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Art

Tech Tools for Specials

Tech tools often seem focused on core classroom subjects like math, science, and history. Many forget the wealth of webtools available for classes many schools call ‘Specials’–those that round out a student’s day and prepare them for college and career. Here are three life-skill classes and online tools that make learning more relevant and fun:

1. Physical Education

Coach’s Eye

Coach’s Eye is a top app I heard about from lots of PE teachers. It is one of the leading video platforms to record an athlete’s performance for playback and review. It records the action and then shows the athlete how to, for example, refine a fastball, analyze a golf swing, break down a volleyball serve, improve soccer skills, or demonstrate proper weightlifting form. Recordings are available instantly, can be zoomed and panned, and can be compared with earlier videos of the student’s action. Users can draw lines, arrows, or any freehand marks right on the video, as well as add audio commentary and slo-mo. The results can be shared via SMS, YT, and FB.

LifeSaver

LifeSaver is a free online simulation of a life-threatening occurrence where you (as the viewer) become the only one around who can help. You are asked questions and prompted to take the next step. Your answers play out on the simulation so you can see what happens based on your choices.

The video is powerful, professional, and pulls the viewer in as a critical part of the emergency.

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Categories: Art, Health, Music | Tags: | Leave a comment

12 Projects for your STEAM program

Office MixSTEAM–Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math–is education’s new STEM. By adding the creativity and problem-solving skills that are part and parcel to Anything Art, students have permission to use colors, images, and outside-the-lines thinking to address Big Ideas and Essential Questions.

I’ve written before on ways to use STEM every day in classwork. Here are twelve of my favorite STEAM projects where artistic thinking becomes the engine for unpacking solutions. I think you’ll like them.

Classroom Architect

1st-2nd grade; free

Use Classroom Architect as the canvas to redesign the classroom layout by dragging-and-dropping chairs, shelves, tables, computers, and more within a virtual classroom. A text tool allows students to label parts, add their name, and append notes that explain what they created. When done, students can take a screenshot and save/share/print.

With this project, students learn spatial layout, rudimentary engineering, and the importance of a proper room arrangement in their learning and class experiences.

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Categories: Art, Math, Science | Tags: , | 2 Comments

3 Fresh Art and Music Apps for the Classroom

Fifty years ago, Albert Einstein warned ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ The ability to solve problems by thinking creatively is more important than knowing how they were solved in the past. Now, in today’s connected classroom, creativity has become the newest transformative tool, the buzzword that indicates a curriculum is on the cutting edge, that teachers are delivering their best to students and differentiating for varied needs.

Art and music have long been considered the doorway to creative thinking. Here are three suggestions that will help you across that threshhold painlessly, even if you aren’t an artist.

smartmusicSmartMusic

I teach technology, so I asked Lawrence Auble, a musician friend I’ve known for years, what he uses for tutoring. His recommendation: Smart Music. It’s one of the 2014 category award winners by School and Band Orchestra magazine and the industry standard for teaching band, string, and vocal of all ages and all skill levels. The app gives subscribers unlimited access to SmartMusic’s extensive library of over 50 method books, nearly 50,000 skill building exercises, and 22,000+ solo and ensemble titles by major publishers.

Here’s how it works:

  • Students sign into class and receive materials tailored to their needs by their teacher.
  • As the music appears on the screen, students play or sing along with the background accompaniment.
  • SmartMusic provides an immediate assessment.
  • When satisfied, students send a recording to their teacher who can assess, score, and build a portfolio to track their progress over time.

It is available on PCs and Macs as well as iPads.

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Categories: Art, Music, Reviews | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A Holiday Card in Publisher

Greeting cards are easy enough for second graders–even early readers. Using MS Publisher, pick a template, add a picture to personalize, add their name–and they’re done. It takes about 15 minutes. Kids always feel great about creating these greeting cards: (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Computer skills, DTP, Freebies/Discounts, Holidays, Lesson plans, Parents | Tags: | 1 Comment

Keyboarding with ASCII Art

I’ve written about ASCII Art (click for ASCII Art directions) and use it as an integral part of my keyboarding curriculum. It’s a fun way for students to use keyboarding in a creative, unique way. The way I teach it, it doesn’t take long to complete, say thirty minutes for a complete drawing like these:

 

[gallery columns="4" ids="45862,45860,45859,45861"]

 

Girlfriend Curious to the Max Judy posting this article on Extreme ASCII. Paul Smith creates drawings that look like this:

[gallery columns="2" ids="45857,45858"]

Here’s the story:

What a great story for my students–and me!

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Categories: Art, Keyboarding | Tags: | 6 Comments

A Holiday Card in Publisher

Greeting cards are easy enough for second graders–even early readers. Using MS Publisher, pick a template, add a picture to personalize, add their name–and they’re done. It takes about 15 minutes. Kids always feel great about creating these greeting cards: (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Computer skills, DTP, Freebies/Discounts, Holidays, Lesson plans, Parents | Tags: | Leave a comment

38 Art Websites for K-8

children-picture-184575_640If your children are eager to be creative this summer, but addicted to computers, try these wonderful art-oriented websites. For your youngers, start any visit to the internet with a conversation about safety, privacy, and good digital citizenship. Soon, they’ll know the rules and you won’t have to keep chatting about it:

Lots of art websites for K-8

  1. Art Online
  2. ASCII art picture generator–instant
  3. ASCII Art Text Generator
  4. BigHuge Labs
  5. Image edit exposure tool
  6. Image Edited? Check here
  7. PhotoCube

Avatars

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Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th grade, 7th grade, 8th grade, Art, Kindergarten, Websites | Leave a comment

Do You Miss Kerpoof? Try These 31 Alternatives

writing--with KPKerpoof closed down April 15, 2014. A staple in thousands of classrooms across the country, it is sorely missed by not just students, but teachers who relied upon it to guide students through writing, spelling, and a mixture and text and pictures to communicate ideas.

It’s pretty much a given that no one site could replace all the experiences Kerpoof provided, educators can cobble together a collection to satisfy the hole left by Kerpoof’s demise. Here are some ideas:

Mix Art and Text

  1. KidPix (fee-based)
  2. Paint (available through Windows)
  3. Tuxpaint (free software download)

Drawing

  1. Draw.to
  2. Graffiti Creator
  3. Sketchpad
  4. SumoPaint
  5. Tessellate

Writing–Comics

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Categories: Art, Web Tools, Writing | Tags: | 15 Comments

Book Review: Photoshop Elements 12

Photoshop Elements 12: The Missing ManualPhotoshop Elements 12: The Missing Manual

by Barbara Brundage

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

I love Photoshop CS, but my school will no longer support the cost of a license. At first, I refused to teach image editing, feeling like any program I used would be inferior to what I should be teaching. I continued with the decade-old CS (not the up-to-date CS 5). No problem with that. Students loved it, found it easy, extended learning to home–and that’s when the problem arose. They–of course–had to buy the upgrade and wondered why I was using such an old program.

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Categories: 8th grade, Art, Images, Photoshop, Reviews | Tags: | 3 Comments

Freebies #19: My Bookcover in KidPix

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

My Bookcover in KidPix

Draw a cover for a classroom project or unit of inquiry or use one of Kidpix’s templates. Have students nicely mix text and pictures for an attractive design. Introduce KidPix fonts, font sizes, font colors to grade 1

[caption id="attachment_5424" align="aligncenter" width="577"]KidPix cover page Make a cover page in KidPix[/caption]

–from 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom.

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

 

Categories: 1st, 2nd, Art, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Writing | Leave a comment