Tag: high school art

Teaching Tips for Hybrid and Virtual

THREE WEEKS IN HYBRID

I have to start this post with a disclaimer: my first two and a half weeks of school has been a lot of putting out fires, just barely hanging on, and feeling a bit like a failure. But, as I rounded the corner into week three of teaching in hybrid, I suddenly felt like my feet were on the ground. For the first time, I had a handle on my schedule, what projects were going on, and I felt more confident dealing with the technology component.

Below are eight tips that I have jotted down as I moved through the dumpster fire that is the start of the school year, pandemic style.

PLANNING YOUR YEAR

If you are anything like me you love to plan out your entire semester, maybe even the year, in August. I love filling out my planner with when I aim to start projects and my project progression. This year, throw all your past schedules in the trash (not literally, since COVID is temporary you may want to reference those again in the future).

Figure out what your school’s plan is. Are you full virtual? For how long? Are you hybrid? Do the students switch off every other day? What does the daily/weekly schedule look like? Using this information, create your own schedule. Figure out what projects can be completed with low materials and decide which projects are most important for your art program.

In addition to roughing out the first few weeks, consider what happens at the end of a project. How are students submitting work to you? Set up your organization system NOW so students can learn it from day one. In the spring, I had students email me pictures of projects when they turned them in to be graded. That system was a hot mess. If I had to follow up with a student, or track down a project for grading, I was forced to dig through my e-mail.

This year, my school is set up through Teams and Blackbaud. I have chosen to train my students to access project information and submit work through Teams. Within our Teams group, each student has a folder with their last name. Every new project they create a subfolder with the project name, where they upload their artist research sheets, critique sheets, and pictures of their work. I know exactly where to track down their work, no questions asked.

Rough out your first few weeks of school. If you are in hybrid mode, count the number of days a project would typically take and apply those to how often you will see a student in person. When I realized I would be a hybrid teacher I opted for my students to work on one assignment at school and one assignment at home to prevent projects from traveling back and forth daily. This leads me to…

If possible, avoid having your student move supplies back and forth.

MANAGING SUPPLIES

Many teachers around the world are finding themselves in a situation where students can no longer share supplies. Art kits are being put together for at home and at school use, art suppliers are running low on watercolor and drawing supplies. As a hybrid teacher, I had to create art kits to allow my students to work on projects at home. However, I quickly realized this system would not function well if my students where lugging supplies and projects back and forth from school and home every day. Inevitably, things would get lost, projects would be left in the wrong place, and students would be left with nothing to do.

To avoid that situation, I decided to have a project for in-class, and a project for at home, running simultaneously. This presents its own set of challenges. For one, my students will be working on projects at home that I can’t offer the same amount of guidance as I would at school. Also, there are times I present a project to the entire class, both in person and on Zoom, but if the students are at home they won’t apply that information until the next time they are physically present at school. It was also very confusing at the start of the year when I had to present multiple projects a few days in a row, then split the students up to start working on assignments.

However, despite the challenges of juggling multiple things at once, I think it’s easier than trying to fill virtual student’s time with busy work or risking supplies traveling from location to location. My school does allow communal supplies in the classroom, as long as they can be disinfected between student use. For those who have to rely only on individual kits, traveling supplies may be inevitable.

PLAN AHEAD

As soon as you determine which projects you are going to start the year with, start typing up your instructions. If you are in full virtual mode this is incredibly important for students to reference if needed. If you are in hybrid mode, this is a helpful tool if you are busy with one group of students and need the other group to start working independently.

When I say type up instructions, I mean type up every step, detail, everything you would verbally tell the students to do. If a student is late due to technical issues (inevitable) or misses a class, you can direct them to these instructions without having to interrupt the rest of the class.

Record demo videos.

Just like written instructions, demo videos are a huge time suck to create, but an invaluable asset when it’s done. If you are working on a project example now, stop! Set up a camera and record your process. These videos can be uploaded to a location students can access when they are working independently, if they miss class, or simply for a review of instructions.

It can be overwhelming to look at a year of projects and imagine recording demos for every single one. Instead, start small. Look at your first two weeks. Can you get the demo videos done for just your full virtual projects? If you take one bite at a time, eventually you will eat the whole virtual monster.

