Since Artsonia started allowing students to photograph upload their own artwork this year, I wanted to make sure that the quality of the photographs wasn’t sacrificed. The number one mistake kids make (especially the younger ones) is to photograph their artwork at an angle instead of squared away for accurate cropping.
This iPad photo stand was created by my awesome custodian using repurposed materials. The only thing that he bought was the plexiglass.
As it turns out, Artsonia is also working on a way help kids take good photographs of their artwork. Tiffany from Artsonia sent me some pictures of the iPad photo stand they created using only a cardboard box and two under cabinet lights.
Here are the details so you can make your own for about $20!
- Find a strong cardboard box. (The box dimension in the photo is 18″x16″x12″).
- Three of the four flaps are extended as “legs” reinforced with duct tape in the corners and the 4th flap is taped up inside the box to allow room to slide artwork in/out.
- The two under-cabinet portable lights shown in the picture are made by Lights of America, Model 7108 (13″, 8 watts). I found them online for about $10 each.
Artsonia Classroom Mode (is awesome)
Getting kids to take their own photos and add artist statements has been fantastic experience this year. Not only do I get a ton of time back by the kids photographing and uploading their own artwork, but they also learn some basic photography skills. Since artwork is uploaded immediately, the students can also write their artist statement at the same time instead of waiting until the following class for their artwork to be published. The video below shows a student going through basic upload process.
Important QR scanning tip – use a QR reader that will redirect you to Safari automatically. Staying within the QR reader can cause issues with upload. I prefer the QR reader NeoReader that allows you to go automatically to Safari in the settings.
But, I only have access to one iPad
If you’re in a one iPad classroom (or using your own), have the students take the picture and skip the editing and artist statement. The key to saving huge time is to get the artwork photographed and assigned to the right student. Once the photo is submitted by the student, as the teacher you can access the submitted work to crop the image after class. And if you have access to computers, the students can photograph with the iPad and then go to a computer to finish the artist statement using the class code provided.
Do you use Artsonia Classroom Mode? What are your tips?
When Apple first introduced iBooks Author as a tool to create your own iBooks for the iPad (and now viewable on the Mac desktop), I didn’t immediately see a whole lot of use in art education. I would much rather engage my students in creative art studio experiences and skip the solitary chapter book reading about the history of art. However, after experimenting with iBooks Author, I soon discovered an iBook is so much more than just an electronic text book. It is a tool that can help deliver curricular content, differentiate learning to meet a wide range skills, assess for student understanding and growth, and even allow for students to showcase their own work.
Differentiate Instruction – Students all learn at different levels and speeds. Then why not create an iBook with a lesson that allows for students to learn at their own pace? Record yourself in a demo and outline directions alongside the embedded video. Use as an extension for early finishers, a student who misses a class, or even as a sub plan.
Showcase Student Work – Allow students to create their own iBook pages featuring artwork, video, or artist statements and share online.
Assessments Measuring Student Growth - Create assessments to check for student understanding or document progress toward a learning goal using the built in review widget within iBook Author or the sketchpad widget found in Bookry.com.
The video below shows the interactivity of iBooks I have created for my classroom:
What other uses do you see for iBooks in art education?
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.
Posted on 06. Sep, 2011 by Guest Author in All Posts, Challenging Students, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Conflict Resolution, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Positive Reinforcement
The following is a guest post written by Scott Russell about his classroom management system using visuals. Scott teaches at Ball’s Bluff Elementary in Leesburg, Virginia.
My classroom expectation system has evolved in connection with our school-wide PBIS framework. As the Ball’s Bluff Tiger we ROAR = Respect, On task, and Always Responsible. So what does that look like in my art room? Here are my expectations communicated visually:
Respect – A hand in the Air will keep art fair. – We all have important ideas and questions, the only way to let everyone share in the knowledge is to be fair and respectful to everyone in the class. Download PDF
Respect – Success comes to those who try, failure comes to those who “can’t” – I despise the “I can’t” phrase! I discuss with my students how they are all learning (even me) and what happens when we say “I can’t”. What if one day I said “I can’t” teach you”? What would they learn? So I set the expectation – no “I can’t”; we always try our best. Download PDF
On Task – Busy pencils mean Artists at work. I don’t mind if students are talking. I encourage the sharing that comes in an art class. I do discuss that while they are in class the artwork needs to be worked on—so they can talk as long as their pencils are moving. This way the discussions tend to stay on the art and they develop the correct work habits. Download PDF
On Task – Show creativity. What would the world be like if all art were the same? What would the class be like if all the student art looked exactly like mine? The goal is to develop their ideas through the lessons and skills we experience together. Download PDF
Always Responsible – Van Gogh knows. Use your ears. Listen and learn. Then you hear the directions and the questions of others and have the most time for YOUR art! Download PDF
Always Responsible – Safety First. No running with scissors! And this connects to so many things – ultimately – making good choices. Download PDF
My class learns like the Mona Lisa. It is great to talk about Mona and use her memorable pose as a model for daVinci. The mystery behind her intrigues the kids so much and we can learn a lot from her for art class too! We discuss how her eyes follow you (just like their eyes should follow the speaker), her mouth is a quiet mysterious smile (because what teacher wants to look out at frowns?), and how her hands are still (hold them still just until you can dive into your artwork)! When I need the student’s attention I say “MONA” and they reply with “LISA” and the students immediately stop what they are doing to make their best Mona-pose. I “look for my Mona Lisa’s” as they come in to class, etc. And it hits home – I’ve had students count the Mona’s in my class (I apparently have over 35). One student said, “Thanks, a lot of eyes watching me!” I think he got it! Download PDF
There are so many others, I welcome you to take a look at my other management visuals and share your own. These work for me!
