Capstones 1, 2, and 3!!!

Capstone 1: Face of Your Classroom

Let’s Face it (see what I did there ūüėČ I set my classroom website up in a few hours at the beginning of last year¬†and it showed (at least to me).¬†¬†I’ve decided to improve my classroom website using the¬†knowledge/skills I’ve gained through the 21things4teachers course as my first Capstone.

One element that I wanted to specifically focus on was boosting the resources I had for student exploration.¬† I created a¬†revised web page called: Watch, Learn, Create to the previous page I had called Art Websites.¬† My intention with this page is to revise it throughout the school year to include videos (those found on YouTube and Self Created Videos) that would be extensions to¬†individual¬†Units of study for students who finish early or who require/desire additional practice on their own time.¬† This page originally contained broken links and worse yet physical typing of drawn out websites that you couldn’t click on.¬† Through 21things4teachers I’ve learned how to embed videos and include clickable buttons to websites.¬† I then went on to include individual pages for the K-5 Michigan Visual Arts Content Standards and Benchmarks.¬† The intention with this addition was to “increase productivity.”¬† When I post weekly lesson plans I am required to link them to our State Standards and Benchmarks.¬† Unfortunately there are no editable (copy/paste) versions of this document…so each week I would look up the document…physically click back and forth while typing the Standards my lesson addressed.¬† Now not only will my¬†families have

Screenshot (85)

Screenshot (83) Screenshot (84)

Capstone 2: Communication

It’s been on my mind all summer to find an exciting way to approach the new group of eager kindergarten parents to volunteer in the Art Room.¬† Meeting the needs of 28 five year olds solo is no easy task.¬† With the infographic lesson in mind I set out to create an engaging flyer to reach out to my Elementary Parents.¬† I used my Google Drive (21things4teachers: Collaboration) to open, save, and share the PDF I created with my Elementary Staff and building Principal.¬† I then created a blog post on my Classroom Website which features the flyer I created with a short message to reach out to¬†potential Art Room Volunteers.¬† Below you will find the physical PDF, the PDF shared in my Google Drive (which I’ve also shared with you Sue), and Blog Post I posted on my Classroom Website.

2016-2017 Art Room Volunteers Screenshot (80) Screenshot (81)

Capstone 3: Classroom Management


As the 2016-2017 academic year looms ahead of us one thing is for certain: We can all use improvement in he area of classroom management.¬† For my third Capstone I’ve decided to explore and ready myself to effectively use ClassDojo in my K-5 Visual Arts Classroom this year.¬† As a part of my Digital Classroom Management “Thing” I created my¬†ClassDojo¬†account, changed my profile picture, added only my 5th grade classroom teachers, and did a little exploration on the resources available as it relates to using¬†ClassDojo in the Art Room.¬† As an amendment to this first go at ClassDojo I’m¬†importing all of my classes (vs. only 5th grade students), creating a¬†new Classroom management¬†plan that revolves around using ClassDojo (changing my classroom management bulletin board), ¬†adding both positive and negative skills that relate to the Arts, creating letters to print out for parents to connect with BES Visual Arts through ClassDojo, download the app on both my cell phone and iPad, print out QR codes for my classroom for student use (to upload to their unique and I will do additional research on using ClassDojo for the Art Room.¬† I decided to start by doing additional research as it relates to using ClassDojo in the Art Room.¬† Click here to view an ARTicle on ClassDojo by my favorite Art Ed Website: The Art of Education.¬† Through reading this ARTicle I found another by a respected Art Teacher Blogger Mrs. Nguyen where she had this to say about ClassDojo and using it with over 1,000 Visual Arts students!¬† As I can’t import student lists at this time I’ve decided to focus on adding each of my classes along with table group names.¬† The screenshot below shows Mr. Koppelman’s 5th Grade Artists along with the table group names that students will sit at.

