iPad, Grading Made Easier

    One of the most daunting tasks last year when I switched from Elementary to High School Art was the grading. In Elementary the grades didn't "matter" per say so I used a very simple way with smiley faces, but this is High School and it mattered. 
    First, I put on my daily "To Do" list to grade EVERYDAY. Even if it was just one project turned in for that day, I still "tried" to do it everyday. Also, I vowed to never physically take student work home to grade. This meant I would have to do all my grading at work… right? Wrong. Last year we purchased iPads for our classrooms. Just one to be used as a teaching tool and help us organize our portfolios for our new TN Fine Arts Evaluation. I used it mostly to assist me in grading work. Here's what I did. 
Prep work: Create Folders for each of your classes. I assign them codes to make my life easier. Art 2 second block, for example, would be 2-2. The most important album is the "To Grade" album.

At the end of the day I would take a picture of all the work that was turned in one at a time. I like to put black poster board/railroad board underneath the work for a better look. I would take some works out side on nice days to get better quality photos. These pics would be in my Camera Roll in my Photos like below. 

 Then I would select all the photos of work that needed to be graded and add them to the "To Grade" album. 

Once the work was in the folder I could begin to grade using the rubric for that assignment. 
 I could tap to enlarge the image and tap again to take away all the other icons.
 Then, when I had graded all work from one class, I would select and add them to the class's album. 
Here are those pics after grading in the class album. 
 The most important step is to then remove the pics you have graded from the "To Grade" album every time you finish grading work for that class. Tap select, select the pieces graded, and tap the trash can. Don't worry, they are still in the other folders you placed them in. 
 Then, I can continue to grade the other class's work. 
When I'm finished, all the pics are in their class albums and no longer in the "To Grade" album.  
Hope this helps some of you out there. 

Someone asked me in the comments, "How do you know who the work belongs to?"
Answer: I have all students before they even begin a project, write their name and class code (such as 2-2) on the back, or in a discrete place on 3-D assignments. I will then take a picture of the name first then take a picture of the work. After the grading process, I can file both pictures into the class album. The pictures will stay in the same order that they were taken. That's why I like to take a picture of the name first, then the work.


Op Art and Colored Pencil Tutorial - Art 1

   I love Op Art and I thought it would be the perfect lesson to teach Art 1's how to use colored pencils. We began by discussing Op Art, M.C. Escher, Victor Vasarely, and Bridget Riley. Then we discussed the project which was to use colored pencil and value to create an Optical Illusion.
- Drawing must be an optical illusion
- Color pencil value to create the illusion (at least 3 values)
- Color pencil technique
- Craftsmanship
- Completeness - illusion must fill the page, traced in black sharpie, and have colored pencil value throughout. 
   Before we discussed how to use the prism colored pencils I showed them many optical illusion. I also put together a handout of optical illusion that they could use. Many used ideas from the handouts, but others sought out other ideas. Here is a link to my pinterest page with the Op ideas I included in my handout.
9"x12" paper
prisma colored pencils
Op Art Handout
   THough not required to, many students drew a few Op designs to see which they liked best… Or which was the easiest to draw. 

   After one day of intro and planning, the next day we practiced using blending colored pencils in our sketchbooks. I was inspired by this pin to create some pictures for my powerpoint to better explain the steps of blending. Students were to choose at least 3 colors. A local color, white, and a darker color of the local. Below are the pictures that I made and used.

Color lightly with local color

Use heavier pressure with the local color for the mid tone. Leave the middle alone for the highlight.

Blend all over with white
Finally, add the shadow color. I also added that you could blend everything again with the white. (or colorless blender if you have them)

   After going over the steps via PowerPoint I also demoed on the lady bug doc camera. I always teach in an I do, We do, You do fashion. I also like to preview what's coming before I explain further. Hence, the PowerPoint explanation before the demo. Next, the students practiced with me prompting. Then, they did it on their own while I walked around to give assistance. 
   While walking around to check for understanding I asked students about their design ideas and how they would use the pencils to show value. Not all designs would be colored the same way. Students had to think where the lighter and darker values would go. 
   I could not have dreamed of a better outcome to this project. Students would get a little frustrated towards the end because their hand hurt or it was taking so long. I just kept reminding them to literally shake it off and look how well they have done so far. Because of those complaints I would not do this project larger then 9"x12". 


