Thursday, December 15, 2011

The End..... For now.

Last week Friday was my last day of observation at the elementary school. I thought I was going to visit on Tuesday, but Ms. M would be out of class and it worked out better for me to stay at Stout to catch up on homework for the week.

Overall this experience was great. I had an amazing time working with the children, keeping this blog up to date, and learning all that I could during the process. I will definitely be blogging about my next art observation experiences and student teaching! This blog has really helped me reflect on what I learned each day as well as documented my journey from beginning to end. This is just the end of Art Education 208.... Next semester is Art Education 308, which is worth DOUBLE the credit load. Needless to say, a month break will be just what I need before continuing my art education journey! I will be updating this blog again in a month, so stay with me!

Thank you to all of my followers and readers, I hope you enjoyed my posts as much as I enjoyed posting them. There will be more to come, and until then you can keep up with my blog, Project Jubilation, as I spend all winter preparing for an arts and craft fair in my hometown this summer! I need to build inventory to sell bags, paintings and other things at the fair. It should be fun!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Last Friday

As the semester is coming to a close, today was my last day observing at the elementary school on a Friday. I am visiting Ms. M on Tuesday for my final day of observation. It was exciting to know that this class is coming to a close, but I will miss the classes we worked with each week!

Once again we Ms. M was gone to an appointment, so Mrs. Williams was subbing again. It is always so fun to talk with her during the prep hour because she was a student at UW Stout and is always interested in our classes, how school is going, and which professors are still around.

The first grade students were very noisy today as they glued painted snowflakes to a background. The first graders are decorating for their winter assembly, so they folded and cut paper snowflakes out for decoration. To make them even more beautiful, they painted the snowflakes while they were taped to a white sheet of paper. The white sheet of paper absorbed paint where the negative space of the snowflake was. It created a positive and a negative relationship between the snowflake and the paper. The students were in the process of gluing the snowflake and the paper onto a background, which completed the project. The first graders did a good job of gluing, but I forget that they are still learning how to use their tactile skills to hold scissors and the glue bottles! I will miss them! They taught me a lot about developmental stages throughout the semester!

The sixth graders were the most well behaved I have seen them all semester! While working on clay slabs for "Me" boxes that they will carve and paint with symbols about themselves, they were quiet, courteous and willing to learn how to do everything the right way. Because clay is a medium that the students don't work with very often, I think they were concerned with how to do it right. When they draw, work with scissors or paint, they must feel like it is "easy" or that they know exactly how it works. I really enjoyed working with the clay because the students were so willing to listen!

The fifth grade class was spent reviewing our gourd project, finishing the scratching technique and working on a different name project. The students responded well to the gourd project, despite the problems we had with it! The gourds deflated TWICE after some students painted them! It was crazy to think that the project could go so awry! In the end, the students seemed to have positive feedback about the project, which made it worthwhile. I don't think I would ever do the project again! My partner and I designed the project around gourds that Ms. M had on hand (She didn't know what to do with them!).

When the students would finish early, they would start on the weekly creativity challenge or free draw. The best way to end the day was to get a sincere "Thank you Ms. W for visiting us each week" from the most polite fifth grader ever, and an "I love you" heart from a first grade student. I would say I love them too!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Multicultural Lesson Planning

Ms. M answered her fourth and final question for my observation class: How do you incorporate other cultures into your lesson plans? Ms. M had a hard time with this question. She found that she likes to theme her sections in art class. She went through the jungle and outer space this fall already. She told my partner and I that she doesn't incorporate other cultures as much as she does artists. Ms. M likes to emphasize artists and movements rather than specific multicultural lesson plans. Art itself reflects the culture it was created in, but isn't often taught as a "multicultural" emphasis. Ms. M said that she doesn't think her curriculum is lacking because of it. The one way that she does incorporate a true cultural plan is when the first graders are traveling around the world in their general education curriculum. She often works with the teachers to do a project that incorporates her colleague's completion of a trip around the globe. A few weeks ago they were in Canada and the children couldn't stop saying "Eh?" at the end of every sentence.

The first graders travel each continent throughout the entire year, which is a school-wide curriculum for all first graders. It allows Ms. M to pick and choose which place she would like to use for her inspiration and which artist she can emphasize. For example, she could emphasize Pablo Picasso for Spain, and has done Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera for Mexico.

In the future, I think I would like to plan a trip around the world with my students that would encompass the entire semester. I like the idea of emphasizing a specific artist from one country, or to travel in a time line around the world and start with ancient cave art and move on from there. I am excited to work with more teachers and hear the way that they incorporate other cultures into their lesson plans.

Even if it isn't multicultural, I did want to share this awesome way of incorporating artists and art history into a curriculum! This creative art teacher did an amazing job!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Deflated Gourds

Yesterday my partner and I visited our 5th grade class in the middle of the week to finish the last day of the lesson plan. It was a BIG surprise when we saw that half of the gourds we were working with had deflated like balloons! Half of the gourds turned out as planned, so part of the class spent the day re-painting the surface of their gourds and adding texture while the other half carved away their symbols and shapes on the surface. It was a huge disappointment when the students saw their gourds that they had painted with such care. However, those who didn't like the color combination or the way the paint had covered the gourd were able to change their design to something they liked better. Some students were able to use the carving and reductive line technique very effectively while others were having more trouble. The reductive lines really depended on the thickness of the paint on the gourd as well. The thinner the paint was on the gourd, the easier it was to carve away. The thicker the paint was, the more the paint would peel off of the surface rather than just be scratched away.

