Monday, March 25, 2013

Doodle 4 Google 2013

So if you didn't know the deadline for Doodle 4 Google has past and they are now deciding the next phase of finalists, all the details can be found on their website: Doodle 4 Google. I shared the information about the contest with each class about 15 minutes at the end, let them watch the video and brainstorm together, then let them take the form home. This is more of a "homework" assignment than an in class project. I had about 20 kids turn in entries and thought I would share a few!

This years theme was MY BEST DAY EVER...

The great thing about Doodle 4 Google is that the grand prize winner gets a $30,000 scholarship for college and their school receives a $50,000 technology grant.  AND I tell the kids if they don't win this year they can enter every year until they graduate from high school.

Next year I'm definitely going to promote this more than I did this year. So what do you think? Will one of my kids be the grand prize winner? :)

Sunday, March 17, 2013


When I graduated from college a professor of mine gave me a book called The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.  It was exactly what I thought an art teacher should be to their students and so by the time I was hired as an elementary teacher I knew exactly what my first lesson would be about!

The first week of school every class that came into my room heard me read The Dot!  I wanted all of them to know that they are artists!

So flash forward a few years and guess who comes to the Dallas Museum of Art? Peter Reynolds!

He recently illustrated a new book called The Museum which I will definitely have to pick up for my classroom this summer!  Here are a few things that he said that really caught my attention:

"Art is a way to show what we know and make meaning in whatever grade, whatever subject you are in."

"There are two kinds of big people, adults who love fluorescent lights and standardized testing and then grown up kids that like to play, make art and have fun."

"The Dot is about being brave, Ish is about being proud of your mark and not such a perfectionist, Sky Color is a story about knowing there is more to learn: open your eyes and really see."
-Peter H. Reynolds

"Memorizing is a cool human trick, but creation that's amazing to be able to make something out of nothing."

"Be ready for your great idea to happen in an unexpected moment."

After his talk my friend Andrea and I got his signature and had a chat with his twin brother Paul Reynolds.  These are two awesome men who have devoted their lives to sparking and cultivating creativity in children and adults! If you haven't read The Dot or any of Peter's other books search his name on amazon to find them all.

Paul, me, Peter!

Tomorrow is back to school for me! What are you doing with your class or children the first day back?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

NAEA 2013

I have just come home from a fabulous four day long conference!  The National Art Education Associations 2013 Conference, right here in my backyard!

Front of the Ft. Worth Convention Center
 Registration was smooth and easy and I met up with some of my colleagues and some new friends as well.  I think this year I really tried to meet new people and network more.  Made some great connections and met a lot of people!
We get all sorts of goodies so we've got to
have the bags to carry it all!
I also got to meet up with old friends! My student teacher from the beginning of the year was there as well and we got to meet one of our internet art ed. blog celebrities: MR. E!

From Left to Right: My friend/student teacher, Mr. E! and me!

Mr. E had a session called: Blogging and other Shameless Self Promotion.
Great insights!
I went to a lot of wonderful sessions!  I wanted to cram in so much that sometimes I didn't even stop for lunch! I really wanted to take in as much as possible so that I could take back what I learned to my district and to my school. Did I mention that we got lots of goodies from all the vendors?

Great program from Crayola about how to advocate for your art program.
I also went to several informative sessions about writing grants and gaining momentum for your program by have art nights, including your staff in the creative process and also interweaving different core curriculum into your art lessons.

There were many more wonderful things about the conference, but its hard to include everything! But the most important thing I learned this week is that ART MATTERS.

But you knew that already didn't  you? :)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Open House 2013

      As an art teacher Open House is one of the busiest, stressful, amazing, inspiring and affirming days of the year.  We invite all parents to come and see what their children have been doing so far in the school year, they also have a chance to visit the library, art, music, P.E., our parent resource center and the computer lab to fill out a survey.
     As the time for Open House approaches everyone is busy decorating and preparing their rooms and the art room is no exception!  Having student artwork on display is a big thing, the kids who walk by point, smiling and explaining to their families that they've done this project or that this particular artwork is their own.

     Every year I try to do a fun activity with those who venture into my room, whether it be making a small drawing or writing words of affirmation for everyone to see.  This can be a little bit of a challenge because my room is fairly small so this year I tried to keep the flow going by setting up a gallery walk with questions.

     I had sign in sheets set up at the first two tables and then around the room I set 5 pieces of artwork on easels with pencils and sticky notes. Each artwork had a question attached to it that the parent and student could answer together, write it down and stick it on the print.  The activity is student led and easy to follow therefore I didn't have to constantly hover, allowing me to greet parents and speak to them about their children without worrying if anyone knows what to do.



     After doing Open House for four years now I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. :)

Have any questions about the activity or other things? Leave a comment!