Monday, February 11, 2013

Crazy Kindergartners and Pouty Preteens - Needfinding


JANELL: Teacher for the kindergarten Saturday Exploring Art Class at Honolulu Art Academy School at Linekona. The class was about clay and making castles or houses out of them.

Janell repairing a few of the houses
until their suitable for the kiln when
class was over since scoring wasn't
done properly to attach ornaments.
  • Did a drawing activity before using the clay so the kids can get an idea of what to create
  • Was able to get all the students to actually make things with clay today (because apparently there are several kids that hadn't been doing work in the past two weeks)
  • Majority of the kids got the idea that they would be making buildings out of clay
  • Another assistant from another class got that what they were making out of clay were actually buildings (and not teacups or something because some of those things weren't very building-like)
  • Class got out of hand several times
  • The security guard visited twice
  • Kids using clay tools inappropriately like trying to use skewers for swords instead of scoring the clay
  • Several kids using different tactics to gain attention like kicking, stealing things, taking too much supplies, etc.
  • Kids didn't listen to directions on how to score things so their objects would stay attached to each other
  • There were two assistants instead of one helping her today
  • The director of the art school came in to see how the day was since she was already aware of the behavioral problems in this class

SKYE: My 11 year old sister. She was cleaning her room on Sunday. I asked if I could take a picture of her doing so, which she agreed to at first but then she took it back because she's a stubborn preteen and is most likely embarrassed by her room...

But here's an embarrassing picture I found of the
two of us from Chuck E. Cheese.
(Hopefully I can get a picture of her
cleaning since she isn't done yet)

  •  Found things she was missing
  • She gave me back my computer chair (I was wondering where it went after I came back from my stay in Florida...)
  • She sings to my music playing from my room to pass the time
  • Extremely messy
  • Kept getting distracted by her phone and laptop 
  • Too many knickknacks filling the numerous bins/drawers she should be using to organize 
  • Things in drawers aren't sorted
  • Didn't finish cleaning today
  • Too much laundry to fold
  • Trundle bed making it possible to just pile things up on there instead of putting them away; giving an excuse that there's "nothing on the floor"
  • Made more room on her shelves for things
  • Could take out the trash from her organizing bins and actually USE those bins to organize
  • Some of those things belong to me and should be returned to me ):<

B R A I N S T O R M I N G   N E E D S / G O A L S

  1. Janell could find an app solely based on art projects for kids that have little attention spans
  2. Janell and the director could create an app that updates with summaries of what happens during class the parents can access
  3. Could also use the app to send messages to specific parents about specific children
  4. Could use the app to provide a tentative schedule of what will happen in class next week Saturday so the parents can prepare the children 
  5. Using the same app, display the some of students work they did for the day that the parents can see (not all since they do eventually make it home and there's also a gallery show at the end of the semester for all the classes)
  6. Find an app that has children's artwork to get inspiration of what kids can do at that age
  7. Have an app giving tips about how to control a crazy classroom
  8. Because the class was loud, the security guard came in, so how about an app that monitors the loudness of an environment that plays an alert or sound of some sort to acknowledge that the place is too loud
  9. Create an app for my sister to create an inventory for her things?
  10. More specifically inventory/sort some of her books
  11. Go paperless and replace some of those books with eBooks in a reading app
  12. Skye seems to like going on her phone and laptop a lot (even during homework time); maybe create an app with a timer giving her an hour to work and then ten minutes to "play" then it's back to work again until everything is done
  13. Have an app to make a listing available to sell an unneeded item on an online auction/selling site
  14. Have an app on her phone that silences any activity/nonproductivity-based apps and only have phone available
  15. Have an app create a playlist based on the music she likes that she can play while she cleans so it's not just boring silence

