Sunday, April 22, 2018

Franz Marc Discussion for National Standards

Last year I developed a one day lesson at the beginning of a unit on color to knock out several of the Respond and Connect National Visual Arts Standards for 7th grade. I wanted to choose an image with a subject that was familiar to the students in my rural school, but presented in a way they might not be familiar with- many of my students are very concrete in their views on art and prefer realism. Franz Marc was a good choice with the bright colors in his German Expressionist paintings of horses and cows- animals my farm living students see on a daily basis.

We started with a Visual Thinking Strategies style discussion and then moved into questions specifically connecting to the standards. 


You can get the complete lesson plan on The smARTteacher!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Digital Op Art

I can't believe I haven't posted this project before! I tried it for the first time with my Computer Graphics class this year and it was a keeper. We covered art history, graphic design, and practiced some new skills in photoshop.
When I show the first slide without the Op Art title, I ask the students if they know what that style of artwork is called or if it reminds them of anything to gauge their prior knowledge. We talk about the "mother" and "father" of Op Art and what we can learn to apply to graphic design.


Next, I demonstrate some techniques in photoshop that the students can try out but ultimately they choose what style of Op Art they want to use. We talk about color combinations, grid/ruler tools, gradient tools, distortion filters, etc.
The technique that the most students want to use is to put text into their Op Art. I recorded a quick video this afternoon of the steps we use. I obviously need to practice screen recording since I flubbed the beginning and end, but at least it will be handy to direct students to that video when they've forgotten a step!


Here are some of the student examples!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mardi Gras Prom

I posted a little while ago about being a prom sponsor and the very first prom I planned inspired by Back to the Future. The second prom we worked on was a Mardi Gras theme. I started collecting ideas and inspiration on a Pinterest board and added anything that the committees sent me. If you ever do this prom theme, MardiGrasOutlet.com was the cheapest place I could find to order throw beads, and we ordered a bunch! 
Here are some pictures of our set up.

We made chandeliers out of tomato cages and a hula hoop for the large one. The throw beads were strung with loops of fishing line. The largest chandelier had purple, green, and gold ball ornaments I bought 50% off after Christmas. I can't find the picture now but the chandeliers looked really cool on the big night.

Centerpieces were small glass globes from Dollar Tree- you can order a case and get it shipped to the store for free- filled with purple water beads and glittery floral picks I also bought really cheap after Christmas. The table numbers are gold vinyl on green glitter paper sandwiched around a gold spray painted bamboo skewers. The water beads looked really cool, but I don't know if I'll use them again as the students were REALLY in to bouncing them across the floor and I was afraid someone would slip.

We alternated purple, green, and gold 19" gossamer as a table runner with a thinner gold mylar ribbon down the center. We used the same gold ribbon between wider purple gossamer to decorate the ceiling.

We had Mardi Gras beads around each set of flatware and extras in an old suitcase. There were still a ton leftover after prom. Thankfully our school colors are green and gold so they are serving as spirit items and I was able to sell the leftover purple necklaces to another school so they can use them as a fundraiser.
And here is a picture of me with my forever prom date. He makes supervising prom a lot more enjoyable.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Evidence of Growth: Observational Hand Drawings

For one of my growth measures this year, I decided to focus on observational drawing skills with my 8th graders. First, I asked the students to draw their hand without any other instruction. This served as the pre-assessment. The next couple of class periods were spent on drawing skill builders like continuous line drawings, blind contour drawings, and even drawing with the non-dominant hand to try to get students to slow down and look closely.

After the practice and a few pep talks given to my class about how art is a skill that CAN be learned, I demonstrated drawing my own hand from observation, sharing some tips on measuring and comparing proportions, and later demonstrated shading, before the students started the post-assessment of drawing their hand from observation applying what they'd learned.

I used a simple rubric to score the pre and post assessment drawings so that I could give numerical evidence of growth. It's so easy for us to see improvement but administrators tend to like numbers. The document I turned in had a section about why observational drawing is important, and explained the process from pre-assessment, instruction, post-assessment, and then the evidence. I included a graph and a chart with scores before and after as well as percentage of growth. Even though numbers proved the growth, I still included some side by side photographs at the bottom of the document, which my principal said he appreciates seeing.

Here is a copy of the document I turned in, except with student names covered and replaced.

Importance: Observational drawing is a foundational skill for many art media and processes and the benefits from the studio habit of “observation” carry over into many non-art activities and vocations. Hands are one of the parts of the figure that students tend to avoid or struggle to draw so instruction in it now will help students feel more comfortable with the task in their future work.

Pre-Assessment: The students were asked to observe and draw their own hand without any prior instruction. The work was assessed with the following rubric.

Below Standard- 1 Approaching Standard- 2 Meets Standard- 3 Exceeds Standard- 4
Student:
Pre-Assessment
Post-Assessment
Scale: The proportions are correct- the sizes of parts of the hand are correct when compared to other parts.


Observation: The hand is drawn accurately and attention was paid to details.


Craftsmanship: It is evident the student put care into the work to make it as good as it can be.



Growth:


Teaching: After the pre-assessment, the students practiced drawing hands with a continuous line drawing, a blind contour drawing, and drawing with their non-dominant hand, all activities which are supposed to help the artist slow down and look carefully. Next, the teacher demonstrated drawing her hand, shared tips for dealing with parts of the hand, and talked about proportions and measurement tools.

Post-Assessment: The students were asked to again observe and draw their own hand applying what was demonstrated. The work was assessed with the same rubric.


Student
Pre-Assessment
Post-Assessment
Growth
Growth %
a
4
8
4
200.00%
b
4
11
7
275.00%
c
6
10
4
166.67%
d
6
11
5
183.33%
e
3
11
8
366.67%
f
7
11
4
157.14%
g
6
10
4
166.67%
h
6
10
4
166.67%
i
6
12
6
200.00%
j
7
11
4
157.14%
k
6
9
3
150.00%
l
4
7
3
175.00%
m
5
8
3
160.00%
n
6
9
3
150.00%
o
7
12
5
171.43%
p
4
9
5
225.00%

Photos of Pre and Post-Assessment Comparisons
(Pre-Assessment Drawings are on the Left)