Happy Summertime students! I hope that your summer has been filled with suntans, bonfires, memories, and sweet fun. I know mine has! As we close out July and start to think about new backpacks and tennis shoes, I want you to know that I am preparing as well. There will be many changes in the Art room this year. A long time in coming - the art room is no longer a classroom, but instead your very own studio.
In the last few years, I have wrestled with wanting to provide you with more; more creativity, more choices, more authentic learning and meaningful personal art. So this summer, I have done some soul searching and have found where my teaching needs to grow. I want to fill you in a bit so you know what to expect when our summer ends and school returns.
Choice based learning is a method of teaching where the students are regarded as artists and are given the tools and knowledge to be able to create personal, authentic art of their choice. So the classroom is now your art studio. I will introduce you to several material centers such as drawing, painting, collage, ceramics, and printmaking to name a few.
I will provide demonstrations within each center to show you new techniques and how to use the materials. Then it is up to you to create art pieces using the materials and subject matter of your choice. I will provide a theme and the standard that you need to reflect in your pieces.
One of the most wonderful things about this method of art education is that I will be able to have one-on-one teaching time with each one of you. We will plan, consult, and reflect as working artists. Finally, I will give you the skills and knowledge to make choices for displaying and documenting your artworks.
This is an exciting step for Visual Art in Upsala. Remember, we are starting out on this path together. There will be bumps, turns, and maybe even backtracking to get on the right road, but we are learning this together!
Have a great rest of your summer! I hope you have been able to notice the art all around you. Soon, we will be able to share our exciting adventure!
“Creativity is an area in which younger people have a tremendous advantage, since they have an endearing habit of always questioning past wisdom and authority.” -Bill Hewlett
I love my second graders. While very active and sometimes highly distractable, the students blow me away with their curiosity. They question everything. "Mrs P, what happens if we mix blue and green together?" "Mrs P, why does it look so cool when I paint over crayon?" "Mrs P, are rainbows really unicorn farts?" He, he, he... it's hard not to giggle at some of the things they ask. But really, questions are so good. That's when the real learning happens. I hope, that for the rest of my life, that my students always question the things that I introduce to them.
I love the Batik Fox project. First I demonstrate one way to draw a fox using shapes. While most of the 2nd graders follow along with me, a few bravely make their own. We talk about texture and color choice when they color their foxes. Using crayons, I remind them to take their time and not scribble. In fact, they need to try to color completely so that there is very little or no white showing through the crayon.
They worked so hard on drawing their foxes and they all turned out so unique.
Side note, this class does great standing up while they work. It helps keep them focused because they can move around a little without being disruptive. Once they get them colored, the next step concerns them. :) We crumple them up eight times. You should see their faces when I crumple up my example. After the third time they really get into the destruction part. Once they hit the eight times, then we lay them flat and paint over them with watered-down black tempera paint. That is what makes the foxes look batik.
Next we folded a paper in half and painted the top half with watercolor paint making sure to fold it down and rub the back before the paint dried. This transferred some of the paint to the bottom half and gave us a mirrored look. While these dried, we cut out our foxes.
We spent a lot of time practicing cutting carefully on the lines. They did so good!!
Education is not the filling of a pail
but the lighting of a fire.
I have started this blog post about twelve times, wanting it to be just right. You know, witty and engaging. But, honestly, I am so tired. Coming back to school has been exhausting. Not just because I move all day long, but because I have started this year with so much inspiration, excitement, and pure adrenaline. The adrenaline has started to wear off and my brain is just swimming each night when I finally sit down. Just when I worry about losing the momentum, I look at the photos I took the last two weeks and I am brought back to the simple fact that I love my job. I love my school and my students. I love my room and spaces. I love my friends and most importantly, I love my calling, my fire.
I made some pretty dramatic changes this year in the art room. I love every one of them so far! My favorite being the faux stained glass.. except now I want to do this on every piece of glass everywhere! I have a lot to do yet to get my room how I want it. But like every other artwork, it's a work in process.
The first day of school we had each homeroom rotate throughout the classrooms doing mini challenges. The challenge in my room was to draw a "First Day of School Selfie". That were only allowed one marker and 3 minutes. They turned out AWESOME! I had to hang them up.
In my elementary classes, we played a game of modified Pictionary to get our creativity flowing and start drawing again. The artists loved it! It will be our go to when we need a break from our regular class.
Alright, off to bed. Time to recharge before PLC tomorrow!
Ahhhhh... This is the life. After an oppressive week of heat and humidity, we woke up to a cool, fresh morning. The windows are open, the sun is shining, and there is a slight hint of fall in the air. Fall is my favorite. Sweater weather, a quiet chill to the air, the smell of dirt and leaves, backyard fires, and pumpkin patches. My dredded and most favorite moment happens at the same time.
I love being home with Grubby and Peanut in the summer. We spend so much time playing in the water and breathing in each other, it makes a Momma's heart swell. We have learned each other's language and have put in many hours snuggling on the couch. This I will miss. Did I mention that my Peanut is 6 months old today? Oh how the time has flown by. But I know that in nine short months, summer will come again and though my kiddos will be another year older, there will be great adventures to be had.
Back to school... I get butterflies just thinking about it. Maybe it's because I'm still a fairly new teacher, but there is something magical about Fall at my school. There is an electricity, a buzz of adrenaline... or maybe fear, that swells the hallways. You almost forget to breathe. Either way, it's present and it's powerful. I love this.
My job is pretty perfect. Not only do I get to teach Art, (the most fun subject ever!) but I get to teach it to every grade. From the sweet kindergarteners who are a little unsure about this school stuff, to the second grade who can't give enough hugs to make up for the whole summer, to seniors who are excited about the lasts of things, but nervous about the future. There are the fourth graders who are really pumped about their new shoes or new baby brother. The sixth graders with attitudes the size of Minnesota, who are finally on top of the world. (Little do they know how intimidating seventh grade will be.) The tenth graders who are just trying to make it through another year without having anyone notice them too much. And finally, back to my seniors one more time.
I love my seniors. The first time I met them we were in the same boat. They were 9th graders and I was starting my first day of teaching. They were my first class... my homeroom. I had no idea how attached I would get to these kids. Now they are seniors! How could the time have possibly gone that fast. Most have a plan, some are unsure but excited, all are extremely amazing and will do awesome things. I just need to make sure to soak up every moment with these people.
So for now, in this moment, I will enjoy the peace, the calm and the yoga pants. For tomorrow morning will start the happy chaos. So to end this sappy post, I say "Fall, bring it on."
Now I need to go get a quick snuggle on the couch... shhhhh.... Magic School Bus is on!