Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what the art teacher wore. Show all posts

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Best Books for Art Teachers!

Summertime is my favorite time to reflect on the past school year. I often find myself uprooting all of my favorite art teacherin' books during this time. Sometimes, I'll just flip through them, look over my cryptic notes (I really gotta become a better note keeper!) and rethink my life choices, er, strategies in the art room. Other times, I'll dig deep into a book, really opening my mind up to new possibilities for the new year. I love this part of teaching: that we get the chance to hit the reset button every school year, throw out the old and bring in the new. I feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day every August! 

In case you missed, during our last Facebook LIVE art teacherin' chat, we were talking about our favorite art teacher books. You can find that chat archived on my page. Be sure to peruse the comments to see what other folks are reading. We agreed that a book club would be super fun so, during the month of July during FB LIVE, that's what we'll be up to! 
How to join the book club? First, get you a copy of the book. We won't be starting until Wednesday, July 5th so plenty of time to get a copy and start flipping through it. Our chats our held here. In order for you to view the chat, you'll need to like my page. At 8pm CST on Wednesday, July 5th, I'll pop up in your feed! We usually chat for about an hour...but you can come and go any time. 
I'm very excited about sharing ideas with one another on how we can infuse art education and growth mindsets in our art room! Until then, I thought I'd share with you some of my very favorite books as an art teacher. Some of these books, I've had since my first year teaching and they truly helped me so much. One book I discovered during my first years teaching was Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks
 Wow, did this book teach me more than I learned in college about working with children! It's such a comprehensive book that explains child development; showcases lessons and examples; recommends supplies and teaching strategies. I followed this book to a T when first started out and it was like having a friend guide me. It is very heavy on the side of guided drawing which I know some folks feel very much against. But, for me, I believe that there is a place for guided drawing in the art room as long as it is balanced with open-ended projects. You would never expect a music teacher to teach a student how to play an instrument without first showing them how to do it. Why is art thought to be different? I also have Mona's book on teaching older children which is also very helpful. She dives into teaching more from observational drawing in that book. 
Ah, a classic, right? Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is currently in either it's fourth or fifth addition. I love the concepts in the book...but it is hard to use with children because it is so dry. Trust me, I know, I've tried. As an elementary art teacher, I really do want to use the concepts from this book, but change it up and make it more geared toward my fun and funny little audience. This is something I'm thinking about this summer. 
What I really like about Hooked on Drawing is that the author, Sandy Brooke, does a great job of sharing lessons that go beyond pencil and paper. She has her students work with chalk, charcoal, kneaded erasers; all that stuff I never used until college. My kids LOVE working with those supplies. Observational Drawing with Children is a great read. What I like about it is that it really explains the developmental stages of drawing. It also provides conversations between student and teacher to give you a peak into an art teacher's classroom. Open-ended lessons and ideas are provided in this small book. 
It's hard to teach what you don't know...and I definitely did not know color when walking into the art room. I used this book as a crash course for myself to become a better teacher. If you are a teacher of older students, you could use the concepts from this book with your kiddos. 
My first year was also helped out greatly by Cathy Topal's book Children and Painting. This book is beautiful with full color photos and great lessons that scaffold. Another beautiful book is You Can Weave! I was so fearful of introducing weaving to my students...this book was a game changer. Again, lots of full color photos and easy to follow steps. 
 I love art history. LOVE it! But how to teach it all? One of my favorite ways to teach is by telling a story. Another teacher who is gifted at this is Marianne Saccardi. Her book Art in Story provides inspiring, well-researched and fascinating stories of artists or art history. You can read them aloud to your students or memorize them and add sound effects, lighting, music and amateur acting skills as I like to do. My very favorite art history book is The Annotated Mona Lisa. Y'all, this is one of my top five. I use this when creating my Hot Minute of History lessons for my kids. It's snippets of art history are short, concise and to the point. 
 A fun and inspirational read is Educating Esme. This is the diary of a first year fifth grade teacher in an inner city school. She struggles with the kiddos, her administration and just finding herself as a teacher. It's a quick read that will leave you inspired. Speaking of inspire, Ron Clark, anyone?! Holy mary, the Godfather of Teacher, can I get an amen? I love all of his books. 
 Need more inspo? Teach like a Pirate is beyond awesome. Dave Burgess is the teacher we all wanna be. But Meena Srinivasan shows us that teaching isn't just about being as wild, crazy and energetic as you can. In Teach, Breathe, Learn, she shares her methods of inspiring mindfulness in her students both in and out of the classroom. 

The key is to discover who YOU are in your art room...reading these books should inspire you, not make you feel the need to conform to any one else's methods or styles of teaching. Your passion is what is going to drive you as an educator and make you  your very best. Just keep that in mind as you flip through the pages of these books and happy reading! 



 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DIY: Viva Italia Dress

Hey, friends! I am wearing this here dress today in...Italy! I managed to snap some photos before leaving but I'll be sure to share my Italian adventures with you when I return home. Until then, let's talk dress-makin', shall we?
After (a handful of) years stitching and countless homemade dresses, I think I have finally found the mashup of dress patterns that I like the very best. I am loving the fit and look of this halter-style top with this circle skirt, it's my new fave!
It's taken me this long to realize that simply because a pattern looks good on the envelope does not mean it will look good on you. And that's okay! You gotta go with what is the most flattering for your body type and your taste. Personally, I love a good fit and flair. And I like my fit very fitted (ahem) and my flair super, um, flair-y (double crinoline, anyone?). But I also know that I cannot do a v-neck, scoop neckline or anything else that is meant to show off cleavage. Because, well, I ain't got none. So it just looks awkward trying to show it off unless I'm wearing my big ole "Insert Cleavage Here" necklace which I seem to have lost. 
And I'm cool with this. Not the loss of my necklace, that thing was expensive, but the fact that I can't wear a good ole cleavage bearing frock. Because I have bodice patterns that work...and I think this one works the best for me. 
Now, here's a little something else I've learned: size down on the bust. Do you see that bust measurement of 34"? That is my correct size but when using this dress pattern in the past, I always found the bodice to be a pinch roomie (remember, I like a good fit). You can see other dresses I've made with this pattern here and here. For a more fitted dress, size down on the bust measurement. I'll be using a 32" bust for the bodice in the future. Now, this works for me for the entire dress because I do an open skirt...meaning I can have hips for days and the skirt hides 'em (another reason I love me a circle skirt!). However, if you are using a hip-hugging pattern, you may need to size up for the rest of the dress.
Y'all would be so proud: the last couple of dresses I've created have been from fabric straight outta the stash. I purchased this fabric years ago with the intent to make a dress...but, Ima be honest, I didn't love the colors in the print. So in the stash it sat. Until 36 hours before leaving for Italy, that is! Another reason to love this pattern: it's a quick stitch!
You might notice I decided not to add the bow/belt insert. On the dresses I have with built-in belts, I feel limited. I love to add different belts to my clothing to change up the look. So I skipped that step in the pattern. I also made the straps thinner...the thicker ones just screamed "homemade!" to me. 
 Just a side and back view. Did I mention that this dress has pockets?! I've decided that no dress is complete without them. Forever and ever, amen. 
Despite my initial meh-ness toward the print on this dress, I now really love it. I know that the pattern has a whole lot to do with it. 
And now I'm off to explore the sites on my dress. Viva Italia, y'all! photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Sunday, June 18, 2017

In the Art Room: Fiber Arts for Kids

When I first started teaching, weaving was in our curriculum and I was scared outta my mind. The only knowledge I had of weaving came in the form of the fiber arts class I took in college...where I got a C due to my crappy weaving project. I remember warping one of those giant floor looms for what felt like hours (prob only took 15 minutes but it was dreadfully dull) and skipping a warp strand. "Eh," I thought, "what's one warp strand, the professor will never know." Well, that one strand created a huge runner throughout my weaving and dropped my GPA down...along with the C I also acquired in Karate. Turns out Indiana University takes weaving and martial arts super seriously.

