Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

EdCamp Harrisburg: Great Day


Great day at EdCamp Harrisburg I highly recommend if you get a chance to go to one of type of Camps, try it.


HI Sister                         What a flattering pic of me

Some of the things I learned and liked

Lino It - http://en.linoit.com/

An online “sticky” board; includes iPhone app; no

email needed to participate; great for

discussions/asking questions; great for sharing

resources, links, etc.

BCIUiPad -


An iPad site that includes links to subject-area

content designed for the iPad

Arted20 -


Similar set up like facebook but for art educators


Motivational videos

Of course the few I have mentioned and used a time or two www.artsonia.com  and  www.animoto.com

Great video: Ok not appropriate for in class use, maybe high school, depending on your students but great ideas for creating a living painting as a resource for you. A project I have been thinking about doing every year but just have not got motivated to do yet. One of the college art teachers, Terry Yacovelli, showed this this video. My favorite I may have my students do is the sunflower have a group design flowers and groups create the background??


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Great element of art lesson I recently did

Mondrian: Shape, Color and line


1. What is abstract art?

2. What do you think this painting by Mondrian:  Boogie Woogie is about? Tell me something about it?

Watch the animated video of one of Mondrian’s art works: Boogie Woogie. After watching the video: What do you think this painting is about or looks like?

Did the animation help you? The full title is Broadway Boogie Woogie I left off Broadway to see if you could guess, most references to this art piece drop the "Broadway" from the title.

In Broadway Boogie Woogie, Mondrian represents the restless motion of the city. Move the button underneath the painting from right to left to remove the hue (color), without altering the luminance (brightness).

Project: Mondrian painting

mp and example

Look at the Google Earth picture of our school . If you do not have a projector Print a copy.

1. Draw all the lines that you want in Pencil you may straighten more than the real image of leave them curved depends on what feeling of motion you want.

map 2map3Map4

2. Paint in sections in 3 colors Mondrian used primary colors: Red, yellow, blue, black, and white Choose 3 colors

Map6**remember Black will be your pencil lines

3. When dry use large black marker to go over pencil lines.

Map finished


Review of the Elements of Art:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Great Halloween Lesson: MC Escher & Harry Potter

Great video  about the comparison of MC Escher staircase drawing to the movie Harry Potter castle stair cases.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Great website

(navigation image)  This website has saved me a couple times when either a website has been discontinued and I used it in a lesson. The site is temporarily down or I hate when they change something and it’s worse or removed something. Way Back Machine

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lesson "book" website

Over the summer I went to a google workshop and learned a little tidbit about creating an educational website page and use it like a lesson plan book. It holds all of my digital videos, pictures of examples, directions, slide shows and more. This way when I turn on my smart board or projector I only need to go to that website and click the grade and lesson I want to use for that class.  It is accessible to students through the schools homepage so students can access and review videos, directions, and I linked online games we use during class. So far it has been very successful.

Monday, September 12, 2011

ed camp Harrisburg

http://edcampharrisburg.org/ Never went to edcamp harrisburg, however I did go to the barcamp Harrisburg at the Harrisburg University and LOVED it I highly recommend trying one of the bar camps, though this one came recommended  of these they are free and I learned so much at the barcamp.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Beginning of the year Creativity builders

Love these video series I use this with my middle school students since they become stagnant while drawing. Her camera angels and the way she does the videos really gets those middle school students interested.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why hide technology in the Locker??

