Reading is an art form, and every man can be an artist. Edwin Louis Cole
Skyline Middle School librarian, Sandra Parks and art educator, Holly Bess Kincaid joined forces with the community to make our fourth annual
A.R.T. (Art-Read-Think) Day a huge success.
Books with an art or music focus filled the day helping us to celebrate Youth Art Month and Music in our Schools Month.
Featuring the following community members sharing stories:
Superintendent Scott Kizner
Mayor Deanna Reed
Lead singer for Judy Chops Molly Murphy
Smithland Elem. Principal Janis L. Churchill
Skyline Middle School Principal Daniel Kirwan
Teachers, Community Members, and other local leaders.
Teachers were invited to bring students to hear stories all day long! The smiles on faces show what an impact sharing stories can make when we take the time to read aloud.
Art Read Think Day Book List:
Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan, Illustrated Jon J Muth
Sung by 8th Grade Civics Teacher Ron Ornstein
#NAEA17 brought the opportunity for Kate Nesmith and I to share our instructional strategies sharing the Studio Habits of Mind in our Elementary and Middle School environments.
The presentation shared how we both help to encourage our students to develop the eight studio habits of Understanding the Arts Community, Observing, Engaging & Persistence, Reflecting, Stretch & Exploring, Expression, Developing Craft, and Envision. At different levels the same terms are being shared with students to help them continue to grow as a young artist.
As a new school year begins I find myself filled with a variety of emotions. Dreaming of the potential creative endeavors and finding ways to problem solve the growing number of students filling our school. This school finds our school filled with over 976 students who come from a variety of backgrounds speaking 43 different languages at home. One of my goals for the year will be incorporating more opportunities for students to read, write and speak through art.
I would love to hear how other art teachers are goal setting for their school year or how you incorporate literacy in your programs!
Skyline Falcon Artists with the support of a Harrisonburg Educational Foundation Grant created kites that represented their dreams for the future. Students were inspired to symbolically represent what they want to accomplish in the future. We lifted our art work to fill the air with visual representations of dreams and the sound of pure joy in flying a kite!
Kite kits helped make the process less intimidating for our students and took the stress of achieving flight away. We ordered the Frustrationless Flier kits which allow students to paint or decorate with markers on the Tyvek material. Students can follow easy to build directions to add the fiberglass rods, tape and bridle line. The wind just needed to be 3mph to get our dreams to soar high into the sky!
Memories of childhood will be kept in the hearts of these middle school students as they take their dreams to the high school in the fall. I am thankful for their bravery in opening up their hearts and sharing their visual voice through art this school year. May each of them never stop reaching for their goals and find themselves surrounded by stars!
Reach as High as You Can Day is celebrated always on April 14 to expand our horizons. And, it truely will be an uplifting experience. Today, there are no limits. You can literally reach for the sky.
Is there something you've wanted to "go for", and felt it was just out of reach? A new job, perhaps? Maybe a date with that cute co-worker or classmate. Whatever the challenge you face, if you reach as high as you can, you just might win the prize. And, you will never know until you try.
So, use Reach as High as You Can Day to reach and attain, or even surpass, your goals and objectives. You'll be oh, so glad that you did!
Teaching students to find creative solutions for transforming objects into art is part of our annual Altered Book Project.
The pages of a book hold endless possibilities to create, whether a sculpture, poetry, a canvas for new work, or niches for treasures. To start the project I introduced the concept of an altered book as a way to create 2D or 3D art work inspired by a book. On Pinterest I collected examples to show students and talked through a variety of approaches students could take with their altered book. (pinterest board link below!)
After a class discussion the students were able to sort through a large selection of books that have been donated from staff, and library discarded books. The books sometimes inspire the sculpture or students come with an idea of a new visual story they would like to create. Students sketch their ideas in their sketchbook to prepare their ideas and plan the steps.
Students were given one week to complete the altered books with a variety of materials like cardboard, tissue paper, scrap paper, etc to add into their sculpture. The unique approaches were thrilling to watch as they developed.
Many of the altered books will be on display in our regional library and school library through out April and May! We hope you will stop by and check out their work either in the library or online in our Artsonia Gallery!
Our weekly Staff Leadership Team meets every Monday, this week one moment stood out in my memory like none other. One of my administrators happily exclaimed that there were ONLY 50 school days left.... WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?
Panic set in...the list of things I need to do in the next 50 school days just ran through my mind. I have two more clay projects, the fine arts night is coming, new students start next week, but they missed art because of testing and field trips, I have to get my 3" Goal Binder filled, oh then there are those organizing projects, changing my bulletin boards, and ... the list goes on.
The more I contemplated, I suddenly had images in my mind of what others probably expect when they announce the...
