Where do we go from here

12 09 2016

We have lift off!

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 Sway.com 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.

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

 





Summertime as an art teacher/artist

15 06 2016

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It’s a funny time of year for a busy art educator.  You are coming away from super hectic weeks of art shows, receptions, ceremonies, and the dreaded end of the year studio cleaning/organizing. All you feel like doing is crashing on your couch and sleeping for days.  If you are lucky the immediate change of pace doesn’t make you sick due to the stress levels dropping so dramatically.

Well, I didn’t get sick. I am thankful.  I did put myself on a rotation of taking time to paint for myself every day.  It has helped me get in touch with the artist in me that has been denied all school year to just create for creating sake.  After launching a full choice studio for the first time it has been fast and furious.  I do need to make changes but right now I need to focus on me.  I have set a goal to get on the artist registry in my State and to prepare enough work and work flow to produce art pieces for art competitions.  I am doing a good job so far and it feels amazing.

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I will be attending the ISTE conference to help me define and sort my new ideas for next year’s choice based studio layout.  No major shifts but defining a more transparent method of art proposal forms, submission of reflections, assessments, progress pieces, and over all methods to push my artists forward.  I have already placed two dates on the school calendar for Arts Reveal Nights.  That is when my artists present a body of work to an audience about the studio work they have created.  I had many requests from my artist students to add more artists to the presentation and to offer two events.  I am also setting goals for my students to submit works to more art competitions.

I am working with two new art teachers next year and I am super excited that we are all on the same page about choice based art and how to implement technology into the studio.  We will have a really awesome visual arts team.

I am presenting my experience with student reflections and their results from a full year of choice at the EdCloset Summer Conference.  If you need professional development, I recommend you check out the conference.     Steam & Arts Integration

Meanwhile, I can be found in my studio space at home working on some art.

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Design and Innovation on the Runway

23 04 2016

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This is one event we do that takes months to prepare for and then when it comes up it is over before I can catch my breath.  This project starts in October and concludes in late April.  My students start with a idea and then start gathering materials.  We have the task to create a wearable garment with 75% recycled/repurposed materials.  This is a very serious competition among my own students and with the whole State of Arkansas.  There are Senior Scholarship dollars on the line with additional award dollars at the runway show.  My group is hard working and dedicate all the hours outside of their regular school class schedules and other extra curricular activities.  The creation of the garments are done outside the studio art class.  We have several workshop design days on the weekends to help shape the progress of each individual but a lot of the work is done by the students at home late at night.

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My studio explodes with random materials that come in multiples from household materials to industry castoffs.  It’s all viewed differently once it enters my studio.  The questions we answer when looking at the materials are:  Can it be cut, bent, colored, weaved, stitched, layered, etc.?  Then the concept the designer created is merged with the available materials and design solutions begin.  There are trials and errors, redos and failures. It’s all about the process.

I have had some of the designers for four years and some for one year.  I have even had one student model only and then turned designer this year.  We have a lot of fun and we learn so much from our explorations of the materials.  Our goal is always clear, create a wearable garment that doesn’t look like the original materials.  Reinvent, inspire, and make something amazing.  I am never disappointed.

This year we won first place, third place, and best creative design.  In addition my Seniors won both Thea Fashion Design Scholarships.  I could not be more impressed with how much my students have developed through this process.

I have many of my students moving on to college this next year but I know I have returning designers and a few hanging in the wings ready to take on the challenge next year.  I’m excited about the new possibilities.

 

 





so much left to accomplish

9 04 2016
Ally B. girls with pattern

A. Broadnax

April is the time of year to reap the rewards from a year of work in the studio. The showcases have concluded in the school building but the art contests are passing out awards. Awards are not the most important part of the studio practice but it adds excitement and challenge. We get to see how we measure up and how we have grown.

This year is the first year of full choice so the measurement of awards will be more of a comparison of student achievements from a modified choice program and further back a teacher directed program.

 

 

I am curious of how this all unfolds. So far my students have achieved record awards and scholarships but I will balance that with my own research and data collected from my students in the studio.  I am going to work with my students to figure out what they liked best about the program, what do they want to see change, add in their suggestions with my educated ideas and I’m hopeful I have a better program for next year.

Speaking of next year, my class-projected numbers are very high so I am trying to evaluate how can I maintain at this pace and rate. I know it is a heavy load and I am exhausted. I need to find a balance that helps me be able to meet my students needs without it becoming more than I can handle. Trust me, I can and have taken on a lot but that isn’t always the best for best teaching to happen. I believe you need to be honest with yourself and decide when it has become too much. I feel I need to make more modifications to my program that will require further research into digital platforms to help with the tracking and transparent communications/discussions between me and the art student. I am finding the volume that is built by my students is amazing but getting timely feedback with the amount of students is pushing my abilities. It’s not bad to push and learn and grow. I hope I model that for my students in the manner in which I have strived to create a full choice studio.

Areas I feel need more research are in the discussion areas and in the art proposals. I would like a more transparent document that flows back and forth that a Google form and a spreadsheet just cannot preform. I know many teachers use blogs but that isn’t going to work. Google classroom has this ability but I need to work within the platforms I have in my school. I still love Blendspace but we have had some connectivity issues and the comments on individual slides do not equal the kind of conversations I would like to support among students in my studio or between the individual artist and me.

We do conduct critiques, presentations, and conversations daily but I feel some method to communicate from our devices would spur more content building and sharing with more ease in sharing sites, research, and scaffolding techniques. Almost like an individualized class workbook for each student. Gosh, I wish I had the time and skills to build what I can imagine.

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S. Maxwell

Well, next week we are preparing all of our work for the state competition and a full day outside together doing some on-site photo challenges. My students always do a great job and impress me with their take on the prompts. The weekend will be filled with Prom and then bookend with our recycle fashion runway show. It’s always exciting but pretty intense too. Keeping my AP artists on track hasn’t been too hard they are a great group. They have requested a lock-in for a wrap on the portfolios. (I am entertaining the idea.)

 

The end of the year is always crazy but also challenging due to some of my students becoming increasingly distracted. So I am coming up with some prompts to keep them engaged and inspired. A little bit more modified choice but we need to do it to keep it moving in my studio.

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H. Greer

I hope everyone is working hard to finish strong. I know it’s hard but this is the time of year we need to show what we are made of. I’m taking time to relax and even short moments during my hectic days to center myself. I look at my calendar and knock one date down at a time; it’s all I can manage right now.

I’m writing this on my patio in the sunshine and trying to motivate myself to tackle my grade book. I cannot wait until I can convert to more of a reflection with my students instead of a letter grade. I don’t think I’m too far away from that reality.

Will. C sandy beach

W. Conyer

Light speed to the end and then summer.

 








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