There are many types of students who come through the art room each year. One type of student I have encountered over the years is the excessive question asker. Does that line look right? How do you think I’m doing? Where do I turn this in?
Now lets be clear on the characteristics of this type of student.
Excessive Question Asker Characteristics
- asks a lot of questions about every step of a project. Even if there are written & drawn reminders easily accessible. They have to talk to you (the teacher) about each step again before they can move forward.
- asks a lot of questions even though they are bright and (most of the time) understand the concepts without extended explanation.
- is most likely not disrespectful or disruptive to the class. They know the art room procedures and can work effectively within the environment.
Of course no two students are the same so there are lots of variations in what you might observe from the excessive question asker in your art room.
A colleague shared the idea of using a ticket system to help regulate students who are prone to excessive questioning. It’s pretty simple. The student gives the teacher one ticket and then can ask one question. When their tickets are gone for the class period they can’t ask you anymore questions about the project.
Now this could sound harsh or absolute but it helps force students to look at other information resources in the art room. So instead of taking the easy way out of coming to the teacher or looking for constant adult confirmation they will need to seek alternatives. You will notice that they pick up their heads and look at the board. They will survey the students working around them to compare their progress. They will ask classmates questions. These are all great strategies for kids to keep in the classroom loop. Plus they learn to discern which questions are really worth their time to ask.
I typically start with three question tickets per class. You can adjust the amount of tickets per class up or down to fit your students educational needs. The goal is to eventually wean the student off the ticket system. As students improve and learn to prioritize their questions you can decrease the amount of tickets per class.
Below is a PDF of printable Question Tickets that you can use in your art room. Just print, cut and laminate to reuse over and over.
Click here to download: Question Tickets
As a funny end note, I once had a student ask, “Mrs. Andrlik can I ask you a question about the question tickets?” At that point they had no tickets left and half a class period to go. It’s so hard for some students at the start. I just laughed and let them ask their question even without a ticket.
Don’t miss out on your chance to win a free online art class from The Art of Education! Just submit your lesson by May 31st and you’ll be entered to win. Click here for more details.
I was blown away by Sotheby’s Your Art World movie series! The viewer gets an unprecedented look into the world of creating and collecting fine art from the traditional to the modern. I certainly learned a lot about the selling and buying process of fine art. This series is broken into four short movies: The Artist, The Collector, The Rostrum and The House. The short films make it ideal for showing students how the fine art world is a thriving business. Yes, there are lots of careers in art from the gaming industry to advertising to design, but the fine arts are alive and not just for museums.
Great video from TEDTalks featuring Sunni Brown discussing the power of the Doodle to engage multiple learning modes. How can we promote learning in our classroom through the power of the Doodle?
Sunni is well known for her book GameStorming: A Playbook for Rule-breakers, Innovators and Changemakers she also spearheads The Doodle Revolution. To learn more about her visit sunnibrown.com.
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For the last three weeks, I’ve been addicted to Pinterest, the virtual pinboard and ultimate idea generator for art teachers. I use it to gather inspiration and cool ideas from other art educators around the world wide web, such as how to more effectively utilize technology in the classroom. Below, I’ve “pinned” all my favorite tech tidbits for you to browse. Many of the tech tips are things I’m already implementing in my art room, including the Mac keyboard shortcuts poster that I created for my elementary students (inspired by the PC version I found on Pinterest). Below you will find several versions of keyboard shortcuts and wire organizing ideas.
Share your tech tips for making technology in the classroom a little easier
to organize in the comments section below.
Tight budgets and larger class sizes don’t mean clay has to be eliminated from the curriculum. Help ease your budget by repurposing items already in your classroom. Old tools will get a second lease on life and precious budget dollars can be spent on other needed supplies. Create a few of the DIY clay tools located below to expand your ceramic curriculum and give every student in your class the tools for success.
Click on any of the images to enlarge.
Below are clay project ideas collected in Pinterest. Just click on the image to take a closer look.
It’s a constant battle every year to stretch the art budget and this year may be among the toughest. Try applying for grants or participating in art contests to help finance a resident artist, bolster your supply budget or assist in the purchase of equipment. Below is a list of resources that will get you started. Also, check out our post from last year “Expanding Your Art Room Budget” for tips on finding writing support along with an additional list of grant opportunities.