One of the girls wanted to add stars to her design, but her paint was on so thick that they would turn out like blobs instead. The paint would peel away wherever her lines overlapped. She had to switch her design to more simple forms and lines rather than the intricate stars she was hoping for! She was a good sport, even though she had to switch.

I can't wait to post more about our lesson plan and some clips of us teaching. I have some fun pictures that I can't upload for a while due to my camera having troubles. I will update and post again soon to give you the full picture of what we did with our fifth graders!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Resume Writing

Last week in class, we were talking about resumes. Our resumes are due this week in class, which made me think about how my current resume could be improved. Things we talked about included:
  • Creativity - How do you make your resume stand out compared to others?
  • Organization - Hierarchy of font size/boldness and sub-sections as well as dividers are important
  • Personalization - How will your employer get to know you through your resume?
  • Language - Never use full sentences and be concise and to the point
  • Inclusion - What do we include?
The answers to these questions really helped me revise the boring resume I had earlier. By creatively integrating color/line/font size and anything that can make yourself different from others just by looking at the resume without reading it could make a difference. I added a few rectangular boxes to my resume in order to help with organization and add a tiny bit of transparent color. Organizing your information can be the difference between being on the top of the pile and being in the garbage. If your employer can read your resume easily, quickly and accurately in one swipe, you have succeeded in resume writing. I tried my best to use bold fonts for my headings and larger fonts to show the headings and what went underneath them. Using a line, I was able to separate the sections of my resume easily. In order to personalize my resume, I tried to include some information about myself in my objective instead of having a separate section that described myself. In class we also suggested that the information in your resume with personalize your document and will stand out according to it's information. The language we use should be concise and informative while remaining formal. Using complete sentences takes too long for the employer to read, so fragments are okay to use as long as they make sense. Things one can include in a resume are:
  • Name (always larger so they remember and notice it)
  • Contact Information
  • Objective
  • Education
  • Related Expereiences
  • Job Experiences
  • Volunteer Expereinces
  • Creative Skills
  • Special Skills
  • Qualifications
  • Extra Activities (especially for those right out of college)
  • References (including your references saves the employer from another step of asking you for them - always let your references know you put them as one!)
All of these things do not have to be included, but give some ideas of what can be. Of course you will need your name, contact information and so on, but things like creative skills and qualifications don't always need their own heading.

Here is a look at my revised resume:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Second Day of Teaching a Lesson

Last Friday, the 18th of November, we taught the second day of our lesson plan. My partner and I were ready to give a quick demonstration and allow the students to paint their gourds. If we would have been more prepared teachers, we would have prepared even more materials in advance. Like the rookies that we are, we didn't think as far ahead as we should have! We gave our demonstrations, but had to majorly scramble to get the crazy children in order. We forgot to tell them what they were allowed and not allowed to do when we said, "Okay we're going to get started!" The must have thought we said "GO!" when really we were going to hand out gourds and materials in an orderly fashion. It was pretty difficult to remember that the children would be extremely excited an anxious to get going. Many of the boys were moving around and children were asking a ton of questions before we had a chance to get the next bit of information out. It was surprising that all of the students did a great job painting their gourds and adding texture, even with us being a bit flabbergasted by how anxious the students were. However, it was the first day of "teaching" ever, and we were successful in the end. Next time we teach the lesson, we will know what to do and how to do it! If only we would have performed a "dry run" of some kind, we would have done amazing for the final critique in our class. I'm not too worried about getting graded, I was happy that it went as well as it did!

It was a great observation on Friday, and I am more comfortable than ever in the classroom at the elementary school. The first graders are growing on me the most. I really enjoy working with the young students. The sixth graders and some fifth graders are naughty just to get attention, which can be very frustrating at times.

Due to Thanksgiving break, we will not be observing this Friday, but will be teaching the rest of our lesson on Wednesday November 30 and observing until finals begin. Very exciting! This semester is coming to an end!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spur of the moment Observation

Through the Positive Alternatives program , I take part in a mentoring program. Each week I visit my mentee for an hour and just spend time with her. She is an amazing 8th grade girl who I have been matched with for the last three years. Her and I have become quite fond of each other, so each week is always something to look forward to! Most weeks we spend in the gym to burn off extra energy that she has, other weeks I plan a craft project for us to do together or we work on homework if she is a little behind.

My mentee is an energetic, excited young lady who just happens to have a cognitive disability. By working with her, I have learned so many new things for my future as an educator. I am currently taking a special education course, so spending time with my mentee also earns me some credit in a field experience requirement. I would never imagine that a volunteer opportunity would eventually turn into a learning experience for me that actually helps me earn credit in my classes. I am very blessed to have been matched with the amazing girl that I have, she teaches me something every week!

This week, she was behind in her art class that she has during our meetings. Normally she would step out of the class to do whatever we wanted, but today she had to work on an art project in class that she was behind on. Luckily, as an art education major, I wanted to be in there too! Ms. B, the middle school art teacher came over and my mentee introduced us. She seemed glad that I was in there to help Tricia, so when I told her I was also an art ed major, she got a smile on her face and asked a little about when I would be student teaching and so on.

