Friday, January 30, 2015

Art Lesson....BUT FIRST LEMME TAKE A SELFIE!! Fifth Grade Self Portraits

This week our school celebrated Celebrate Literacy Week and our media specialist asked everyone to take 'Shelfies'.  So I took my shelfie in front of my art room 'book shelf'- which is actually a plastic gutter that we installed under my white board.

So the whole idea got me thinking about re-naming and starting my fifth grade self portrait lesson to "Selfies!- Self Portraits". I loved having a class set of mirrors at my other school but unfortunately I do not have them at my current school, So I had my students bring their laptops to art.  I introduced different art styles such as realism, pop art, impressionism. I wanted them to choose one art style to use as their inspiration.  I had them use a site called Be Funky- to take their picture with their webcam and then edit the photo using one of the filters.  THEY LOVED IT!! Here are some of the Be Funky portraits that they saved to their artsonia exhibit page when they were done editing it.  Next art class I will print off a black and white copy of their  photo and students will shade the back with pencil and lay it on top of another piece of paper to trace the contour lines.
I made this video to show students how they could use a grid to make a Chuck Close- style portrait by making a grid over top of their drawing.
I love self portraits!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lego Mondrian Art Lesson- SUCCESS!

Last week was such a busy week as I was preparing for the FETC (Florida Educational Technology Conference) in  Orlando.  The music teacher and I were not only attending but also PRESENTING  our first sessions on Digital Storytelling which went really well!  I was really excited that I got the chance to have my sub try out the Lego we received from Donor's Choose to do an art lesson.  So ALL the classes on Wed., Thurs. and Friday got to learn about Mondrian, the Lego artist, Nathan Sawaya, got to review the Elements of art and even do a little math!!!  So here is the video I left for the sub and my first grade class today got to finish their Lego art projects that they started last Wednesday, with the sub!!  It was awesome!  I am so excited to get other classes to try it out!

This lesson allows students to review PRIMARY colors, types of artwork, shapes in art and MATH!!!  Students can use perimeter and area to find out the space around and inside the shapes they created in their artwork!!  It was awesome!!
The lesson can be found here on my google drive.  I can't wait to try more Lego art projects to try!!!
I also have a TON of cool technology resources I got from FETC that I can't wait to share- so stay tuned!!!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Artsonia and Artist Statements

I have been SUPER busy trying to get all of my 600+ students enrolled into Artsonia.  I have used Artsonia for years now for lesson plans and ideas but I always thought it would be too difficult and time consuming to get ALL my students registered and then artwork uploaded.  Now that Artsonia has an iPad app- it's even easier!  I was able to get a spreadsheet of all the student's first and last names to send to Artsonia and then they generated accounts for each student.  Now i am in the process of entering in parent emails to allow permission for each student's artwork to be published.  They give you the option of printing a permission form but since we are a paperless school, I really would rather the permission be electronic but it is TAKING ME FOREVER!!!  Meanwhile- the work is paying off because I LOVE how easily I have been able to upload artwork.  For each class this week, I have started taking pictures of  their finished artwork and uploading it as the come.  The pictures do not take up storage space on my iPad (so it doesn't use all my space) and it is instantly organized into an exhibit!!  I plan on having students start adding their Artist Statements using their own iPads (k-2 iPads)  and laptops (3-5).  Here is a generic artist statement I edited that I plan on having the students use.   Do you use Artsonia?  Do you have any tips to make permissions easier?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lego Art! Thanks to Donor's Choose!

  I was thrilled to have one of my first Donor's Choose Projects get fully funded this week!  It is called Limitless Lego Learning and based on the students using Lego to create artwork and practice using the Elements of art in a completely different way.  The first year my school opened, we had a 'Lego Lab' that was on our resource rotation as one of the 'specials' classes.  The students absolutely loved it and I got the opportunity to see how Lego could be used for education.  I immediately began researching the applications to art and I was excited to see so many teachers, students and artists using Lego as an art medium. When our Lego Lab closed, I was hoping to be able to get the Lego to use in the art room but unfortunately, they were gone  before I had the chance!
The more I learned about Donor's Choose, the more I started thinking that it would give me just the opportunity to order the supplies I would need to do a whole class art lesson with Lego.  My project consisted of a class set of the building plates so that each student would have their own Lego 'canvas' on which to create.  The Lego sets and plates arrived on Friday and I have begun planning the lessons that we will be doing with them.  Here are some basic points that I am thinking:
- Lego projects will have to be assembled and disassembled during each class (so that other classes can use the Lego plate)
-Students can learn two dimensional art by creating Mosaics (Lego Portraits, Lego Mondrian, Lego Shapes) and 3 dimensional forms (sculptures of animals, buildings, or people)
- I would mostly likely take photos of the finished Lego art projects so that we can view them even after they are disassembled.
- Students k-2 with iPads can use the Lego Movie app to animate their Lego creations.

So I am really anxious to get started and am thinking that I will probably have my sub use some of these lessons at the end of the month when I attend FETC.

Here is my first art project using Lego and the Lego Movie Maker:

My next project:  Lego Mona Lisa!  I made this picture by using Gimp and the Mosaic Filter:
Wish me luck!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year- and Publishing my first children's book !

I hope everyone had a safe and fun New Year! If you are like me, it is flying by too fast! I suppose that could be the case for me because I have been so busy getting ready for FETC (I will be co-presenting digital storytelling) . I also was determined to try to publish my first children's book. I have been dreaming of writing a children's book for as long as I could remember. In fact- going through the whole process reminded me a lot of the young Author's Program that I participated in when I was a kid. My young author's book "Sara and the Surfing Team" won first place when I was in elementary school and I was so thrilled! (I wish I knew where it was- I would love to read it again- and probably laugh) I guess what got me really thinking I could and should really try to publish are all the new tech tools and applications that make it so easy to publish something these days. The two platforms that you can use are- Kindle Direct Publishing which has a free application that you can download to you pc or computer. If you prefer the apple platform- on the iPad there is an app called Book Creator that you can use to easily create and share a book through the apple store. There is also always Teachers Pay Teachers but I really wanted to try the Kindle Platform. The concept of my book is based on an art lesson that I do with 2nd and 3rd grade- Prehistoric Cave Paintings. When I teach my students about cave paintings I use a great book called the Cave Painter of Lascaux by Roberta Angeletti. I also show them a website with an cool virtual tour of the cave and I refer to the Children's Book Art. While researching the lesson plan, I came across a cool story about how the cave was discovered by three boys and a dog named Robot in the 1950's. I always wished that there was a neat way to share this story with my students so that was the basis of my book, The Discovery of Lascaux. It is only roughly based on the story. All the pages were drawn in my sketchbook first with pencil, watercolor pencil and marker. Then
I scanned the pages into my computer and added the text using Gimp (an image editing software).  I really enjoyed the process and hope to do more (it may become a series!)  and even get my students in on the publishing business!  Afterall, they are super creative and have awesome ideas.    So check out my kindle book, The Discovery of Lascaux, told by Robot the dog, and let me know what you think!  Thanks!