Saturday, September 22, 2012

Coffee, coffee, and more coffee...............please

Some of my favorite ideas for lessons come at those strange hours between 3 and 5 where it seems I wake up so often. Unfortunately, it makes for a seriously long day and a vicious cycle of coffee consumption. I am comforted in knowing that I am not the only educator in my building with this affliction. Many times we are united by the late night facebook posts of "anyone else up?"

For whatever reason while I was unable to sleep, I remembered attending the Ohio art Education Association conference in Toledo, Ohio where I was lucky enough to have my hubby join us for the last day. One of the evening events was a special trip to the Toledo Museum of Art to see their exhibits. One that really stuck with me, and not because Mr. MAC set off the museum alarm while looking at it,  was an installation by the artist Marisol Escobar called the Cocktail Party. A room filled with mixed media, life size figures with cast faces, painted wooden block bodies and other added elements. I knew I could never have my students work in the scale she did, but I could at least expose them to her. As it turned out she was a hard artist to find a lot of readily available info so she went to the back burner and was filed away in one off the many holy grails of lesson ideas. However, right before school was in session this fall, and right after the 4th cup of coffee on one of these 3 am wake up calls,  I figured it out. A combination of recycled materials, a combination of artists, on a scale that was acceptable for 50 plus kiddos, and in my budget............. thus was born "the classroom!"

I have asked my students to trust me on the results. Not every student in my Sculpture classroom has had experience in sculptural techniques, so before starting our actual large scale project with the expensive materials, we spent the last week working with white clay creating fist sized works of wonder. Noggins in such detail that they created an eerie collection as they were put out to dry this weekend before firing. While this was an introductory lesson on basic modelling skills, it will finish as a project they can be proud of. It addresses many of the state standards for Art Education in Ohio, and can stand alone as independent sculptures or as combined as a group installation project. A win-win all around. I am so impressed with what they have done so far and I can't wait to see their new creations and how they finish these over the next few weeks. As a reminder, these are unfinished.....we will be finishing them up with acrylic paints (ohhhhhhh trust me they won't look painted, I know what you are thinking) and some mixed media techniques as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MAC'S Top 10 reasons to be Excited for Back to School!!

I don't think I have ever not been excited to go back to school! These are my top 10 for this year!

10. Shiny waxed floors and a clean sparkling classroom!!
Let's be realistic, in the art classroom, even when we try, this only lasts a few short weeks. With about 165 "official" students in my classroom a day, this room quickly self-destructs in just a few short weeks but our maintenance department works miracles!

9. New students and of course returning ones!
Oh my goodness!! I ADORE my new classes!!! It might be too early to say that and hopefully I won't be jinxing myself, but they are AWESOME!!! And it is so Nice to see some familiar faces returning  with their creative energies restored after their summer breaks! After spending the summer revising, adjusting, and creating new lessons and projects they are finally going to be put into action!!! I am so excited to see what they do!!!

8. Sample Materials from Arts representatives!!
Who doesn't love free stuff!! Especially free stuff that encourages us to play and explore our creative sides! and as a bonus there is usually a sharpie in there someplace!!
7. Getting back into a regular routine..............
because really that sleeping in until 7 thing, not showering until 2, and taking a nap whenever was starting to get old!

6. more coffee:)
I just love my coffee:) even more so if someone else makes it! Since at least two of my lessons will be focused around a coffee cup this year, it would be safe to say, it is a BIG part of my day;)

5. NEW SHARPIES!!!!!!!
I will admit.....I have a sharpie addiction. It isn't to the point of becoming a real problem, but it would be very easy to start hoarding them!. And going back `to school in the fall just gives me an excuse to buy more.

I love my aprons!!! I started this year off with a ruffled zebra apron! My color wheel apron, Halloween and Election day aprons are almost finished!

3. Did I mention Coffee?
2. The 2013 high school musical announcement!!!!
This year they have selected AIDA!!!!!!!! Who wouldn't love a love story set in Egypt! The costumes and set on this are going to be out of this world! I can not wait! And the student response so far is awesome!

1. All things Autumn!!!
The smell of new pencils! A fresh tub of Ink! New glue! HOMECOMING!!!Football, bonfires and hot chocolate.......the colors of the changing leaves, and Halloween and the crazy creative costumes the kids come up with are just around the corner!!) The new videos over school procedures from the award winning VP staff!  New lessons, new ideas, new inspiration! and cut out cookies. I know that last one is available at pretty much any time, but my favorite is to dunk a cut out sugar cookie in hot chocolate-not nearly as much fun in July!!!!