Portage/

Hybrid/

Distance Learning

Jan. 25, 2021

All Clubs

Next week, most of you will be back in the building. I am excited to hold clubs in person again. I miss you all! It will be the winter/spring session, which means you will need to sign up again. However, because you've been with me already, all you need to do is tell me if you are interested in continuing to be in my clubs. I will send/ask for confirmation to/from your families, just to make sure they are okay with it.

We will be having 3 different clubs working on different projects on 3 different days again.

The designs for your LED light-up keychain are due by the end of this week.

Jan. 21, 2021

All Clubs

If you are a 5th grade PLUS student, this would affect you (in a good way, I think). Because of the shortage of teachers in the PLUS after-school program, 5th grade PLUS students in GVP will be absorbed into my clubs Tuesdays-Thursdays.

Jan. 19, 2021

All Clubs

We are down to the last 2 weeks for working on the keychain. In February, most of you will be back to school in person. We will then resume having 3 different clubs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays (Design, Doodle, and STEM). On Mondays, I will have my PLUS group (who will also join STEM on Thursdays, as far as I know).

Please send your keychain design to me, even if it's not done yet. I just would like to see what you've come up with and how we can improve them.

Jan. 12, 2021

All Clubs

Here's an example of what is going to be happening with your drawing:

The first three pictures are of my drawing on paper, showing how I started it, what it looked like before shading, and how it turned out after shading.

Then 4th picture shows what it looks like in the app I use to make the whites whiter and the darks darker. Under it is a picture of what it looks like flipped, which I will do with your drawings because it's going to be lasered from the back.

The 5th picture (both top and bottom) show what it actually needs to look like when I send it to the laser cutter. I have to flip the colors because the areas that were light in my original drawing will need to be lasered more so that they are brighter when the light is on.

I will show you the finished keychain soon.

Jan. 4, 2021

All Clubs

Happy new year! I hope your break was relaxing and fun-filled. We will have just one more activity for all clubs for the month of January. I am hoping that we will be able to go back to being in school in person in February. If we do, you will need to sign up again for the spring session.

Your last project for January is this:

Design your own light-up keychain. If you have a ruler, I want you to look at how small I would make these keychains. They will be 2 inches on the longer side, or 2 inches wide if they are circles.

Here are the rules:

- Your design needs to be black and white, possible with shades of gray. The black (and gray) parts will be the parts that will be lighting up. If you have gray areas, they will be engraved a bit less than the black areas. If you look at the second picture on the right, you will see an example of where there were gray areas in the picture. For this one, I had to invert the colors (made black white and white black). You don't have to worry about doing that. We will talk about whether or not I need to do it after you submit your drawing.

- If you have gray areas, you will need to blend them, like shading with a pencil. Gray areas don't look good if there is no blending.

- If there are words on your image, you have to use your own handwriting, not a font. Also, please do not use images you found online for your keychain.

- You will need to submit your image to me by the end of the month or else it's not going to be made into a keychain.

- You are free to draw on paper or use an app.

Remember that I am on Zoom Mondays to Thursdays, 3:00-4:00 for club-related questions. Please do not tell me you didn't finish it because you didn't know what to do. If something isn't clear, just ask. Thanks!

Dec. 10, 2020

All Clubs

This will probably be the last announcement till after winter break. I've posted about what you need to do to create your ornaments. Each club has a different one. Please check the Zoom club channels for details. I will accept projects till next week. I will need time to provide feedback and send them back to you for changes, if needed. Send them to me as soon as possible, so we have more time to adjust your works and I can get your ornaments to you before winter break.

Happy holidays to all.

Dec. 1, 2020

All Clubs


STEM Club, your instruction video is on the Zoom STEM Club channel. I made a new one with simpler instructions than what I first planned on.

All clubs are now one virtual club. After we are done with our ornament projects, we will start the year with something that will be for all my club members. Or, we can still have separate activities, but you would be welcome to do them or ask questions about them any day except Friday.

