Teachers Connect
Jul 11, 2019

Classroom Applications

Throughout the week, we’ve brainstormed ideas for adapting and applying what you have learned for use with your students. Select one idea and expand on how you would use it in your classroom. Describe what you want your students to learn and how you’ll know that they learned it!

30 Responses to Classroom Applications

  1. Colleen says:

    I want to use the VTS strategy with my students. I think this can be very powerful with historical pictures and/or pictures that I can relate to historical events. I do use the picture American Progress in class each year to teach about Westward expansion, but this year I think it would be a interesting idea to use both American Progress as well as the Native American picture that we VTS’s the first day. I want students to have a better appreciation for art as well as how art can teach us about the past and present. I think this strategy gets students to slow down, which I hope will help them to appreciate art more. In order to assess them, I would continue to monitor our discussions in both length as well as content. I may give a writing prompt after comparing both pictures as well, such as write a poem from both perspectives, “Americans moving westward” as well as Natives.

    • Paula Smithson says:

      I appreciate how you are linking different subjects together. Your description of the history topic conjures up the many murals that have been done to comment on society and social and economic situations, like Diego Rivera. Now, I think I will try some murals with VTS and an accordion book for a mural drawing. Thank you

  2. Stacey W. says:

    In language arts, listening and speaking are two of the standards we teach. One idea I will use this year is the Visual Thinking Strategy. I want my students to be able to justify why they think what they think and the VTS will help them practice it. I also want to use VTS as a scaffold for their writing. Once they can start to effectively verbalize what they are thinking and why, I want to move them toward writing it. Ultimately, I would like to have my students be able to lead a discussion using this strategy. I’ll know when students have learned this strategy when I hear them building off of other people’s ideas, making connections, and explaining and/or justifying their response.

  3. Allen says:

    We learned a lot this week and I will be using the artist books in many different ways this coming school year.

    One thing I struggled with was how to use the Visual Thinking Strategies in the classroom. My thought was that I could use this strategy to help my students with writing responses to reading. We would have an art piece and follow the VTS process once or twice. Then a third time they would need to write about the conversation using comments from their peers and things in the piece to support their thinking.

    We would discuss this process and the process of answering brief constructed responses where students need to read closely then provide evidence from the text to support their answer.

    The goal is for them to better understand the importance for provided proof based on the text to support their thinking.
    (thank you Addie)

    • colleen says:

      I love the idea of using VTS as part of your writing instruction. I also am thinking the same idea. I think once students get used to giving evidence and backing up their statements, their writing should improve as well. I also think that students can VTS a piece of writing.

  4. Jessica A. says:

    I would like to make accordion alphabet books with my students. While they are in 3rd grade, their English language level is more Pre-K/K. Creating the books will be a better alternative to a handout of the alphabet for several reasons. Making books together will make the product and process special and (hopefully) the students will take care of them/use them more than a handout. They could keep these books in their desks or pockets and use them during their content classes. I would work with the students to write the capital and lower case letters on one side of the book. This could be done over time and correspond to whatever letters we were working in reading/phonics. The back would be left blank. Students could then fill the back with words that start with each letter as they discovered them in their content classes. They could add pictures of animals or objects that started with that letter. I would assess the assignment by confirming that the letter was written correctly and the words started with the correct letter.

  5. Wendy Cresswell says:

    I came out of this workshop with all sorts of things I want to try in my classroom. I want to try several of the book types with my kids as well as Zentangles. But I think the main thing I will try is the VTS technique.

    I teach kindergarten and I do a lot of work with visual literacy in my class. One of the first strategies we learn for reading is using the pictures to figure out hard words or stories. So, I think VTS will help with this. I also like to have discussions with my kids so I think VTS will provide a good format for the kids and me.

    I think I will introduce it by looking at art pieces either with posters or on the SmartBoard. Then I will use it to look at illustrations in books. I use a lot of wordless picture books so this will be perfect. (I also want to look into the Eric Carle Museum’s techniques to use with picture books.). Eventually, I even see using the technique with the kids’ art.

