Searching for great images and content for your classroom? Then you’ll want to look through the unbelievable resources at kitZu created by the Orange County Department of Education. The online collection of digital kits covers numerous subject areas such as science, music, mathematics, history, visual art and more. The content includes free educational and copy right friendly media resources that are appropriate for kindergarten through high school ages. At kitZu their goal was to, “provide students with the building blocks necessary to build video and multimedia projects that tell a story and demonstrate learning.” With the great organization of these digital resources you’ll have no problem quickly finding school friendly material for those teachable moments and big multimedia projects. Under the visual arts section I found 41 kits alone. This is an amazing resource for educators so make sure to add it to your bookmarks or Delicious account.
A big thanks to @NMHS_Principal for sharing this resource on twitter.
Kits can include any of the following:
- Audio Clips
- Video Clips
Examples of some of the visual art topics are located below.
A document camera is not a fancy overhead projector but a versatile piece of equipment that can help improve the way you deliver curriculum. The most obvious function of the camera is that you can place any object, drawing or small piece of equipment under the lens and it will be projected in full color onto a large screen.
What is often overlooked is that the document camera can be highly interactive, save on equipment and space, improve classroom management and produce it’s own art. Below are several different ways I’ve incorporated the document camera into my art room and some of the techniques that might work for your room as well.
Still Life Drawing
Turn the document camera lens out and project a still life that the whole class can see. Instead of having to find multiple objects and set up numerous still life displays use your document camera to enlarge one set of objects. It cuts down on the materials that need to be collected and saves space in the classroom by only needing one display. Another perk is you can instantly change to another still life when a different grade comes. You also can easily control the lighting to show a full range of values and actually demonstrate how artists select portions of a still life to draw.
The kids love to watch me reposition the still life by turning the stand multiple directions in combination with zooming in and out on different sections of the objects. It allows me to show the entire class the concepts I’m teaching such as light source, highlight, shadow and reflected light. My document camera also has a feature that allows me to turn the image from color to black and white. I’ve found this to be especially useful when teaching rendering /shading or to help a class focus on drawing the actual object shapes and not be distracted by color. I’ve traveled to four different schools in my district, each with a different document camera, and they all had the black and white feature. You might need to do a little experimenting to find that feature on your camera but it will most likely have it.
Here’s how I used my camera to project a still life (click the image to enlarge):
First, find a table or platform at the right height to display your objects. I used a sturdy music stand. It works beautifully for light to medium weight materials and it easily can rotate or slide up and down for demonstrations. Next, turn the lens or rotate it out so that you can see the objects you want to display. Now you can zoom and reposition the stand to focus on different sections of the still-life. Then add a light source to create depth and shadows. You can get a utility light that clips from the hardware store, use a desk lamp with a flexible arm or a flash light. My motto is what ever works and is cheap.
Change your perspective and the classes by taking advantage of the microscopes used in science class. I use a great lesson I got from my colleague to take an artist’s view-point when looking at fall leaves. Originally the class would collect leaves, draw an outline of the leaves they observe and then fill in each leaf shape with tiny circular shapes to represent the molecular structure. We took the artistic license to imagine what the cellular structure looked like but since getting a document camera we don’t have to imagine. I call up students to put samples of the leaves they collected under the microscope and focus the lens. Then we discuss what we observe and how we can relate it to our art. We are able to make greater connections to what we see and tie back into the science curriculum at a deeper level.
Here’s how I use the document camera to project the microscope (click the image to enlarge):
Don’t just use your document camera to project an example piece of art or a demonstration. Let the kids use it to create their own original art. I was inspired by the illustrator and caricature artist Hanoch Piven’s book My Dog is As Smelly As Socks: And Other Funny Family Portraits to have 2nd graders create their own assemblage portraiture.
I showed students several of Hanoch Piven’s books and talked to them about assemblage and discussed different ways to use found objects in our art. I had students draw the shape of their own face and hair and add color but no facial features. Students put their picture under the document camera and added facial features with different found objects (i.e., buttons, sea shells, bolts, nails, rubber bands, small toys, pieces of yarn, candy, art supplies, tools). Then students would take a picture with the document camera. Most of the document cameras came with software to use in conjunction with a computer for recording, editing, adding annotations and taking pictures. You’ll have to investigate how your particular document camera takes pictures. All of the found objects would then be put back into the box for other students to use. The images can then be printed, shared through a classroom website, used in an enhanced podcast or in a voice thread.
