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


Friday, July 4, 2014

Summer is over?

mutt and mutt 2
I had a discussion the other day with a fellow educator. She said that she had been given the evil eye by many of her peers one evening when she said summer was over and it was only the 1st of July. BUT, I think I might agree. I spent the entire month of June trying to get caught up on all of my side projects that I needed to finish from the end of the school year. Procrastination strikes again. T-shirts, banners, invitations and marketing designs for a local company, trying to get caught up on the mountain of laundry, yes it is a mountain, boxing up my classroom and deep cleaning the house.  I didn't start my summer off like I had planned. I had originally planned on being in my studio for 3 hours a day working on my small sculptures. I had originally planned on spending an hour a day working on sketchbook and project samples as well,  house cleaning for 2 hours a day and I wanted to try at least three new recipes a week for dinner.....I had planned to be motivated. I had planned to be on a schedule and then I remembered Netflix and Pinterest, and long morning coffees on the porch, watching the garden(which is all weeds right now) spending time with family and friends, hosting another monster mayhem workshop and all of those fun things that make summer so relaxing. I probably could have finished all my side work in less than a week but I spread it out over the entire month.

Mr. M brewing away.
And now July is here and summer is really almost over and I really do need to get all of those things done because fellow art teachers Patience, Mary and I are headed to Small Studios in Westlake, Ohio for a weekend workshop with artist Lynne Perella. Mr. MUTT and I are heading to Miami, Ohio later in July to participate in the New Crafts on the Block, a showcase of new craft breweries from Ohio. (He is the head brewer at one of those new breweries)  and suddenly that mountain of laundry has turned into a mountain range, the house is still not deep cleaned enough,  and my lessons are still rattling around my head.....and because  because school resumes on August the 18th. ... I will need to start all of that right now!!!....Well,  right after my first cup of coffee.... and an episode of House of Cards on Netflix....and of course I need to find that recipe for a watermelon salad on Pinterest.............

Monday, May 5, 2014

Professional Development for the Art Teacher...

I am thankful my principal and my district understand the importance of professional development for the arts. I have been incredibly blessed to be allowed to attend workshops with Professional Artists and not just just on teaching methodology and assessment. So often it is difficult to find relevant pd that develops skills for arts teachers so when Ginny S. From Small Studios in Westlake, Ohio announced her annual workshop series this year I was ecstatic to see Tory Brokenshire teaching again. I wasn't able to attend her sessions last year(life got in the way) and I was really bummed. So as soon as the registration opened I filled out my paperwork, wrote my rationale and marched(ran) down to the office. The only downside was the length of time I then had to wait for the workshop. But it was well worth it and it would also mark the start of the final month of school for us.

The workshops that Ginny hosts are fabulous. They are housed in the beautiful studio in the back half of the eclectic and curious goods store called Small Studios. Her artists are personable, knowledgeable, and friendly. They are famous and well worth the small workshop fees. In the past she has had artists Michael DeMeng, Andrea Matus-DeMeng, Keith LoBue and Ingrid Djikers just to name a few. Fabulous artists AND you get to shop in one of the coolest little stores I have come across. Santos dolls, metal numbers, ribbons, arts supplies, mixed media assemblage supplies, and papers galore, well worth the trip! Total WIN!

I attended all three of Tory's workshops and came away with three almost finished sculptures. I know, I am a bit of a perfectionist and I work a little slow. I managed to finish the first sculpture(who needs sleep) and I am hoping to get to spend some time in my studio this week and finish my second one up as well. I learned in depth about the materials we were using, tips that I could share with my students and had an in depth look at how Tory creates and why she creates the sculptures she does. My students were excited to see my first project finished and they will get to see the progress on the the others as well. And all of that amazing knowledge I picked will be used in next years curriculum and projects! Thank you to Tory and Ginny for a fabulous weekend!






















Monday, April 14, 2014

Spring Break ....how I have missed you.....

Better late than never......Spring Break I mean. I am thankful it is finally here but oh mylanta how I was looking forward to it being here! And my first official day...what did I do? I slept in, went to a doctor's appointment, slept some more and did a few loads of laundry. So not really anything that amounted to anything. But Saturday I attended a workshop from Golden Acrylics artists and Instructor Merle rosin. The Ashland Art League sponsored her teaching. And WOW how fabulous!!! I even received a Golden Acrylic Coffee mug!


Sunday, we went to the local playhouse, the Mansfield Playhouse,  to watch the hilarious show Drop Dead!! Loved the cast, loved the show, loved it all!! and I loved the fact that Mr. Mac got an extra nap in and cooked dinner for us. The rest of my week is pretty well swamped. Cleaning all day Tuesday, Wednesday I have an open studio day for my students, and a family business meeting in the evening and lots of prep on the remaining days for the School wide art show held the next week. But, all that will be ok, because I will take a few breaks to enjoy coffee from my new mug.