this artist and a previous one we’ve studied.”
  • Use mistakes as an opportunity to learn: As the great Bob Ross said, “We don’t have mistakes, just happy accidents.” MYP Arts Journal provides a great opportunity for students to learn from both their successes and their mistakes by recording them in their journals. ManageBac now makes it easy for them to capture those “Aha”, “Eureka” or “Lightbulb” moments, whether as a photograph, text or an audio file.
  • Give them ownership: With MYP Arts Journal, your students have ownership of their own space to record their ideas – something they can really value.

Here’s what schools are looking forward to doing with the new feature

While it was Loussik from the ISC who initially suggested this feature, her head of department reports,

“Deepening self-awareness; confronting internal “chaos” by seeing our thoughts in front of us; understanding that process is as important as outcome (even more so at times), are a few of the ideas I try to convey to my performing arts students when motivating them to keep a journal of their learning, questioning, creative impulses, storytelling,” says Patricia Munn Sanchez, Head of MYP Drama and DP Theatre Arts at International College Spain Madrid.

She adds: “Having that journal on ManageBac along with all of their drama/theatre arts class resources makes it much easier for them to pull info to support their journal entries from event information, files, messages, tasks…”.

Patricia Munn Sanchez,
Head of MYP Drama and DP Theatre Arts

Antonette Blain, Head of Expressive Arts and Teacher Coach at Aga Khan Academies tells us she’s particularly looking forward to MYP5 students being able to use the journal function for their e-portfolio process. “Something I see in teachers new to MYP is the breaking down of the Arts course into the respective criterion, rather than the authentic process of engaging in the creative cycle and being able to select assessment evidence from the student’s portfolio,” she says.

She continues: “Here’s where I think the journal function can come into play in the MYP space. Students can take ownership of reviewing and editing their work and be active agents in the assessment process by treating the journal as their own portfolio.”

Antonette Blain,
Head of Expressive Arts and Teacher Coach

For more help with journaling

You can find lots more information about ways your school can use journaling in the arts in our MYP Arts Guide and TSM, as well as in our new Subject Centre MYP and DP Arts Pages. The free 60-minute online IB Nano Journaling Course is particularly useful in helping students understand the ways, why and hows of journaling. It’s aimed at DP, but it’s also suitable for older MYP students who want to develop their journaling skills.

Finally, if you have any ideas on what new features you’d like to see us add to ManageBac, we’d love to hear from you! Our goal is always to support you in every way we can, and we read and respond to every request for feature improvements. So, if there’s anything we can do to help improve teaching and learning at your school, please do get in touch.

About the author:

Tom Brodie
Curriculum Coordinator
ManageBac, Switzerland

Tom’s role is to ensure that ManageBac continually improves to support teachers and students with their teaching and learning. To this end, he is focused firstly on making sure that ManageBac is kept up to date with any curriculum changes and secondly on improving the experience and integration of the system.

Tom brings over 20 years of international teaching and leadership experience to this role.