Bulb Archived: Orozco ATLAS 2015-2018: Jarecki (Year 3, 2017-2018)

School Name: Orozco

Teacher Name: Nikki Jarecki

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. 

Electric Illustrations:  Our Drawings Are Lit

Summary:  First it was introduced to the students that they would be making drawings that light up because I was inspired and motivated by the ATLAS PD on using simple circuits in art.  Students used imagery from the book, 20 Ways to Draw A Cat and 44 Other Awesome Animals by Julia Kuo to generate ideas for combined magical creatures.  After selecting two or more animals, based on flow of design, students then sketched ten different creatures before selecting at least one they would use for their final composition.  Students then used iPads to select an appropriately weird environment for their creature.  After selecting the environment they made thumbnail sketches of their final composition while keeping the lighting component in mind.  Their final compositions were reviewed and students drew on paper with pencil before being introduced to watercolor paining techniques.  Then students painted their works and  

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? 

painting is incomplete and no light incorporated
unfinished with no pre-planning about where the light will highlight the composition
finished with no pre-planning about where the light will enhance the composition 
exceptional attention to detail and light placement

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? 

Can math, science, and technology integration in visual art lead students to deeper connections/engagement with their creations? 


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. 

Student research helped them engage more deeply with the unit inquiry question by allowing them freedom to explore the materials within the context of a magical creature illustration.  Students were allowed to come up with something that was uniquely theirs with a medium in which they are well versed.  Then, by adding a simple circuit they started to push themselves to think about how this technology could help them develop more interactive works of art.  Students are developing next-steps and planning out how they can incorporate lights in their clothing and everyday objects.  

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? 

Connections between art and math/science=ENGINEERING 

Put a Spark in It! Electricity Unit provided by STEM- Teach Engineering 

Students began questioning how energy works that lead them to investigations on simple circuits and more complex machines.  

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

Students began creating their magical creatures by mixing two or more animals from the book, 100 Ways to Draw a Cat.  Then, they added their creature to an environment where it was to be doing something.  It was encouraged that the environment and action were extraordinary and the students payed close attention to where they would incorporate one to three lights.  Students asked themselves why a light would be necessary and the process developed around their enthusiasm for creating something unusual.  

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? 

The first question around my teaching was: How do I guide students to self-direct in a way that provides them with technical and intellectual support without stifling their creative flow? Students chose materials based on their preference. They could chose between fabric with thread and acrylic or fabric paint or mixed media on paper.  Most students decided to go with the mixed-media on paper option and I encouraged those who finished early to try creating a piece on fabric.  I gave them the fabric selection of a canvas banner, felt, or lighter cotton fabric but also encouraged them to bring in a glove, shirt, or hat to light up in some way.  Students made choices to create a work based on an interest.  Their final works were reflections of their creative voice.  

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

Reflection is a part of our daily art making process.  I had one-on-one sketchbook checks twice with the students. First while they were creating their creature and then while they were working on the environment (background) in which their creature was to be doing something unusual.  I reflected on those parameters and allowed students to work beyond doing something unusual as long as they created a thoughtful design with good composition.  

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? 

Students began by roughly mapping out a main character for their composition that would be the center of interest.  Then, they provided an action and environment for that character.  Watching their sketches develop with one-on-one feedback during the conferences was rewarding and taught me that individual directives are invaluable.  


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

Student work was shared during the ATLAS culminating exhibition at Hairpin Arts Center.  This was an incredibly valuable component to the project as several of my students attended and were able to see what it is like to participate in a formal gallery exhibition.  They were also able to see what other ATLAS teachers are doing with their students and they were excited about how we can expand on our integration of technology in future lessons.  


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? 

Students critiqued and created together. 

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? 

I collaborated with my students during the entire unit.  I view every teaching experience as a collaboration between student and teacher and sometimes the roles are reversed.  The students directed me towards what they needed to grow towards success.  Some students are confident creatives and others need creative encouragement to reach those goals.  All of my students are open to constructive feedback and 85% respond with thoughtful adjustments to enhance their visual messages.  

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

I worked with a Math/Science teacher to put together an introductory lesson on simple circuits.  

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? 

I selected the form of digital media technology that resonated most within me.  When I’m excited about something that directly impacts the way my students respond.  I knew that if I find it ideal I will be able to sell it to my students.  

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. 

They used iPads as a research tool to deepen their understanding of simple circuits and for reference imagery.  

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

Technology was used to enhance the learning environment by creating a series of conditions that both inspired and challenged student curiosity.  The students were motivated to push themselves further.  

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. 

Technology exceeded my expectations for facilitating student outcomes in that it inspired students to continue creating electric artwork!  My students are still designing ways to incorporate lights into their sculptures, clothes, and everyday objects.  They are making gloves, mugs, and lampshades that have lights sewn into them with conductive thread.  I’m looking forward to mapping out a new unit with LilyPads and Arduino software so that coding can become a part of the learning goals.  

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. 

Technology allowed for quick and easy documentation of progress.  Students were able to see the evolution of their work and the impact of their artistic and intellectual decisions.  Students could reflect on their decisions and make thoughtful adjustments to their circuits researching solutions.  The decision to use batteries and LED lights allowed for immediate results when investigating simple circuits.  

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

Technology provides familiarity and security for students while they are creating.  90% of the students I teach feel much better looking at an image online and drawing it in lieu of drawing from their imagination.  

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

The students used the iPads to research reference imagery for their final composition.  Videos were shared about illustration, composition, and watercolor painting techniques.  


At the end it was used to tweet the project to our community!