Showing posts with label teaching vocabulary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teaching vocabulary. Show all posts

Monday, March 30, 2015

In the Art Room: NAEA 2015 Convention

Well, helloooo there, friends! Long time, no bloggity-blog. As you art teacherin' buddies of mine mightah guessed, I was at the NAEA convention this past week. It was a thrilling experience as those of you that attended can attest. I was determined to blog about my experience in fur realz time, but you know what? As soon as I got there, the phone, camera and laptop went away and I just dove right into the moment. That's right, y'all. I did the unthinkable: I lived in realtime. And I think my experience was all the better for it. Howeverness, I gotta tell ya, my photos are rather lacking and for that, I apologize. 

I do wanna give a shout out to all of you that attended and snapped a photo with me. Thank you! I loved meeting each and everyone of you and I was thrilled that you wanted a picture with my wackiness. I love y'all!
So in this here blog post, I thought I'd break down for y'all my experience. I had so much fun attending sessions and presenting (a whopping four times. Someone. Please. Remind me next year just how crazy I am, ermkay?). If you weren't able to attend, don't you sweat it, sistah (and brah), Ima be creating blog posts on my presentations (10 Exciting Ways to Introduce Vocabulary and Tiptoeing into Blogging) later this week. So stay tuned!

And without further ado-ness, I present to you NOLA NAEA 2015!
So the amazing Tim Gunn was our keynote speaker. And he was seriously just that: ah-freakin'-mazing. Like, there was laughter, there were tears, there was loud coughing into the microphone by the interviewer (whut was that, y'all?!), it was ab fab. As y'all might recall, I interviewed Tim waaaaay back in December for the April issue of School Arts magazine. So, I gotta tell you this hilarious stalker thing I did after Tim's talk: I was standing around outside the auditorium with a bunch buddies rehashing the dude's awesomeness when we spot him! He's chatting with a small crowd of folks and my friends were all, "OMG, there he is! Let's get him!" And, being his new BFF, I lead the troops to introduce ourselves and say hellllllo. Did I mention that one of the buddies in my group was wearing a dress completely decked out in Mardi Gras beads? Well, imagine this if you will, we start walking towards Tim but he's leaving! So we start walking faster. Next thing you know, we are chasing the man and I can hear the SWISH! SWISH! of the beaded-dress girl behind me. Now, least you think I'm a total fool, the dude WITH Tim was waving us on! He was saying, "Hurry! C'mon!" So our behavior was totally encouraged, warranted and justified. When we finally reached Tim breathless and swishy you can tell poor dude is in a rush. He rapid fire shakes our hands and poof! disappears. I was mortified. I shook my clenched fist at the man who encouraged us and said, "You told me to hurry! You told me to c'mon! Now he's going to reissue his restraining order!" 
Shortly after that awkward exchange, I was in Tim's class (so, duh, why didn't I just wait to talk to him then, right?!) which, I gotta tell you stressed me out, y'all! It was basically a condensed version of Project Runway. We worked in groups (I had The Best Group. Just sayin'.) and were given a table full of supplies (rubber bands, tape, scissors, clothes pins, highlighters, velcro, etc). Tim came around and handed each group a paper that said things like "T-shirt to Zombie Apocalypse", "T-shirt to Runway". Ours said "T-shirt to Purse". We had 30 minutes and managed to pull that cute thing together. I had to walk the runway which also made me a nervous wreck (whuuuuut?!). All that to say, after that experience, I had no nervous energy left for my presentation!
See that teeny tiny speck in the background? That's me talking about teaching vocabulary in a 25 minute session. I was thrilled that so many folks showed up (thanks, guys! Y'all made my day!). It was standing room only. I was worried I wouldn't get through everything so I told everyone I was gonna talk fast and I finished in 15 minutes! So I opened up the floor and so many awesome art teachers shared their vocabulary cheers, chants and tricks. I couldn't have planned that better!