Teaching with a breathable mask is key.

Before you even start your first day of school, go mask shopping. Order a few different styles from a few different companies. The most important parts of a mask are breathability, comfort, and safety. The mask is there to protect you and others, so make sure you have a quality mask that is actually doing its job. You will be wearing that sucker all day, so make sure it’s comfortable. I had headaches for two weeks solid, and I think a big part of that was adjusting to wearing a mask.

Finally, make sure you can easily take deep breaths in your mask. My nerves always kick into high gear on the first day of school. I talk a little faster, requiring bigger breaths between words. This year I had a particularly thick mask on the first day. When I took those nervous gulps of air the short moments between all of my informative words, I realized I wasn’t getting the level of oxygen I needed to not pass out in front of my class. I had to consciously take a moment to breathe, greatly slow down my talking, and a mask switch was necessary. I now have a thinner cotton one that allows me to talk more easily, while still protecting my health.

Also, wear your mask! Are you around people? Wear your mask! Are you six feet apart? Wear it just in case! Are you eating lunch solo or at a safe distance? Okay, fine, take off your mask.

Drink your coffee at the start of the day, you won't have time later.

CAFFINATE!

If you take nothing else away from the post, remember this one. DRINK YOUR COFFEE BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS. I made the mistake the first few days of lightly sipping on my coffee en route to school, answering a few e-mails, and then realizing my class was on their way. Once your mask goes on and class starts, sneaking those gulps of coffee is nearly impossible. I have days where my planning doesn’t hit until after lunch, and coffee that has been sitting around that long just isn’t worth the effort to drink it.

Develop a system for learning student names.

STUDENT NAMES

Now that you have a plan, are caffeinated, and masked up it’s time to start your year! Learning student names this year is nearly impossible!! If you are hybrid or full-on seeing kids in person, you are likely only seeing their eyes. If you are virtual, you are probably only seeing their forehead. Typically, in week three of school, I have a handle on 95% of student names. This year, I am still figuring it out.

The biggest help has been assigned seating, required at my school for contact tracing. I can easily refer to my seating chart to see who is sitting where. Also, when students are on our Zoom call I see their names on their screens. To help further solidify the name/face connection I also have a roster printed out with their picture next to their name. Find a way to get that name/face connection made to help you more easily connect to the students in a time when we can’t be closer than six feet.

TECH SWEAT

If I can promise one thing about this school year it is that you will be sweating… a lot… Technical issues will come up. On my third day, I got the blue screen of death in the middle of class. By the time I rejoined my Zoom call, the call had defaulted to a student and I couldn’t figure out how to regain control in order to share my presentation. Class ended early that day and I felt like I needed a shower afterward. I haven’t faced tech issues to that extent again, but at least I have a sense of control with my spare deodorant safely stowed in my desk drawer.

Teachers, be flexible and give yourself a break!

GOOD LUCK!

If I am being totally honest my mantra my first week of school was if I am just physically showing up every day, I am doing a good job. My expectations were very low, but as I have gained confidence in this new world of education, that bar is slowly starting to rise. It is going to be hard. You are going to be tired. You will feel like a failure. Tech will fail you. But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You will hit a point where you feel like you have a small handle on the situation. In a global pandemic, as essential workers, as a small lifeline of normalcy to the students we teach, we are doing a great job every day just by showing up.

Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog or check my out on social media for more life experiences, project ideas, and art teacher nuggets. You can also cut out the typing up instructions and recording video demo by checking out art projects and resources on my blog here and here as well as on my TPT here.

Back to School Sale 8/4 through 8/5/20

25% TPT Sale 8/4 and 8/5

This is the strangest back to school I have ever experienced, but through it all you can always rely on the Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale.

STOP! Before you read through this book of a post, help me prioritize your resource needs by sharing your opinion on what I should work on next in this survey and subscribe here to stay updated on your requests.

On Tuesday, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5th (2020) my entire shop will be marked down by 20% with an additional 5% off at checkout using the code, BTS20. As usual, I have spent my summer rearing children and TPTing. Read below for all the updates I have in my shop plus projects specifically designed for distance learning.

