If the heavy load of testing is getting you and your students down and you need a break or a quick pick-me-up, try a range of activities with the paint tools in Wixie! Drawing a picture takes just enough brain power to make you forget other things and puts in you a mental state similar to meditation, giving you many of the same destressing benefits.
This blog contains a range of coloring and drawing ideas to get your creative juices going and your stress levels down.
Sometimes just the motions of moving a pen or pencil can have a calming effect. Remember the fun scratch art you used to do as a kid? or the mess students made in your room this year with Scratch Art Valentines? Wixie includes a folder full of different Scratch art options and you don't even have to assign an activity as a teacher to do this project with your students.
Simply have students log into their Wixie account, open the Curriculum folder at their Wixie home page, open the Art folder and then open the Scratch Art folder.
There are lots of colors to choose from and many are connected to spring, like pastels, flowers, and St. Patrick's Day (orange, green). Students use the Eraser tool in place of the stylus (stick) included with tangible scratch art products.
Draw with Symmetry
While symmetry is a 4th grade Common Core State Standard for Math, you are sure to have heard many "oohs" and "aahs" if your students have found the symmetry options in Wixie, at any grade level. Painting with symmetry is a fun, creative, and challenging task.
Once students choose the paint brush tool, they can turn on both linear and radial symmetry options.
Just seeing what happens when they move the mouse will instantly give them a thrill. If you want them to do more than just wiggle a mouse and see what happens, give them a challenge, such as draw a flower with mirror symmetry or a shamrock for a lucky St. Patrick's Day.
If you haven't used these fun tools yourself, use the directions in this how-to video to help you gain confidence with your Wixie skills.
Draw something Pictur"ish"
Online testing can make students feel like everything is black and white and that they won't ever know the right answers. To help them return to the world of possibility read Ish by Peter Reynolds to help open their eyes "to something a lot more valuable than getting things just "right."
This isn't about giving up, it is about giving yourself a creative place to experiment and try... and grow. To make sure their "ish" drawings include a significant amount of effort, ask them to draw something complex or detailed. Then, label it "princess-ish" or "dinosaur-ish" and celebrate the attempt.
Draw like a Scientist
If you think all this drawing is too much play and not enough work, challenge your students to draw like a scientist. Ask them to capture their observations of a plant or animal they see in their environment as if they were developing their own field notes.
This might also be a great time to plant the idea of trying again. Instead of starting over, build analysis and reflection into the process by asking them to create multiple drafts. Ron Berger shares a great example of trying, trying again, and trying again in Austin's Butterfly.
No matter what, or how, you choose to draw, do your best to make the process fun. Put on some music, let students stand while drawing, and get the creative juices flowing.