Everyone is welcome to join my Zoom meetings for check-ins and chatting, Mondays-Thursdays, 3:00-4:00pm. As always, I would like to leave Fridays open, in case I need to recharge or start my weekend early. If you show up to the meetings or share your progress on your project with me all 4 days, that's 4 days of attendance.

I usually answer private chats in the evening, and that will still count for attendance if we are talking about club projects. Off-topic chats can happen in the 3:00-4:00 meeting. I'm going to say, though, that you shouldn't expect any replies from me after 8:00pm. I usually need to start settling down at that time.

I will add more information as needed.

Nov. 23, 2020

Design Club

In Zoom, I have created a Design Club channel and added club members to it. This is where I will make announcements and send files you will need. If you notice, there is already one image file sent. If you were not with me yesterday, please watch the video below.

Doodle Club

See the video instructions below for your ornament.

Nov. 17, 2020

All Clubs

Detailed instructions, possibly with video, will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

Nov. 16, 2020

All Clubs

Folks, everyone will be going virtual. The good news is, you are all my contacts on Zoom; it was a good thing that we took the time to take care of that. From now on, the instructions on this page will be more detailed so you can follow them at home more easily. If you have any questions, please ask me on Zoom (or if you know how, you can email me too). We can do hard things! Also, it's holiday ornament season, so we can do fun things!

Week of Nov. 9, 2020


Design Club

This week, we are finishing work on our pop-up cards. Please send a photo (or a video) of it when you are done. I will be sending a few files for the next project, which will be a long multi-part one for the holidays. Stay tuned!

Doodle Club

This week, I would like you to download and use Drawerings (from Self-Service). You should have it available to you, as a member of my clubs. Do the following after you open the app:

1. Go to the upper left corner and click on the 3 horizontal lines (menu).

2. Find "Mirror count", click on 10, and choose 6.

3. Find "Brush width" and choose 20. Can it be thinner? Maybe; 15 might be okay. If you are using a brush thinner than that, you will definitely have to figure out a way to make your lines thicker.

4. Click anywhere on the right to get out of the menu.

5. Leave "Brush Color" and "Background" on black and white; I will need them to stay that way for my part of the project.

6. In the space in the middle, start designing your snowflake. Does it need to look like an actual snowflake? No. You can make it your own unique design. It can have letters or any shape you can think of. Use the "Undo Last" and "Clear Canvas" if you need to.

7. Notice that your lines (especially if you are drawing slowly) look fuzzy. You can do two things: make faster strokes to make them smoother, or go over them again.

8. When you think you have a good design, touch the save icon right above "Clear Canvas". If it makes you choose between "Online" and "Local", choose "Local". If it asks you if the app can access your photos, click "Yes" or "Okay". Your artwork will not save if you don't allow the app to access your photos.

Things to think about:

* I would like your lines to be as smooth as possible because I would like to not have to spend too much time smoothing things out before I cut your design out of wood (see the image above). Yes, your snowflake will be an actual ornament that I will either mail or deliver to you.

* I asked your lines to be a certain thickness because if it's too thin, your ornament will break.

* If you choose to change the colors, I will ask you to start over. I truly need the image to be black and white.* When you send me your artwork, I may have feedback for you. You will most likely need to redo your work if this happens.

* VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure that all parts of your design are connected. Anything that's floating (think the dot above "i") will not be attached to your ornament.

Have fun and reach out if you have questions. You will have a couple of weeks to work on this.

STEM Club

First of all, thank you for all the hard work you put into designing your games. Now, we're going to focus on the holidays. Because STEM has E for engineering, you now have the task of building an ornament.

As with Doodle Club above, your ornament will be made of wood. However, your ornament will be round. "Where is the engineering in that?", you might ask. Well, your ornament will need to be multilayered. There will be at least 3 layers (but not more than 5), including the back, which is a solid circle.