Fast forward to the present and weaving, sewing and all things fiber-artsy is one of my favorite things to teach...and the kid's fave thing to learn! Since I'll be joining in on Trixi Symond's Sew a Softie in July, I thought I'd share this video I created for the Art of Education's online conference. This video is from several conferences ago...but I still use the ideas and methods in my art room. 
Are y'all signed up for this summer's conference? I'll be leading a hands-on clay and printmaking session and I'm so excited! 
My students love fiber arts...and it's a skill that just isn't taught as much any more. All the more reason it is so fascinating to them. You can find a list of my very favorite fiber art projects here. I mentioned a ton of lessons and videos in that clip...you can find them all in that link! You are ALWAYS welcome to use my videos in your art room. I just appreciate a shout out when projects are shared via social media. 

And don't forget to join the fun of Trixi's Sew a Softie in the month of July! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

DIY: Viva Italia Dress

Hey, friends! I am wearing this here dress today in...Italy! I managed to snap some photos before leaving but I'll be sure to share my Italian adventures with you when I return home. Until then, let's talk dress-makin', shall we?
After (a handful of) years stitching and countless homemade dresses, I think I have finally found the mashup of dress patterns that I like the very best. I am loving the fit and look of this halter-style top with this circle skirt, it's my new fave!
It's taken me this long to realize that simply because a pattern looks good on the envelope does not mean it will look good on you. And that's okay! You gotta go with what is the most flattering for your body type and your taste. Personally, I love a good fit and flair. And I like my fit very fitted (ahem) and my flair super, um, flair-y (double crinoline, anyone?). But I also know that I cannot do a v-neck, scoop neckline or anything else that is meant to show off cleavage. Because, well, I ain't got none. So it just looks awkward trying to show it off unless I'm wearing my big ole "Insert Cleavage Here" necklace which I seem to have lost. 
And I'm cool with this. Not the loss of my necklace, that thing was expensive, but the fact that I can't wear a good ole cleavage bearing frock. Because I have bodice patterns that work...and I think this one works the best for me. 
Now, here's a little something else I've learned: size down on the bust. Do you see that bust measurement of 34"? That is my correct size but when using this dress pattern in the past, I always found the bodice to be a pinch roomie (remember, I like a good fit). You can see other dresses I've made with this pattern here and here. For a more fitted dress, size down on the bust measurement. I'll be using a 32" bust for the bodice in the future. Now, this works for me for the entire dress because I do an open skirt...meaning I can have hips for days and the skirt hides 'em (another reason I love me a circle skirt!). However, if you are using a hip-hugging pattern, you may need to size up for the rest of the dress. 
Y'all would be so proud: the last couple of dresses I've created have been from fabric straight outta the stash. I purchased this fabric years ago with the intent to make a dress...but, Ima be honest, I didn't love the colors in the print. So in the stash it sat. Until 36 hours before leaving for Italy, that is! Another reason to love this pattern: it's a quick stitch!
You might notice I decided not to add the bow/belt insert. On the dresses I have with built-in belts, I feel limited. I love to add different belts to my clothing to change up the look. So I skipped that step in the pattern. I also made the straps thinner...the thicker ones just screamed "homemade!" to me. 
Just a side and back view. Did I mention that this dress has pockets?! I've decided that no dress is complete without them. Forever and ever, amen. 
Despite my initial meh-ness toward the print on this dress, I now really love it. I know that the pattern has a whole lot to do with it. 
 And now I'm off to explore the sites on my dress. Viva Italia, y'all! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Monday, June 12, 2017

DIY: A World Map Dress And Traveling Tips!

Ciao, bellas! I'm so thrilled that today my mama and I am heading out to Italy. This trip has been in the works for months and yet I still cannot believe that the big day is here. My mom has never traveled out of the country so I am thrilled to experience her very first European vacation...to none other than Italy! 
Now y'all know I had to sew a dress for the occasion. I've had three yards of this world map fabric in my stash for some time and I thought that this trip would be the perfect occasion to frock it up. So I present to you my World Map Dress!
I used a combination of a circle skirt pattern (currently my fave) and a 1950's boat neck design. To be perfectly honest, I think that high neck might be a little hot on those 90 degree days they are projecting. But that's okay. I'll be in Italy! Bring on the endless scoops of gelato! That should be enough to cool a girl down. 
Despite the fact that it's my mama's first time aboard, I've actually been out of the good ole USA many times. I did my student teaching in Ireland where I caught the travel bug. While there, I meandered to Amsterdam, Belgium and Florence. Several years into my teaching career, I traveled to Japan via the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund (which I highly recommend to my all teacher friends!). When my husband started working for a German company, we began traveling to Germany quite a bit. Those trips often included visits to Amsterdam and Paris which you can see here and here. 

