Thursday, September 22, 2016

Digital Learners: What will work best in your classroom

As I posted previously, my older students in grades 3,4, and 5 are using the 
Creatubbles Ipad app for the first time this year to create a digital portfolio. I recently relocated classrooms into a smaller setting and this seemed like the perfect time to implement this hot format of sharing art work and showing student growth.

We jumped right into setting up our gallery's this week after our school district issued our student log in and passwords for each student in our schools.  This digital cloud is a new way for us to promote our program outside the walls of our school and it allows students to globally share their art work. 
Creatubbles is not the only format available, but the format our school district chose 
after testing a few last year. Each school in our district is participating in digital portfolios.
I was invited to share my experience as well as two of my teaching buddies, Matt Grundler and Tracy Evans here in Plano Texas, by the amazing bloggers and teachers Nic Haun and Hope Knight. 

You might wonder, how does an art teacher decide which app will work for their classroom setting. We thought we would help with this question.  Nic Haun, the author of MiniMatisse will be sharing the app Seesaw in this post.  Hope Knight, author of Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists will be sharing about Artsonia. Finally, Tracy Evans @EvansArtHouse, Matt Grundler @Artguy76, and myself, Beth Carter @Bacarter77 and It is Art Day will be sharing on the web based tool, Creatubbles. My Creatubble team are fellow art teachers from Plano Texas and members the #PLN (Professional Learning Network) on Twitter.

Here is our summary of three choices and you will find a chart at the bottom comparing all three.
Part of an art teacher's job is to make sure that their students artwork is displayed.  Brag about the happenings in your class.  Show students that art should be shared beyond the classroom walls. In the past that meant that an art teacher would line the walls with beautiful art to show to the rest of the school.  This is still a practice that many of us do.  However, many art teachers are looking to make the viewers of their classroom’s art be shared beyond the school walls.  Using social media is one way to do that… another ways to share art is through Artsonia, Seesaw, and or Creatubbles.
Artsonia has been such a source of pride for my young artists over the last few years I have loved using Artsonia as a teacher for several reasons - it is an exciting way to show off the cool things we do in our classroom, including writing and integrated subjects. Also, students get a kick out of seeing their portfolio grow from year to year, and it fulfills technology and feedback/assessment requirements. Families love it because they can share with extended family globally and create a Fan Club for their little artists, complete with comments - there is even a fundraiser aspect that is no extra work for you!

This link will take you to a recent post that gives you a step-by-step guide to using the Artsonia app in Classroom Mode, meaning that the students are doing their own publishing; there is also a Teacher Mode.  
You can also find information here on how to download your own Artsonia Station and how-to handouts!

I learned about Seesaw about two years ago.  It perked my interest the minute that I heard of it.  I love that this app was so quick and easy for everyone to use.  I mean everyone… the teachers, students, and parents.  I talked my specialist team into giving the free version a try last year focusing on only our 1st grade students.  This year our whole district, Kindergarten through Second Grade is a ‘Seesaw’ school. Now we are all, homeroom teachers, specialist, and special ed teachers learning together to use this tool for communication with parents and admin, as well as assessment and documentation.

Creatubble Team Here from Texas
    Our district learned about Creatubbles last school year and asked 10 of us elementary teachers to test 3 platforms for digital portfolios. We tested Creatubbles, Discovery Ed, and one more. Our district does not allow Artsonia, so we couldn’t test that program.
 I was one of the teachers that tested Creatubbles, so I chose my 4th graders to test and check for ease of use. When you use a tablet, it is by far the easiest I have used. My students were even uploading their art they made at home, showing their families, and encouraging others by giving “ bubbles” to other artists. Bubbles are like thumbs up on Facebook.
     This app is FREE, encourages students to title their artwork (a great objective) and to write about their art. We review what makes a great artist statement before uploading. In fact a good tip for you is if a student finishes before others, have them turn the paper over and write the Title and their artist statement. That way when it’s their turn to upload, this part has been done!
    This app does not do well on a laptop. We really struggled with uploading and then downloading etc. and became very frustrating.

