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First quarter down…

What an eventful first quarter it has been!

My student artists have completed a variety of projects, focusing on the Elements and Principles of Art along with other techniques. They have had multiple opportunities to be Ceeqers and to really personalize their learning.

Our first big project was our locker name tags. It was a group decision by our faculty to hang plastic sleeves on every locker with the first installation being a name tag for each student. So in art class, every student created their own personalized name tag that focused on an element and principle of design.  The results were fantastic! Our halls went from dull grey lockers to a personalized space that the students truly feel is theirs.

The 8th grade GT Artists created puzzles to represent the Elements and Principles of Design, using multiple materials and techniques!

Student artists in my studio created Zentangle masterpieces next! We did contour line drawings of objects, then artists chose any object or image they wanted, and zentangled it in with patterns and designs. After creating their zentangle objects, artists experimented with watercolor to create a fun background.

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We have had a lot of fun so far, I am looking forward to more fun!! The 8th grade GT artists are working on their Mantle of the Expert presentations where they have to create an art materials sales persona and will present their art material at an art expo. Half of the class will perform and present their materials and activities while the other half are the artists looking for art materials to work with. Each art material salesperson has to create a vendor table with at least 5 techniques, 2 art examples, a 5 minute art activity, and business cards.

6th and 7th grade artists went outside today and created nature art inspired by Andy Goldsworthy! Each group took photos of their work in progress to create a stop motion video of their art coming to life. Some artists decided that they would like to create a time-lapse video on their phones!

I hope you enjoyed our projects as much as we did creating them!!



MAEA Conference 2015

The 2015 MAEA conference was definitely a nice experience for me. When I arrived at Centennial High School, in Ellicott City, I was happy that there was plenty of parking available because there were a LOT of teachers attending the conference. Teaching artists lined the halls with their own personal art for sale, and there were a decent amount if businesses with information and free gifts.

Julia McTighe was one of the teachers vending her creations. She makes the most unique and fun earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Along with hairpins other great art! Her shop is called A Marvelous Spark, and she is definitely that! You can follow her shop on Instagram. Julia is an art educator for Baltimore County Public Schools.

Dick Blick had a nice pencil case that included a small sketchbook, a tube of paint, and coupon for 20% off of orders of $49 or more, and free shipping. Sargent Art had a gift pack of acrylic and tempera paint samples, Sculpt-it! clay, a pencil, and lesson plans. Sax school art supplies had a small pencil case with Crayola construction paper crayon sample, a colored pencil, metalic Sharpie, Prang classic marker, and Faber-Castell gel stick sample.

There were a few schools vending like Virgina Tech, Community College of Baltimore County Catonsville, and The Art Institutes. The programs at CCBC Catonsville look fantastic! I took a lot of my art classes at Harford Community College and my teachers were also professors at MICA and Towson. My years at HCC were definitely valuable, and I learned a lot from the professors.

Art with a heart had a table, as well as The Phillips Collection, Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. The Phillips collection had a great lesson for Arts Integration called Prism.K12. It is awesome! Check it out for resources for arts integrated lessons!

The keynote speaker  was Cindy Foley, an art educator who started changing the minds of people everywhere about what art education actually is… Teaching thinking. She works at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. Cindy spoke on TED talks about the importance of teaching students thinking. Her vision lined up nicely with the CEEQER model!

Art Class

Be a CEEQER … Resources

A few resources for teaching and learning with the C.E.E.Q.E.R. model

MAEA CEEQER resources


CEEQER presentation on PowToon

Art Class Existence

I can and I WILL…

Wow, September just FLEW by!! I was absent the first two weeks of school because of a family emergency, my other half is feeling a lot better today. Not being at work those days was a big challenge for me, not only with taking care of Theo, but missing school. Its tough when you’re gone for one day let alone eight! There is an energy to being a teacher and starting school, and when I finally returned to work I had to mentally prepare myself to have that same energy so my students wouldn’t miss out on all the amazing things I had planned just because the plan didn’t go the way I thought it would.

I am totally enjoying my students. We are having a wonderful time exploring and experimenting. The energy in the classroom studio buzzes with excitement and creative thinking. So far the worst part of my day is when school is over and I have to wait for the next day. Seeing the progress they are making on their projects and with their artistic expression brings me such joy!

Students are currently completing their name tags which will be inserted into plastic sleeves that will be adhered to their lockers! Every student in the building will have a plastic sleeve attached to their lockers to share their art, good grades or just a positive message.

The GT 8th grade art class just completed their first sketchbook homework assignment; use every material in their exploration packets to create a piece of art. Students needed to also come up with one new technique for using a material.

Students also have more blended learning, the 6th grade class has started our lighthouse digital conversion this year. Each student has a device with them every day.  This has been wonderful in the art studio. Students are able to look up reference images that they might need to help them with their projects, or even just listen to music while they work.

Our school system is starting a new objective statement for what the students will do in class. They are call the “I can” statements. I believe the I can statements are a great start, but without the will to do what you know you can do…nothing would ever get done! “I will” means I can and I am going to. I want to and I can!  That is what being a C.E.E.Q.E.R. is all about, knowing we can and then putting the effort into doing. Creating, Exploring, Experimenting, Questioning, Expressing and Reflecting.

Art Class Existence

Be a C.E.E.Q.E.R.

A while back I started reflecting on the different ways of learning that I have experienced throughout my life. I found that I am constantly creating, exploring, experimenting, questioning, expressing and reflecting. These six stages of experiencing have helped me grow personally and I can only imagine the benefits my students will receive from their implementation in my classroom!

As an artist and art educator, I’ve always done these six things, but having an organized structure to them has really brought me to a higher comprehension of how I can use each to get the most out of my experience of life.

Be a life learner

The C.E.E.Q.E.R. is an acronym model which can be used by both teachers and students in solution finding, in order to foster a student centered learning environment.

  • Creating is recognizing the need or desire for new ideas in solving problems.
  • Exploring represents an uninhibited approach to finding solutions. The key to exploration is providing freedom and space for integrating past experiences and available resources.
  • Experimenting takes explorations and applies them practically as a solution; Ideas explored in a controlled scenario.
  • Questioning is used to critically challenge novel solutions and/or ideas.
  • Expression is the ability to share discoveries and demonstrate the results.
  • Reflecting is a final step used to take a workable solution and grow with it. It can also be a way to measure a solution’s effectiveness, while still acknowledging ideas have room to grow.

Be a teacher

C.E.E.Q.E.R. reinforces 21st century learning skills through the application critical thinking, problem solving and reflection.

I believe in this model with all of my being. I personally strive to be a ceeqer every day!