Now I gotta tell ya, this is like my 5th conference or something. And when I first went, I didn't know anyone. Which can be pretty lonely even when you are surrounded by thousands of other like-minded folk (in fact, it can feel even lonelier!). If you had even a pinch of that at the convention, I'm so sorry! I know I felt very shy (imagine) and intimidated when I first started attended and hardly spoke to anyone. If you attend, please don't let that be you! Strike up a convo with everyone! Talk, share, swap war stories and phone numbers. The connects you make are priceless (me with my buds Laura and Nic!). 
After the vocab session, I waited in line a long line to meet Tim Gunn. Again. The poor dude. All kidding aside, he stood and signed autographs for well over 3 hours, y'all. That's after being the keynote speaker and leading a session. He's perfectly awesome. AND he signed this here article! 
On Friday, I presented a session about blogging with several other art bloggers. That was a tremendous amount of fun! But as Phyl of There's a Dragon in my Art Room pointed out, it's too bad we couldn't have attended each other's presentation to learn from each other! Again, I'll be sharing my chat in a blog post later this week. 
After that, AOE hosted a blogger meet and greet. It was so fun to chat with the AOE team (so much awesomeness! Jessica has some great taste!), meet blog readers and chat with bloggin' buds. Some of these bloggin' buddies of mine feel like long lost friends (Nic! Laura! Phyl! Hope!) and new best buds (Tim! Andrew! Sheryl! Theresa!). I love this meet up. 
Thank you so much, Jessica, for arranging this fun!  
I love these two ladies! Being around so many art teacherin' besties is good for the crazy soul, I tell ya. 
Of course, I had to get outta that convention center for a lil bit. I roomed with a couple of friends of mine from Memphis (thank you, Debbie and Kim for being the best roomies everrrr). On Friday, I did manage to skip away with them and another buddy to do some serious credit card exercising. Trashy Diva was my fave place to shop on Magazine Street!
On Saturday, I decided to hit the French Quarter with some buddies. We met some incredible street and gallery artists (this city is so full of talented folks, it's nuts!). Of course, eating a late lunch of seafood gumbo and monkey bread pudding on a balcony overlooking Jackson Square was a must! 
 That evening I taught a ticketed event on needle felting. I do believe I officially got 25 lovely ladies addicted to a new craft. To introduce needle felting, I had each create a palette hair clip (as you often see me wearing...DIY post to come).
 I love how this artist had a "mixed colors" palette! So clever!
Then each was given a blue apron to needle felt their individual design upon. We also had give aways, crazy story telling, chocolate was a big time all around. Special thanks to all that those who missed part of the masquerade ball to attend.
If we look a lil cray [that's cuz we are], we are trying to show you our palette hats! None of the ladies finished (felting takes longer than just an hour or so) so they took home enough roving to finish their masterpiece. Hey attendees! When you do finish, email me a photo so I can share it here, please.
After that, we decided to crash the ball with some other buddies! It was so fun, I'm so glad we went. The night may or may not have ended with some serious Hurricane consumption...I'd give you the full story but what happens at an art convention stays at an art convention.

Until next time! 
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Monday, March 31, 2014

In the Art Room: Teaching Vocabulary Part 3

Kids what you see here is my last installment about attempting to teach vocabulary. From writing my first and second post about teaching all things wordy, I've come to a coupla conclusions:

* Repetition is key. Say it, sing it, sneeze it, speak it in a Santa voice, it doesn't matter just repeat the daylights outta that word with the children. And maybe a couple of them will retain it. On the first day. So do it all over again every other day of the year. And maybe a couple more will have it by the end.

* Make learning unusual. Everybody remembers their first ride a bike (what did you think I meant?!). So if you offer the children a unique experience when learning something for the first time, that fun memory will be embedded in their brain along with the word.

*Words, words everywhere! I need to improve upon this. Kids love to read and they want to learn. So why not get those words on every stinkin' surface?! Give the little people what they want!

*Use those words. If we don't use them in some sort of context then they just remain words floating in outer space to the kids. Teach 'em and use 'em. That's what I'm trying to do anyway.