There are many examples of layered ornaments online, but I don't want you to copy those. I want your ornament to be unique. Some of them have sceneries, so there might be a mountain in the background and various things in front. Some have names. Some have patterns. You are in charge of what you want to do.

Please use the template I am sending you. You can open the PDF on Notability and draw there.

Things to think about:

* All parts of your design need to be attached the circle somehow. While it is possible to glue things down, I am not spending the time to do that. Please make sure everything is connected to the circle at least one way. * Your lines cannot be too thin. If you are using Notability, use the 2 thickest brushes and make sure that you choose the pen style where the width is the same all the way through.

* Please send me a copy every now and then so I can provide feedback. If you send it to me only at the deadline, then you might not get your ornament in time if you have to correct things.

* I don't know how long it will take to work on this, because I am not sure how much time I have to spend on looking your projects over and giving feedback. I will let you know when I would like this project to be finished, so I have time to make them and deliver them.

Week of Nov. 2, 2020


Design Club

This week, we are continuing work on our pop-up cards. My expectation is that we will be done with this next week...that gives you 2 more Tuesdays to work on it. Please feel free to send me a photo of your finished work. The video is still linked above, in case you need it.

Doodle Club

If you drew everyday objects with shading last week, then today is a free draw day. If you did pingpong ball eyeballs, then read below:

This week's theme: Everyday objects

This week's technique: Shading...we are only using pencils (regular or colored) because markers are not the best media for shading.

Remember that your drawings should be about the size of a post-it note. They are this small so that you can pack in the details and not worry about finishing a whole big picture.

STEM Club

Games are expected to be finished this week. Please choose one of the following options: 1) make and send a quick video showing your game and explaining the basic rules of the game, or) send a photo and write out the rules of your game in Google Docs or any app you like.

Week of Oct. 26, 2020


Design Club

In case you didn't get the hint, your job is to create your own pop-up card. If you'd like you can try to copy one of the examples shown in the video. It's going to take much longer than it shows, just because the video does not show all the steps. It would take maybe half an hour or more to come up with a good one.

If you would like to challenge yourself, make it Halloween-themed (or pick another occasion).

Doodle Club

This week's theme: Everyday objects

This week's technique: Shading...we are only using pencils (regular or colored) because markers are not the best media for shading.

Watch this video to learn about shading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WR-FyUQc6I. At mark 0:42, the artist shows what pressure control means. At 2:35, she talks about shading smoothly. At 3:24, she discusses light and shadow. At 7:25, you can shade along.

In-person members will actually be working on pingpong ball eyeballs (with Sharpies), so if that's something you might want to try, go ahead, and you can do the everyday objects/shading project next week. If you do both this week, next week can be a "free draw" week. What is "free draw"? It's a time when students don't have a particular topic or technique to work with, and any size of paper can be used.

Remember that your drawings should be about the size of a post-it note. They are this small so that you can pack in the details and not worry about finishing a whole big picture.

STEM Club

At this point, your game should be in the process of being finished. What that means is color is being added, and changes after testing have been made. The expectation is that it will be done by next week. See if you can Zoom with me and show me what you've come up with.

Week of Oct. 19, 2020


Design Club ONLY

Continue working on your round keychain. There's a slight change in plans. Your keychains will not be made of wood. They will be made of white acrylic (plastic); it saves me a couple of steps in the process. You still need to work on a round design and expect to have a hole near the top (but not so close to the edge, or it will snap and break easily).

Doodle Club

This week's theme: Name

This week's technique (pick one): Symmetry ("Symmetry" is where something is repeated/reflected at least one time, like a butterfly or a star...see some examples here) or squares ("Squares" means everything is made up of squares.)

Remember that your drawings should be about the size of a post-it note. They are this small so that you can pack in the details and not worry about finishing a whole big picture.

