Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Use an Art Room Mantra to Start the School Year With a Bang!

I know, it's only July.... but, I am already thinking about the upcoming school year.
Actually, I have been thinking of new things I'd like to do since school ended! 

I've already picked up a stash of goodies at Target, because who can resist their dollar bins!

As the new school year approaches, the first thing I like to do is make sure I'm all set for the first week.  I always make a plan, not only of what projects we will do to get our feet wet, 
but also what information to give out and go over. 

A few years ago I heard an art teacher talk about using a mantra as a tool to guide not only the school year and student behavior and expectations, but also to serve as inspiration for artistic choice and decisions.  I loved this idea and I have been using one each year ever since. 

My first mantra was inspired and created by the original art teacher - 
"Do Your Job".  
I loved how it could be used to check in with students.  
Are you doing your job?  How are you doing your job today?  
Since then I've tried to get a little "punny" with my mantras. 

Take a look at one of of my past punny mantras:

Click Here for 2017-2018 Art Room Mantra

 I will be using this year's mantra to inspire and guide students at both
Howe Manning and Fuller Meadow.

Be ARTrageous!

In fact my collegue, Kelli Smullin, has already begun to prepare students by creating this fabulous board at the end of this past school year.

I hope that this mantra will inspire students to take risks in art this year.
Try something new, work bigger, go abstract, work with someone you don't typically work with.
These simple words may just challenge young artists to take a chance and be ARTrageous!

Do you use a mantra in your class?
I'd love to hear about it!

 This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the second Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Take the Summer Art Challenge

This summer I'm joining a growing art teacher trend and offering a Summer Art Challenge.

It's so easy....

Step 1: Click here to Download the Summer Art Challenge Bingo Board, created by the Art of Ed.

Step 2: Start Creating! Pick any items on your bingo sheet and get busy. Remember to ask your parents first.  Or even better create with your family.

Step 3: Document.  Take pictures, Show your family, Email Ms. Nasser to report back! Then cross off the item on your sheet.

Step 4: Bring in your finished sheets and artwork at the end of the summer for a chance to win a prize and have your work on a special bulletin board!

Happy Creating!
I can't wait to see what you do this summer!

Adopt A Rescue Animal Today!

This spring, second graders embarked on a true PBL (project based learning) experience. 
I was inspired by this Mrs. Knights Smartest Artists' Pet Portraits.  Check out her lessons here!

When it was time to tackle our clay model magic lesson I knew my grade 2's would love it!

I started out by printing pictures of cats and dogs available for adoption from two local animal shelters, The Northeast Animal Shelter and the Cape Ann Animal Aid.  Click on their links to learn more about their animal adoption.Students created animal sketches based on these images.  

Following the sketching process, students began sculpting with Model Magic. Student's learned to push and pull and manipulate their clay to capture their animals best features!

The next step was to paint.  
Painting was divided into 2 layers over 2 days, the background and the details. 
 We also experimented with using a spot of white for the reflection in the eyes and noses.
I loved seeing their rescue animals come to life with color. 

They did such a great job - take a look!

Finally, to make this a true project based learning experience, students learned about the importance of adopting rescue animals from former Middleton student, Molly Wogan.   Molly is such an amazing young woman.  She started her own organization working and volunteering with many local Animal Shelters.  Click here to learn more about the wonderful work Molly does with PAWS New England.

We were so fortunate to have Molly come and talk to the 2nd Grade about her volunteer work. 
To prepare for Molly's visit we had a drive and collected donations for the Cape Ann Animal Aid; used linens, treats, newspapers, toys, and gift cards. 
We loved hearing how important it is to help animals and adopt a pet!

2nd grade artists used Molly's presentation as research for their persuasive arguments about "Why you should adopt a pet."  Finally, they used Chatterpix to make their special arguments!

They did such a wonderful job on their Chatterpix arguments.  

 Begin's Class 

Kennedy's Class

LeVangie's Class

Mulligan's Class

What did you think?  
Did they persuade you to adopt a new cat or dog?!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Inside Relief Architecture with Grade 2

This year, grade 2 artists dove into architecture and designed their own buildings.
We explored all sorts of different residential structures, 
 like free standing houses, town houses, and city buildings. 
 We examined roof lines, window details, doors, porches, and types of siding.

Students started out using a ruler to draft their building designs.
They then used crayon and marker to add color to their drawings.
2nd graders also learned to increase crayon pressure to show value in their houses and make them appear more 3-dimensional.  Finally student's mounted their buildings on cardboard using varying layers of small cardboard squares behind each building to create a work of art in relief.

I loved seeing the whimsy come out in their finished houses!

Here's a few second grade artists showing off their work at our annual Flint Library Art Show!

The last surprise part of this project was tying in the green screen. 
Each 2nd grader wrote an artist's statement, where they analyzed and reflected on their work. 
 Thank you to our Technology Specialist, Dierdre Baker who, filmed each student reading their statement and used Do Ink Tweets to put each student inside of their work.

