You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2011.

Thanks for the reminder Camille, that is a great way to keep on top of new blog posts I want to read. I also use the RSS feed for a lot of the blogs I want to follow, but the email reminder will help a lot.  I can even tell wordpress how often to update me.  So, for example if I decide that every Friday I will check the blog, I can ask to be updated once a week to make it easier.  Sweet..

Camille, do you use RSS feed at all?  It is so simple!  You just have to have some sort of a reader- I use Google reader.  First, I signed up for a Google reader account.  Now whenever I find a blog  that I like that has RSS feed I sign up for the feed.  The blog asks me what to use to collect the feed and I choose “Google reader”, so whenever I go into my Google reader account, the latest posts will be there.   You can sign up for RSS feed for this blog here:

On my iPad I use Flipboard to pull  Google reader and all my RSS feeds together.  Flipboard is a free ap that converts any blog, wiki, twitter account, facebook, etc. that you subscribe to (with RSS feed) into a slick news magazine.  Here’s a screen shot of my homepage on my iPad Flipboard- notice that Google reader is on there, along with some others.

At first I had a bit of a problem using Fipboard because you have to tell it which blogs or RSS feeds to put in the line up.  Sites that are well-known are easy,  you just use the search function on  Flipboard to find them and add them to your account, then they appear on your homepage.    It can be tricky to find some of the other blogs that don’t get as much traffic, so I made sure that I was subscribed through Google reader and then just put Google reader in my Flipboard account.

Here’s what the Artsedtech blog looks like on Flipboard:

It’s a great tool to share theatre blogs with my students because they can turn the pages like a book. Cool huh?

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So Cory… I have been reading all the blog posts and thought it might be helpful if we shared the process of following other teacher’s posts… So that others can comment and collaborate where they feel appropriate on each other’s blog posts?

I have found it useful to receive email updates when anyone from the blog makes new posts. Below is a screenshot if you are not already receiving these updates. Do you find this a useful tool Cory?:

12/19/2011 CIG Meeting

Today was a great workday. Our CIG discussed our Inquiry question. We developed and shared our student survey. This survey is to discover the amount of independence our students feel as learners. I decided to post my survey on my class wiki so that my substitute can administer the survey to my students. Our goal is to post the results on our wiki before the next meeting. My survey also includes an interest survey to help me determine what project I will be doing with my students. After I get the results I will develop my plans for my inquiry. This will also give me some ideas of what I will do for the sandbox at the end of the year.

I wanted to share with my fellow AE these 2 videos made by a group of students in Art 1. These are the responses of this particular group to the inquiry question; How can we re-tell the story of our school?

I would appreciate your feedback, especially any help with editing out the sound noise on the final rap video.

 

Preview of Sunshine video:

http://vimeo.com/33917005

 

THE Sunshine Video:

http://vimeo.com/33917437

 

 

 

Before we started today, we all decided to have questions for surveys for our students. We want to measure how independent our students are. Today during our meeting, the Independents discussed our questions, made sure that our questions were fitted for the age group and was truely asking what we needed to measure. Each of us typed our questions either for paper form print out or on google docs or poll daddy. Before the next meeting each of us will give our students a survey. We will collect data and edit the data on our groups wiki page.

The fourth graders began their lesson on masks by looking at prints from many different cultures.  Typically, I would have them draw from these prints.  With inquiry in mind, I changed the lesson a little and started a list on the board of what the mask might tell you. The students generated a list of 5 questions that could tell them all about the masks.   Each table used their set of prints to compile their answers.  About 15 minutes before the class ended, we had a discussion of all of the questions.  This approach made the students really search for the answers in the prints, at first they wanted to know where do we get the answers.  Once they realized that they had to look to find the answers, they got busy and were very successful.  The next week when I asked them to draw their own mask,  I was so happy to see more detailed and varied ideas for their clay masks.  The inquiry approach for the beginning of the lesson really improved the outcome.  They will glaze the masks next week.

The skype meeting that our group held on December 1st was very helpful to me.  I was really unsure about how to start inquiry in my classroom.  Brian suggested that I just go with what I would typically teach at that time of year or what I had planned next.  So next I was going to teach stop motion animation.  James questioned me about how I typically do it and how could I do this differently.  How could a partial video created by one group relate to another?  Below I posted what I did.

Typically when I introduce stop motion animation to my students, I do it a pretty structured format.  I usually give a brief history and then move onto showing how to use the software and give a demonstration of animating.  Next, I may have the kids come up in groups to try it out.  Then, I have the movie structured that they will create.  So I am trying to steer away from this structured format.  This is how it is happening this time around-showed a  3 minute video of a Gumby based claymation.  This claymation did not include detailed characters such as Gumby or Pokey.  My students were to work in groups to create a storyboard of a potential claymation that they may create.  They had to keep in mind that their groups work must relate to each others.  How could we do that?  The students actually really surprised me.  This was exciting!  They came up with ideas for their storyboard.  Next, each group worked with another group to discuss if they felt each storyboard would relate when put all together into one movie.  They also went beyond this “working together”… and actually went on there own to say things like, “how will you angle the camera if you want this piece of clay to look like it is floating in the air”.  They conducted the inquiry on their own.  This was a huge breakthrough for me.

This morning we have gone through and gave time for each group member to talk about where we are in our classroom.  We originally gave ourselves an assignment of teaching a particular lesson using direct instruction methods while also teaching that lesson using inquiry based instruction.  After our skype meeting, we had mixed thoughts about that.  Instead, we decided to focus primarily on inquiry.  Soooo- everyone went through and showed work, videos and spoke about their process and their lessons.

Chelsie shared her tearing paper lesson as well as a water color technique using cool colors in the background and warm colors in the foreground.  The students went through a choice based process when choosing what water color techniques to use.

