Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of Year Finds

Last post of 2009 & a good year in total. I'm ending this year's worth of posts with 3 unrelated "finds". Heard about a classroom management guru called Marvin Marshall, and the title links to his simple, straightforward list of teaching procedures to help a classroom run smoothly (first thing-the expectation for entering a classroom, which made me happy because we start art with "a beautiful thought"). Find #2-another place educators can create websites for free (free hosting also), and even have blogs (it's called Weebly). If I had not already invested a lot of time and energy in redesigning my own web pages (and getting some code written), I would go this route (simpler, faster). The final find for '09-a fellow teacher's blog, "Making Teachers Nerdy", has wonderful resources and sense of humor, too (a former tech integrationist put back into the classroom goes all-out on project based learning--hello)! Okay, here's 45 online art generation sites from that blog (bonus link).

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Recyclable Sculptures Before Break

Since we started after Labor Day due to school construction, school went through Wed., Dec. 23rd. I had anticipated students being absent and some off-task issues, but just like the good driving weather we've been enjoying, I was very pleasantly surprised! My third and fourth graders are wrapping up cartooning units, and the fifth graders are halfway into a sculpture project from recyclable items brought in (nobody tried a toilet paper tube face like the pik, but cardboard tubes were a hot commodity in fifth grade). All the classes were very engaged, creative, collaborating and problem-solving, and I felt like my holiday present came early. Which brings me to the Reggio Emilia method of teaching preschoolers (see title link); I have to say that having students bring their own materials for the sculptures created a positive buzz, and definitely made my art room the most "happening" room to be in. Note to self: keep these units in the same spot for next year's curriculum map. Here's a resource for planning such a lesson, including downloads, from the Collaborative Arts Resources for Education.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Archived Webinars

Found another cool tech site, an online magazine called "Tech & Learning", so naturally, I signed up for a free subscription (can be digital or print format). Much more interesting are the archived "webinars" (see link). Additionally, I joined a Wiki for "21st Century" art educators. Am I one of those?... Anyway, my students have been working on narratives to accompany their cartoons, because I felt that supporting writing skills is important in art, making the cartoon unit a natural integration fit. The web source I liked best was at ReadWriteThink: "Comics in the Classroom as an Introduction to Genre Study". We spent time brainstorming captions from, used the "plot mountain" PDF (all on SB), then went into the comic layout sheets.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Speed of Creativity

Wicked good resource for tech integration on the title link. Plus, here's a video prepared for the Department of Children, Schools and Families to engender a debate about 21st century schools, personalization, etc...I have yet to give this latest cloud computing app a spin, but here's the link to Aviary.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiered Design Challenge

Fourth grade students had a "design challenge", where they could choose one of three design categories for their project. I like to call this type of curriculum "tiered" instruction (see title link), others may prefer "differentiation". Regardless, students love choices, as evidenced by the lovely results---all rendered in colored pencil.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tunnel Books

Third grade finished their tunnel books and they all came out great! The title links to a 3D book gallery. At left is one of my favorites, but I could have easily chosen dozens of others. For the first time this year, students even made the figures jointed or moveable, and the students came up with all those ideas on their own. Of course, the original paper engineering has to be origami (here's a lovely resource to start with, including math integrations).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kinetic Typography and Vimeo Channels

Personal tech challenge for Christmas break: make a kinetic typography video. I've been loving them for several years now, and Vimeo even has a whole "channel" devoted to them. "Creative Gremlins" has a thorough tutorial online, also, but there's a goofy ad running down one side, so you'll have to Google for yourself (in the interest of keeping my blog kid-friendly). Speaking of Google, we're all excited at my house to get an invite to get on the Wave! And, while I'm thinking about it, here's a link to beautiful typography resources.

The Sketchbook Project

The Sketchbook Project: 2011

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The journey of process intrigues me and I am always changing it up.

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