You can view more photos of using the document camera in the art room at The Teaching Palette’s Flicker photo stream.
When your students are working on messy projects that leave tons of paper scraps on the floor consider using the Magic Garbage technique to motivate a super fast clean-up. I learned this tip from my colleagues in my masters cohort and it works beautifully with my elementary students.
When it’s time to clean up, explain to the class that you picked one piece of garbage on the floor to be the “Magic Garbage”. Who ever picks it up while cleaning will earn a prize!
A prize can be anything that’s motivating to your students such as candy, stickers, stamps, free time, computers or line leader. In my room we use a ticket system where students earn a ticket. Each ticket is placed in a box and after a few art classes several tickets are randomly drawn from the box like a raffle. The students with winning tickets drawn from the ticket box get to select a price from the prize box.
Now here is were the magic comes in. You really don’t have to mark a particular piece of garbage with a sticker or anything else. You simply watch the class as they busily clean and then award the ticket to the student you think worked the hardest at cleaning. Sometimes I award the ticket to a student who worked really hard on their art for the entire class period. Of course, if you want, you can mark a particular piece of garbage with a sticker. The risk with doing that is if a student immediately finds the sticker there’s no extra motivation for the whole class to keep cleaning.
This is a great system for those situations where there is a time crunch. It also works in any setting where cleaning will be a big job. Magic Garbage is a simple technique that encourages a fast and through clean-up anytime you need it.
(Side note: Some of my cohort colleagues had different names for this technique like lucky trash, secret garbage or prize piece of trash. If you have used this technique or start using it soon, leave a comment and let us know what you named it!)
The 1920′s and 1930′s Harlem Renaissance was an explosion of African-American poetry, music and art. Jacob Lawrence lived and created his art at the center of it in New York city’s Harlem neighborhood. According to Whitney Museum of American Art, he painted what he saw and later became interested in African-American history and culture and chronicled lives of famous people like Harriet Tubman. Below you will discover clips of music from the Harlem Renaissance and resources about Jacob Lawrence that you can bring into the classroom.
Great resources on Jacob Lawrence:
Trouble viewing the YouTube video above? Bypass the YouTube Block could help.
I’m always looking for different images to help communicate the concepts I’m teaching. The images I saved were taking up a ton of space on my computer and really slowing it down. Plus it wasn’t very efficient for locating what I needed in the spur of the moment. Then I discovered the Vi.sualize.us website as a way to catalog and collect images. If you like Delicious, you will love Vi.sualize.us for bookmarking images you find on the web.
Vi.sualize.us is a free social bookmarking site that allows you to surf the web as normal, and bookmark any images you find along the way. Images can be tagged so that you can search through your bookmarks to find what you want for your next art lesson. It’s very easy to use, just add a bookmark button on your browser or install a Firefox plugin and start surfing the web. When you see an inspiring image you want to remember just right click (control + click for mac users) or use the button in your browser. There is even a free app called Cooliris for your iPhone or iPod Touch that will let you utilize your images on the go. The feature that really sets Vi.sualize.us apart from other image sites is the “Safe For Work” feature. Just click the “Safe ON/Safe OFF” button in the top right-hand corner of your screen to filter out inappropriate images while you browse.
Below are some of the features Vi.sualize.us offers:
- Bookmark images you want to remember on the Internet
- Safe ON/Safe OFF filter for work environments
- Bulk edit
- Comment on images
- Add tags to pictures so you can easily search for them again
- WordPress plugin to display your images on blog or website
- A watchlist to keep track of images posted by others you want to follow
- Can search with the “And”, “Or” and the negation (“!”) operators. For example, you could search for still life apples or oranges.
You can check out what The Teaching Palette is bookmarking by clicking on this link. We also want to see the amazing images you discover around the web. You can share images by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with your Vi.sualize.us name or by adding it to the comments section below. Then we will add your name to our “watchlist”.
Below is a short video that shows what the Vi.sualize.us site looks like and how to tag and save an image. There’s no sound, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)
Posted on 18. Jul, 2009 by Hillary Andrlik in All Posts, Cool+Creative, In The News, Multimedia, Neat Video, Organization and Preparation, Positive Reinforcement, Reviews, Tech Stuff, Techniques, Technology and Gadgets, Tools and Miscellaneous
If you’re looking for the image editing power of Photoshop or Illustrator without the hefty price tag you may want to consider trying the Aviary Suite. It’s a free web 2.0 technology with a pro version available for $24.99 a year. Aviary is not only an image editing tool but it’s also a visual social network.
