About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Minecraft in the Art Room. Creepers gotta creep!

In case you didn't know, I am a gamer. I have been since video games were invented. I play a lot of games, from Scrabble to World of Warcraft. I believe there are strong benefits to gaming, and I am seeking awesome games to bring into the Art Room. (For more information about the benefits of gaming and how gaming can change the world, check out Jane McGonigal)


With the kids bringing their iPads to Art, I made some necessary additions to my Free Choice Centers (what the kids choose to do when they finish their project). Adding to origami, stamping, weaving, free draw, and assorted games/puzzles, we now can use the iPad as a Center!
No, they didn't rush through their work to get here :)

Some guidelines:

  • Art Apps only
  • 3 Questions (these are posted and repeated):
    • Are you being creative?
    • Are you thinking like and artist?
    • Is it appropriate?

I explained the 3 Questions to the kids.Here is how the conversation went:

Me: Is Candy Crush allowed?
Kids: Noooo.
Me: Plants vs Zombies?
Kids: NO!
Me: Minecraft?
Kids: No. Wait. Yes? YES!?

So why would I let the kids play Minecraft? Why wouldn't I!

First of all, it is a highly creative and (don't tell) educational game. Talk about STEAM. (ah, that is STEM with a healthy dose of ART). Second, many kids play, it is highly engaging and super fun.  Try this: ask a couple of classes how many kids play and note how many hands shoot up.

Ok, here are my Minecraft guidelines:

  • Creative mode only. There are no creepers in creative mode!
  • Students must be thinking and acting as an artist at all times.
  • Students understand they will not be playing every time they come to art, or even when they have Centers. They will draw, weave, etc. We are seeking balance!
  • If these privileges are abused in any way, this goes bye-bye.
Our kids LOVE Minecraft. Why not meet them halfway?

Fuzzy questions
  • what about other games like Minecraft? 
  • What about other creative games?
 This is where the 3 Questions have to be answered. If a kid is "making" goods for the sheer purpose of "selling" them, I don't see the creativity and artistry in that at all.

Teachers and Parents, if you really want to explore gaming, have your kids show you Minecraft. I promise you will at least you will have fun with your kids!

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