October 2011 Archives

Bi-Weekly Report #4: "Keeping Parents Involved"

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As we all start becoming teachers, we have to remember that not only are we teaching students, but we also need parents to continue to be well informed in what their kids are learning and doing in the classroom so they can also be involved in the learning process. Parent involvement allows students to be able to go to them for help and support since the teacher can't always be there. Since almost all communication is now technology-based, I found a great website that shows you how to keep parents informed digitally/online. Teachers can build websites that have links to daily activities, grades, polices, private notes, newsletters, and calendars. This allows parents/guardians to be a click away from knowing what their kids are up to for the day and even the upcoming weeks so they can plan around it. I have seen from my own experience that sometimes when papers are sent home to parents, students tend to forget them or they get lost along the way. I mean, students aren't that well organized especially in the younger grades. If some parents don't have access to the online classroom, you can still keep it as an option to send hard copies home, but the digital way more reliable for parents and guardians to get the information in what's going on in the classroom.

Link to Website:

This website gave many options for free website creators:
Wix: www.wix.com
Bloust: www.bloust.com
Yola: www.yola.com
Lunar Pages: http://wiki.lunarpages.com/Free_Education_Account
Twitter: http://twitter.com

I feel that this option for teachers and parents is great. Teachers can be able to easily update things that are going on in the classroom daily and be able to plan well enough ahead of time for parents to be informed of what's going on. Parents can access this information anywhere there is internet access and don't have to worry about their kids either forgetting to verbally tell them what's going on, or losing handouts that teachers send home with the students. Another benefit is that if there are any changes at the last minute, teachers can go online and easily fix it without having to send another message home with students. This way also helps save trees. Go green!

As I mentioned before, some parents/guardians don't have access to the internet at all times so some students may still need a hard copy to bring home, which is okay too just in case parents haven't looked at the website in a while. Until everyone is ready for the digital world, both are a great idea to have.

In My Own Classroom:
When I have my own classroom someday, I will definitely create my own website using one of the above free websites (all look really great!). I think parents will really enjoy being able to check what their kids up are to that day with just a mouse click away. I will download my policies, assignment rubrics, upcoming events, etc. on there so parents can be really well informed on what's going on. I think this was a brilliant idea and I can't wait to incorporate into my own classroom!

Here are a couple of examples I found online of what teachers are doing right now!




Tenkely, Kelly. "Top 10 Technology Tips for New Teachers-4.Involve parents by creating a link between home and school. The Apple. 2011. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

Sand Animation Group Project

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To start out the lesson, here are some examples to get a better understanding of what sand animation looks like done by professionals:

Video Examples:

NO CORRAS TANTO Sand Animation from Cesarlinga on Vimeo.

Eatliz - Lose this child animation music video from Eatliz on Vimeo.

Here is a video of what we created as a group:

Sand Animation from Kassie Gibbons on Vimeo.


Necessary Materials:
-Light Table
-Mylar Sheet
-Sand (Different Colors Optional)
Optional Materials:
-Popsicle Sticks (To Draw)
-Q-Tips (To Draw)
-Paint Brushes (To Draw)
-Tissue Paper (Background)



Step 1: Prepare Your Station
-Gather all of your materials
-Tape the mylar sheet to the light table so it's an easy clean-up
-Put your camera on the tripod above the light table
-Turn on the light table

Step 2: Brainstorming
-Brainstorm an idea for the project. This includes characters, setting, plot, and ending.
**Note: Since this is your first project, try to keep your story and characters as simple as possible. It might get frustrating if your ideas and characters are complex because this is a very time-consuming activity.

Step 3: Adding Shapes
-When starting your project, only build a part of the shape/characters at a time, little by little. Then, take a picture.

Step 4: Making Smooth Transitions
-To add more and/or make things move, you change the shape little by little and taking a photo after every small move so that the video is very smooth when transitioning shapes or movements into something else.
**Tip: An additive or subtractive method creates these movements and forms your shapes into objects that you want in your video.


Step 5: Creating Your Video
-Import all of your photos into PhotoShop and follow the steps learned in class to create an animation video.
-Export your final video onto your desktop.

Step 6: Adding Sound/Music To Your Video
-Drag your exported video into GarageBand and play with sounds and music that could go along with your theme to your video.
-Export your video to your desktop and remember to save so you can share with others!


Murphy, Mary. Beginner's Guide to Animation. New York, NY: Watson-Guptil Publication. 2008. 28-33. Print.

Nathan, Yuval, and Merav Nathan. Eatliz-Lose This Child Animation Music Video. 2011. Web. 10 Oct. 2011.

Olsen, Michael. Sand Animation. 2007. Web. 17 Oct. 2011.

