Wednesday, April 25, 2012


My planning calendar was set to expire on Friday so I updated it.
I swear it can't be right.  
Only 4 more weeks (starting next Monday it will be 3 1/2).
I really don't know where the school year went.  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wonder how they did it...

Teaching has to be way different today than a few years ago...  
Here is a picture of my desk today. 

I looked at my desk and was blown away with the technology I was running.  I have two iPads (borrowed from another teacher) uploading student created videos about Helen Frankenthaler to YouTube.  I have my Google reader open to share my daily goodies with me.  I have my smart board running in prep for the upcoming class that we will start with a few videos... and I took the picture on my digital camera before uploading it to my blog.  

I am still loving my coffee, keeping paper grades (before they go online to our computerized grade book and attendance program), using #2 pencils, turning in lesson plans and teaching about art.  

However, I can't help but feel that I do it a little different today than they did years ago... no overhead transparencies, mimeographed copies or outdated textbooks have been used in here for quite a while!  

One last thing before I go... I have been hosting our Celebrating creativity classes (just not posting about them as much).  A few weeks ago we did George Segal and his plaster sculptures.  We wore rubber gloves and covered our hand (loosely) with plaster strips.  Check out Megan's awesome hand! The world is air dry clay.  
She is definitely one student who I would love to see fail 6th grade... just so I can keep her one more year!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Portrait Project

For a while I have been writing that I was going to tell you more about this portrait project idea that I had... well here it is.

#1  I created 25 different "cards" with each one showcasing a different style of portrait.  It had a photo example, a title and a written definition.  I also listed the medium that would be used.

#2  The students "drew" a card to find out what their portrait style would be.  I allowed them to trade among themselves at their tables.

#3  The students spent 3 weeks working on designing and creating a self-portrait that reflected the style of their card.  They finished the lesson by writing an artist statement for their display.

Reflecting on the lesson, it was really neat to see everything happening at once BUT it was too much.  Every medium was out.  Every student was working on something different.  Everyone needed something.  However, I loved all the unique ways they solved the "problems."  If I do this lesson again, I will be drawing a single "card" for each class period.  

Friday, April 13, 2012

So gonna start my year with this...

Earlier this year I cleaned out our playroom at home; which included going through all my stuff from school and student teaching.  It seems that 12 years ago I printed a lesson from ...and then it sat in a folder. Having taught for 11 years I have a better feel for things I would really use so I eliminated a lot of "stuff."  ( I shudder at the thought of how much I spent on plastic page protectors and 3 ring binders in college)  I kept this lesson and filed it into "fun sub plans."

Yesterday I was gone putting up the district art show (more on that later) and Mrs. Couch taught the lesson... she said the kids LOVED it so I thought I would give it a go today.  

I have decide that this is how I am going to start 5th grade art next year.  

  1. Start the class by sharing that we are taking a test.  We are testing their listening and creativity.  
  2. Give them the directions, one at a time.
  3. Let them finish the drawings with crayons (or any medium)
  4. Starting with 15-20 minutes left in class tell them they have to do the "written" part of the test, but that they can work together.  I made them answer 4 questions... 1) did everyone at your table follow the directions? 2) how are your images the same? 3) how are your images different? 4) how does this project relate to everything we do in art class?
  5. With the last 6-7 minutes we share answers.  
  6. I ended with a small discussion on "why are grades in art different from student to student if there is no wrong way to solve the problem?"  They told me that it was because of how hard people worked on their projects.  

The projects turned out nice but I am most impressed with their answers to #4.

  • It is original... we each get to do drawing our own way.
  • You have to listen to directions and use creativity.
  • We get to be creative... there are no wrong answers
  • We have to concentrate and listen.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


1:54 and I am going to miss my "hoped for deadline" of 2 a.m.

But... the art show work is almost all boxed up.  Just finishing my sub plans for tomorrow.  It never fails to amaze me how long sub plans take... and I have my favorite sub tomorrow.  She was my long term sub for maternity leave and does a great job.  That is probably why I write more detailed plans for her... I know she can continue/start lessons for me.

good night soon!


Like many art teachers I have been attending these glorious late night matting "parties." (I call them parties so that I feel like I have some sort of social life)  These parties usually require a late night run for a diet coke in the lounge.  Without fail, every time I walk into the dark lounge the coffee maker starts making noise.  KEEP IN MIND IT IS SHUT OFF!  It is plugged in but it is not hooked to water or anything.  It is the only thing that creeps me out about being in a huge, empty school late at night....

10:45 update
yet to do....

done... kinda (still need tags)
That makes 2 a.m. my goal.  Tomorrow is the art show so this is where those college all-nighter skills are put to real life application :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Flip side...

I posted our Georgia O'Keeffe projects and mentioned that we would be doing some Wayne Thiebaud inspired projects to balance out the art mediums we were using.  So... how did we do it?  Those that used chalk pastels for G. O'K used oil pastels for our W T project.  We focused on how he drew food, used shapes  and always had strong shadows.  Theses students drew out their food with oil pastel, focusing on color mixing and creating shadows.  We then painted over them with watercolor.

The students that used oil pastels last time used chalk pastels this time.  We again focused on how he drew food, used shapes  and always had strong shadows. We also talked about how he drew more than one object in his pictures.  We then created a collaborative project (one for each class) with each student drawing one object for our image.  

It was fun to see two different projects from one lesson.  I also loved hearing the classes discuss what each of the other class must have been working on.  "see the shapes... see their shadows..."

I hope everyone had a great Easter.  It is always my favorite holiday... 
Great weather.  Cute new clothes for everyone.  
...and the fact that Christ rose from the dead!   What a wonderful promise we have! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Take a Guess...

Can you guess what are we starting in 6th grade...
I hadn't cleaned the carving tools for a few years.  It was gross all the yuck that came off the handles!  But now we are ready to go!