Samsung Grants – Our new 2011 “Digital Preparedness” Grant Program is simple. We are offering 50 SAMCAM 860 Document cameras to worthy applicants based on need and quality of response. An independent evaluation team will review the applicants and notify the winners. Winners will be notified no later than May 30, 2011.
SMART Education Programs – Visit SMARTS grants and fundraising section for additional tips, resources and best practices to help your school or district find the external funding you need for your technology goals.
The Teach@15 Award program helps schools serving any grades 7-12 meet their technology needs. Teens (age 13-18) who are registered members on at15.com (“Members”) can nominate their schools (depending on eligibility) to win a Teach@15 Award. Teen members can vote once a day for 15 days for one nomination. Every 15 days, Best Buy will award 3 schools with Best Buy Gift Cards based on member votes. The school with the most votes will win $1,500, second most votes wins $1,000 and third most votes wins $500.
Find Your Dream ActivClassroom – Conduct a PTA sponsored fundraiser during the 2010-2011 school year at your local school and Promethean will match the dollar amount raised, up to $3,800 per school, towards the purchase of any combination of qualifying Promethean ActivClassroom products.
Visual Arts Contests
Blick’s 2011 Linoleum Block Print Contest - Teachers! Here’s an opportunity to increase your art budget and gain national recognition for your students. The contest is offered in three grade divisions: 4–6, 7–9, and 10–12. A total of 15 students will win art supplies for their schools. ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN MARCH 15, 2011.
Doodle 4 Google – A competition where K-12 students use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. This year students in the U.S. will redesign the Google logo around the theme, “What I’d like to do someday…”
Art Teacher Toolbox Offers an extensive list of visual arts contests broken down by grade level and features an extensive list of resource sites with more contest opportunities.
AVerMedia Photo Blog Contest – Create a blog post about what 3D object you would like to examine more closely with your class using a document camera and you might win! Entries must be received by March 31st, 2011.
2011 Adobe Design Achievement Awards - Higher education students and faculty can submit entries created with Adobe software to earn a chance at winning recognition, travel, Adobe software, and winners receive cash prizes. Entry categories include:
- Interactive Media: Browser-Based Design, Non-Browser Based Design, Application Development, Mobile Design, Game Design, Installation Design, Innovation in Interactive Media in Education
- Web and Mobile Analytics: Web Analytics and Mobile Application Analytics
- Video and Motion: Animation, Live Action, Motion Graphics, Innovation in Video and Motion in Education
- Traditional Media: Illustration, Packaging, Photography, Print Communications, Innovation in Traditional Media in Education
Local and National Arts Organizations
Alaska State Council on the Arts – The Alaska Artists in the Schools (AIS) Grant Program is designed for schools and/or districts that wish to augment their regular Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Curriculum with Teaching Artist.
Arkansas Arts Council – The Arkansas Arts Council administers both federal and state funds, financial aid and state grants for programs and services benefiting arts organizations, Arkansas schools and Arkansas artists. Federal funds are appropriated by Congress to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which in turn grants funds to the Arkansas Arts Council. State funds are appropriated by the Arkansas General Assembly. Grant monies from the Arkansas Arts Council are awarded annually.
Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program – The program supports the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that demonstrate effectiveness in:
- Integrating into and strengthening arts in the core elementary curricula;
- Strengthening arts instruction in those grades; and
- Improving students’ academic performance, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.
New Hampshire States Council on the Arts – Artist Residencies in Schools (AIR) provide partial funding to bring juried teaching artists into classrooms and public schools to support creative learning and skills development in the arts. AIR grants support partial costs for artist residencies in a variety of arts disciplines, including all forms of visual arts (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, weaving, etc.), dance, film/video, music, theatre, traditional arts and creative writing.
New Jersey State Arts Council - Guidelines and application forms are available for grants through the State Arts Council’s Artists in Education (AIE) Program to help ensure the arts are a basic part of a high-quality education for all New Jersey students. Residencies are offered in all grade levels and focus on the processes of creating work in a specific arts discipline. Professional artists work in collaboration with classroom teachers to create substantial and sequential arts programs that help schools meet the Core Curriculum Content Standards and help students hone critical skills that prepare them for the 21st Century. All NJ public and private elementary and secondary schools in all districts are eligible to apply for a residency grant. The deadline for schools to apply is Friday, March 4, 2011.
