Friday, November 22, 2013

Stop Motion Animation on the iPad

4th grade students will be doing stop motion animation with the iPad.  We have watched a few videos on You Tube.  First I wowed them with a video my cousin made.  They made this with a camera and mac.  I told students the iPad wasn't available yet, and how much time and pictures it took the artists to complete this video.  One student shouted out, "Yea, they barely even had cameras!" And a brief history lesson of the camera began...

Now my 4th grade students can't be that ambitious because we only have a 1/2 hour to get our project done.  So we looked at how something as simple as a rock can have a story...

HOWEVER IF ANY 4th GRADE STUDENTS ARE FEELING AMBITIOUS.... Download the app at home!  You have a great break coming up to make some great art!  I can't wait to see what you make!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

MoMA Art Lab on the iPad with Kindergarten

MoMA Art Lab
Kindergarten students have started off their art training learning how to use the elements of art line and shape. We used the art app MoMA Art Lab to play with these elements.  Some students stayed abstract and others made representational objects like houses, snowman, and cars.  I believe play is an important part of the art process, and this app allows students to do that with minimal supplies, mess and time.  We didn't explore the activities on the app yet, but I'm hoping after this introduction students will continue to use the app at home and in the future if they have choice time on the iPad.

Since I was more on top of the lesson, today's class finished early, so I had them do the activites.  I choose the Mastisse game where they had to cut out shapes. It turned out to be a really good motor skill practice for them!
Students had to "cut" the shapes out with their finger.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Painting like Van Gogh on the iPad

This week, 3rd grade is using the app PlayART Van Gogh while drawing their own sunflowers. I am loving the results! We have one more round of students to go and then I'll share the results on Artsonia!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Children's Books on the iPad

A kindergarten lesson often has a book to accompany it, so a search on iTunes commenced to look for free children's books. I am a printmaker/bookmaker, so my love for books runs hardcore, but I liked this experience of using an e-book for a few reasons.  First, I like that the students have some ownership of the experience.  Flipping pages, pace, and listening to it over again was in their control.  Next, the book was interactive.  It asked the students to participate in the story.  They painted the dog's paw prints and found the frog under the leaves.  Finally, there is a management advantage.  My classes run back to back with no minutes in between.  I needed to get paint poured and had no time during my previous classes.  While students sat in groups of two or three listening to the book I was able to get paint ready so there was no wasted time.  A huge bonus during a 40 minute class!  While getting all the colors ready, I noticed the kindergarten students really experienced joy while listening and interacting with the book.  Teacher and students were happy!

Once students were finished with the book and materials were ready, we regrouped on the carpet and talked about the story.  At the end of the book there is a rainbow and this flowed into our lesson of painting a ROYGBV rainbow.  Next class students practiced cutting zig-zag and curvy lines from great worksheets I found on Pinterest and then cut out and glued their rainbow lines to black paper.  My first class drew the lines themselves, and while the results were much more unique, many students struggled because their self drawn lines where to intricate to cut out themselves.  For the second day, I drew curvy and zig-zag lines on the back of the paper and students felt much more confident about their cutting skills.  Check out our results on Artsonia!

What e-books have you found or do you use?!?!?!

Kindergarten read Stella and Sam Rainy Days and Rainbows


I drew curvy and zig-zags lines on the back.
Students drew their own curvy and zig-zag lines.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Project During Our Project: Monsters Invade Our School!

Fifth grade was working on a printmaking project and I only had a small amount of cutters and more importantly, bench hooks.  What to do with the other half of students?  This is why I love having iPads!  Low materials but high on results.  A perfect double project maker!

Every fall I do a small unit on fear.  I found this Eye Paint Monsters app and knew the kids would have a chance to play and experiment!  It's a touch and shoot app.  The monsters are already drawn and the students take pictures to fill in the empty areas.  To enrich the app, I added the concept of textures and the monster had to be in our school.  I like that you can edit your picture after saving it.  If students wanted to use people, (such as the principal being attacked by bats!) they had to take two pictures so one could be published on Artsonia.  No peeps allowed on the site.  To make two photos, it's as simple as taking the first photo, saving it, and repeating the process for the second photo.  I had a box full of fabrics including fur, lace, and netting for the students to photograph.  Some students even used textures they found around the school and the clothes they were wearing.  They like experimenting with the camera and using perspective to place the monster in just the right pose.  The monster could be big or small, depending on the perspective. Eye Paint Monsters was a great one day project that students were enthusiastic about, help us while having wait time on another project, and results were entertaining to the whole school!