Screenshot (93)



19-Digital Storytelling


The Digital Storytelling process involves:

  • Preparing to tell your story
  • What is it going to be about?
  • What type of story are you telling?
  • What is your own connection to the story?

Content Area: Visual Arts



Standard 2: Apply skills and knowledge to create in the arts.

ART.VA.II.K.4 Select subject matter and communicate a personal story in a painting or drawing.

ART.VA.II.K.6 Experiment with different technologies.

*I was so excited to view the two video links embedded in the 21things4teachers site on Digital Storytelling but it states that neither of them work.

10 elements of a digital story:

Adapted from (Center for Digital Story Telling) and Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

1. Point of View – what is your purpose? What is the goal?
2. Narrator’s Point of View
3. A Dramatic Question – the action, tension, central desire…
4. Content or paradigm – inspirational, love, loneliness, friendship…
5. Gift of your voice – your audio recording (practice and relax, be conversational)
6. Pacing of your narrative
7. Power of your audio – music, sound effects, your own lyrical narration (watch copyright)
8. Images – the quality and type of media (video, animations, photos, graphics…)
9. Economy of the story detail – the sequence of events, images, text – (keep it simple)
10. Appropriate grammar and language usage

Click here to view an incredible Digital Story created to share the authors view of the importance of Visual Arts Education.

After viewing this video I decided to¬†create a Video using Animoto to promote my K-5¬†Visual Arts program.¬† Now that I have experience with using this Digital Storytelling tool I can better educate my K-5 Artists through the process of Creating their own Digital Stories.¬† As I came up with a concept I was able to easily select many images to help me illustrate the concepts I wants to share.¬† Adding captions to each image helped me to create a story for my audience.¬† After I selected a piece of music and hit play I was immediately moved.¬† I’ve¬†already posted my video to Facebook to¬†gather thoughts on the video I’ve created.¬† There are endless possibilities as it relates to the Content Standards and Benchmarks these tools will help me to reach!¬† Click here to view the video I created with Animoto.

Be Legal and Fair

Fun video to share with my 5th Grade Artists regarding Copy Right Laws created by Eric Faden of Bucknell University:

Plagiarism Checkers and Writing Tools:


For this “Thing” I decided to use a 3rd Grade students Artist Statement from their Artsonia account as a response to an Abstract Expressionism assignment. I require my 3rd graders to write 3 sentences which focus on process, content, mediums, or feeling. I honestly don’t see myself using a plagiarism checker with my (K-4) Elementary students. The intent/opportunity simply isn’t there. I can, however, see myself using such a tool with my 5th Grade Artists. I intend to add an Artist Research Assignment to their Curriculum. Using Grammarly and Plagtracker could be an excellent tool to aide students in revising their work. These tools could also help in reducing the workload on educators as it relates to seat time spent grading/correcting. ¬†I really like how Plagtracker gives constructive advise regarding the content of individual students writing.


Communicating in the 21st Century:

During the 2015-2016 School Year Julie Mapstone (yes… From 21things4teachers!) and I decided to embark on a collaborative communication adventure. Neither of us had used Skype before but we wanted to give it a try to benefit our individual classrooms. Julie Mapstone is a Special Education Teacher at the Porter Center for 12-17 year olds. Through Project Unify Mrs. Mapstone’s students have participated in a variety of academic and extracurricular activities with 5th Grade Blissfield Elementary students. Julie at one point had communicated to me that her students did not receive Visual Arts instruction. ¬†It was Mrs. Mapstone’s hope that I could provide Visual Arts consultation services for her students for an upcoming participation in an Art Show. Through phone and messaging communications Mrs. Mapstone and I came up with a plan that we thought would not only streamline workflow but also enrich both of our Classroom environments…Skype!? With both of us having limitations regarding overlap of scheduling we decided to jump right in. We both quickly created Skype accounts one evening with the intent to have an open classroom the following day. That day was the beginning of what we both hope will be a continuous collaborative adventure.

I am choosing to focus on Skype once again in order to improve my skills toward fluid use for the upcoming academic year.