Through my travels, I've learned a couple things along the way. So I thought I'd share them here in what I've dubbed Tips for the Traveling Art Teacher! 
Tip #1: Use a Carry On Only. 

When I travel overseas, I like to travel super light, believe it or not. This means I don't check luggage. Instead, I use a pull-behind carryon and a travel bag as my two carryon pieces. Why? A couple of reasons, the first one being that I've had my checked bags lost before. Trust me, when you are in a foreign country, there's nothing worse than losing a suitcase full of essentials (a tip I learned from my husband: if you are going to check a bag, be sure and include your essentials and a day's worth of clothing in your carryon in case your luggage is lost). Another advantage to only using two carryon's: you won't have as much luggage to lug around. Mom and I are going to travel to a couple of cities. Limiting our luggage will make our lives a whole lot easier. So carryon's only it is!
Tip #2: Take Care of Bidness

When you are traveling out of the country, you really outta let your credit card company know. This will make it so they don't flag your card for fraudulent activity when they see you buying cappuccinos out the wa-freakin'-zoo. 

You also should check in with your cell service carrier. Let them know that you'll be traveling aboard and inquire how to set up your phone. Also, check your rates. It turns out the rates for using my phone are bananas while my mom's service has a much better deal. It's good to know before your go. If the rates for using your phone are cray like mine, consider installing the app WhatsApp on your phone. This app works via wifi and lets you call, text or video chat for free with the use of wifi. 
Tip #3: Safety First

On my first trip overseas, I stayed in youth hostels and I loved it. The rates where cheap, I met all sorts of folks and it really was a great way to immerse myself into the culture. However, with the good, there's always the not-so-good which, on a trip to Amsterdam, came in the form of bed bugs. I remember waking up and seeing my skin covered in what looked like hot pink highlighter pen markings. The "concierge" at the hostel recommended I walk myself down to the local convenience store, buy some Raid and spray my mattress...which I promptly, and in retrospect, foolishly, did. It indeed killed the bugs (and probably many braincells) and inspired me to put more focus on safety first. 

So, let's talk safety: when it comes to travel, your passport is the Golden Ticket that you just don't want to lose. Anything else that gets lost: your clothing, your souvenirs, your "priceless" Bump-Its, they can all be replaced. But that passport, among other things like la cashola and your phone, are pretty stinkin' important. So keep them on you at all times. And be smart when you do. I plan to take an entirely unattractive, grandma-esque, cross-body purse with enough zippers to confuse Houdini. Not what you expected? Remember: safety first. 
Tip #5: Don't Overbook Yourself

So, I'm an over-booker. I do it on a daily basis. In fact, you should see my To Do list. It's all "paint the Mona Lisa, climb Mount Everest, clean the fridge (what?! no.), mow the lawn, trim shrugs into the shape of a pack of llamas", you get the idea. It's pretty ridiculous. The same can easily happen when planning a trip. When digging into my travel books to Italy, I became determined that mom and I would see and do it all. I hopped onto TripAdvisor (dangerous territory) and started looking into food tours, wine adventures, bike trips, museum escorts (wait, what?!), you name it, I started booking it. 

Then I stopped. And I thought. For a second. 

If el mommo and I do all of the things, will we ever truly enjoy even a little of the things?
Probably not, y'all. And when I realized that, I stepped away from my travel books, websites and apps and just thought: we'll explore. And see where our adventure takes us. Where it does, I'll be sure and share with you!

Now, I'll be gone for several days but...y'all make sure to pop by here and visit. I've got many blog posts with fun announcements lined up just for you. Ciao, y'all! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »