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Students in 7th grade created their Language Arts portfolio using Google Sites. Students used a template designed with pages for displaying their work in class and their blogs about their independent reading.
After creating and sharing their site, students
looked at good and bad examples of website design to learn about the principles of color and font related to good websites. We also discussed components of websites and how to change the appearance of a Google Site. Students were engaged in creating a great looking site, and they are looking forward to adding and sharing their work throughout the school year.
The 8th grade generation utilized the five iPad minis from the upper school library for a photography unit. The students were taking portraits of one another, applying skills learned about composition. We experimented with low camera angles and how they empower the subject of a portrait. And conversely how a high camera angle will diminish the power of the subject.
Once in front of the lens students were encouraged to let go of their self-consciousness and model expressions and gestures that communicate the essence of middle school life. We discussed the work of the street artist JR and the idea of art changing the world. Could we challenge stereotypes of middle school aged people with our photographic portraits and change viewpoints?
Last, the students cropped and toned their images using an app called Snapseed in preparation for the next step in the unit which is using the photograph as a reference image for a large scale charcoal drawing.
Grade 8 science students worked with the librarian to learn about how infographics are a form of narrative - they tell a story by using visuals, data and sparse words. After students read a New York Times article, they evaluated three infographics based on the article. The students were then asked to apply their new understanding of infographics (data, design and narrative) by creating one that focuses on 'who they are' using images and data creatively. This lesson focused on the information literacy standards of using, evaluating and creating digital information. The web-based creation tool, Piktochart was used.