Not only do I get to know names through this activity, but I also get to know more about my students.
It always seems to take me about a month to get everyone's names memorized. Because I am a visual person, the project that always seems to do the trick for me is the Portfolio Name. Students took about four days to plan, design, and create a name design to show their interests and ideas on their portfolio. They first brainstorm lists of things that they identify with as being a part of who they are and then use that list to create their names.
Not only do I get to know names through this activity, but I also get to know more about my students.
Bella E.: The materials I used to make the artwork was, paper, ruler, pencil, and gel pens. I first made the right measurements to make the letters even. I first started making the flower which is to represent the "b". Then after I darkened the edges of the flower to add texture and shading. Then I made the "e" which is ice-cream. I colored the sprinkles and the cherry. Then I made the basketball hoop, the "l" and tried to make it the shape of the l and used shading to make it look more realistic. Then I also made a husky that represents another "l". After that I finally made the seedling and I had colored the stem. This artwork means a lot to me because I love to plants, then my nickname is ice, and I like ice-cream so therefor I made ice-cream. Then I love basketball so I therefor made a hoop, then I love huskies and totally wish I had one so I figured why not make a husky.
Ben V.: For my portfolio, I made the B into a hand gripping a basketball, and a soccer ball under the basketball. I am personally connected to this because I love to play soccer and basketball. Next, for my E, I drew a fishing pole catching a fish, with a pond under it. This describes me because I love to fish. I have been fishing since I was a little kid. Finally, for my N, I did a different object for each line in the N. The first line is a wakeboard because I really like to wakeboard. For the second line I drew a snowboard because my favorite thing to do in the winter is to snowboard. Finally, The last line of my N is a wakesurf rope, because I love to wakesurf in the summer.
Grace W.: So for my portfolio I did the letter G in a christmas way because my favorite holiday is christmas. I made it like christmas by make the lights on the christmas tree into the shape of the G. The next letter is R and I made that into a Hawaiian theme. I took a palm tree and made a surf board leaning up against it so it would look like the letter R. Next I made the letter A into my favorite food, watermelon. I made the point of the watermelon point upwards so it would look like the letter A. Next is the letter C. For the letter C I drew a doughnut. But to make it look like a C I made the doughnut bitten into. And last but not least the letter E. I made the E a beach. On each point of the E there is a different beach activity. On the top one there is a wave, on the second one there is a palm tree, and on the bottom one there is a sand castle with a small tide. And that is how I made my portfolio to represent me.
I also had the chance to spend the day in downtown Grand Rapids with students on Wednesday for ArtPrize. It was cold day filled with a ton of art and fun (and sniffles). I am still recovering from the fun we had that day!
Studio Habits of Mind
One thing I have been working on with my after school art students is the Studio Habits of Mind. I asked them to create their own version of the habits to remember via a sketch note and here are two of the results:
2nd Annual STEAM Film Festival
Students spent this week working on and then presenting their videos that included topics about making healthy choices, celebrating diversity, promoting character, and choosing appropriate online behavior.
It was fun to see students work in groups as they took their scripts and storyboard from last week and transformed them into videos this week. At the end of the week, we had students present their videos in small groups as they rotated to different groups. This was a technique we learned from last year that worked well for us in a different challenge. It also helped keep us off the hook if there were internet issues accessing the videos since students streamed them directly from their computers.
Here are a few that were shared and will make their way into various competitions:
One new feature of our STEAM collaboration was having our community television crew visit the kids on our final day! In addition to talking about their work on Byron Center Community Television, students were offered an opportunity to check out and work their equipment and sign up to get more information on volunteering.
There are definitely things we will work on to make this project even better next year. We made sure to ask our students to help us with that by having them fill out a Google Form as a self-reflection. In it, many students said their favorite part of the PSA Challenge was filming and working in groups that included students from both Art and STEM.
Some things they would like us to do in the future is open up even more categories for topics they can create films about in this project.
We will definitely be looking into that...
3D test prints
When students finished their videos early, they were directed to Tinkercad to play with the 3D print designer. We are still learning the potential of our 3D printer, but one student was able to walk away with a pretty nice chicken they printed...
Starting with STEAM
For the first full week of school, the STEM teacher and I combine our classes for a STEAM collaborative. This allows for us to start the year out showing the students that we use common language and methods for design thinking.
Students use their sketchbooks to map out the process, so they can have it available as they move from my class to his (and visa versa) at semester. For Design Thinking, we use DICE (Discover, Ideate, Create, Evaluate). We used to use a longer process, but have found that this fits just right.
After students were introduced to the basics of video production and given a variety of topics to choose from, they got into their groups and started working on scripts and storyboards. Students know from past examples that a well done video could mean recognition in a variety of venues and used that to help generate new and innovative ways to approach topics like "Building Character" and generating a "positive digital footprint."
Students spent the later part of the week actually filming their work based on the scripts and storyboards they crafted. It was interesting to see groups make choices on whether or not they were going to "act" in theirs or use animation or use a combination of both.
It will be fun to see hoe these works come together in the end and the showcase that follows as they are featured in our 2nd Annual STEAM Film Festival.
Since starting this blog 5 years ago, I have been looking for new and different ways to share all of the things that go on in our Art room. I used to post daily and more recently have moved to less and less posting.
For this school year, I am hoping to post weekly about what we are working on and how we progress through learning, making, and exploring along the way.
Start with Art
For the past five or so years, I have opened up the first day with clay. We use this opportunity to make our bowls for our annual Empty Bowls event. I am so thankful to work in a community that supports the Arts and that we can in turn support the community through our Art in action. Our Arts a la Mode Night will happen on May 23rd this year and I know it will be even better than last!
In addition to getting students immersed in making art with clay on the first day, I leverage this act of making on day two as I introduced "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds. I have been doing this one for a few years, too, in different forms. I am really in love with students making their own mark after being inspired by the story and then bringing it all together to make something larger than their single part. I hope that can see the symbolism in that as we tackle many challenges together throughout the semester and will need each other to get through many of them.
Here are a few of the finished ones and the classes put together to make larger "dots."
Corinne W.: I consider the story The Dot inspirational because Vashti makes beautiful pieces of art, yet so simple, she feels like an artist. I consider myself not the best drawer but in this piece, I let my pencil just take me away and it ended up better than I expected. I ended up finding things I hadn't noticed before while drawing this, like how the shape to the left looked like a dinosaur, and how in the middle shape looked like a distortment of a palm tree, so I colored it in that way. This relates to the story because it was simple to draw and still turned out good ;)
Abby B.: A story, known as, “The Dot”, has a theme, that can be interpreted that anyone can be an artist. The story starts as a young girl has trouble on thinking about what she should make for her art class. Her teacher tells her to make a dot, which she does, still frustrated with herself. But when the teacher puts it in a frame the next day, the girl keeps working on more dots, surprising herself with her own creativity. I found this book to be funny and inspiring, and a good message to think about when you work on art. This story helps connect with the current piece I’m working on, known as, the dot. I believe that this project was given to us to show that we can be artist too, know matter what our skill levels are.
There are a lot of things we can feel good about that got accomplished this week. And with that in mind, I know there will be so many things to look forward to overcoming this year. This week we got to see the 3D printer in action, relive the accomplishments of the past as a challenge to the future, and get excited about our first STEAM collaborative starting on Monday!
I had an awesome summer of unwinding and unplugging because I know this year will be a big one. We have a lot to live up to from the past and instead of being daunted by it or feeling overwhelmed, it is a challenge to push harder and reach higher! I hope everyone else who started their school year feels that same determination in their gut and leverages it to their best year yet!
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.