    Last year I was testing the Discovery Education Board Builder Site for our student portfolios in grades 3 and 4. This site was good for creating but not for sharing with others. The students and I are excited to use Creatubbles on our Ipads this year. I have even incorporated student sharing artwork globally into my professional teaching goal this year.
We have loaded the FREE app on the 6 classroom Ipads and many students BYOD to our school and have added their app to their devices.
I loved Tracy’s idea of having the students write the title and artist statement on the back of their work when finished to speed up the uploading time. I have created a display with tips for uploading also. Our district as of this week of provided the art teachers with all the student login an passwords. As of Tuesday, I began having my older students create their gallery board, avatars, and upload their first artworks to the site. I will say the LOVE the Bubbles. I told my students that I was not the expert and encourage them to explore the app. The excitement was amazing. I loved watching them share what they figured out with other in the class as well as seeing other student art work from around the world.
I have used Creatubbles with my own children at home first. Creating an account was very easy to get going, my children started uploading their art and started getting responses back from others very quickly.

I felt confident to pilot this app in the classroom. I came to the realization that I did not have to get all of the students set up at the same time. I could break it up into smaller chunks and teach groups of students who finish early. Students would write a critique about their art, in which would provide info for their artist statements, then after they understand, they would help others walk through the process and so on until everyone gets an opportunity to post their art if they choose. (Peers teaching Peers)

There you have it! Thanks Nic and Hope for inviting me and my Texas Teacher friends to be a part of this discussion on Digital Portfolios. Please check out Nic's post here, and Hope's post here.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Digital Portfolios Digital Learners

I moved classrooms and now it fees like I am on the HGTV
Tiny Houses in my Tiny art room.
What a good excuse to create Student Digital Portfolio's. 

Our District has decided to use the Creatubbles app. We are going to be getting the student log in information and passwords any day now. I plan to have the students grades 3, 4 and 5 use this portfolio method this year. I will try to add on 2nd grade during the second semester.  
I have 6 Art Ipads and can also check out Ipads from our library on the day's we might need more. Our student's are also able to BYOD to school. I allow students to bring their own device daily. 
Many are now in the habit of taking pictures of their work or taking photos of a work in progress. 

The Creatubble site is amazing. Students upload their work and have to enter a Title and Artist Statement for their work. My arty friend Tracy, recommended having the students that are first finishers write this on the back of completed work, 
or the students waiting to upload could do the same. 

The Artwork is then stored in gallery's. 
Students can also browse and give bubbles to artwork they like. 
It is like the hearts on Instagram or thumbs up on Facebook. 

Check back for an update soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Classroom Crayon Clock

I got a little crafty yesterday after seeing a crayon clock made by Jane on the Facebook Art Teacher's page. 
She was nice enough to post the back of hers which 
showed how to make this.

The clock was from Walmart, $3
You need about 4 boxes of 24 crayons
Hot glue and a cardboard circle to glue the crayons too.
This is an inexpensive craft! 

I used a cereal box to made a bigger cardboard shelf to glue the crayons on to. 
Jane duck taped hers, I just hot glued mine. Jane also arranged her crayons in Rainbow order.
I just wanted mine to be random. (kinda like me)
Make your clock unique!

 A few of my crayons melted from the hot glue so watch out!

Here is the back

I will hang it up next week in our new art space.

Hope you are getting super excited to start the school year! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Homemade charging station

I made this handy little charging station this summer for our devices.

We were previously using the kitchen counter 
and now it is all contained in one spot
in our home office. 

We had a hole that was unused in the corner of the desk and an old printer stand..

I only purchased a surge protector and velcro!

I used the sticky backed velcro to attach the plug unit under the desk. 
The power cord went through the hole in the the wall plug behind the desk.

I used small clips to hold the end of the cord and keep it from falling down into the under space.

It is pretty handy and keeps everything tidy! 

Cleaning and downsizing the Art Room

I am so jealous of all the fancy art rooms that I have seen popping up blogs and Facebook. 

This is my new/ old art space that I taught in during Summer School.
It is an old space, since I taught in this classroom 9 year ago.

Our building is adding a SPED unit and my old space was in the wing that is being converted

It was big and open and now it is empty. I am going to stay positive and cross my fingers that we will get a new space in 2 years when our building is refreshed! 

Our building is being painted this summer, so I only added a little decoration this summer.

I am thinking of getting rid of some of the big chairs to help with space and using
 Creatubbles this year to keep the art clutter contained. 

