Saturday, May 23, 2020

Distance Learning...Still

So distance learning has influenced my teaching in ways totally beyond my initial thinking.  In many ways it has been a challenge.  My shining take away is that it has given me the time and opportunity to look at my lessons with a new approach.  This was a necessity because communication of intent has many times been a huge challenge.  Directions that I think are simple and easy to follow have stumped my students.  Or maybe they just aren't engaged enough to pay attention and absorb intent.  Regardless, I have learned to simplify, simplify, simplify.  A few weeks ago I set up a Sites on Google Classroom.  This has been my game changer.  The lessons are more polished and I feel easier to follow.  I just paste the link into my classroom and the students are directed to a one page span where everything is easier to access. The lesson flows with steps and bullets to define expectations.  No perfect world, I still have a few that even struggle with this but for the most part, we seem to experience more success.  Here is my Home Page.  From there, the different grade levels are across the top with drop downs to sub pages for the lessons.  This is really easy to set up and mostly I love how it looks.  If you are task with using Google Classroom.  Check out the Sites.  This is New Sites not Classical Sites.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Texture Safari - Distrance Learning Style

One of my favorite projects for 2nd grade this time of the year is to take them on a Texture Safari.  They explore the classroom looking for textures both implied and actual, they classify and describe them.  I went in search of a video I could share with them on YouTube but everything was for younger students and it showed.  I went on Safari in my home with iPad in hand to photograph some textures to share with them.  The project will involve first identifying textures then creating their own texture collage from rubbings.

Here is a link to my video. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Teaching with Social Distancing

It just occurred to me that I should be adding my new teaching video experience to my blog.  I've been so caught up with my own learning curve trying to discover what method is going to work best for me to connect with my students.  I used the video setting on my iPad to first record my enrichment lessons.  It worked great and I was happy with the results until it became time to post the videos to another source.  What a nightmare that became.  At that point I was posting onto Class Dojo because nothing had come from our district to give us a common platform, yet.  It was easy enough to open Dojo and record right into the platform however, transfer the video to my 2nd school became an impossible task for me.  I came up with a solution but it was not the best.  I used my iPad opened up into Dojo for the second school and recorded the video from my computer.  Truly, not the best results but I was able to transfer the video.  I also can't seem to transfer those video to this format. 
So this experience led me to looking for other options.  I downloaded Adobe Spark and used it for week two.  This works really well, easily attaches to both school platforms because I have easy access to a link and the quality is great.  What I did not love is that it is a slide platform that streamed into a video.  So, I checked in with a few of the video gurus that we follow as Art Teachers and the overall recommendation was to use iMovie.   It is now downloaded and that is where I will go today as I prepare for tomorrow's postings.  My district is now using Google Classroom as our teaching mode, too.  Watch for posting of all my teaching videos week by week.  I'll get this and who knows what type of teacher I will become on the other side of this all.  It's a whole new world!!! 

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Big Cardboard Birds

Over the years I have found so many great ideas on the Krokotak blog and the Big Cardboard Birds was a recent one.  I am planning a early spring Artome' Art Show with the theme of Birds.   My fourth grade students have finished their framed art and they are doing the Big Birds for wall decor as a collaborate work.  I pre-cut all the cardboard shapes and each child painted a section with fluorescent tempera paint.  Each student could make their own decisions about color and pattern.  We reference the work of Romero Britto and his patterns and bold colors to guide the work.  When completed, each student had input on how their piece would be assembled.  They are so proud.  Only one class has completed the bird but I will add photos of the others as they are finished.  Complements were generous all day long from all the younger students.
Size is about 3 feet by 3 1/2 feet

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Winter Mini Watercolors

Jen Arnayi was the perfect choice for a one day project the week before holiday break.  Her illustrative style offered simplicity and yet a very colorful mini painting.  Fourth grade students painted on a round format using 4 x 4 scraps of watercolor paper that were left over from a previous project making this a win-win.  I saved some small pieces of paper avoiding waste.  The lesson began as a directed draw with instruction to draw a line of pointed mountains across the center area of the circle.  A horizon line was drawn under the mountains curving downward to the bottom area of the circle.  Based on personal interpretations, all of the projects began to develop their own style at this point.  Later discussions included adding a 3D dimension and texture to the mountains.  Students then shared previous knowledge as to what the cool colors are as they began to paint the area above the mountains.  Everyone was excited to tape a mat on these and take them home to share with family for the holidays. 


Thursday, December 5, 2019

1st grade Mono printing

I discovered this great post over on Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artist the other day for Northern Light mono prints and I immediately knew I wanted to try this approach to mono printing with my first grade students.   I reviewed the steps as they were given and every student experienced success.  Our approach was just for a winter scene that reflected what we could see around us after a recent snow storm.  Here are a few photos of student work.


Peter Max ATC

One of the lesson plans from this past summer's Art of Ed On-line Conference featured the work of Peter Max.  It was intended to be done with fluorescent oil pastels included in the swag box but with no budget in the beginning of the school year I could not order additional oil pastels to pull the project off with my students.  So I adjusted by using fluorescent tempera paint and some scented markers to create a mixed medium ATC card.  These were done by 4th grade students.  We are really excited to have this work included in the Mini Matisse ATC exchange this spring.