Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

September 7, 2011

Using a Simple Tool in the Classroom: The Camera

Many of us carry a classroom tool around with us with realizing it. Whether it be a small digital camera or a cell phone, the camera can capture images that may help you and your students.

  • Photograph notes you have up on a board. You can then send the notes to students who are absent or post them on a website for students who write more slowly.

  • Photograph the board when students are doing an oral presentation if you require them to have notes or diagrams up for the class, especially if all students are responsible for knowing the information and you want to ask them accurate questions about the information on an assessment.

  • If students produce excellent examples of a project or a project method (mapping ideas, a timeline, creativity,) take a shot of the poster board to share the next time you assign this or a similar project so that the next group of students gets a good sense of what you expect. The use of more than one example of excellence can help students realize that there are multiple ways to do an exceptional job.

  • If teaching ninth grade, especially first semester, photograph of each of your students and print the photos out (4 inches x 6 inches). Ask students to create introductions to themselves by placing the images in the center of pieces of card stock and then writing other pieces of information about themselves around the picture. Hang these introductions around the room for the first month or so to help students get to know one another.

In summary, the next time you wish to remember something as is, just take a photo!

Christine Schmertz Navarro


1 Christian

Sept. 12, 2011
Hey, I photograph the board regularly! Drawing on the board is an integral part of my catechism class, and I keep a record of the most useful results. This probably wouldn't work for someone who teaches full time (I teach one hour a week), but I also find my digital recorder to be indispensable: http://platytera.blogspot.com/2011/09/catechist-tool.html

2 Jared Dees

Sept. 12, 2011
Christian, great tool! I imagine a lot of catechists will be challenged (in a good way) but recording themselves teach. It is almost like watching film of yourself like coaches watch film of players. Cool idea.

3 Christian

Sept. 12, 2011
"a lot of catechists will be challenged" Oh yeah. The first time I played a class back I was very uncomfortable, embarrassed even. Is that how I sound? Do I really say "uh" that often? Yep! But I got used to it.

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