Student Teacher Blog
I introduced a stop motion project with my digital media art class! The results were impressive and it was really fun to see the students reaction to their own work coming together. The students worked in small groups and they began by drawing out a storyboard. Following this task, the students were to create a list of the things that need to get done and a list of names with what their responsibility is. This helps a lot with holding people accountable during the project and to grade fairly.
The school had a set of iPads with an app called stop-motion and went to work! They created characters out of clay and other various props, set up a station, and began their stop-motion journey. This project engages a huge percentage of the students and the movie magic stuns them every time. The only thing I would have changed about this project is to have had a physical checklist of things that generally need to get done during this project to keep students on task. The videos turned out great and they were able to practice being on a team and working together.
For a sub lesson I had to leave for students to complete, I chose to leave them a special drawing assignment. I showed them the Mona Lisa, Girl with a Pearl Earring, American Gothic, and a Frida Kahlo and asked them to give them a 2018 make-over. There have been some artistic renderings of famous paintings floating around social media, but the great things about this age group is that they are all up to date with the latest trends. I learned so much about what the fashion is like nowadays and what my students considered “cool”. This project was right up their alley! (Shown: Girl with a Pearl Earring in drag)
I had my students in Art 3 and 4 creating etchings on Plexiglas. They learned how to print them using a printing press. The prints for the most part looked great. The students had a really large learning curve when it came to printing using the etching method. The paper has to wet, the ink is oil based, and the process is long. Patience is vital to the process, as well as trial and error.
They then had to print onto fabric. I myself was nervous, I had never printed an etching onto fabric before. Based on the research I did, it was possible. But I wasn’t sure what kind of fabric and how to pressure, basically all the logistical stuff. I also didn’t have enough fabric for everyone to print twice. So really the prints needed to be great on the first try. So we did it….. AND IT TURNED OUT AWESOME! I don’t know how, but almost every single one looked amazing. I just used cotton sheets that I cut up and I couldn’t be happier with it.
So basically the moral of the story is to not be afraid to try something totally new while student teaching. Just be sure too be honest with the students and prepare them just in case. And having a back up plan in your pocket never hurts. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best!
I have been struggling with this and my high school students. I nag them, remind them, and they still don’t finish in time or don’t follow my directions. But I have quickly learned that the students just have to learn to be responsible for themselves. I’m not their mother. I’m not their maid. So I tried something new this time. I told them that I expected their pieces to be out in the hall with their name on the back if they want a grade. I announced it at the beginning of the class and at the end. I even took the time to check with every student to see if they understood. Then I let it go.
Suffice to say, they did not all make it up. But I stuck with what I said and typed in those zeros in the grade book. I honestly felt guilty about it but also angry because they didn’t do it even after I nagged them. But I realized that these students are almost considered adults. They need to be able to do simple tasks. They also need to learn that their actions, or in this case inactions, have consequences.
Something that I’ve quickly learned in my high school placement is that alternative assignments are your best friend. As I’ve taught these students, I noticed how many of them have no interest in the subject matter or medium. Now for some, I am able to tweak something to make it work for them, but there are a few times when that doesn’t work.
In this specific instance, I had a couple of gentlemen who had absolutely no interest in pan pastels. I even offered to let them choose whatever subject matter they wanted and still nothing. It was frustrating. I came back with a plan. Now I understand that this is only worked because of the school and the specific students. However, I proposed to this group to build me a bookshelf for my art show. I gave them the requirements I needed but left the rest up to them. I want to make it clear that I only asked, they had a choice to do it or not. At least two of the students had taken or were in the carpentry class at the school. They immediately agreed to do this instead of the pan pastels. They designed the bookshelf almost immediately.
Then they went to the woodshop and were able to use wood that the carpentry teacher provided. They finished the building part in one class. They then took several class periods to stain and seal the bookshelf. They worked pretty much continuously each class. They took control and pride in their work. One student emerged as the leader and really made it work.
The bookshelf is beautiful and I can’t wait to display it along with the artwork on top of it. The students really grew and pushed themselves. The best part was they didn’t distract the other students working hard on the pan pastels. By giving students an alternative assignment they can feel special and will motivate them to work hard and be passionate. I will definitely remember this for later on in my teaching experiences!
I loved teaching students about the printmaking press and students loved using it. Their collagraph prints turned out amazing and they were fascinated with the system and finding the perfect amount of pressure for their plate. Everyone should invest in a quality press for their classroom where ever that may be!
My secondary placement had an art show for their school on a Friday night. Every student that had taken any art class that year had at least one piece of art in the show. Many had two or three! We showcased over a thousand art pieces on long pieces of paper and then stuck them to the wall or over lockers the night of show with magnets. (YES, THE WALLS ARE MAGNETIC) It was an efficient way to have everything ready to go with little to no chaos. It improved community involvement and strengthened relationships within the art department. Can’t wait to do this at my school!
1 of the 6 hallways
My high school students have completed their final project. This was a multiple step project. The students started out by learning how to weave by making some simple samples. Then we moved on to created personalized weavings using the techniques we had learned. The students were required to create at least two weavings. We then discussed the meaning and history of soft sculpture. We looked at many contemporary artists who create soft sculptures. The students then matched up their two weavings to create some soft sculpture pillows. The project was really exciting because the students were fully engaged throughout the entire process. It was really wonderful to teach them a skill they wouldn’t normally have learned. The students also learned how to whipstitch to attach their weavings together. I was really proud of all of my high school students because they were incredibly invested in their work, and the finished pieces really show how hard they worked.
This is really neat way my school decided to make pedestals for their county and school art shows. They were easy and inexpensive to construct, kids painted them black, they are light in weight, and they stack inside each other for easy storage.