STEM Club

You should be done with your draft. I mailed out your dice and game tokens; I hope you already got them or will get them soon. Please start coloring and finalizing your game, but only after you've tested it.

Pretend you are 2 players, or find someone else to test the game with. This will help you find possible problems with your design before you make everything permanent. Possible problems might be sending a player to a space that asks them to do something else (e.g. sending someone 2 steps back, and the space 2 steps back sends them forward 2 steps...and they are stuck going back and forth).

Week of Oct. 12, 2020


Design Club & Doodle Club

This week, most people are done working on (and will get their masks). Some still need to submit their masks. In-person attendees will learn how to log into Zoom for 2 reasons: 1) in case we go to hybrid or distance learning in school, we will need to check in through Zoom, and 2) it's easy to attach digital work or photos in Zoom for submission.

Something that all members are expected to reflect on this week is: How did my mask turn out? I will admit that I did "clean up" some of the artwork, which means I took some pencil and marker marks off. This is the only time it will happen. From now on, what you give me is what will be used.

Are you happy with your masks?

What can be improved for next time?

Typically, when you are designing, your first artwork isn't the final artwork. There are a lot of retouching and redoing in between.

Have you ever had your artwork be placed on an actual product before? If not, how does it feel to see your artwork on something you are using?

Design Club ONLY

Look at the picture above. These are small displays in the new media center. Each square is about 2 1/2" tall. They are wood that were spray painted white and then laminated. Then the image was printed in mirror image and "ironed" onto the laminated wood. It sounds like a lot of steps, I know.

Your job is to create a design on paper, with these in mind:

- Your design needs to be roundish. I don't expect a perfect circle and it's probably better that you trace a circle from something around you (roll of tape, cup, etc.).

- Your design needs to be in color. Use crayons, markers, or colored pencils. The brighter and neater your coloring, the better.

- This will be a keychain or a zipper pull, so expect that there will be a small hole near the top. You might not want to have an important part of your design near the top.

- If you would like, you can have 2 different designs. Tell me which one you like better. I am not promising that there will be 2 sides to the keychain, but there might be.

- I expect a lot of good details in your drawings. A detailed drawing takes at least half an hour to finish.

- I don't expect to see you on Zoom today, but if you've read these instructions, send me a message on Zoom telling me exactly that. Also, ask me questions, if something needs to be clearer.

Doodle Club

This week's theme: Nature

This week's technique (pick one): Circles, or swirls and spirals

Please note that if you pick circles, everything needs to be made up of circles.

Remember that your drawings should be about the size of a post-it note. They are this small so that you can pack in the details and not worry about finishing a whole big picture.

STEM Club

You should be at least halfway through your draft, if not close to done with it. I will be mailing out your dice and game tokens. You will get an assortment of dice sizes and can decide which one(s) to use for your game. You may also start coloring and finalizing your game, but only after you've tested it. I am hoping you have some dice and game tokens you can "borrow" from another game in your house.

Pretend you are 2 players, or find someone else to test the game with. This will help you find possible problems with your design before you make everything permanent. Possible problems might be sending a player to a space that asks them to do something else (e.g. sending someone 2 steps back, and the space 2 steps back sends them forward 2 steps...and they are stuck going back and forth).

You don't need to be on Zoom during club time, but do send me a message saying you've read the instructions for this week.

Week of Oct. 5, 2020


All clubs are continuing works in progress.

Week of Sept. 28, 2020


Design Club

Hello, students! Your first task is to read club rules posted here. We will go over club rules in person during our first meeting, if you want to join us in Zoom.

After that, start working on our first project: designing a mask. Before you think about designing your mask, I want you to take a look here to see what I have done with mine. This is the kind of mask that your designs will be printed on. They are 3-ply cotton masks that may be white or off-white.

Here are the things I want you to keep in mind:

- In my examples, sometimes I used some images that I have permission to use. I did draw the geckos. I expect you to use all original artwork; use your own drawings. Please avoid using images from popular games, TV shows, movies, etc., because these are copyrighted images.

