Where to Begin?=
Posted on by artistaw13
Thus far on the arts educator 2.0 journey, while collaborating with the orange cig, we’ve focused our inquiry on using 21st century skills in the classroom. Where we went from there? Well, out of 13 21st century skills, we thought it would be a good idea to narrow our inquiry down to just a few skills since it is a very broad topic. What we settled on? Critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration, social and cross curtural skills, and leadership and responsibility.
I liked how at our last meeting someone brought up the fact that students/the younger generation in general, have lost the basic skill to communicate face to face. Well, they either lack communication skills, or they don’t realize what is appropriate and what are thoughts you should keep to yourself. In my classrooms, I always see it as one extreme or the other.
What I really want to achieve is how to get the extroverts to take a step down to give the introverts with creative input a spot on the stage. While working in a theater, my director always gave us the speech that in a production, we are all capital c cast members in a show, the prop person and the lead role both share an equal responsibility of making the show a hit. When Cori visited me, she really brought to my attention how I tended to pay more attention to those who were more distracting. As a first year teacher I need opinions and input from experienced veterans. It was a natural thing that I was doing, yet in the classroom, I realized that I need to put an end to conversations that are not involving bettering ones skills in art. Once I master cutting off conversations that are nothing but a distraction and once those students know that they are expected to get their minds into their work, I know I will see those quiet voices stepping up to the plate. I know what it is I want to achieve, it just as if I’m on a back snowy road without winter tires. As a new teacher with little subbing experience, the ideas are being crammed into my mind so quickly that I have a hard time just taking small steps. After all, Rome was not built in a day, and I’m certaintly not going to have a well oiled machine of a classroom after just my first year.
I mentioned during our last Skype meeting that I have the idea of sticking with an advertising/design unit to test out how I will be able to see 21st century skills in my classroom. I still want to go with this because I want to be able to see diverse learners and personalities work together for a common goal. I want to have groups be cone companies where they come uo with a company name, slogans, logos, and perhaps an advertisement that reflects how they promote diversity as a positive attribute to society, or… Maybe just having to invent something as a group and then finding out how to sell that product. As you see… I’m still in the million thought bubble stage of how to go about doing this.
I hope this blog helps all of you see where I’m at and where I hope to be at the end of this experience. Thoughts, comments are more than welcomed.

You Say It Best, When You Say Nothing At All

Posted on by artistaw13
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My thoughts during my lunch break. Yesterday, Lauren and I had lunch together because we were both down at the IU for our induction class. She inspired me to really start thinking about a project that I thought would be cool to do, but didn’t know exactly HOW I was going to do it… And actually still don’t, so… Your thoughts are appreciated. Okay… So about a week ago, my principal came into my class and told me that he would like to see something done for earth day that would be big! He said, “if it made the newspaper or even the news, that would be nice.” I think he was being sarcastic, yet… I take things to heart, so the wheels started turning.
Since the beginning of the year, I have had two students voluntarily collect recycled paper from the classrooms of menallen school because there was no recycling going on , which I find awful and so wasteful. The girls made recycling boxes and placed one in each classroom. They collect the paper every Monday and then bring the huge stuffed black garbage bag to my room. I said I would single handedly take care of the recycled paper by stuffing the bags in my car and taking it to a paper retriever near to my house.
The problem I have faced? The paper retriever is stuffed full every time I go to drop a bag off, thus, the one corner of my classroom looks like an episode of hoarders. Teachers ask what they are and I tell them, this is the recycled paper from your classrooms. I continue to then ask them if they know of a place to take recycled paper… The answer I get… No.
Where my ideas are going. After thinking about what my principal said about gaining publicity, I thought ok… Why don’t I just put that heaping pile of recycled paper in the middle of our courtyard and say… This is what our school is wasting, and beautiful land such as this is where it’s being dumped! After telling Lauren this, she said, hello, installation art! I would really like to have my students involved in something where they are bringing in the recycled products from their homes and we really start collecting reusable products. The township where Menallen school is located doesn’t have a recyclable pick up service. So… Bring it to me and let’s make art out of it and then present it on earth day saying, people, look what your wasting!!!
After I finish next weeks lessons, i’m going to start this. I definately think such a project would fit into the 21st century framework. Kids need to realize the importance of doing your part to better the world. I don’t want this to be a flop, and I don’t want to get in trouble for making my school look bad. Thoughts please.

I wear my suuunglasses at night.

Posted on by artistaw13
When I recieved the HEAT worksheet at our meeting at the IU, I knew that this “collaborative inquiry” that I was going to be a part of had meaning behind it. At the time, I was a BRAND new teacher and my mind felt like a balloon that had been blown up to it’s full capicity.
Now, with there only being a month left of school, I feel as if my mind balloon has been released of some of it’s hot air. ( Did I just refer to myself as an air head???, bad example, but you catch my drift.) Anywhoo, as I read over the defination of H*E*A*T now, I have several “ah ha!” moments. Here, I’ll share a few.
“H” Higher order thinking. My ultimate goal as an educator is to help young people realize that the world is a BIG place, with a lot of different people, and those people are all very, very, different. I want my students to leave my class feeling as if they have learned something besides art. I want students to realize being themselves is important, listen to your positive inner voice, and accept others for doing the same.
“E” Engaged Learning. During the recycled sculpture unit, students were shown the problem, given the tools, and know where they can find help. Furthermore, they were constantly asked, did you discuss this among your group? At the end of this process I have noticed a differece in my classroom atmosphere. Instead of feeling like I’m in a classroom of students who are just not feeling it and I feel as if there are no connections happening, I am experiencing a room where I’m asked questions and where creative minds are stirring up some really cool ideas.
“A” Authentic Connection. Student’s are bringing me toilet paper rolls. Okay, so this is a silly and odd way of reassuring myself that some type of lesson is being learned in my classroom, but the fact that I have had kids bring me random recycled items from home has been a great feeling. I want kids to leave my room and have the bug in their ear that tells them NOT to throw away the plastic bottle. I hope that maybe the kids are asking their parents why they don’t recycle. (eek) I want to create learners that learn for the knowledge, not the grade.
“T” Technology. Thanks to Art Educator, I feel like the hippest teacher in school. IPADS are magic wands. ( Is there an APP for that?) It’s amazing the attention that I recieve when I use it for reference. EVEN better, when I allow my students to use it, I see that they feel privledged, and I LOVE it. What a wonderful tool. The Ladybug doc cam has also been a very dear friend to me while teaching in the art room. When you change a live demo where everyone is crowded around and people can’t see to ART MOVIE TIME, it’s like I pressed a magic button. Other teachers also comment on the ladybug. So great!

Think Before Doing

The construction begins, who will do what?
SculptureTitle:"The World We Live On."Artists: 6th Grade, Mrs. Morgans Class, Menallen ElementaryArtist's StatementThis sculpture was made by Mrs.Morgan's class. This blob was made entirely out of recycled materials. It represents the world and how we are treating it. It was self titled "The World We Live On"because we don't recycle enough and it's a possibility that this is the world that we may eventually live on. Remember these three words, reduce, reuse, recycle.ZOOM0007.MOV