Bulb Archived: Brennemann ATLAS 2015-2018: Foss (Year 3, 2017-2018)

School Name: Brennemann

Teacher Name: Mr. Foss

Section I: Arts Integration – Documentation. 

1. Documentation should not only provide a narrative, or story, of your project, but should also provide evidence of students’ engagement in the unit inquiry. 

The students learned how applied force could be used to create pop-ups. 

 Students created pop-ups inspired by Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach.

2. Through your documentation, please provide student artifacts that depict the range of work completed. For example, what were the various ways in which students responded to various aspects of the project? All students learned to engineer a simple pop-up. 


Section I: Arts Integration – Inquiry 

3. What is your Inquiry Question for your ATLAS curriculum unit? What big ideas does this inquiry question address, and why do you think the question successfully addresses these? 

The Inquiry Question asked: How do artists create works of art or design that effectively communicate? The big idea was that people create and interact with objects, places and design that define, shape, enhance and empower their lives. I think the question successfully addresses the big idea because children worked with the setting of the story to create their own scenes and personalized the scenes in their own work. The children understood the action of flight from the story  “Tar Beach” very literally, as expected at their developmental level, but a one began to understand and use the term metaphorically.

4. How did student research help them to engage more deeply with the unit inquiry question? Explain how your students conducted research for their ATLAS project, and how that research opened up avenues for further inquiry. 

We explored the theme of flight from the story where an eight year old girl has the ability to fly over Manhattan claiming and taking ownership of what she valued. As stated above, all students understood flight in the concrete “real” way, like on a plane, but a few started to sense the idea of flight as a metaphor, “I’d go everywhere in the universe!” As far as the visual art and engineering components were concerned, we worked over several weeks. 

We explored landscape, city scape, nighttime scenes in the city, etc. Engineering was explored, first by learning to fold and cut with accuracy using scrap papers, then learning a basic fold for making a simple pop-up, adapting the process for students with limited dexterity, and lastly learning other techniques for making artwork that pop-out from the page for those artists who mastered the pop-up technique. Gluing and how to glue without using too much glue was and additional process and students who could master the technique helped their peers to better learn how to handle glue using popsicle sticks, toothpicks and the tip of the glue bottle. 

Working in video was handled by our video artist. I did utilize the ¡Pad Pro, provided by ATLAS to do preliminary filming, and teach my young artists how to stage, film and use an attached microphone on the ¡Pad, but essentially the visiting artist taught children the techniques of filming, lighting and the step in the process of making video.

5. Describe how the unit inquiry opens up avenues for interdisciplinary connections between the arts and academic content. How did arts processes and/or research practices facilitate students’ understanding of the academic topics addressed in the inquiry question?  

Using literature as a bases of inspiration was something to which the students naturally responded. Learning to master the use of force via drawing and cutting straight lines and using measuring (to an inch) where skills that all students needed to learn and many students mastered. Others learned to cut parallel lines and create pop-ups free handedly. While many learned how to plan the placement of the pop-up within the drawing/collage, and others learned to create drawing around where the pop-up happened to be cut. The process seemed to push their creativity, thus even students who might not be able to measure and plan effectively, could creatively adapt their projects. The video process brought the entire unit to life. Furthermore, the culminating ATLAS Art Exhibition at the Hairpin Gallery introduced the students to ponder the question: How do artists show their work to others?

6. How did the curriculum evolve based on the unit inquiry process? 

As noted in the last response, we focused on the literature in a few classes, the technical skills in other classes, and applying artistic skills to the products. Students had to understand a story and take and idea from literature and turn it into a moving visual artwork. The art process included the young artists needing to visualize and create their own work based on the setting of a story. They had to learn skills of dexterity with cutting, folding and gluing to help with the visual art process and the engineering of art with moving parts. Additionally, many students learned to work with video cameras and an ¡Pad to do filming. Lastly,  learning the math skills of measuring and drawing one inch lines with a ruler prior to cutting was essential to the creation of a functional pop-up and this was a skill all students were able to successfully at least one time to create a pop-up image that made it to the gallery.

Section I: Arts Integration – Create Works 

7. How did students self-direct while creating their artistic work during the ATLAS project? Please provide any examples for the ways in which students made their own aesthetic choices and direction for creating their artwork. Examples might include but are not limited to: how did students make choices about the use of materials, how did they decide what they wanted to communicate, how did they make decisions about how to present work? 

Students the beginning phases of drawing and responding to the story.

Students made choices about how they would draw their cityscapes. Many chose buildings from the Chicago Skyline. Many who mastered the technique of the pop-up chose to learn other methods for creating relief collage in their artwork, such as accordion folds to make stars or a moon pop-off of the page.

8. Please explain what opportunities the students had to reflect on their experiences and react to the work of their peers. 

We had mini-presentations in the classroom so students could track their process and get ideas based on each other’s creations, as well as peer-lead instruction for teaching techniques mastered mostly related to measuring, cutting, folding and gluing. 

