I love the new artist statement feature on Artsonia. There is just one problem . . . participation. Since its rollout earlier this year, I have had some students enter artist statements from home, but not enough. Entering the artist statements myself is another option, yet, I just don’t have the time (or want to) type out all the hand-written reflections. Then it hit me – why not use Google Forms and have the kids do the typing! I describe how I use Google Forms for self-assessment in an earlier post, but to be more specific for artist statements, I have created a tutorial below. Or, you can download the artist statement template I created for my students and edit to use as your own.
Can’t see video above? Click here.
New technology is emerging everyday. It seems almost impossible to keep up, let alone find ways to integrate it into your art curriculum.
View larger image on Flickr.
I originally created this graphic for SchoolArts Magazine in the Tech4Arted Column.
Another great place to start for beginners:
How have you integrated technology into your art curriculum?
Posted on 05. Mar, 2011 by Theresa McGee in All Posts, Challenging Students, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Conflict Resolution, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Positive Reinforcement
Kindergarten is my toughest class. Some teachers are “naturals” at teaching Kindergarten, but not me. The first time I taught Kindergarten was in my first class of my first teaching job. As it turned out, it was one of “those” classes that come around once or twice in a career. Lucky me.
Here are a few highlights during my first month teaching Kindergarten. . .
- A couple boys thought that they were “puppies” and decided that crawling under the tables and barking would be a good idea just at the very moment the principal walked in the room.
- The “potty train” to the bathroom was getting out of hand until the one day I said – “No more- no one else can go until after class”. Then a child promptly peed right on the floor.
- Another day, I was handed a lovely lock of hair (draw your own conclusions on what happened).
And those are just a FEW of the highlights!
I did survive get through Kindergarten that year, but it has taken several more years to really feel like I can manage a class effectively. Below I have listed a few suggestions that work for me.
Lesson Ideas. It is hard to teach art without the lesson ideas. Here are a few successful art lessons I have used with my Kindergarten students, along with a list of art ideas from other teachers.
Classroom Management. This will make or break you. I love the post written by Jessica Balsley “Teachers, Forget Your Lesson Plans“. She discusses how important the classroom management details are to implementing a successful art curriculum. The following is a list of strategies I wish I had during my first year teaching Kindergarten.
- Create a supply table or counter-top. Pour the paint, set out the paper, organize materials. Make sure you have enough of everything so that you’re not running around during class trying to replenish supplies.
- Label front of smock with child’s name. Have them wear it to every class until you know their names.
- Don’t bother with seating charts. They forget where they sit. If you are continuing a project from one class to the next, strategically place artwork from the previous class around the room with name side showing so that you can separate students appropriately. However, sometimes it is necessary provide “learning locations” (aka assigned seats) for few children – just write it down so you’ll remember from class to class.
- Only put on their table the supplies they will need at that very moment – everything else is just candy and causes more problems than it is worth.
- Smile. You can be a kind, nurturing teacher and still have students meet your expectations.
- Check out the whole brain teaching strategy described in a great guest post by art teacher Katie Jarvis.
- Name on paper. Always make this the first direction before anything else. Check to see that it was actually done (because not all Kindergarteners are capable or even want to write their name) Then move on.
- Get students attention quickly. Try these attention grabbing strategies in art.
- Find things that make kids laugh, it can grab their attention, but don’t be TOO funny (there is a backfire point for everything).
- Before you give any instruction or demonstration, wait until all eyes are on you, bodies are sitting up, nothing is in hands, and all voices are off. Don’t say a word, just wait. It might be 1, 2, or even 4 minutes. It will kill you to wait the first time. If necessary, give hints to kids quietly that you “wish you could start but you’ll just have to wait”. Wait until everyone is looking, with mouths closed for a full 8 seconds. Wait as long as it takes – it might take months to see real progress, but it WILL happen if you remain consistent!
- Eliminate distractions. If you have the space, pull all the kids together for demonstration or discussion.
- Pace your lessons. Show only a couple of steps and let them try it. Gather the class together again, and show a few more steps. This will not only help all your students feel successful but it also slows down the rushers and buys a bit more time for the slower workers.
- Don’t let a demo or discussion last longer than 10 minutes. Even if they’re sitting quietly, chances are you’ve lost them.
- SLOW DOWN. Yes, I know sometimes it is impossible – a clay project that has to get finished or one last step in a painting process (occurrences that only art teachers can fully understand). But the beginning of Kindergarten, make sure you build in extra time or alternate your “messy” lessons on one day to “not-so messy” on another. Use those classes that don’t HAVE TO have artwork completed to teach classroom procedures.
- Don’t get mad if students are not following your procedures. Just practice the proper behavior until they get it right. Complement the children when you see them doing the right thing and let their homeroom teacher know when they do a good job.
- If students are still not following your procedures, walk students back to the outside of their regular classroom and start class over. They hate it. Waste their time now, then you will get more time back later.
- Teach them the “need to know” rule otherwise known as the Tattletale Trauma.
