January 23rd – 29th, 2023 is Crayola Creativity Week! We are celebrating at Ridgely Middle School by doing creativity week activities in our STAG advisory groups. I am so excited about what the students will create today.
I am especially excited about today’s lesson, which is based around Native American Dancing! I recently completed a painting that shows my personal journey with Native American dancing. This painting is called Reign Fancy, and it shows a female native fancy dancer.
Author Ria Thundercloud and illustrator, Kalila Fuller, will share their book, Finding My Dance. As students hear Ria’s story, they’ll be moved to connect culture, identity, and self-expression. From pow wows to traditional regalia, Ria will captivate students with her remarkable journey. Then they can draw and illustrate nature-inspired patterns and dance poses, making their art dance on paper with Kalila J. Fuller!
After watching the video, students will create their own drawings of traditional regalia, or dancing from their own cultures. This is a great way to get to know your students and share the arts from other cultures.
Take pictures of what your students create and post them on social media with the hashtag #CrayolaCreativityWeek and you could win prize packs from Crayola!
To celebrate the 75th anniversary, 75 NAEA members were selected for the opportunity to be early adopters of the January 2023 Crayola Creativity Week while participating in special leadership team-building experiences in preparation of the nationwide Creativity Week celebration.
The National Art Education Association (NAEA) and Crayola Education partnered to offer the NAEA–Crayola Creativity Ambassadors Program, providing visual arts education professionals with professional learning, resources, and support to cultivate Creative Leadership Teams within their learning communities.
75 Educators from around the world were selected to participate in this program! We have been meeting virtually to learn new things about leading our communities in Creativity week in 2023!
Everyone who signs up will get FREE video activities and downloadable Thinking Sheets.* And the best part? It isn’t limited to just 7 days. Every educator will have free access to digital resources for cross-curricular creative learning fun all year long!
With giveaways, challenges from celebrity creators, and virtual classroom visits, it’s a celebration the whole school will want to be a part of!
Share students’ ideas, projects, and work in a secure online gallery, and connect with creative classrooms around the country during the live Celebration Assembly event.
There is a fantastic lineup of creatives that will be sharing their stories, inspiring us to get creative!
Choice-Based Art Education is student centered and based around teaching through the use of the Studio Habits of Mind.
The Studio Habits of Mind are ways in which we process our experiences, here is a great project example. They are very similar to the Scientific Method, or the Mathematical Practices.
Teachers in the Mid-Atlantic area came together the first weekend in August for a retreat, to reignite the flame before school begins. When Pam Ehrenreich asked if I knew of a place to host a retreat for teachers in our area I was THRILLED to offer my studio space.
When everyone arrived we started the weekend with appetizers and a TASK party! It was a nice way to get into the weekend… start to make art and open ourselves up new ideas.
Silk Screening TAB SHIRTS
Tracy Skeels shared her method of silk screening. We created stencils from paper and worked together to print our designs.
We shared different projects and resources with each other, creating examples for our students. Julie Dimino shared all of her amazing resources with us!
There were presentations on Cold Finishes on Clay, Gelli Printing, Weaving, and Cyanotypes. Each presentation was so insightful and inspiring.
Cold Finishes for Fired Clay
Jen Byrne shared a few awesome tips for cold finishing clay! Mixing metallic acrylic paint with water in buckets for a quick dip in the shimmer bath!
Tracy Skeels presented on gelli printing, and we were able to explore and create to our hearts content.
Kate Heuston presented on cyanotype, and her experimentation with the process as an artist. We tried new techniques like drawing on acetate, and using transparencies to create different layers of prints.
April Pink presented weaving, and we learned quick and easy ways for our students to be able to weave on cardboard looms.
We also shared the many resource for how we structure our classrooms. The reflection and discussion time were super valuable.
Aside from all the learning, it was great to meet like minded individuals and also have time to create art of our own.
Painting Flow and Glow Party
On Saturday evening we had an intuitive painting party. Each teacher created their own work of art, and then we discussed how we could use this in our classrooms.
The weekend was so amazing. 10 art educators coming together to share and create!
If you missed out on this years, keep an eye out for next! It will be the first weekend in August 2023.
One of my favorite art lessons to do with my 8th grade is the Art Expo!
Art Expo Lesson Plan
For this lesson I began by talking to the students about art supply businesses and the NAEA convention!
We observed videos I took during the NAEA expo hall experience, discussed what it means to be a vendor, and created theatrical characters that students performed as in the final day of the unit!
Students loved researching and becoming the expert of materials, and then sharing what they learned through acting and presenting! We invited other teachers, administration and parents to our final Art expo day.
Each student was tasked with creating a character that was an expert on an art material. Students completed a character development worksheet, that identified their characters name, birthday, education, and work experience with the art material.
The first year I did this with my gifted and talented students and I allowed them to select which materials they wanted from a list of materials I premade. I did not want students to use things like colored pencils and markers since they have so much experience with them already. When I retaught this lesson to my academic art class, I allowed them to choose more typical art supplies.
Students had to create a table set up that included history, techniques, and types of the material. They also had to show 2 examples of art using the material, and have a 5 minute activity that visitors could do to explore the materials.