    I want my kids to learn how to look closely, form opinions and questions, defend their opinions with evidence in the art, take risks, listen to others, and appreciate art!

    • Stacey W. says:

      I would love to see the VTS strategy used throughout a school. It would be interesting to see how students who started with it in kindergarten developed their speaking, listening, and writing skills as they moved through the upper grades.

  6. Lynn Zinder says:

    In second grade students study insects. I always try to find a way to incorporate the subject into an art project so students can use their new found information and reinforce information. I have done clay projects as well as paper mache. This coming school year am going to use an accordion fold book with pockets to help students remember the insect units. Each student will choose eight insects and draw them on metal. They will then color them with realistic colors and cut them out. They will write the name and information on the front pocket and place each insect in a pocket. They will also define an insect on the cover and decorate. I think the students will love being able to take the insects in and out of their pockets.

    • Paula Smithson says:

      I do really big insects with my kiddos for symmetry. It is a great idea to have the book house their insects and facts. Love the metal as the material to draw on.

  7. cindy says:

    I am excited to incorporate what I have learned this week into a project for my eighth grade art students. Each student has an iPad. I plan to tell them to take photos as they progress in their projects. When they are finished they will make a pop-up accordion book. They will choose 4-6 photos, one being the final project. Each pop-up will have a photo of their progression. On each page will also be a narrative about the steps. The cover will be a photo of their final piece with a title and date. My hope is that after each project this will be completed.

    • Stacey W. says:

      I think this is an awesome way to get students to reflect on their creative process and to also get them to think about how they solved problems. This way, they also have a visual record of each process.

  8. Lindsay Elcano says:

    I have loved everything we have done this week and am so excited to implement it in different ways with my second grade class. I specifically want to begin the year with an introduction to VTS. I was thinking we would start VTS with a self portrait before we do our own. I do self portraits at the beginning and end of the year with students. After doing a VTS of a self portrait we would make our own on a flag book. We would use the inside of the flag book to list different attributes about ourselves and then take time to share each one with the class. It would be a nice way for students to get to know each other at the beginning of the year. They will learn more about each other and learn how to share/take turns while showing respect to each others opinions during VTS.

    • cindy says:

      Lindsay, I love this idea. I,too, start the year with a self-portrait. What a great idea with the flag book. I hope you don’t mind if I use this also!!! Many thanks!!!

    • Stacey W. says:

      This is a great idea and I it would be great to use with all grade levels. I teach 8th grade language arts and it would be a great activity for the beginning of the year.

  9. Lindsay Heider Diamond says:

    The first is about quilt making. Kids would be taught how to make an accordion book first out of long strips of black paper. We then would discuss quilts, different types of quilts, their history as well as the geometric and other patterns/shapes within quilts. With card stock sized to fit on each page of the accordion book, kids would make their own quilts out of cut paper. They would have a list of quilts they had to make – geometric /polygon quilt, house quilt, crazy quilt, star quilt? If they had three panels in the accordion book, then they would have to make three different quilts out of cut paper. They would assemble these and mount them. The could even punch small holes stitch on top of them with simple stitches. They would have to research the types of quilts and how people named them and name their own art.

    OR I could have the kids plot points on graph paper attached to black card stock, and then punch holes in those spots. They would use embroidery thread to create geometric shapes and patterns. We would research Nike Savvas and her string art/geometric shape work as well as Pae White and her use of string and line. Kids might have 3 different “kinds” of shapes they had to explore while also being able to push those limits.

    Not sure yet.

    I would like my students to be familiar with needle and thread, with art that is about line and shape but also resides in the world of math. I think that reaching into the art world for reference and ideas would help them with research skills and reading/comprehension. I will know if they learned because they will present their ideas at the end to the group. The would have a checklist of things they had to include in the art. And they would have to decorate the cover with a title and art based on the interior.

