Reflection is key to progress forward

29 12 2016

I made it my priority to take time to work in my new fancy sketch book and to exercise daily throughout my Christmas break.  I am proud to say I am doing both daily.  I have also been practicing to be mindful and this has helped me to be less stressed and to focus on being in the moment.

As I have been working on myself the quiet pull to focus on my studio practice is calling me.  I have been doing some research, reading, and following the lively conversations on the Art Teacher FB page.  I do read and comment but I also practice scrolling on by.  It is a choice to participate or not participate.  As much as I love to keep working on my style of teaching, I know everyone has different levels of comfort and a variety of situations that can influence an art educators style of teaching.  I strive to share what I am learning and discovering while I am actually doing it in my studio.

I believe I am always learning and experimenting with my artists in my studio.  I work with my artists to create the best studio experience I can.  I am student centered educator and so I have a structure that stays in place with slight modifications, but I am always willing to swap out when something is not working well for my artists.

This next semester I have one new course from first semester and that is Sculpture plus a semester of Mixed Media but this time around my students expressed a desire to focus on Digital Art and Photography.  In addition, we will be able to incorporate into each studio course, our new Ultimaker 3D printer.

It is my plan for my artists to continue to utilize the artist proposal format with daily progress documentation on Sway.  I will be leaning on my Intermediate and Advanced art students to demonstrate the quality of the submissions.   I will be modifying my artist proposals for the experienced artists with a presentation of their proposal, research, and sketches to the class.  I then plan to have the entire class ask propelling questions to push the framework of the initial proposal to have an expanded direction.  I feel strongly that by doing this my students will push each other to move away from cliché images and be connected to the meaning of the piece.  I have found that my students respond well to class discussions and critical questioning about their ideas.  I want to continue to develop these conversations earlier in the designing of the artist proposals to strengthen the students voice.

My Themes and Artistic Targets will stay the same but I will be creating units based on media to keep the studio organized and be able to provide the necessary spaces to create with the specific media.  My studio space is limited so I do need to work with the individual artists on scale of sculptures and spaces to store works in progress.

I will also be chunking the media for some of my courses to help with the distribution of supplies and storage.  I am planning on offering cardboard, plaster, clay, wire, and paper at different times for the first quarter.  Second quarter I will encourage students to break out into areas they wish to develop further.  Of course I will always offer soft sculpture and the 3D printer on the side.  My digital photography students will go through a planned scaffold program to ensure quality compositions and levels of understanding of using Photoshop.

The art courses that are moving onto second semester will dovetail our experienced artists with a few completing work from first semester, while new students will learn all about Choice Art Studio and how to implement their own learning in the studio.  I will repeat the same content as first semester to teach students how to navigate the Haiku platform with resources, learn how to use Sway for documentation and research, and all about the Google forms for submitting artist proposals.  My artist mentors will also be presenting ideas, critiquing work in class discussions, and completing summative assessment forms with artist’s statements. So the new art students will be pulled into the current of the art studio by hearing the discussions, watching demonstrations, asking questions, researching, collaborating, and recording reports using Screencastify for the archives.

As usual, I have also been kicking around a few challenges to help move students along a continuum of exploration.  A couple of challenges I want to pose for my students are:

  • White Space
  • Micro and Macro Fabrication
  • New design approaches for solving societal challenges

We will see how it goes…


I hope you are all looking forward to the New Year.  I am looking forward to New York and serving through the NAEA ChoiceArt Co-President position.  I hope you all take the time to read the newsletter from NAEA for the article Anne Bedrick and I crafted for all of you.  Looking forward to our face to face conversations at the convention.

NAEA Convention

Thursday, 3/2/2017      4:30 PM – 5:50 PM

Hilton/New York/4th Floor

Meet the Choice-Art Educators!

You are invited to the first meeting of the Choice-Art Educators special issues group! Come meet like-minded educators and discuss any questions or concerns.
Anne Anne Sommer Bedrick and Joy Schultz. Co- Presidents Choice Art


I am also excited to start a fresh set of semester courses and to gear up for our recycle runway show and my student trip to Paris in June.  So much to look forward to in the new year.

