Monday, September 2, 2013

First day of teaching art!

This is going to be my first year teaching elementary art!  Here is what I am going to do on the first day!

I am going to show this PowToon I made to go over art room class expectations.

Then students are going to draw a self portrait using only one color.  Portraits will be displayed in the hall.
I found this lesson idea and picture at:

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


My Journey: The Nature and Design of Compelling Experiences

Throughout taking the MSU course The Nature and Design of Compelling Experiences, I have been using this blog as a place to reflect and make connections between the work or art of teachers and the work of art of experts in photography, film and television, architecture and interior design, music, and fashion. Of course one of the main goals of educators is to create compelling experiences for our students. We want to create meaningful learning that moves our students and causes them to see and feel their learning. Educators want to inspire students to respond in new ways to their learning. Similarly, professionals who work in the arts, inspire, provoke, and make us think and feel. Many times because of the standards packed curriculum, educators have neglected the importance of integrating the arts and have not provided experiences that move the students to feel their learning in a different manner.

I have always been interested in photography, and felt that it was a great learning experience to create the video that illustrated both a photo that I felt wasn’t compelling and one that was. In the past I would just take photos because I enjoyed taking them. After reading, “Elements of a Great Photo,” by Gwyn Calvetti, I came to understand a number of elements including composition, lighting, and various technical aspects. For example, I had never heard of the rule of thirds before. As I took my photos I took many of these elements into consideration. Photography is everywhere in our world. It is in books, in magazines, on signs, on webpages, and on our walls just to name a few. Because so many professionals make use of this type of art, I think the teaching of photography and the forms that go in to making it a work of art cam be justified in our schools.

During the course, as I studied the art of film and television, I realized the many elements that go into the creation of a film. In “First Cut Chapter 11: Conversations With Film Editor Paul Hirsch,” he discussed the importance of creating an intellectual, emotional, and visual climate as well as how you can use film to span thirty years in one and a half hours. He illustrated that suspense can be created by presenting the audience with a threat that something so awful will happen within a given time. He discussed how reshuffling scenes can make the audience have a better connection with the film. I think that in making students aware of the forms that go into the creation of film, it can help them to think analytically about film in the classroom. If students are challenged to create a film that makes use of the elements that they have learned about, they will be challenged to use their creativity and use the forms studied. One of my favorite assignments for this course was analyzing the Super Bowl Doritos commercial. This assignment challenged me to analyze the work of art that was put into the commercial.

It was very interesting to study interior design and think about ways of connecting this art to education. In this module my favorite readings were those written by Sarah Susanka. Her book described how space, light, and order can be used to define the elusive quality of a home. Of course these elements can be utilized as teachers set up their classrooms. Students can also take part in lessons that integrate math, art, and interior design. By making connections between the art of interior design and curriculum, students can appreciate the aesthetic value of the design as well as obtain knowledge.

My most challenging module was the music module. I do not have a musical bone in my body. However as I listened to some of the interviews with Robert Kapilow, music conductor, interpreter, and composer, I began to understand some of the forms that go in to creating compelling music. I had never really noticed what it was that made me like a song. Now I seem to notice if there is a specific rhythm or if there is a compelling story within the music. As Kapilow discussed holiday music in one interview, I came to view “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” in a new way. Really the words alone are not that compelling. However when there is a catchy rhythm, a twist of momentum, a combination of a message, and the repetition of a pattern that continuously gets higher, then the song conveys a message.

The fashion module was also a favorite of mine. After watching the “What Not To Wear,” television episode, we then created a “What Not to Teach,” video. I enjoyed making this video partially because I tried a new method of creating video by creating a cartoon using ToonDoo, which I incorporated into the video. Students are very in touch with new fads and seem to have a natural interest in fashion. Therefore if teachers use this as a way to motivate student learning, then students will be engaged in their learning.

The project that I am most proud of and that I put the most work into is my Work of Art video. As I made the video I took into consideration the elements that we studies in each module that made up a work of art. The article that led me to my work of art plan was, “Learning and Teaching the Ways of Knowing,” by Elliot Eisner. He wrote, “We often recognize, in our conversations at least, that mathematics has an aesthetic dimension. What does it mean for designing curriculum and teaching? Are students aware of the aesthetic aspects of mathematics, and if not, what can we do about it?” Therefore in my video, I wanted to demonstrate the aesthetics that can be created through the understanding of mathematics with a connection to technology and art.

