About this Site and Me

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Flower Mound, TX, United States
Hi, I am an artist, wife, mom, gamer and the Elementary Art Educator at Donald Elementary, a sweet and wonderful school in Flower Mound, TX (outside of Dallas). This is a great place to see how we are integrating studio habits with technology and interdisciplinary connections. I also love to share my "wisdom" (Re: Experiences. From mistakes.) about teaching Elementary Art. I love what I do, and I've been doing it for a long time. Creating and teaching Art is what I live for. Enjoy.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Two Art Shows in One Week: Epilogue

Thursday 8:30 pm, , Open House, Student Art Show (see previous post)

Saturday: Spring Break starts

What to do about Friday?

Children and teachers were zombies. I went to Starbucks and got the largest tea I could, plus their protein plate and I still had tears leaking out of my eyes due to exhaustion. 

The thought of getting out the art supplies and trashing my-ready for break-clean room filled me with hopeless despair. I was tiiiiiiiiirrrred.

And then I remembered. These kids have iPADS. We can do a digital art day! Haven't done that before, let's see how it goes?!

I wrote 6 apps they could use (all free except one): 

In case you can't read my chicken scratch:

  • Blendoku
  • Brushes
  • Inspire Pro
  • Sketchbook Express
  • iMotion HD
  • Drawing Pad (an optional, paid app)

  • I gave them full reign to try each app and create a work of art. Artist choice.

    I briefly introduced/reviewed each app. 

    We talked briefly about career paths that utilize digital art (most of them btw).

    I talked for 5 minutes tops.

    And off they went:

    Checking out Blendoku for color theory--they love it

    Friday ...Day Lights

    Here's where it exploded. These boys are using iMotion HD to create stop action animated movies. I don't have a lot of stuff to make movies from (toys, etc).

    Our library has an enormous supply of Sensory Tubs. 

    These boys borrowed them, and I didn't hear a PEEP out of them the entire class time.

    Student engagement? You could taste it. 
    Collaboration? You could feel it.
    Beauty, relaxation and joy? It was shining in the air. Literally. Shining.

    Kids without iPads used the Mac Airs to create their art.

    Then third and fourth grade took the ball and RAN with it. Here are groups of kids building movies.

    They are sprawled all over the hallway, and yet, so quiet...weird...right?

    And not all kids chose to go digital. A few wanted to finish up their weaving.


    Meanwhile, classroom teachers were walking their classes around the Art Show and filling out Comment Cards for their Reading Buddies, friends, etc.

    Younger students were just as excited and engaged...

    ...but they found the higher levels of Blendoku to be a bit hard!

    See how they are working together? I love that. They are open to help and suggestions.

    That doesn't always happen when they are talking about traditional art making. Usually that leads to tattling and hurt feelings.

    Comments heard all day:

    Best part? Clean up was 30 seconds long, I didn't have to stay after school to clean my room, and soon I was back in bed where I belonged.


    rest and relax!

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

    Two Art Shows in One Week, Part III: The Revenge of the Packing Tape

    Get ready folks, this is long with puns intended. 

    Two Art Shows in One Week, Part III: The Revenge of the Packing Tape 
    (with apologies to George Lucas)

    I have returned to my home school of Donald ES in an attempt to hang over 1,000 student art projects with the vile packing tape. Little do I know that the DONALD ART SHOW has secretly taken on a life of it's own, with new expectations more powerful than the District Art Show. When completed, this ultimate showcase will spell excitement and joy for the small band of children struggling to navigate the crowded halls...
    Friday, 1:00 pm. Students finish up selecting their own two pieces, which I dutifully record.

    The art will be hung on 100 5 foot long pieces of black Kraft paper, and packing tape is the only adhesive that works on our walls. I have tried everything from sticky tack to masking tape to chewing gum (not really). 

    With our wild temperature changes, it is the only thing that works.

    10pm. Friday night. Still here. Art show must be all hung by the following Thursday, by 3pm.

    Most of the work has already been labeled and mounted. It doesn't look it, but there is A LOT of work here.
    And a lot is not even finished yet. Not stressing, yet....

    Saturday, 7am. Back at school. Ready to go.

    Sat. 11 am. Help arrives. Here is my dear friend and our Librarian Kathy Hoffman helping out!

    Sat, noon: Middle School NJHS students came to assist as well, and are rewarded with service hours, and pizza.

    More friends and former students come to my aid! 3,000 tape rolls are needed. 

    Young padawans on display. 

    3pm: It is starting to go up!

      PLEASE NOTICE they are in shorts. It was like a breezy Alderaan day.
     You know, before it got blown to pieces.

     I am so excited to have this show 75% up by Saturday! If things keep going like this, everything will be up and ready by Wednesday at the latest.

    Sunday: Artic front moves in with Hoth-like temperatures. We are introduced to a new evil: thunder sleet. 

    Monday: Snow day.

    Tuesday, 7 am:

    weather FAIL.


    My room, Tuesday morning. Right before my first class. 

    Wed: GOT A SUB. YAY!
    I spent the entire day working on this art show.
    Hanging the black paper like this gives me double the display room, and makes the art look great.

    My cart of display mats: (packing tape, masking tape, staplers and personal, non-blaster weapons. Ha.)

    Everyone is encouraged to write a positive Comment Card to their favorite artists.
    My Art Club Helpers will sort and distribute them.

    Comment Card for Kinder, 1st and anyone else who needs it -
    I gave these directly to the teachers,  they are not on the tables as I did not want older kids using these.
    (...though they could affect the professional direction of each padawan)

    QR codes link right back to the corresponding posts on my blog!
     (they can also link directly into the personal attack computers aboard each x wing fighter) 

    Thursday 6pm, Art Show is ready

    Glass display cases hold textiles and choice-based art projects made by my Art Club.

    Open House is about to start!

    What? Me worry?

    Love the happy, excited families

    The halls are getting crowded!
    Nailed it!
    My room--please notice how clean it is-my sub MaryAnn and my Art Helpers ROCK. They did all this while I was crying, I mean, displaying out in the halls.

    I had little stations at each table: zentangles with 3 X 3 paper, Metallic FX crayons for the little ones, some fun apps to try (Blendoku and iMotion HD).

    I also had a  iMovie (using photos I've been taking all year) on a continuous loop playing on the screen. I actually had one of my Art Helpers, Adam, create it and it took him maybe 10 minutes.

    Taa daa. See? No biggie.

     HA.   HA.     
    One week sleep now must.

    Yes, this is a lot of work. But it is worth it. 
    (And yes, maybe I should have started a week or two sooner.) 

    Think about choir concerts, musical theatre, ballet recitals, championship games. There is always a lot to do, and most of it last minute. But it gets done. 

    The art show is our EPIC SHOWDOWN. 

    Now off to sleep through Spring Break!