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Friday, 30 September 2016


In visual arts, we are looking at the elements of design and analyzing how artists use those elements to convey a mood/emotion and ultimately a message. We are also creatively experimenting with each art element in turn.

We are starting with LINES.

Different types of lines convey a different type of feeling. Horizontal lines can provide a feeling of calm or stability. Zig zags have lots of energy and can feel chaotic! Swirling lines can feel lazy or hypnotic. And so on!

Students are to pick one of the following paintings and in a blog post on their student blogs, list the lines used and what feelings those lines create. These are the choices!

Starry Night (Van Gogh),
the Scream (Edvard Munch)

As we make our way through the elements of design, we will return to these paintings (and the original blog posts) to explore how all those elements are used in the art.

Eventually, students will have examined all the different elements of design and they will have a pretty good understanding of how those elements create meaning in these particular pieces!

PS. In addition, we will be creating an art piece that demonstrates well thought out useage of the elements of design as a means for creating meaning. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

STEAM CHALLENGE: Hit the Bullseye

Once again, we engaged in a STEAM challenge!

I posted our results on Twitter but also thought I would share them here. Lots of great designs...and while no one hit the inner bulls eye, many hit the outer paper, several did so from over 5 meters!

Friday, 23 September 2016

Teaching Pyramid

Bloom's Taxonomy shows teachers which activities promote higher level thinking. As a teacher, I like to hang out in the upper ends as I find that is where the most engaging, and the pervasive learning, takes place. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Math IRL (In real life)

As I think my students realize now, I like to ask interesting questions that really cause students to THINK. I'm also really big on application. How will you use this skill? Where?

For instance, where is math IN REAL LIFE?

We started looking at math IRL through our photography challenges. If you check out the Instagram page, you will see photo showing scale, symmetry, lines and multiples...and there are more to come! (I got this fabulous idea from @mathphoto16)

A few examples...

Wow! Look at all the math in the world around you! Did you realize you were living around all that math? Math exists IRL not just in a textbook, worksheet or in fabricated word problems.

We watched this video, too (an idea provide to me by @mrsboate). Called Math Is Beautiful, it shows math in music, in food. Math makes trees.

WHAT? Math is in nature?!


Also, we are starting to examine all the math in art. Symmetry, scale, lines, repetition. All those things we just took photos of in our 'math photo challenge'? All those are art elements, too.

"Does math create beauty?!" I ask. (What an amazing, intriguing question!!)

So, yes, we will calculate and get into the nuts and bolts of math, the step by step procedures and how-to-dos but this will take place within a wider context of how we look at, approach, and develop our thinking about math in the real world. 

In this way, all those abstract 'text book' math concepts are more firmly tied to reality. Math becomes hands on, or right in front of us, in a way that feels more real and accessible and, I would argue: easier to grasp. 

Sunday, 11 September 2016

STEAM Challenges

STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.

Twice a month (or so) I plan to put forth a STEAM Challenge. This is a design challenge. Each time we do one, I will link the slide show on the side bar.

Our first challenge involved creating a Rube Goldberg machine.

These were the results!

STEAM challenges promote the creative process!

It is also a good opportunity to assess (and for students to self assess) learning skills, which are: responsibility, independent work, initiative, organization, collaboration, self regulation.

It involves trial and error, planning and execution, setting goals, flexibility,  re-visioning/editing, resiliency/persistence...among other things!

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Creative exploration of the creative process! Mini challenge!

I live being creative and working through the creative process. It's a process that's very adaptable...

If you are a writer, you'll recognize it as the writing process. If you are an artist, you will recognize it as an artistic process. If you are an engineer, you will recognize it as a design process. And so on!

Yesterday we did a creative mini challenge. I said:

"Using any objects in the classrooms, create an artistic representation of the concept 'school'. A school 'still life'. You have five minutes. Be prepared to explain your representation." GO!

And here are some of the results.

The representations related to subjects, tools used, learning, growth mindset and growth over time.

This was a fun, quick way to examine the creative process. A next step would be to revise one's creation based on feedback and self-assessment. How can you improve? What needs to be changed? How can you take this even further?

We are going to be engaged in this process across the curriculum!

Wednesday, 7 September 2016


Lots has been happening on the blog in just two days... check out our instagram photo challenge responses AND the new student blog page.

Also, we are gearing up for the ORO FAIR.

Students are creating 2 craft entries. Everyone in my class is asked to submit Crafts- #31 (design artwork for the next year's school fair booklet).

The other craft entry is student choice. Of course, there are many listed, but not all can be supported by me in the classroom (I can't quire facilitate tie die t shirt making, for instance)...

These are the items I can support in the classroom:

21-an article make totally of duct tape
25-a b/w pencil drawing of a Canadian landscape
26-a hand drawn poster promoting the fair
27-a poem about Oro Fair
28-a pointillism picture
36(a)-one page scrapbook layout, theme 'my vacation 2016'
39(c)-penmenship (cursive writing in pen)

Of course, students can complete other craft entries for option #2 though they may need to complete that home, or bring in the necessary materials to do here. And of course, they are also welcome to submit additional entries and entries from other categories!

Please check the Oro School Fair booklet for specific details and requirements for entry!

Students have received a copy of this book and also there is one kept in class!

Entries need to be completed by Thursday am of next week!

Let me know if you have any questions!
Mrs. J

Monday, 5 September 2016


Over the past five days, I've been creating small media pieces to celebrate the end of summer and return to school.

To celebrate that the countdown is over soon...if I've made a countdown gif at http://gifcreator.me/ ONE MORE DAY LEFT!

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, 4 September 2016


For this entry, I decided to create a short imovie video (with Ms. Kostrich's help).

I wrote myself a little script, focusing on a problem many returning students (and teachers) typically have once the school year starts up again!

Presenting: Does This Ever Happen to You?

Saturday, 3 September 2016


For today's creation, I had a little help from my co-teacher, Ms. Kostrich (and Mrs. Czarnota, who took the pics for us!)

Here we are, in gif format, thanks to gifcreator.me

Friday, 2 September 2016


As in my previous post, I'm making little media pieces to celebrate the end of summer/start of school.

For this one I decided to use the iMovie trailer templates! I took a few pics and vids around the school, and used them in this exciting video! The trailer template provides the pacing and the music.

I then uploaded it to our class youtube page. HERE IT IS!

Thursday, 1 September 2016


Leading up to the first day of school...I thought I'd do a little media driven, start-of-school-end-of-summer themed 5 DAY COUNT DOWN!

I created this gif at gifcreator.me in about five minutes using a camera, a marker and white board. Just to show media creation and narratives can be as simple or as complex as you like!