Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Summer Slow Down: AP Studio Art Day 2

On day number 2 of AP studio art we received our assignments which are due the last day here.  Our first assignment is "Me in a Box" on the outside is how others see you and on the inside is how you view yourself. To do the outside portrait we created texture on Plexi glass with tempera paint, you can see what I tried below. You also had to take a selfie to manipulate in Photoshop.

This is the combination and manipulation of my textures and portrait.

Here are my six thumbnails, of which I didn't end up using any, but you'll see why tomorrow!

The beginning of what my inside was going to be did not stay the same. Come back tomorrow to see how it changed.

My before sketches!

This is Patricia Winnard, she is really amazing!

We also learned how to do laser image transfers, which I'll tackle tomorrow.

This is a ink reduction, I forgot to take progress photos! But this isn't the final version. For this we soaked the watercolor paper for 3-5 minutes and let the ink/watercolor run, then worked back into it with more paint or other materials.

Have you taught or used any of these techniques in your classroom? Share a link or let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Summer Slow Down: AP Studio Art Day 1

Before the end of the year I felt like I was becoming I made the decision to take some certification courses through the AP Institute to get refreshed and re-energized as a teacher. This week I am in AP Studio Art! Our presenter is Patricia Winnard and if I wanted to list how amazing this woman is I would have to start a new blog! That being said, I've been learning a lot!P

Day One we were given a Design Problem, an assignment that she gives to her students during the summer! WOAH Summer Art HOMEWORK!? YES! The prompt I chose was:

Design Problem #1: Compose a mixed media drawing using the three types of implied line, cross-hatch, doodle, and pointillism showing three different values, and non-objective subject matter. Show strong contrast between the positive and negative space in the composition.

We had to come up with 6 thumbnail sketches, before we could begin working.

This was my first try, I didn't like how rushed I was OR that my lines weren't parallel.

This is apart of my process, thinking about changing it since I didn't like the first.
I did something a little sneaky with mine since I'm not a huge fan of pointillism.
Under a black light you can see my pointillism, also the light changes the value of the whole piece.

This problem solving assignment was very interesting, and I am excited to see how I can stretch myself as an artist and teacher the rest of the week!

What are some ways you rejuvenate yourself during the summer? Do you do any professional development? Tell me below!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Summer Slow Down: Professional Development

This year I was able to secure a grant from my district that allowed me to attend the AP Institute hosted at the University of Texas at Arlington. I attended the AP Art History course for two reasons:

1. I felt that with this knowledge I could incorporate more art history and critical thinking skills into my own lessons at the middle school level; and

2. Should I decide to apply for a high school level position, having this certification would make me more marketable.

That being said I LOVED learning about teaching AP Art History! Mr. Darracott was our instructor and has such a wealth of information to share with us, plus he was able to secure the brand new 15th edition of  Gardners Art Through the Ages: A Global History AND Gateways to Art AP Edition for us! These text books are super expensive!

Some key things that I learned over this 4 day intensive course:

1. There are 250 works of art that are used to create the AP Art History exam. That is A LOT! Also that covering EVERYTHING might not happen and that is okay.

2. It's not about MEMORIZATION. Which is what I did in order to survive Art History in college. Really it's about helping the kids to understand the world through art and being able to help them respond with discussion or writing.

3. I can use the information I learned in this course to enrich my studio classes. It is hard to get students talking about art, but I learned some great strategies that might make it seem less scary for them and easier.


5. I don't know it all and that is okay! I learned about artists that I've heard about before, for example Shirin Neshat, and artists that I had no clue about like Maria and Julian Martinez. I am floored by all the information that I have been missing since being out of school and teaching. I need to get out there more!

In a future post I'll write a little bit about how you might break down a work of art in your classroom for students to understand it using the Form, Content, Function and Context method. It might seem like a lot of work, but the knowledge and understanding you gain from it in the end is worth it!

Have you ever been to the AP Art History Summer Institute? What did you gain from your experience? Share below!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Slow Down: Which is better elementary or middle school?

I get asked this question a lot, whenever I explain that I originally began my teaching career in elementary art and only transitioned to middle school in the last few years.

Which do you like teaching better? Elementary level or Middle School level?
In my own opinion this isn't a fair question. To me its like comparing apples to oranges. I will however give you my likes and dislikes of both.

Elementary School Art

The good stuff:

1. The kids are so SWEET. Teaching art in elementary school makes me feel like a celebrity. When I see students in the hallways its all waves and smiles and little kids screaming my name! Even students that had a few behavior issues were adorable!

2. Seeing the kids GROW. I taught 5 years in elementary which means my very first class of Kindergartners completed the 4th grade when I left. Seeing them go from identifying the primary colors to creating more complicated artworks was truly the best part of my time there.

3. Parent PARTICIPATION. Every time Open House came around my art room was completely filled to the brim with families coming to see their students artwork. Seeing parents proud of their students was always a great feeling.

I could live without:

1. Seeing the kids only ONCE A WEEK. With 700+ students and six different grade levels (k-5) I would only each class once a week, which made long term projects hard to complete. And don't get me started on Monday holidays, this meant that instead of seeing students 36 times a year, I'd see them sometimes 7 times less depending on how many holidays we had. Or field trips. So much missing time!

2. ACCIDENTS in the art room. Do I need to explain?

3. Being constantly asked to "BORROW" supplies. I have a small budget, nothing extra. Please don't ask.

Middle School Art

The good stuff:

1. The students CHOOSE to be in art (most of the time). I don't teach an entire school of 700+ students. The majority of my students have a genuine desire to be in the class and learn something about art and I get to see them everyday instead of once a week.

2. The skill level is HIGHER. I see a lot more developed talent in middle school than elementary, which is to be expected.

3. I get to teach CONCEPTS. Middle school students can understand ideas behind their art and specifically use that to create art from ideas.

I could live without:

1. The DRAMA and ATTITUDE. I can't tell you how many times that I pull students into the hallway, and act as a relationship counselor instead of an art teacher. Or the students that are blatantly disrespectful just to seem cool to their friends.

2. I typically get loaded with EXTRA students. It's no ones fault really, our school tends to be over crowded and we have few elective choices...and most students that aren't already in a musical course can't jump in mid year.

3. Students who say "IT'S JUST ART." This has happened numerous times. The students who have had me before KNOW this is the biggest pet peeve in my class and I will sit and lecture for 20 or more minutes if this comes out of someones mouth. In fact if someone says this the other kids turn in shock with their eyes wide and look at me.

What grade level do you teach? Pros and Cons? What is your preference? 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Summer Slow Down: Taking time to Breathe

Although I am going to be attending some professional development sessions this summer, I'm really going to take time and completely take a breather from work.  While I love what I do I also can recognize that in order to be at 100% and refreshed to teach, we sometimes have to take a step back and cleanse the pallet so to speak.

I'm hoping to travel, create some art that isn't school related, visit some relatives, relax and recoup from what a long year that has been. It's okay to take a break and recharge, no matter what others may think.

What do you do during the summer to recharge and relax?