Showing posts with label art teachers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teachers. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2016

In the Art Room: Wisconsin Fall Art Conference, 2016!

So, never having been a teacher of any other subject, what I'm about to say is completely based on my totally biased and awesome opinion: Art Teacherin' Conferences Are THE BEST Conferences. There. Take that Typing Teacher Conferences (1. Is there such a thing? 2. It took me five minutes to come up with some sort of teacherin' conference to reference without hurting feelings. Sorry, Typin' Teachers. Y'all just don't strike me as the party animal type).
Last Wednesday, I got up at the butt-ugly hour of 2:30 am (that is MORNING, people) because I was so eager to get to the Wisconsin fall art conference and join my soon-to-be best friends. Well, that and the fact that the only decent flight I could find was at that unholy hour. Flying over Wisconsin was a beautiful treat. Can you believe this landscape? 
The WI fall conference was in LaCrosse which is my new favorite town. There's a bar, an antique shop and coffee spot on every corner. That's a winning town in my book. As I was walking out of the airport, my two favorite Wisconsinites were walking in to pick me up: Jen Dahl and Tiffany Beltz. Both Jen and Tiffany worked their tails off to make the WI art conference amazing. Tiffany went above and beyond recruiting fantastic presenters, hand-stenciling over 400 packets for each attendee, baking cupcakes for all involved AND presenting her self! She's a beast, that Tiffany Beltz. I want whatever she's having. Seriously, Jen and Tiff, y'all made my trip a wonderful one, thank you so stinkin' much!
After having a wonderful breakfast with Jen and Tiff, I did my best to lend a hand and help set up. Really, there was nothing to it, they had everything so well organized. That evening, there was a lovely reception for the art teachers who had artwork on display. It was there that I got to meet my online friend Jeanne Bjork. What I loved so much about meeting my folks whom I've only known online is the ease that I can chat with them. It's almost like reuniting with old friends. 
That morning, after a lovely breakfast with Jeanne, I managed to pop into a sessions that looked like so much fun: Stuffed Monsters. Dustin Anderson, Wisconsin art teacher, lead the session and it was so much fun. Big shout out to Dustin for allowing me to crash his monstrous party!
My kids are gonna LOVE this lesson!
My favorite thing about attending conferences: making new friends and seeing what others create. Art teachers are so stinkin' creative, y'all. Go figure. 
Immediately after Dustin's session was mine. I taught two hour long needle felting classes back to back. I love teaching needle felting because it's a craft that EVERYONE can do. It's like having a big ole craft night with all of your new favorite friends. 
We stabbed and stabbed ourselves palettes or anything else we had in mind. My buddy Lindy needle felted poppies onto a pair of leg warmers!
 I do believe I created a bunch of needle felting monsters!
 The following hour long sesh created the same cuteness. Our supplies came from Back to Back Fiber (thank you, Sue!). 
I mean, look how cute! I wonder how many of these were worn when the teachers returned to school. 
I taught over 60 ladies to needle felt! I need to invest in a herd of sheep, y'all. 
After attending a wonderful presentation on mindfulness in the art room, I met up with a group of art teachers who wanted to take the later afternoon to soak up LaCrosse and it's vintage offerings. I had so much fun with my new buddies! We hit LaCrosse Prairie Vintage, a coffee shop and a three story antique mall all before settling down for Bloody Marys, deep fried cheese curd and something called Tat-Chos (um, tater tot nachos aka HEAVEN ON A PLATE). It was so funny, when we were paying the tab, my friend Bonnie remarked, "it seems like it must be so late!" We looked down at our watches only to find it was only 7pm. We'd worn ourselves out!
Bright and early the next morning, I was up and on stage. I was the keynote speaker for the conference (that sounds so strange to say!). I had so much fun sharing stories about my art teacherin', art makerin' and life living journey. Normally, I get a touch of the jitters when presenting but the folks of WI make me so comfortable that it was like chatting with old friends. Love all y'all!
Right after that, I was back to workshop teaching. This time, I taught two hour long sessions on weaving. We explored cord and straw weaving. 
Special thanks to Leah Keller, Frank Korb and Jeanne for helping me wrangle up supplies since I ran out! I managed to overpack my outfits and under pack supplies because #priorities. 
I really gotta say it again: my fave part of the conference: making new friends.
Hanging out with folks like Frank, making new friends and catching up with "old" ones is my most favorite thing ever. Thank you so much, Wisconsin, for having me. I love y'all and had an absolute blast!