Greater Hartford Arts Council – The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Arts & Heritage grants are available to organizations to support creative projects and programs by cultural, heritage, historical and social service organizations in the Greater Hartford region. Grants range from $500 to $5,000, not to exceed 50 percent of entire project/program budget. GHAC funding may be applied towards a variety of purposes including artist or instructor fees, materials and supplies, marketing and facility rentals.
Kenedy Center Alliance for the Arts – A list of project grants form their Arts Education Network.
National Endowment for the Arts – The Arts Endowment’s focus is on identifying and supporting model programs and projects that provide in-depth knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts to children and youth in schools and communities.
Check out this amazing LiveBinder with a bunch of additional grant resources and writing tips:
If you know off any local, regional or national grant or contest opportunities for the visual arts, please list it in the comments section below. It’s up to the arts community to support each other and keep the arts alive in schools. Remember, The Teaching Palette has an international audience so no matter how small the grant opportunity, please share it.
Board games have always been a wonderful way of teaching children patience, taking turns, counting, colors and so much more. They’re engaging and can help review or introduce new concepts without students even realizing it. But it can be difficult to find a pre-made game board that fits the art curriculum and stays in budget for an entire class.
Instead of searching for the perfect game, try creating your own, or better yet, use student-created game boards. Just hand students a blank game board and watch them use those higher-level thinking skills like Synthesis from Bloom’s Taxonomy!
How to Get Started
Game board templates can be quickly made on the computer with any word processing program like iWork’s Pages or Microsoft Word. Both programs have shape tools that can create a basic layout for blank game boards. Leave all the spaces empty for students to fill or you can partially pre-fill some spaces with directions (i.e., move forward 1 space, miss a turn, pull a card). Print the blank game boards on standard paper and then enlarge onto 12″ x 18″ paper using the bypass feed on a coping machine. (Every copy machine is different so you will have to experiment to find the right settings.) Download one of the blank game board templates below to get started or help inspire your own.
The best part of this activity is that a large amount of content can be easily incorporated. Review an art process, vocabulary, or the elements and principles of art. Just project the vocabulary or content with an overhead projector or document camera for students to view while they work. An even simpler technique is to utilize your own word wall, time line, color wheel or art posters already hanging in the art room. Take a look around and I’m sure you’ll find a lot of vocabulary and content already on display. I used this technique with my word wall to have students utilize art vocabulary in creating their games. Below you can download and print a blank version of the word wall game board or an image filled version that’s ready to print and play.
Tokens, Spinners & Timmers
Games come in all shapes and sizes and often with a lot of extra pieces. These extra pieces can really get students excited about creating and playing their games. I took a trip to the local teacher store and picked up some pieces that kids could used in their games. The community game pieces stay in the art room and are used over and over again. I store them in a Crayola classroom marker box that I re-purposed for easy access, storing and distribution. Make sure to show students the community game pieces before they start. This will help them generate ideas for how to structure their own board. Students will also create their own game rules. Below is a list of possible pieces you might want to have in your collection.
- Minute Sand Timers = Students use them to put time limits on answering questions.
- Dice = I picked up traditional dice and some fun double dice. They were an instant hit!
- Blank Dice = I colored each side of the blank die with a different color sharpie. This way students could roll for a color instead of a number. On another blank die a drew different shapes.
- Printable Dice = Create custom paper dice at Tools For Educators Dice Maker. Click here to download printable Art Dice created using Dice Maker.
- Pawns = These pieces come in all shapes and sizes and are used to represent each player as he or she move around the game board. You can purchase them at an online game board manufacturer, teacher store or from a garage sale. Really anything can be used such as buttons, glass gems that are flat on one side or constructed out of scrap paper. I had one student fold origami frogs for their game.
- Spinners = Click on these links to print spinner templates: Home School Hutt or Ready Made Game Boards. You can also purchase spinner arrows to make a classroom set of spinners. I have numerous community spinners that students can use and are themed on topics like types or art, types of line or the color wheel.
- Game Cards = Use index cards or cut scraps of paper into a uniform size to use as question or game cards. You can also go to Ready-Made Game Boards and scroll to the bottom of the screen to download templates for Avery business cards. The business cards are printable and can be folded and separated for use.