The students LOVED this project, and so did the Admin! Its student centered to the core.
Diving deep into my shadows, I’ve found a level of insecurity in presenting myself in this new realm of reality.
I am used to engaging and interacting with people of all ages and all backgrounds, in real life. Being in a room of 30 middle school students working on their art produces an energy like no other. Interacting with people one on one while I share the gift of henna produces an energy that I have only found through that interaction.
The giving and receiving. I receive from each person and each student, just as I am giving to them. There is nothing like giving gratitude to each person for sharing their time and energy with me. I would always say, I couldn’t do this without you.
But now I am forced to continue on my path without the real life interaction from other people. So I dive deep… to find ways I can be me, and do what I do without other people around. How do I give my gifts without that energy of the room of students, or the one on one contact with another person?
This is proving to be more difficult for me than I would’ve imagined. I am coming upon so many blocks in my mindset. Now I realize, a deeper shadow I am facing… Insecurities, unworthiness, and self doubt when it comes to presenting myself when there is no one around to reflect back to me. Each person is like a mirror, and I judged how good I was based off of how good everyone else felt. Like their happiness and pleasure in creating was a direct reflection of who I am.
Without those people around… I am here feeling a bit empty. Doing instructional videos online won’t be the same as instructing people in person. This new venture brings up fears surround my ability to share who I am with others and how others will receive what I am giving when not being in the same physical space. I guess it’s just the energy of the week, with the Scorpio full moon, and the adjustment to this new norm in our society at the moment. The only way I will find out is if I keep moving forward and try something new.
I wonder if there are others out there feeling the same way… feeling a sense of loss from the energy of the classroom, or a sense of insecurity in switching our presentations over to a digital platform. I am sure there must be others feeling like I am.
The Frozen movies come to mind… just let it go and head into the unknown.
The big karmic lesson is to learn to let go of the past and more forward into the new paradigm. Let go of the fear, and keep moving forward one step at a time. Remember to have compassion for and be gentle with yourself. The one thing that matters in the end, is simply being your own best friend. You are doing amazing things in this new world. Thank you for sharing what you know, and who you are, with the world. <3
We are in week 4 of online e-learning through Schoology, using Google Meets for virtual meetings.
First I have to say how grateful I am to work for Baltimore County, and to work with such amazing educators. The BCPS visual arts office enlisted the help of my department chair and other art educators to create amazing lessons for our students. We are so fortunate.
The past 4 weeks have been a roller coaster.
As a teacher I have to keep up with my 300 students, who post 3 times a week, grading and giving feedback. It is a lot of desk work, a lot of time spent at the computer.
I miss being in my classroom. I miss interacting with my students face to face. I miss the conversations we have, and seeing them light up when they come up with an idea for their project, or when they figure out something and are proud of themselves!
Art is such a hands on interactive activity! I am learning to navigate the balance between the digital and the material experiences. But let me just say again, I really miss my students.
I get to do virtual meetings with them once a week, every other week for 30 mins. It is challenging to build relationships with 20+ students via a Google Meet in a half an hour. So far I have met with my A day kids twice, and my B day kids once. During our meetings, we have shared something interesting about what we’ve done since we’ve been quarantined, which took all 30 mins!
When my students tell me what they’ve been doing with their time, the majority of them say they are spending A LOT of time doing homework. They have expressed a huge amount of stress from the amount of focus it takes for them to get all of their school work done. Aside from the workload, students have also mentioned they are doing a lot more physical activity then before the quarantine! So that’s a positive!!
Teachers are not to use the meeting time to do new learning or direct instruction. We are to be building relationships and allowing time for students to check in. Part of me wishes I had more time with them so we could do a fun art project! There are a lot of layers to this though…not all kids are in the meetings, not all kids have materials to create an art project with and we have a limited about of time.
Also most of my students do not want to turn their cameras on!! I love seeing my students, so I ask them to please turn their cameras on so I can see them! It’s not the same teaching to a bunch of uppercase letters in colored circles!
I have also been leading google meets for my green club kids!! We have been learning about different edible plants and watching the fruit trees grow!
Aside from teaching my students, I am also assisting my own children in their school work. Doing both is challenging, but we are making it work!
Luckily my kids school has streamlined things on google classroom and my children are starting to really get the hang of everything! We have meltdowns every now and then… but it’s a lot more manageable then the first week!
Overall… we are doing it. We are handling it, we are learning and growing.
Just a reminder that is not simply electronic learning, this is emergency learning.
Be kind, be compassionate, be easy on one another…
Wow so much has happened in a week….yet so little at the same time!
This time last week I was writing about how it felt after 3 days of being off of work.
I feel different than I did last week, that’s for sure. Still a little uneasy, however I feel like this has strengthened my center so I might be more balanced in all things.
So we found out on Wednesday that all Maryland schools will be closed until April 24th. We will find out more about how we are going to implement online learning, sometime next week. I am excited about this new adventure and the opportunity to flip my classroom and lead the way into this digital age! I’ve messaged my students to ask them what type of things they would like to learn about so I can start making some videos. Friday we had our first Zoom faculty meet up! It was nice seeing everyone’s faces!