Users maintain a profile, contacts, favorites, access to chat boards, tutorials and more. Images created in the Aviary Suite can be shared with the community or kept private in a user account, and then saved in a variety of formats or downloaded to your computer.
Phoenix does image editing and has tools like layers, masks, effects, undo history, and more. Peacock is what Aviary calls their “visual laboratory”. It features tools like generators, effects and controllers. Toucan is their color swatches and palettes. It features many of the usual color palette tools but what really was interesting to me was their color deficiency preview tool. It allows you to choose from a list of color vision deficiencies and see how someone who is color blind would distinguish your color palette. It would be a great way to teach students how other people see the world. Toucan is a simple tool, but in conjunction with the other programs in the Aviary Suite you can create some amazing images. Raven is their vector editor program and the first of its kind on the web. It allows you not only to create complex vector art but to carefully scale and create logos, clip-art, large print ready graphics, and t-shirt and clothing designs.
The newest program is an image markup tool called Falcon. It allows you to capture images from your desktop or a web page and edit them in your browser. It is similar to Skitch or Jing but with additional capabilities since it can be used in conjunction with Aviary’s other programs. Just install Talon, a Firefox extension for Aviary, and you can quickly annotate, mark, crop and resize your captured images. Or you can transfer the images to any of the other Aviary programs for more in-depth editing. Falcon would be a great tool to have students critique an image of their own, a classmates or from a pool of stock photos.
If you teach a computer graphics program at a middle or high school and are looking for an exceptional resource or additional tools to extend beyond the classroom lab, Aviary might be a solution for your program. Students don’t have to stop creating once they leave the lab since they can log on and design anywhere there is an Internet connection.
Below are two videos featuring Aviary’s Raven and Falcon programs.
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)
(Trouble viewing this video? Try this link.)
As I was ordering supplies for next school year, while wrapping up the current school year, I noticed how much less I was able to get for the money. So how can we stretch our budgets and find additional resources to teach the curriculum?
One way to supplement the material needed to teach the curriculum is through grants. Half the battle is locating a grant that applies to your field. The other half is finding the time to complete the application process for the grant. As this school year comes to a close, consider using this summer to explore available grant opportunities.
For example ClassWish is a new nonprofit that offers an alternative to the traditional grant process. Teachers visit the site to create a wish list of the things they need to equip their classroom. ClassWish helps attract parents, alumni, local business and other potential supporters to see what is needed and to inspire their help. Their contributions are tax-deductible and ClassWish provides a receipt and ships the supplies directly to the teachers at the school.
Below is a list of other grant opportunities:
- Adobe Youth Voices The Deadline is tonight! Eligibility requirements are that you must be a public or tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization. School or out-of-school program that serves low-income, disadvantaged middle and high school youth. And it must be located in San Jose/Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Seattle, New York, Boston, or Ottowa.
- DonorsChoose A nonprofit web site where teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. Then individual donors can visit the site and choose different proposals to support.
- Best Buy Teach Awards Grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 is awarded to educators based on teacher applications stating how they would incorporate student use of technology into their classroom.
- 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.
- Illinois Arts Council A variety of grants to support artist-in-resident, artist fellowship and quick start micro grant for schools and school districts.
- National Art Education Association A variety of grant opportunities to advance individual and collective work in visual arts education.
- Target Through national sponsorships and local grants, Target supports thousands of arts activities, festivals and outdoor concerts.
- Grant Gopher Helps locate grants and teaches you how to apply for grant money and avoid scams.
- Fund For Teachers Enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school communities.
- Calypso Systems Opportunity for K- 12 schools to apply for classroom presentation technologies such as projectors, amplifiers, speakers, CATV tuners, microphones, button panels, and graphical user interfaces.
- Missouri Arts Council Funds projects with an artistic component that helps meet the nonprofit organizations strategic goals.
- The Braitmayer Foundation The Foundation is interested in K-12 education throughout the United States.
- DCCAH DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities offers several funding programs for individuals and nonprofit organizations located in the District of Columbia. Individuals are not required to provide matching funds. Organizations are only required to provide matching funds as indicated.