In the 8th grade class, they are working on sketch book assignments while still pursuing other lesson plans. For the first five to ten minutes of class, they were sketching wooden figures that they could pose in any position. While they were drawing, Ms. B asked them a question from a stack of cards (which I thought was a pretty good way of getting the students attention). The question was, what looks more interesting at night than it does during the day? The answers were very interesting:
  • pumpkins
  • Eiffel Tower
  • black lights
  • Christmas lights
  • New York City
  • Christmas Tree
  • snowman
  • neon lights
All of the answers were pretty interesting, but all of them played off of the next one. It got into a Christmas decoration discussion eventually! It's getting to be that time of the year!

When the timer went off, Ms. B told the class that they would be moving into the clay room in order to work on their cartoon sculpture assignment. The students are working on a project of sculpting a cartoon character of their choice out of clay. They only need to work on the face of the character. My mentee was working with a Pokemon character while others were working with Puss in Boots, Donkey, Stitch, Phineas and Ferb and so on. The students seemed to have a sense of repetition, as they all knew how to behave and to act in the classroom.

It was very interesting to see what Ms. B thought was too loud compared to what Ms. M thinks is too loud in the classroom. While I observe at the elementary school the students can get extremely loud and it is not a problem, while a regular level of chatter and laughter urged Ms. B to stop the class and add more work to their day. Instead of adding only two features to the busts of their characters today they had to make it three instead. I enjoyed seeing how Ms. B and her tone of voice could change so much in a class, as she was very friendly to me, but very stern with her students. It was definitely an awesome experience to observe at a different school for a different grade. My mentee and I had a great afternoon working with the clay, I taught her some new ways of making shapes and creatively finding circles and triangles within the clay tools to trace instead of trying to do it free handed.

Her shapes were so accurate while she traced, I was very impressed! When we did not trace anything, she had a hard time making things exactly the same. She hated how the ears of her character weren't looking alike, so we used a method Ms. B showed the class of cutting one out and tracing the shape to cut out the other one. She caught on very quickly and I think she impressed Ms. B because she got so much work done today!

Even though this was not planned, I thought it very suiting to take note of the class today. I had a great time, and I think my mentee will be doing very well on her project. I'm glad I was able to help her in the classroom setting today! I've never stayed in a class with her before, and it was very beneficial for both her and I.

Ms. M and Assessment

For another journal/blog assignment, we asked Ms. M how she assesses art work. It was very interesting to see how she finds what works best for her in order to stay organized and in line with the school assessment criteria.

At the elementary school, a revision of the assessment tools in each class are being integrated. The new assessment coordinator is changing all of the rubrics to have four or more levels in order to better assess each child. By doing this the students will have options like, poor, adequate, good, and great instead of low, medium, high and so on. Ms. M uses rubrics to assess each piece of art according to the objectives of each lesson. Although she doesn't use written lesson plans, she always has certain objectives and outcomes that the students will be graded with. Right now she has a three level system of assessment which earns the students 0, 3 or 5 points. These criteria levels often are associated with 5 - All the time, 3 - Most of the time, and 1 - Rarely. These types of points coorelate to objectives stating:

  • Completed Assignment: Assignment shows undertanding of concepts covered
  • Effort and Participation: Student had good work havits, stayed on task, put in effor, not rushing or lagging
  • Creativity: Took risks, work was original, innovative and daring
  • Followed Directions: Solved provlems outlined in assignment, variations are valid
  • Behavior/Use and Care of Materials: Followed classroom rules and procedures, did not inhibit others with behavior
  • Total Points
I like the way that Ms. M uses the headings to further break down what was expected from each part of the assignment. Children in her classroom really respond to her well and know what is expected of them. Because Ms. M has had many of them since they were in kindergarden, by the sixth grade, they know what she expects and how she grades.

Ms. M is a firm believer in rubrics in order to organize points earned, but she also has a variety of assessment tools she uses. These include:

  • Project rubric
  • Portfolio rubric
  • Self-evaluation
  • Peer review "show your neighbor"
  • Demonstration
  • Group Presentation
  • Multi media (power point)
  • Mini-drama
  • Quiz/pretest
  • Written test
  • Oral explanation/conference
  • Written Artist Statement
  • Games (Jeopardy)
  • Class critique
  • Line up - ticket up
  • Class call/ask a friend
  • Visual Journal
  • Class/Group assessment
  • Visual Assessment
  • On-going progress sheets

Although my partner and I were unable to go through an assessment of a project by the students, she gave us many examples of what she uses for grading rubrics and assessment ideas. We didn't get to go through a true assessment because she assesses the art work before parent teacher conferences as a portfolio. After each project, Ms. M keeps the art work and displays it in the halls and on her classroom walls. This gives her a chance to fill out a project rubric. After each section she compiles each students art work together and assesses it all at once, which is then used for the portfolio rubric.

