Friday, January 23, 2015

Guest Post! Lights, Camera, Action!

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a session at the Educational Theater Collaborative's (ETC) Integrated Arts Conference at Plymouth, NH with my colleague and friend, Tiffany Dube. One of the "challenges" we had for the participants was exploring blog writing and I offered a posting on my blog to get them started. 

This post by Jean Butler and Ashley Shorb describes the Integrated Arts Conference in general. These posts were generated by the participants at the conference and reflect their thoughts and beliefs. I'm just happy to post! Enjoy!


New Hampshire Integrating the Arts Conference 2015

Today 50 Arts educators and Artists converged at Plymouth State University to enrich ourselves and share creative and innovative ideas about integrating the arts into the classroom. We are surrounded by glowing visual arts projects and new and very high energy. The NHDOE arts consultant, Marcia McCaffrey, tallied how many students we impact in a year and found the number to over 19,090 students in New Hampshire. Each attendee participated in two workshops.  Workshops were themed around the musical “The Sound of Music” which is being performed at the Silver Center for the Arts in Plymouth, NH.

Guest Post! Connecting Movement with Math Concepts

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a session at the Educational Theater Collaborative's (ETC) Integrated Arts Conference at Plymouth, NH with my colleague and friend, Tiffany Dube. One of the "challenges" we had for the participants was exploring blog writing and I offered a posting on my blog to get them started. 

This post by Jaylene Bengtson and Bob McNutt describes a session they attended prior to mine called "Sixteen Going On Seventeen: Math Meets Movement" led by Rene Martinez. These posts were generated by the participants at the conference and reflect their thoughts and beliefs. I'm just happy to post! Enjoy!


The writers chose this image by Keith Haring
because of the movement it represents.

In our first breakout session we learned how movement can be utilized to support math concepts in a variety of levels across grade levels. We experienced how to make both physical and mental connections that reinforced the learning of difficult mathematical expressions. Coming from both Art Education and Physical Education we can incorporate our own ideas teaching different units with movement.  It can also be used in a variety of other teaching professions.  Great session lead by Rene Martinez and we highly recommend using movement in the classroom.

Guest Post! Visual Arts: A Major, Not an Extra

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to lead a session at the Educational Theater Collaborative's (ETC) Integrated Arts Conference at Plymouth, NH with my colleague and friend, Tiffany Dube. One of the "challenges" we had for the participants was exploring blog writing and I offered a posting on my blog to get them started. This post by Frank Sharlow talks about the charter school he is a part of--something that he feels really excited about. These posts were generated by the participants at the conference and reflect their thoughts and beliefs. I'm just happy to post! Enjoy!


I have had the tremendous opportunity to be part of a chartered high school based on the arts in Derry, New Hampshire called Granite State Arts Academy. I was hired in August of 2014 as the visual arts department coordinator for the school.  We are currently in our first year of classes and building the visual arts department has been both rewarding and challenging.

Each student who attends our school is required to major in one of the arts provided at the school: visual arts, dance, music, or theatre.  It has been wonderful to work in an environment where being the art teacher is considered being a major and not an extra.

We are currently busy planning and building our curricula for year two at GSAA and are eager and excited to provide in-depth arts education to students in New Hampshire.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Integrating the Arts and Technology: A Few of OUR Favorite Things!

"Touch this image!"

That's the phrase Thinglink uses whenever someone shares a clickable image created using this amazing website! Try our Thinglink image above entitled "Integrating With Technology: A Few of OUR Favorite Things" and leave a comment at the bottom of this post with any ideas YOU come up with for integrating this piece of technology in your classroom!!

What's Going On Here?
Well, this image contains all of the resources and links for a conference session I am leading with my colleague, Tiffany Dube. We placed this image here so that participants could access it easily. You get to see it too! We structured our session to be an exploration of tech tools by having participants use a choice board. No matter how YOU learn (or what type of art you are trying to integrate), there's a tech tool for that!

Thinglink allows you to upload an image (from the web or from your desktop) and add clickable "tags" to it. These tags can be text, videos, or websites. The sky's the limit for this resource! Use it to flip your classroom, organize a presentation, have students create one for a project (either by themselves or as a group). You can sign up for a free thinglink account. Also, check out their website and click the "browse" tab to see how others are using this resource.

I do not receive any compensation from Thinglink for posts like this. I just use it myself and think others would like to as well! :-)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Out with the old! Art catalog magnets

So, are you feeling the urge to organize your classroom, your paperwork, your art space? No, me neither! Just kidding!

But if you are throwing out some old magazines and art catalogs, here's a great project that you really should try (I know you've probably seen it everywhere)! Take a couple of those great art catalogs from last year (Crystal Publications catalogs are my favorite for this!) and grab a few inexpensive art supplies and get crafting! The reason I love the art catalogs is that they have tons of little images of art posters that are the perfect size for this project. It's sort of addicting once you get started--it's so fun to create your own gallery of art magnets!

You can also use magazine images and text (Family Fun magazine is another favorite of mine) if you like more random images and funky text for your magnets. You may be able to use your own images--just make sure they are laser color copies and not inkjet since the ink will bleed when you brush on the Mod Podge.

These make a nice little gift when you display them in a unique way. I had my art students attach them to a piece of card stock and slip them into a zip-top bag, but I've seen people put them in an old Altoids tin. The would be nice on a card that looked like a fancy frame (or maybe a whole bunch of little frames with one magnet in each frame)--really the sky's the limit on how you can present these. They are great gift for the artsy people in your life! (hint, hint!)

Art Catalog Magnets

Supplies Needed:

  • Old art catalogs or magazines
  • 1" clear glass "blobs" from the dollar store--these were bigger than the standard 1/2" blobs that I use for other projects
  • 1" circle template (see below)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Palette for Mod Podge
  • Newspapers for work surface
  • Circle magnets (I bought mine at Michael's for $7 for a pack of 50 magnets, I think)
  • Super glue (I tried jewelry glue but, WHEW! it stunk--serious brain cell killing going on with that stuff!)

1. Create your template/viewing window: I used a 1" circle punch to punch a hole in a scrap piece of white card stock. I then used this 1" hole to view my art catalog images and select the images for my magnets. Clear, bright images work best. I also suggested to my students that they take one of the glass blobs and place it over any images that were questionable to see if they would read easily--most are fine.

2. Once you find an image that would work well for you magnet, use the template and pencil to trace a circle onto the image. Cut out using scissors.

3. Use the foam brush to brush a bit of Mod Podge onto the flat side of the glass blob. Place your image face down onto the Mod Podge and brush another coat of Mod Podge onto the back of the image. Set aside to dry thoroughly.

4. When you are sure the image is completely dry on the glass blob (give it a couple hours), add a dot of Super glue to the back of the glass blob and place a magnet on top. Allow the glue to dry according to manufacturer's directions before using.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

What I've Been Up To: Ceramics Fall 2014 Slideshow


I was a busy lady this fall taking a ceramics course up at Plymouth State University. I hadn't taken ceramics since high school so, at first, I felt pretty overwhelmed! The course was offered during the day and I was the oldest student by 20 years or so :-)

My classmates were sweet and fun to be around and very helpful to me--some of them were ceramics majors and/or had taken ceramics all through high school so they were full of great info and project ideas. There were also a bunch of future art educators in the class and it was interesting to hear what they were learning as undergrads versus what I'm learning in the grad program I am enrolled in.

Anyhow, I thought I'd try a bit of technology and tried to make a slideshow using PhotoSnack. Let's see how it goes!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

More Robot Art: Harvey Moon's Drawing Machines

Well, you know I created a scribbling art bot the and posted about it the other day...well, I was looking around on youtube and saw this AMAZING video about Harvey Moon--an artist is Chicago who uses robots to draw for him. This would be an awesome video to show your students as part of a mark-making unit where they explore mark-making with a variety of traditional and nontraditional tools (flyswatters, anyone?!) and then build and use robots to make marks. Of course, what Moon is doing goes WAY beyond my humble art bot!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

I made an ART-Bot!

In the early part of December, I attended the Christa McAuliffe Technology Conference in New Hampshire. This was my second time attending (the first time I wrote about here).