Recharge and Make ART!


Closing in on a Semester of Art

14 11 2016

We are winding down in some areas while gearing up in others.  Our semester comes to a close soon, so we need to start planning backwards to make sure we can complete the works we have in progress.  We also need to push on the gas to complete our community projects such as our Painted Piano and Empty Bowls.  We have accomplished so much already with our own individual voices, creating original works of art that address ideas, and thoughts that each artist wants to express.   We have worked hard on our Peace Rocks, Homes for Haiti, and even our Chalk Art Mural.

As the art educator in the middle of all the fun, I am so proud of the quality and heart that goes into everything that we accomplish.

I just finished with the State Art Conference and I am looking forward to the National Art Convention in NYC.  The School Arts Magazine article that I wrote will be published in March and will be in the one magazine that each art educator will get at the NAEA Convention.  The Picasso book series will also be at the convention so my illustration in Picasso Sea book will get into more educators hands too.  My own art work was accepted in the Arkansas Art Educator’s Show, the opening reception is November 18 from 5-8 pm at the William F Layman Library at 420 Main St, North Little Rock.  It is the 2nd Annual Arkansas Art Teacher Exhibition! This year we had over 80 entries and our juror, Guy Bell, selected 45 of these works for the show.  I am proud to be able to keep creating for myself while influencing my young artists. So many great things coming up this school year.  Plus, ten days in Paris in June.


“Doves in the Woods”  Joy Schultz

I will keep you posted on our adventures in the studio on my Instagram- Schultz_Life and of course I am always on Twitter @joycschultz

Keep being inspired!

  Our Arts Reveal Night was very successful and we will post a link to our recording of the event soon.


Evaluations for First Quarter- What is Happening?!

2 10 2016

caitlyn-batikI am quickly wrapping up a quarter for this school year.  I am enjoying watching my students gain strength in decision-making and planning their time in the studio.  Many have presented in class to share all the progress and research they have accumulated on their Sway links.

My most experienced artists flow from one project to the other, completing all the necessary tasks required to close a piece.  They document daily progress, keep a written record of transitions, share changes to the concepts, and maintain a dialogue with me on necessary details.  Assessments and artist statements are submitted at the close of each piece. They are working artists and their ideas flow seamlessly from one piece to the other.  The artist voice is clear and the artist statements almost write themselves.

Other artists need more support.  This is where a clone of me would be helpful.  Each and every student is on their own individual path to be creative.  Each and every student comes with a different set of skills and different degrees of engagement.  It’s my job to help my students make the leaps and grow.  This of course doesn’t happen on my schedule but on theirs.  It’s all developmental.

My students have been presenting a lot this year.  WE do this in class for the whole class or they opt to present to a smaller group in class…either way they will gain confidence in presenting  and will also gain more clarity about their own voice. I am using screencastify to record my students on screen presentations with only the voice recording.  I save all the presentations on the Gdrive and share it with my students so they grow accustomed to presenting.  This component of presenting is very important to help motivate, model, and celebrate the artists work.

Offering students choice and supporting their goals is one of the most rewarding ways to spend my time.  I have students who share images of their progress with friends and family without my prompt, I have students “hacking” my classes, duplicating the same requirements of documentation, and submission without a grade.  I have students forming ideas for future projects while still finishing the current project.  I have students asking to volunteer to present in class and volunteering to present for our ARTS REVEAL NIGHT. I have students who are not currently in my studio courses but have creative adventures to share and want to present what they have been doing independently.  I even have students doing community service projects who are not in an art studio course.  They are coming in and working so they can be artistic and to be near the creative space.

YES!  We got something going here.  


Where do we go from here

12 09 2016

We have lift off!


Getting students to embrace a student driven program with Themes and Artistic Targets is no small task.  We need to build relationships and trust.  Support and guidance also needs to be applied differently for each student.  This weekend I spent time looking over my students Artist Proposals and Sway links.  I was looking for the following: understanding of how to complete and submit an Artist Proposal on the Google form, did the student complete research based on the proposed Theme and Artistic Target, is the student experimenting and practicing, and did the student upload progress images of the documentation of the progress made in the studio?  I am pleased to see that many of my young artists have exceeded my expectations and are off to a wonderful start.