Gelli Plates, monoprinting, principles, and a critique

I absolutely could not wait to try my new Gelli Plates with my Art 3 students. I not only wanted them to experiment with the plates, but I wanted them to apply knowledge of the art principles. Earlier that semester I had given a pre-test on the principles of art and the results who poor… to say the least… Art 3 is a precursor to AP Studio Art and they must understand the principles and learn to identify them. 
Voila, a lesson is born. Monoprinting, principles, and a critique
Students were reintroduced to the principles of art using many visual examples. Then, in groups, they had to decide what principle(s) the image on the screen was displaying. This promoted discussion within the group and competition amongst all groups because I said winning table would be cleaned up by me :). Not only did they have a tell me what principle was used, but had to explain how it was used. Sometimes they would even point out a principle I missed and had to explain their reasoning for that. 

Next, came the demonstration of the mono printing process. First, I showed two youtube videos on mono printing which you can find on my Printmaking Pinterest page. Then, I demoed where the materials were and how to use them. What I love most about Gelli Plates is that you could use any kind of acrylic paint and other material to "block" the paint. This excited the students more then anything because the whole process is very experimental. 
gelli arts plates
paint pallets 
pallet knives
7"x7" printing papers
scrap paper
bubble wrap
found objects
I allowed them one day of "play" so they could experiment and make some random pieces. Also, because the plates of 6"x6" I cut plenty of 7"x7" papers for them to use. 

At the end of the "play" day I introduced the project. 
They were to choose 4 principles and create a print for each. They used their sketchbooks to draw out some ideas, but many of them kept experimenting and would decide on the principle after the print was made. This was fine with me because they still had to identify the principle. So either way they were applying that knowledge. 

Finally, after the projects were complete we broke into our critique groups. Students placed a post-it next to each print to identify the principle they used and how that principle is being used. Peer critiqers were to write whether the principle was successful or not, why, and what could they have done differently. 

Overall, it was a successful project. Students learned their principles, argued their ideas, and learned mono printing. Though, I do think you need that day of play because students will want to use their own ideas more then the principles. Also, some of the "play" ones can even be used in their project because they realized they were using a principle of art. 

Relief Drawings

When I started my Art 1's on value we began with value scales using 5 different types of value: blending, stippling, hatching, cross-hatching,  and scribbling. I wanted them to see how light affects shadows and see how real value is created. So, I uncovered a lesson I hadn't taught since my student teaching year. It was extremely successful and so I decided to dust off it's cobwebs. You can find the link here on Blick's website. I only made a few modifications.

2 - 9"x12" drawing paper
stick glue
light source (we used our smart device flash lights)
1-12"x18" 80 wt drawing paper
kneaded erasers 

We began by discussing high lights and shadows, how they are created, and how we can replicate them. Then, I led students through a PowerPoint discussion on what a relief is and how the changes in value show us what is closer or farther away from us in a relief. Students were a little nervous when I told them we would be creating a relief and then using it to create a value drawing. Then I pulled out the paper and demonstrated how they could create a relief with it by manipulating the paper to make different forms. I stressed that they would have to draw all the forms they created. This stopped some students from going too over the top and encouraged others to challenge themselves. Students used one piece of 9"x12" paper as the base and the other to create the forms. Their goal was to create at least 5 different forms. This step took only one 90 minute class time. 

Once the reliefs were created I demonstrated how to use a light source to create interesting shadows. I set up a cart and used my iPhone flash light as a light source and had a student take a picture with the class iPad. You could also take the pics with a camera and use a lamp. I found that the iPhone flash light created the best variety of shadows. I explained how fill up the whole frame and position the light source to create an interesting image. 
Students with smart devices could take a picture themselves while telling me where to position the light source. I would show them 4 different angles for the light source so they could see what the shadows would do and they picked the best one. They could draw directly from their phone or I could print out the image for them. Students who didn't have smart devices used the class iPad and printed out their image. I don't have any windows or enough lights to set up around my room so this was my only option in order for everyone to have a different and unique composition. The students loved making these creative decisions. After the pictures were taken students sketched out their relief in their sketchbooks. This allowed great practice time and allowed me to over see their creative picture taking and print images.

The next day I explained how to begin the drawing by addressing proportion, space, and placement of objects. The drawing stage took two 90 minute class periods. I stress to my students to draw lightly and have a strong finished drawing before adding value.
After the drawing stage we were able to address the value. I demonstrated how to look for the darkest values first just like we did the value scales and then continue to lighten from there. We also discussed how some shadows have values that fade and others are solid. 
I could not be more proud of the results from this project. I believe it really helped students see the actual value changes in relation to light source and form. They truly do have a better understanding of light source and value changes. 

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