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!