Thursday, February 26, 2015


So I have never been a big fan of the "give something up for lent" thing.  I have heard enough people talk about giving up things they know are bad for themselves in attempt to loose weight or because they want the extra $3.00 a day in their pocket.  Pretty sure that wasn't the point. 

Last year I heard about a "take something up for lent" challenge and I kinda liked it.  Rather than depriving yourself, add one thing to your 40 days that you don't currently do.  I added bible study into the my day last year.  Doing it for 40 days without missing didn't prove doable but it was soooo much better than giving something up.  

Yesterday a friend shared her bible study with me and here it is:

Rest in my presences, allowing Me to take charge of this day.  Do not bolt into the day like a racehorse suddenly released.  Instead, walk purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one step at a time.  Thank Me for each blessing along the way; this brings joy to both you and Me. 
 A grateful heart protects you from negative thinking.  
Thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower upon you daily.  Your prayers and petitions are winged into heaven's throne room when they are permeated with thanksgiving.  In everything give thanks, for this is My will for you. 

And so it is with her message that I am challenging people to add having a grateful heart this Lenten season.  I will be marking my "grateful's" on twitter with the hashtag #40daysgrateful.  I won't claim to be perfect but I think that being grateful for the blessings in my life and for the biggest gift of Christ dying on the cross will help me see the abundance I am showered with each day. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Undercover teachers

Today I had to be gone for the afternoon.  We had Crisis Response Team Training at Central Office.

As of yesterday morning I still didn't have a sub.

By the end of the day I had a sub.  It wasn't one of the 3 I had requested but it was going to work.

This morning I was notified that my sub had called in sick.

At 10:45 my sub's sub came in my door...

oh my....

My heart sank.  How as this going to work?  My kids were going to eat her alive.  I had written out some good plans, created a PowerPoint slide show for the sub to work through and was really prepared but I doubted she could handle it.  She added to my fears when she said, "This seems really well put together.  We have about 45 minutes per class?  Well if all else fails, I will just tell stories."

Oh no!

At that moment I took a deep breath, counted to 10 and called in the "undercover teachers."  I pulled the 2 best students from each class and met with them.  I told them what the plan was, where to find stuff and gave them the task of "teaching the class" without "teaching the class."  They were excited and giggly.

I stopped back up after school (I didn't want to start my Friday off with a shock) and things looked o-k-a-y.  The printmaking blocks were in a messy pile and some of the liquid watercolors were looking a little "mixed" but that was all.  I can handle that.

I can't wait to check with my undercover teachers and see how it really went.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Reduction Printmaking

This quarter 3 of my 12 sections of art have class on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.  I decided it would be perfect for them to create reduction prints instead of simple block prints.  Like their classmates they used the images of Joan Miro and images from science class to create their prints. The only difference is that they used their images to create a reduction print.

Here is a video I use to help them understand the difference. 

They created some pretty neat images. 

You can check out more at Artsonia

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Block Printmaking....

Printmaking might be one of my favorite things to teach.  It is magic to watch the kids figure it out. 
This year we looked at the artwork of Joan Miro
 at the same time the students were studying microscopic images of bacteria in science.  

We used both of these images to design an image for their printmaking image.  
They turned out pretty nice. 

You can check out more of them at Artsonia

So how do we do it...
  1. I introduced the students to the work of Joan Miro and we came to agree that his made up creatures and shapes reminded us of what they were seeing in science class.  They used their prior knowledge and the Miro images to sketch out two ideas.
  2. They drew their favorite image onto a 4"x4" square of paper.  They colored the "black" areas black and left the white areas.  We used bone folders to transfer these images to the safety-kut blocks.
  3. Students carved away the white areas, leaving the dark areas alone.  
  4. When they finished carving, they printed 4 copies of their image onto two papers.  
  5. After letting the images dry, the students trimmed, signed and numbered their images.   
have to love my red "hiding the printmaking ink" nails...
it takes me back to the color theme of my jr. high bedroom redo. 
This year I had them practice carve on small extra blocks so that we could use the back side for another project.  Stay tuned for those results!