I love my Clean-Up Map, but what I don’t love is keeping track of the tables who cleaned up adequately and efficiently (I have a lot of other things going on!). That’s why I created a system of Clean-Up Map Monitors. Each class period I appoint a team of two students to monitor the classroom tables for quick and thorough clean-up. The kids love this job (and take it very seriously) so I rotate the students each class period and keep track by marking on a class list. At the end of class the clean-up monitors are manned with giant numbers attached to dowel rods and distribute them based on the following:
- All students are sitting at their table silently.
- Table meets Clean-Up Monitor cleanliness expectations (Students know what needs to be cleaned by referring to the Clean-Up Map).
Important details to keep things running smoothly:
- Table leaders (also known as helping hands) get to hold the clean-up number when distributed.
- If you complain about anything, your table lines up last.
- Clean-Up Monitors always get to line up first.
- Students are dismissed to line based on the number their table was awarded.
I find that this system works well with 3rd grade and up. In second grade I act as the clean-up monitor to train the kids on my expectations.
Download the clean up numbers for use in your classroom.
Watch the video below to show the clean up monitor system at work.
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?
Posted on 05. Nov, 2010 by Hillary Andrlik + Theresa McGee in All Posts, Art Games, Books, Clean-up and Transition, Clssrm Mgmt, Cool+Creative, Music+Art, Neat Video, Off-task Behavior, Organization and Preparation, Reviews, Tech Stuff, Techniques, Tools and Miscellaneous
It’s those 5, 10, or 15 minutes when students finish assigned work early that can send a teacher into an internal panic. Instead of panic, be prepared. We have pulled some of our ready-to-use ideas together to help you fill those last few minutes with meaningful content.
Independent Activities for Early Finishers:
- Zentangles: In a sketchbook or on a piece of paper use pencils and pens to create continuous interlocking patterns. Here’s how others have used it: Woody’s Kaleidocycle NAEA 2008, Squido.com, Flicker Zentangles Group
- Odd art jobs
- Create a bulletin board to display ideas for early finishers.
- Draw a still-life: Pick an art tool from around the room and sketch it! You can also have a box or shelf of still-life objects for students to pick from (i.e., blocks, fake plants, toys, fake fruit, containers).
- Create an imaginary, symmetrical bug
- Color Sudoku
- Doodle Loop: Draw a line that loops over itself in several places. Now fill each new shape with a different pattern. See examples of this along with other ideas in the Doodle Lab
- Value Scale: Draw a long rectangle in your sketchbook and then divide it into 5 equal sections. Mark one end white and the opposite end black. Now try to color each space in from lightest to darkest. Challenge: Create another value scale, but use a colored pencil to fill it in such as red or blue.
- Art poster puzzle
- Utilize a Friendly Loom
- Create reading corner / area where individual students can pick a book to read on a variety of art topics.
- Create a free draw area with How To Draw books, paper and a variety of media for independent exploration.
- Check out laptops for a digital area (if you can anticipate early finishers)
- Fill out a paper or electronic assessment form
- Work in Sketchbooks:
- Sketchbooks in Schools: Using sketchbooks to inspire, motivate and engage (Amazing resource for using sketchbooks. Topics covered include, but are not limited to constructing sketchbooks.
- 149 Sketchbook Ideas
- Sketchbook Ideas
- Incredible Art Department: Sketchbook Ideas Elementary or Middle/High School or High School/Advanced Placement
- ArtTeacher’s Resource Sketchbook Assignments for High School
- Sketchbook Ideas compiled from The Getty
Large Group Activities:
- Online quiz games in MyStudiyo and PhotoPeach
- Start a book. Check out these read-aloud recommendations for elementary and for older students.
- Explore art in Google Maps. Find some ideas in this SchoolArts article.
- Play Art Toss Ball, Art Memo, Flexible Hexabits, Pictionary on the whitboard, Sculptorades, Zolotopia, or Teledraw.
- Art Vocab quiz. Give a choice is it 1, 2, or 3 (list possible answers on board with corresponding #). All hold up number of their answer (all participate)
- Music & art integration ready-to-use resources.
- Show a short video from our YouTube and Vimeo favorites
- Free Online Games by Artsology or explore these other online art games
- Magic Pocket Name
- Show Slideshare “Brilliant Examples of Photo Manipulation Art“
- Put up an art print and have students describe what they see in writing. Another option for younger students is to work in groups and generate a list of words they think describes the picture.