I really enjoy some of the ways that Ms. M incorporates activities into the assessment process. With Jeopardy, students play the classic game show with a power point presentation Ms. M prepares ahead of time. The students can use a "help" like in the Millionare games on T.V. as well. They can call a friend in the classroom or poll the audience as their two helps. When students use a lot of helps, it is a red flag for Ms. M. She often uses this game before a written test or quiz as a review. Only if the students are lacking in knowledge will she add in a written test.

Below are scans of some of the documents that she supplied us with. I really enjoy the assessment document that gives examples of all of her different ways of assessing art work. It also explains each tool and how she uses it in the classroom. She is so creative!

This is an example of a self-evaluation for younger students to fill out, older students can write their own answers.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Veterans Day Observation

On Friday, I was lucky enough to observe the elementary school during their Veterans Day Celebration. The students had been working on Veterans Day stars all week, decorated with red, white and blue stars and stripes. The halls were decorated with coordinating red, white and blue, and all of the children were also dressed to match. The teachers wore red, and Veterans were roaming the hallways before the big program. It was definitely a great day to be there!

The first grade students were working on drawings with shapes and stripes. They went over the primary colors and the colors in the rainbow. Like their Mondrian project, they were to use red, yellow and blue to create three shapes of their choice on their paper and color them in. From there, they were using the colors and order of colors of the rainbow to create an interesting background and outline to the shapes. They learned about Roy G Biv and how he helps them remember the order of the rainbow.


The first graders also learned that Indigo is the same as blue, so they didn't need to worry about finding a marker to match. They also realized that Violet meant purple. Many of the students didn't have the fine motor skills to use the markers the right way, or to keep the white of the paper from showing between their lines, but many of them did a great job with it! A few of them rivaled Ms. M's example.

The sixth grade students were at the Veterans Day Program during their class hour, but they are currently working on their space ship models and are covering them with tin foil! They all look pretty cooky and odd, but space-like with the tin foil covering them.

The fifth grade class was VERY exciting because my partner and I introduced our lesson plan to the students! It was our first day of presenting a lesson to a real class of students (instead of our peers in college classrooms). We are working on a Gourd Reduction Project, which involves gourds from the garden of Ms. M's friend. The gourds are about as big as the palm of my hand, and very easy to hold onto. The students will be painting the gourds with acrylic paint and using tools to scratch a design onto the surface of the gourd. Friday was all about introducing what a gourd is, what parts will be positive space and negative space and what the word reduction means.

In order to explain it better to the students, we noted how reduction sounds like "reduce" and the children knew what reduce meant. We said that reduce means to lessen, or to take away. We said to use a reductive process would be taking away the paint from the gourd by scratching it off, not carving into it. They grasped a lot of what we were talking about and were answering a lot of the questions correctly! After our power point presentation, we talked to them about different shapes and symbols that could be used on their gourds. They are required to use three shapes or symbols on their gourds, but they can do more. They then used the rest of the class period to draw symbols or shapes that they enjoyed, and if they wanted, they could draw a gourd shape and design what they wanted to do on their gourd. The next class period will be painting the gourds, and working with a texture over top!

For a part of the lesson plan assignment, Ms. M was video taping us. We shut the lights off for the power point, so she thought it was too dark to get a picture, but after the lights were on it was still dark! The lens cap was still on the camera! Our first day of the lesson plan can be heard, but not seen! It was too funny. Hopefully the next couple of days will be caught on camera as well!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Kids are Crazy for Cardboard....

On Friday, I went to the elementary school for the fourth time. It has been pretty difficult working on Fridays because of teacher in-service days, substitute teachers, and early release days. Last Friday I enjoyed working with the first and fifth graders, while the sixth graders were full of misbehavior yet again! Maybe it is having three authority figures in the classroom, or because it is Friday, but these children sure do love to push our buttons!

The sixth graders working on their cardboard projects
The sixth graders were working on their space ships like they were with the sub. This time, they were creating their space ship models out of cardboard instead of paper. These are their projects that will later be covered with some type of material (we were brainstorming ideas for paper mache, foil or just painting them as they are). Most of the students had started their cardboard models in the previous class periods, so they knew how Ms. M wanted them to work with the scissors and cardboard. Instead of using an Exacto knife or box cutters, the children were using one of the blades of a scissors to swipe into the cardboard, bend and break it off. The students were asked to bring in extra cardboard if they wished to work larger (many kids brought in large boxes and worked very big!).  Needless to say, using scissors in a new way made many of the boys in the class think about all of the new ways scissors could be stabbed, thrown and tossed around. One table in particular was not working at all on their models, but instead making gun silhouettes and cutting the cardboard by stabbing into it instead. For the first time we needed to use our classroom management skills in order to keep everyone on task, help those who needed advice on how to cut or measure something, to keep the boys from stabbing their own legs through the cardboard, throwing scissors to friends, and to keep another group of boys from burning each other with the hot glue gun! This time, it was a matter of keeping the children from getting hurt rather than teaching them. I thought the misbehaved with Ms. W around! It was definitely worse today.