Teacher's Summer Count Down
Sure, I love a good snow day to catch up on TV, laundry and all other ways to celebrate the unexpected day off, but it seems every year I have a little feeling of panic trying to make sure to accomplish all my goals set for the school year. It never fails when an art show deadline looms that the kids will be pulled for a field trip, testing or meetings. There is a wonderful juggling act of time management, deadlines, and making the most of time available as the year draws to a close.
As I talked myself through the idea of the countdown I realized that I just needed to not panic!
Basically, we all do our best to fit in all the art shows, advocacy moments, special projects the students will remember for years to come between PD, conferences, and keeping up with our personal lives. Summer is a time to reflect, make plans for next year, visit with family and perhaps take in some special professional development or just a simple trip with family. While it is a wonderful and needed time of reflection, there is that moment of sadness when special students will move on to the high school. I will not panic. Instead, I'll enjoy the last nine weeks of 2015-2016 school year and every creative moment left!
If you have ever contemplated attending the Annual National Art Education Convention allow me to share a little glimpse of why I think you should just "GOGH"!
#NAEA16 was held in Chicago March 17-20, 2016 and welcomed over 5,000 art educators from around the country and world! The annual professional development opportunity highlights art educational issues, teaching strategies, and innovative educators sharing their work. Each conference creates wonderful take away moments that you can gain from attending your state or National Art Education Convention that will provide inspiration for the entire school year.
#NAEA16 provided many moments that I continue to reflect on throughout the coming months. What does NAEA mean to me? The annual convention is an opportunity for...
Networking with #ArtsEd 's most Engaging Makers & visiting Art museums!
One of the most rewarding opportunities NAEA conventions provides is the opportunity to meet and spend time with the #artsedPLN beyond our online chats, blogs, groups or twitter chats throughout the year. My online community of art educators help to inspire and push my practice to new levels. The opportunity to finally meet and hear other educators you admire speak about their classroom is priceless. The first decade of my teaching career was long before social media and the ability to connect with other educators easily online. (I know what you are thinking...How did we ever survive before the twitter chats, FB art teacher group and Pinterest?!?) In the late 90's I was able to connect through the Yahoo Arts Educator groups and VirginiaPen. But, in the last decade we do not have to be isolated on our own curriculum islands in distant classrooms has vanished to being able to be constantly connected. Teachers can now go online to see flipped videos of teaching strategies, sharing techniques and a variety of lessons shared. Educators share through so many different platforms and it is inspirational to be able to really sit down and discuss ideas for the future of art education with my peers. Our society has quickly moved to being constantly connected through social media but the art of conversation is cherished when you can sit down to dinner and talk. I am grateful for the inspiration and most importantly the friendships developed through my #artsedPLN. I consider them my friends, my #artsed family admire and love them dearly.
The convention is three days filled with wonderful talks, presentations, super sessions, award functions, vendors and maker spaces! Here are a few of my favorite talks, moments and inspirations....
During the convention I was thrilled to have the opportunity to present ideas and lessons from my own classroom along a few inspiring members of my #artsedPLN.
Resources from presentations can be found below:
Middle Level Medley on Arts Integration Blog Post & Group Ideas on Cross Curricular Connections
China a Journey through Art: Prezi & Session recordings by Christian Parker Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3
Leading the Way: TEAM Middle : Prezi
The convention had a wonderful interactive maker space this year where NAEA educators set up a variety of spaces where we could explore new technology and innovative projects. The room was filled with a variety of educators set up at stations demonstrating 3D Printing, Animation, 3D Scanning, Sewing with conductive thread, and technology like the Makey Makey. I was intrigued by all the stations and loved seeing the room a buzz with people interacting with the variety of technologies. The hands on approach helps our students and teachers to see first hand how to put the technology to use in our own classrooms. Here is a list of resources from the Maker Space presenters: Thanks to Shaunna Smith! : NAEA Maker Resources
Chicago offers the opportunity to visit some wonderful art museums and public art spaces. My first visit to Chicago was for NAEA06 and I was thrilled to visit a city with such a great art collection. On Saturday afternoon I ventured out with many art educators to the Chicago Art Institute to see the Van Gogh Exhibit and a few of my favorite works of art. The opportunity to see Van Gogh's three bedroom paintings together was a crowded but thrilling experience. Beyond the Van Gogh exhibit I loved the opportunity to linger in front of American Gothic, O'Keeffe paintings and a the wonderful collection at the Art Institute. Hopefully my next visit won't have to wait until the next NAEA convention in Chicago! Chicago, until we meet again... thank you for the memories, inspiration and the view! I would love to hear YOUR favorite moment from #NAEA16?