Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Art Folders

I was looking back through my files and realized that I had yet to share what my 6th graders had done for their art folders this year.  Yikes!

This year they created their name in "Graffiti Style."

We started with a discussion of graffiti art vs. vandalism.   Then we identified the main characteristics of graffiti letters.  Finally we watched this video by a graffiti artist.  Then they got to work and created these:

You can check out more over at ARTSONIA

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


I was finishing up my last class before lunch/recess duty and there was a girl in there who was really "fighting me" on doing her project.  This students is strong willed and vocal but today she was really against what I wanted her to do. (Contour line drawing)

I asked her to stay after class for a moment to talk with her.  I shared that this type of drawing might not be "her thing" but that it is one more tool in her toolbox.  Her argument was that she is good at drawing what she likes but she can't do anything else.

Then she got me... she said, "remember last year when I drew my face and you made me redo it because I had put a hat on it because I can't draw eyes."  OUCH... this was something that I truly can not recall.  I can't recall the assignment or the conversation but it obviously STUCK with her and is impacting her view of her ability to make art.  This is one of my worst fears come be that teacher that ruined art for someone.  

With 600+ students I  can't always give them each 100% all day, every day, all the time. Classes are in and out in 45 minutes once a week... but my 5 second comment has stuck with her for over a year.

I will go forward from here taking a little more time to reflect on what I am saying and how I am saying it... and I pray that I make it up to her this year and help rebuild her confidence.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Kindness in Chalk

Nic Hahn at MiniMatisse was awesome enough to share minimammasadventures Kindness in Chalk Challenge. I love, love, loved the idea.  So I checked the weather and saw we would be dry Thursday night into Friday.  That meant my Thursday night Aftershock (an after school program) kiddo's could "chalk bomb" the school in preparation for Friday.  

We read some stats about bullying, brainstormed somethings we could write or drawings we could draw and headed outside.
my awesome artists... showing some love!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Look what I saw...

I started my day looking at the lunar eclipse.

Then I saw this...

One of my students had their image on Artsonia's homepage!  That was soooo awesome!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Radial Design

Yesterday I told you about the inspirARTion app.  Today I have to show you what my 6th graders have been doing with it.  On Wednesday's we focus on computer and iPad designed art.  Last week they were asked to define and create radial designs.  They had so much fun and the finished projects were pretty impressive.

It makes me want to invest in a lot of Spirographs... anyone, anyone!

Check out more of them here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

inspiARTion app

This summer in one of my classes we had to look at apps we could use on Google.  I downloaded a few and once class was over I didn't think twice about them.  Last week I was exploring ways to teach the color wheel to my 5th graders in a simple way before we venture into paint mixing and I came across an app I downloaded this summer.
The app is called inspirARTion and it has some really fun features (and its FREE).  The two that I have really found to be unique are under symmetry.  You can choose vertical or horizontal lines of symmetry.  As you draw above the line it is transferred to below the line.... like magic.   Check out my name drawing that I quickly created:
InspirARTion (3).png

Also under symmetry is "kaleidoscope" which allows you to choose 4-10 axis.  As you draw in one "piece of the pie" it copies the drawing to all the others.  I am letting the students explore and the kids are love, love, loving it.  Their assignment requirements are to use the colors of the color wheel in color order, get creative, show good craftsmanship and upload it to artsonia with an artist statement.  So far they are rocking it!

Here are a few examples:
Titled Sonic Boom... what he thinks a sonic boom would look like.
I see a science lesson starting here. 

You can check out all of them at ARTSONIA

Friday, October 3, 2014


This time last year I was not a fan of twitter...

It seemed like ONE MORE THING that I was supposed to be doing but who has time?

Then I attended an NATA (Nebraska Art Teachers Association) conference hosted by Timothy Bogatz (check him out here and here).  He was talking about using twitter in his classroom and it seemed really interesting.  Then he told us about tweetdeck... and I was SOLD!

My biggest hangup about twitter was getting trapped in a time suck.  You know, like when you go to facebook or Target to look for one quick thing and find yourself still there an hour later... and you still don't have the one thing you went there for. Tweetdeck allows me to organize all my twitter information in an orderly manner.
From one screen I can compose and send tweets, I can scroll through my home feed (everyone I follow), I can see any interactions with my account (who is following me, who favorited or retweeted my tweets, etc), I can create searches and follow relevant #hashtags, I can search for a specific person or #hashtag... and so much more.  This website is the reason I felt comfortable jumping into tweeting!

No I have two main reasons for LOVING twitter.
  1. I can easily interact with other teachers, even those I don't follow.  If you tweet out a topic or search for a #hashtag you can be connected with other "experts" in less than 24 hours, sometimes minutes.  You can also search by hashtags for topics that you want to know more about.  
  2. I can QUICKLY share what we are doing in the artroom.  I don't always have time to write an entire blog post about one fun thing but I can quickly tweet it out.  Just this week I have tweeted about a students "What it means to be an artist" card and a naughty lady who painted on her hand.  
* bonus reason to love twitter is to search for the emmys/oscars/etc and read the hilarious tweets that roll through while these events are happening.  

Funny thing is that now there are even times I get a "twitter high"  Like when the Jon Gordon retweeted my tweet about him or when someone like ArtwithMrE likes one of  my tweets.  It's like I really talked with that person and I get all giggly.