Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back at 2014

In the last 12 hours I read 2 blogs What the Art Teacher Wore and Art is Basic from art teachers in which they looked back over the past year. Since I'm new to blogging I thought I would follow their lead and look back over the last year.

In February we had our county fair and we were encouraged to do still life with our students. They really enjoyed learning how to shadow. In addition to the school exhibit in which we are required to participate, we have a separate art exhibit to showcase other student art. AND that's the one that gives out RIBBONS!!! This year we received  a couple of honorable mentions!
March was the month in which I drove the entire school community crazy reminding them, daily, to vote for me at Thank a Million Teachers so that I could win a grant for iPads in my art room.
As you can see it WORKED!!! We actually had a presentation and I now have one of those SUPER BIG CHECKS! Thank a Million Teachers is funded by Farmers Insurance. You might want to consider talking to them about your insurance needs as they are doing really great things for educators.

 The National Art Educators conference was in March in San Diego. It was the third national conference I attended and the first time I presented at one.
At conference I was part of a teacher advisory committee for Faber-Castell (not sure how I got so lucky!) but they gave us free stuff! My students were extremely impressed with the quality of the materials. Oh, happy day! Oh, happy day! (actually singing this in my head...)
In April, I brought my 4th grade students to see their art displayed at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.  This was the first time many of my students ever visited an art museum. It gave me the opportunity to expand their knowledge on a variety of art related careers.
May is mask making month for our 5th grade students and they did an incredible job this year! I promise to blog about this in May 2015.
SUMMER VACATION this past year was filled with wonderful professional development opportunities as well as time to play! I played at a workshop given by the Florida Art Educators Association at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota.
I also did a family vacation in DC for a week, sent them all home and stayed another 2 weeks on my own for 2 of the most incredible teacher institutes. The first one NAEA's  Summer Vision DC with Renee Sandell. This is where I had the opportunity to visit several different museums and learn how museum educators teach art using the art they have on display. The activities I learned were priceless and I promise to share them in the future!
The second week I was at The National Gallery of Art for their Summer Teacher Institute. I actually received a fellowship to attend which helped offset the cost of airfare and the hotel. The focus was on the French Impressionists and I learned so much, not so that my head would explode, but enough to feel like an intellect! It was just amazing how all the information about the artists and art movements came together and made so much sense. And they gave out a ton of free stuff, for me, to use with my students.
August was back to school and the really special thing to happen was that my daughter accepted a 7th grade math position at my school. We would work together this ONE year as my home school, that is being renovated, will be ready to go back to in 2015.
October was the conference for the Florida art educators where I had the opportunity to hang with Nancy Walkup, editor of School Arts magazine. She is the ONE person that has inspired me the MOST to attend conferences, professional workshops and to blog!
 Also, got to chat up our president of the FAEA, Karen Noble.
 And I met the Florida Teacher of the year, who happens to be an ART teacher, ChristieBassett.
Upon returning from that conference I started my blog! My goal is to inform and inspire other art teachers to do fun activities with their students while teaching art to them. Hopefully I am succeeding.

November was a crazy month which found me in Nashville for 2 separate weeks. The first week of the month was mostly spent at Vanderbuilt University Medical Center, where my son had open heart surgery. Long story, he is doing great and is back to work! And let's say after the sub that was in my room that week, I feel really appreciated! Then I was back up for Thanksgiving and enjoyed some fun family time.

December was our first concert/art show for the school year. Apparently didn't get around to taking any photos. It's still up and I guess I have a photo op to get back to. Also, starting to think about the exhibits for next year. Two more concert/art shows, the county fair, the museum and the district office display. AND I will need to start packing to return to my home school. It's all good!

Hope you all have a happy and healthy new year! And thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Mini Art

Wow! Where has the time gone? It's been OVER a week since my last blog and I have NO idea what has kept me SO busy........  However, it appears I am on level 327 of Candy Crush.......
I seriously need to get an exercise bike to use when I play, this way I can burn calories as I lose brain cells.
Back to blogging........ I mentioned in a previous post that my students exhibit at a local museum.
The exhibit will be up middle of January to the middle of February.  I have planned a field trip for the fourth grade to see, not only their work in the student gallery, but other galleries as well. When I do this exhibit of student work, I try to consider what will be hanging up in the other galleries at the same time. AND there will be an exhibit from The Miniature Art Society of Florida. Soooooo I showed my students this video-of The Miniature Art Society's display at the Leepa-Rattner. Introduced them to a display of art posters that I put up AND then tied it in with the concept of Artist Trading Cards then they got to work!
I told students to think of their favorite projects from previous years to inspire them. One of last year's favorite projects was our 17th century ships. I also had an example of a Grant Wood landscape I was doing with the 2nd & 3rd grade up on the board.
I felt the need to bring home all the mini art, to mount, since I'm on winter break.
Check it out! Some of you may notice that I am using covers that were left over from the sketchbooks. Also, it occurred to me that I could use the scrap paper, the wonderful data entry person, always saves for me. (Thank you, Patty!!)

I consider this to have been a really great lesson from many different perspectives. First of all the cost to do this was ZERO! Second, students actually finished their work (and many of them more then one piece). Third, it freed up the students to do something that was somewhat unstructured (in other words, I was pushing the creativity aspect). And finally, most of them will get to see their work in a REAL, LIVE MUSEUM! 
Are there things I would do differently next time? Upon reflection, yes, I think I was a little unprepared. Next time I need to consider starting earlier, and perhaps push the different genres or art styles a little more. Maybe have more samples of previous student work up OR have students complete mini art before or after doing larger art. It's all good, us art teachers are the best at being lifetime learners!

Thanks for reading! Hope you all have a wonderful winter break!
And, let me know if you have a museum that displays work from your students!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Fairy Doors NEED Fairies!

The response at school to my Fairy Doors from last week has been amazing. Actually magical! Our younger students (k, 1st & 2nd) have been seeing the doors everywhere. Not sure that they are ONLY seeing the doors we put up.......... But it's all good!  Like I mentioned in my blog about the doors last week, I had not thought past making them and hanging them up. That is until people started to ask me about them. I'm gonna stick with: Did it make you smile? Did it start a conversation? Did it inspire creativity? Someone commented that it was a random act of art. All of which sounds good to me!!

Well, since it is the last few days before winter break........ And all the little ones have been inspired by Fairy Doors.......... I guess the next thing to do is to draw fairies!

This book was absolutely PERFECT for this lesson! All the students got what Alice was doing as she spoke about being a temporary fairy. I gathered students on the carpet and read them the book. Afterwards, I did a step by step drawing of a fairy for them, while modelling the use of shapes to draw figures. This poster was on the board and students had photocopies to work with at their tables.
Here they are drawing their fairies.

They added color with markers and colored pencils.

 I realize there is controversy over whether or not we should do guided drawing. I believe it is important to help students feel successful.  It also helps them to look more closely when producing their art.  And it's not like they still can't be creative!
 Bet you didn't know there are fairy aliens and fairy dogs!!

Students were encouraged to add doors. This lesson had students engaged, they were creative and a good time was had by all! I believe this is the start of a tradition!

What traditions have you started at your school?  Thanks for reading!

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