Check out each group's performances - I loved how they turned out!

Mrs. Begin's Class

Mrs. Kennedy's Class

Mrs. LeVangie's Class

Mrs. Mulligan's Class

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Fuller Meadow Secret Artist vol.

The last 2 months got away from me and I fell way behind with posting the secret artists for April and May.  That doesn't mean we had any shortage though! In fact, we had students focusing even more than ever to ensure they were the week's secret artist.  Take a peek at these eager young artists:

April's Secret Artists: Week of April 23 - April 2
Picture Group: Mia V. (1EH), Ayla J.(1S), Haik C.(7K)
Sticker Group: Julia B. (KO), Haddie D. (KM)

May's Secret Artists: Week of April 30 - May 5

Picture Group: Zach M. (1T), Marco I.(2M), Kip C. (2L), Ryan M. (2L), Alex C. (2L),
Noelle P. (1K), Nikola P. (2K)
Sticker Group: Mira M (KM)

May's Mystery Artists: Week of 5/7-5/11
Picture Group: Christianna P. (1KH), Ava L. (1T), Gianna Z. (1K), Olivia B. (2K)

May's Mystery Artists: Week of 5/14-5/18
Picture Group: Jack L. (2B), Robbie W. (1KH), Anthony C. (2K)
Sticker Group: Mia C. (KN)

May's Secret Artists: Weeks of  5/21 to 6/1
Picture Group: Colin T. (2B), Nick Y. (2M), Abby M. (2K), Kaylee A. (2B)
Sticker Group: Ryan D. (1K), Logan C. (2M), Isabella R. (2L), Sophia  E. (2L)


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

First Annual Middleton STEAM Carnival!

Early this year I found myself engaged in a conversation with one of the most creative teachers I know, Barbara Deeley (4th grade teacher). We had just learned about STEAM Carnivals taking place in schools around the country and asked eachother, "would it be crazy to try to do this ourselves?"

Well, we do look a little crazy!

6 months later we had recruited a group a teachers who were 
crazy enough to take a chance and join us.

And like that, the first ever Middleton STEAM Carnival was born!

We started out by researching fun but achievable STEAM challenges.  We found so many it was hard to limit ourselves.  With the help of our fellow teachers, we selected a group of activities that teams of teachers were excited about taking on.

Check out our line up!

The week of the Carnival arrived and we worked tirelessly to tie up all the loose ends.  Supplies were gathered and organized, student volunteers were recruited, sample projects made,  
and festive decorations drawn and created by eager student artists.

As the night approached, I was excited but also worried.  What if no one came?  I convinced myself that however small the turn out was it would be ok.  After all, it was our first time.  
If fifty people showed up that would be good.

I was not prepared for the turn out we had.  Throughout the night family after family came into the gymnasium.  Each booth had a stream of participants visit and work through the challenges.  
It was so much fun and there was such energy in the room.

I loved seeing families learn from each different station and share in our excitement.
In the end we had close to 300 visitors!  I think we can safely call this a success.

The special WHMN News segment on the STEAM Carnival
gives you a peek on what the night was all about!

Hope to see you next year - we look forward to this being an annual event!

Did you attend this year's STEAM Carnival?  
What was your favorite booth?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Student Engagement: Finding a Hook For the End of The Year!

I have been working with children in the arts for almost 15 years! 
In that time I have come to realize that art is definitely not for everyone.  
There will always be the kids that are an art teacher's dream, they love every project!  For everyone one of them, there are also the kids that begrudgingly come to class and kind of do their work. 
At the end of the year, it seems even harder to get everyone on board. 

                                          No better time than now to dive into challenges!

I have actually introduced a few challenges throughout the year.  This first one was inspired by a wonderful blog by Angela Watson, thecornerstoneforteachers.com. I love how she emphasizes the important role of challenge tasks in developing problem solving and creative thinking skills. 
I started off the year with a Brown Bag Art Challenge in my Artovation classes. It was a way for me to introduce what Artovation is all about and get students hooked, engaged, and thinking creatively...

To get ready for Dot Day, I presented a dot themed brown bag challenge.
There was such a wide range of ideas!

Check out the link here to my Brown Bag Art Challenge

We also tried out the Longest Line Challenge right before Thanksgiving.  
(Challenges are also a great hook right before vacations!)

Another favorite challenge is the Building Challenge: Lego Edition! I printed out these Lego Task Cards (thank you to A Few Shortcuts Blog!).  Each student was given a task card, each table a Lego bin.  Let the building begin!  I loved seeing how different students interpreted the same task in a different way.  I also saw collaboration and camaraderie. Kids would yell out if they had a Lego piece someone else was looking for.  Students spontaneously joined their creations.

As you can see they loved it!  I think I will need to revisit this one again ts year!

What are some of your students' favorite challenges?

Art Teacher Blogs 
This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs: