Scholastic Teacher a Valuable Resource

   I wanted to share some pretty awesome news from Scholastic! They have relaunched their Instructor magazine! Now they are the new and improved  Scholastic Teacher. I know we have many fabulous Arts Education magazines out there, but I'm curious… How many of you look to other educational magazine resources? 

   I used to think they weren't for me because the "regular ed" teachers wouldn't understand my woes. Quite the contrary! I started reading Scholastic's Instructor magazine a few years ago and it had many helpful tips and tricks of the trade I could incorporate into my art classroom. In fact, we can not only reach for this resource, but they reach out to art educators as well. A tip of mine , "Put a Cap On It" was recently featured in one of their past issues. 

   I believe that in order to keep up with the ever changing times in our field, it's important to look outside of our subject area and look for new ideas. I'm currently working on my masters in curriculum and instruction and have taken many learning strategies geared for reading and language arts and applied them into my art classes.
Frayer Models and the Elements of Art

   Yes, we are "ART" teachers, but I urge you as an educator to push yourself to always be on top of the latest and greatest from all areas of the education world. Who knows, you might just learn something…

Here are a few pretty cool articles from their relaunch issue:
My Best Lesson Ever…

Brilliant, But Bored

Crazy for Chromebooks

Army of Funders

   If you like what you see and would like a FREE subscription to Scholastic Teacher tell me about a learning strategy, organizational tip, or other tool of the trade you have learned from another subject area and how you incorporated it into your art classroom. 


The Beginning of the End of room 169

   Okay the beginning of the end sounds really bad. I'm not going anywhere, but my classroom is. You see my school is very old. It was built in 1961 and it currently educates great grand children of past alumni. My mother graduated from CHS in 1974, my bother in 1985, sister in 1990, and finally my husband and myself in 2004. CHS has the typical old worn out building feel. The classrooms and hallways are too small for our 1,300 students. Furniture and wiring is out dated and not up to code and the list goes on. In fact, the two art rooms and art lab aren't even art rooms. They were built as band rooms, so they are way too small and have no windows except for a window in each outside door. Don't get me wrong the two art rooms are big, but not really big enough. We also have an art lab which houses our 5 sinks, storage closet, kiln closet, and AP studio arts class. 
   The new building is currently being built on the existing school site. How can that happen you ask? In phases. They are taking down one hall/gym/everything  else at a time and building in it's place. This time next year, most teachers will be in the new building. YAY!
   I realized last year that I never posted any pictures of my classroom. I think it's because with it being my first year teaching high school, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it. I've always said that you can't really arrange a room the way you would like until you know what you will utilize the most. So papers piled and things got moved about and displayed on a whim. Beginning this school year was a lot easier. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. 
   I'm pretty proud of these old rooms. They have random furniture because again, these were not built as art rooms. All the mismatch of furniture has its purpose though. Let's take a tore shall we. 
My "main" classroom is 169. It's were I had Art II when I was in High School. This room holds so many memories. 
I am so thankful for this piece. It's a huge bar basically. It has a large counter with two cabinets behind and space to store things below. It even has electricity running to it. I take attendance here, students turn in work behind the counter, and I can set out many materials on it's large surface. Last year I had my Art I students paint some "Abstract" designs on it because it's gonna be thrown away any way this time next year. Currently I have Art II's Frayer Model charts of the Elements of Art hanging. 
 Behind the counter.
Beside my teacher desk (which I don't have a picture of…) I have my student "boxes", germX, tissues, and band aids. Thanks to this pin, instead of having caddies or baskets on the tables, I have boxes. The first person who comes in the room takes the drawer "box" out for the table. 
 Inside each box are supplies we use the most in class. 4 pencils, 4 erasers, index cards, sharpener, 4 sharpies, and post-its. I love these because I check the boxes after every class. Yes, every class. That's how you don't get things stolen. They bring them up, I check, and they put them back in their place. The next class takes them out as they come it. It's perfect!!! I'll get little containers later. One step at a time here people. 
 Then, beside my back door we have this old set of chester-drawers. It houses all my paper needs and my Art III's drying wrack. 
 These little beauties are our 3-D drying racks. They were made by a student's father many years ago. We don't have good 2-D drying racks so I utilize these for that purpose as well. I love how the selves can slide out. These will follow us to the new building… possibly. Currently they are still holding some miscellaneous things from the summer clean up. I'll clean them off when we get to painting. 
 My E's and P's wall. I don't like the ones you buy because I feel like you can't see everything on them. So I made my own at our teacher center. Underneath the black table clothes is a tired looking green chalk board. Ick… Below the board you will notice the paint chipping away because the "stuff" on the walls won't allow the paint to stick… 
 These are my class portfolios. I separate them in tubs and number them with each student's class number. 
 The other art teacher at my school Renee Gary introduced me to using filing organizers to stair step the portfolios to see them better. This also keeps them from falling down. 
 Part of the back wall with the "Student Gallery" and portfolio tubs. We're on a block schedule and have 4 blocks a day. Each teacher teaches 3 blocks a day. If you're lucky like me you get to teach 5 classes with two classes doubled up! Yay! (It's the only way we could have AP Studio Arts)
 These have saved my sanity. Class mail boxes. Students in Art I - III have their own mailbox where they keep their folders, sketchbooks, and various other materials. The cabinet below is from somewhere and is great for organizing materials. You can also see my class schedule. 
 Better look at the mailboxes, class expectations, and checklist.
 Now you can see the door to the AP Studio Arts room, aka the Lab. The little yellow cabinet on wheels is my paint cabinet. Filing cabinets for magazines I get from teachers, student abstract wood sculpture, rack for painting shirts, and random decorative table at the entrance. 
On around in front of my desk is my podium which I demo from. It has many shelves which hold all the materials I need for demos and my lady bug doc camera. 
 Here is the view of my room as you enter. My desk and long bar is to the right and painting cabinet and Lab door to the left. Yes, I do have a white board at the back as well. 
Now let's venture into the Lab where AP Studio Arts calls home. I have AP in conjunction with my Art III and Art II class. Currently I have 18 AP students. I'll be glad when all the tables match in the new building. 
This room is full of so many memories. It was the Advanced Art Lab when I was in school and we called it home. 
As you walk in to the left you will see our announcements board and clean up instructions 
 Student tables with table caddies because I do trust my AP kids a bit more with their materials. If they lose it, I don't replace it. (wink)
 Here you see the entrance to the lab and materials selves.
 These are a life saver as well. A gentleman made these for the art department about 10 years ago after I left. The AP students keep materials in baskets and work in the cubbies. 
 In front of the cubbies is the tall studio tables. I sat at these very tables when I was here. Notice the paintings on the stools made my the class of 2000. 
 The sinks are located behind the AP cubbies. We have 5, but Mrs. Gary and I decided to separate them . They clog about half the time...
 AP easels and computer tables. You will also see the AP posters along the wall. 
 I began the AP Inbox this year. Right inside the door students can keep their portfolio folders and important papers. I will also place rubrics and important notes inside. In front of that is the AP basket where students turn in papers or exit slips. 
That's all for now. I do have more pictures that I forgot to take. So check back for an update. 