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Friday, October 14, 2016

In the Art Room: AOE Winter 2017 Conference

Hey, kids! I thought I'd share with y'all something rather embarrassing: my very first video created, ever (well...except for those VHS recordings I created in middle school of my Ed Grimley impersonation. Fingers crossed those never surface). I first began working with AOE back in 2013 for their online conferences. I used a GoPro camera (which is not exactly known for it's high quality sound, as you'll see) and paid a former student $20 to teach me how to use iMovie (thank you, Griff!). I've learned a whole lot since then...but we all start somewhere. Despite the poor sound quality and the fishbowl effect, I do still believe in the ideas I shared in that presentation. So I've dusted it off and popped it up for y'all to view:
I'm sharing this today for a couple of reasons: I'll be presenting with AOE again this winter on, of all things, video recording! I know showing video instruction is hot in the art rooms right now (it's commonly referred to as "flipped instruction" but edu-buzz words make my skin crawl) and I use them all the time with my students. In fact, you can keep up to date with them by subscribing to my YouTube channel. But lately I've been thinking of ways of taking my recordings one step further: by interviewing artists, acting out proper clean up procedures with colleagues and more. In my presentation this winter, I'll be chatting with you about ways to go beyond videoed instruction even if you've never recorded a single lesson. I'm so excited!

If you apply for the Winter 2017 AOE Conference before December 1st, you'll qualify for the early bird price of $99. Also...if you use the code SAVE10WITHCASSIE, you'll get an extra 10% off! Yippie skippie, y'all! 

Here are somethings I love about the AOE online conferences: 

The After Pass. I don't usually have the entire day to spend watching the presentations. I like knowing that I can watch a little, take a break and then finish them off at a later date.

The Handouts. Who doesn't love a good handout, right?! From lessons plans to supply lists, the handouts have it all.

The Chance to Chat. One thing I do love is the opportunity to talk with teachers all over THE WORLD! That is seriously my favorite part. The conversations I engage in and ideas that are shared add a whole 'nuther later of awesome to the conference. 

So! I hope to "see" y'all there!
Oh! Speaking of coming a long way...here is a video I created last spring about creating videos. Wish I woulda known then what I know now. Oh well, such is life, y'all!
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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 21

In last week's 101, we chatted about saying NO to requests for your time, your talents and your art supplies. I received so much feedback from y'all in the comments and in emails that I realized I'd touched a nerve. We all feel so much pressure to be agreeable and generous, as it's our nature. However, it's not fair when our kindness is taken advantage of. Many of you asked: what do I do when the request is coming from a superior? How do I say no when I feel pressured? I'm a new teacher, should I really say no?

These conversations took me back to my early teaching years. I don't know if it was the fact that I was new, young and/or relatively agreeable (I'm a recovering passive-agressive) but when requests came in for my time, talents and supplies, it was often under the guise of "do this cuz I said so." What I didn't realize was that I was dealing with bullies. I'll give you an example: when I first started teaching in my school district, I was told I "had" to do a project with my students simply because the other art teachers in my district were doing it. I didn't agree with the project, didn't think it was a wise use of my time or my students' art education, so I said no. Unfortunately, bullies don't like to be told no. Rumors spread that I was uncooperative and that landed me in the hot seat with my (now former) principal. From there, I was bullied by my administration to acquiesce. And I caved. What was the result? Well, for a long time, my administration and art ed colleagues thought I would do what I was "told" to do. And I did for entirely too long. Finally, one day, I decided to remove those bullies from their pedestal. I started listening to myself, the needs of my students and my time. And I started saying no.

It's not been easy. Since then, I've battled unpleasant comments, eye rolling at meetings and one very nasty email (that my current administration handled beautifully). And you know what? It doesn't bother me. When I took away the power from the bullies, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. I could breathe. And I could also focus on what I knew to be important to me and my students. 

It's interesting how we address bullies so much with our students but not as adults. Bullies never grow up. As long as folks give them power, you'll find them trolling online, in your workplace and, shoot, at the grocery store! Kick that pedestal out from underneath them. Reflect, listen to your gut, do what you know to be right and follow that path. From there, you can't go wrong. Love y'all!

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Art Scouts, Tennessee Camp 2016

