Bulb Archived: Waters SCALE 2016-2017: Hooper & Okulinski

Due January 27th:

Teacher: Erin Hooper

Artist: Patricia Okulinski

School: Waters Elementary

Big Idea: Re-purposing

Inquiry Question:  How can you reuse something in a different way than its original purpose. 

Fall/Winter

Art Content: Learning the basics skills: created a bracelet and pillow 

Non-Art Content: community building skills, vocabulary words, reflections, confidence builders

Describe how the project unfolded. (The students learned how to sew first using their “skill pillow” for practice. They then measured their wrist and created a pattern which they used to cut the fabric. They were able to choose what they wanted to add to their bracelet, and they had to use their skills to add the details. )

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Two students working on their skill pillows
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These are the skill bracelets. Re-purposing was introduced with this activity. 

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

Yes, with the skill pillow and bracelet they now have the skills to create what they have planned for their costume. As teachers, we will now take a back seat and monitor them as they work. There are a  few students who are reluctant to take part in the sewing, so I would say 95% of the students grasped the concept and made the progress that we intended. 

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Students working on their sewing skills.

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester?

We always work well together. Ms. Hooper works with the students to get them prepared and organized, and Ms. Patty teaches the students the skills such as sewing and painting.  

Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

We plan after classes are over, and sometimes we have to meet during classes if changes need to be made to the lessons that we have planned. If we have conflicting ideas, we decide on the one that makes the most sense for each students. Again, if our approach isn’t working, we collaborate to make the changes that are needed. For instance, we had a student who was refusing to do their work, and we had to work together to decide what that students should move on to next to keep busy. All of the students are getting to the point where they are working on different things, so we are constantly working with them to decide what they should focus on next.

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

We will both take turns speaking to the students, depending on our expertise. If one of us has something to add, we will. It always happens so organically.  We have just gotten to know each other over the years, so we are able to decide what the other might want to say to the students at a particular time. 

Winter/Spring

Art Content: Painting fabric, sewing on details such as beads and patches, making accessories and head pieces.

Non-Art Content: Writing their stories- brainstorming, planning (plot chart), writing a rough draft, editing (self and peer), and publishing. 

Describe how the project unfolded. 

We started out the year on a strong note, but as the year continued, we did face some organizational challenges with what the students were working on. The students started out with some amazing ideas. In order to plan, Ms. Patty taught the students how to properly sketch the head and body. The students then learned about different types of clothing, and we discussed inspirations such as nature, history, or movies. The students created an inspiration board that would help them to maintain their focus while creating their designs and stories. Once the students had their ideas planned out, they could then sketch it out on top of their croqui (whole body sketch). This is when they could begin designing. 

Throughout the beginning of the year, Ms. Patty taught the students two stitches, whip and running, she instructed them through the process of screen printing, and also led them through creating a design and embroidering it.

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Students threading their needles preparing to sew.
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making a bracelet
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Screen printing with re-purposed materials. An old box lid as the frame, some fabric scraps for the screen, a part of the box for the scraping tool (usually a squeegee) and recycled paper for the stencil.
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The students were amazed!

With these skills, the students were able to work on their costume independently (for the most part). They would meet with Ms. Patty, she would help them choose fabric that would work for their design, and Ms. Patty would also cut and sew the pattern. The students would then add any details to their costume by painting, screen printing, beading, sewing, etc. When we felt that the students were on track with their costume, it was time for them to help this character come to life through a story. Ms. Hooper would work with the students to plan out their story using a plot chart, and they would write their story on the computer. Once they finished their stories, they would have to peer edit their work to be sure that they fixed any errors in their writing. We also worked on adding details to help the reader visualize their character. This was what was used to introduce them on the runway. 

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A student practicing their sketch.
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Using images  on the computer to help with ideas.
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A student working with Ms. Patty to bring her sketch “to life”.
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Ms. Patty working with another student. This top was made from an old dress and the fabric was a scrap from a previous CC year.

