Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: Growth Mindset Coach, 3

Hey, y'all! I'm so excited about this week's Art Teacherin' Book Club meeting. In case you didn't hear, co-author Annie Brock will be joining us at 8pm CST right here! How awesome is that? I was so thrilled when a fellow art teacherin' buddy reached out to me to say that she knew the authors...I was all, "hey, can you hook a girl up?" And she did! Annie will be joining us and fielding any thoughts, questions and concerns we may have about growth mindsets.

Even if you are not currently reading The Growth Mindset Coach (um, you really should be), please know that you are welcome to join our chat. Here's all you have to do: 

1. Like and/or follow my page

2. At around 8pm CST, I should pop up in your feed. If I do not, try refreshing your feed or popping by my Facebook page. 

That's it! It doesn't get much easier than that!
Now, if you've joined a Facebook LIVE before, then you know the comments fly by. And, if the comments are lengthy, they tend to get cut off with a "see more" button. Ain't nobody got time for "see more" when more comments keep rollin' in! So, to keep us all on track and to allow Annie enough time to share her journey, I thought it would be good to establish a couple of ground rules. So here we go:

1. Questions will be answered by us first. You can see a general version of the questions we'll be throwing Annie's way in the first image. We will answer the questions first...and then give Annie the floor. For example, when I ask for an introduction to kick off our chat, I'll want to hear from all y'all. Once we are done introducing ourselves, where we teach, our demographics and the number of years we've been killin' the art teacherin' game, we'll give Annie the floor. This will make it so her comment remains onscreen the longest giving everyone ample read time. 

2. Allow Annie's comments to remain. If you've joined our chats before, you might have noticed that new comments push the older ones out. If Annie responds and we flood the comment box then her comments will vanish and she'll have to repeat herself for those who missed it. I'll try my best to read what she has to say...but in case I miss it, let's allow Annie to have the last word. Meaning, once her comment is up, please do not comment until we've all had time to enjoy her words and are ready to move on.

3. Please keep your answers short. Frequent chatters might know  why keeping your answers short is important. If you type out a lengthy paragraph, the totality of what you have to say will not show. Instead a "see more" button will interrupt your comment and, I hate to say it, ain't nobody got time to "see more". So, keep your answers short, on point and we'll be able to see them. If you have a lot to say, simply break it up into bite sized bits so we can see it all. 

I am THE WORST at following rules and directions such as the ones I've laid out for y'all. My therapist says I have issues with authority (I thought I was paying him to tell me I'm right!) That being said, I think laying these ground rules will make it so we can get the most out of our special guest, Annie Brock, and enjoy our chat. Big shout out to Annie...we are so excited to "meet" you and chat about The Growth Mindset Coach with you. We are thrilled to bring your ideas to our art rooms! 

See you on Wednesday, 8pm CST right here!
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: A Giveaway!

Exciting News! I was recently contacted by a lovely publicist for Ulysses Press, the publishers of our current Art Teacherin' Book Club read The Growth Mindset Coach. The authors, Annie Brock and Heather Hundley have a follow up book that is due to be released very soon titled The Growth Mindset Playbook. And you can enter to win this book! 

Here's how:

* Leave a comment below! Tell me a little bit about why you are interested in learning more about growth mindsets. Lemme hear how you might want to use this in your art room. Share what you had for dinner last night...really, write what you like! I just want to hear your thoughts on growth mindsets.

If you are so inclined...but not required to enter:

* Share this blog post on your fave social media outlet. Just so your friends can learn about this opportunity (thus lessening your chances, I know...but you are being a good person and isn't that worth more? Don't answer that). 

I'll be back on Sunday to share the winner! you think you can handle even MORE exciting news?!
Mark your calendars because on Wednesday the 19th, on our third book club chat, co-author of the very book we are reading, Annie Brock, will be joining our chat. I KNOW! Big thanks to a fellow art teacher who put us in touch, Annie has graciously agreed to join the chat that evening. Come prepared to ask her a lot of questions that you've had while reading her book: how she started on this journey, what it looked like in her classroom, what she had for dinner last night, you get the idea. I'm super stoked that she's kindly offered to take time out to join our wild and crazy art teacherin' bunch!
I'm also stoked about our chat this week. We'll be pouring over the first month of school (whichever that may be for you) and how best to teach growth mindsets to our artists. What resources, books, videos, yoga poses, you name it, will best excite and educate our kiddos on changing their minds for the best. Come ready to chat at 8pm CST right here. Some folks have told me that they don't see the chat at times...I think the best thing to do is make sure you have a strong internet connection and be certain to like/follow my page. I should then pop up in your feed at you might wanna have your laptop on mute so as not to frighten the children.
Looking forward to reading your comments (I had pesto lasagna for dinner last night that I actually made, in case you were wondering) and book clubbin' with you soon. 
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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Art Teacher Travels: Venice

