Category Archives: Visual arts

Kidspiration Project

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At the beginning of 1st grade we do a lot of work with the kid’s names.  One of the projects I did with all the 1st graders when I was the tech specialist and what I did with my own class this year is done in Kidspiration.  I love using Kidspiration with 1st graders.  I’ve already used it for 2 projects this year.  In the sample I have above you can see that the kids put the letters of their names and then search the huge library of graphics in Kidspiration for words that begin like the letters of their names.  They had a good time and were practicing letter sounds as well.  I’ve taken 3 different name projects that we did and put them together in a slide show on our web page for them to share with their families.  if you’d like to take a look you can go to this LINK.

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Clipart source

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Just found this site that might just be another place to look when you can’t find the clipart that you want to use. Open Clip Art Library has thousands of images to download. May not be suitable for students to search but teachers could download some of the collections and pick and choose what to make available to students.  just another image site because we can never have enough clipart, pictures, and graphics to use in projects! 🙂

Tux Paint and the First Project of the Year

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It’s getting to be closer and closer to the start of the new year and being back in the classroom so I’m starting to be in planning mode.  If you need a decent and FREE art program, I’ve mentioned this one before – Tux Paint. I’ve used it so much in the past with all grades.  Even the older kids liked using it. One of my first projects with my 1st graders this year will be a Tux Paint project to help them get used to our computers again. They’ll use the text option to type their name in the middle and add stamps around it showing things they like or things that tell about them. It’s a good get to know you project and you can see how well your kids can use the keyboard for their name. I’m showing a sample using my name.  What can you tell about me?

If you do decide to use Tux Paint I’d advise you to find the config file – I do this in our lab each year after reimaging – and change some of the options.  I like to save to an alternative directory which ends up being a saved folder on the desktop.  It ends up being saved as a png which is easily used in different programs. (I often have kids drag Tux Paint pictures into Comic Life. ) I also change some of the printing options, the blank screen check box and even the size the program opens as. You can set the options that work the best for your computers.

Zimmer Twins for 5th Grade

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I’ve been trying to do some end of year things with 5th graders that would be good or creative alternatives to what they may normally do on the computer or during their free time. I think this is especially important now that the year is drawing to a close.  A week or so ago they loved using BeFunky for all its photo effects so now here’s another site that they seem to enjoy.  In fact the lab has been so quiet for the two classes I used it with that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Knowing what a class of 5th graders during the last 50 minutes of the day is usually like it was actually quite relaxing!  Zimmer Twins is a web site that allows you to create cartoon “movies”. The site can be used without registration but movies can’t be saved.  Registration would be perfect for kids at home however,  allowing them to save their projects.  They also state on the site that they monitor daily for appropriate content.  Today I dug a bit deeper in and found a short teacher section. They give ideas for teacher use including suggesting that the teacher can register with their email address and then allow all the kids to use the nickname and password.  I’ll probably do this next year now that we have a district policy for kids putting work up on non-district sites.  Check out Zimmer Twins .  It’s an interesting and enjoyable site for all ages.


Using BeFunky with 5th Graders

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My 4 5th grade classes had a ball with the photo efects available for free on BeFunky.  We spent one class session doing crazy things with pictures! First they took one regular picture of themselves using Photo Booth.  They uploaded the picture to BeFunky, played around with the effects, and then saved it back to a folder I’d set up on the server. The next class session I wanted them to learn about using the Publishing layout view in word, not terribly exciting of course but with the opportunity to add the pictures they’d created they loved it and practiced using text boxes, inserting pictures and using Word Art to create a page layout. So….what do you think of my new portrait?