My blog shop will also be marked 25% off using the code BTS20 at check out. Shop here!

Principle of design handouts

This year marks the beginning of a career shift for me. I am moving from teaching three classes a semester and acting as the fine arts administrative assistant for our K-12 school to teaching 5 classes a semester. After an eight year break I am returning to teaching full time.

The change that pushed me to that point was the addition of a new class, Introduction to Design. My fine arts department chair approached me with the idea and I loved it. Our program is very traditional art focused and lacked digital or design based classes. This also provided me with the opportunity to design the curriculum from the ground up, which based on my TPT products, you know I love.

I had hoped to complete my curriculum this summer, but life sometimes gets in the way, but I have the first 1/3 of the semester complete. The rest will come together in the coming months, mostly because it has to! I will have to create the resources for me to teach the class.

The first pieces I created for this class are my elements of design and principles of design worksheets. They introduce students to the building blocks of design and they have digital fill in options through Adobe Acrobat Pro, Indesign, and Google Slides.

Shoe design project using Illustrator.

The first official project my students will work on is a design their own shoe assignment. They learn the basics of using Adobe Illustrator and are introduced to using color, shape, form, line, and pattern in design.

Next, students are introduced to the program Adobe Photoshop by redesigning a book or album cover. With this assignment they have to think more about designing for a client and how to best reflect their client through their product design.

After the first two intro projects they shift into a focus specifically on graphic design and what that looks like as a profession. Branding and marketing is discussed and students are tasked with developing a brand for themselves. Through this project they learn the basics of working in Adobe InDesign. Check this project out here.

Up next, I am working on a graphic design project that focuses on rebranding a corporation of the student’s choice. This will bring together their understanding of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign into one project. All my Intro to Design assignments will be posted here as they are finished.

DISTANCE LEARNING PROJECTS

Cell phone photography semester curriculum.

With the ongoing pandemic and so many districts shifting to distance learning for the first semester of school, I decided to put together a semester long photography curriculum that can be completed using a cell phone camera.

This is compiled from both my Introduction to Photography and Photography II curriculums. Rather than learning a DSLR camera and how to set up successful photographs, students learn about composition, subject matter, and lighting to create a successful photo.

K-5 distance learning project pack

My mom and I have been working incredibly hard to put together two kindergarten through 5th grade project packs that work great in a traditional classroom or from home. In addition to all the typical things you find in my project packs (lesson plan, handouts, presentations, rubrics) I also include parent distance learning instructions, teacher distance learning instructions, and demo videos students can watch at home or at school.

Check out distance learning art products below:

DISTANCE LEARNING TEACHER RESOURCES

Printable Supply labels.

With so many teachers having to shift to individually bundled supplies or sending supplies home with students, I knew check out labels and editable supply labels where going to be key to keeping teachers’ sanity. (Also check out my brush tube labels for even more organization).

I have four different styles of editable “property of” labels. This way every supply can be labeled with your name and classroom number so wandering supplies can find their way home. In addition, there are multiple versions of supply check out sheets. These can be used to track what is handed to individual students, classes, or for checking out individual supplies.

Everything in this pack is printable and editable to align with your needs.

ART CURRICULUMS

If you are worried about your school year, don’t stress yourself out! Hit the easy button and grab one of my curriculum during the sale. These are easy to transition to distance learning because you already have instructions typed out, handouts made, presentations put together that you can send to students to look through and fill out. Check them out below:

This year will be unprecedented in so many ways. I am sending all our essential workers out there, especially teachers at this time, the warm fuzzies, happy thoughts, and hopes that you all stay safe. Thanks for checking out my blog post and my new products! Want info about my new products delivered to your inbox? Subscribe here. Thanks for stopping by.

Elements of Design Worksheet Set

Eight elements of design handouts and activities.

Check out my latest TPT product, an elements of design worksheet bundle, pictured above.

As I approach the end to this very bizarre school year I have started to look ahead to next year. Many changes are coming my way and I am distracting myself from distance learning with planning for the future.

Next year I will be moving from my beloved classroom of 5 years to bunk up with the art teacher across the hall. In terms of scheduling, this makes sense, my room will go to a middle school art teacher who needs the space more than I. It also means a new challenge for me, overhauling another art room! This will be my third room at this school. At least it keeps me busy.

