Use of digital photography and video in elementary classrooms is a habit every teacher should develop. When teaching kindergarten I took photos of students doing math and science activities. I used the camera on my iPhone which I kept handy through the day. I posted the photos (after ensuring I had full parent permission) on our class website. I would show these photos to the students and we would have a second chance to think and talk about the activities in the photos. This practice built language and academic vocabulary in my students by allowing them to revisit and review with engaging visuals.
In fourth grade I have also used photography for science projects, including time in our school garden and a really gross experiment called, “Decomposing bananas.” Again, the photography allowed us to view and review academic vocabulary and practice language. I have recently purchased simple digital cameras that I plan to have my students use to report about events around the school. I am hopeful that the photographs they take will inspire their writing and make it more personally relevant.