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How to Use Internet to Make a Masterpiece

How to Use Internet to Make a Masterpiece
Each student comes to class with unique interests and experiences. Many students are creative beyond their years. Art can be a way for students to express themselves and find their own creative voice. Take a trip to a virtual gallery where you own students are the star artists, or help students add original art to their own stories creating their first book. No matter how you use art, it can be a great way to add meaning to your lessons and make visual connections your students will remember.

Artsonia

What it is:

Artsonia is the world’s largest kids’ art museum where each student in your class can have an online art gallery displaying their masterpieces for free! Artsonia is for pre-school through high-school students. Your students will develop a new sense of pride and feel like famous artists published in a museum. Friends and family members of the student can view the artwork, join fan clubs and leave personal comments for the artists. Family can purchase custom keepsakes with their child’s artwork (mugs, t-shirts, mouse pads, coasters, note cards and more). Your school will earn 15% of the purchases! Participation is completely free for teachers, students, and schools.

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How to integrate Artsonia into your curriculum:

Use www.artsonia.com as an enhancement for your school’s art program or use for your classroom projects. Students will put extra effort into their work and parents will be more involved in their classroom work.

Tips:

Have a digital camera handy at all times, set up a place in your room to take a close up picture of student work. This will keep you from scanning all of the work in. Upload the pictures to Artsonia and you are finished! Set aside special days when students can visit the museum in class. Students can view and leave messages for classmates.

Professor Garfield: Art Bot

What it is:

Professor Garfield: Art Bot is a site dedicated to teaching kids the building blocks of art, specifically cartooning. Interactive training videos include: How to draw Garfield by Jim Davis, how to draw animals, how to draw cartoon characters, fun with sculpture, and creative carving. These step by step videos are great for teaching kids the basics and help kids to feel successful in their art skills.

How to integrate Professor Garfield:

Art Bot into the classroom: Set up Professor Garfield: Art Bot as a center. Students can visit this center (or bookmark) and practice basic drawing skills with the digital tutorial. Students will love learning from Jim Davis. The videos are easy to follow and very kid friendly. This is also a great introduction to online instructional videos and training modules. Students can self direct learning with these types of video tutorials. Professor Garfield: Art Bot will encourage them to search out more video tutorials.

Tips:

Be sure to visit the Teachers’ Lounge for really thorough instructional materials, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension, writing, printable materials, electronic field trips, and educational links.

Canvastic

What it is:

Canvastic is a great student focused graphics and text publishing tool for kindergarten through eighth grade. It has easy to use tools and options. You won’t find any of the “toy” features that you find in Kid Pix type applications. The control given to teachers is wonderful. Teachers can give students access to tools gradually so that as they learn more, they can use more. It actually grows with the user. It has the best spell checking feature for students I have seen. You can try Canvastic for free in your classroom for as long as you like but the print, export, and save features are disabled. For $39 you can purchase Canvastic.

How to integrate Canvastic into your classroom:

Use Canvastic as part of your publishing center. Students can publish written stories complete with illustrations. Students can create their own graphic organizers on any subject using the Canvastic software.

Tips:

Join the Canvastic community to contribute ideas for improvement of the software, how you are using it in your classroom, and to foster an atmosphere of communication and exchange. In the Community you will find example lesson plans that are tied to state and national standards.

Doodle Bops

What it is:

The Doodle Bops website is fun learning for pre-kindergarten through first grade students. Students can write a letter, play virtual hide and go seek, paint pictures, play games that encourage following oral directions, virtual dot to dots for counting practice, and other games to help build computer mouse skills.

How to integrate Doodle Bops into your classroom:

Allow kids to interact with the Doodle Bops site during center time. The site is easy to navigate and very kid friendly. Use the site to build computer skills before introducing more complex sites.

Tips:

Visit the Printables page at the bottom of the site for coloring sheets that coordinate with the Website. These would be nice to have on hand for indoor recess days.

Tux Paint

What it is:

Tux Paint offers open source software aka FREE. Tux Paint is a painting and creativity program similar to Kid Pix. tuxpaint.org offers the free download for both Macintosh and Windows computers. Tux Paint is easy to use, includes fun sound effects, and a cartoon mascot who guides students as they use the program. Students use a variety of drawing tools to create masterpieces.

How to integrate Tux Paint into your curriculum:

Use Tux Paint as part of your publishing center. Students can illustrate their writing pieces using Tux Paint. Tux Paint can be used to enhance your literacy program. For example, I use Tux Paint when I am introducing kids to the Caldecott award. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems is a Caldecott Award winning book. The Pigeon is created with very simple shapes and can be easily recreated with the tools in Tux Paint. As part of this unit, I let kids create their own Pigeons. They look so close to Mo Willems Pigeon that the students feel like successful, award winning artists. This program is flexible enough to use in math (think patterns, money units, etc.), science, and history.

Tips:

Make sure you have printing abilities. The students will be proud of their work and want to print it out! Be sure to download the stamp set. This is a free download but offers hundreds of stamps (including money) that enhance this already great program. Visit the school page to find out how other schools have used Tux Paint to enhance their curriculum.

Each Friday Teaching will feature iLearn Technology. This column is dedicated to giving teachers practical tips for integrating technology into the classroom. All of the resources are free to use and simple to implement.


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