When introducing new words for a new unit of art study, I have them written out and in my red chart (see above with grade levels indicated at the top). Then I play these coupla of games. I'm hoping these clips make some sense of my madness.
Or not.
Em, our friend across the pond, says, "I'm a classroom teacher in the UK. I have a word wall and I add to it as the children suggest words in shared writing or we find words in shared texts and we refer to it often but it takes tome for them to learn to do this independently. It's literacy based but I also use vocabulary cards in maths a lot as this is an area which has a lot of vocab. I hold up the cards as I talk and display them on the whiteboard and they often have pictures and symbols with them to help with meaning. The children have learnt to question me whenever an unfamiliar word is used which helps them learn the meanings. You could play quick games like give half the children a word and the other half the definition either as a sentence or picture and they have a minute to find their partner. Or hide words around the room and ask them to find the word that means... I print out words in tiny writing and give the children magnifying glasses to read them, making them feel like word detectives. You could have 'word of the day' displayed and reward those who use it correctly."

Kids playing Clap-Clap, Snap-Snap and wondering why I'm taking their picture. 
Cathy who blogs at Splats, Scraps and Glue Blobs says, "Last year I was trying to think of everything possible to help kids remember art vocabulary words. There is a restroom across the hall from my art room and most of the classes use these RR's before coming into my class. So I made vocabulary word posters with pictures and hung them on the backs of the doors. Kids didn't even realize they were learning."
Now just talking, clapping and snapping words is one thing...but without putting them in some sort of context, it's kinda pointless, don't you think? I got this idea for putting a different spin on my "I Can" statements from Don over at Shine Brite Zamorano. This is new for me...and I'm trying to add reading this to my teaching routine. My normal routine is simply have the children repeat all of the direction they are to follow during the course of the class. However, add this will add more context to those words. If you've not been by this blog, it's a must, ya'll!

And there you have it! I'm still working on my vocab teaching methods so any clever tricks in the comments are much appreciated. Thanks for dropping by you guys!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

In the Art Room: Teaching Vocabulary, Part 2

Way back in freezing cold January, I wrote a blog post called Teaching Vocabulary. In it, I shared with you some new approaches I've been taking to introducing words in the art room. I also asked for your advice and, holy moly, did ya'll deliver! Thanks, kids!

Since that post, I've tweaked (not twerked. See how important learning vocabulary is?!) my aforeblogged methods and added some new ones. So in this three-part post (because the Vocab Party never ends!), I thought I'd let you in on some of my new tricks (complete with video clips, ya'll! See what your encouraging words did? YOU'VE CREATED A VIDEO-CLIP-MAKING MONSTER!) as well as the words of wisdom shared. I do hope we can continue this vocabulary convo so leave your pearls of vocab-teaching wisdom in the comments below, pretty please!

Without further ado, I present to amazing reader comments, updates on my vocabulary teaching routines and some short clips...
But now a word from the Super Fab Teacher Gillian: "I often have my grade 1's answer a question, spell a word, or read something before leaving the room at the end of the day... I try to switch up the question or the words so that there's something appropriate for everyone! For example, sometimes with my lower level readers, I'll show them two words and ask "which one says _____?" whereas for a higher reader I might ask them to read the word or tell me the meaning. I try to keep it random enough that they don't really catch on to the fact that I'm consistently making it easier for some than others. Might work for you too!"

Um, Gillian, this totally worked for me, thank you so much! If you glance at my first vocabulary post, you might notice that I just had 2 sets of art words, one for my 1st - 2nd grade students and another for the older kids. The words were chosen randomly pulled from a list found on the interwebs. However, these words didn't seem to stick because we weren't making connections to them in art class (duh, art teacher!). Now I have the students read words as they enter that directly pertain to the lesson being taught. This means I have a different set of words for each grade level. For kindergartentown, I show them a shape and ask for the name and the color. My favorite part is when the word is introduced, so-n-so will say, "that was my word at the door!" 

