Monday, August 19, 2013

New Beginnings

So we are already 5 days into the school year!  Seems a little crazy to say that, but the routine is being put into place and things are going really well I think.

Starting in a new school is quite overwhelming on top of preparing for a new school year.  There is always so much to do and the list seems to grow and grow, but the first day always comes.  Despite having all new students along with new staff members to get to know, the first days of school last week went rather well.  And the nerves that I felt during my first few years of teaching didn't show up!  Maybe the 4th year makes things easier possibly.

I know I will have some work to put in this year to establish the things that I want to happen within my new classroom, but I believe the hard work will be worth it.

My schedule is really nice actually and I am finding time to get things done so far!  I have 3 preps: Drawing/Painting Fundamentals, Drawing/Painting Advanced, and AP 2D Studio Art.  That compared to teaching K-12 previously is very different!

I'm excited to see how things come together in the next months as the year continues.

Here's to a great year for all teachers out there!  Good luck to a new beginning of the year!

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Classroom Transition

So I have moved and am getting settled into my new home and the area.  I have also completed half of my Masters program this summer which is something small to celebrate!  I am glad for a semester break to get a good grasp on my new teaching position and hope to pick up another few classes in the spring/summer semesters.  And although school is still about a month away, I am itching to organize my new classroom and prepare for the transition into my new job.  It will be quite the change going from K-12 to just drawing and painting for the high school level.  The school and town are much larger than what I am used to...I am very excited and a tad nervous right now about how things will go!
I will be teaching Fundamental Drawing/Painting, Advanced Drawing/Painting, and an AP 2-D Studio class.  I will also be working with several other art teachers in the department which is vastly different from working in an art department by myself!  In my 4th year as a teacher, this is exciting because I know that I can learn and grow from those in my department and have their support through challenges and frustrations.

I am excited to get started!  Does anyone have any ideas, advice, suggestions for me?

My goal is to keep updates on my journey and transition to reflect upon my growth as a teacher and person.  Looking ahead to many great things I hope!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

HS Final Projects

So I believe this is the last post I have from the school year.  My high school students spent the last 3 weeks or so of school creating a themed unit for their final project.  I let them have quite a bit of freedom in terms of materials, size of works, etc.  The purpose besides giving them freedom to do what they want to do is for them to show me something that they have learned from my class.  They must do this with 2-3 or more projects that relate to each other by topic.  The results are all quite varied and interesting.  Due to time constraints, it always seems to be crunch time the last few days of the year despite all the planning and organization I try to make the students do.  Anyway, although I like this project, I think it is lacking something.  Just can't quite put my finger on it...

Here are just a few of the themed units:
(Forgive the odd angles, dirty tables, etc. of my rushed photography skills)

Alice & Wonderland Characters...could use more color/shading if given more time

Band Inspiration - This student was always attracted to the most detailed work

Fun summer theme!

This is 1 project from this student's theme.  This clay piece is pretty neat!
All of the blue sections are glass marbles inlaid into the areas and they melted and crackled in the kiln.  The rest is glazed.

This student wanted to do the same image 3 ways with different media.  Love the concept!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HS Paintings & Memories

My HS students spent about 6 weeks this spring on large paintings.  In the 3 years I have been teaching this has been a high school favorite.  Students select a photograph and reproduce it using acrylic paint, focusing on color mixing, texture, and paint application.  The students always WOW me!  They choose photographs that push them and make them grow which is awesome!

They always turn out fun and create a big impact when hung in the commons area.  And most of the time, they seem to fit the personality of the student.

This year as I was ready to pass these back to take home, I found out that I was offered a new job and would be moving.  So to hold my students in memories, I photographed the students with their paintings.  I got a lot of hesitations, a lot of goofy faces, and many huge smiles!  How fitting to their personalities, but when I told them it was because I wanted to be able to remember them, they were troopers.  What a great feeling! :)

I cropped these the best I could so you can focus on the art works themselves.  Hope you enjoy!


Freshman - This student had surgery to remove a brain tumor in September,
this has affected her vision and she is now red/green color blind.  Considering this she
has come a long way since being back to school in November.
Love this girl and her positive spirit and strength!


2 Seniors & 1 Junior - A group of goofy boys!

2 Juniors - Sisters!

Freshman - Incredible work and detail :)

2 Freshman

2 Goofy, fun Freshman boys!

Senior - 1st time in art since 6th grade!

Sophomore - Special Needs student

Freshman - Photograph of sister playing piano

I truly enjoy these students and can't wait to move in a few weeks and get started on my new job!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

HS Weaving and Stretched Drawings

Well school is officially out for SUMMER!  It has definitely been a bittersweet time since I am moving and starting my new job in the fall!  There were lots of great cards and memories that lead to some happy/sad tears with a few students and many of my teacher friends.  I am glad I have a few more weeks here to have some time with friends before I I haven't started packing anything yet!

Anyway, my goal is to clean up quite a few pictures off of my computer so I'm hoping to get caught up on some projects done in the classroom from this spring.

My high school students came up with a 2 picture/drawing theme and drew both images and added color with colored pencils.  Then came a few tears!  I kept the finished product a secret until it was time to elaborate more.  My students cut their drawings into pieces!  Oh man many of them were not happy with me!  However, the end results were interesting and fun!

Students chose to either weave their drawings together or stretched their drawings in an every-other pattern. If that isn't clear using words, perhaps the photos will make more sense.

Track & Running Shoes

Lion & Lamb

Barn & Hay Bales

Palm Trees & Beach Chairs

I like how interesting these became by combining them together.  If I did this project again, I might allow for use of different mediums so the contrast between the 2 images is different.  I like how this pushed my students in terms of emotions when cutting up the images, but allowed them to reconstruct their drawings into something new and different.

Friday, May 17, 2013

2nd Grade Clay Birds

I love doing clay, but at my school where I am finishing up 4 more days of class before I move, the kiln is at the high school.  So it is extremely inconvenient to do clay projects with my K-8 kids, but I try to put in the effort every now and then.

The art show theme for 2nd grade I chose was called "It's for the Birds!"

I started off with the pinch pot bowls that became a bird nest or bird bath.  I've seen several times on Pinterest how you can add in marbles, like those in flower vases, etc. in clay projects and they melt in the kiln.  After the students glazed them they chose from the various colored marbles I had and then we let magic work!  The students thought they were so fun!

I was running out of time before the art show, so students used air dry clay to create a small bird.  We stuffed them with feathers and painted them with watercolor paint.  Although they were "cute" they were rather unsuccessful in that the pieces kept falling apart.  I would have much rather used regular clay for the kiln but my alternative was to not have them in the show, so I chose the lesser of the evils so to speak.

Here are some photos (forgive the coloring from the flash, the colors seem to be a bit more harsh/vibrant than in real life):

My high school students helped to set up the art show and several students loved these too!  So much so that they inspired a fun clay project by my to come after finals and the end of the school year!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Kinder "Gardens"

This year for my elementary art show, each grade had its own mini theme.  Kindergarten had a Garden theme.  We did a variety of projects that fall under the theme.  Here are a some examples:

Symmetrical Primary Butterflies & Beehives

Water Pond & Frog on Lily Pad

Flowers with CD centers & Sharpie designs