  10. Colette J. says:

    This week long institute provided me with many novel ideas that would increase student engagement in my classroom. VTS, book samples and writing pieces are some of the strategies I would like to implement for the new school year.
    As a Math teacher, taking into consideration my group of students, one idea that I’m partial to trying is the pocket accordion book with trading cards. The pocket accordion would first be space friendly since the upcoming school year I’m teaching three instead of two rotations. I would also use the cards to help students show multiple ways to solve multiplication problems (Math standard). For example, one card would show arrays, the next equal groups, then repeated addition, etc.. My students would continue to add cards to their pockets as they learn additional strategies They’ll use them as reference cards to aid problem solving.
    I want students to learn how to create and manage pocket accordion book, using it for reference and Think-Pair-Share discussions. Based on the product (accordion book) and how well students use them will help me determine if my goal for the activity was achieved.

  11. Niya Robinson says:

    This week has been a week of so much learning that at some points I felt like my brain was screaming WAIT!!! I have never been in a professional development that everything was useful even if it required some adjustments to accommodate my students.

    The most important thing outside of VTS that I plan to start implementing in the fall is teaching various skills using books. An example when working with students on Main Idea and Detail, the accordion book with pockets would allow them to write the main idea on the pockets and use cards to illustrate that portion of the text. This not only gives students task that will keep them engaged but they have their own personal work to refer back to when needed. Providing students with opportunities to complete exit tickets or even write about the process will help me determine if they mastered the skills or not. I really look forward to applying everything that I have learned in one form or another.

  12. Gayle K says:

    This prompt is GREAT! I have SO many ideas going through my brain, I do not know how to just pick one. And, I can’t wait to read all of the other responses to add to my list.

    One of the ideas that has been going though my brain is a combination of a VTS and the found poetry activity we did today. I teach a unit on illuminations (mini detailed paintings) where students write their own “I am”, acrostic, or haiku poem. Students then illuminate their poem just as they did back in the day (minus the gold leaf). This covers line, space, shape, balance and unity in the art curriculum.

    After today, I was thinking that I would start with a VTS of a painting around the renaissance time period or earlier (Lavinia Fontana’s Portrait of Costanza Alidosi or something similar with ornamentation in it) to, in a way, take the students back in time. Students will then be given a poem from me (still need to search for one; I will consult with the language arts teachers/ILT reading resource teacher for suggestions on a poem that would be suitable for the multiple reading levels in the class) where students will create a word bank, then with those words write a poem about them self (hobby, sport, etc.). After the poem is created, peer revised, and the illuminated demonstration is done. Students will create their own illuminated poem using any materials they want. Depending on the learning levels and interest of my students I also teach calligraphy at this time to the whole class or part of the class.

  13. I can only choose one?! Oh boy. 😉

    I have soooo many ideas swirling around in my head, but I was quite awe struck by the lesson where we read through three artist cards, made a word list, and then wrote our own poem from those words.

    My classroom is set up in a way that students are in groups of 4-5 per table. My plan is to have students work on this lesson as a group, and then individually write their own haiku poem from the group inspired word bank. When their poem is finished and written as a final draft, I will have students illustrate the poem as well. Their final work will show what they learned.

  14. Maria Chamorro-Beckenhauer says:

    I learned a lot this week. I learned the basic steps of implementing the VTS by participating and playing the role of facilitator. I learned also how to make many kinds of artists’ books and possible uses. I enjoyed all of them.
    One Idea I plan to expand is the many uses of artists’ books I learned this week. I will use the accordion book, rubber band journal, self-portrait book, and the tunnel book during the school year 2019-2020. I will introduce the simple one first and then the more difficult later in the year. Students will learn that we use tools help us display our ideas. Students will make an artist book to display his/her ideas with images and texts.
    Through guided practice, students will explore making their artist book in many sessions of 15-20 intervals until completion. The final book will displayed their science, math, social study and/or language arts work product. I am so excited. I am choosing the artist book because it can be used across the content area already stated.
    I am not saying that I am not going to use VTS. I will implement VTS and modify the questions for my 5 and 6 years olds and unpack the content in many days to develop vocabulary about the art image and then I will facilitate the discussion. I am thankful I was part of this training.