I wrote this blog for my personal education blog but thought I would share it with you even though it’s not related with art education. Any one have any thoughts about cell phone, ipad, or home lap top/netbook use in the classroom. I am a strong advocate for bringing in smart  phones/ipads into the school. Schools don’t have the budget for this type of technology, specially private schools. I wish we could give and ipod or ipad to every student. However, students need to learn how to use these devices responsibly and stop sneak using them. If you have any thoughts let me know pros/cons or any good articles or local schools. I know from professional discussions with teachers from around the country that use technology from the home ipads/smartphones. That it has increased the technology by 50% and enhanced learning. The one thing I heard over and over was it’s easy to just have them remove the sim card and have them use WIFI on the school network as the biggest safety net. 
I have been following the trend of schools allowing and actually encouraging students to bring and use smart phones in school.  It is becoming common in the work field as a tool so why not allow middle school and high school students use this technology in the classroom. Heck, with education budget cuts this could actually become a free resource.  How many free or low cost educational apps are available on the iphone.  How many students have these devices in lockers, book bags or maybe at home. Why not instead of telling students to leave them at home, take them away when they have them out we as teachers teach them how to responsibly use them. They are not going away. 
I went two years ago to a workshop that  one teacher discussed was how the  inner city school teacher who “gasp” allowed students to use their smart phones. She set up rules:
1.  place them on airplane mode unless an app needs the 3g or wireless.
2. She could answer it if it rang and no texting while in class.
3.  IF Caught misusing the phone they would loose use of the phone in class for the week . No using it for research, games or  projects, like a normal classroom. They got the textbook, pencil and notebook. She had the students write on a large paper what misuse would be. (Oh an internet safety lesson)    Examples: no camera use unless for project.  She taught about professional uses of facebook and twitter.  A computer ethics course.
She also allowed students to text or e-mail home work.  During the year she documented an increase in test score and turned in homework.  As for misuse she had non students did not want to loss the privilege and respected the rules they created.
I researched a few article and successful schools that are allowing smart phone use 

Schools starting to allow use of digital devices

Some schools rethink ban of cell phones Best advice I have read
But the American Association of School Administrators itself argues the other side, promoting the use of cell phones in class as “genuine educational tools.”
“Handheld devices like cell phones, iPhones, BlackBerrys and iTouch are beginning to offer applications that enhance classroom learning by engaging kids to use tools they are constantly using anyway,” Daniel A. Domenech, the association’s executive director, wrote in an essay last fall.
Cell phones head to classThe students are expecting immediate answers and, if we don't always have a room full of computers and they do have answers right there in their pockets, it's sad for us to say, ‘I know it's there and you can't (use it),'” Faulkner said. “Some teachers were saying, ‘OK, you can look that up on your phone and I'll stand right here and watch you.'”

School Districts Lay Foundation for Mobile Devices over the past two years, Forsyth County Schools in Cumming, Ga., has slowly allowed some of its 34,000 students to bring their own notebooks, iPhones or other computing tools to school and connect them to the district network.

This school Farsyth County School after reading numerous articles has to be the best use of available technology I have read about. If you allow students to link with WIFI not the cellular network you can monitor what they can and cannot use. That is what I use in my classroom. I have iphones and ipods using WIFI only and I know the students are only able to get to appropriate sites. Have the student remove the sim card and place it a container labeled with their name if your worried about them using the cellular network at the end of the day they can put the sim card back in. In my classroom they are old phones that does not have a sim card.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Check out the new scholastic art website


I received a notice about the new Scholastic art magazine website and I really like it. Check it out if you have a subscription it gives more information to enhance it. 

Printable Materials, power points, video clips and the quizzes have an interactive feature now.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Internet Safety

Beginning of the year reminder http://sistergeralyns.wikispaces.com/ Sister Geralyn has alot of information for us Diocesde teachers on this issue and many other subjects

Some I found during my research I like she may also have them on her wiki:

The website thinkuknow is out of UK but a great resource to teach about internet safety. Great for projectors or smart board about internet safety. They also have videos, games, printables, and for little kids songs. They have for all age groups PreK-highschool.

netsmartz variety of information for all age groups videos, various subjects, printables, downloadables, presentations and much more.

A little pen and paper good if you don't have internet or computer access in the art room and want a printable lesson for older kids. safe surfing

Cyberbullying has all the different types, great for a starter for a poster or creating a pamphlet about cyber bullying.