My artist inspiration chalkboard wall at school.

I will greatly miss my artist inspiration wall, but I will find a way to set up something similar the new space. My coworker has given me permission to take over and decorate… she has no idea what she has agreed to…

I am also moving from teaching 3 classes a semester and being the fine arts administrative assistant, to teaching 5 classes a semester and becoming a full time teacher at my school. I will miss many aspects of the administrative assistant position, but I am so excited to be able to focus just on teaching again.

The transition to full time teaching was made possible because of the addition of a new course: Introduction to Design. I will be teaching four sections of this class in our amazing Mac lab. Students will learn about the building blocks of design, design thinking, graphic design, web design, user experience, and they get to select a focus between urban design, fashion design, game design, or interior design.

Between moving classrooms and designing a brand new curriculum from scratch, I will stay busy. But, I am so excited to embark on this new project. As I develop my design curriculum I will share my lessons here and on my Teachers Pay Teachers shop. I just completed the first piece, handouts that go through the eight elements of design: color, form, line, value, shape, texture, typography, and space. Check them out here.

Don't miss 25% off my entire Teachers Pay Teachers store. Use THANKYOU20 at checkout.

If you are interested in the elements of design worksheet bundle, distance learning resources, or any other art education products, now is the time to shop! My entire store will be 25% off today (5/5/20) and tomorrow (5/6/20), use the code THANKYOU20 at checkout. Check out past blog posts about my products to read about other resources to make your teaching life easier.

To all you teachers out there, I hope you are surviving! Good luck wrapping up your year in distance learning. Summer is on the horizon.

A letter to all the worn out teachers dealing with distance learning.

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and my TPT. Thanks for stopping by!

Distance Learning – Visual Journals

A visual journal page of a sign that says "don't stop art."

I recently got word from my school that we wouldn’t be back before April 13th. I have doubts that we will even return the 14th, but only time will tell. This means no students, no hands on learning, no art show, so many other cancellations of events and what we all consider the norm, gone.

Just two weeks ago I walked the line between is this really serious? and will we actually have school cancellations due to an illness? It only took until the end of that week to realize the severity of the situation we are in. I immediately began planning how I could continue to push art into the lives of my students during this, because at a time like this an outlet for our feelings is as important as hand washing (although wash your hands FIRST then start the creative outlet for your mental health).

What is most important to me is that we don’t stop art. That my students continue to flex their creative muscles in this time of isolation. So what do I do? What do educators do? How do we continue to provide for our students without having a face to face with them? These questions are what pushed me into the next phase of dealing with COVID-19, I was long out of denial, it was time to take action.

Luckily, I have a project that fits well into distance learning, visual journals. Before my students left I had them take their visual journals home. If you have not started this project, all your students need is a used hardback book that they (and their family members) no longer want. If paperback is all they have, use it! If a sketchbook or notebook is all they have, give it a go! If they have no bound book option, use a piece of paper. That most important part is getting started and making something.

MY DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN

For the next two weeks I have a solid distance learning plan that focuses on visual journals. Luckily, if we continue to teach and learn from home, this project can be extended. You can find all my resources, including a presentation, handouts, and more, on my TPT here for free. I also have many how to worksheets on visual journaling you can check out here. You can also continue reading below for the general outline of my plan.

TOPIC: VISUAL JOURNALS & COVID-19

For the first week of distance learning my students are focusing on what this current crisis looks like, by reading information on reputable websites such as the CDC. They then reflect on how this crisis is impacting them, their friends and family. Next, they begin planning out a spread (two facing pages) in their visual journal that sums up their coronavirus experience in one image.

My school is using technology already put in place to support us through distance learning. All assignments are posted to our class Blackbaud page. Completed assignments can be uploaded through the same system. This organizes who submitted which assignment when, without me doing the heavy lifting. In addition, we are using Microsoft Teams as a discussion board and file holder to organize all our documents into one place and as a secondary option for students to access what they need for their assignment.