During the next week I will be pushing my students to add commentary to the progress documentation explaining what they are experiencing.  Some of my students are already writing comments and making adjustments to the original proposal.



I will also be tapping some students in each course to present to the class their Sway link, this will help to model the expectation.  A few students who are Intermediate students have moved onto a second Artist Proposal so I will be asking them to present the concept for the next project to the class.  I will be creating an environment where students can view the Sway link the artist prepared. Their peers in class will make suggestions to help push and guide the artist in ways to challenge the proposal.

I want the artist to be pushed to move beyond their comfort level and level up.  This can be done by simply changing the scale of the substrate, change the point of view, limit the color palette or lines, and adding a new technique.  Our goal is to create the most original, unique, and quality pieces we can make.

We have our Arts Reveal Night in October so getting some practice in presenting in class is going to only make our evening even better.

I am very pleased with the confidence my students exhibit in the studio and the open mindset to strive to expand their abilities.

Kicking into High Gear

3 09 2016

Quick overview of my Choice Based Studio organization and student management.

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 12.38.19 PM

So it starts with front loading a student learning management platform and creating Google forms.  I use Haiku, Google Forms, and Sway to manage, document, guide, scaffold, and inspire my student artists so they can expand beyond their own imagination.  Here are some screen shots of the curated folders I have created on my Haiku page.

Here is a screen shot of my Google drive of the forms I have for my students. My forms include Artist Proposal, Summative Assessment, Formative Assessment, Artist Statement Form. Plus a few special forms specific to the AP Studio Art course.

Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 1.14.31 PM

Here is some screen shots of the data I can gather from the Google forms collected from  the Art Proposal.

This data can be used to track student selections of media, themes, artistic targets,etc.  I can use the information to help guide my learners and scaffold workshops to push the engagement and skill sets of each artist.  I can also track the media use and order supplies based on an average of media selected and used.  I plan on using the data to see how the semester evolves from practice– experimenting, improvement-skill building, mastery– highest development, and then finally portfolio.  Currently it is showing a higher percentage of practice and skill building.  This is totally expected for the beginning of the school year with so many beginner level students.

I hope many of you find this helpful.  I will be presenting to a group of art teachers in NWA in October and I will record the workshop.  I will then post it on a YouTube channel with common questions with answers.

Have a great Labor Day weekend.  I’m off to relax.

Finding the Flow

27 08 2016


It’s my tenth school year at my school, 26th year of teaching, my second year of full choice. You would assume I got this under control.  I do have things lined-up and a system in place but with new students in the studio who are new to the program it’s all new to them.  So I have a lot of housekeeping information to disperse before a successful launch of my choice based studio can begin to flow.  I feel the momentum has been growing for the choice program and my students are excited about the self-directed and self-pace studio opportunities.


On the second day of school I focused on warm-up experiences and the kinetic body drawing was a huge hit.  After two days of hands-on experiences; I introduced the process to submit artist proposals and how to document the research and their artistic journey.  One blip I discovered was the platform I was using for student documentation had changed some of the navigation and uploading tools.  It became too many steps for a smooth process for my students.  So I spent the night vetting out a new platform to introduce to my students as a replacement.  I don’t need to tell you how stressful it was making a switch mid-gear.  Luckily, I found and it is perfect to meet my needs as the educator and my students find it user friendly.  They love it.  The platform is a Microsoft platform that connects to my student’s school email account and it also has a nice smart phone app.  The value added is the quality of the appearance and the design layout options are really nice.  Each student can modify and design the look of the documentation on Sway to match the style of the work or student’s personality.  I also appreciate the curated resources that populates on the link for each Sway when my students use key words for the document.  Before I would curate information I collected on our class Haiku page to use as a starting point for my student’s research.   Sway having this feature is an added benefit to using this platform.  Students can still upload documents, websites, YouTube videos, and add written comments for each slide.  The only piece missing is the ability for me to comment directly on the Sway so we will need to do more one-on-one discussions to have full communication about their process.  This isn’t really a negative but it was a convenience to comment on each of the student’s links from home each evening so my students could read and have a record of what was said about the submissions.  The sharing options are similar to the prior platform so each Sway can be visible when the artist chooses to open sharing beyond the artist proposal form.


