Friday, February 28, 2014

Technology in the Art Room

Technology has become an integral part of the classrooms here at Rashi. From laptop carts, to Promethean boards, to Moodle, teachers use technology in their lessons every day. The art room is no exception!  I use various forms of technology, including the document camera, iPads, Moodle, and instructional videos.  Additionally, students often use computers to access images for drawing references and inspirations.

Here are some examples of how I use technology in the art room:

Using Technology to Demonstrate Technique:

The newest technology in the art room is the document camera, which I use with a projector. With the  document camera, I can demonstrate techniques for working with materials and tools.  This is such a valuable tool for teaching techniques such as how to move a brush to create a Chinese brushstroke,  how to cut out a circle by turning the paper, how to weave paper to create a mat, and how to safely use an x-acto knife for cutting stencils. Here I am recently, demonstrating to third graders how to create a texture effect by applying watercolor with styrofoam:

Using Technology to Enhance Students' Engagement:

We also watch educational videos to make the learning experience come alive. During our unit on color theory, first graders watch a great video about the color wheel. I heard them humming the song weeks after we viewed the video!

During their unit on figure drawing, fifth graders watch several stop-motion animation videos featuring wooden manikins, which are the wooden models for modeling human proportions.  I believe that it is always important to add an element of fun to the drawing process, especially when the task is challenging!

Using Technology for Research

Recently, fifth graders used their iPads to research the cultural significance of different animals in African societies.  They did their research on the website of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, which had an exhibit entitled "Artful Animals" in 2009.

                    Click on this text to see the page they used for their research!
The fifth graders took notes in their sketchbooks about an animal that intrigued them, and why. One student wrote, “Chameleon- transformation, passage of time, mystifying. I picked it because I think transformation is cool and I transform from school to sports.”  Then, the student chose a reference image and created a drawing of a chameleon, as seen below:

Friday, February 7, 2014

First Grade Parent Forum

Today I presented the first grade art program to parents.  Please check out the presentation below!


First Grade Forum

Fourth Grade Cities

Fourth graders observed the painting "Parade on Hammond Street" by American artist Alan Crite. We discussed what gives the painting its 3-dimensional effect and came up with a list.

1. Placement of figures in the composition: Higher/Lower
ex. The parade leader is lower on the canvas (closer) and the parade observers are higher on the canvas (further)
2. Size of figures: Larger/Smaller
ex. The parade leader is bigger than the parade observers
3. Detail: More/Less
ex. The parade observers on the street are more detailed than the parade observers in the windows
4. Overlapping
ex. The parade observers are closer than the building because they overlap it.

I also introduced the idea of a horizon line and the terms foreground, middle ground, and background.

After discussing the painting, fourth graders designed their own cities, using all four of the elements we discussed.  They all came up with their own original ideas, while also demonstrating their knowledge of how to create depth in their drawings. Here are their results!  Just click on the images to see larger versions.