I'm always on the hunt for tools to help make my life easier.
(Though I have to admit, when I found this snapheal app some would argue that it made my life harder because I spent three evenings going back into my personal photos to cut out that random tree branch that crept into all of our family photos.)
I'm amazed with the ability of technology to bring amazing things t to your fingertips for, usually, very little money. The snapheal app is available in the itunes store for $11.99 for your laptop. I know, a little more that I spend for apps ... but way cheaper than photoshop.
Spring Break is in full swing for me and I spent the first weekend of break accomplishing something that has been on my to-do list for a long time.
Reorganizing MY studio space. ... and let me tell you it feels so good.
I get approached a lot in my new district to complete projects that I would consider to not be a good use of precious art time. I've never had this problem before and it's tricky territory to navigate, especially as a new teacher to the district.
I had a teacher approach me this past trimester requesting that I continue past precedent of helping fourth graders design and draw their Woman's History Month posters for an annual local contest. I offered a compromise of dedicating one class this year and coming up with a different solution for the following year. To put my best foot forward I also offered this simple handout on poster design. A few other teachers found it helpful to send home with students as well.
Giving students the opportunity to choose their own medium is something that I strive to do more often. It was a goal of mine to offer a wider variety of materials to students over the course of certain projects.
I introduced first grade to a variety of media by having them repeat the same theme many times using different materials. First grade created an owl using traditional craft and recycled materials and then made one from clay. We discussed the difference between building in 3-D with paper versus clay and proceeded on to 2-D, drawing an owl on colored paper.
I find painting a 12 color color wheel with tints and shades important ... but tedious for fifth graders ... or anyone. But it's important and it reinforces color knowledge and theory like nothing else. I wrote about my color wheel here previously, and talked about how it's a great project that incorporates math skills and art theory in important ways.