Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Spiders, Bourgeois and Technology, OH MY!

Ohhhh myyyyy, you know those ideas you get in the middle of the night? The ones that you can't wait to come to school and try out? And just MAYBE you (me) drank a bit too much coffee and tried too much too soon without thinking about it first????  The second half of this second grade lesson is one of those "ideas."
It started out so very well.  I was going through lessons I'd picked up at some conferences years ago and found one of Mary Franco's (the genius behind the Klee + Math lesson) about the French sculptor Louis Bourgeois.  The Kemper Museum has one of her spiders out front, and that's not too far away from our general geographic area, so it was so very perfect.  
Here's the disclaimer: I am NOT the best at reading and then following directions.  Much to my husband's dismay/annoyance, I'm VERY GOOD at reading directions, thinking 'okay, got it' and then winging it when I get distracted by butterflies or chocolate or something shiny (you don't want me to anchor any swing sets as my older children can attest to).  So, I'd LOOKED at her lesson plan, and made a Smart Notebook file that the students loved (you can get that file here, look for the Louise Bourgeois one), got 9" x 9" paper cut with a 3" x 9" scrap for making the spider and thought 'ummm, what now?'  Her lesson plan called for students making webs (spiders, it does make sense) but I gave the students a choice of circles or ovals to trace (five times) with pencil.  We then used oil pastel to add patterns and black watercolor for the negative space:

Next we used Prang glitter watercolors for our shapes (SHINY!!!!):

After our Smart Notebook file on Bourgeois and spiders, students drew spiders on the 3" x 9" paper with pencils, black and silver Sharpies and cut them out.  Cutting them out actually took LOTS of concentration and more than one art time.  They were attached popping out (which was hard).  

Now here's where it got really hard:  I decided to have students bring their chromebooks and record themselves on Vocaroo, make a QR code and upload it to Schoology (which works a lot like Google Classroom).  O. M. G., what a nightmare it was for that first class!  There was too much background noise, I wasn't 100% certain/couldn't remember how to get it to Schoology (our paintings were so shiny, I couldn't help but be distracted!)  Then I had to go and make a document with their QR code and add their name to match it to their artwork . . . I may have lost my mind for a bit, but many of them are done:

(Note that I didn't say all--some got frustrated and we ran out of time, I didn't even attempt the technology piece at my second school where they come from recess and I'm only there 90 minutes every three days. . . ) But about 70-80% of students in each class (at my home school) got a QR code on their artwork.  
They're hanging up in the hall with a sign that explains them, but I don't think ONE PERSON has scanned the QR codes, so was it worth all that work?  

Then I listen to this sweet little voice who really, truly 'got' the lesson and I have to say yes it was. (although spiders don't lay 2 million eggs at once.)

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