Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thursday Think Tank: Technology in the Art Room

I just wanted to say that as an art educator sometimes people find it surprising that I use technology, in any form, in the classroom. I find that sometimes we ourselves settle for having second rate equipment. For example the first three years of my teaching career I had a chalk board in my room. Seriously a GREEN-OLDER-THAN-THE-STONE-AGE chalk board. In fact as I visited other schools I found out that mine was basically the only one still in the district. (Thinking back now you might say I got rid of a rare endangered species all for the sake of teaching more effectively.)

All that being said I was definitely the art teacher that would carry a clipboard and draw while holding it in the air so everyone could see what I was doing. Anyone else been there?  Then at a meeting our principal asked if anyone needed an Elmo and I finally got the nerve to speak up, at that time there were still classroom teachers who needed one and so a 5th grade teacher offered up her older model that was packed in a cabinet.

The dinosaur.
I used this for a while it was better than nothing, but it was fuzzy, had no lighting and had no easy way to move it around at all. I suffered in silence because it was more than I had had before so why complain. Then our Tech guy came in and was so appalled! He was able to get me on the list for this bad boy below.

The SHINY new ELMO!!! Top of the line! SO COOL!
Not only can you actually see whats going on, but it's so clear and mobile and it does so many cool things! The guy who sells these and the software that partners with it came in my room to give me a quick demo and it is amazing, you can actually project onto the screen and use the software to draw, highlight and even use a "mask" to cover up what you don't want the kids to see. Just like the old projectors back in the day, but with so much more flash! You can also record videos, so now when I do a demonstration I can record it and play it for the kids in a loop.

This has definitely opened a new door for me, especially since I've been thinking about the FLIPPED classroom model lately.  It might not be the best fit for my situation now, but who knows what the future will hold?

How do you incorporate technology into either your lessons or how you teach? Do you find it challenging as an art teacher?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monday Mayhem: Displaying Artwork

When I was a student teacher, my mentor Mrs. Wren was doing some amazing things with hallway displays for her students artwork. I believe a first grade class had just created some penguin projects and we painted a large glacier to hang on the wall for our penguins to chill out on. I really learned a lot from observing her and the expectations for hanging and decorating hall ways for the art teacher.

I also noticed that a lot of people would glance at the artwork and walk by making comments like "That looks nice." or "How pretty!" And it kind of made me think that because as art educators we are essentially "on our own" when it comes to teaching that not everyone knows the benefits of art or understand the importance of what we teach.

That being said, I decided that whenever I hang artwork that:
A. It needs to be displayed nicely and like a curated show.
B. Needs a description and a prompt for thought or action
I also try to challenge the reader to go out and make art themselves!
I had a teacher actually come and talk to me about the folkloric dancers that had no faces, she was very interested and said she loved the art as well!


I would hang this with artwork displayed, which I did not take a picture of unfortunately! Also I left off the standards here, its usually at the bottom of our description.
Information next to the artwork hanging.
Last year I had a wire strung horizontally in the tile wall. Since we got new walls I'm now using scotch tape, which sometimes takes forever, but it looks nice.
I also have a bulletin board all to myself! There I hand artwork from students and this year I started doing an artist of the month with cross curricular activities if the teachers wanted to use them. The best part about all of the activities and information was that it was located on the back of the print, all I had to do was type them up and display them.

From right before Christmas 2013.

Art Stars!

How do you display artwork around your school?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday Frenzy: Busy Busy & a Guest Blogger!

The end of the year is always a busy time for me, but this year it is especially busy!  Here are my end of the year goals:

1. Make sure the students take all of their work home.
2. Purge: get rid of the supplies that are useless to me and also organize paperwork.
3. Start planning for next year.
4. Work on proposals for TAEA.(Yes! I am going to try and present at a conference this next year! AAA!)
5. Sign up for the Art of Education Summer Conference!

This year things are a little complicated because on June 10th I'll be leaving for AFRICA!!! I am so blessed with an amazing opportunity to go with my best friend to visit her family there, we are going to be gone for about a month and a half! Eeep! I am excited and can't wait to see what amazing art they have there! I am not sure how often I'll be able to post, but I will try my best to schedule some while I'm gone.

Speaking of being in Africa, yesterday I took some time to go to the doctor to get some information on immunizations since I'll be out of the country and I had to get a shot (the first of THREE eeep!) and my arm is so sore! But while I was gone our lovely nurse stepped up to help with my Mini Da Vinci's after school, she is such a blessing! This morning I walked in to find this tollbooth freshly painted, my kids are working so hard on their play!