Ms. M's project sample and a sample of Piet Mondrian's work.
The Mondrian-inspired work on the drying rack!
The first graders were working with the color wheel and learning about primary colors. They were learning about Mondrian and his work with blue, red, yellow, white and black. The students spent the previous class period learning about Mondrian and how he used series of squares in his work. The first graders already had yellow squares painted on their pictures, but needed to include blue, red and black. Because first graders love to experiement with paint mixing, Ms. M designated different tables to different colors. The black paint and paintbrushes stayed at the tables, and the children moved from table to table instead. I thought it was a great idea, and helped keep the students interested and moving around. It was important to show them how to use the paint brush at an angle to drag the color down the line instead of working with it straight up and down like a pencil. They had gone over this in the introductory day of the lesson, so they were used to the technique, though not all students had the motor skills to really perfect it.

The fifth graders were working on painting another layer on the masks they made a couple of weeks earlier (We were there to help them paper mache their masks). It was fun to see the different designs the students had drawn and what they were putting on their masks. Many students stuck with their original design while other students were merely painting with globs of different colors just to see what it would look like. A few of them really turned out nice! They will be adding different embellishments to the masks as well.

Overall, this day went by extremely fast. Because we were so occupied with the first graders moving all around the room, the sixth graders attacking themselves and each other with scissors, and painting with the fifth graders, it felt like we were only there for about and hour! We also utilized our prep hour with Ms. M to work on ideas for our lesson plan (which we will be teaching in our next meeting) and on how she assesses work. I will be posting a separate post on that soon! Have a great day, and Happy Halloween!

Moving into Outer Space!

This week, Ms. M's class moved from the jungle to outer space. The classroom was stripped of all of the jungle themed projects, and prepped for the new space-themed artwork. I wanted to share some pictures of the new artwork with you!

The new bulletin board design "Art is Out of This World!"
These are the first grade project samples for constructive lines and Mondrian

The fifth grade project sample for contour lines

The kindergarten classes are working on these projects

Some of the fourth grade project samples

Thursday, October 27, 2011


(Press pause if you would like to read a slide or keep it up longer! It runs pretty fast)

For another class assignment, we needed to ask Ms. M how she defines her rules and procedures in her classroom. I uploaded a power point of what she shows her classes at the beginning of the year. Her rules are not just stated at the beginning of the year, because she has had many students since kindergarten. The students know what is expected of them, the rewards for good behavior and the consequences for misbehavior.

In the classroom setting, students sit by others that they wish to sit by. If that is not working, Ms. M will move them accordingly. As of right now, many of the seating arrangements are working very well, and she doesn't seem to have many problems with where students sit.

At the beginning of every class period there is a "police officer" that changes every class.  The names are crossed off of the class list in order to remember who was the police officer at what time. The police officer gets to sit in a computer chair instead of the regular chairs, and picks helpers to hand out and clean up materials. At the end of each hour, the police officer calls students to line up one by one. Ms. M noted how great it is to have organization and order because a free for all does not work. (We learned that the hard way on our first day with the sixth graders!) Ms. M also believes that having her lessons and classes planned out allows everything to go smoother, and when she is not scrambling to find something then the students are more confident in the project as well. 

One of Ms. M's most consistent procedures is counting to three. It is so easy to get the students attention when they know that if she reaches three and it has not quieted down, then they will get a verbal warning, which means the whole class has a strike "1". Her consequences are not just for counting to three, they apply to everything. 

As a class her consequences are:
1.     Verbal Warning-
2.     Lose radio, return to assigned seats
3.     Heads down- silent working
4.     Lose recess

As an individual the consequences are:
1.     Verbal Warning-
2.     Move seating
3.     Lose Police officer privilege
4.     Recess in/ phone call to parent
5.     Sent to office/phone call to parent

 I haven't seen any of the consequences in action except for last week when Ms. W was moving students in order for them to behave. I think the consequences are a great idea because when a student knows what will happen if they misbehave, they often choose to stay away from the consequences.

Ms. M's classroom is very neat and tidy, with a lot of expressive work on the walls. The students are not allowed to touch other student's artwork because they should know how much time is spent on making them beautiful. I think this is a great idea to help save the student's work from being destroyed while it is being displayed. Even early on, students know that art should be respected.

The daily procedures in the room are as follows:
  • Seating Chart-student determined as long as it’s working.  Must remain in assigned seats while directions are being given, then allowed to move.  In the event of a substitute, students will remain in assigned seats unless told otherwise.
  • Moving around the room is discouraged unless necessary.  NO RUNNING EVER.
  • Getting class attention:  1-2-3
  • Assignments
  • Name/ class name on back of art work
  • Finished Box/Class box
  • When you’re done early (free drawing, teacher jobs, read book)
  • Clean up countdown-need to be done by zero!
  • Clean up procedures-clean up your own mess! 
  • Sinks- left for equipment cleaning- right for hands.
  • Police officer Duties and privileges
 (call to line up, chose radio station,  special day- potter’s wheel, hand out supplies, clean equipment (or chose others), sit in rolling chair, help solve disputes, help supervise cleanup)
  • Line up- one class next to large bulletin board, other along cupboards (last class of the day puts up chairs)

I definitely enjoy the way Ms. M runs her classroom. The students seem to respect and understand what goes on in the art room. I will definitely steal her idea of "police officer". It took me until this pre-teaching observation to remember that when I was in elementary school we had a "star child" in my classrooms growing up. It was always fun to be a leader for a day. Like Ms. W also noted, it is important to set guidelines, expectations, rules and consequences right away and stick to them. As I student teach, I think I will use some of these ideas in my classroom as well as working with what my teacher already has set. Repetition is key. The students in Ms. M's room really respond to the repetitive nature of her classroom as well as where the supplies go and how the room functions as a whole. After my student teaching experience, I think that I will have a lot more understanding of what truly works for me. Until then, I will try to use what truly works for the teachers I work with.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Observation #3: Substitue today!

