Wednesday, June 19, 2013

iPads in the Art Room...part 2

Once I felt successful with my first grade iPad classes, I decided to let my Muse Club students see what they could do. At the time, I had only a few apps, but it was enough for them to have a great time experimenting!

We started with the same Art Doodles app that my first graders had used, but then used a few other apps to alter the images. This series of photos shows one of the transitions.

We started with the ArtDoodles app, creating an image in the style of Henri Matisse and saving it to the photos. The options for images are limited, so that's where other drawing and photography apps come into play.

This image was transformed by using the Brushes app over the saved image. 
This image was then saved as a second photo in the series.

This last image was created by using the Percolator app with the image
that had been colored using Brushes.
My students LOVE Percolator! The process used to change the effects simulates brewing coffee 
and the young Starbucks generation seems to love that!

Since these early experiments with iPads and apps, I've been able to add a few more to my art room iPads and a whole lot more to my personal iPad for summer fun here at home. I'll post a few more of my favorite apps for the art room in the next post.

Do you use iPads for arts activities in your classroom? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

First Grade iPads...

My first attempt to use iPads in the art room with my students was last November. I chose first grade by default, since this grade level is the first one to have 1:1 iPads, but it turned out to be a great place to start. Actually, some of the students knew more about using the iPad than I did!

Our iPad technology teacher loaded the ArtDoodles app on all the first grade iPads. It was so cute watching them carefully carrying their precious cargo into the art room that first day we used them! Art Doodles has three different parts, each allowing the students to create a different kind of artwork. I introduced the students to the paper cuts made by French artist Henri Matisse before we opened the app to get started. That first class, each student created a digital picture in the style of Matisse, then took a screen shot to save the work to their camera roll.

Although the number of images and colors is limited, the first graders had a great time manipulating both to create their first digital art projects.

The following week, the students left their iPads in their classroom so we wouldn't have that as a distraction. I had saved some of their screen shots to my computer and began the lesson by sharing on our SmartBoard some of the work they had done the previous week. We analyzed their choices for shapes and colors and how everything went together to create an interesting picture. The students then created actual cut-paper collages using pre-cut shapes, tracing patterns, and their own free-style cut outs. Our theme was Christmas and the results were fantastic!

This student worked very hard to create symmetry in his composition, even though we had not talked about that concept since early October. I must say that I love it when I see a concept being applied in a new context, especially with such young students!

 I'm not sure what some of the shapes were meant to be, but this little artist told me that the "peace dove" was bringing the star that would rest over the stable where Baby Jesus was lying. She then proceeded to put an angel in the stable!

Next year, I would like to add a writing feature to this iPad project. Nothing too elaborate, since November-December is still early in the first grade learning curve, but a simple "artist's statement" to describe or name the work might be a good introduction to the idea of using writing in the art room.

No iPads? No problem! If you have colored construction paper, some tracing templates and/or access to an Accu-Cut machine, scissors, and glue, you can easily do this same Matisse lesson in any classroom.

In my next post, I'll share a few ways my older students manipulated these same images using the art room iPads and some drawing and photography apps.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Welcome to my new blog...

Right now, I'm a tired art teacher just beginning summer break, which means I've packed up the classroom, turned in paperwork and keys, and spent a few days doing a lot of gardening and a little of nothing at all. Like most teachers, my summer fills up quickly and before I know it, it's August again and I'm unpacking the cabinets and setting out the pastels and paints for another school year.

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Fifth grade paper sculpture
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Fourth Grade story quilts
This past year has been a year filled with new experiences for me. I've never been one to dive into new technology and get excited about all the new gadgets and gizmos that beep and blink. I use what I fondly refer to as my "dumb phone", although it does have a slide out keypad for texting, and my desktop computer here at home is at least five years old. That all changed when I was one of the first group of teachers in my building who were given an iPad2 back in December, 2011.

The first six months were a combination of fascination and resistance for me. I just wasn't sure there was a place for this new technology in my world of paper, paint, pastels, and glue. How wrong I was! I now have nine iPads for the art room and I'm going to be lobbying for a full classroom set as soon as possible. I've learned that this technology can enhance, but will never replace, the traditional art media that I use in my classroom.

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Yay! Monster app for iPad - First Grade Art

Every summer, in between vacations and relaxation with family and friends, I try to learn one new technique that I can bring to my students. This summer, it will be technology. My iPad is loaded with apps for drawing, photography, and story-telling, but I know there is a lot more out there that is waiting to be discovered.

Does your school use iPads in the classroom? If so, what apps have you used that might be used to enhance an art curriculum for the elementary or middle school grades? I am especially interested in cross-curricular connections because I like to team up with the grade level classroom teachers whenever possible. Thanks so much for any tips you have to offer!