Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Engaging review of the Elements of art with Technology!

Last week, I had all of my art classes reviewing the Elements of Art and some basic vocabulary in order to prepare for the Art End of Course (EOC) exam that the students (all k-5) will be taking on their devices (k-2; iPads)  (3-5 laptops).  We administered the EOC pilot exam last year and several art teachers in our county got to work on item analysis and test question rewrites this summer.  This was not an easy task because obviously art is a performance based subject and does not lend itself to a multiple choice assessment.  So we did the best we could to ensure that the questions were valid and fair.  Some people even think that it is CRAZY to give ANOTHER test- and an art test at that!  In FL, our district is required to use the results of this test to evaluate our teacher effectiveness.  So basically, students have to take these tests so that TEACHERs can be evaluated.....  yeah........   While I do not agree with most of the logic or philosophy behind the testing craziness, I decided that if I HAD to give this test, I would make the reviewing process a fun and engaging learning experience that would focus on how it would benefit them as artists to understand the content from the test.   SO I turned to the power of TECHNOLOGY to help me create some fun and engaging test reviews.

At first, I just put together some art Kahoots to give to classes to review, but honestly many of the classes were only introduced to some vocabulary once or twice and never had the chance to really retain or practice many of the concepts or terms (like monochromatic).  I really LOVE Kahoot and if you have not used it- it is awesome and FREE.  It is basically a web based application that allows you to write multiple choice questions with embedded video and pictures that can assess student learning.  Kahoot turns the questions into a game show format and students can use their device to connect to the game using a pin number.  They absolutely LOVE it.  I really like it too but as I said, I wanted to try something new that would allow them to really practice the content and not simply 'guess' or choose through a multiple choice format.

The answer was CLASSFLOW!
I learned about this awesome resource from a training at UF through the Alliance For the Arts ESE program in January (same weekend as FETC).  This web based free resource can be compared to Nearpod or other applications.  I like this one because students can use a creative response to answer questions.
So basically, I took a powerpoint that I had on the Elements of Art and I uploaded it to ClassFLow.  The slides have to be saved as JPEGS first.  In ClassFLow lessons there are two 'cards'.  There is a teacher card that you could project on the large screen to the whole group and a student card that would display on each student's screen on their device.  Students can join your lesson using a code or pin and by going to  I set up classes beforehand- which was really easy.  Since I have all 600+ students, I just created a class for each grade but didn't enter student names.  It went REALLY well with the students who had laptops (4th and 3rd) but the iPads did not work as well and we had to revert-mid lesson to using the Sketchbook app.  You really have to be flexible and have a back up plan when you are using technology.  Nearpod does similar things- so if you have to give an assessment and you want a hi-tech and engaging way of reviewing content - try one of these resources: Kahoot, ClassFlow or Nearpod.  If your students don't have devices- sign up for the computer lab or see if you can allow BYOD- students Bring Their Own Device (as long as they can connect to the network- because these apps are all web based).  I shared the lesson with the community so once you sign up for Classflow- you don't have to create all your lessons from scratch- you can search already made lessons, copy them and then edit them as needed.
Here is a video tutorial that I made that you can watch if you like!  Tutorial