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Friday, August 24, 2012

Digital Photo Editing

Digital Editing Skills

Students Learn and Practice Basic Editing Skills

I have the great benefit of teaching 7th and 8th graders a Digital Photography/Technology course.  I don't currently have the option of teaching them Photoshop because of the software provided so I have been focusing on teaching them how to use Microsoft Office and  The benefit to these programs is that many of them have Microsoft Office on their computers at home and pixlr is a free online editing program.  I found a great link to download, another editing program, from and it also provided photos for the kids to practice on.  Follow this link to get them yourself: Photo Editing with Practice Images

Before we practiced editing, we talked about what makes a good photo.  This is my PowerPoint that I use to teach this Tips and Tricks PowerPoint

We have also been learning how to adjust red eye, brightness, contrast and other basic editing skills.  Here are some of the photos (from the site above) that the kids have cropping and one example of the cropped version:


The students are each assigned a computer and do their own editing.  I ask that after each assignment, they save and submit their work to me through our school's network drive.  They can just drag their work from their desktop to my "Hand In" folder in which they have each created their own subfolder named after themselves.  It is a great tool to have in a technology class, so the kids are becoming familiar with how to submit things through the computer system instead of printing hard copies of each assignment.  This is especially great for saving ink when we are just practicing simple skills like cropping and red eye removal!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Students create storage for their artwork

One of the courses I teach is a general 6th grade art exploratory.  I teach three sections of this on a three day rotation (I only see one 6th grade class each day) so after we got our syllabus, rules and beginning of the year activity out of the way I started the kids off with portfolios.  I think it is important for my students to have a place to store their artwork whether it is in progress or complete.  It helps keep them  organized (not to mention, my classroom organized too!)and it teaches them responsibility and ownership.  It their responsibility to come to class, find their portfolio and get out whatever we may be working on.  I also find it helpful to build the portfolio with them so that they get used to taking directions, watching demonstrations and working independently all in the same project.  I ask that their names be large and legible on their portfolios and that they create a decorative border.  They only have one class period to make and decorate their portfolio so it also teaches them to spend their time wisely.  Some students get further than others and so I always let them know if they finish another project early they can continute their design on the portfolio.
Student Made Paper Portfolios Art Lesson Plan

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New School, New Classes, New Students!

This is my sixth year teaching art and I just got a new classroom!  Lucky for me, I love change because this year there has been plenty of it!  I recently started my new job at Ballard Middle School in Huxley, Iowa and I believe it is going to be a wonderful year in my art room! I'm teaching  6th grade art and 7th and 8th grade Digital Photo/Technology and couldn't be more excited! 

To clear up any first day jitters I played a little game with my students (which I can't disclose here because it involves some mystery and I don't want my future students to already have the inside scoop!  But if your curiousity is killing you, message me and I'll fill you in!) and go over rules/expectations.  I also ask that my students fill out a brief survey so that I know where they are with experience and skill level to help guide my instruction throughout the year.  The kids have been great and I'm really looking forward to getting my nice, clean room filthy with art making!  Enjoy the clean room and empty shelf photos while they last because they won't last long!


Side note: Feel free to use any of my resources!