Apps and Tech to Spark Your Creativity

by Terry Shay

A City-Wide Gallery
Recently, while visiting my doctor’s office in a nearby town, I noticed a frame with some student artwork. I asked the receptionist about the art and learned that the frames are located all around town and the art changes monthly. The local K-6 art teacher, Christy McNeal, is responsible. There are 32 frames of artwork in Hudson, IA, all of which were crafted by Christy’s father, Al Menzel, and then painted by the students during the first year of the art club. Christy volunteers her time for the after school club which is currently in its fourth year. She calls it “Art-it-Forward” and says about the group, “The club is full of thirty-two fifth and sixth graders who have hearts to share the happiness of artwork with others! I love that they are gaining art experience at the same time as learning to serve others!”

You can find Christy on Twitter

Hutch Magazine

Students, have you ever dreamed of being published in a magazine? One place to publish your work is Hutch Magazine. According to the Reynolds Center website,  “HUTCH is a kids’ literary and creativity magazine, published semi-annually under the direction of Peter H. Reynolds, with the help of The Blue Bunny Bookstore, and his non-profit foundation, The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning and Creativity. The magazine features stories, art, poetry, book reviews, travel logs and interviews submitted by kids.Read more about Hutch on The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity website. You can find the submission guidelines here. Teachers, consider encouraging your kids to submit!

Software to Spark Creativity

Stationery Studio
(sold as Mac/PC Software) is available from FableVision Learning. Stationery Studio is one of my favorite pieces of software because it inspires young writers with fun templates. My second graders have written animal rap songs with the help of templates available in the program. You can see how we did it on this blogpost.

 

Listen to Mrs. Daub’s second grade rap

Animation-Ish
(Sold as Mac/PC Software) is also available from FableVision Learning. Animation-Ish allows K-12 students to create simple three-frame animations or even full cartoon animations.
Alexis, one of my former students, created a Screencast about how to use Animation-Ish.

Fab@School: Maker Studio
(multi-platform,  subscription based) is another offering from FableVisionLearning

Recently I saw a Fab@School project by Maryann Molishus, so I inquired how her students created their work. Maryann explained, “My research has been on using digital fabrication to support mathematics at the elementary level. The question is:  How does digital fabrication support student learning and interest in mathematics? Briefly, I trained seven student project managers, all of whom volunteered for the job. This is fifth grade. Students worked with their teams to create a “solid sculpture” that met specific requirements: It had to include a cube, cylinder, square pyramid, cone, two rectangular prisms, and one other three-dimensional shape. The volume had to be between 60-123 cubic inches. Project managers learned how to use Fab@School and then taught their team members. Some of the math work with geometry and volume are part of our fifth grade math program, but tasks required students to exceed standards, and they were all successful.”

Frames
(Sold as Mac/PC Software) is from Tech4Learning. Frames is easy stop-motion animation software with the capability to create animations. Here’s an introduction from Tech4Learning.

 

Do Ink: Green Screen
(IOS – $2.99) is by Do Ink.
I like to have kids draw a background and then appear in the scenes they created. The first grade made a video of the song “Ten in the Bed” featuring a bed the kids drew. HERE is an example of Greenscreen in action. “The Wheels on the Bus” features a background the kids created. You don’t need a special green screen, I just use green fabric.

https://youtu.be/uNtLvD9CduY

Morning Book Club Book Recommendations

Have a creativity project to share?? Please find me on Twitter and share @tjshay

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