I attended a slew of great sessions, most of them classroom/lecture-type but the first was a hands-on exploration workshop where we could create Sribble Bots (robots that scribble). These Scribble Bots are called a variety of things online such as Scribbling Machines and VibroBots (because of the way they move and shake).

The sponsor for the session was the awesome Montshire Children's Museum in Norwich, Vermont. If you live nearby, it's worth the drive. I'd go during the warmer months when they also have their outdoor water exhibits open and the kiddos can splash and play outside. However, the museum is cool anytime and has trails and TONS of great activities and exhibits going year-round.

They have visitors create these Scribble Bots as part of one of the Maker-classes they offer and, I hear, they offer kits in their gift shop for people to buy and take home if they want the scribbling to continue!

The folks from the Montshire brought everything we needed to create a Scribble Bot (see images) and had directions posted. I just followed the directions, fiddled a bit, and built my own. It was lots of fun and would be a great STEM to STEAM project. I named my Art-Bot "Jackson" after Jackson Pollock, and you could connect his work and the work of other great artists who used various, innovative mark-making techniques. It might also be neat to have students explore different ways their bodies could make marks (their feet, their elbows, etc.) or various tools they could use to make marks (fly swatters, paint-filled balloons, homemade paintbrushes or found-object stamps). The sky's the limit!

This person made her Scribble Bot to look like a kitty
and it created perfect circles over and over--amazing!
My Art-Bot just shook all over and scribbled furiously :-)

Monday, January 5, 2015

Calendar Design #3: Snowy Day Calendar (REPOST)

OK, this is the LAST calendar idea I'll post in the series--I promise. Well, I *think* it will be! This is a repost of an idea I used with a group of art students way back in 2012. Oh, it seems like so long ago :-)

You can read the original post here, but I got the idea for the image from Pinterest back when I was new to pinning. I just loved the image which (through the use of Google Translate) I found was made using the tissue paper the crafter received in a pair of shoes she had purchased. How creative to see potential in something most of us just throw away!


Friday, January 2, 2015

And another calendar idea! Ripped Paper Winter Landscape

It's not too late to celebrate the New Year!

Here's a quick idea for a calendar you can make with scraps of paper. It's a nice way to use up scraps and practice ripping paper. I made this project with a variety of kiddos from pre-K to 4th grade and they all enjoyed it. I think they especially enjoyed adding the splatter-paint snow at the end!

Here's a close-up of a couple of the calendars. As you can see, some of
the older students added a few details to their scenes.
These were done as part of my "Gifts from the heART" class.

Ripped Paper Winter Landscape Calendar

Supplies Needed:

  • A black or dark blue piece of paper for the night sky (ours was 4 1/2" x 8 1/2")
  • Various white and blue pieces of paper for the snow
  • Small scraps of various green paper for the trees
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Gold star stickers
  • White tempera paint
  • Stiff bristled brush
  • Paper plate palette
  • One 2015 Year-at-a-glance calendar printed on the bottom half of an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of white paper
  • Laminator and 8 1/2" x 11" laminating pouch
1. Rip some strips of white and light blue papers and layer them together onto the black paper to create the illusion of snowy hills. When you like the arrangement you have, glue the layers onto the black background using the glue stick. This part is where younger kids may need a bit of assistance, but they usually catch on fast. :-)

2. Cut some little triangles for trees out of the green papers. Glue them onto the hills you've made. Trees in the way back of your landscape may appear smaller than the ones in the foreground of your landscape. 

3. Add sparkly star stickers to the tops of your trees or in the sky or both. Don't forget to sign your work at this time.

4. Place your completed landscape into a box to reduce splatters. Dip your stiff bristled brush into white paint and use your finger to flick the bristles to splatter paint "snow" onto your landscape. A grown-up may choose to do this, but kids do really enjoy it (yeah, it makes a little mess).  Add the desired amount of snow to your landscape and let dry.

5. Once your landscape is dry, use the glue stick to glue it to the 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper that has the calendar printed on it. 

6. Run the entire piece through a laminator to seal it and protect it for  a year's worth of use.

ENJOY! Happy New Year!!

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