- Expressing Youth Voices in Pittsburgh Tell us how you would transform Pittsburgh’s public spaces with your artistic vision. We are looking for well-designed, sustainable public art that expresses the voices of youth. Winning ideas can receive up to $25,000 in funding to implement their “Art in Public” Deadline for entry is May 20, 2009. Public voting begins June 9, 2009.
- We Are Teachers A micro-grant that’s awarded based on number of votes by other educators. Just click on past winners to see how the process works.
Need help with the application process? Check out Grant writers on Ning for writing support.
If you know off any local, regional or national grant opportunities for the visual arts, please list it in the comments section below. Let’s help our fellow art educators gain access to the tools they need to teach. Remeber, The Teaching Palette has an international audience so no matter how small the grant opportunity, please share it. You never know who’s reading. Thanks!
There are all kinds of behavior incentive systems. Not all are practical for the art room where you literally have hundreds of students passing through your room each week. With the high number of students and the limited amount of contact time, what can effectively track behavior, motivate a class and target a specific undesirable behavior? Well, you might want to try the “Magic Pocket Name,” a simple but effective incentive program that I picked up from my colleagues. It can work in concert with other behavior systems you might already have in place.
It works by focusing on a specific undesirable class behavior such as talking without raising their hand, putting their own supplies away without being prompted or keeping hands and feet to themselves in line. For my classes it was paying attention and not talking any time I gave directions. My goal was to get students to focus their attention faster so that the class could receive directions and start working as quickly as possible.
Here’s the rules as you can explain to the class:
- Tell the students that you’ve picked one student and written his/her name on a piece of paper or a customized ticket, which has become the “Magic Pocket Name”.
- Put that ticket in your pocket and explain to the class that every student will eventually be the Magic Pocket Name.
- At future classes, remind the students that you have a new Magic Pocket Name – perhaps let them see that you’ve written it and are putting it in your pocket.
- **IMPORTANT: Never announce the name. Since no one knows if they are the “Magic Pocket Name” they all stay super quiet.
- Throughout the class, secretly watch that specific student to determine whether they were paying attention, following directions, etc. (or whatever behavior you wish).
- If the Magic Pocket Name student demonstrated good behavior, announce their name in line at the end of class. I’ve found that the rest of the class will show support and applaud the winning student. It’s really cute.
- Tell the students that that student’s ticket will go into a weekly drawing to win a prize from the prize box, or something similar. Each class should have their own prize drawing with multiple winners.
- If the Magic Pocket Name student was not cooperating or demonstrating the key behavior you desired, simply announce to the class that there is no Magic Pocket Name winner today.
**Now, this is important, you never say the name of a student who “lost” the Magic Pocket Name. First, it could potentially have negative consequences by embarassing the student. Second, by keeping the name unknown, they all reflect on their own behavior. It makes them think about their own actions during class. It also helps you rotate your attention through out the class for monitoring student behavior and gives you another piece of data for assesing student behavior. I simply make a note in my grade book to keep track of the Magic Pocket Names. On the other hand, when a student “wins” the Magic Pocket Name, it reinforces their positive actions and develops class comraderie through encouragement as they often remind one another to be on their best behavior. It’s a simple system that you can use on a regular basis or selectivley with challenging classes.
There are 10 minutes remaining in art class and everyone is working hard on their latest art project except for your two chronic early finishers. It never fails that some students work faster then others. When students have extra unfocused time this leaves an opportunity for behavior problems to develop. What can you do with students who finish early?
Since you never know how many students will finish early or how much time will be left in the class you might consider utilizing an “Odd Art Jobs” chart.
What are odd art jobs?
They are all those little things that eat up a lot of time and energy, which could be focused on creating great lessons, grading or helping other students. The art room wouldn’t function if these tasks weren’t completed but really anyone could get them done. An odd job could be anything from sorting scrap boxes to labeling artwork. Another added benefit is that your students take ownership and pride over the art room, its equipment and school displays.
The type of odd art jobs that you let your students do is totally dependent on how your classroom is structured. You should also take into account the characteristics of your student population. One year you may have a amazingly independent group of fifth graders that are responsible enough to look at a check list, pick a job, and complete it without explanation. The next year it might work better to keep the list as a reference tool for yourself then have kids ask you what jobs are available to help. The key is to create a system that works for your art room. In my experience, a one-size-fits all approach never works for education. In my classroom the odd art jobs chart works best for small pockets of early finishers. It’s not a good solution for when an entire class completes a project early. Check out the list of odd art jobs I’ve had students do in my classroom located below.
