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.