  15. Rosemary Fessinger says:

    Sounds like you’ve got a unit in the making…some small group, some small group. I’m not sure of your context, but it would make sense to start student in the whole group (generating a word list), then move them to small group for more individualized activities. Keep me posted!

  16. Kristin A says:

    I’m thinking about how first graders could do an arts integrated bookmaking lesson about the phases of the moon. One of the NGSS for first grade is to use observations of the sun, moon, and stars to describe patterns that can be predicted. Students could use the accordion book format to create a book that shows the various phases. Each page could be cut to reveal a little more light, going from new moon to full moon. Through this process, students would be able to see how the reflection of light from the sun moves across the moon to create the various phases. They would also learn the names of the moon phases and be able to explain how shapes can be created with shadows and light.

  17. Paula Smithson says:

    The constructions that I gravitate towards are the tunnel book and the folded house shaped book. I have a variety of ideas that I am thinking about. I think the house book lends itself to the self portrait or a description of home. It could be fun for the third grade, they cover architecture. Maybe they create their own museum.
    With the tunnel book the possibilities seem endless. I would like to have the third graders learn about landscape and foreground middle ground and background. They could draw their own elements of the landscape or they could collage it together. I am leaning toward collage because I think it is important and fun for them to know how to create the form of the book on their own.

    They could choose a famous artists landscape, they could pick an environment, like the desert or a mountain meadow.

    As far as assessing knowledge, the students would have a check list for the book construction and including that foreground, middle, and back ground.

    I will use V.T.S. I think it is a great systematic way to have a class discussion. Taking the time to slow down in art and not always be focused on a product is a good exercise.

  18. Monique W says:

    This week has been filled with amazing insight on how to take student learning to next level and to be more intentional and thoughtful not only on what is being taught, but in how it is presented. I can see 1st graders loving the small accordion book with pockets to display the 8 phases of the moon and to list facts. I am torn whether to use the tunnel book for this activity, but I think we would need to progress to that one.

    Thank you to the Staff, Presenters and NMWA. My toolbelt is full and I’m ready to go to work.

  19. RosaMaria F Gamble says:

    One of the units that I need to work on is Family and Friends (La familia y los amigos). Three ides for the essential questions are:
    What is a family? Who makes up a family? How does where my family come from shape who I am?
    Because I am a novice at writing lesson plans, I will use the Georgia Standards unit plans for Spanish, The FLEJ Task Organization Unit Plans and the resources from the National Museum of Women in the Arts (lesson plan on Frida Kahlo).
    After the students become familiar with the vocabulary, it is time for a project-based assessment using one of the art books we learned this week. For now, my idea is to use an accordion art book where the students will put pictures of their family members. They can certainly draw if they wish to do so. On one side of the accordion the students will put the photographs or drawings, on the back side they will write in Spanish who that member of the family is, when he or she was born and, finally, where he or she comes from. For the advance students and the heritage students, the students will write to or three adjectives that describe that particular family member. Then they will write a short narrative of their ideas of why they think they are a certain way based on where their families come from. This narrative can be written in English, for the heritage students, it will be done in Spanish.

  20. Beth Saguto says:

    I will definitely incorporate some of the artist books into my teaching this year. I love the different examples we’ve learned and can think of several applications. We do a lot with timelines in my class, so I like the idea of the accordion book for timelines. I want to experiment with the tunnel books both in cultural studies and language arts.

  21. Alexandra Cheshire says:

    I’d like to encourage students to work in more creative ways when in comes talking about art. We already do a lot of talking about art, but I’d like to use the poetry exercises we learned in class to get students engaged in writing and maybe doing some interpretation in a creative format.

    These poems could also be used for self assessment. If my partner creates a poem about my work, perhaps by using the 10×2 strategy to create a word bank, I and then I read the poem to see if she was able to grasp the essence of my piece. We could then have a conversation of what I might need to improve in my artwork to convey my ideas more clearly.

    I want my students to see the link
    between the tools of art and the tools of language and that both can be used to express ideas. I will know that they are successful when they can easily write about their artwork and when they begin to play with language the same way they do with the elements and principles.

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