Thursday, January 19, 2017

Stop Motion Animation, Resource Training and Solution


Excited to be training Gifted and Talented teachers at Resource Training and Solutions today. Stop Motion Animation fits in so well with a GT program.  I have found that GT students need engagement and motivation as much as any, and stop motion is a perfect way to do that. 


1st, let's talk about set up.  What can be used? How does it work in a class?  What do you need? How much does it cost? Check out this link for a preview( Homemade iPad Stands)



Next, let me give you the ideal situation. This is an independent age group, with plenty of time to work and all the materials needed.

Story Map found here




Working with a younger group?  Here are a couple solutions for that.  We will talk about how to get many little hands involved in a collaborative stop motion animation. 







Do you have special needs students... They can become involved too...


Here is the wrap-up lesson... If you leave this hands-on presentation and need a refresh on how to teach it, visit this link


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Pattern Pets


We are learning about designs in Kindergarten.  Best practice to me is making sure kids learn the important information for the rest of their lives.  How do you help students remember those big ideas (and maybe some small ones too)?  You move their body, you make a rhyme or a song, you have them create using that concept.  In this case, I have the kids do actions to this little saying... 

Shapes and lines make the best designs. 

For the k's I make it a little more fun and have them use different voices as shown in the video below. 


Day 1 (one hour class)

Doing the rhyme is the first 5 minutes of class.  I also like to record this to share on +Seesaw so parents know the concepts being covered in class (and get to see some fun learning as well).


After, I play this video.  I stop it right after I get done talking about lines. (48 seconds)


I give each student a 6X9 inch sheet of paper. They go to their spots and draw their 5 lines. When they finish, they come right back to the carpet. Then I play the next part of the video talking about shapes. Again, I stop it (1:12).  I instruct the kids that they need to put their name on the back before drawing their shapes.  When finished, they come right back to the carpet again.



I play the next part of the video and stop it after the coloring instructions (2:41). Students line-up to get a sharpie. After returning the markers, they color.  I have to remind them several times to ask three before they show it to me.  Great practice on peer feedback. 


Here are some examples of students work.  I would show them the images and ask them what they would suggest to the artist if they asked them for feedback. 






That is the end of class.  If students finish before the end of class I let them play with blocks on the floor or create on practice paper. There usually isn't more than 10 minutes of 'extra' time for any Kindergarten student. 

Day 2 (one hour class)

A quick review of what a design is, starts out the class again. You will be amazed that most (if not all) of these little sponges soaked up the saying from last time.  They will be excited to share, "Shapes and lines make the best design." I practice this saying a couple more times in Robot, or in a whisper, or some other fun voice... just for fun. 

I play the next part of the video (2:40-3:58).  This part breaks down the idea of folding and cutting. This is VERY hard for kindergarten.  I have them fold and draw the 'rainbow'.  They bring it to me before they can get a pair of scissors to cut.   Have a pen ready to re-draw the rainbow curve on the 'right' side (the open side). 



Once all the cutting is done, I play the last portion of the video, all the way to the end.  Students get the head circle and get to work.  Drawing with pencil, sharpie, and color.  Glue is used to finish the work.  I love to share these little works of art on +Seesaw to share with parents. If students have extra time, I have small sheets of paper available for them to create other pets.  They get to recreate and make mistakes... and learn.  Students are proud to bring home their pattern pets. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Bit-O-Bio, Yayoi Kusama


It's been a long time, but I'm so happy to announce that I have recorded another #Bit-O-Bio.  This time, I recorded on a lesser known Artist. Yayoi Kusama was new to me.  I loved her look and knew my students would too. 


So here I was, this January day recording about Yayoi Kusama and her family support (or lack thereof), her obsession with dots, and need for Art in her life.  Yayoi lives in a mental institution by her own choice. I wanted to address the healing powers of Art in her life.


I needed to cover someone with an eccentric look, someone who is alive.  Someone who they might see in a gallery.  Yayoi fit all of those requirements well.  I also wanted to cover an Artist who had a style that was a good jumping off point to many projects.  A teacher could move into repetition, shapes, lines, color... just to name a few from the principals and elements. 



Another reason Yayoi was interesting is because she was an Artist of so many forms and mediums.  She created sculptures, paintings, fashion, performance, and music. 


I needed to explain to students what an installation is in an Art Museum during this #BitOBio.  It was fun to explain Yayoi's, Obliteration Room in student friendly language.

Image from Stephan Ridgway
My plan is to create my own Obliteration installation in my classroom that I will invite my students to interact with. 


The #BitOBio's are getting better. As with everything, the more I practice, the better it get's.  These Bit-O-Bio's are no exception. 

Let me share Yayoi Kusama's #BitOBio with you and your students
Click here



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Introduction to Watercolor


As I move more and more to choice-based learning I have run into a couple of problems.  I gave students the option to work on a lesson focusing on creating forms.  After learning the project, I allowed students the opportunity to use any 2-D medium they wanted to create with.  Many students chose watercolors.

We have used watercolors before.  We have covered the type of paper and the proper use, but students really struggled.   They left the station a disaster and the watercolors were not used properly.   I'm all about learning through failure however, endless watercolor paper is pricey.


When I think about it, maybe I went over how to use watercolor, but I created a structured environment where students never had to make choices, or be responsible.  I needed to train these kids again to learn on their own and become good studio participants.


I created a worksheet that would allow the students to have an introduction to watercolors before using them. As you can see they simply scan the QR codes (or type in the URL).  They watched one of the three videos and answer a couple of questions. They can then show me the completed worksheet and the watercolor station is open to them.


This lesson is available on my TPT store.  Click here

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Recycle Your Dry Markers


I have shared this before, but let me share it again!! Did you know that Crayola will collect your dry markers?  They 'Color Cycle' it.  It's so easy you start a collection for dry markers.  I have a separate container for the caps... I'm sure I'll find something to use them for :) You box up your collection, weigh it, and print out a mailing slip to attach to the top of the box.  The instructions say leave it for your Fed Ex person to come to your school and they will pick it up for you.  SOOOOOO easy! 


My students and I have recently collected 30 lbs of dry markers.  They are right now in the office ready to be picked up and my students are helping to reduce, reuse, and recycle.