Target is sponsoring free and reduced-price arts and cultural events all over the nation for July 17 & 18. Take your family and visit great institutions such as the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or Mesa Arts Center in Phoenix. You can see what events and museums are participating in your area by visiting Targets website.
Major contemporary artist John Baldessari launches new iPhone/iPad app John Baldessari: In Still Life 2001-2010 in conjunction with For Your Art and support from Ovation. According to the the official website, “John Baldessari created the first In Still Life in 2001 for an exhibition at LACMA. He hung Abraham van Beyeren’s Banquet Still Life on the wall next to an empty frame and invited exhibition visitors to digitally rearrange or remove the 38 objects in the original 17th-century Dutch painting, thus creating a new still life of their own. Visitors were encouraged to print out their still lifes and hang them in the room or take them home. When someone completed a still life using In Still Life, it became his or her own artwork, not John Baldessari’s or Abraham van Beyeren’s artwork.”
Although, the app is free through iTunes you might not have access to a classroom set of iPod Touches. That’s why we really love the online preview that allows anyone with a computer to create his or her own still life (click here to preview app online). This is a wonderful alternative for giving a whole class access to creating their own Dutch influenced masterpiece. The website would also work well with an Interactive White Board to introduce a lesson on Dutch still life painting, show connections between modern artists and past art or to talk about symbolism. While visiting the site make sure to check out the “Learn” tab in the menu. It lists each of the 38 objects in Abraham van Beyeren’s original artwork and describes the and meaning behind each object.
I’m fortunate to have some duplicate copies of fine art prints — most were freebies from conferences and workshops. Originally, I divided a few prints into rectangular sections for grid drawings but after inheriting a felt board I started using them as a puzzle (click image at left to enlarge). When students had free time they loved working on these giant puzzles. And I loved finding a new purpose for existing materials that can do double duty and extend learning. Below is how to create each activity.
Group Grid Drawing Pieces
- Select a duplicate print to cut up into pieces. Remember you can use posters from inserts in publications like School Arts, your state art education publications, National Art Education Association publications or vendor freebies.
- Use a paper cutter to divide the art print into even sized pieces. Each art print will measure slightly differently due to its size. Cut up a large supply of blank paper the same size as the art print pieces for students to do their grid drawings on.
- Glue directions on the back of each art print piece and number them (see example). Having the directions on the back of each piece allows students to work independently when they finish regular assignments. Click here to print Art Puzzle Directions for students.
- Laminate all the art print pieces and cut them out. Remember cutting out laminate is a great job for student helpers in the art room (see odd art jobs).
- Store the art print and blank paper pieces in a gallon sized zip-lock plastic bag. On your storage bag record the artist, name of the artwork and the number of art print pieces. (Knowing the number of pieces makes clean-up and sorting easier.) Zip-lock bags are on the student supply lists at my school. I asked a home room teacher for an extra box to use in the art room. Check with the teachers in your building.
- Introduce the group grid drawing activity to your classes and store the pieces in a box, basket or container that they can easily access when they complete their regular work. Make sure to create a place to turn in completed grid drawings as well as store drawings still in progress.
Art Puzzle Pieces
- Take the newly created art print pieces for grid drawing and add Velcro or magnets to the back of each one. This is another great job for students (see odd art jobs). What you use depends on your preferences and what you have on hand.
- Velcro is great on felt boards and carpets. Kids can easily work on a puzzle in groups in a carpeted area. If you don’t have a carpet area you can take a piece of the Velcro’s hook side to a discount store and find an inexpensive throw rug. Local flooring companies might be willing to donate carpet samples or remnant pieces. There are also lots of inexpensive ways to construct a felt board. Here is a link to one creative solution I found. How to Make a Felt Board. Find the “U Loop” fabric for velcro board online here.
- Magnets are a perfect option for any classroom because almost everyone has a magnetic chalkboard or whiteboard surface that can be immediately utilized. If you have art on a cart or travel to another building you’re almost always guaranteed to have a magnetic surface at your disposal. Other options to consider are magnetic dry erase easels, magnetic paint or even cookie sheets depending on the art puzzle size.
- Store art puzzle pieces in a labeled zip-lock bag along with the blank paper for the group grid drawings and place in an area easily accessible to students.
Below is a short video of kindergartners using an art puzzle.
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