Today I visited the elementary school. Ms. M was absent today, so we were working with a substitute teacher. We also got a lot of time with Mrs. W, which was awesome. It was great to get yet another opinion and advice from another set of eyes.  It was a great day today, although it was filled with a lot of misbehavior! It was exciting to be the "experienced teachers" today because all of the students recognize us, but not Ms. W!

Last week we did not attend Ms. M's class because it was a teacher in-service day. After our second visit, the children wrapped up their jungle themed projects and were working towards a new destination: Space! Unfortunately, my camera was not with me, or I would have more photos for you to see! Next week I will capture more photos of the students' work.
The alien landscapes from the first graders
The first grade students were working on alien landscapes. They had drawn out space-ship themed landscapes and were working on painting them. Ms. W was nervous about the paint because the art room does not provide smocks for the children to wear! Luckily, it all worked out just fine. They were using tempera cakes, a form of the paint I had never seen, to fill in the shapes they had drawn on a black sheet of paper. The black background definitely gave the landscapes a "space" feel. Even though the children got paint everywhere, they do a great job cleaning up and they kept it off of their clothes! And their skin!

The sixth graders were working on space ship models. They were creating 3D models of their own spaceship designs that they will be re-creating with cardboard. Many of the students had a hard time making their ships look like their previous drawings that they had made on chart paper. Once again, the students were on different parts of their projects than their peers. Many students were finished while others were just starting to build with the paper and masking tape. I didn't mind helping students with different ways to work with the tape and paper, but it was difficult to really teach any children because they were misbehaving so badly! So many students were literally yelling, throwing paper airplanes and working on free drawing when they did not have anything done. I later said that it was the longest 40 minute class we could have taught. Many boys were taking advantage of the substitute by not doing as she was saying, or doing something behind her back. Luckily with three sets of eyes, we could catch many students misbehaving right away. Although it sounds like every child was being difficult, it was only two tables that were getting out of hand. The rest of the students enjoyed the project so much that they wanted to keep working on it!

The fifth graders were working on a very exciting project. They were working with contour lines and creating abstract, fluid shapes with sharpies on glossy paper. They had to free hand the lines, and contour them to different shapes that they had made. The students were finishing up the sharpie lines and were starting to color with fine tipped markers to color their abstract designs. While some students were coloring, others had a lot of drawing to do. Those who had a lot of drawing left were the students who were misbehaving all class period. One table had to be separated from each other for being too loud and rowdy. I didn't even notice the first time that Ms. W moved one of the students. She quietly went over, told the student she had to move, and led her to a new table. She then allowed her to have a second chance, though it was taken away after she became too loud and rambunctious yet again. Another boy had to be moved as well, and then they finally behaved. It was very interesting to see how something so subtle could do so much!  I wish I had my camera so I could show you how great the artwork was turning out. There were some great designs happening! These contour line drawings started to look very psychedelic!

Although the day was full of creativity, my favorite part of the day was talking with Ms. W! She was a Stout alumni who graduated in 2004 with a BFA in studio art and BS in Art Education. Ms. W just finished a long term substitute position at the High School in the same district that Ms. M teaches. She currently has her license to substitute teach, but let her teaching license expire. She found that she enjoyed her studio art to be much more fulfilling. In the past seven years she has worked in the medical field and has created her own artwork in her studio. She paints and does commissions for others as one of her sources of income, which I think is pretty amazing.

After school was out, Ms. W was talking to us about her disciplinary experiences. It was very nice to hear some real world stories in the different schools that she had taught for. The high school had some great stories about how to deal with high school boys, who are over six feet tall and full of attitude, who misbehave or are disrespectful. She said it is hard to look like an authority figure in high school, but you can still be effective. She noted how it is a good idea not to react to any misbehavior, to just deal with it as it comes. She said it's all in the tone of your voice, not in the reactions or emotions you show. Staying calm and not getting a rise from anything is her secret that she learned in her days of student teaching. Once a discipline outline is set, and the students know that they have consequences for misbehavior, she said it is very easy to tell them that they made a bad choice by misbehaving. She uses cleaning her art room as a punishment and makes the students come in before, during lunch, or after school for different intervals of time depending on the crime. The students know that if they misbehave they will be spending the time in the art room cleaning. Ms. W says it is great because her room gets cleaned for her! She has made students organize paint by color, scrub the sinks with toothbrushes, alphabetize resources, and other tedious jobs around the room. I really enjoyed her insight, and will be keeping some of her techniques in mind!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Did Ms. M become an art teacher?

 For a classroom assignment, we needed to ask Ms. M why she chose to be an art teacher. Like many others, she was inspired by her high school art teacher. She thought that her art teacher had an amazing job and knew that she could do it too. She enrolled her freshman year as an art education student and never looked back! She mentioned that right out of college it was much harder to be an art teacher because everything was still so new. She had to think about everything for much longer and plan things out much more in depth because she did not have the knowledge that comes with years of experience. Ms. M was very motivational when she told us that it gets much easier!