iPad, Grading Made Easier

    One of the most daunting tasks last year when I switched from Elementary to High School Art was the grading. In Elementary the grades didn't "matter" per say so I used a very simple way with smiley faces, but this is High School and it mattered. 
    First, I put on my daily "To Do" list to grade EVERYDAY. Even if it was just one project turned in for that day, I still "tried" to do it everyday. Also, I vowed to never physically take student work home to grade. This meant I would have to do all my grading at work… right? Wrong. Last year we purchased iPads for our classrooms. Just one to be used as a teaching tool and help us organize our portfolios for our new TN Fine Arts Evaluation. I used it mostly to assist me in grading work. Here's what I did. 
Prep work: Create Folders for each of your classes. I assign them codes to make my life easier. Art 2 second block, for example, would be 2-2. The most important album is the "To Grade" album.

At the end of the day I would take a picture of all the work that was turned in one at a time. I like to put black poster board/railroad board underneath the work for a better look. I would take some works out side on nice days to get better quality photos. These pics would be in my Camera Roll in my Photos like below. 

 Then I would select all the photos of work that needed to be graded and add them to the "To Grade" album. 

Once the work was in the folder I could begin to grade using the rubric for that assignment. 
 I could tap to enlarge the image and tap again to take away all the other icons.
 Then, when I had graded all work from one class, I would select and add them to the class's album. 
Here are those pics after grading in the class album. 
 The most important step is to then remove the pics you have graded from the "To Grade" album every time you finish grading work for that class. Tap select, select the pieces graded, and tap the trash can. Don't worry, they are still in the other folders you placed them in. 
 Then, I can continue to grade the other class's work. 
When I'm finished, all the pics are in their class albums and no longer in the "To Grade" album.  
Hope this helps some of you out there. 

Someone asked me in the comments, "How do you know who the work belongs to?"
Answer: I have all students before they even begin a project, write their name and class code (such as 2-2) on the back, or in a discrete place on 3-D assignments. I will then take a picture of the name first then take a picture of the work. After the grading process, I can file both pictures into the class album. The pictures will stay in the same order that they were taken. That's why I like to take a picture of the name first, then the work.


Op Art and Colored Pencil Tutorial - Art 1

   I love Op Art and I thought it would be the perfect lesson to teach Art 1's how to use colored pencils. We began by discussing Op Art, M.C. Escher, Victor Vasarely, and Bridget Riley. Then we discussed the project which was to use colored pencil and value to create an Optical Illusion.
- Drawing must be an optical illusion
- Color pencil value to create the illusion (at least 3 values)
- Color pencil technique
- Craftsmanship
- Completeness - illusion must fill the page, traced in black sharpie, and have colored pencil value throughout. 
   Before we discussed how to use the prism colored pencils I showed them many optical illusion. I also put together a handout of optical illusion that they could use. Many used ideas from the handouts, but others sought out other ideas. Here is a link to my pinterest page with the Op ideas I included in my handout.
9"x12" paper
prisma colored pencils
Op Art Handout
   THough not required to, many students drew a few Op designs to see which they liked best… Or which was the easiest to draw. 

   After one day of intro and planning, the next day we practiced using blending colored pencils in our sketchbooks. I was inspired by this pin to create some pictures for my powerpoint to better explain the steps of blending. Students were to choose at least 3 colors. A local color, white, and a darker color of the local. Below are the pictures that I made and used.

Color lightly with local color

Use heavier pressure with the local color for the mid tone. Leave the middle alone for the highlight.

Blend all over with white
Finally, add the shadow color. I also added that you could blend everything again with the white. (or colorless blender if you have them)

   After going over the steps via PowerPoint I also demoed on the lady bug doc camera. I always teach in an I do, We do, You do fashion. I also like to preview what's coming before I explain further. Hence, the PowerPoint explanation before the demo. Next, the students practiced with me prompting. Then, they did it on their own while I walked around to give assistance. 
   While walking around to check for understanding I asked students about their design ideas and how they would use the pencils to show value. Not all designs would be colored the same way. Students had to think where the lighter and darker values would go. 
   I could not have dreamed of a better outcome to this project. Students would get a little frustrated towards the end because their hand hurt or it was taking so long. I just kept reminding them to literally shake it off and look how well they have done so far. Because of those complaints I would not do this project larger then 9"x12". 

Back to Top