An overall information about saftey internet and other as a teacher resource. June safety month

Saturday, August 20, 2011

ipad/ iphone/ ipod art app

My favorite and I am going to need to borrow my teens ipad a few times a year for class demonstration is brushes. They do gave an iphone/ipod version as well and I am hoping to get students interested in using technology outside the classroom. 

NY artist
Other apps I have installed:
moma museum app free
Museum Quest which I used this summer with my kids $2.99
imuseum videos of museums $1.99
Musee’du Louvre Free and one of my favorite though videos are in French they still have a lot of good stuff.
classic art jigsaw app $.99
art guide app has apps for various cities and events most are free some are $.99

How to get old iphones and ipods one let parents know you are looking for them. I like to get broken ones and fix them. The iphone 5 is coming and people are going to be upgrading phones.
Yes, I have been accumulating old iphones and ipods. I found a place ifixyouri which does reasonable priced and quick fixing for old iphones and ipods that are more than just a quick screen replacement. I had one art teacher on another blog site I read, that got a few iphone 3g for her class. She had a home button repaired for $45. She got it from someone that this is the 3rd iphone on their ATT plan had a 3gs their child uses as a ipod, an ipod and just got the iphone 4 upgrade. They didn’t want or need a broken iphone and it wasn’t worth it for them to try to sell a broken phone.  One way to get a collection for a classroom, she has about 10 she got this way and spent around $200 fixing them.
Though I have attempted to fix a few screens myself, I have found the 4th generation ipod very hard to fix yourself. I dropped mine and shattered the screen, The screen and digitizer are connected and you need to take the whole ipod apart to just replace the screen. I did all of that and then only had a white screen turn on. So, I sent it to the fix it place mentioned above and waiting to see the prognosis of my poor ipod. 
You can get broken screen iphone 3g for under $100 sometimes for about $50  or less on craigslist. The ipods you can find because kids drop them a lot and then instead of replacing the screen, because the older ones don’t have cameras, usually sell them to buy the new 4th generation. A new screen kit for the older model are around $8-$10 online and are easy to pull apart, glue and re-plug.  Now that the iphone 4 is out and iphone 5 is coming soon the 3G iphone will become even cheaper. It can be used just like an ipod without a contract you can’t use it as a phone, however you can still use it on a wifi network. If you don’t have wifi at school or home go have a nice coffee at Panera and download your apps. Many are free. I just bought my daughter a brand new 3G for a steal on e-bay to replace her ipod and cell phone with it. One device instead of two.
I have decided to try and add this to my art arsenal this year. I am hoping that between school parents, church, craigslist and e-bay. I can get a few of the older broken models donated so I can refurbish them and use them in class.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Online art ed class

I Had to pass on information about online art education credit classes, I believe at least one person had questions last year about art education classes. I have not tried any of these classes and I have not checked to see if PA act 48 acepts it. However it is a credit course so it should? If anyone knows more about act 48 let us know, but here is the information it costs about $100 to $250 for a class:
Cost Chart

Let us know if anyone takes a course and likes it! Here is the e-mail information I recieved below.

I wanted to send you a personal invitation to the perfect 'back to school' AOE class. Right now you're probably saying "A class? Right now? I'm just getting back to school!" Well, yes, that's the point. As we get back in the classroom, start getting organized, and the demand on our time increases, this class is designed to help you de-clutter your room, your mind, and your teaching. It's the perfect way to start the year.
Being a 'Clutter Free Teacher' is far more than just having a tidy work space, it's a thought process, it's a methodology, a powerful approach to help you rediscover why you got into education, to rejuvinate, and start the year out right. You'll be able put the strategies we cover into immediate action in your own classroom.
As always, we've organized the class to be as flexible as possible to fit your busy schedule. Class starts September 1st, it's available as always for Graduate credit through Madonna University - but this is also a class that you should take just for yourself, whether you need credit or not. It might just be the thing that turns your ho-hum year... into a great one!
I'd love it if you'd join us for the class, I'm really excited about it. To sign-up, just click the button below and follow the easy instructions before August 25th.  If you need any help at all or just want more information, feel free to reply to this email or contact me at theartofed@gmail.com
Jessica Balsley