Odd Art Jobs
- Wash paint containers with special sponges (Usually I let them use a fun scrubbing tool I pick up at the dollar store.)
- Sort scrap boxes (I have my paper scraps sorted by color so that it’s easy to access what I need for certain projects or for classroom teachers to borrow.)
- Count out paper I need for certain grade level projects (For example, if I need 65 sheets of three different kinds of paper for my next kindergarten project I will have a student help count it out for me. This way all I need to do is cut it to size and I have exactly what I need!)
- Sort marker bins and throw out dry markers (I have the student helpers take a scrap piece of paper and make test marks on it. If a marker is dry it goes to the trash. I might even have them save the marker caps for when students lose theirs during projects. This is a great job for any age level!)
- Make signs to label different areas of the art room. (I make a list of things I would like labels for as I work around the classroom. You could spend hours labeling your supplies and cabinets. Sometimes I will pre-print the signs and the student helpers will color, cut and attach them. Some examples of signs students have made for me are how to draw book categories, warm colors, in-box, watercolor paint brush sizes and newspaper.)
- Take down bulletin boards (All of my hallway displays are at student height so I don’t have to worry about step stools. The bulletin boards are also visible from the art room or the office for teacher monitoring. I usually send students out in teams of two or three but no more. And I make sure that they know exactly what to do.)
- Glue project paragraphs to the back of artwork (I attach a short paragraph describing the art process and what students learned to the back of each project for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades. I try to give them as much hands on time as possible so we don’t always get time to glue the project paragraphs to the framed art. This is a great job for early finishers to help with.)
- Have older kids glue or staple frames to younger kids completed art projects (I usually write the student names on the projects ahead of time. Then all my student helpers need to do is glue or staple the artwork on to the pre-cut frames.)
- Sharpen pencils (To save time while my classes are drawing I like to have my pencil bucket ready for action. Instead of kids sharpening pencils while I’m talking they simply exchange their pencil for an already sharpened one in the pencil bucket. It cuts down on interruptions and lost work time. So periodically the bucket needs to be sorted and the pencils sharpened.)
- Make Tracers for other grade level projects (I will make two or three tracers and then have student helpers trace them onto heavy cardboard. Then, I put the cardboard in our parent volunteer bin for the adults to cut out. Takes a little forethought but saves me a lot of time and energy.)
- Sort classes artwork and stuff portfolios to send home (At our schools we use portfolios to transport art work home about three to four times a year. If I have a larger group of student helpers I will have them sort a particular classes art projects into plies for each kid. Then they simply slip each students art work into the pre-labeled portfolios to send home at a later date.)
- Set up supplies for the next art class. (I often have little time in between classes to set up new supplies. So I might switch from 3rd grade to 1st grade to 5th grade. Well that’s a large amount of supplies to have out at one time and I don’t have enough counter space. So I will have early helpers take out the materials for the next class and set it up on one counter. Then when the class is over they clean up their art supplies and put them totally away. Now I have a new counter free for that class to set up supplies for the next class following them.)
- Cleaning tasks (i.e., sweep the floor, erase the board, wipe tables, clean clay tools)
- Refill art product containers (I will have students that I know can do a good job refill glue bottles, switch watercolor refills or any other job of that type.)
- Hang bulletin-boards (I usually reserve this job for older students and it is a huge treat for them. Remember, all of my hallway displays are at student height and visible from the art room or the office for teacher monitoring. I usually send students out in teams of two or three but no more. And I make sure that they know exactly what to do. Sometimes I even hang the first three or four pictures so that the student helpers can see what I expect them to do.)
- Cut out items that have been laminated (I have parent helpers laminate papers for me then I have a cut laminate box located in my room where student helpers can grab some laminate and cut it out.)
- Empty the drying rack (This is fairly self explanatory but, student helpers will take art work off the drying rack and put it into the proper classes box.)
A ground swell of excitement for the inauguration of a young hip new president brings a push for the appointment of a cabinet level secretary of the arts. Renowned music producer Quincy Jones has personally advocated for a national culture secretary for the past ten years. Last year an online petition was even started by New York musicians Jamie Austria and Peter Weitzner to grow support for Jones’ idea.
Today’s article - Quincy Jones urges national culture secretary to Cabinet - published by The Washington Times sites how the arts not only allows children to express themselves, but also creates new jobs and strong growth.