The only drawback that Ms. M made us aware of it that although she gets her creative outlet by working with the children daily, she does not have much time (or really much motivation) to create her own art work. When she gets home after a day of school, she is either working on a new project for the students, or using her time to spend with her family and live her life as well! As she was speaking with us, she made sure to tell us that this is not necessarily a huge draw back at all. She loves working with the children and enjoys watching their minds work (That is one of the things that I love about this pre-teaching experience as well!) The thought, "What if I do this....?" is always so fun to read on childrens' faces.

As a follow up question, we asked what parts of the profession have changed in her years as an art teacher. She was immediately answering us back when she described how we have to prove ourselves as art teachers in order to be considered a worth-while class. This is most likely due to the changes in the curriculum as well as to the lack of money that schools are receiving. In order to prove herself, she found that she has more busy work in order to truly write everything down and make sure to show what objectives the students are learning and how she is tying her classroom projects into other classroom subjects.
Ms. M finds herself working on project samples for class instead of her own work.

A very notable point that Ms. M made was that creativity is also a life lesson that many children need to learn. If they don't learn it early on, how are they going to differentiate themselves from their competition in the real world? It is the creative mind that sets many "geniuses" apart from others. Creativity is a life skill and must be taught to the children at some point, so why not earlier?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Education Photo Montage

This is a picture of a photo montage I put together for my Foundations of Education Course. I think everything I wrote in it is still true today. My professor actually used this in an academic journal article that she wrote. Thanks Dr. Klein! Also, I thought it to be a fun lesson plan idea for high school students when learning about digital imaging and composites. It was very easy to make! This concept would be a great self portrait idea!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Elementary Art

Here I am in the art room waiting for the students!
Today was my second meeting with Ms. M's elementary art students. Once again, we met with first, fifth and sixth graders, as we will do every Friday meeting. My partner and I are lucky enough to visit from 12:30 to about 3:30 every Friday, getting two full hours to work with the children and forty minutes to visit one-on-one with Ms. M. It is very helpful to have a prep hour to be with our cooperating teacher so we can have some discussions about teaching art, past projects, and other things. I think getting to know the cooperating teacher is just as important as working with the children because we get to learn from our experiences, and from someone who has been doing our future career for years.

The students placed masking tape as the "resist"

The lines created by the tape will be "constructive lines"
The first graders had finished their crocodile projects (I updated my last post with a picture!) and were moving onto the next project today. Ms. M introduced the concept of "constructive lines" and the idea of a "resist" project. This means that the students will be working with straight, geometric lines and will work with a sort of tape or stencil to resist the excess material being applied to the surface. The students reviewed different types of lines like horizontal, diagonal and zig zag lines. The children learned that if they used masking tape to create these lines and colored over the masking tape, the masking tape would resist the color and not allow it to hit the paper. Because they were using masking tape over glossy paper (so the tape would be easier to pull off) the markers being used to color the shapes created did not dry very quickly. Next week, we will get to see the finished product after they pull off their tape. Some children did not finish coloring today while others finished in time to free draw or work on a creativity challenge.  The only thing that was a struggle in the first grade classroom was that the students wanted to tape their eyes, mouths and faces with the masking tape as well as draw on their own faces and others. One girl drew a mustache on herself, another table was having a marker-poking fight, while another just decided to draw on her face. It was as if one student had tried to draw on their face and didn't get seen by any of the three adults in the classroom. If one student saw that they didn't get yelled at, then the idea spread like wildfire! All of a sudden there were markers on faces everywhere! As soon as Ms. M said something the students stopped, and had to go wash their faces. Even when I tried to tell those having a marker-poking fight to stop and keep their markers on their papers only, they didn't respond like they did to their own teacher. Ms. M noted how hard it probably is for a substitute teacher to come in for one day and work in that type of situation. Children definitely respond best to those that are in a true authority position, not just visiting student teachers or substitutes!

Here is a mask that was done in class
The students loved saying "It's not snot"
 The fifth graders were working on a new project with masks. This was tied into the jungle theme as they talked about different symbolism and cultures that used masks. Although Ms. M said that she probably won't be able to get away from Halloween masks due to the time of the year, she was happy to get the masks into the curriculum because the fifth graders look forward to doing them each year. Using a plastic template, students used paper mache paste and paper. The paper used was stiffer than the normal newsprint, but the children were still able to apply it to the surface correctly with a bit of extra pressure. This project was fun because the students had already been introduced to mask symbolism and designs, as well as what they were going to do for the project. They had created a few mask designs on seperate pieces of paper, and were allowed to work on those for the remainder of class after creating their masks. It was a very fun lesson that the students seemed very excited about!

An in progress landscape the 6th graders were working on
The sixth grade class, which often has students who get their work done at different paces, were still working on their projects from last week. This was the last day to work on them and to glue their vines on. It was an easy class to work with this week. The students seemed excted to free draw or to work on the creativity challenge if they were finished, and many were determined to get done with their drawings, even if they didn't finish by the end of the class. The sixth grade class is the group that I can tell has different personalities and different "cliques" of students that are either driven to do well, or to use class as a free hour to talk to their friends and goof off.