Art Project Girl blogger Erica says:  "Oh my gosh. I totally get it. Some teachers debate with me that just teaching the word without the meaning is not an okay practice. . . but I really feel that it is the only real way that kids will learn vocabulary that I am teaching, repetition, repetition, demonstrate, practice . . . So I always just throw the vocabulary out their have them sing it, repeat me, repeat me in different voices (they love saying vocabulary while holding their nose and making nasally teacher sound) then as the year goes on we learn what the vocabulary means, how to use it."

I love Erica, don't you? Her blog is super fab and she's always coming up with fun ways to teach her students. If you attended the AOE online conference, then you know how Erica brings all sorts of games and fun into her art room. This got me thinking about how I could introduce something new in my room called "Word of the Week" (even though in the clip I refer to it as "Word of the Day".  Sorry, my bad) in a fun way. Here, lemme 'splain it to you...

After all that "whoop-whoop" craziness, I drop directly into a moments chat about our Artist Inspiration which I attempt to explain here...
(gah, that face. only a mother could love, right mom? Um, MOM?! Oh, never mind.)
A message from one of my favorite teachers, my Aunt Kimmy: "always labeled everything --and I mean everything in the kindergarten/1st grade classrooms. And in my home too, because I've done a lot of tutoring at home. There's a sentence strip still on the ceiling in my kitchen...everyone that comes to my house is just used to seeing the word "ceiling" on my ceiling. Now I leave it there for Rayleigh..:) When Kirby was two months old, I had everything labeled in his bedroom. "bed", "dresser","chair"...."wall"... You get the picture. That's how I do it. Our language is too crazy to try to teach reading by sounding out words. That's my opinion and I know a great debate can be started by saying something like that because there is something to be said for phonics...sometimes."

I love this idea of labeling everything and I'm working on it. Those words that the kids learn at the door? They go on our word cabinets (yes, I just about have enough cabinets to cover the alphabet. Don't hate.) Do ya'll label everything in your classroom? I think this is simply genius. But she is my Super Amazing Aunt Kimmy so I might be a pinch bias. 

Mrs. C of Rainbow Skies and Dragonflies blog: "I have the kids repeat vocab words also... they learn the meaning as we go along. And yes, you think they will remember the kooky way you introduced something and it would be burned into their brains forever, right? No, not so much... We have spent mucho time on color theory this fall and even though I know in my heart of hearts they know what the Primary colors are ( 1st/2nd grade) when I asked before vacation they all looked at me like I had three heads! Seriously guys???"

I love Mrs. C. Always telling it exactly how it is. And isn't that the truth, ya'll?! No matter how hard we try or what hoops we set on fire to jump through, sometimes the kids just don't get it. Maybe they're having an off day, maybe they've gotten too used to us jumping through flaming hoops, I dunno. I can only think that the connection we made with the word wasn't a powerful enough one to get it to stick. But when it does, it's so exciting it's magical. Like this "invention" by one of my third grade students. 
I mentioned that our word of the week was "invention" and that our artist Leonardo da Vinci often drew his inventions...but many times they were so far ahead of their time that they were impossible to create.

3rd Grade Girl: But can we make an invention if we wanna? I mean, instead of just drawing one?

Me: Sure! Make it and bring it in!

And this is what my friend brought me the very next day. An Art Robot. So amazingly awesome.
She even created an "advertisement" which was the previous week's Word of the Week. I was so excited that I dragged this sweet child and her robot onto our school's televised Morning Announcements. I really wanted to encourage this sweet artist. She was thrilled (despite being camera shy) and the kids loved seeing her creation when they walked into the room. Pretty sure the word "invention" will stick with her. Although we have been out of school for a we'll see.

Please stay tuned for Part 3 of this Teaching Vocab series as I have more insight from you super smart readers and (joy!) more obnoxiously goofy clips! In the meantime, I'd love to hear more of your vocabulary-teaching wisdom, friends, so lay it on me! 

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