Monday, January 17, 2011

nerd alert...planning on my day off!

Each time a new semester begins I collect, reuse and create new tactics to introduce me, my room, my policies and ART:) This semester I had a brainstorm...create an all-in-one Powerpoint!  Already I feel better prepared/organized.  I will be UNABLE to forget fire drill info!  It's IN the powerpoint.  No more rereading my handwritten notes, shuffling overhead transparencies, handouts, etc!  Maybe this is a "Duh!" for some folks but it felt more like an epiphany to me.
Next up, creating a semester long planning matrix to ensure that I hit all standards from the state...and figuring out how to link documents to the blog.
Pictures to come shortly!  Students created some amazing 3D tennis shoes using plaster strips (less mess than I anticipated) and real shoes covered in saran wrap for molds after a visit from Van Monroe.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


aside from the obvious, this is my favorite time of the school year- a new semester bringing me new students, a chance to hit RESET, correct the error of my ways and try some new things.  AND, I'm starting a blog (as you can see) as part of a new year's resolution.
I teach 7th and 8th grade only, which presents its own challenges...7th graders are a smidgen more malleable but need a lot of reassurance while the 8th grades seem to need more why's answered and motivation to engage.  So I juggle these and other aspects (like the rest of my teacher friends!) in order to reach as many as possible.
My favorite quote from an old art ed text said art can "help students to see with their minds and hearts as well as their eyes."  That is my goal and to help students understand CREATIVITY as a daily concept outside the artroom.
So, this year I am focusing on the Elements of Art (somewhat tired, I know) in order to lay the skills and knowledge groundwork for a follow up series of meaningful art making experiences related to student interests.  I really wanted to incorporate teaching Powerpoint too, but it became nearly impossible without access to the computer lab and I would really be biting off more than I can chew since my students haven't learned Ppt at all yet.  But hopefully another year it will fit!
This semester, I'm going to try allowing students to pick from a list of sketchbook prompts (provided) each day in order to allow them some sense of control over the sketchbook experience.  I feel that a sense of control is lacking in many of my students lives and I'm steadily working to grant them some and let them savor some independence.  "WITH THE FREEDOM SO TOO THE RESPONSIBILITY"  I'll let you know how this works out! 
And based on the Art of Education's/ The Teaching Palette's itty bitty papers I decided to shrink my standard rubric, make a zillion copies and have students glue one to the back of their artwork as a way to self assess their project before turning it in...kinda pumped about that one!