I’ve always thought it would be great to have my own college course. iTunes U gives me that chance to deliver content for free to you. I have recently developed a couple iTunes U courses available to view from your iPad or iPhone .
Digital Tools in the Art Curriculum If you’ve been following The Teaching Palette for a while, you may have already seen a few of the techie resources included in this course. But what makes the iTunes U format so great is the note-taking capabilities during a video tutorial and the ability to digitally highlight text within the posts (watch video below for overview). This course will show you how to easily create digital lesson plans, organize online content and collaborate with other art educators while equipping you with the tools to become more prepared and resourceful teacher.
Common Core: Literacy in Art Education This fall the art teachers in my district presented at our state art ed conference on how we integrate literacy into our art curriculums. Following our presentation, I gathered our resources together as a digital handout and as a way to share well beyond the walls of our conference session. I am so lucky to work with such amazing art educators!
If you’re not familiar with the iTunes U app, watch this quick demo:
I would love to hear what you think! Anything I can add or do you have any ideas for new iTunes U courses?
One of the highlights of the 5th grade art curriculum is our trip to the Art Institute of Chicago. While at the museum the students become art docents, presenting researched information to their peers while standing next to the original work of art. Prior to our trip, the students spend six class periods working in collaborative groups researching one of eight artists and prepare their information for presentation at the Art Institute of Chicago. This past year was especially exciting since we had access to iPads as our presentation tool instead of just reading from a typewritten report as we have in the past. Keynote was used on the iPads to display images of the artist, other artist works on display in other museums, and even show video footage such as Monet in his garden or reference Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
The success of this learning experience is dependent on careful attention to detail. But believe me, it is well worth all the effort! Here’s a look into how I organize this great learning experience:
1. Painting assignment: I start by showing my students eight different paintings from the Art Institute of Chicago and briefly share a couple of details about each. (*Note: paintings chosen based on availability of research material appropriate for 5th grade.) Students then rank their favorite painting based on the one they are most interested in learning about. (Tip: use a different color paper for each class to stay organized.) Next, I go through and sort the completed rankings by preference and create research groups of 2, 3 or 4 students. After lots of shuffling, I have close to equal numbers of students researching each of the eight paintings. For example, of the eighty students in 5th grade, I had ten students researching eight different artists.
2. Begin research: Although I have a variety of books on each artist for student reference, most of the research is done online. Instead of setting the students free to roam the Internet, I have gathered quality and age appropriate multimedia resources into Livebinder for students to access.
The students are asked to work together gathering basic artist information. Research roles are assigned to engage all the students in the collaborative learning process: information recorder, word definition researcher, fact checker, and group progress monitor. Students are encouraged to find and record only useful information – content important for understanding or something others would find interesting to learn.
3. Presentation Creation: Since the iPads at my school are shared across grade levels, I have my students use Keynote on a Mac to create their presentation before loading onto an iPad. (This can also be done using PowerPoint that is easily converted to a Keynote on the iPad).
Essential Keynote requirements:
Each Keynote must include full screen images of the artist and/or artwork not found at the Art Institute of Chicago. (A great resource for finding images is Wikipaintings.) The presentations must also include accurate information about the artist, the painting featured, and concluding open-ended questions for the audience. (See student checklist here) Here are a few finished student examples in Keynote:
4. Museum Preparation: You will need to separate students into new groups for the museum. For example, a research group of three students learning about Picasso at school will all be split up into three different museum groups. In the end, each museum chaperoned group will have all researched artists represented . . . one student representing Picasso, one student Monet, O’Keeffe, Cassatt, etc . . .
Next, find out exact room location of paintings and prepare a rotation map for each group.
5. iPad Preparation: Upload all student Keynotes to a wiki or Dropbox. You will need one iPad per museum chaperoned group. In my case, I had 10 iPads (10 groups of 8 students). Just use iPad to link to your Dropbox or Wiki, then click on each Keynote to load onto iPads. (Tip: Students should save Keynote with all group member names to make it easy to find correct Keynote to upload)
6. On location! Students rotate throughout museum taking turns presenting at each painting along the map route. For example, group #3 starts at location #3 and then moves in rotation order. I usually add in a few fun stops along the way if there are fewer artists studied than museum chaperoned groups (such as the Thorne Miniature Rooms or a St. George and the Dragon activity)
Check out the video overview to see what our experience looked like:
Since the Keynotes were uploaded online, I just had to share the link so the students could download it at home and share with family. I have even had former students return and tell me that they visited “their painting” over the summer loved feeling so smart as they discussed it. I can’t wait to do this project again!