Brian had a wonderful breakthrough where one student is setting up a “business”.  The student has really flown with this and is taking control of his art as well as dealing with customers, banking and other things that a business must deal with.

Carol is giving her students more flexibility when working with clay.  She is not giving them step by step instructions when creating a bowl.  Instead, she shows them an instructional video and time to work with the clay.  She gives them a ball of clay the next week and they are to create a bowl on their own using their own methods.  I am interested in giving my students more time with clay as well.  It may be sculpy clay this year since my students will be creating a claymation (which they have never done).

Amber is giving the students the task of arranging musical notes in order of steps or stairs.  They are given tubes called boom whackers which play a tone when hit.  The students are working together to form a series of notes of a short song.  They are going through problem solving as well as working successfully during collaboration.

Angie is tying in her work for the Mattress Factory project with inquiry.  The students are coming up with and showing ownership towards their own pieces of installation art.

Typically when I introduce stop motion animation to my students, I do it a pretty structured format.  I usually give a brief history and then move onto showing how to use the software and give a demonstration of animating.  Next, I may have the kids come up in groups to try it out.  Then, I have the movie structured that they will create.  So I am trying to steer away from this structured format.  This is how it is happening this time around-showed a  3 minute video of a Gumby based claymation.  This claymation did not include detailed characters such as Gumby or Pokey.  My students were to work in groups to create a storyboard of a potential claymation that they may create.  They had to keep in mind that their groups work must relate to each others.  How could we do that?  The students actually really surprised me.  This was exciting!  They came up with ideas for their storyboard.  Next, each group worked with another group to discuss if they felt each storyboard would relate when put all together into one movie.  They also went beyond this “working together”… and actually went on there own to say things like, “how will you angle the camera if you want this piece of clay to look like it is floating in the air”.  They conducted the inquiry on their own.  This was a huge breakthrough for me.

This afternoon we have talked a bit about what else we can do with our students.  Carol and I have been worrying a little bit to much on individual lessons.  Instead- tie it into each lesson that you are already teaching.  Brian showed us a great example of face proportion that his student teacher conducted in high school art.  The students drew the guide lines on the board and then were able to laugh and learn from their mistakes.  This was a simple way to tie in inquiry and let the students learn from their mistakes rather than just telling them exactly what they would need to do.

 

 

I read the article “The Creative  Music Strategy” and overall I thought this article was great and insightful.  I think it is definitely applicable and practical.  The only downfall I saw with this process was that it appears to me that this might be difficult to do all of your lessons around…maybe that is not the expectation.   Maybe it is just ONE way of doing a lesson, and in this case I think it’s perfect.  But to do every lesson from this perspective, I think that could get kind of monotonous.  One of my favorite parts of the article was a list of characteristics of a creative teacher.  I will list them now to make it easier to discuss in this post.  I will put the list in bold and my comments and thoughts in regular font.

1. Respect for children as individuals – I definitely feel I encompass this first one and I feel it is definitely the foundation for any educator.  If you respect your children for who they are personally, you are going to teach them creatively to meet their needs.

2. Ability to relate/establish rapport with children – This is directly linked to the first one.  Children have a very keen sense of knowing when an adult has respect and care for them and when they are just another person taking up a seat in a classroom.  I feel I have a very good relationship and rapport with my students in which they know that I care about them and their learning.

3. Flexibility in adapting to needs of children – this is essential for making learning and content relevant to children.  In my 5 years of teaching I have been at 5 different schools and all 3 levels of eduction (primary, jr. high, and high school).  And I have seen how my lessons have adapted and my approach has changed in each setting and for each individual class,

4. Enthusiam for learning and living – I feel this is such an important component, that isn’t so much what happens in the class room, but what is your life like outside of the classroom?  A teacher who has a life a part from school that is thriving and not simply surviving will promote the same vibe in their own classroom.  I know this is part of the reason why there is enjoyment and motivation in my classes, because my take on life is to discover and experience as much as I can!

5. Leads children to experience the wonder of music through personal discovery – This is necessary, because music, and all the arts for that matter, connect with personal experience and without it, there isn’t a real response.  There must be an organic, personal aspect to music, a way students can discover things themselves, in order for there to be a real experience.

6. Helps children to discover the social relevance of music – I think this is really important, especially with how quickly musical influence changes and evolves.  Students need to see how music relates to history, art, politics, and life in general as well as how it relates to them personally.

7. Recognizes the earmarks of creativity in children – I think it is important to different types of activities so you can see how certain students blossom in some areas and other students do in different ones.

8. Arouses curiosity about music that won’t let go until it is satisfied

9. Possesses confidence and security resulting from adequate preparation and experience

10. Plans wisely for each stage of development

11. Make the study of music exciting

12. Aware of the importance of using community resources

13. Demonstrates insight to appraise children’s work objectively and to provide encouragement for additional experiences

14. Knowledge of materials and instructional procedures

15. Presents appropriate personality and dress

Today we made a lot of progress sharing what inquiry techniques we have been using. I enjoy hearing the techniques media being used and how each of our processes are different. Brian was focusing on art as a business and the ins and outs of  creatting supply and demand. Amanda was story boarding with collaborative groups with her third graders. Amber discussed how her students could add music to Amanda’s stop motion animation. Angie shared her installation art experience with her students and how to try out the lesson with the next group of students. Carol shared her clay lesson experience where she used a video to show techniques and gave her students longer work time . I was able to share my own experience with cool colors and warm color painting techniques also a torn paper Christmas tree turned out well. It was interresting
seeing and hearing everyone’s processes, they gave me ideas as well as inspired me to try new types of inquiry.

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