I'll update this sight as I update the space over the next few weeks. I am hoping some cabinets were 
installed and the sink was fixed along with a printer moved. 

Stay posted!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Metallic Coil Pottery Success

We are winding down to the last 12 days of school and I have run short of time to glaze fire.
Our state STAAR tests were moved to May this year so my schedule changed.
 Sometime the oppsies
turn out to be good problems. 
I am cleaning out my cabinets since I have to downsize and move into a smaller room next door, 
and I forgot that I ordered these amazing Sargent metallic paints in the fall. 

They go on smooth and you don't need much when painting.
They also dry super fast. 
My 4th graders painted their bisque ware coil pottery in one class time and took it home today. 

We actually did this project in two class periods using zip lock bags. 
In class one, I introduced 
Coil pottery and we looked at the work of Maria Martinez and her beautiful coil pottery. 

The  4th graders cut a slab for the base and began rolling coils. 
We slipped and scored but left the coil texture unlike the smooth finish that
Maria Martinez created.  I required them to do at least two rows of coils for stability. 

On the second day we further explored fancy coils. 

I love this one! I just took them out of the kiln this morning. 

I originally thought we would paint first then use watered down india ink, 
but I reflected on my way way back previous career as a decorative painter. 
We would always paint in black first. 
That's what they did, painted the whole thing inside and outside in watered down india ink. 
They followed up with a small amount of the metallic paint on the "hills" of the coils. 

Stunning. The Bronze was the favorite and according to one math geek in the class, 
" 2/3 of the class picked bronze."

This goes into the Keeper File! 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Pinterest inspired Mother's Day Sculpture

that I found recently....

My 1st graders created a painted paper stem paper on 12 x 18 paper
using tempera paint and paint scrapers.

Who wants to use a boring piece of green paper? 

I had different green paper's for them to choice from. 

And on a 9 x 12 pink paper that I pre-folded for them in 6 squares,  they painted flowers using
 Rose Colors. I had them paint an orange dot in the middle first 
and then we painted the flowers Painted Paper style.
I also used Laura's lesson to paint these flowers in our hallway. Love them! 

On day two we put the sculpture together. 

The student's fan folded the green paper. This was harder than I thought. I stapled it at the top.
They then added flower details with oil pastels and cut the flowers out.
One of my super smart artist boys figured out that we need to taco fold the flowers 
before we glued them.

We did little math and talked about symmetry when we placed the flowers on the stems.

Super successful and I am doing this again next year! 

Hope you had a wonderful Mother's day like I did. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Color Mapping

My good friend Karen finally shared her award winning lesson with me.
 It is a wonderful exploration into 
non-Objective watercolor painting based on color theory. 
I had to refresh my vocabulary while presenting this to my amazing 4th graders last week. 
We explored the world of Tertiary or Intermediate colors.


Here are the basic supplies
 fine point sharpie,
prang paints
90 lb cold press
 watercolor paper,
and a color wheel.

I review with my students the primary and secondary colors with part of this video.

We have so many new ELL student's and this was a great tutorial.

After setting our table to paint, the students painted a ribbon color wheel. 

We started with yellow, leaving a space a painting another amorphic shape of the secondary color orange. Using a wet brush they pulled the colors together to make the Tertiary color shape. 
We used small color wheels to progress around the wheel and painting a large snake or ribbon.

When they finished in one class period they could add a little salt or rubbing alcohol. 
(I heard a few requests for alcohol at the end of the lesson, yikes)

Today, on the second day of the lesson, we discussed Mapping. I shared my love of Maps. 
I took Map Study in College and it took me to a different place other than just reading a paper map. (yes, I am old)
We discussed contour elevation maps. 

Google it and you will see how maps are created with contour lines. 

The student's then looked closely at their watercolor paintings and starting drawing amorphic contour lines around the various colors that were created in the previous class with a fine tip sharpie. 

It was hard to slow down and just concentrate, 
but with a little spa music in the 
background they did it. 

They were so pleased with the outcome too, which made me beam! 

This guy had a lot of brown that he was unhappy with, but it worked. 

Thank you so much Karen, for sharing and a big shout out to Holly for the
 origional lesson inspiration with her art work.