September 15th is International Dot Day. You probably didn’t know that? I just discovered it myself. So, what’s it all about? Well, activities center around the book, The Dot. A humble title, yes, but the message is big: don’t be afraid to try. The subject of The Dot is a young student named Vashti, who becomes artistically confident after her teacher frames the simple dot Vashti had drawn on paper. When Vashti sees her work framed the next day, it emboldens her. With her new found confidence, she completes numerous “masterpieces” and has a gallery showing. Vashti soon becomes an inspiration to others.
During the week of September 15, many CRES students will create dot art using Google Slides. The project will be delivered through Google Classroom, with each participating classroom collaborating in one slideshow. Each student is assigned a slide that corresponds to his/her student number. When completed, these slideshows can be shared through social media, expanding each student’s reach.
Piet Mondrian, a Dutch painter, is best know for a form of art he called neoplasticism. The art is prepared on a white background, with a grid of black lines and the primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. Young students can easily recreate their own Mondrian style art.
When students originally began this project, they used the Kerpoof website. It was loved by kids and fairly simple to use. Kerpoof, owned by the Walt Disney Company, closed April 2014. Instead, Disney moved toward creating mobile apps.
The art for this project is quickly created with Google Drawings. Just a few tools are needed: line tool, line weight, shape tool, and arrange. Ctrl + D is also used to quickly duplicate lines. Once completed, I have the students save their art as a png file and have them upload to a collaborative canvas at Padlet.
I spent much of my summer vacation searching out new digital projects for my students. I really wanted to do more with Google Drawings. On YouTube, I came across this well-made tutorial from Flipped Classroom. The instructions were clear and simple. Shown at left is the badge I made to award students who create a Mondrian style art project. Years ago, students used the Kerpoof Website to make that artwork, but Kerpoof closed in 2014. My 2nd graders can now use Google Drawings to mimic Piet Mondrian’s style and earn a digital badge.
Kids often place a high value on images over text. In fact, kids will start searching Goggle images for pictures to add to their essays when no visual content is required. ;-( When images are requested, students frequently distort them, either horizontally or vertically. Well, here’s a simple project that takes advantage of that skill. The results can be stunning and Padlet.com is a great way to organize and display completed student projects onto a collaborative canvas.
Google Forms can be a great resource for current events. When my students had free subscriptions to USA Today, I wanted to take full advantage of it by having them do more than just read the paper online. Working with 2 web pages at one time, students could bring up USA Today and their current event form, reading their article and filling out the form at the same time (no paper or pencil needed). I kept the form fairly simple to facilitate their ability to complete and submit the form successfully. Student information was collected into a spreadsheet, which I could view and print from docs.google.com. So, rather than giving all the kids a worksheet and collecting 24 papers, I could collect all student answers into a 1-2 page spreadsheet.