Monsters are invading our school!

If a student took a picture with a person, they had to take a second picture.
The picture below is by the same student. 
This monster is tiny and standing in a students hand.
The students enjoyed playing with perspective.

Don't mess with our cook! 

All monsters are on Artsonia

Maybe this guy is blogging?!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sometimes, Less is More on the iPad


Don't you hate it when you get a free app and you're all excited because the pictures looked so cool... and then you find out only the download was free?  (Cue Price is Right loosing sound effect!)  Sooooo disappointing!  Now you have to buy all the pieces and parts (Which I haven't quite figured out how to do, since I buy everything through vouchers with the apple volume store. Any suggestions?)

Usually, this app would get deleted or forgotten about.  However, in this case, the limited use of the app was actually preferred and perfect for a kindergarten project!  

Paper 53
Kindergarten was learning about horizontal and vertical lines.  We used tissue paper to create the lines in our first project "Bedhead" but I thought a lesson on the iPad would be a good introduction to using the iPads in art.  After all, most of kindergarten is about all introducing them to materials, how to use them and play/take risks! When I came across Paper 53, the ease of picking colors and only have one option, the pen, was perfect.  The kids still had a choice of colors, but they were limited with the pen as their only tool.  Boundaries are often good.  It's within the boundaries kids sometimes have more room to explore.  Students are less busy switching materials and more busy making marks.  Without the choice of other tools, the assignment stayed focused on lines and colors.  The results were beautiful little drawings that developed unexpected layers!

On a management side of things, I had students work in groups of two.  Our class sizes this year are small for K.  Normally, it's a 1:3 ratio.  After they were finished, which in most cases was me telling them they were, I wrote the name for the student and then cropped their name out when I published on Artsonia.
Here are some examples below and you can see the cropped results on our Artsonia site!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Brainstorming our Big Idea with Cloudart

After the introduction of the big idea of belonging on the first day of school, I needed fourth grade students to brainstorm and make more personal connections to the idea.  Who or what do they belong to?  What is their heritage?  What family traditions do they have?  I needed students to brainstorm these questions on a personal level for their making meaning project.  Asking 4th grade students to brainstorm answers to these questions would fall under the category of engaging, so I decided to use the app CloudArt.  I've seen it used by other art teachers and it looked like the perfect vehicle to get my students to answer otherwise dry questions. I had them think of 7-10 words that describe how they belong. Students typed these words into the app and they got to "play" with color choice, design and making words smaller or bigger.  CloudArt could be used to teach graphic design, color choice, fonts, and so on, but I merely used it today to get them thinking about answers that I need them to know for our next project.  Brainstorming with beautiful results and students who are engaged...I'll take it! To see our whole gallery of CloudArt check out artsonia.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Digital Globe

World Atlas
We're off and running already in the first week of school!  I like to get the kids into the process of making art right away so we started off the first day with the big idea of BELONGING.  While we study this idea and ask How does artwork help a community express belonging?, we're going to look at other cultures and how they express this same idea with artwork. Every fall we study an ancient culture with our big idea. This fall I decided ancient Asia would fit well with the big idea.  Using the app World Atlas from National Geographic was an awesome way to show my students exactly where Asia is compared to where they live.  Instead of looking at a flat map or having to store a globe in an already crowed art room, this was a digital globe.  For some classes I showed them on my projector using my Reflector app and others used the iPads as a small to explore this continent. Students really got to visualize the old tale of if they digging a hole to China!

I did pay for this app, but felt it was worth the $$$ because I can use this app across multiple lessons and for all grades.  What other ways do you use a virtual map?

The virtual globe

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Starting Kindergarten on the iPad

See more on Artsonia.

Where do I begin for my Kindergarten students?  This is the question I was asking myself when thinking about how to incorporate the iPad into my K curriculum.  I came across the app My Flake and decided it was a simple idea with excellent results so I'd start there.  Students had just finished drawing themselves on a snow day, so it fit with the idea and I could display them together.  The first day, I had students work on their snow day portraits and called ten students to the carpet to work since I have ten iPads (ten of which I'm very grateful for!).  I thought I could run it like a centers in their regular Kindergarten class.  I didn't like this set up, however.  I didn't like that I couldn't help students who were drawing and was stuck on the carpet.  The students at the carpet weren't helping each other because they were consumed with their own iPad and were very needy with me sitting right there.

