Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thank You, School Board!

In honor of School Board Appreciation Month, RJR says "Thanks" to our BCISD board members for their service and dedication to our district . The appreciation lasts all year long, as the work on behalf of our K-12th grade students is a long-term commitment. Thank you, Burnet CISD School Board! Thank you for supporting the learning on our campus, and especially, art education at RJ Richey!

I used an app for the "Rise & Shine" campaign theme for the district school board appreciation. Wordfoto allows one to add text to the image, and is available on iTunes. The tool is great for special messages, vocabulary and advocacy.

2000 Pieces in Motion

This incredible stop motion video was created by collaborators, Kijek and Adamski for a Japanese band, Shugo Tokumaru. The work is detailed, colorful and expressive. We shared this video in class and students requested that I share the link!
Katachi means "shape." The music in the video is by Shugo Tokumaru.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

QR Codes Share our Knowledge!

The Fine Arts Studio loves QR Codes. We have been using these digital tools as a means to sharing what we know beyond the confines of our RJR walls. QR codes link to a URL address using the specific coding design, enabling us to save the code as an image in JPG format. We upload this image to each gallery on Artsonia, enabling those who participated in the project to share with their respective families. The QR code can be read by a 3DS, iPod, iPad or smartphone, with apps (applications) like Neo-reader and Scan, which are free. The app views the QR code in the screen, "reads" it, and redirects to the site coded in the image. That's neat!

We created a QR code very easily:
After our VoiceThread was complete, we are able to share the VoiceThread through a specific link. I copied the link (right click, copy) then pasted the link into the URL shortening site called (right click, paste in the shortening bar) Click on Shorten link, and "presto!" the link is shortened. The next part is what one needs for the QR code:
Copy the shortened URL, paste it in the address bar at the top of the page and type " .qr" (dot, letter "q", letter "r") right at the end of the shortened address. Then, be ready for the QR magic: click enter, and a large QR code will appear. One can test the QR code by reading the code with a QR code reader. It should link directly to the website encoded in the image. I print that, take a photo to upload to Artsonia, then give that page to the student for them to take home.

Check out this "work of art" by 4th graders: The Historic Missions of Texas. Be sure to turn up the volume to hear their reports!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doodle 4 Google

It's time to Doodle 4 Google! This year's theme is "Your Best Day Ever!" Application forms are in the Fine Arts Studio, and include the Google template. Submissions can be turned in to Mrs. Melvin by March 5th or mailed directly (with the parent permission form) to Doodle 4 Google. Take a look at this video for more information!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Historical Connections

Texas has a rich history. This state, overwhich six different flags have flown, has been home to many people, the first being our native tribes. The Spaniards came across the ocean and tried to settle the land and its people. As they did, they constructed beautiful missions throughout the Central Texas region. Fourth graders study these missions in Social Studies, and we created collagraph printing plates as we did further research in the Fine Arts Studio. The photo above shows The Alamo, famous for the battle, and also known as Mission San Antonio de Valero. The collagraph is layers of cardboard from which rubbings and prints can be made. Here is a collagraph of San Juan de Capistrano by another 4th grader:
We have work on display at the local post office for the month of January! Congratulations, artists, on your historical connections through art!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Service-Learning in the Studio

How exciting it was to share what we do in the classroom with so many others! Our 2012 Empty Bowls Project did just that: we learned, we created and we gave, either by contributing our own work, or by donating funds so others could benefit. RJ Richey Elementary 4th and 5th grade artists, along with RJR teachers, staff, friends and siblings, created approximately 400 bowls for our first-ever, Empty Bowls event, held on December 18th. Our focus was on service-learning, learning how to do something new that is a benefit to others. We collaborated with Shells for NJ Shores to create work with a sea-shell theme to benefit our local food bank as well as serving those in need in NJ, impacted by Hurricane Sandy. We held a faculty meeting in the Fine Arts Studio, where all who attended learned how to create a bowl. Using Pinterest as inspiration, we viewed Mrs. Melvin's Sea-shells board as well as the Clay board. Take a look at the works of art in this video, all created by our fabulous faculty and staff! With our art work, we raised $2265.50! We sent $890 to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey, and donated $1,375.50 to La Care, the food bank in Burnet. Congratulations and thanks, artists, big and small!