 Up Comming class

De-clutter your space. Your mind. Your teaching.
Your Space – As art teachers, we have a lot of ‘stuff’ in our physical space to manage.  Through this class, you will learn and carry out processes to live more simply in your classroom, to get more done, to stay organized and maintain your sanity.
Your Mind – With the state of education today, cuts in the arts and increasing time-demands leads to increased teacher burnout and stress.  This class will provide a place to let art teachers rejuvenate their minds, reflect and refresh the values that got them into teaching art in the first place.
Your Teaching – Finally, some of us hang on to lessons that do not serve our students.  Learn to let go of what is not working and embrace new best practices that work smarter, not harder.
We won’t just talk about theory, you will take action and explore strategies you can use tomorrow in your classrooms to reinvigorate your passion for teaching and de-clutter what is not working for you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Video on Using watercolor pencils and drawing techniques


Great techniques demonstrated.

My students are working on some wonderful scenery projects.  This video is quick and demonstrates many more techniques than I can show in one class. I showed this to my 7th  some techniques are review and others new. This is the first year I used this video and I see a difference in what is being produced. Many are trying new techniques with the ones learned last year. Instead of using only what they already know how to do.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Harrisburg Bar Camp


I attended this last year learned all about google docs, how to use ipods in the classroom and all sorts of information. I really recommend attending in you want to learn more about technology. Now some talks are just way over my head, but others I loved.

Harrisburg BarCamp April 9th


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mona Lisa


I use this with my 3rd grade when we study the Mona Lisa


<i>Portrait de Lisa Gherardini, épouse de Francesco del Giocondo, dite Monna Lisa, la Gioconda ou la Joconde</i> <br />  <b>Léonard de Vinci</b><br />  Département des PeinturesGreat video about the wood panel behind the Mona Lisa. Also a great close up tool to get closer look at the brush strokes.

How did they photograph the Mona Lisa

Monday, March 14, 2011

Color in motion

Love this program great for the older students to learn a little more about color.


  • Talks about the colors of the rainbow
  • Talks about emotions relating to the colors in our world
  • Gives a profile of each color’s mixing properties

My favorite is “The Movies” portion of the site.

(Just a picture click link above to play with)




Tuesday, March 8, 2011

google art project


www.googleartproject.com  I really recommend checking out. It is like google earth but in museum format the kids love it.

The FAQ page for questions:


GO to youtube and you can find all sorts of video from each museum.

My favorite is before I introduce a museum I show them the quick overview video. Such as if I going to go over art pieces from the MET I will show them this video and then get into the art from the MET.

I love t be able to zoom in and show them the texture, a lot closer than if I was actually at the museum without setting off the alarms. Also I like how I can show the students where it is in the museum and I love the media tab if they have a video clip about it.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Best apps for ipad and ipod touch



I read through this and I only used one of the apps they had listed and that was the Momo app. and I didn’t even use it with the class just when I went to the museum it was handy???


The apps I have used in class:

a favorite I have 2 ipod touches mine and my daughter (because she doesn’t need it during schoolSmile

I do a group of 4, 2 per ipod  for this. I set up center day for art history I try for 3 times a year for each class and the ipod is a favorite.

Art Museum (Match'Em Up History & Geography)Art Museum is great fun as you match paintings from famous artists while classical music plays in the background. You will get to learn the titles of the paintings, the painter and to recognize the actual paintings in this memory matching game that lets the imagination fly. Each game consists of 4 rounds. In round 1 you match the paintings and learn their titles and the artist names. In round 2 you match the painting to the names of the artists. In round 3 you match the paintings to the title. The final round is all words as you match the titles with the artists.

iPhone iPad iPod

iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 3iPhone Screenshot 4

iPhone Screenshot 5iPad Screenshot 4iPad Screenshot 5

My  next favorite: I have the students take a picture of themselves and then do what they want and print (like a memory stick just plugged into the computer) they love using their photos in projects.