F I N D I N G   I N S P I R A T I O N

  1. Bulletin Boards: While at the Disney College Program, we weren't allowed to put things on our walls to decorate our apartments, but they did provide us with cork bulletin boards in each bedroom and in the dining room. Each of my suitemates and I had different ways of expressing ourselves and decorating. My roommate Arielle hung her jewelry on hers. I put my Disney trading pins and other merchandise I found during my stay. Natalie put up letters from friends and family from home, Nicole brought pictures from home to put up, and Dominique had her schedule for work and a calendar as well. It gives everyone a space to personalize and organize things without boundaries... except for the space it provides. I ended up getting one for my room when I got home.
  2. Computer Drawing Tablets: Note, not like an iPad, but more of a Wacom used to draw or design on the computer. I've had my Wacom Graphire 3 since 8th grade, which is currently on its last legs since the wire's crimped, but I love it so much. It has a plastic case over the drawing area that is removable, letting me put things under it -- another customization thing. Then the actually function of the tablet allows a physical activity like using a pencil on paper be translated digitally and directly to the computer screen. I love how it's sensitive to the pressure of your hand on the pen so it can capture the flow and feeling of each line made.
  3. Mini umbrellas: Not the ones for your drinks, but like the reallllly tiny ones, probably the length of your hand when folded up, that humans can actually use and Totes is really good at making. I like them a lot since they're small enough to fit into my smallest purse (which is, I want to say 6"x3"x5"?) and still have room for my wallet, keys, and phone. Then when it's open, it's big enough to shelter you from the rain. It's size makes it easily portable so you can practically leave it in your bag without sacrificing space for something else then have it ready just in case of a surprise downpour.
  4. Sunsets: I prefer them over sunrises since you don't need to sacrifice sleep to see them (unless you're in a different part of the world where the sunset while you're sleeping or something). But the beauty of it is amazing. But it's a natural occurrence that people don't usually take the time to admire since they know it's supposed to look amazing and there will always be another one tomorrow. So, beauty that's supposed to be beautiful--and can go unrecognized until finding the time to actually look at it. I don't really know how to word it XD
  5. Hand-made quilts: Comfy, cozy, and warm. Made by hand with the user in mind, aesthetic-wise. You're not going to make a Batman quilt for someone who like unicorns and rainbows, are you? Anyway, it can be used over and over, and not just for the bed. It can become the roof of a fort or a magic carpet to travel the world. It's familiar and welcoming no matter how many times you use it. But it's also something that can be passed down from generation to generation, creating tradition.

V I D E O  T I M E

 Almost 8 minutes of babbling. Here you go:


  1. I have always been a fan of integrating technology into the classroom. I like how you thought outside the box by looking into an art class setting, rather than the typical "let's make an app to teach kids how to do fractions." The volume indicator sounds like a fantastic idea! I wonder if there's also a way to integrate the classroom into a social networking style app - students earn badges for good behavior, assignment completion, etc. I guess this is really the modern version of awarding kids tokens to spend in the classroom store!

    1. That's an interesting idea, with the reward system and all, especially if the school was able to make it for every class, and I think the older students would probably like that more than the little kids since they're so tech savvy now with their own phones and whatnot.

  2. Very interesting observations of art class - what age were the kids (4-5?) and instructors? not sure about the opportunities section - those two sound like successes - opportunities are opportunities for intervention. Opportunities for room clearing was again a little mixed. Using bins for organizing sounds like opportunity. That the clearing made space on shelves; that sounds more like a success ... but you totally made up with that with great brainstorming. I particularly liked ideas 12 and 14.

    12: I note in some other classes instructors providing specific breaks for technology fixes for Facebook etc. in --> would be interesting to formulate this into an app for self-study, self-work

    14. I've been looking for something that turns a smartphone into just a phone --> I've realized I can turn off data on my iphone, and so I only get phone calls and texts, and no facebook/skype

    lovely inspirations! Wish I could get a wacom - maybe I'll treat myself. Great video time! Great to see your bulletin board. Really brings the observations alive to hear you talk through them.

    1. Sorry about getting the successes and opportunities mixed up. I'll keep that in mind. And yes, they're about 5 to 6 years old. My cousin, who was the assistant is 18 while Janell is probably in her late twenties, early thirties.

      For #14, the thing is that texting has been a real distraction for her since it's a silent way for her to still talk to her friends. So if there's a way to just make it a PHONE, that would be pretty awesome.

      It's almost time for me to buy another tablet since my current one is practically dying. I think I might even cry when that day finally goes to technology heaven with clouds made of 1's and 0's.