Don’t you love the coziness of a crackling fire? You can pull your rocking chair right up to it and do a little weaving or read a good book. I think background ambiance can set a mood, so I have been using screensavers at school to do just that. If you have a projector, a screen, and the internet here are a list of the best screen savers on YouTube for your classroom.
Here is a picture of my classroom ready for Friendsgiving with the fireplace on the screen in the background.
It all started with an episode of Bob Ross's Joy of Painting (Netflix). I showed it during some open studio time in the classroom just as background noise. Bob, as you know, is wonderful and so soothing so he was a perfect choice while my students created. It was open studio time, so the students were busy working and I was walking around slowly giving advice and directions for their projects. I noticed a few students actually watching the Bob Ross video instead of working, and I redirected them to continue working on their own artwork. After this I went in search for a video that could set a mood but also be background. I didn't want students to be caught up in watching the screen like they watched the Bob Ross video. YouTube is filled with screensavers, many are 5 to 10 hours so I don't have to worry about what is on the overhead screen. I can literally, like the commercial says, set it and forget it. These are in no particular order, I encourage you to try them all.
1. Crackling Fireplace
I use this one on a cold snowy day, and it seems to warm up the room. It is also good for story time, time when students are laying on the big pillows weaving, and for Holiday parties. FYI- This one is 10 hours!
2. Aquarium (Water Zoos)
Even my college students love an aquarium. I have the Monterey Bay Aquarium Jelly Fish webcam as a permeant tab open on my laptop so I can click right to it and see the jellies. They also have webcams on otters if that is more your style. This is great for any “under the sea” unit or just to get your students to draw from life in a quick manner. Click the image of the jellyfish to be taken to the Monterey Bay Live Cams. The Jellyfish cam has music playing behind the swimming jellies, but the other webcams such as the otters or sharks do not. I go back and forth on the music so the following YouTube link is an aquarium screensavers without the music.
Here is a second Aquarium with natural sounds instead of music in the background.
Being from a land-locked state I love the ocean, but do not get to visit as much as I would like. This ocean waves helps and is very soothing to hear and see the waves come in and go out with the tides.
4. Winter Snow
Just as the ocean waves is a hit in the middle of winter because it gets us dreaming of warmer weather, when school starts in September and it is still Hot, Hot, Hot, try this YouTube video of a snowstorm. It might also be a great screen saver on the day you are painting that polar bear in a snowstorm.
5. Birds in the trees
It feels like a hike in the middle of your day. This screen saver is a gem to play in the background on any day but especially on a day when you might be working on drawing birds or insects.
6. Cave sounds
My pre-service teachers showed me this video that they used with their cave art lesson. It was a great addition to the overall class period and really set a tone that we were in a cave.
I know there are others, comment below on the ones you use in your classroom on a daily basis or for special assignments.
I teach Art Education at Pittsburg State University. Here is what is going on in my classes.