Today was attempt two.  I decided each table (I have ten, conveniently) would get an iPad and they would just watch each other work.  I felt this worked better.  Students helped other students.  (Some have them at home, others do not, so they teach each other the basics like how to use the home button.  Which saves me time since I only have K once a week for 40 minutes!)  I was able to help all my students.  Everyone was focused on the same goal.  Students were excited to see their peers' results and gave one another positive feedback.  Kids and I were happier.
I used Skitch to write the
name on each snowflake.

As they finished their snowflakes, I took a screenshot of the snowflake and then I opened the photo in Skitch. I prepared the text box for each student and they typed their own name and saved it.  Extra keyboarding practice was a bonus!  I was very busy with this task and 23 kids, but as the class went on, students learned the process by watching and it went faster.  I cropped the snowflakes after class.  Each iPad uses the same Skitch/Evernote account, so I could crop them all on one iPad because they automatically sync together.

When I first choose this app, I was conflicted if it really went with my curriculum.  I'm not one for fluff or pretty things if students aren't making meaning.  Was it teaching them anything other than just how to use and share the iPads and a really cool app?  As they were working today, I realized they were using shapes and lines, and then turning those into a snowflake.  It put meaning to their random choices, gave them a chance to play, and started Kindergarten students on their journey of using iPads in the art room.

Friday, January 25, 2013

All in One for Digital Photography

Today fourth grade students rocked out a digital photography lesson!  I am very excited about the process and results.

We started our journey into pop art by painting simple drawings of presidents found on Crayola's website.  Students used three to four fluorescent paints. (I am really impressed with Crayola's Premier Tempera! I think the extra few dollars is worth it for the fluorescent colors.)  I'll publish the results of this project on artsonia soon!  We also did research about pop art and artists using the iPad.  I blogged about this earlier.

Students used Photoshop Express
to edit photographs.
With this foundation, we reviewed the meaning of pop art and I asked the students to think of popular images they saw just in our elementary school world.  We talk about logos that they see all the time, school celebrities, and specific items that are a part of their everyday life here at school.  I wanted them to find items that are not always considered art and to turn them into art. (I do want to say that the Mona Lisa photo is part of our world as a celebrity.  I use the "I say Mona... you say Lisa" at part of my classroom management. The students have to then strike the Mona Lisa pose, so she is quite the celebrity here! Curriculum is always about the students' world to help them make meaning!)  

I have ten iPads, so the students worked in groups and each group created one final piece.  I went through the process on the projection screen and then students worked from a packet listing step by step instructions with screenshots. You can see the step by step packet here.  Before starting we also talked about saturation, contrast, and really making our selected object the focus of our photograph.

What I loved the most about the iPad today was that the whole lesson used one piece of equipment.  No plugging camera's into a computer or buying photography software.  With the ease of doing everything on the  iPad, my students were able to complete this project in one 40 minute class period.  It amazed me!  

See more results on Artsonia
The photo booth I made.
iPads and recycle copy  paper boxes! Quite a contrast! 
Pop Art President

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Using the iPad to Answer "I'M FINISHED!"

    Do you ever have some students finished with a project and others still working?  I do! The last thing I want to do is get them ahead again on starting the next project.  At first, I was giving these students a chance to use some apps on the iPad.  I let the students use apps like Pottery HD Lite and Faces iMake, but then I noticed students rushing their projects to use the iPad, and were they really getting anything out of using these apps so casually?

     Students were finishing a Pop Art project this week and we didn't have a lot of class time to talk about all the many artists that encompass pop art.  How was I going to get this information to them and still make forward progress?  The iPad answers my dilemma once again!  On my website that I design with Weebly, I linked websites and videos of artists.  Students brought their own earbuds to class that day and were instructed to do Pop Art research!

     This solved many problems!  Students who were behind got caught up.  They have a chance to do the research on their own time if they choose because the material is all available on my website.  These students also didn't rush their projects to use the iPads.  Students using the iPad could share more easily than when they were using an app and were less distracting to the students finishing up their work.  I also felt like they were working on something that was adding to their learning experience, and not just buying time.  Overall, it was a productive day in art today for all my students!
Students found the link and videos on my website .