Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snakes & Graphs

This video is a hilarious depiction of math/art integration, featuring a doodler "par excellence."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Books of Beautiful Trash

Thoughts on some units thus far: definitely adding a "Purple Hands/Palaces" project (see prior post (3rd grade integration with guidance); wishing the cartooning unit (4th grade) was "jazzier" and I'm looking at the artwork of Rama Hughes for inspiration (collaborative comics or comic anthologies or comic "jams")--to make the project more collaborative/"Passion-Driven"; puppets---possibly a performance component? Then, I'm also thinking "Girbino Strands", which align with state standards of course, but connect to at least one of four main organizing media categories (I'll post more on that later, but suffice to say, one category is "animation/technology", plus I want to get a sketchbooking component in there). So,having lots of interesting discussions in class about leaving your marks/not erasing, or at the very least, not giving up on your art. Found this great idea from Rama, who pulled items out of the trash all year and bound them into books which he called "The Books of Beautiful Trash"---brilliant! Right now, we are investigating "pattern" in art, and so far, students seem to love the initial project stages. The French curves that fourth graders are using have been a particular hit, I just wish I had more since sharing the six sets (18 curves) I squeaked out of the budget were not nearly enough for 28 students, but they all shared pretty well. The "old school" art tools might be making a comeback! Here are some oldies at "The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies". If you know what "pick-up" or a "Lucy" is, then you know what I'm talking about :).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Purple Hands


Find more photos like this on Art Education 2.0

Integrating this art idea with the "hands project" (see title link) is one idea I'm considering for 2011/12 :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Creativity Pedagogy & Drawing Practice

We wrapped up a lot of big, messy, fun, time-consuming projects and are now transitioning with some drawing practice and formative assessments/scaffolding activities to get ready for working with "pattern" in all grade levels. Since 4th grade did so much work on cartooning, and many students had to be encouraged to "leave their marks" instead of erasing as they designed their cartoon layouts, I'm including the link (to title) of Monet's sketchbooks. A beautiful resource that illuminates how building a drawing requires lots of lines, even ones that may be less than great are still part of the process.
Now, I've compiled some pedagogical resources on how using some guidelines (or limitations) actually fosters creative growth:
"Creativity is often misunderstood. People often think of it in terms of artistic work -- unbridled, unguided effort that leads to beautiful effect. If you look deeper, however, you'll find that some of the most inspiring art forms -- haikus, sonatas, religious paintings -- are fraught with constraints. They're beautiful because creativity triumphed over the rules. Constraints shape and focus problems, and provide clear challenges to overcome as well as inspiration. Creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained" (FEBRUARY 1, 2006, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Insight by Marissa Ann Mayer:"Turning Limitations into Innovation").
"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." (Orson Welles)
"In fact, the worst thing a designer can hear is an offhand 'Just do whatever you want.' That's because designers understand the power of limits. Constraint offers an unparalleled opportunity for growth and innovation" (Wired Magazine, "Design Under Constraint: How Limits Boost Creativity" by Scott Dadich, 02.23.09)
“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl."— T.S. Eliot
"If I ask students to do whatever they want to do, they often avoid risk by doing something they already have learned in the past. The amount of creative thinking may be zero. When there are limits, there is a better chance of having a challenging task. Limits can encourage new and creative problem solving." Prof. Marvin Bartel - © 2001 to 2011
"Lessons without limitations are not very effective. Without limitations, students are prone to fall back on easy left brain habits and fail to practice new or difficult skills. We naturally avoid the risk of doing the unknown unless a good teacher assures us that the new way can help us grow. Well planned lesson limitations make it harder for the left brain to dominate while encouraging the right brain to practice." Prof. Marvin Bartel - © 2001 to 2011

So, there you have it, and it is an ongoing practice to balance limits and expression to promote artistic growth.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Great Lino Demo

Anatomy of a Linocut by Bill Fick from Jim Haverkamp on Vimeo.


Since I love linoleum block printing so much and teach graduate seminars in it, thought I would post (thanks Craig Roland for posting originally on Art Ed 2.0).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Myth of the Solo Scientist

This weekend, I read a great piece by Jonah Lehrer in The Wall Street Journal (link to title). Essentially, Mr. Lehrer posits that scientific discoveries are no longer happening in isolation, by young geniuses. Rather, "If America is going to "out-innovate" the world, it's not because we have more youthful geniuses, toiling away alone in a lab. The age of the great scientific thinker is over" (WSJ, Feb.5,2011). He refers to Da Vinci, who made vital contributions to broad areas like medicine, civil engineering and geology. In today's academic world, future scientists will spend years in graduate school developing a specific expertise. In the real world, teams work together now, with integrative connections powering innovation. Hmmm---doesn't that sound like how teaching and classrooms should be? Of course, students need to learn their content (math/science/LA), etc., but how do they learn to collaborate? Much eduspeak is involving PBL, "problem-based learning", but the testing/data drive takes up much of the day. We just finished a big collaborative unit in fifth grade, and students answered questions as a reflection component. Three of the questions: "What did you like about this project?"; "What didn't you like about the project?"; "How would you improve the project?". An overwhelming majority of the answers sounded like the following (in order of the questions): "I liked everything!"; "Nothing, this was fun!"; and "Let's do more stuff like this." In our tech-savvy students' world, it is all about collaboration, and I just think we need to put more PBL into our curriculum for our future innovators. CMS Wire has an interesting article defining 3 types of collaborations:1)"Peas in a pod", 2)"New partners in crime", and 3)"Challengers".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

New Animoto: A Day in the Art Room

Third grade completed puppets in January and fifth grade made huge sculptures from recyclable materials. Fourth grade completed a large cartooning unit, which worked out well because I was running out of room to store sculptures. Here's a new Animoto documenting a day in the art room.

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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