A struggle that we faced was that it was difficult to track their progress this year. We also had intended to re purpose items (which was the big idea) but that was a difficult task for the students.  We think that we can plan this out better next year so the students have a better idea of how items can be used and share some more examples with them. 

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Sydney turned this belt into a bow.
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This purse was used as fabric for a bracelet.
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This student used old curtains and bedding to complete her final look.

In the future we plan to create more of a unit plan to follow throughout the year and create some checklists similar to what we saw on our field trip at Columbia College. The students will only be able to move on to the new skill once they have mastered the one before it.  At Columbia College, the students also learned a lot about the process of design in college, and how it is very similar to the process that they had in Costume Creations. The students loved this experience, and we plan on going again in the future. 

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A sample of what we would like the students to have in the future to track their progress
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Sharing their journals with the college students
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Some students learning about the planning process
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Comparing similarities with a college student’s work
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Looking at sketches and inspiration boards
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Learning about the different types of sewing machines
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Getting inspiration from literature
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viewing the collection in the vault at Columbia College
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Listening in on a lecture and taking notes. This was some of the students’ favorite part!

Another activity that didn’t quite work out how it was planned was the pattern rubbings. This was an activity that was inspired by an installation at the Sullivan Galleries where we had our first CAPE P.D. We thought that the students could use the patterns as inspiration for their costumes. The activity was very successful, but it didn’t have the intended outcome. In the future, we would like to be sure that the students use these patterns as a part of their costumes. 

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The students analyzing patterns from the Waters’ school grounds
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Students in our school community were able to guess where the patterns were from as well. 
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The idea for this activity came from an installation at the Sullivan Galleries where we had out first PD of the year. 

Do you think that students made progress toward the learning goals that were set for this semester? Please estimate the percentage of students who made progress toward the learning goals. Please explain the basis of your assessment.

Most of the students reached their learning goals, about 90%. The students that didn’t were not managing their time wisely, and had a difficult time finishing everything in the end. Another basis for this assessment would be the quality of their written piece in the end. Some were so late completing their story, that they did not have enough time to edit their work. 

Please upload photos and/or videos of student work or classroom artifacts that demonstrate student learning and/or provide evidence that learning goals were or were not achieved. Describe how the artifacts, images or videos illustrate students achieving, partially achieving, or not achieving the learning goals.

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A student sharing her sketch with another student in the drama class
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Working with the dance class students to help them plan out their costumes for the performance.
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More planning with the dance class.
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Student journals, photos, and stories
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The Costume Creations Crew- ready for the runway!

How did your teacher/artist collaboration work this semester?

We worked together very well. Ms. Patty worked with the students on construction, and Ms. Hooper managed the classroom and took care of the class records and forms. Next year we would like to have a plan for the year, and this came up after we discussed what worked and didn’t work this year. 

Describe how you and your partner planned together. How did you compromise when there were conflicts or differences of approaches or ideas? Can you cite a specific example?

We plan very well together. Like I said above, we often discuss what we think worked well or what didn’t work well in each class. If we feel that we need to make adjustments for the next class, we do. If we like something that we did throughout the school year, we make sure to remember it for the following year, but we also discuss if we can improve what we did to make it even better. One example is that this year we had a few difficult students. We would work together on a plan and then determine if the plan was working and what needed to be changed. Another example is that we made bracelets and pillows to practice skills. We decided that we would like to continue that in the future, but that the students would have to add the item they learn to their costume that week.

Describe how you teach together in the classroom. Who does what? How do you understand each other’s roles? Can you cite a specific example?

Ms. Patty is the artist and teaches the students how to sketch, sew, screen print, etc. Ms. Hooper helps with the planning process, organization of the classroom and activities, as well as helping the students to plan, edit, and write their papers. We work very well together, because Ms. Hooper can tell when Ms. Patty needs time to work with individual students, and Ms. Patty knows when it is time for a whole group lesson as well. We both teach at the same time, but we cover separate parts of the content that we are more comfortable with.