- Hold up artwork for a show and tell
- Critique artwork
- Quiz about art concepts to get to line up.
- Sculpture Freeze: Have your students use their body to create a human sculpture. Get specific by asking for a particular type of pose (symmetrical/asymmetrical, precarious/stable, seated/standing)
- Play Simon Says for line vocabulary. Students use their bodies to create a line (vertical, horizontal, spiral, diagonal, etc).
- Eye Spy. Ask students to find examples of art throughout the room or create your own Eye Spy.
- Swat Game. Write art terms on the board. Group the students in teams. Read a definition for an art term that is listed on the board. Armed with fly swatters, the first student to “swat” the correct word wins the round. Fly swatters are then handed to next student on team to continue play.
- Sing some art songs (Red, Yellow, Blues You Tube Video)
- Show an art teacher-created video from Art Class with Ms S or Fugleflicks
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.
The following is a guest post written by Kathy Douglas. She is a retired art teacher from East Bridgewater, MA public schools, Massachusetts College of Art and Stonehill College. You can also follow Kathy on Twitter.
Budget cuts are everywhere these days and schools have to tighten their belts. Many art teachers report that this has had a big impact on their teaching conditions, with shrinking supply budgets and expanding class sizes. In some schools teachers now have classes that are doubled up, but with shortened class time. Under these difficult conditions it is a challenge to offer a quality art program and we are expected to do more with less.
All art teachers offer their students a time structure, space to work, materials, and inspirational instruction. As a young teacher in the early 1970s I was motivated to do this, but had class sizes up to 33, some half hour classes, a small art room and a smaller supply budget.
Through trial and error I discovered that not everyone had to do the same thing at the same time. I began the year with whole group demos of entry level “dry” media (drawing, collage, simple cardboard construction) one each class period, adding something new each week but keeping the previous options open. I was pleased to note that children sorted themselves out among the choices and worked much harder when they had a choice.
When it was time to introduce paint, I found to my delight that I could limit painters to 8 at a time, while the other students continued independent work. Set up and clean up (which I taught the students to do instead of me!) was a breeze. I was also able to offer a large variety of paintbrushes and high quality paper, as I needed only a few of each type. This benefit extended throughout the year, as I could make a dozen weaving looms useful in several classes for instance.
As the years passed and I became more experienced, we were able to add elaborate and/or expensive materials and techniques to our course of study. For example, because I could work with a few interested students at a time, I could introduce the complicated silk screen process to eight students, who subsequently became printmaking coaches for other students. With only eight screens and a very small sink, I never would have attempted this technique with an entire large class! We could afford small amounts of lovely 24″ by 36″ 90-lb paper and better quality brushes for students who were committed painters. In a typical grade three class you might see a group of six students using the silk screens, four or five children working on plaster gauze masks, several at the drawing table (one or two using pen and India ink in spill proof containers) and always, several children at the construction center building with found objects such as cardboard, plastic caps, small boxes, etc.
Why Choice-Based art curriculum’s work:
1. Students had more time to work as they set up and put away materials as needed.
2. I did not have to have enough of any one material for everyone.
3. Students helped stock the studio with their material finds and the search for these materials extended their interest in the art class.
4. I was able to work closely with small groups of interested students trying new techniques or materials.
5. Because students in large groups could spread out or work standing up, the space in my small room was used more efficiently.
6. The opportunity to move around in the room, or to find a quiet corner, helped the students cope with the large numbers.
Over time I realized that my adjustments for large groups had actually improved art learning for my students, as they took on more responsibility and became engaged in work that was important to them. I taught this way for nearly 35 years and every day the children and I learned from each other. Small class sizes and huge budgets are wonderful, but we don’t have to wait for that bounty to make it work for our students.
For more information on choice-based art education:
Teachers College Press has published Engaging Learners Through Artmaking: Choice-Based Art Education in the Classroom, co-written with Diane Jaquith.
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Product Title: Say the Time (PC-only computer program, see Mac alternative below)
Grade Levels: Kindergarten-12th grade
Product Review: I am an elementary art teacher, and I know that schedules are hard to keep. In my classroom, we have fifty-five minute classes, and when you take away clean up time, that doesn’t leave us with nearly enough time to get our work done. I also realized when I was helping students, that sometimes the time got away from me. So I searched online for some kind of timer. What I found was Say the Time. It is an amazing program that can set reminders to go off every day.
I have set a reminder for when it is clean-up time for each class, and I have it repeat every week day. Whenever the bell rings, the students know it it time to clean up. This gets everyone going very quickly, and always on time! The program costs about $30.00, but that is a one time fee. There are no subscriptions or any other costs. Just recently, I have added another timer that tells students when they need to be in line and ready to walk out the door. Just today, I had a fourth grade class that was cleaned up and in line in less than one minute! It has worked wonders and given me back my class time. Another added bonus: You can set it to “Say the time” whenever you want it to (I have it set for every 15 minutes) which helps the younger students with elapsed time!
Please note: Say the Time works on PC only. If you are a Mac user, we found a similar product called “Timer 7.0” (click “download page” for free version)
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