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. 


Friday, January 6, 2017

Students Record and Share their Knowledge


The National Art Standards have made me rethink how I teach.  In a way, it gave me encouragement to teach the way I feel learning should be presented to students.  In this post, allow me to share how Presenting Art has become more than just a display in the hallway.  


Take a look above, our National Standards encourage that we allow students to SHARE!  What better way to do that than through video. I have been sure to record and share with parents this whole year using the app Seesaw.  There is one small word that bothers me about that last statement, the word 'I'.  We as teachers should be encouraging our students to present their work to their audience themselves.  This is one way to do that.


I set up my room to allow the students to work, but also record their voices for video.  I showed the students a tutorial that I had made of how to create a heart.  First drawing, and then cutting. This seems like a nice easy task... but it is a bit challenging for some of the K's and a few 1st graders too.  It's a skill that needs to be taught if you want a student to perform it.  That sounds funny... doesn't it.  You need to teach the simplest of skills... break it down, show them step by step.  Even how to draw and cut a heart.  I show them in video form to demonstrate what I will be asking them to do later in class.



You need a skill that is simple to start with the tutorial.  Students need to be able to create and be self-explorers. So the room ends up looking like this (see below).



And your students leave your classroom looking like this... 



I have one station set up for recording.  So students might have to (more like, 'get-to') work on the floor. The station is set up with two crates with glass across the top.  The glass is from a display case... shhhh, don't tell. There are two iPads on the glass and I had this setup on both sides of the table to allow four students to record at once. 



The students demonstrate under the glass and the iPad stays on the glass. 



Each iPad has a headphone attached to it with a microphone. This allows the little voices of the students to be amplified and heard over the activities of the classroom.  I had these donated from Doners Choose (Thanks again to my sponsors).  



Here is a view to see what the classroom looks like in action. 



Here are a couple tutorials created by my students. 



The above demonstration is from a Kindergarten student. I love this view of what she was doing because I was able to see that she could use some help on her scissor grip.  I didn't know that previously.  This form of recording is a great way to assess skills. 


In the above video, I love that the student is trying so hard to get the action under the camera. I also was impressed that he took the time to show how to make the heart... and how NOT to make the heart.  Consider what his tutorials will look like after practice.  This was a great start to show a baseline for these Kindergarten and 1st-grade students. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Minnesota Youth Art Month WINNERS!!


I couldn't wait to share this big news in our house!  
Matisse found out that she won the 2017 Youth Art Month Flag Design. 

I did not have enough time to dedicate with my classes at school to enter for this competition so I decided to talk to Matisse, my daughter about this competition this year.  she was excited to represent out beautiful state.  She focused on the cities, suburban, and rural areas of the state.  You can't do an image of Minnesota without including a lake.  Minnesota is known for it's '10,000' lakes. She chose to add the text digitally. This girl spent no less than 5 hours creating this amazing work.  She was very excited to have been selected. 


The Minnesota, 2017 Youth Art Month Flag Design Winner

Elementary: Matisse Hahn, 3rd Grade
Teacher: Nic Hahn, 

Flag design will be used for the Youth Art Month promotional poster.

Middle Level: Katlyn Lemke, Glencoe Silver Lake Middle School.
Teacher: Sandra Landes

Flag will be used for the Youth Art Month Promotional Postcard.

High School: Jessica Zuidema, MACCRAY High School
Teacher: LeAnn Atchison

Flag design will be displayed at the Youth Art Month Museum at the NAEA convention in March

All flags will be displayed at the YAM Student Exhibition at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Feb. 20th-March 25!