It’s almost time to get out of my comfy clothes!
Tomorrow starts a week of online professional development about how e-learning will go with my students. Anxious to find out what I am going to have to do so I can start preparing!
I have been messaging my students on Schoology for the past two weeks. A few students have emailed me and sent pictures of their artwork! Check some out below:
It is the quality of being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
Every human possess a certain spirituality in some manner. For all of time, humans have searched for a power grater than themselves. We all have questioned and formulated a belief we had or still have in the soul. Whether is through religion or some sort of life altering experience.
So, as an art educator I naturally ask the question…how do we define spirituality in the context of art education?
Or better yet…how do I explain that the two are intertwined?
We process all of life’s experiences through themental/spiritualand material/physical. These are the yin and yang that make up existence.
When we are concerned with our soul we go on vision quests, we seek through meditation and prayer, we call to a force outside of our material world, and deep within ourselves. We have always seeked to connect to source, creator, or our definition if God.
Art is, too, this way… deep within us. Since the beginning of time we have used art to record and to express our inner thoughts and visions.
When we are concerned with our soul, a beautiful things happens… alignment. We begin to create beautiful things without a second thought. We begin to find our authentic voice, which allows us to best communicate our truth to the world.
This alignment allows for a redefining of the word art… as an expression of ones inner self, rather than only the ability to perform a skill to create something new, such as observational drawing in order to make something look realistic.
*Dive deep into the meaning of words.*
When we leave words at their base definitions, we lose a whole world of possibilities. When we dive deeper into what a word means to us, and pay more attention to the intentions behind our words…we begin to find synergy.
Art and spirituality are one in the same.
As educators we strive to assist our students in knowing themselves better, and teach them how to be creative, curious, and caring citizens. Art and Spirituality are vital parts to the human experience and should be celebrated, explored, and discovered through expressing and creating.
I would love to collaborate with you in expressing and creating a dialogue on the importance of spirituality in art education.
So, how we can assist learners of all ages to tap into their inner self to create and express themselves in whatever life experiences they have. This is the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model.
The C.E.E.Q.E.R. model is a way to use the tools around you to uncover a clearer sense of things. It stands for, Create, Explore, Experiment, Question, Express, Reflect. These 6 things bring art and science together.
Please leave your questions, comments, or ideas….lets start a conversation!
The best way to find answers is through dialogue, with others or with self.
National Art Education Association held this years convention in Boston. A place I had not yet visited as an adult, but was excited to have the opportunity to experience.
I arrived at the BWI airport at 5am on Wednesday, and was in Boston by 8am. When I arrived it was a little chilly, but it felt like Maryland weather. I caught the Logan Express to the Sheraton hotel in Back Bay. After checking in I decided to take a walk to the Isabella Gardner Museum.
This museum quickly became one of my most favorite. The detail that went into the collection and the curation of the art, was in itself an art.
After the Gardner Museum, I went to the Museum of Fine Arts which was open until 10pm on Wednesdays! The museum was just the right size… with art from many different cultures, and a Frida Kahlo exhibit. I enjoyed myself so much I walked about 10 miles that day!
The convention was fantastic, so many great presentations. I went to one about the role of Art Educators of students with Trauma. The women who were presenting wrote a book called Art for Children Experiencing Psychological Trauma. I am reading it and so far it is fantastic! So informational about the different types and effects of trauma. This is so relevant for the generations of today, who have experienced many school related as well as home related traumas. I know art is life, so it must assist in releasing traumas and helping people move forward to create a life they wish.
Another great session I went to was Soul Collage. This was a wonderful workshop to create cards that represent certain emotions you want to portray. This cards can later be used to pull from as inspiration.
The exhibit hall was wonderful as always! Many make and take art stations as well as wonderful posters and opportunities to get students involved in different types of art. I also received a load of new art materials to experiment with!
I saw a session by … which was about turning science into art through basket weaving and music compositions! The correlation between data and art is so intriguing.
Howard Gardner discussed the Studio Habits of Mind, along with Grit Vs. Wit and how important it was to know thyself, engage and care for others, and be aligned with your ethical compass.
While Amy Sherald talked about her inspiration for painting, and how her life has influenced her work. She speaks of photography as “Artistic DNA.” My favorite quote from her was that portraits were more important in shaping our future than law making. This made so much sense to me and should really connect with these times.
This years convention was so fulfilling and definitely one of my top 5! I met a lot of new people and got to see some old friends!
This was a convention to remember, so many experiences and so much love. Thanks for another great year NAEA! See you next year in Minneapolis!
What better way to collaborate then with an art project, so we started the school year off with a class mural.
I had each class vote on an image that would represent their class, and then I created that image using masking tape over a square board. Students then chose a color to represent themselves and stamped their hands over the board.
When the paint dried, I peeled it away to reveal a white outline of the image they chose. Students then signed their names within the white lines. This represents our classes choice to work together as a team, and remember we are apart of something greater.
This reminder is not only for the art room, but for life. When we remember our perspectives are only one of many, we can work together towards a greater goal.
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