This year I am going to add QR codes to help share all the research/process my artist creates.  We will continue with the Arts Reveal Night presentations but we will be adding QR code links to each of our displays.  I will be requiring students to write artist statements and titles on each piece.  On the artist statement students will add a QR code to share what they want viewers to see and learn about their work.  The Sway link can be copied into a QR code creator and saved for future use.  I can also see using this QR code for attaching to scholarships, resumes, and art competitions.

Busy week setting up my students to understand the proposal and submission process then leads into how to collect and design an artist proposal and keep it original.  I have several videos I share about Remixing and best practices to follow when appropriating ideas to create original works.   I support my young artists with Artistic Targets and Themes.  I read the artist proposals and review the skills each artists wants to explore.  My next step is to plan workshops to scaffold the learning of each artist.  I hosted several individual and small group workshop sessions.  This next week I will review with everyone how to push the compositional layout to get the most unique and well composed compositions.   This week I felt as if I was keeping a whirling storm under control.  Loads of energy and excitement to submit their Artist Proposals with the new Sway platform.  I had an evening with my student’s parents for our Open House and the excitement was echoed by the parents.  I have to say, having my students share what they are doing with their parents is a big deal.  Teens don’t often let their parents in, so when they do, you know you struck a chord.


We had our first big school social at a Watermelon Supper and my art club kids showed up in force to help spread school spirit with face painting.  The energy will carry me into next week for our Club Fair when my student leaders will present all the club’s activities.  We already have a Girl Scout Troop Empty Bowls workshop to plan and a Saturday Chalk Art drawing day to celebrate the arts.  Our theme is “Celebrating our HeART”.


One more little bit of exciting news is that I was asked to submit an article on the Kinetic Body warm-up drawing inspired by Heather Hansen’s “Emptied Gestures” for the School Arts Magazine.  I have been reading that magazine since I started teaching so it is an honor to publish an article about my artists in the magazine.  I will keep you posted when it is published.

Have a great start to your new school year.


Summer PD

11 07 2016
Pink feather and wave copy

Feather and Waves- Joy Schultz 2016

The summer started with hours and hours of painting and creating my own art.  I then transitioned into Professional Development mode.  I attended my first ISTE conference and had my head swimming with new concepts, resources, and contacts.  It was a great conference and I want to go next year.

I was home less than twelve hours and I had to record my online conference presentation for EdCloset- STEAM Arts Integration.  Online Conference STEAM I will be sharing my journey as a blended full choice studio educator.  One of the things I did learn while I was at ISTE is that I am not alone in my way of thinking and so I was able to get my nerd on and discuss my program with others who get the twists and turns of creating a blended program.

I went into school this week to set up my Ipevo whiteboard projector and shared it with my tech team. (won it at ISTE) It has loads of options for all class room teachers for an affordable price with portability.  I will be able to take my show on the road and I love that.  The convention in Denver didn’t end at the convention center, I met several excited educators and tech peeps on the plane and everyone was so willing to share new ideas and technology.  It sounds super geeky but I found it inspirational.  So much so that I will be implementing several of the new ideas with my students this year.

I have a summer art day planned with students to come in and help me set up a few plans.  One will be used to inspire fellow teachers how to add some STEAM to their classes.  I really love having my students help design and brainstorm with me.  I get some of the most inspired ideas from them.  Creating a culture to share and problem solve programming with the students helps with ownership and levels of success.

Three feathers

Feathers- Joy Schultz 2016

I will be working on my LMS creating new forms, QR codes, and adding to my already robust resources.  I will keep on creating art and once the heat wave passes, back in my garden.

I hope many of you are finding time to be artists and that you find inspirational Professional Development to get you ready for the new school year.


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