Monday, September 26, 2011

It all starts with a dot.

I always start my Kindergarteners out with with a high success project that gives me a glimps into where they are fine motor wise.  I read the book The Dot and we talk about how art can start with a simple dot.  Each child then gets to make a dot of their own.  When they are finished we glue it to a gold colored paper and use gold marker to make swirls.  They frame it in "swirly gold" just like the art teacher in the story does. The best part is the hall display.  The kids get so excited to see their dot on display.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

5th Grade- Experiments with Tweeting

My 5th graders are going to learn about social networking, specifically formats like Twitter.  Each student will be tweeting in a more manual form about a variety of topics throughout the school year.  This started with discussions about Vermeer and Vasquez portraiture.  Students learned many of the tricks used to get proportion correct and the placement of facial features just right.  We used mirrors to help students create more accurate portraits of themselves.  The drawings were done in pencil and then lightly colored in with colored pencil.  Next, we glued then onto paper to create a Twitter looking strip and added screen names. I will be laminating them over the next few weeks and then students can respond to my tweets with a dry erase marker.  The tweets can then be posted for everyone to read.  I think there are probably lots of ways to use these in the classroom, but I haven't thought of all the possible applications yet.  I got the idea from a speaker I heard at the MSDC conference last year.  Other ideas like this are available on his web site  

Friday, September 23, 2011

Let's get started!

      I really enjoy sharing and learning from the blogs of the many art teachers that I subscribe to.  So, I have decided that it is time to share some of my projects, experiments and adventures in the art classroom with others.
      This year the adventure began with me teaching on a cart for the first time in over 10 years.  This has been less of a learning curve than the first time around, but advances in technology have certainly thrown in a new twist that I have been learning to work around. 
     For now I thought I would post pictures of my cart.  The district provided me with a basic cart with decent storage, but I couldn't just leave it at that. 
 As you can see I went all out creating a super art a la cart machine! My husband helped me to "pimp my ride." I thought about all the needs I would have and tried to create solutions for each need.

The end has a fold down desk with a removable leg. It is great for using my document camera on for demonstrations.  I also added an extra power strip for all of my computer equipment and a pencil sharpener.

The back side has accessible baskets of basic supplies like pencils, scissors and glue, with a lip to keep them from sliding off.  You can see the pencil sharpener on the left.  I can also clip posters to the lip for easy transport to each room.  The large grey board is a dry erase on one side and bulletin board on the other.  It has hooks at the top so it hangs on the lip.  I can move it any where in the rooms I go to.  Many have little or no white board space for me to use.

At the pushing end we drilled 2 holes and put in S hooks to hang 5 gallon buckets for clean and dirty water. Every inch gets used, so I have a dust pan and brush on the side of the shelf.

The teaching side includes lots of storage, a laptop with speakers, document camera, LCD projector and wireless Internet.  I have recently changed the computer shelf to be legless, so I can have better access underneath.  The document camera tucks in side to the right.  The projector sits up top and is Velcro strapped to the cart. Pockets of information like emergency evacuation info and schedules are also on Velcro, so they can be easily removed. On the top are storage of my record books, extra free choice projects and books that I read to students.