- Potty trains. Rule: One person to the bathroom at a time. No one is allowed to go to bathroom while you are giving instruction. (yes, once in a while if a kid is giving you “the look” and holding himself, that would be a good time to make an exception)
- Transition activities. I have several different puzzles set aside for students to work on as students finish their artwork. Train them on your expectations for sharing, quiet play, and clean up. Students who have trouble with these expectations should lose the privilege during that class.
- Absent kids. If you’re working on a project over two or more class periods, and a child is absent on the first day, grab a piece of paper that the children are creating art on and add the absent student’s name. The next week, you will see if anyone was absent or not by the blank piece of paper left from the week before. Group absent kids together to give instructions for catching up at the same time.
- Don’t expect your students to remember a list of clean up procedures. Give them a visual – create your own clean-up map.
- Brushes. Train the students to drop brushes in the sink or in a soak cup. As much as you may want to teach them how to clean their own brushes, with limited sink space, it needs to be used for hand cleaning, not brushes.
- If you use sponges, squeeze them out for the students and only give them to children who are sitting at their seat. The table signals that they are finished by stacking all the sponges. Peers pressure each other to follow the procedure and it gets the sponges out of the hands of “enthusiastic” cleaners.
- If the room is still a mess, ask the children to each pick up 10 (or 20) scraps off the floor.
- When it is time to line up, send only a few at a time. You could choose to have students who sit the quietest, clean up most efficiently, or who are most helpful to one another.
- Have students SIT in line. It is harder to bump into someone when they are in one stationary spot.
How do you manage your Kindergarten classes?
DVD Name: Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion
Grade levels: 4th grade through adult
Category: Art History, Teaching Resource
If you teach linear perspective, then Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion DVD hosted by Al Roker is a must-have. This video is an updated version of Masters of Illusion from the National Gallery of art containing many of the same images, descriptions and musical accompaniments. Empire of the Eye: The Magic of Illusion kept the best of the old and introduced new ideas to help explain perspective concepts. My favorite part of the video is the discussion of anamorphic art including The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger. Use as an introduction, play as students finish perspective drawings, or leave as a sub plan.
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The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso is a great image to teach students about mood. Since mood is also a term used in music, I use this opportunity to draw comparisons to help illustrate the art concepts.
I discovered some guitar tracks in Garageband useful to help the students make the connection between mood in art and music. I begin to play the guitar sounds and have the students give a thumbs up or thumbs down if they think the music mood matches the visual mood of the painting. The kids really get a kick out of this exercise and it helps reinforce the concepts.
Paul McCartney was also inspired by “The Old Guitarist”. Watch Two Fingers below:
Can’t see video above? Click here.
Instead of being envious of teachers with interactive devices such as Smart Boards, I found the next best thing. I was able to use free software, a Wii Remote (Wiimote), and an infrared pen to make my own Interactive Whiteboard for about $50! I created the tutorial below so you can make your own Interactive Whiteboard yourself (probably without even consulting the your school tech).
Directions for creating your own interactive whiteboard:
Hardware you will need: A projector, Wii Remote (Wiimote), infrared pen and a computer (Mac or PC) with Bluetooth capability. Free Software Download here (download before attempting to connect to bluetooth)
Step by Step: (Based on using a Mac. PC models may have slight variations)
- Download and install software created by Johnny Chung Lee.
- Open Bluetooth on your computer (if you don’t have bluetooth, an external device can be connected)
- Next, open the back of the Wii remote (where the battery is located) and press the red button to let the computer and Wiimote “find” each other via bluetooth.
- Open software and press buttons 1 & 2 at the same time on the Wii remote (you will see a “searching” indication on the software at this time). Software script will start to show on computer – give this a minute to load all the script.
- Look for the ”searching” message to to show a battery level (blue in color) and a “not calibrated” message. Now, you are set up and ready to turn your whiteboard into an interactive whiteboard.
- Plug in your projector to your computer so that your computer projects on the wall.
- Set Wiimote on a stool, table, or taped to the projector while pointed toward the projection wall. For quick setup, you can also use tripod with an attachment to the Wiimote.
- Click “Calibrate” on your computer
- You will see an “+” in the upper left hand corner of the projected screen image.
- Use the infrared pen to click on the middle of the “+”.
- You will see a green check-mark appear (if no check-mark, then adjust the Wii Remote to a different angle and redo the calibration)
- Next check the “+” that appears in the upper right corner (continue clicking with pen to get each corner)
NOTE: You will NOT see a light with the infrared pen. (Infrared is not visible to your eye.)
At this point you should be able to interact with your computer on the wall!!!!
Trouble shooting tips:
- If you have trouble connecting to bluetooth. 1. Make sure you have downloaded software. 2. Continue to press Wiimote buttons 1 & 2 or press and hold red button located under battery cover. 3. If you don’t have bluetooth, you can use an external bluetooth.
- If software does not connect to Wiimote, be sure you have waited for all of the script (code) to load. Try hitting buttons 1 & 2 again. Keep Wiimote still and wait a minute or two for first time setup.
- If you have trouble calibrating on your whiteboard with infrared pen, try moving location of your Wiimote slightly and make sure nothing is obstructing its view.
- If you’re still having trouble, talk to your tech at school (they will probably love the challenge).