Well, hello there, strangers! My sincerest apologies for how quiet it has been on this here blog over the last week (let's be honest: you enjoyed the peace) but I've been super duper busy with my buddies Jennifer, Laura and Ginger getting ready for the Tennessee Camp of Art Scouts
Laura and Ginger arrived in town on Wednesday afternoon from Ohio. Jen and I  had just enough time to show them around our favorite place: Franklin, Tennessee. Franklin is a small town with a big history just 15 minutes south of Nashville. The downtown has a lovely Mayberry-esque vibe. After a stroll up and down Main Street, we took them to a local fave, Pucketts Grocery and Restaurant. The food was delish but the best part of the meal was when we walked in, Jen's husband Miguel and two sweet daughters were there. What a happy surprise! It was so fun to pull up a table and chairs to join them.
On Thursday morning, bright and early and fueled up on coffee, we began to set up Camp for our Scouts. Thankfully, we had the help of our art teacherin' friends Stephanie Preston and Jennifer Staples to get ready for the next couple of days. Those two girls were our right hand gals during Scouts and we just can't thank them enough for all they did for us and the Troops. Thank you, sweet friends! Also, a big shout out to my buddy Mr. Joe for hanging out with a bunch of wild and crazy art teachers for a couple of days. 
Friday morning, folks started to arrive and, after breakfast, chatting and a super secret Art Scout ceremony (sorry, y'all. Must be present to get the scoop), we dove right into the art of making big messes!
I have to tell you, we simply have the nicest folks attend Art Scouts. We had teachers from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, California, Florida, Alabama, Virginia, the Carolinas, Texas (and I know I'm even forgetting some)...we were blown away! These sweet, kind and dedicated art teachers are a gift to their students, faculty and staff. 
 Not to mention, some seriously talented (and funny!) artists.
I mean, when is the last time you saw folks having this much fun at a professional development? And we had just as much of a blast hosting them. We were so lucky!
We had a little over 50 Scouts in attendance. Laura and Ginger lead 25 Scouts on their quest to earn their painting and clay badges in my art room. They created over three clay projects and multiple painted paper pieces during their first day with Troop Leaders Laura and Ginger. 
Now, y'all know that Laura is the master of all things painted paper and collage. Having the chance to learn her approach is so much fun...and I speak from experience. I had that opportunity at Tennessee Arts Academy last year. We've been friends long before that. I love and respect what she does for her students and the art education community. Not to mention, she's funny as all get out! 
 
 I loved the variety of creations that I was able to sneak a peak of when I popped down to my art room.

Ginger had folks working with Amaco's air dry clays because it has a very similar texture as kiln fire clay. Ginger is such a jack of all trades but, unlike me, she's a master of all. When we were brainstorming ideas on what badges our Scouts would earn and what we'd like to share, Ginger is so versatile, she could teach it all!  She did such a fab-o job sharing fun clay projects with our Scouts.
I so wanna do this with my students, I know they would have a blast!
Ginger is also our Mural Maven (if you've not seen the time lapsed videos of her students painting murals, go here). The Scouts worked on this scene of the Smoky Mountains that Ginger drew. This helped every understand her simply and impactful method of teaching mural painting to children.
I love how the colors pop on that black paper!
Back in our territory, Jen and I shared everything we could pack in on fibers and printmaking. Jennifer shared such a fun assortment of printmaking projects that are not your usual carve-into-block type of thing. What I love about what Jen shares is that she brings her bright and cheery personality to each project. The sunny sun prints and the colorful wax crayon prints are a true reflection of how colorful the projects are which she shares with her students. 
Because Jen has 30 minute art classes with her kindergarten through fourth grade kids, she was able to share how she breaks her projects down into bite sized bits. She also enlightened us to some fast and easy clean up tips!

 Marker prints were also thrown into the mix!
 We also had a big time exploring Gelli Arts printing plates!
Those printing plates are so versatile and fun. I mean, check out these effects!
These look fabulous just as they are...however the Scouts turned them into beautiful flower collages.
 Love this orchid collage by Stephanie.
And this one being cut out is fabulous. I love that the Scouts swapped flowers to add variety to their collages. 
Now all y'all know that needle felting is my jam. So when I shared that we'd be taking a stab at it (wink, nudge), the Troops were thrilled. And shocked at just how easy needle felting can be. Check out the cute lil palette hair clips we made!
Because I'm secretly on a mission to have ALL art teachers dress like CRAZY art teachers. 
 We also learned how to do some of my favorite weaving activities, circle loom and tree weaving, to name just a few. 
I always love the variety of paintings created on something as simple as a paper plate.
I mean, I wanna paper my walls in these beauties!
Remember: you can circle loom weave on anything round! Hula Hoops! Embroidery Hoops! CDs! Just make sure you have an odd number of warp threads. 
To earn their fibers and painting badges, our Scouts created three printing projects and three weaving and one felting masterpieces. We were busy, y'all.
 It's been such fun getting to know these new friends of ours. One of my favorite things was seeing all of the fun images shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Here's a collection of what was shared by our Scouts.
P.S. THAT PENCIL DRESS!! Beth, you know I love that dress, girl!
I love this collage of art teacherin' fashion that Rina created...so glad I made the cut! 
 Painted paper fun!
Happy faces, fun projects!
Just one half of the Scouts wearing their needle felting palette hair clips!
I love this photo collage created by Scout Brandi!
We had so much fun sharing out passion of making big messes with little people...with our new best friends, the Art Scouts!

We couldn't have done it without our Ohio friends Ginger and Laura! After our Scouts left Saturday afternoon, we broke down and put our feet up. 
 Because I live just 4 miles from my school, I had the gang over to my place for some dinner and chill time. We're already brainstorming ideas on plans to bring more Art Scouts Camps to our future Troops...and we couldn't be more excited! 
To keep up with us, you can follow us on Instagram! You can also join our Facebook group where you'll find a ton of more images and be able to make inquires and chat with attendees. 

Here's to more art making fun! 







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