Saturday, November 11, 2017

Theme: Story

STORY was one of my favorite themes from last school year. We got some really cool artwork out of the theme and it was broad enough that there was lots of room for different interpretations and the students' interests.

After the introduction, I asked students to research a myth or legend that they were unfamiliar with and write a paragraph summary just to get them thinking about new possibilities. A few students used the research for their projects and the rest moved on with other ideas.

I didn't do a printmaking bootcamp but offered demos when students were trying to come up with something new to try. These two prints were both inspired by a myth or legend.

Clay was a popular choice during this unit. Some students fired and glazed and others added in different materials such as moss, stones, sticks, and glass.
This student made a hobbit hole.
This was kind of like a fairy cottage. It was super cool.
This was one of my advanced students last year. She found an old story she had written and created a box from the story. It even has her own language carved into the side.
These students chose stories that are movies but did a good job moving past copying a movie cover.
I love looking around and seeing all the variety in the classroom!

This student joined the class at semester so made basically her first painting for the project using water soluble oil paints- not a fan of the medium, by the way, regular oils are SO much better- and she worked to get lots of information from the story into one composition.
This was inspired by a song I think called Granddaddy's Gun or something like that. The student incorporated small copies of family pictures of them hunting together on the drawn mantle.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

KAEA Conference 2017 & What I Wish I Knew When I Started Teaching

Last weekend I attended the Kansas Art Education Association Fall Conference in McPherson. I so look forward to the conference every year and it always seems to have good timing, right when I need to recharge, get some new ideas, and reconnect with my art friends!

This year I presented 2 workshops on my own and was part of a panel for new teachers.

The first workshop I presented was on tactile paintings inspired by Andy Lakey.
The second was on layered monoprints with gelli plates.

I took some awesome workshops as well, including one about different ceramic surface techniques and one on black and white dry brush painting.

The panel I was a part of was "Help, I'm a New Teacher!" We had a good group of first year teachers and pre-service art educators. We started off by listing 5 things we wish we knew as new teachers or have learned since. Here are my 5.
  1. You don't have to fit one label/pedagogy. Listen, learn, and pull what works best for you, your students, and your school.
  2. Find a way to advocate and advertise your program, whether it's through social media (like my school instagram), Artsonia, your district newsletter, or local newspaper. Focus on the students- it's easier to brag on them than on yourself.
  3. Not everyone is going to like you all the time, even if you haven't done anything wrong. You are not pizza, you can't make everyone happy.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask for things. Be prepared, state your reasons, and do you best. If they say no, at least you tried.
  5. It's ok to change your plans if something isn't working!
What would be on your list of things you've learned?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sub Plan Ideas for High School Art

I'm preparing to attend the Kansas Art Education Association fall conference later this week, and though it falls on Parent Teacher conferences for me this year, most of the time art teachers are thinking about sub plans.

Most of the time I just try to make sure my intro classes have their new "projects" going (independent exploration after a boot camp or a themed challenge) and my advanced students are almost always working on their own projects so that I can just write "the students are working on their own projects and should know what to do" and leave notes on any behavioral FYIs.

Some of the techniques I've used in the past to hold students accountable for their work in my absence are a short survey on Google Forms or a post-it note the students fill out with their name, what they worked on, and a score of 1-10 with how engaged (on-task) they were that day.

Google Form example:
Tell me specifically what you accomplished today:
How focused were you
   Super focused- I got a lot accomplished and was on task the whole time.
   Mostly focused- I got stuff done but spent some extra time talking.
   Not that focused- I made some progress but spent more time talking or off task than I should have.
   Not focused at all- I hardly got anything done and was off task most of the time.

Sometimes, you may need a sub plan that is different than what the students regularly work on. After some of my art teacher friends and I brainstormed a list of sub plan ideas for high school, I figured I would share them here!

  • Art Prof Art Dare- Each month the Art Prof (Clara Lieu and her partners) post a challenge, which is pretty interesting, and the older ones are archived as well. My students especially enjoyed the drawing challenge from February 2017 that had charts with interesting words for the artist to illustrate. I later made my own with different words to use with my middle school students.
  • PBS Art Assignment- PBS digital studios produce some great content, such as the Art Assignment. Art Assignments introduce a contemporary artist, make connections to art history, and then challenge students to apply some of the ideas. Explore their channel!  

  • Scholastic Art- Have the students read one or more of the articles and complete the worksheets in the teacher resources. Or, ask the students to make a work of art in response to the featured artist/movement or the student spotlights.
  • Inktober- Find a seasonal art challenge. In October, lots of people participate in "Inktober". I need to start! I've seen several more pop up at different times of the year.
  • Illustration Friday- Each week there is a new topic in the weekly art challenge. You can see how artists/illustrators have used different styles and mediums to complete the task. Your students can take on the challenge, too!
  • Click on a category such as character, creature, environment, object, situation, or challenge and get a random selection from a huge database. Don't like it? Keep refreshing until you get something that resonates with you. You can even submit your own ideas. Students can use their prompt as a starting point for a sketch or finished work.
  • Art 21- "Art21 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring a more creative world through the works and words of contemporary artists." Have the sub show a video and then students could write a response, do visual journaling, answer some questions, or whatever you decide!
What easy ideas do you use for secondary art subs?

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Maped Review

I was sent some Maped Color'Peps Oil Pastels and Maped Colored Pencils to test and review. They also sent Marcia over at Art is Basic some watercolor pencils and she wrote a great review, complete with a comparison to other brands. You can check it out HERE.
I'm going to share some pictures of the artwork I made with the products and what I thought of each.

First up, colored pencils!

I made a little colored pencil #drawing on the way home from a family reunion this afternoon using some colored pencils @mapedhelixus sent me to try out.

Thoughts on @mapedhelixus colored pencils: Colors are pretty bright, will allow some mixing but are harder than some brands so better for linear work. LOVE the triangular shape which means they DON'T roll off tables! The box says the cord is break resistant and I totally believe it. The shape and break resistant leads would make them a pretty good affordable option for the elementary/middle level classroom. 

I still prefer Prismacolor for the type of colored pencil work that I and my advanced students like to do, but I will look into the Mapeds the next time I need colored pencils for my younger or intro level classes.

I went back and tried using the colored pencils for a drawing with lots of cross hatching and linear elements. They worked great for this effect!
Second product, Maped Color'Peps Oil Pastels

@mapedhelixus color'peps oil pastels. The colors are bright and blend well. I like the texture of them and love the triangular shape.

Starfish drawn with @mapedhelixus oil pastels.

Oil pastels are not my favorite medium but I've helped a couple of students use oil pastels this week and I DEFINITELY prefer the Maped. The oil pastels we have at school don't like to layer or blend and the Mapeds went on really creamy. The colors are also more vibrant and that is always important to me.

The products are available on Amazon and School Specialty (probably other places, too, but those are my go-to's).