My experiences in this course have inspired me to teach in a new way. I am now seeing the many artistic elements that can be integrated into the classroom. I am eager to put my learning into practice!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


I just read, "Messengers of Cool," by Jeremy Caplan, which is about people who seek out the next new trend or the next cool thing. I was thinking that an assignment related to this topic could be to have students work in groups to develop something that they think could be the next fad or trend. Possibly it could be something like necklaces made from twisty ties (from bread bags) or making bracelets from shoelaces. I'm sure the students would come up with much more creative ideas than mine. Students could be encouraged to create a video or advertisement promoting their new item that they think could be a fad.

It could be interesting to see if a group of kids could easily start a trend just by publishing a video to YouTube, somehow illustrating their idea or trend. Could they start a new trend based on a classroom assignment. I think kids would love to find out.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Brands and Trends

In the article, “Wearing Beliefs on Their Chests,” Ruth Ferla discusses how religion has become a brand. Religious slogans can be found on t-shirts, tote bags, bracelets, belts, and much more. The spiritual images give teenagers something to demonstrate that they belong to. This article was written in 2005, and although it was written five years ago this fashion is still here today. After reading this article, I wondered, “How could I connect fashion trends and brands to a compelling experience in the classroom?” One idea that I came up with was to have students observe various trends in brands and create a video documentary demonstrating the brands observed. For example, one fashion trend that I have noticed lately is teenagers wearing shirts displaying Sesame Street characters. It would be interesting to see a students view point of the fashion trends and brands.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looks Matter

In “Looks Matter,” by Virginia Postrel, she says, “Good design is an important source of economic value and competitive advantage,” and that “What happens to the great cook who can’t design an attractive restaurant.” These thoughts lead me to think about the value of teaching students about design in the classroom. Because people do enjoy eating, shopping, or participating in a recreational activity in an area that is aesthetically pleasing, it is important to teach our students how to create and value good design. It is true that a good cook who owns a restaurant that looks like a dump will probably be less successful that a shabby cook who has a restaurant that is designed to give the customer a compelling feeling. I also believe that it is important to start giving students experiences in design and education at a young age, while in elementary school. While children’s minds are young they can begin to learn how to think creatively. If given experiences that cause them to use the creative part of their brain, then as they grow and develop students will be more apt to come up with original ideas and creations.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I was thinking about how to created a compelling educational experience related to fashion. I think that upper elementary student would enjoy analyzing an episode of "What Not to Wear." However what if they took this a step further. Students could create a humorous fashion show called "What Not To Wear." Students could create interesting outfits to take turns modeling. As a writing connection, each student could write a commentary describing a classmates choice of clothing. Oral reading skills would be demonstrated by the students as well as they read the commentary while their classmate modeled the clothing. Technology could also be integrated into this assignment. Students could make a video of their fashion show with commentary using Windows Movie Maker.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Music is like a Lesson Plan

I would like to make a comparison between a teacher’s lesson plan and music. At the beginning of a good song, the composer uses something called a hook. The hook of the song is a short portion of the song that is used to catch the listener’s ear. Similarly when teacher’s plan a good lesson it is necessary to have a good introduction, which is the part of the lesson that grabs the students’ attention and compels them to want to learn or take part in the lesson. This portion of both a song and a lesson is critical. If the hook is not compelling we turn the radio off. If the introduction to a lesson is boring or not present, then students will tune out.

As a song continues and develops many times different instruments, rhythms, and patterns are added to the song to make it interesting. However there is repetition throughout to make the song flow continuously. In a lesson plan the teacher must also use different techniques to keep the students’ interest. Just as different instruments play at different moments in a song, the teacher might at times integrate a hands on activity into the lesson, a small group exercise, or a kinesthetic activity. The variation keeps the students’ interest. The repetition of material also helps the students become comfortable with the material presented in the lesson. The repetition of a rhythm in a song makes the listener comfortable with the music.

At the end of a song there is a concluding piece. Sometimes this portion of the music repeates the hook of the song. At times the song might end with the singer holding a high note. Likewise at the end of a good lesson the teacher provides a conclusion to the lesson, summarizing the information taught.