Some fun websites to try . . .
Do you have any other websites that might be useful for an Interactive Whiteboard? Please let us know in the comments area below.
This year was the first time I traveled outside of my home state to attend a National Art Education Association (NAEA) Conference. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, it is an experience you will never forget. Listed below are some of the my favorite activities, observations, presentations and tidbits of information I picked up from casual conversations in Baltimore:
- I had never heard about Merlot (peer reviewed online resource of teaching and learning materials). A quick search on Merlot turned up this awesome Cave of Lascaux interactive explorer.
- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the American Visionary Art Museum. Although I was not allowed to photograph inside, I spent about 20 minutes outside admiring the sculptural forms.
Once I finally made it inside, the theme of the museum became very clear by the words and messages incorporated into the art. Watch this entertaining video featuring the art of Chris Robert-Antieau to get a feel for what the museum is about.
My favorite Visionary Museum message through art: “Some stare though me and refuse to see that we are different branches of the same tree.”
- Took the plane home with the Artsonia guys and learned some top secret plans to make Artsonia even better. (Pressure’s on guys!)
- Learned about some great web resources from Jean King. Special needs: I Can’t Draw Syndrome and ArtPromote. Character development: Powerful Projects.
- Inspired by Samantha Melvin’s teaching empathy through art curriculum.
- Discovered a timeline of Carrie Mae Weems life!
- Make your presentations Sticky by Craig Roland was a crowd favorite.
- Saw a great video presentation on Universal Design Learning by Kathy Rulien-Bareis. Her methods are very useful for creating an adaptive classroom addressing special needs. Watch her video segments one, two, three, and four.
- I got a chance to present an art experience that that incorporated science, writing, social/emotional development, and technology into the art curriculum.
Tons of additional great resources from conference presenters can be found online.
Did you attend NAEA Conference this year? What did you discover?
After watching enough people work on sudoku number puzzles, it occurred to me that this logic game can be easily adapted to art by substituting the numbers for colors or symbols.
Color sudoku follows three basic rules:
1. Use all the color options in each box without repeating
2 Use all the color options in each row without repeating
3. Use all the color options in each column without repeating
Since I love sharing – feel free to download the low-tech color version of sudoku that I created as an extension activity. I printed mine on tag board and laminated to keep clean. I also wanted to keep the colors consistent between the game boards and the pieces so I printed out color sheets and cut them down into pieces that fit each puzzle. Since the 4 color sudoku need larger pieces than the 6 color and 9 color, I keep those pieces separate in a zip lock bag. Reuse a shallow class-pack type box to store the entire kit together.
Use the 4-color sudoku for younger students or to introduce the concept for the first time. Let the kids differentiate their own learning by choosing their own difficulty level. I don’t use answer keys (if you follow the rules, you know when you have found the solution) - although you could easily create your own by writing in the color names on an extra printout by solving yourself (or have a student do it for you).
4 Color Sudoku: (Beginner)
4-Color Sudoku #1
4-Color Sudoku #2
4-Color Sudoku #3
4-Color Sudoku #4
6 Color Sudoku: (Beginner/Intermediate)
6- Color Sudoku #1
6- Color Sudoku #2
6- Color Sudoku #3
9 Color Sudoku: (Intermediate)
9 Color Sudoku #1
9 Color Sudoku #2
9 Color Sudoku #3
9 Color Sudoku #4
9 Color Sudoku #5
9 Color Sudoku #6
9 Color Sudoku: (Advanced)
9 Color Sudoku #7 (advanced)
9 Color Sudoku #8 (advanced)
9 Color Sudoku #9 (advanced)
Color-Sheets to print: (Cut down to fit sudoku puzzles)
Idea update 3/18/10: Print out duplicate sudoku game cards so students can challenge each other to see who can finish card first.
Reader suggested update 8/24/13: Blank Sudoku Cards for the students to create themselves. Great idea Amy!
Engaging students of all levels though a detail search of an image is a great way to introduce a unit or fill a few minutes of extra time at the end of class. A few of my favorite online sources include:
What is it?
Albright-Knox Art Games
Getty Detail Detective
Can You Find the Detail?
However, you may want to customize your detail search to a lesson you are teaching. In this case, you could easily design your own in a few short minutes. The video below illustrates how to create a detail detective game using iPhoto (although our demo uses iPhoto, adaptations can be made using other photo programs):
Can’t view video above? Click here.
Here are the steps:
1. Photograph a print or pull a large image from the Internet to a photo manipulation program.
2. Duplicate the image several times.
3. Crop duplicate images in different areas
4. Project electronically on a screen or print image details for a low tech version.
I love the buzz and energy of an art room filled with students actively involved in the creative process. Because of this, I allow my students to talk during art production, as long as they remain on-task and the noise level doesn’t become disruptive. However, some of my classes have a harder time with this freedom than others. Enter . . . “Noise Control“. This iPhone app has been very effective during times when I need students to keep noise down and raise concentration. While I can’t promise this will forever solve noise issues, a little extra help never hurts. Watch the video below to see how it works:
Can’t see video above? Click here.
Here’s a few tips to get started: