Monday, August 31, 2015

Pre-Teaching Art Walk

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What better way to start out then school year than to take a walk of inspiration though the Detroit Institute of Arts.
I'm sharing some of my inspirations with you.

This is a great conversation piece and I love the quote by the sculptor Barry Flanagan.  I am going to post that in my classroom.  

My students are urban students and many may see a lot of the materials that I took photos of before.  
Some of these works using familiar materials may both speak to the students about art and also repel them.  That to me leads to a great discussion.  

 Using materials that are found or discarded is a way to make art wherever you are and whatever your budget. My professor John Rush told me to "make art with whatever I had." This also is what drives my art inspirations sometimes and I think that students can relate to that. 

This enormous piece of art is made entirely of cardboard.

My students are all students of color, so this work is a great way to get them to think about great works and how it can relate to people in any context.  

I think that this is a great way to start out every year, and hopefully the art department will make it a tradition!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Classroom Prep DIY

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I am the first Art teacher that my school has EVER had.  There is a new management company here, so they are bringing in all of the arts to enrich the program and develop well rounded students.

My school is an urban school in Detroit, and I don't have a budget to get supplies and things ready for my art room. I originally was given a room with no sink, so I got lucky with these desks that are supposed to be for a science classroom. 

  I had to scavenge in the school for places to put materials and things that were for using in the classroom. I still wanted it to look fresh and inviting, even though there are no art material yet (except for some amazing friends that donated things!) I found lots of milk crates and some bread crates in the kitchen and used them to store supplies.  

I decided to buy some duct tape to make it look like my materials were nice and new.


Looks so much better, so I started to add it everywhere that looked like it was a reused material.

I even covered the bread racks (that I will used to dry artwork) to make them look nice. I also added some of the artwork that my students at my last school left for me.  


Help me with my Amazon Wish List! Or you can search: University YES art department 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Selfies for Art Assessment

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I'm starting my year teaching and I want to share all of the great things that I am working on.  Sharing things with other teachers makes such a big difference and only benefits the students, so I want to share many of my ideas, resources and printables that I am creating for school.

I am teaching at a school in Detroit that has never had any art classes.  I want to be able to assess what my students know instinctively or have been taught about drawing.  A fun simple way to be able to assess their learning without giving them a worksheet with questions, is to give them something to let loose.  A self portrait can also share with me ways that students feel about themselves personally.  I can keep in in their file and refer back to it to see how much a student has grown  with their skills in the course.  

Using the Selfie, a pop culture reference that they all know is a sneaky way to get them to draw a self portrait.  If I said to them that it will be a "seIf portrait", it may sound scary.  don't know what to assume that they know or don't know, so it will be fun to watch them go without giving any instructions on how to draw a face.  

I also have an image of a polaroid frame to surround their selfie.  I don't know if any of them have seen a real polaroid, so it is something to tell the student about myself and use it to show some pictures of me and my family.
It would be fun to bring one in as a follow up lesson or as a special treat!

An essential question for your project:
What can artworks tell us about a culture or society?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hey, where have you been?

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I finished my Masters in Education a few weeks ago and I was busy teaching Art at a High School.  Here are some of the incredible artwork that my students created. 

#blacklivesmatter ceramic piece  

3D paper sculpture.  This student engineered a way to cut the paper into flowers.  

3D paper sculpture                              Ceramic cup and vase


 Jewelry Project                    


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3 Ingredient Yogurt Pancakes

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Baby Bear goes on breakfast kicks where she will only eat a certain thing for breakfast for weeks or months at a time.  I have to get creative to pack the nutrition in so she starts her day out with a lot of energy. 

We are fluffy pancake people.  I like mine to be more bread-like a puffed then spongy and thin.  Using the yogurt helps to give them this quality. 

1 Cup Bob's Red Mill Pancake Mix {or similar}
1 Cup Plain or vanilla Greek Yogurt {regular works too}
1 Egg {optional}
For extra tasty pancakes add a dash of Vanilla Extract and a Sprinkle of Cinnamon.
{you can also use pumpkin puree instead of yogurt}

I prefer to use my cast iron skillet so that there is not any nonstick on my pan.  You need to get the skillet hot before adding anything on it to make sure that it doesn't stick on the cast iron.  Start first by heating the skillet and then mix the ingredients together.  

Use a little bit of coconut oil if you want to on the pan before putting your pancakes on the skillet.  When the pancake starts to get puffy, flip it over and cook the second side.  

Serve with Maple Syrup and fruit or any combination that you love.  

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Secrets for Easy Image Editing Online!

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When I started blogging, I wanted an easy platform for putting photos from my phone to my blog.  I used Flickr and picnik to edit my photos.  They seamlessly worked together so that you could take photos from Flickr, then edit and save back on Flickr and put onto my blog.  Then with the rise of pinterest, flickr was not as pinterest friendly so I switched to the new Google+ and the picasa/picnik editor that was available on the Google+ platform OK but not great.  

picnik is closing screen shot

It was a sad day since the Google+ editor was not great and they eventually took the entire thing away.  I tried a few different tools online and also using Adobe Photoshop before I found PicMonkey and fell in love!  I do love Adobe Photoshop but it is a lot easier to be able to do everything online.  It is a little more complicated using Photoshop because I have to use a specific computer and it is very expensive to upgrade.  I also don't always need something that has faster features to do a batch of photos at a time.  The results from PicMonkey are good enough quality for blogging and it keeps everything on my blog looking similar. 

You can see the diversity of things that I did using PicMonkey.   I am a PicMonkey Royal member since I use the site a lot, but you can do a lot of this for free. PicMonkey is so easy to use, but just in case I included my video tutorial. In this tutorial, I teach you how to use the basic editing functions needed to edit and save a photo.  

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