Art, Creative Thinking, Education, K-12, Student Products

Creative Snowflakes

This post, from The Art of Education blog, gives some great suggestions for a simple art challenge for the students who might be so inclined.  I would extend the topic even further by having the students brainstorm other possible ideas for illustrating an entire page:  ladybugs, flowers, holiday candy, cars, etc…

Art, Creative Thinking, Education, K-5

S.C.A.M.P.E.R. the Holidays

UPDATE 12/1/2020: If you are looking for more holiday ideas, here is my new Winter Holidays Wakelet that I will be continually updating throughout December.  I also just posted a S.C.A.M.P.E.R. Through Winter Jamboard that you can access here.
One of the creative thinking tools that my students learn is S.C.A.M.P.E.R.  It is an acronym to help people to remember different ways inventive ideas can happen:  Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, and Rearrange.  It was originally developed by a man named Bob Eberle.  The holidays lend themselves to this type of thinking, as the students are already feeling a little loose and silly – willing to take risks with unusual ideas.  Here is a link to a first grade teacher’s activity in which her students had to think of ideas for the putting candy canes to another use.  And here are some other ones I’ve used:
Substitute other materials for making a “snowman” for a place where it never snows.
Combine two holidays and draw a picture of a family celebrating them.
Adapt Santa’s sleigh to another environment – like the desert or outer space.
Modify (Magnify or Minimize) a holiday dessert.
Put flying reindeer to another use for the rest of the year.
Eliminate presents from a holiday. What could be done to celebrate instead?
Rearrange the holiday calendar. What months would have which holidays, and why?
Here are some examples from my third graders:
This student made a snowman out of globes, and the hands are from a clock!
This student asked me if Santa’s new environment had to be “real.” When I said it did not have to be real, he chose a computer game as the environment.
Apps, Art, Creative Thinking, K-12, Motivation, QR Codes, Student Products, Web 2.0

QR Codes and Art

I like patterns.  This week, I started by sharing some QR Code Countdown Calendars.  Yesterday, I chose to share a link to Countdown Calendars.  So, today, I will focus once again on QR Codes.

I found an article on the Langwitches blog that gave a wonderful idea for using QR codes with art.  You should read the article here, because it gives great details.  To summarize, it explains a project in which the students created magnificent artwork.  They then made individual recordings about their artwork.  These recordings were uploaded to the web, and QR codes were generated for each link.  The QR codes were then adhered to the artwork.  Therefore, anyone who passes the artwork that is being displayed can use a “smart” device to scan the code, allowing them to listen to the student’s narrative about the art as the surveyor looks upon the masterpiece.

This generated so many extension ideas for me when I read it that I could not even begin to list them.  Think about the power of attaching another media to a bulletin board display of any type of work.  It could be an audio narrative or music.  It could even be a video!  Imagine the electronic portfolios your students could create that would co-exist in the both the “real” and “virtual” worlds!  I can’t wait to try it myself!

Art, K-12, Math, Teaching Tools, Videos, Websites

Nature By Numbers

This is the week of video posts, so here is your third one – an absolutely stunning video that visually relates how nature and math are absolutely connected.  This video was brought to my attention by a fellow teacher, Shari M., who knew that my gifted students would enjoy it as much as I would.

Nature by Numbers from Cristóbal Vila on Vimeo.

You could: pause this movie after the number pattern to see if your students can identify the pattern, have them research Fibonacci, challenge them to list all of the natural objects represented, ask them to find other items in nature that have connections to this pattern.

The creator of this video has an amazing website that explains the math, shows stills of his work in progress, and more.

Apps, Art, K-5, Student Products, Writing

Surprisingly Educational Apps

Pictorial” is a free app.  I envision using it with an iPad in a center.  The app is a great way to practice spatial skills.  However, the user can choose even harder puzzles if or she finds these too easy.

The puzzles show a series of dots.  By sliding your fingers around the screen, you can manipulate the dots until you see lines connecting them.  The darker the lines become, the closer you are to creating a picture.  Once you slide the dots into the correct place, an image will appear, such as the ice cream cone in the picture to the left, and a prompt appears for the next puzzle.

A student could be asked to solve a puzzle, then identify the picture.  To increase difficulty, a student could be directed to write a sentence with the picture, or even a story.  A high level user could have the additional challenge of connecting several pictures together within a story.

A screen pic and Screen Chomp (another free app) could be used by students who have difficulty writing.  Or each student could be directed to add the title of their picture to a class brainstorming map to use for writing or creative thinking. Another possibility would be to have students add the pictures to a class mind map to be used for vocabulary and/or spelling practice.  Creative students could try to find as many ways to connect the pictures as possible or use the pictures artistically in drawing a scene.

I think this app would be appealing to students in K-5.

For more ideas on how to use apps in the classroom, please visit www.techchef4u.com, another great resource for teachers!