Wednesday, April 1, 2009

TPACK chapter 8 ART

Link to Stacey's TPCK

Link to Cindy's TPCK

My comments below are reactions to the presentations by my colleagues, above.

Give the students tools to find their voices. How this resonates with me!

One of the beautiful things about student wikis is how creative they become on their site. The colors, the logos, all of it becomes individualized.

Creativity and intellectual curiosity. These two 21st century skills are at the top of my list of what to teach. This is followed by interpersonal and collaborative skills. In my room, there is a community dynamic. Kids help each other and I help them. Self-direction is hard to draw out because too often kids come to me having been spoon-fed a curriculum, a series of questions, answers, and wrapped up with a bow and put in a box. However, I do draw it out by making my lessons student-centered and holding them accountable. Social responsibility is a big one--I liken this skill to connectivist nodes. "Don't be a useless node! Make the network stronger! Make the room smarter!" When I explain what connectivism is, and how we use the theory in my room, kids start to "get it". When we all work together and put our heads together we can do amazing, powerful stuff. Communication and information and media literacy skills go hand in hand in my room. We are making meaning, we are sharing knowledge. We are communicating at a very basic level to start but eventually the process is refined through experience and kids begin to acquire language patterns that allow them to express themselves.

The areas in which I am weak are accountability and adaptability and critical thinking and systems thinking. I have due dates, deadlines...but tend to give my kids incompletes instead of F's...wanting them to do the work instead of cutting them off from it. I also find that I cover too much culture as opposed to a deeper form of analysis.

I started my career as an art teacher, so this chapter spoke volumes to me. I teach Spanish a lot like I taught art. There is process, there is product. There is presentation. There is feedback. What they make with language is like art, to me. It is representative of their thoughts, ideas, knowledge, dreams. In art, learning is a process of self discovery. Again, replace art with any content area, it should be the same! Students become invested when they are waking up to the world of ideas inside of themselves.

Give students the tools to find their voices. YES. YES. YES.

Ok, now I am going to go on a rant. It is on design. As an art teacher turned Spanish teacher, and once and only English teacher (remedial seventh grade English), and yearbook teacher--much of what students produce needs refinement of design. Take the Fibonacci sequence that I mentioned in my math post. The Fibonacci sequence implies a "divine design" or a "perfect" aesthetic. Take the rule of thirds in photography--never center a subject, leave room for the eye to find it, leave room for the brain to wander and make a connection. Take a bleed in photography--let that photo go the edge of the page. Don't trap white space. The mind interprets art much better when design principles are applied! And when making a powerpoint, try and make it image-driven, and pick powerful images! The cortex processes images better than words! Use that powerful concept to get the message across.

Students of the arts inevitably receive a wide range of opportunities to express the multiple forms of intelligence as identified by Gardner. I really see the arts as integral to my content area. Not just "art" but movement, music, etc. It all ties in with Spanish as a language, and Spanish-speaking cultures. Note: how come Gardner does not have a culinary intelligence? One of my students just piped up: "Woolly mammoth kabobs!"


Amity said...

The Kodak site is awesome! I go to's Big Picture....wonderful will like it Stacey. Also, Flickr....FlickrStorm is the place to go for image searches in school.

Stacey said...

I will check out the's Big Picture. I love the flickr site since you recommended it. Thank you.

cstevens said...

I also will check out your recommended site. I took a photography course online last Spring. I really enjoyed playing with photo design in ways I had never experimented with before. Right now I am trying these concepts put with my class in a Poetry Unit. Not only are we playing with photography and descriptive language but am introducing how white space is used and the rule of thirds as they place their poetry on the page.


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