Mrs. Conway was so kind to help out so this morning I asked if she could write a little bit about her experience in my room after school to share.
What an experience subbing for the art teacher during her after school art club, the young Mini Da Vincis! First of all wearing a white jacket was probably not the best decision when students are paint with red and white paint and some of the paint is winding up on the tables AND chairs. Fortunately, there was an apron there which I borrowed to protect my clothing. At one point, a student did point out that I had a streak of red paint on the side of my neck and as we were all leaving, another student commented that I had a spot of white paint on the back of my pants! I won't mention the spilled paint on the floor.
The students were painting scenerey for an upcoming play. Two large pieces of cardboard were being painted with alternating red and white diagonal stripes. Not too difficulut and the students worked out a system of one student painting a white stripe and then another student adding the red stripe. Great teamwork! The challengeing part was that after each stripe was finished, they seemed to think that perhaps a different paint brush would work better. So...many brushes were pulled out and tried, sponge brushes, bristle brushes, narrow brushes and wide brushes. MANY brushes covered with red and white paint. MANY brushes to clean. I will say that when it was time to clean up, they all pitched in and did a wonderful job. Chairs, tables parts of the floor and ALL those brushes!
Overall I had a wonderful time!
-Mrs. Conway

Here is Mrs. Conway in her natural environment! We love our nurse!

Have you ever had to ask a teacher sub for you? How did they enjoy their experience?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday Think Tank: The Phantom Tollbooth

The Mini Da Vincis are at it again! They have been asked to help make props for the play 5th grade is doing if The Phantom Tollbooth.

Apparently one of the characters carries a giant pencil...we didn't have any round shaped cardboard to work with so the kids used a long rectangular box. They've posted a few more pictures over at the blog: Mini Da Vinci's Wordpress.

If you have an art club, what are some things your kids have been asked to do?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

It came!! No smart without art shirt!

I came home to find my shirt with the mail and I just had to wear it the next day!! Love it! Many of my colleagues event made comments about how much they liked it, it was a great day!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Mayhem: the smART teacher April monthly challenge I WON!!!!

I am soooooo excited! I can't believe it! I am literally screaming and dancing for joy!

Each month the smART teacher has two challenges and if you meet the qualifications(they vary each month) then you have a chance to win a gift card from the sponsor of the challenge. Last month one of the challenges was to upload a worksheet and so I entered the Quick Draw Challenge page that I've been using as a bell ringer in class.

I couldn't believe it! I am so thankful and so excited!

Not only that I'm working on a presentation for my fellow elementary art teachers about International Dot Day with one of my colleagues. Busy busy day!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday Share: Plástica, arte en la escuela.

¡Bienvenido! ¡Seguro te darás cuenta que esto está en Español! El otro día, alguien dejó un comentario en mi bolg sobre  las playeras: smART teacher  lo cual me dirigió a su propio cibersitio aquí:

                  Plástica, arte en la escuela.

Aun que yo no hable Español, Arte va mas allá que el lenguaje y realmente disfruté mucho su cibersitio c En ello encontré muy buenas ideas que me encantaría intentar en un futuro, tales como ésta sobre: Líneas en el Espacio. ¡Qué maravilla! ¡Me encanta, y estoy ansiosa por ver que otras ideas podamos compartir!

Translation below:

Welcome! You might notice that this is in spanish! The other day someone left a comment on my blog about the smART teacher t-shirt and it led me to their own website here:

Even though I don't speak spanish, art goes beyond language and I really enjoyed viewing her site! She has some great ideas that I would like to try in the future like this one about lines in space.  So awesome!  I love it and can't wait to see what other ideas we can share!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

come to the ART side info cards!

I say "info" cards because they're not business cards, this isn't a buisness and the only thing I profit from is the great ideas from everyone and meeting awesome people!


So pretty!
They came earlier than expected! I love using vistaprint for all my promo cards, they usually have discounts and for basic stuff you can get 250 for really cheap!

I plan on presenting at some conferences this year and I wanted to have something quick to hand out for contact purposes and these were so easy to make! Just inserted my own graphic for the front image and added a picture and the text on the back through the website. Perfectly quick and perfectly simple! Can't wait to see these handed out in the future!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday Fun: TPSP Kingergarten Do Your Part for Art

TPSP...What a mouth full! This stands for Texas Performance Standards Project, which according to our district website is:
"A statewide standards and assessement system you can use to capture the high levels of achievement of gifted/talented students. The goal of the TPSP is for students to create work that reflects the professional quality that the Texas State Plan for the Education of G/T Students requires."
I have to tell you when Kinder teachers began this program two years ago I was so excited! In their classrooms they teach about a few selected artists: Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, George Seurat and Andy Warhol. The students learn about their lives, the style and technique of their art.  Then they get to try their hand at making some themselves! The teachers always come up to me during this time and tell me how much they admire my being an art teacher ALL the time and I can't help but tell them that I am so excited that they're able to bring art into the core curriculum! All around it is a win win situation!

What a great way to use the space you have to display artwork!
One of my Kinder students with his artwork! It's the Jackson Pollock
inspired one at the top on black matted paper.
(Permission to post his picture given by Mom!)

I had a great time seeing all the work and the parents were so excited, having the kids explain to them each piece of art, why they made it and the artist that inspired it! What a wonderful night! I really love our Kinder team, they're amazing!!