Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sub Fun with Mondrian

After missing 15 weeks last year to my back surgery I tried really hard to have perfect attendance this year, not counting my attendance at conferences.  However, I've been suffering from some really bad allergies and was just too exhausted one day about 2 weeks ago and I left the following plans. I found this article in Arts and Activities Magazine titled Animals With a Mondrian Twist. Click here for the link to the article by Berniece Patterson.

I left some info for the substitute teacher to read over and share with my students. The article I left was from Scholastic Arts March 2005 issue. Sorry, I couldn't find a way to link it. I also left a poster.

This was such a cool project that I taught it to a class so I could take some action photos!

Years ago I took the book How to Draw 101 Animals apart and photocopied, then laminated the pages and put them in a basket as part of my drawing center.
This really came in handy for my students with this lesson. Click here to find on Amazon.

Check out the beautiful student work that was left for me!


This is a really easy lesson. It reinforces the primary colors as well as horizontal and vertical lines. It gives students some experience with a ruler and some history on the artist Piet Mondrian.

Tomorrow the countdown to the end of school is 4 weeks........ Looking forward to the break!

Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Share Your Talent, Get Published!

For me, one of the most exciting events of the NAEA's Conference in New York City last month was meeting up with the people from Davis Publishing. They are the company that publishes School Arts Magazine. And since I have written some articles and Clip Cards for the magazine I was invited to an Author's Reception.
I was able to visit with my buddy, Nancy Walkup, Editor-in-Chief for School Arts. I have known Nancy since meeting her at a Teacher's Workshop that School Arts runs over the summer in Santa Fe. Read about it here. Nancy is responsible for getting me involved the NAEA and the FAEA and writing this blog! I will be forever grateful to her for inspiring me to be more involved.

I met the publisher of School Arts, Julian Wade. What a really nice guy! We talked for quite a bit. He is so passionate about his company and how important the Arts are for students.

Here is a photo of all the authors in attendance as well as the crew from Davis Publishing.

Now what does it take to share your talent? Let's start by looking at my two most recent clip cards that were published.
Rainbow Fish was published in the January 2017 issue. And Textured Flowers was published in the April 2017 issue.
 Let's look at each section.
The Title of the Clip Card: I use the title I give the lesson when writing lesson plans.

The Essential Question: Basically it's what relates to your standards and what you are teaching. And most of us are already writing them.

Objectives: What your learning goal is for the students. Pretty much the "I can" statement.

Materials: Back in the day when I started writing lesson plans I always wrote a list of what I would need to do the lesson. Just start doing it in your head and think of the different steps and what you would need. Which leads us to.......

Procedures: Which is where you write down those steps! Keep it simple 5-7 steps. You know you can do this, because you have had to write sub plans with step by step directions.

Assessment: How did you assess your students when they finished? Sum it up in one sentence.

Really Important! As you are going around the room assessing student work, take photos to submit with your soon to be published Clip Card....... Okay, it doesn't happen overnight, but I did find out that Clip Cards are the most popular section of the magazine. Oh, and did I mention you get paid for writing them?

So next time you go through your lesson plans, think about what you can share. Clip Cards are written for the following categories: Early Childhood, Elementary, Middle School and High School.

Click here for the link to guidelines and submission info.

I hope to be reading one of your Clip Cards or Articles in School Arts Magazine real soon!!

I know I've been gathering up photos of student work to write up some Clip Cards this summer. It really is this easy!

Thanks for Reading!!!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Torned Paper Bunny

So yesterday was picture day and that meant I really didn't want to do anything involving paint. That left me scrambling a little when it was time for 3rd grade to arrive.

I had recently come across this lesson in my files and thought it would be perfect! My theory when I devised this lesson years ago was to not have to prepare by pre-cutting each of the shapes they would need to cut out an animal. And to use only ONE piece of paper! I had done that previously with another lesson and that was just too much work. What's really cool is math is a part of this lesson

I believe the direction sheet gives a really good step by step visual for the students, however I did demonstrate it for them and had one of my students photograph me in the process.

We used copy paper because it's thinner and easier to rip. I folded it in half, and ripped it, one half will be the body.
I then folded and ripped the other half into 2 quarters. One quarter is the head.

 The last quarter gets folded and ripped into 2 eights and becomes the ears.

I put all the pieces onto the white board and proceeded to show students how to draw each of the bunny parts onto the copy paper.

I then demonstrated how to use my thumb and index finger on both hands to slowly/gently tear the paper. I passed out paper to my students and most had enough time to rip, glue and color their bunnies.  

Some, of course, ripped a little too much and ended up with more then one bunny!

All in all a very successful lesson and since it was a one day project, everyone was happy to be able to take it home with them.

Tails, can be made by crumbling the paper, ripping a circle or maybe finding some cotton balls.

While I don't generally get into holiday stuff, (okay maybe I do click here to see where I discuss the controversy over it) I'm at an elementary school and Easter is just around the corner. AND beside, tearing the paper gave the bunnies an awesome texture!

Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Advocating by Exhibit

How important is it for you to exhibit your student's art? I personally believe it is incredibly important! And that's why I try to participate as much as possible when a call for artwork goes out.  I believe that displaying artwork is a form of advocating for the arts and without it, why have art?

It's not among one of the easiest parts of our job. It takes up a lot of time. Time to choose it, mat it, label it, send it out or drop it off.  Sometimes work needs to be a certain size, there are many pieces of art to choose from, sometimes I need to send the work out before all the classes are done and it doesn't give everyone a chance to be picked. I may only be able to pick 4 pieces of art and there are over 500 students in the school. If it's a long term placement, that eliminates 5th graders because they will no longer be in my school when the work is returned. And I ALWAYS notify parents where their student's art work is on display if it is not being displayed at school. To read about how I set up a school exhibit click here.

If the art is to be displayed long term, I photograph it and send a copy home with a letter as to where it will be displayed. To keep track of which student belonged to which art work I have the app Meme Design on my phone and put their names on the photos.

So when I was asked to participate in sending art over to the local courthouse, I did! This is the second year I sent them work, however, because I was on medical leave I totally missed out on the Student Artist Reception last year. But I made it there this year and it was wonderful!

My principal and I received invitations along with the students. Three out of the four students were there with their families and it was really quite an honor for them. I think in the grand scheme of pulling together artwork to display, we forget how meaningful it is to the students whose work gets to be admired. It really made me feel good to see how happy my students were to be acknowledged. They received certificates and American Flags and they got their photos taken.

Another student exhibit that my 4th graders participate in is at The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.

The museum has a Student Expression wall and we have been getting the wall for a month each year for several years now. Read about it how it got started here. And the really special part is that I take the 4th graders there on a field trip each year. In preparation for the trip I do a pretty cool activity with my students that you can read about here. Another fun museum activity can be found here.

Along with the above exhibits, I send art to be displayed at the district office.

The county fair, for 2 separate areas. The art exhibit and the school exhibit.
With always displaying student work, most of us forget to consider displaying our own work. I have been slowly fixing that and have had some pieces on display here and there in the past two years.

There is going to be a display of art from Pasco County Schools Art Specialists and I will be included. The exhibit is titled My Art and will be at the Center for the Arts at Wesley Chapel from May 4th to May 20th. My photograph of a sea urchin titled Expansion will be in the exhibit.

How often do you display student work? How about your own work? What are some of the ways in which you advocate for the arts?

Thanks for Reading!!!