Thursday, February 19, 2015

They finished, but I am so behind.

 It feels like I have had the same cold off and on for months. I just can't kick the bug.  I am really getting tired of it too.  Anyways no more excuses. These are a few of the finished paper clay sculptures from my Intro kids that I posted unfinished before ...that I meant to post as soon as they were done..... a long time ago. I am so proud of their finished projects and their commitment to quality. I will be posting lots of other new works later this week too. They have been doing some fabulous experiments in printmaking using, stencils, handmade stamps, monotypes and soon full on relief printing.







Monday, January 19, 2015

Videos in the art room?

On one of my marathon Netflix days last summer I watched the Croods... 3 or 4 times straight.... I rationalized it as research.  I loved all the opportunities to use this in my classroom. I could hit tons of standards in one unit, but I questioned how much of it to show. So my intro students watched it. All of it. And my high school kids LOVED it. I had no idea how many had never seen or heard of it. I also hadn't shown a video like this since to high school students, well ever. We analyzed how the characters were developed and how the artists matched the physicality up to the personality of the character. Analyzed color and how it affected the mood of the video, created contrast and the use of color symbolism. Observed symbols that were repeated and discussed how repetition in a video can be similar to repetition in an artwork. We discussed anthropomorphism, citing specific examples on how the artists created human traits in the creatures and animals. We identified themes:growing up, change and tolerance to name a few. It was a great dissection and very insightful look at the movie and my students. And a great opportunity to introduce arts careers for students. We ended the unit by designing and creating our own creatures for the movie. While some students created fantastical animal mash ups, some went realistic and some went very stylized. They had to physically stand, connect to the viewer, attempt a human emotion and use texture somehow. They are almost finished, but I can't wait to share a few in progress. AND my students have already suggested a movie for the next group of Intro kids....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

ART, SLO, eh....

Educators in Ohio, including arts educators, have to prove that students have shown growth in our classes. That students actually learned something. (I kinda thought that was why we graded stuff but ok...) You would think the amazing artwork produced by our students would be proof enough but from the perspective of the ODE they just "did" stuff, they didn't necessarily learn anything or they could have had all the knowledge already. AND unfortunately that comes down to testing to prove growth and that needs to be paper and pencil data per most administrations. AND then you have to write multiple learning objectives (um helloo.....I thought that was what the standards were for) AND we have to set goals (never a bad thing) but we have to provide documentation of artifacts that we met those goals..........Now, I don't have time to scrapbook anything in my regular life but now I keep a ginormous professional scrapbook (insert giggle) to prove that I am doing something in my classroom. Look at the mess in my classroom. We are definitely doing something in here......

But fear not fellow arts educators, help is on the way! The Ohio Alliance for Art education, along with Battelle for Kids and West Muskingham Schools collaborated to create "The Ohio Arts Assessment Collaborative".  Educators from all levels of arts education, disciplines(Art, Music, Drama and Music) and different regions of the state teamed up to write 44 model pre and post assessments that will be available for educators to use in Ohio as soon as next year. They will provide a set of valid and standards based assessments appropriate for arts education.

The last few months I have had the privilege of working on the Visual Arts High School team.  I can honestly say I learned more about test construction, test validity and assessment than I ever did in college and most of my professional development sessions. And it was a LOT of work. A LOT.  I think it is important to note, that the tests are in no way a supportive nod to the decision of the ODE to incorporate the SLO system. I had a few educators that were insulted that I wanted to be a part of the process and voiced that opinion to me(insert eye roll here)....and my response was why wouldn't you  want to learn what you could, develop a better assessment for your students and find ways to teach more effectively and assess more efficiently? Besides, if I have to do it anyways,I want it to actually be worthwhile.

Anyways, they are coming. They are in the process of field testing the models now. Allw e have to do is wait just a little bit longer.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

In a bind-er?

I don't know about the rest of you, but my room tends to take on a life of its own about three weeks into the year. My desk-which actually never stays organized past the first week becomes mounded with anything and everything, junk mail, bazillions of sale catalogs, handouts, fliers, club lists, any art supply that suddenly turns up after summer and everything else the kids and I manage to toss on it. I don't usually sit at my desk anyways so it doesn't bother me, BUT not having the right paperwork or losing a schedule or any other important document does. So I started a binder system to keep it all organized years ago. One for basic school stuff, one for student records and one for my substitutes I have. It has become my favorite part of back to school, and I usually recycle old binders. BUT, this year.......  this year I did something different.  I bought  a NEW gorgeous salmon pink 2 inch binder and a turquoise one as well, both heavy duty and from Avery. Thankfully, I didn't have to sell a kidney on the black market to pay for them either. 

And for the last three or four year I have organized my binders by ordering digital organizers from Teachers Pay Teachers and printing them out. They were never quite perfect but they were editable. I searched found a set I loved, paid and downloaded and squealed with glee until I realized the beautiful gray and yellow color combination I have crushed on all summer wasn't going to match the coral and turquoise binders I fell in love with and also had purchased. So, I decided to make my own. Two days later, numerous hours on Photoshop, several Facebook posts that annoyed my friends and digital clip art from  Day of the Dead Skulls and cool backgrounds ...I have a fully customized set of Day of the Dead dividers in awesome colors in the divider sections I needed for my teacher binder. I so enjoyed it that I started a "my little monsters" set of dividers for my sub binder. How do you keep all of your paperwork organized?




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

MORE SUMMER FUN!!! Stencils and mixed media ROCK!

Still in progress!
The best part of summer is being able to recharge your creative batteries...and getting to sleep in. This past weekend fellow art teachers, Patience and Mary and I took a weekend workshop at Small Studios in Westlake, Ohio. The mixed media workshop was  over mixed media collage techniques and was taught by artist Lynne Perella. We used lots of fun materials that are easily accessible and cheap! Portfolio water soluble oil pastels, cheap acrylics, gel medium. The only pricey materials were the stencils. The whole process is a perfect for our classroom applications. The techniques of layering different materials and mediums is applicable in many levels and classes. My students will use these techniques in my classroom for journals, covers, the social commentary piece in my printmaking class and also the mixed media work in my drawing fundamentals course. A fabulous way to explore composition, color theory and communication. After the workshop, we shopped in the studio, grabbed dinner at Fathead's and then went to our hotel to stay up most of the night finishing our pieces

Unfortunately, I didn't remember my photocopies so while I now have all of my backgrounds completed, I will finish the portraits in the foregrounds over the next few weeks. Laving me just enough time to get ready for the next workshop!

Our post workshop hotel work space

Dinner from the amazing Fatheads Brewery

Patience's piece in progress

Mary's work in progress

My spooky background