Today I learned that with time there comes more confidence in teaching, because today I already felt more comfortable with the students, cooperating teacher, and my abilities to truly "teach" the students how to do something. I'm getting very excited for me and my partner's lesson plan that we get to teach to the students. We will be working on getting that in order this week. Ms. M received some gourds from a friend, so we are hoping to tie in a fall theme while painting and adding to them. I will be updating this blog as soon as we finish the lesson plan.

Also, photos will be added to this post and the previous post after I upload and organize some photos I took today (Currently Updated as of Oct. 13!) I will also be answering some formal questions in a new post that is required for my blog posts for my class. Check back again soon for more information! I also added many new pages on this blog for inspirational artwork, my artwork, the student's work from my cooperating elementary school, links of interest, and creativity challenges. As soon as I get all of these things organized properly I hope this blog will be easy to navigate and will hold an abundance of information!

Friday, September 30, 2011

First Meeting

It's a jungle in Ms. M's class!

Today was my first pre-teaching experience! I drove over to the elementary school for the afternoon and observed three classes in Ms. M's art room. The first class was a group of first graders, then sixth, then fifth grade. It was a great experience today, even though my partner and I were just thrown into the mix. Ms. M set up a project for all of her grades to follow. They were taking a trip through the jungle and exploring everything that lives there. When walking into her room, she had projects on every wall, and one very large wall full of different two-dimensional works of art. It said "Take an Adventure in Art!" There were paper monkeys, flowers, spiders, lions, and vines on display.

The first graders were working on crocodiles today. They had painted parts of the crocodile in previous classes and were in the middle of the project. They cut out and pasted their paper pieces diagonally on another paper in the thirty to forty minutes we worked with them. They had to concentrate on the scissors, which reminded me of one of the Wisconsin Teacher Standards: Teachers know how children grow. It reminded me that certain ages can't do as many things with fine motor skills. I was impressed with a lot of the students, but also helped some who asked for assistance and how to get certain angles. The class had about 18 students, and all of them seemed to stay on task. Only a few had to be asked to keep moving, which was not too hard. My favorite part of the first graders was when a little girl gave me a hug goodbye.

These were the carton crocodiles the students were cutting out while we were there. This is the finished product!

The next half hour was a prep hour for Ms. M. We were able to ask her a few questions about the way she runs her classroom and what she does on a day to day basis. I will save those responses for a post of its own! That way I can really dive into how her class works and why she does certain things!

The sixth graders had about twenty five to thirty students, which was very overwhelming. Ms. M had a drawing project already started with them. It was their first project of the school year that was a jungle themed landscape. They were drawing trees, animals, flowers and vines and coloring them with colored pencils and crayons. Their final step was to paste on painted vines on to of their drawings to make it look like the viewer was looking through them. Ms. M warned us that these students were all on different stages of their projects, some just starting to color, others pasting on painted vines, some painting, and others still drawing their pictures. The first thing Ms. M did in the class was to tell them that they needed to work on their pictures and that the next moment was going to be the most chaotic in the history of her classroom. She said, "Go work on your projects!" and let them loose. The entire class went up to the same place, to grab their pictures. It was actually comical. Once everyone was set, the radio went on and it was a pretty fun atmosphere. However, this class was harder to keep on task. They kept asking questions about why we were there, if I could draw well, if I was going to be an art teacher or a regular teacher, and so on. One girl told me I was pretty, and another boy wanted to ask me if I was German. It was very funny, but a little weird! I would say that the sixth graders could have used another fifteen minutes to work on their projects and to get a little more in-depth with what they were doing. It was definitely the most difficult class of the day because there were so many children to keep track of, and they were all pretty absent-minded and easily distracted.

These are examples of the sixth grade student work

The last class of the day was a fifth grade class. They had about twenty students, a very relaxing size! These students were working on beaded necklaces made out of paper beads. They had created their beads in past classes and were stringing them together today. The students had enough beads to make two necklaces, one to give to Ms. M for grading and display and another to wear home. This class was so easy to work with. They were all interested in the project, they were on task the entire class, and many of them were truly sweethearts. When my partner and I plan our own lesson, we want to work with this class first! It will definitely be a great experience.

These were the paper beads the students colored, cut and rolled into art!

I loved my first day at the elementary school! I can't wait to go back, and I'm very excited to keep this blog updated on everything relating to this experience.  One thing today taught me is that I am going to love my job.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Art Education 208


My name is Andi W and I am an undergrad student at UW Stout. I am currently enrolled in the Art Education Program. I am taking a class labeled ARTED 208, a Preteaching Observation course required for graduation. It is the second in a series of three courses for Art Education students. In this class we are paired with a classmate and a cooperating teacher in order to visit/observe/teach students in a school around the area! I have been placed in a small school just a short distance from campus, and cannot wait to blog about my day to day experiences in the classroom.

This blog is part of an assignment (and final exam) for my class, but it is also a way for me to share my experiences with others, as well as to keep a record for myself. I cannot wait to post videos, pictures and other thoughts on my experience!

I will be posting after each day that I visit my cooperating teacher. I will be writing about my thoughts on my experiences, information and tips I find helpful from my CT, and inspirations for lesson plans, projects and other fun ideas regarding Art Education.