We are so honored to be in the final top 10 choices for Best Art Ed Blog of the Year 2012 by The Art of Education! Today is the final day to vote so please take a moment to vote for the Teaching Palette. You can vote for the Palette by clicking here. Good luck to all the amazing art ed blogs that were nominated!
The following is a guest post written by Bo Gorcesky, a Middle school Media Arts teacher passionate about sharing educational technology findings. Once an independent filmmaker, Bo now touches lives with technology.
Minecraft is a $7 app that I use with a class set of iPads during my media arts class. (There is also a free version, but you can’t save on it.) If you don’t have access to iPads, Minecraft Edu is another option. When I first started using Minecraft, I had no idea what this game was all about or why it was so addicting to my students. What I did know was that I had to capitalize on my kids’ interests while also creating the perfect opportunity for me to do a Flipped Class Project.
Since I was new to Minecraft, I asked a few students to lead class demonstrations. We started the project by just letting the students play in the “creative mode.” In “creative mode” the player has unlimited resources to build any three-dimensional form.
Minecraft Project #1: Convert a drawing to a Minecraft
I started off the project with my students creating a grid drawing on Drawcast. They would then re-create that drawing out of Minecraft blocks in the form of a dilation. The students got to experience the world of Minecraft with no worries of losing or messing up – it was all about stretching the limits of their creativity.
Minecraft project #2: Connect architecture with other subject areas
After about three to four days I felt the majority of the students had a firm grasp on the Minecraft material – I was ready to move onto the next part of the project. Inspired by some resources at Minecraft in Education, I connected careers in architecture with other curricular areas.
My 7th graders were studying medieval castles in their social studies class, so I thought it would be an awesome way to collaborate with an interdisciplinary plan. To help my students get started I used a great web site that showcased blue prints of castles. Then, I gave my students five days to build their castle in the Minecraft environment. Other grade levels made architecture connections with colonial homes (8th grade) and Pyramids integrating the study of Ancient Egypt (6th grade).
Minecraft project #3: Play together using virtual structures built by students
In a Flipped tradition, one of my students suggested that we capitalize on the use of the Minecraft server (which allows up to five players to play on the same world at the same time) and do a mock version of the Crusades where we have to invade each other’s home. Everyone loved the idea, including myself – so a tournament started up. Server set-up tips here.
I didn’t want the students to just go crazy playing Minecraft every day; instead I wanted them to reflect upon what they were learning and share their findings within the small group function on Edmodo.
Want to try Minecraft in your art curriculum? Here are a few tips and observations:
I was AMAZED to see the collaboration between students as they started to build their structures. One person would be the main builder, while the others would gather resources. However along with some great teamwork, I also ran into some difficult management issues. In one situation there was a student who just liked to cause trouble in the game by killing their own teammates. In another situation a student would just go off and fight Zombies and Creepers (not to mention other enemies that attack you during Survival Mode of the game).
Did I forget to mention “survival mode”? Unlike “creative mode” mentioned earlier, “survival mode” gives you a health bar and you have to actually mine for resources. For example, If you want to build tools, you need a crafting table – if you want a crafting table, you need wood. You also want to get to a shelter by night time or monsters come out to get you. If you die, you lose all of your resources. After the five days were up, the students would then go into “attack mode”. Basically, the King/Pharaoh/Plantation Owner would host the Minecraft server, and four people from another team would invade and attack. My point system was pretty messed up, as some times they could find each other and fight, some times the King would just hide and others – the monsters or the team mates would kill each other.
When I do this project again, I will make CLEARER guidelines and expectations. Surely there is the chance that somebody could accidentally “hit” their teammate, but I was getting into issues where students were just wasting time. I would encourage teachers to be constantly roaming around and talk to the students. If somebody complains that a partner is killing them, I would send them out for a time out. ANY time that a student is taken away from Minecraft seems to be one of the harshest punishments. When a student is sent out, it hurts the team but I think it shows them that they must all work together at all times in order to succeed.
Overall this was a GREAT project. Students that never played this game soon found out how addicting it was. I had students come into my room to record a tutorial for future players and others that were eager to share their findings with the program. We still have “Make Up / Free Time Thursdays” where the students still like to battle and brag to see who is the best crafter around.
Ultimately, by introducing the Minecraft project into my art curriculum students learned:
- basic programing skills, tools and principles for creating interactive digital art in an engaging environment.
- how to work in a creative collaboration and the consequences when collaboration fails.
- how to take two-dimensional drawings and turn them into three-dimensional digital forms.
Watch additional video footage from this Minecraft project on this YouTube playlist.
Keeping noise volume down and students on task can be challenging in an active environment like an art room. I noticed this year that my 4th and 5th grade students needed a little extra reinforcement to keep their noise volume in check. So, I decided to add to my classroom decor with a simple ART sign using three wooden paint palettes strung together with fishing wire. My younger students think these paint palettes are nice addition to the art room surroundings, but my older students know these letters hold meaning.
When a class has trouble with noise control or remaining on task, a warning is given and the letter T is turned over. If the problem persists, the R is turned over and the students must work for 5 minutes in silence. The last letter (I rarely get this far) represents a silent class (basically strike 3).
I can never remember what classroom management topics I have covered for the many classes I have. So to keep myself sain, I created a checklist to help remember what procedures I covered with each group.
Using this checklist saves me time by avoiding going over something we already covered and puts the responsibility back on the students. So if a student “forgot” a class procedure all I have to say (with a smile) is . . . “We covered what to do already, please ask a classmate what the procedure is” or “We worked on lining up silently in class last month, but looks like we will need some practice and try lining up again”.
Here is the PDF of my classroom procedures checklist that I use in my classroom.
What procedures do you have in your classroom and how do you keep track?
I have been using an “art password” to teach students art vocabulary since my student teaching days. It’s one of those little fun things we do in class yet makes a huge positive impact on our classroom discussions and literacy.
Here’s how it works: During my art class in 1st-5th grades, I introduce an art vocabulary term related to a concept we are discussing in class. Since I already have many of my vocabulary words on my magnetic word wall, I just pull the word off to the side and indicate it is the password of the day.
Then at the end of class I use repetition and whole brain teaching to help my students remember this word. See how I do this in the video below.
The following week the students are allowed entry into my classroom if they can tell me the password. While this password isn’t exactly a secret, I do have the students whisper it as they enter my room to make it authentic. If a student doesn’t remember the password, I just send them into class to “go find out” from another student and then come back and tell the word to me.
Keeping track of the passwords from class to class is difficult so I use a log sheet to record the password given in the prior class.
Teaching is probably one of the few profesions where we dress up year after year in costumes for work. We have the added dificulty of finding fresh ideas that are appropriate for the school setting. Halloween is only days away and we know many of you have prepared some great art centered costumes for this year! Share your creative costume with The Teaching Palette by emailing a jpeg of your costume to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add the pictures to our Flicker stream and post them on The Teaching Palette. Happy Halloween!
Enjoy these artistically inspired costumes we found while scouring the web.
I’ve been wanting to make a word wall in my art room for some time but there was always something else I had to get done first. So my word wall continued to wait until one day when a student wrote “Oil Past -Dell” in one of her Artsonia artist statements. I guess the word sounded OK, but the word was definitely not translating correctly :/ No more waiting, my word wall was getting done.
Using some graphics I found online and a few of my own all I had to do was print directly onto the magnetic paper!
Here are some of the PDF files I created you are welcome to use. Enjoy!
Tip: Try and group the words on the wall based on their relationship to each other to create deeper understanding of the vocabulary.
Thanks to all of our lesson plan contributors who have shared some amazing lesson ideas. You can find these lesson plans for all grade levels here. The winners of our June lesson plan collaborative are: Ian Sands, Marie Elcin, Denise Pannell, and Katherine Svoboda who will each receive a Prang Master Art Marker pack.
Don’t forget to take advantage of Prang Power, a program helping teachers get the supplies they need for their art room. Check out the details below:
Prang Power allows schools to receive free writing and art supplies in exchange for UPC labels from any Dixon-family product, and is open to all educational institutions, school organizations, teachers, administrators and parents. Simply clip the UPC labels from your pencil, markers, chalk or other Ticonderoga, Prang, Dixon, Oriole, Lyra, or Das product boxes and send them to the Prang Power program. Submitted labels then are converted to points, which can be redeemed for FREE supplies for your art room.
Schools are encouraged to rally their communities to enroll and contribute UPC labels to benefit specified schools. The more people who enroll and participate, the more schools will benefit.