If you don’t have technology in place to support you, it will take extra work, but it can be done. Google classroom is free and an amazing way to connect with your students in one place. E-mail is another option to at least get assignment sheets and information into your student’s hands (or inbox). They can e-mail you pictures of their visual journal pages that you post to a Flickr or similar page where students can check out each other’s work and comment on them. If you haven’t started a class Instagram yet, now is the time! This could be your online gallery of work and community space. Worse case scenario, you could mail packets out, although not ideal, it is an option if it’s feasible for you (heaven knows we need to be taken care of too. Make sure you take care of you!)

At the end of the first week my students only have to submit their reflection sheet and start brainstorming designs for their visual journal spread. I want us all to take baby steps at the beginning so we don’t burn out by the end. I am taking the less is more approach, while still giving my students the opportunity to express themselves.

At the end of the second week they will submit a photograph of their completed visual journal page to me. My students will be graded on all submitted work, not every school is, but grades are great motivation to work, so I am thankful for that.

VISUAL JOURNAL SUPPLIES & HOW TO

To complete this project students can use materials typically found at home to create beautiful works of art. Included in my free packet is a list of supplies they can creatively use they may not think of as art supplies. Below is a basic list to get you started:

  • Used hardback book
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies
  • Tape
  • Paperclips
  • A computer to find images and a printer to print images
  • Foil
  • Paper bags
  • Wrapping paper

Because my students are already a couple of months into our visual journal project, we work on them every Friday at school, they have already been introduced to collaging, mixed media, and examples of visual journals and techniques. If you are starting from scratch, send them here to read through how tos or have them Google visual journal or altered books for ideas. Send the visual journal presentation in my free pack. Have the students take the reigns in their art making and find inspiration on their own. The internet provides almost limitless access to tutorials, information, and tips, encourage them to use it.

As your students work on their spreads don’t be afraid to create your own. Video your process, share what your reaction to coronavirus is. Be vulnerable with your students because we are all vulnerable right now. Although my school has prohibited video conferencing of any kind with students, due to the inability to oversee actions and to be free of liability of any inappropriate or poor conduct, I can share videos of me working. Although we aren’t in the classroom together, I believe hearing my voice my instill a sense of regularity into this process.

As we navigate through this unprecedented time, if we continue to be out of school I plan to post a list of visual journal prompts students can select from and create visual journal pages about. I will check in with their progress at least once a week, and have new spreads due every two weeks.

Your distance learning may look completely different from mine, but I hope this at least provides ideas to get you started. It’s overwhelming to change everything we have been trained to do, but we can do it and we can do it together.

OTHER DISTANCE LEARNING IDEAS

If you teach elementary school, middle school, or photography classes I have been working overtime to get distance learning packs put together for you! Read below for more information.

My retired art teacher mom and I created a distance learning pack for K-5 with projects designed specifically with the abilities and needs of each individual grade level in mind. Each lesson pack includes presentations, assignment sheets to help the parents and students, and step by step instructions through demonstration videos and handouts.

I have adapted my traditional artist trading card project into a distance learning focused one that includes a mail trading session between students. I know students miss each other and writing letters, creating art, and keeping in touch with something they can physically touch can make a huge difference. Check this lesson out here.

My coworker and I have put together four photography focused distance learning packs for you. One is a free pack that includes prompts for students to explore while at home. Two lesson packs focus on setting up and taking pictures at home through constructed landscapes indoors and a social commentary on the COVID-19 crisis. The fourth lesson takes an art historical approach looking at photographs that have changed the world. These packs could cover your class for the rest of the semester if needed.

In addition, I have two art history lessons up on prehistoric art. One is designed for upper elementary and young middle schoolers, while the other is designed for late middle and high schoolers. Art history is just as important to art making and could be a good solution to art distance learning for you.

Check my distance learning category on TPT and follow me to stay up to date with new products I get posted!

Ya’ll I miss my classroom, my students, my routine. Before this all I wanted was one snow day, now I would give anything to be back in my room looking at my kiddo’s facing and talking about art, or whatever topic was important in the teenage world that day.

Good luck to you as you go through this journey. Please reach out with questions, comments, or concerns. Click my social media buttons in the right menu bar to keep in touch.