Well, kids, I've shared with you nearly all of my Italian adventures. I've discussed how my mom and I organized the trip (okay, let's be honest: how I organized the trip...and she came along for the ride), our experiences in both Rome and Florence and all that we learned along the way. If you are planning a trip, I hope you have found at least one useful nugget. Along with your passport, knowledge is the most important thing to pack...needless to say, we had to gain ours along the way. Our last place to do just that: Venezia!
Venice, Day 7: What is it with us and train stations, y'all? I shared with you in my last post about our crazy experience in the Rome train station. Thankfully, we had a little train station knowledge under our belt and this time we were able to navigate the train station without help. I will say, the train station in Florence is much smaller and easier to get around. Just an FYI: have some euro on hand as the restrooms are 1 euro a trip. Pay to pee, so to speak.  
So we were all good until we arrived in Venice. Now, if you have never been to Venice, it truly is all on water. There are no cars. Just canals, bridges, super narrow alleyways and very few street signs. This was hands down the most difficult city to navigate. Thankfully, Venice is super small and dominated by landmarks such as the Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square. You can find big yellow signs on the sides of buildings pointing you to either one or the other. If you no longer see those signs, then you've made it to a different part of town. Good luck. 
I got the big idea that when we got off the train, we'd take a water bus to the general area of our hotel and navigate with our map from there. Big mistake. Little did I know that the streets would be so poorly marked. When I called The Star Splendid Hotel (which was truly ever bit of splendid. The most posh hotel we stayed in during our adventure!), the receptionist said, "Our hotel is located between the Rialto Bridge and San Marco Square." Y'all. Literally everything in Venice is located in that very same spot! From our water bus drop off, we lugged our suitcases up and down the stairs of bridges before finally turning to Siri for advice. She was mildly helpful but it was mom's eagle eye in the end that spotted our local. So, take my word: a water taxi is expensive...but it will get you right to the front door of your desired location.  
As with every hotel, despite arriving in the morning hours, each allowed us to go to our rooms. We were stunned by our extravagant digs and the fact that we had a rooftop to gaze over Venice from. Having had so much fun on our previous tours lead by locals, I looked into tours of Venice. Here's a little known secret: there are a couple of tour groups in Venice that offer FREE tours! All you have to do is sign up online. Mom and I had to book it to our tour meet up as the narrow alleys really confused me and almost caused us to miss our tour. I'm so glad we made it in time! These tour groups are every bit as awesome as the ones you pay for.
Our guide took us on a 2 hour adventure all over Venice. These companies offer free tours because of some red tape issue with the local government. They operate off of tips...which is the least we could offer. Our guide was a wealth of knowledge. The history of Venice is fascinating: being made up of a series of islands, people took refuge there to escape Roman and Barbarian attacks. During the 12th century, Venice began to flourish as a trade center between Asia and Europe. Families began to acquire mass amounts of wealth and loved to show off. For example, this spiral staircase, the Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo, was one such extravagance. You can climb the well as see other expressions of great wealth especially along the canals. Look for the windows with what appears to be a rounded cross configuration at the top. 
Our tour took a wee break at San Marco Square. Mom and I later went to the top of St. Mark's Campanile which was a great way to see Venice. You can catch more of that view here:
We also took a tour of the Basilica San Marco. It is free to get in but, like all churches in Italy, you'll need to cover those bare shoulders and exposed knees. I learned to always carry a lightweight scarf with me. But if you forget, you can easily pick one up from the countless vendors selling souvenir scarves for under 5 euro. We were not allowed to take photos inside the Basilica so trust me when I say: it is a sparkly, golden, mosaic'ed wonderment. We learned that the Venetians were told, when traveling to foreign lands, to pillage as much as they could. Which they did and promptly added to the front facade and inside of the Basilica. This is the reason it is so outrageously golden...and mismatched. 
Here's one of the biggest reasons I would recommend taking a guided tour from a local: they take you off the beaten path. It was there that we discovered The Most Beautiful Book Stop in the World
This book shops floods regularly (as does all of Venice!) with water washing right into the shop from the open door that leads to the canal. The damaged books are used as steps and wall dividers...while the rest are piled into old gondolas to keep from being damaged. Here's a clip:
After our tour, mom and I wandered the streets and visited many of the fun pockets our tour guide told us about. She did tell us that despite the very dark alleys, Venice has little crime and is safe at night. Mom didn't dig the alleys...but really, Venice is so small, getting lost is hard to do. That being said, we did find ourselves in a more residential area, completely turned around. It was then that a woman opened her window from her second story home and began shouting at us in Italian. We had NO CLUE what she was saying and she was VERY aggravated with our ignorance. We decided from her wild hand motions that she wanted us to knock on a door that we happened to be standing next to...but in her cranky state, I had a feeling that it was not gonna be a pleasant convo with whomever was behind that door. We were flattered that she thought we spoke Italian but decided to say, "So sorry! English only!" and get outta there quick. 
Venice, Day 8: Our last full day in Italy. We decided to enjoy our last day by getting ourselves on the water. There are so many ways you can do that: water taxi, water bus or gondola. The gondolas are not cheap at 80 euro for a 30 minute boat ride. We opted for the 20 euro, all day pass on the water bus. It was crowded...but we weren't in a hurry. We took the boat up and down the canal and eventually got a seat at the front of the boat. We traveled up and down the Grand Canal and loved it. We did try to do it again at sunset and found that everyone had the very same idea. Word to the wise: when taking the boat, do it at those odd hours of the day like midmorning or early afternoon. 
We were lucky in that the Venice Biennale 2017 was happening while we were there. We were able to see some of the public art and exhibits...but not as much as I would have liked. Like all good vacations, ours was just not long enough. 
Mom easily enjoyed Venice the best because of the water. For her, Rome was a close second. I love Venice, it is amazing...but Florence comes in first in my book. 
Here's a view of San Marco Square from St. Mark's Campanile. Our favorite thing was to see the cities of Italy from above and at sunset. Look at this crammed together's no wonder I got us lost in those endless alleyways. Something we learned is that San Marco's Square floods throughout the year. Narrow planks are set up that rise above the water for people to walk across. There are a couple of cafes on the square that play live music but the most famous is Caffe Florian which opened in 1720. You can still go there today...just be ready to pay through the nose for even a cup of coffee. But it's worth it! 
Venice was easily the place where I found the most lovely of souvenirs. I fell in love with the Murano glass...there is a shop that is on the Rialto bridge which had glass palates, pencils, brushes, tubes of paint and palette knives. I knew I was going to get in trouble when I spotted that place! I had to get some glass paint brushes and pencils, right?
I mean...
We also spotted a bookstore that carried the work of a ceramic artist who mom and I both fell in love with. I had to pick up a piece of his work because I knew it would remind me of this incredible place:
The artist is Riccardo Biavati and I'm just in love!
On our last night, mom and I ate at a great hole in the wall, rubbing shoulders with locals. The food was incredible and the people were delightful. However, if you go to eat in Italy, just know, you are on their time. Don't rush it, just enjoy it. And know that you will have to ask for the bill about 3 times before you get it. We Americans need to slow our roll! Italians got this right.
Venice, Day 9: Our last day! With a mid-morning flight, we really were just hitting the road, er canal, on this day. Thanks to Costco Travel, there was a water taxi as well as a taxi arranged to take us to the airport. The water taxi ride was my favorite. No better way to travel and say good-bye to this incredible place and wonderful adventure. 
Have you been to Venice? What did you love? I went nearly 20 years ago...and had such romantic memories of the place that I was fearful I would dissolve when I got there. But there were only more realized. I love Venice. 
Ready to go back! Until then...

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: Growth Mindset Coach, 1

Howdy, bookworms! I hope everyone's summer has been a relaxing and rejuvenating one so far. It's in this chilled-out state that I thought it might be fun (heavy on the "might") to begin chatting about the upcoming new school year and how we might improve on our art teacherin' awesomeness. One book that I think will really help us and our students is The Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley. 
As some of you know, I do a Facebook LIVE chat right here every Wednesday night at 8pm CST. I did take the month of June "off" as I was traveling and teaching quite a bit. I've so missed chatting with my Wednesday night art teacherin' crew so I'm excited to "see" y'all this evening. In previous chats, we've needle felted, worked in clay, brainstormed, shared nearly every idea under the art teacherin' sun. You can find all of our past chats archived here. When I threw the idea of a book club out there, many enthusiastically agreed. I chose this book because it's one I started midway through the school year and really enjoyed...but one I also felt like I needed to discuss with other art teachers. How can I make this work in my art room? What have other art teachers done? How can we empower our students together?
Tonight I thought we could tackle just a few of those thoughts. This book club is not limited to just art teachers. You don't have to have read the book to join. Feel free to join the fun, no pressure. We'll be happy that you joined, regardless! 

Also, if you join the fun tonight, I've got TWO BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS about this book to share!
I have read the Intro as well as chapters on August and September. I'm excited to discuss the difference the following:

* Fixed vs. Growth Mindset: Where do you fall?
* Growth Mindset in the Art Room: What does this look like?
* Practice and Persistence is a Path to Achievement: We got this!
* Introducing Growth Mindset on the First Days of Art

See y'all tonight!
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Thursday, June 29, 2017

DIY: Needle Felted Postcards

Ciao! Last Thursday, my mama and I returned from a whirlwind trip to and video heavy blog post to come. Over the past weekend, as I was scrolling through my endless photos of Rome, Florence and Venice, I decided to recreate some of my favorite memories in the form of postcard-sized needle felt. It was super simple to do...although, like all needle felting projects, it is time consuming. However, I love to sit, relax, watch something that doesn't require too much focus (anyone else watching Glow right now and having 80's flashbacks?!) and create. So needle felted postcards it is! 
After sharing these on my IG, I got handful of questions about how these were made. So I filmed the process and slapped it together in this video. I hope it answers your questions...but if not, feel free to drop me a line in the comments!
The hardest part about creating these postcards...was not having a drawing of the image created beforehand. I didn't draw on the felt or work from a sketch, I just went for it. Sometimes this was frustrating as I had to (gently) tear out what I didn't like. For the most part, working without a script, so to speak, was pretty dang freeing. It felt like painting. I think that's why I enjoy felting so much. It takes me back to my painting days...but it is a medium that I find much easier to work with than watercolor or oil paint. 
I asked mom many times what her favorite part of our trip was. We both have had a hard time answering that question! For me, one of my fave days was our bike ride thru Tuscany to visit a couple of vineyards and stop for a traditional Tuscan lunch. It was magical and a day I definitely wanted to capture on a needle felted postcard.
To give the sunflowers a more 3-dimensional look, I didn't needle felt them entirely so they were raised up a pinch. 
One daily question while in Italy was, "Where should we watch the sunset tonight?" The sunset it late, close to 9pm so we usually tried to be somewhere magical every evening to catch a breathtaking view. On our last night in Rome, that meant the top of the Alter of the Fatherland. I loved the silhouette of the statues even more than the view!
For a couple of Euro, we took a glass elevator that was packed with tired tourists toting bottles of wine and cameras. 
With paint, colors tend to mix...with roving, you can layer many colors and it takes on an atmospheric look that I love. 
I have never worked this small with needle felting can be tedious. I have a tendency to over work images (which is what I think I was doing with the image of Venice below) so I always have to take a break, step back and look at what I'm creating from a distance. Anyone else like this?
Gondola man just about did me in. At first I was hesitant to put a gondola in the image as it seemed rather cliche...but there are literally gondolas EVERYWHERE in Venice, it's no exaggeration. And the light between the buildings really is that beautiful. 
Venice has this magical ability to be "postcard ready" everywhere you look. One person I met referred to it as being like Disney. She's right. Except Disney would charge you a small fortune to get on the island and require you to have a magical tracking band to get to the front of the line at St. Mark's Basilica...which is actually a really great idea. But I digress. 
 I've already started on a fourth postcard...I just can't stop. I'll be certain to share those with you when they are complete. 
 Until then, I need to figure out how to display these bad boys. Small frames? Large frame/large mat? A frame that can hold multiple images? 
Until I get that figured out, y'all have a wonderful day and we'll chat real soon!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Tacos!

Hey, friends! I thought I'd share with you a fun clay project that you can do with either kiln fire or air dry clay: Clay Tacos! I did this project with my kindergarten kiddos and it was a huge hit. It also taught them a ton: clay can capture texture; how to create a sphere, coil and a slab, the holy trinity of clay sculpture; how to adhere clay with an alternative slip and score method. So here you go: Clay Tacos!
One thing I love when working with clay and kiddos is introducing them to texture and clay. We step on the clay, pound it into textures, you name it, we try it. My favorite thing is to have a variety of lace, doilies and burlap for them to experiment with. 
With a class of 20 kids pounding clay flat, it is going to sound like a crazy roll of thunder (with echoes of lots of laughs from the kids) but I have found it to be the quickest and easiest way to introduce the kids to creating a slab. 
With a beautiful textured piece of clay, the possibilities are endless! In fact, I'll be sharing EIGHT of my favorite air dry clay projects using this method and more at the Art Ed NOW conference
Have y'all signed up? You really should, it's a ton of fun. 
I explored EVERY air dry clay on the market (seriously) when working on my clay book which is now available for sale here! Many of the air dry clays have the look and feel of kiln fire so it's a great way to introduce kids to the magic of clay even if you are kiln-less. So get you some clay and make you a clay taco today! 
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