Students taking turns to show their work to peers and take part in the video process.

9. How did the students’ artifacts from various stages of the ATLAS Unit impact your teaching practice? Please provide artifacts that exemplify your points. What did you learn about your teaching practice from looking at these artifacts? 

What most impacted my teaching was seeing how I could push advanced students forward while still having the ability to support those who needed extra attention, by letting students share their successes with the class, with their peers the students who had mastered techniques could teach other students the techniques in the language of a six-year-old.

10. Describe how the students’ work was shared in the school or publicly. Why was this an important part of this unit? 

The artwork was showed in the ATLAS Show towards the end of the spring quarter. It was an exciting event for all of the students as their work was displayed as well as a video they created.


Section I: Arts Integration – Collaboration 

11. How did students collaborate at different stages of the project? Examples might include but are not limited to: did the students research together, did they create together, did they critique together, did they present together? 

As noted above, students presented work in the classroom regularly to support the learning process via sharing of ideas and teaching peers who needed support mastering skills. We all took part in video making and watching video footage, edited and non-edited. We were, and still are today, a close group of people. The students from this classroom and I seem to have a familial connection that seemed to extend outside of the classroom and continue after the project finished.

12. In what ways did you collaborate with the students for this unit. How did the students impact the way in which the curriculum was implemented? For example, how did students help you plan, develop, and/or implement the curriculum? 

The was that collaboration impacted how the curriculum was implemented was that students began to develop leadership abilities and started to take on responsibilities in the art process. This was essential to the project’s success. The classroom teacher was also pivotal as she taught students literacy concepts, she provided opportunities for watching the video and she always maintained positive relationships with all of her students and supported the visual arts, including attending the show. This gave us momentum in the art class, as well as make it simple to engage the students in making visual art based on the story as they were are familiar with literary elements.

13. How did you collaborate with other teachers in your school to plan and/or implement the unit? 

As stated above, the classroom teacher was most helpful in the integration into the project and the video artist had knowledge and skills about video apps that made the project successful. We often had brief conversations at the start or end of the school day, as well as when she dropped of her students for their visual art class.

Section II: Technology Integration 

14. What was your process for selecting this form of digital media technology? Why did you think this form of digital media technology would be ideal for student learning? 

Based upon recommendations of the visiting video artist as well as trial and error we decided on Green Screen App and the use of an additional microphone for the ¡Pad.

15. How did students use digital media technology to direct their own learning? Provide artifacts to show evidence of how students used the technology to direct their own learning. Examples might include but are not limited to: making choices about technologies to use, using technology to facilitate experimentation, using technology as a research tool, to express themselves artistically, and/or to make meaning of their experiences. 

Students were very excited to use video.

As I stated earlier in my responses, the visiting artist was the key instructor on teaching the students the skills necessary for video filming. The children were enamored with the video camera as well as the ¡Pad Pro. Our biggest challenge was creating a procedure for setting up the filming area in a small space, the flow of traffic as children waited their turns, and keeping student who were not working with technology engaged in the process of making their pop-up art.

16. How did you use technology to enhance the learning environment for both you as a teacher and for the students? 

Many students took on roles of leadership during the filming process. For example, managing art products and student presentation order, using the swivel arm of the camera and actually recording the video. All students were fascinated with the video recording process.

17. In what ways do your chosen technology resources align with your goals and outcomes for student learning? Looking back at the unit, how did the technology meet, not meet or exceed your expectations for facilitating student outcomes. 

As noted, the additional use of the app and the microphone really supported the project’s success.   The young artists all wanted to become video artists immediately! The use of technology exceeded my expectations and the class and I really bonded through the experience. I would not have been able to do this without another adult in the room!

18. How did the use of technology contribute to students’ application of higher order thinking skills? Examples of student higher order thinking skills include metacognition, self-reflection, analysis, and application of knowledge or skills. 

The technology helped students develop self-reflection skills as many reflected on their products and the presentation of their artwork after seeing it on video. Many had the desire to learn techniques like how to handle and use the tripod and swivel arm, with adult assistance of course, and the visiting artist and I saw students make real efforts to take care while using the equipment. I had no official rubric to assess the learning of filmmaking skills, but did make many observational notes about how students took leadership, or applied their concentration to master a skill like getting the subject of the video in the center of the frame; for six year-old children, these are advanced skills in my opinion. 

19. How did the use of technology drive student creative artistic expression? Please provide student artifacts that exemplify how technology supported their artistic expression. 

In addition to what I stated in the last response, the students started to think about diction, clear communication and body language when sitting in front of the camera. They started to think about how to project their voices. The also had to think about their art, how it related to the story and the theme of flight.

20. How did the integration of digital media technology impact your teaching practice?

I think I will be more eager to utilize technology in the future as well as willing to obtain help and support to develop curriculums across academic areas. In fact, it is my preferred way of working after this experience.