A week ago I was at the beach (practicing social distancing but in a much more beautiful place) and now am I here. I am here and I am going to do this and soon this will be behind us. Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my most recent visual journal post that explains how to create a tape transfer in a visual journal using packaging tape and printing pictures.

New Teaching Resources + TPT Winter Sale

I can’t believe it is already the second month of 2020… But here we are with the first TPT sale of the new year, starting February 4th and running through February 5th. My entire store will be 25 % off; this is the lowest my products are ever marked down.

My product development always slows down as school starts to ramp up. But, I have still managed to get a number of new lessons put together between the last sale day and now. Continue reading to learn about all my new items or stop here and start shopping. Don’t forget to use the code FEBSALE at checkout for the full 25% off!

PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH PROJECT

After months of work I finally wrapped up the last of my photography projects to complete my second photo bundle. This assignment is second to last in the curriculum and challenges students to find and research modern photographers who inspire them. They are then tasked with capturing a photograph in the style of the photographer and pushed to test their Photoshop abilities by editing one of the photographer’s original images. Check it out here.

IMAGE TRANSFER HOW TO

The final project of the semester for photography is creating an image transfer of a photograph captured by the students. The base material can vary from wood to canvas, and it can have a huge impact on the overall feel of the final product. This project walks teachers and students through the process of successfully transferring a printed photograph to a different surface. Complete with handouts, PowerPoint, critique, and more. Check it out here.

PHOTO CURRICULUM – EVERYTHING YOU NEED

It felt amazing to wrap up my second photography curriculum. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire semester. Every handout, critique sheet, rubric, lesson plan, PowerPoint is included so you don’t have to plan a single day, other than pushing print on your computer. This includes 12 photography based projects, 11 critiques, 11 artist research assignments, a photographer research assignment, semester timeline, how to set up a Google Classroom and using Adobe Spark for assignment submission, and more. Check it out here.

TWO CURRICULUMS IN ONE

With the completion of my Photo II curriculum came the bundling of my Intro to Photography and Photo II curriculums. Now you can get both semester long curriculums for a discounted price. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire year of DSLR photography. There are 30 photography projects included in this curriculum pack. Check it out here.

BOOKBINDING PROJECT

I tested out a new bookbinding process, perfect bound sketchbook, to create an easy and beautiful sketchbook. The materials are cheap and the end product looks like a book you could purchase from a store. The project can be found here and this has also been added to my bookbinding bundle, if you want a variety of techniques to teach in your classes. The bookbinding bundle includes 7 different sketchbook projects.

BRANDING YOURSELF AND SHARING YOUR WORK

I am thrilled to finally share my Free Art Friday project with the art teaching community. I have been obsessed with the Free Art Friday movement for years; and I began incorporating free art based projects in my classroom last year. It has been a huge hit with my students and is a great way to put a spotlight on all the things we do in the art room. This is perfect for advanced level high school students or it can be adapted for middle school students. Read more about it here.

ARTIST INSPIRED PRINTABLE POSTERS

I am finally wrapping up my most recent project, an artist inspired alphabet. Each letter includes a different artist, who shares the letter in their first or last name. The posters come in two different styles and three different sizes, 26 different artists are included. You can easily print these out and display them for littles in an elementary setting or use them to spell out words in your secondary art room. Check out my first pack here.

ARTIST ALPHABET PACK #2

I just posted my second alphabet artist pack, with 26 more artists included. It was too difficult to select just 26, so it inspired me to create three different versions of my alphabet posters. The third version will be posted tonight and the three packs will be bundled soon at a discounted price. Be sure to follow my TPT store to receive updates when new products hit my shop.

Make sure you visit a Teachers Pay Teachers store between February 4th and 5th to get amazing products at a discounted price and help support other educators. Use the code FEBSALE at checkout!

Don’t forget to also check out my blog shop here. I will also be running a 25% off sale this week, use the code FEBSALE, it expires on Friday. If you want a product that you don’t see on my blog shop but is on my TPT, please reach out and I will set you up whitneywpanetta@gmail.com. Happy shopping!

Until next time I will be dreaming of my recent trip to the Bahamas to celebrate dear friends who will be tying the knot in April. Follow me on TPT, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates on all my art and art teacherin’. Thanks for stopping by!