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.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Leveling up!

This is, by far, one of my favorite things to say to kids:

"We are leveling up!"

This magical phrase is an amazing way to teach more advanced skills and techniques. It encourages stronger techniques, better craftsmanship and even higher behavior expectations. I swear. It is magic.

Many kids take dance, karate, swimming lessons that have them level up to a more challenging level.
Lots of kids play sports where they level up to more challenging positions and plays.
Most kids play some kind of game that allows them to level up.

They understand what this means. They love it. It excites and intrigues them.

"Leveling up" allows you to really TEACH TECHNIQUES to kids who UNDERSTAND this is new territory. And that is could be hard or awkward at first.

"Leveling up" sends a clear message to the kids that you think they are responsible and worthy of this honor--and they will strive to keep it. What their faces when you say it. They get excited.

"Leveling up" also says there is no going backward. (What Dolphin wants to go back to the doggie paddling Guppies?)

Kindergarten students are leveling up their drawing skills. They are adding depth with overlapping, creating texture and detailed patterns, and learning how to hold the pencil so they can draw "like an artist": lightly and softly to allow for erasing.

Check out this kindergartners' posture! Holy cow, I am jealous. I love her concentration and pencil grip.

And what happens when a kid does fall back to an earlier (and at times, undesirable!) behavior, because they will?

Love and Logic, baby. So easy:
  • Sorry guys, scribbling is not part of this level. 
  • Rushing and sloppy work was last years level. What level should you be on now?
  • I know leveling can be hard at first, but you will get it! (Just like you got that video game boss-soccer kick-swim stroke-basketball throw-complicated dance step-etc!)
Even if it doesn't work 100% of the time,  this is a great tool to keep in your toolbox. Plus, it makes me happy to say it.


  1. I love it! great way to connect with the kids thinking and use it to your teaching/their learning advantage! Bravo! :)

  2. Thanks! It is a fun way to connect ^.^