This screenshot shows Mrs. Mapstone and I connecting using Skype.


This screenshot shows Mrs. Mapstone and I connected through Skype… And also a situation that I would like to problem solve for next year… Mounting my camera so I don’t have to hold it!

In reflection Skype is a valuable tool that I will continue to use with Mrs. Mapstone’s students in the upcoming academic year. I have a friend, Kristyn DeMint, from Dundee Elementary who uses Skype to have discussions with Artists across the world with her students. She takes time to prepare her students by having them engage in an Art Lesson ¬†based on the Artist, has them develop interview questions, and then carefully chooses students to present their questions to the Artist once the Skype connection physically takes place. I can see myself doing this in the near future utilizing Skype now that I am honing my skills. As mentioned above 2 areas that I would like to problem solve for the upcoming year include finding a better solution to mounting my camera and resolving poor internet strength. The sound/video would often lag to the point of needing to cancel the Skype call. I plan to meet with our technology director: Matthew Cook to resolve this issue.


I think we spread ourselves thin with regards to technology. I have a Facebook account that I post to for personal/school use. A Facebook account for my business. A Facebook page that I specifically post to for Parents… And a school website that also houses a blog. I have an Artsonia account where I upload hundreds of student Artworks each week into individual portfolios which also allows me to individually communicate with parents with project goals/objectives. ¬†It gets to be a bit much! I feel like I would like to streamline my communication into a few accounts rather than many. With that being said… Let’s talk Twitter…

I attended a professional development day this past year with our School principal where we were encouraged to set up a Twitter account for professional development/collaboration purposes. I set the account up and haven’t looked at it since. ¬†For this assignment I resigned into my Twitter account after having to request a password reset. ¬†I’m currently being followed by 7 people and am following 41.

image image image

Here are a few screenshots from my Twitter account. ¬†I decided to participate in an AOE (one of my favorite Art Education websites) chat on Crafty Materials: Love it or Leave it. ¬†I frequently engage in AOE posts on Facebook. I honestly don’t like the limitations of Twitter. I personally prefer networking/communicating through Facebook which doesn’t put a cap on the characters you post (I can be long winded at times!). ¬†From the mouth of my Kindergarten teaching partner, “I’m no twit!!!” ūüėČ


Face of Your Classroom

When I was hired at Blissfield Community Schools in August of 2015 they gave us the option of having a School website or creating one using Weebly. Matthew Cook, our Technology director, recommended that I use Weebly for the creation of my website…

Here is a link to the “Thing” Face of Your Classroom:

Art With Ms. Sisung

This thing helped me to evaluate my Classroom website using the Rubric developed by Mrs. Candela. Although our district does not have specific guidelines for what should or should not be included on our Classroom pages I value having the time to reflect on areas of strength and improve on areas of weakness.


As a add-on to this assignment related to the Visual Learning “Thing” I’ve decided to include the link to and image of a Piktochart I created presenting facts about the Famous Mexican female Artist Frida Kahlo. I’m proud of the way this Infographic turned out. I can see it being very versatile in its use by both my students and I. I can’t wait to share this App with my teaching team!



I’ve created a Digital Citizenship page on my K-5 Visual Arts Website¬†and am posting here to comply with¬†the requirements of the Digital¬†Citizenship “Thing.” Please click the link¬† below to access my Digital Citizenship Page:

Be Legal and Fair:

Here is my Creative Commons License (I’ve also included my licence on my K-5 Visual Arts Website), to learn more about the permissions or restrictions this license allows please view the YouTube video below.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Helpful MeL Databases for K-5 Visual Arts Students (to access a complete/hyperlinked list and full review please visit my Search Strategies post):






Click here to view a video I created for the “Thing” Digital Storytelling to promote BES Visual Arts.

Click here to view a video I created of myself reading “The Crayon Box that Talked” for “Thing” 20: Blended or Flipped Classrooms.