I’ve been teaching high school art since 2000. I took a couple of years off and went to SCAD and earned an MFA in Painting. I really thought I was going back to the classroom “for a year” to figure out life and finances after grad-school. This Fall I will be starting my 7th year at Salinas High School and 17th year teaching. Needless to say I truly love my job.
A few years ago Salinas High School District offered 1:1 chromebooks for our students. At first I really didn’t know how this technology would be an asset to the art room, but I was eager to figure it out. It’s put the spark back into creating lessons and totally changed the way I teach.
I am pleased to share with you what is working for me and my students. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I love knowing I am not only teaching my students, but being able to share and collaborate with teachers around the world.
“Teaching the grid method is an easy thing to teach,” says, NO art teacher ever. I think the first hurtle is making sure everyone understands how to use a ruler. Let’s face it, fractions are not easy for everyone to grasp and there are a ton of little lines jammed into a very tiny space. Measuring can be confusing. I think this lesson has made the process a little less stressful. I even left it for my students to use with a sub, how crazy is that!?!? To my surprise almost everyone did a fantastic job. I hope this helps you out in the land of “Rulers and Grids”.
Link to web-published slide show: Rulers and Grids
Link to editable slide show: Rulers and Grids
Link to Marvin the Martian 1/2″ grid
This lesson is not my lesson, but one borrowed from an amazing teacher, Thomas W. Darneau. We both belong to an art education group on Facebook. I have learned so much from teachers who share their lessons in cyber-space. I greatly appreciate this forum because I don’t have the opportunity to collaborate with other art teachers very often. I feel I have learned more from art teachers around the world than I have during professional development days with paid speakers. The digital world has really brought us all closer.
I am using this project as an introduction project with my advanced students. I have enjoyed this project because it has given me the chance to re-teach some basic techniques using graphite or charcoal. I was also able to introduced some basic composition guidelines. My students applied these concepts to their still life photoshoots, which creates their source material. I gave them the choice of using graphite or charcoal. I lean towards charcoal and hope they will to, but I don’t force them to use it. It was a lot of fun to watch them work!
Link to web-based: Personal Monument Project
Link to editable slide show: Personal Monument
Out of all the things we teach, this isn’t my favorite lesson to deliver. I’m going on my seventeenth year of teaching and teach six classes a day…. that’s a lot of spheres, cubes, and cylinders. I have to say, I love using videos to demonstrate the meat of this lesson. It’s great to walk by a desk and see a student rewatching a video a second or third time. Of course I sit and shade with my students for most of the period. In fact, I have more time to shade with them because I am not spending the class period demonstrating in the front of the room. The ones “who get it” are moving along and my strugglers are able to receive one-on-one attention. The overall success rate in the classroom right now is pretty high and that is the reward that keeps me going from sphere to sphere to sphere.
Web-based version of a Google Slide show: Geometric Still Life
Editable Google Slide Show: Geometric Still Life
For years I went straight into shading geometric shapes and then into a grid drawing using graphite. I kept thinking I wish my students had a little more practice getting the hang of how to shade. I also feel being able to apply the vocabulary I need them to understand so I can communicate with them how to shade is very valuable. If they know what I mean when I say, “this area here is a value one, the shadow here is a value 6, this is a soft gradient, and that’s a hard edge” half the battle is over. Recognizing the value of the contour line and shading the inside of the shape the same value is priceless. Being able to shade a smooth gradient is also key to a successful foundation. Scaffolding on top of the drawing exercises we learned previously and moving onto this project has been the extra practice I think they needed. My students have gained confidence in their ability to draw and the rest of the year is going to be pure fun.
Have you tried EdPuzzle with your videos? I took my video and added questions to it. It’s been a great way to hold students accountable for the information they should be getting and I don’t have to repeat myself when it come to directions. Well, for the most part I don’t have to repeat myself. Click here to try it.
Link to Paper Twist slide show published to the web.
Link to Paper Twist Google Slide show you can edit.
Introducing graphite has been a blast! It is so much fun when you are in your groove delivering a lesson and look around to a totally engaged classroom. I often have my students repeat the vocabulary definition as a call back response. Hearing the entire group say the definition in unison makes me smile immediately.
I created a Google Draw so they could interact with the handout before they shaded it. I used this for the “explain” section of the HyperDoc. It make walking around and checking for understanding easy.
In this lesson I use Kahoot to review the vocabulary words I introduced the day before. It is a free app and simple to set up. It is such an amazing way to review vocabulary! They love it and wanted to do the same quiz a second time for more practice. If you haven’t used it I highly recommend it! I will definitely be using it more often.
I hope this lesson is as much fun for you to deliver as it was for me. We are going to be drawing a “Paper Twist” next, I can’t wait!
Link to web-based lesson: Introduction to Graphite
Link to Google Slide Show you can edit: Introduction to Graphite
Link to Value Scale Handout
Link to Value Matching Handout
*I did not create the Value Matching Handout. I found it on the web 17 years ago and I wish I had the source to give them credit, but I don’t.
This has been a great way to start the year with my advanced group! Collaborating with a fun project like this creates a safe and fun learning environment for the entire year. My students are working hard and enjoying the process. They are so proud of what they are creating and the laughter has been a joy to listen to.
One of my goals this year for my advanced students is to improve their planning process. I felt some of their compositions last year were not as strong as they could have been due to poor planning. I want to help them develop stronger sketches so when they execute the project it has a better foundation. I am excited because this collaboration project will remind them of perspective techniques that I hope to see utilized throughout the year.
A popular question has been about tape. I put my kids into groups of 4 and I give each group one roll of 1″ and one roll of 1/2″ tape. They might use 3/4’s of the roll. They have been using an exacto knife to split tape into smaller pieces. I found Uline is the best buy, but you have to buy $100 worth.
Web-published post HyperDoc lesson: Blue Tape Mural Project
Link to file you can edit HyperDoc lesson: Blue Tape Mural Project
Another teacher posted a link to this article and I loved the idea so much I made a HyperDoc out of it. I literally copy and pasted straight from the article. I gave the author, James Freitas, credit and posted a link to the article at the bottom of the first slide.
Here is a link to the article: How to Draw Your Own Selfie — Using Your Personal Data
Here is link to a published version of the HyperDoc.
Here is a link to the Google Slide Show that you can edit to your liking.