Bi-Weekly Report #3: "Digital Drawing Tablets"

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I found a research article done by Carol H. Faber who did a study on the traditional studio drawing methods to the new digital drawing tablet. Drawing is usually the first thing that is introduced to children as a work of art. Many drawings start out as just "mark-making" and slowly develop into more complex shapes and figures as years progress with practice. In this case study, there were 25 university students who took an experimental class where they compared the traditional way of drawing with the new digital way. These students had four assignments where they incorporated PhotoShop and other digital tools to enhance their drawings. Many students felt that they had to change their drawing techniques from the traditional way of drawing, which was a little difficult for them because they found it was very time consuming and frustrating but they were happier with the results than the old traditional way of drawing. Some students had more experience than others, but the majority of the students felt that drawing took a little more time on the tablets due to learning different techniques than what they were used to. Some of the students who had a little more experience with the tablets liked the digital aspect better because they could easily fix their mistakes. The majority of the students felt that this digital drawing class benefited them a lot. They got to experience other programs such as PhotoShop and got to work with other mediums other than your typical pencil or charcoal. Many students realized that found a certain style that matched to their old way of drawing and felt that once you know how to draw traditionally, you could easily catch on how to draw digitally. Another benefit of the digital drawing tablet is that students found you could incorporate the two by scanning hand-drawings and creating a sketch digitally that would help form your final rendering. Some students mentioned that the digital tablet lost tactical quality but overall improved their drawing skills and digital technology.
I found that this new technology has many benefits. I feel the best benefit is that this is great way for students to learn how to use digital media that both enhances their drawing skills and their digital skills. It's also awesome that students can combine the two so that the traditional way of drawing doesn't get lost with the digital way of drawing. Students also get to incorporate different mediums other than drawing tools.
Some negative outlooks to this new digital technology is that it's quite expensive and the ability to have every student get one for your class might be difficult. Another negative aspect is that some kids might like digital drawing so much better that their tactical quality might worsen than when you do traditional drawings.
As I look forward to having my own classroom someday, I feel that I would love to have this digital technology in my classroom. I would give the students a specific project that they would have to both create by your traditional drawing skills and then transfer that idea digitally. That way they don't lose their tactical qualities and they get a new way to learn how to draw and incorporate other mediums into their drawing that might be difficult the traditional way. Even if I got a few of them in my classroom, I would have my students take turns practicing so their knowledge in the digital world expands and they get to experience new artistic programs. Overall, I think case study was very successful in seeing how the two relate and are different. It's a great idea and I hope that I get the chance to learn how to use it!

Faber, Carol H. "Digital Drawing Tablet to Traditional Drawing on Paper-A Teaching Studio Comparison." Iowa State University College of Design. Web. 13 Oct. 2011.

Here is a link that better educates what a digital drawing tablet is:


Here is the link to the research study:


Many older generation teachers today don't have much experience with digital technology and have a hard time incorporating it into their classrooms. It's not that they don't want to embrace the new world of digital art, but it's more that they don't know how because they haven't had the proper training. It's very important in this new generation that we both incorporate the new and old and not have either one be over bearing or on the other hand, get lost. Teachers today have to realize that we need to prepare students for the global workforce, and as we all know the world is continuing to advance in digital media. Another debate to talk about is that many older teachers have been in the school system for so many years and don't like "change." This isn't fair to incoming new teachers because the older generation teachers don't like the new ways that art is being utilized. This is a situation that both harm the school system and more importantly, the students who are "our future." If we don't prepare our future generations, advancement will not happen and it's an important factor in enhancing our global communities. If teachers don't have the experience of this new artistic style of digital media, they need to educate themselves to give our future a better outlook whether they like it or not. As new teachers are coming into the school systems, the more "new knowledge" is going to be present and we need to make sure that everyone is on the same page so we can work together to learn and create new artistic styles through digital media. School systems either need to have workshops where teachers can keep up with the advancement in technology, or the new incoming teachers need to help the older generation teachers learn the new ways of what art is becoming.


Bi-Weekly Report #1: "Blogging"

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Now that schools are really focusing on trying to integrate technology into their lessons, projects, and another form of communication, blogging is a great way to get students to be online and be able to familiarize themselves with the Internet and learn how to communicate with others with social networking. I found a great tool from edutopia.com that provided a way to make a safe "how-to" blog for teachers and their students. It gave purposes for blogs, feedback from other teachers, how to start one up for your class, how to evaluate or grade students' work, and how to incorporate them with your lessons and assignments. This is a great way for students to interact with each other while as learning how to be online. Another perk of blogs is that it has a 24/7 access so students don't have to be just in class to have discussions with their peers or teachers. Also, many students would rather put their thoughts and ideas online rather than discuss them in classroom lectures. I feel that blogging is a great way to start kids/students off to learning a basic technology skill that the 21st century has to offer. The younger students have the ability to be online, the better knowledge they will get in what the future has in technology. The best part about blogging, it's easy and many are free to access!


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This page is an archive of entries from October 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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