- I encourage you to put your name or initials somewhere on your design. This is not a requirement, but it might be handy.

- You can either draw on paper or use an iPad app to make your design. Either way, I would like to get your design by Oct. 9th (Friday); this gives you 2 weeks to work on this project. I will be printing them out over the weekend (Oct. 10th or 11th) and will get your masks to you the next week. You can easily find me in your school Gmail account (type in Anna Kelly). If you draw on paper, find a place and time with good lighting, and take a picture of your artwork to share with me.

- If you look closely at my examples, you will notice that the designs are only in the middle and do not touch the edges of the mask. The reason for this is that the mask is not flat on the edges and it is impossible to get the design to stick to all the areas near the edges. If you are drawing on paper, make your work area about 4 inches wide and 3 inches high.

- Your final design cannot have a rectangular border around it if you don't want the border to be printed on your mask. Also think about not coloring all the way to the edge; or else, when it's printed, there are sharp edges on your design that will look like it got cut off.

- Please ask me questions if something is not clear to you. Feel free to check in and ask what could be improved.

Doodle Club

Our first project is the same as Design Club's first project. If you are in both Design and Doodle Clubs, then lucky you! You get 2 masks!

STEM Club

Hello, students! Your first task is to read club rules posted here. We will go over club rules in person during our first meeting, if you want to join us in Zoom.

After that, start working on our first project: designing a board game.

Here are the things I want you to keep in mind: - You may use any paper, cardboard, poster board, etc. that you have available to you. My advice would be to not make it so big that it takes a long time to color or decorate.

** Before you start drawing, think about these questions:

~ What is the theme or topic of my board game?

~ How do players move in the game? Is there a straight path? Does it go around the border of the board? Is it a curvy path that uses up most of the board?

~ What decides how many spaces the players move? Cards? Dice?

~What bonuses are in my game? "Move forward" spaces? Shortcuts?

~ What obstacles are in my game? "Move back" spaces? Lose a turn?

**As you are designing your game (hopefully making light marks with a pencil, so they're easy to erase), think about these questions:

~ Are there equal numbers of bonuses and obstacles? Too many bonuses might end up with a game that's too easy. Too many obstacles might make the game too difficult or even impossible to win.

~ Am I paying attention to what I am writing in the spaces? Ideally, when players move back or forward, the spaces they land on are blank. If the spaces aren't blank, players might take a long time bouncing from one place to another during one turn.

~ How much work am I giving myself? If you are thinking about a game that involves drawing cards or keeping score, remember that these additional things will take time to make and even more time to troubleshoot (make sure that they work with the game smoothly). Are you providing paper and pencil for scoring? In-person students will not get materials for all these extras.

**TIPS:

~ Play your game with other people (Portage) or yourself as two or three players (in-person) after you have penciled everything in. As you are playing, keep track of the parts of your game that might need changing (if you do run into trouble while playing).

~ Listen to the other players' opinions and suggestions. Sometimes it is hard for us to hear about what is wrong with what we made. I can assure you that game designers all have to go through this before their games are made and sold. What do they like about your game? What don't they like about your game?

~ Keep track of how much time you are spending explaining the rules of the game. If it seems like you are telling a long story, or if people are asking you many questions about the rules as you are playing (or if you have no answers for the questions), you might want to think about making things simpler.

~ I strongly discourage you from having a "jail" in your game; in my experience, players have difficulty figuring out how people get out of jail if there are no cards in the game.

Your games are due for presentation on Nov. 5th. On that day, you are expected to be on Zoom to present it to other club members. That means that you have about a month to work on it; in-person members have a little over 3 hours to work on it. In-person members will also be presenting theirs, and you are welcome to watch and share your thoughts on Zoom. Traditionally, we tested each other's games; however, because of the current situation, it is not possible to rotate and test games in small groups.