Sketch Me!

Sketch Me! is a simple, fun app that lets you convert your photos into sketches by applying up to six different image effects.
iPhone Screenshot 1iPhone Screenshot 2iPhone Screenshot 3

iPhone Screenshot 4iPhone Screenshot 5

My favorite video app:8mm Vintage Camera

8mm Vintage Camera

By Nexvio Inc

I just had to show a video to see why this is so cool! I am planning a project based off of this review by having groups of students create an old movie using action figures or using art sketches. Still working through the lesson, but what I have played and I think it will turn out. I am thinking about using it with an Andy Warhol lesson and his odd movies like “sleep” mentioned in the Getting to Know video about Warhol. I do a variety of printing as an extension from that video, but I decided after playing with this app. maybe add a little vintage video also.

The others I am playing with are ComicStrip-CS , imovie of course, and a personal one I like is Love Art National Gallery, London.

The other is Art Project which is from www.googleartproject.com in app form.






Saturday, March 5, 2011



While surfing the net I have been finding many different and good information on teachertube


I think this one is soooo funny  Be kind to your erasers , She had way to much time on her hands, but I like it. I wonder at the beginning of the year I can have the kids group together and create art rules videos.

I used this one “Repeat”,this teacher posted 40 others some OK others fairly good. Click Teacher tube and flip through using the blue arrow keys and see if any work for you.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Interactive drawing ceiling tiles

When drawing a perspective of the school hallway, students always have problems with the ceiling tiles or if you have floor tiles this would work also.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cool snow idea


We had an open house at our school and I got talking to a local public school art teacher . We compared lessons and one thing she wanted to do on the next snow day was a Jackson Pollock in the snow. So tomorrow if the snow hasn’t melted I’m going to have my 6th grade do this project.

1. Watch video: Any you have or  used


2. Set up area:


IMG_0400[1]I blocked the space out with yarn

3. let them splatter I tell them to have some idea of what motion they want to create. BE EXPRESSIVE!




Finished project:





Power point from the National Gallery

Worksheet from this website


“Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists”
Multiple Choice Quiz and Response Sheet

She has great worksheets for these books.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Educational Wikis


I love reading wikis and blogs and my husband uses wikis in his college classroom. That is why our one border collie is named Wiki.  I have been researching and I have been seeing some interesting wikis while researching this year here are a few places I have found.

Best Educational Wikis of 2010 if you want to browse them.


Wikispaces hosts webinars off and on for a variety of topics check out the site periodically and see if any interest you. The have a variety some on educational wikis. They have a new one each month around the 15th. The one last month demonstrated how professional development wikis can get important information and tools to educators across multiple rural districts in Texas. Some ideas expressed would be great for our diocese since our schools are very spread out.


Not art related but a really cool thing


Art site has some great things I have found that can be geared for younger than high school grades.


New  teacher wiki chat


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Good site

Nice site for sign up sheets for parties or materials lists needed for projects.

Online sign up for items, when I have junk art day, and sign ups for volunteers for the school play decorations I use this online form.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Using books in the Art Room

I try to use book readings for my K-3 grade at least twice a year, and create an art lesson around literature.

This year I have been using www.strorylineonline.net

So far I have used Sophie's Masterpiece, The Night I Followed My Dog,  Stellaluna, A Bad Case of Stripes and the Polar Express. and When Pigasso Met Mootisse.

A few examples of the art created from the book readings. I Also I do lessons with the older students with illustration, graphic art and comics and cover art.




Barnes and Noble has wonderful videos interviewing authors: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bn-studio/videos-podcasts/index.asp

one I used is from Jeff Kinney Diary of a Wimpy Kid