Monday, August 20, 2012

Welcome Back

We have begun our first new week of the 2012-2013 school year and I am very excited to say that we are looking at hosting more students this year through our program than ever! With that in mind I am really revamping classes to make them a little more like the students who are going to be taking them! I am really going to be striving for excellence and I believe that I will see it! I can't wait to see what they can do!

Friday, March 9, 2012


Well my big plan to time myself has gone down the tubes due to being sick this week and having to take yesterday for my four year old who seems to have exactly what I do. Anyway, until next week!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday's Time

5 hours 17 minutes 44.9 seconds= 317 minutes

Our school day for students clocks in at 8:10 and ends at 3:20. We have 40 minutes for lunch. so that means there is around 390 minutes in a school day for us with students.

390 minutes
- 317 minutes
73 minutes of desk time (I do have a 47 minute plan period in this sittin' time)
Wowser no wonder I am tired at the end of the day!

Now today may be completely different. I am down for the count. I have a nasty, nasty cold.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Becoming a Better Teacher

This year our school has gone to a new evaluation system and it is rather interesting. Rather than just having the administrator come in and watch us and evaluate, we are asked to provide evidence of what we do and how we do it. At first I was extremely nervous and worried about the "extra" work, but I realized I had everything I needed it was just a matter of putting it all together. There are a few things that I would like to work on the next year or two. Figure I will start with one goal and work my way up.

Because of an illness I have I am not able to stand for long periods of time (hours on end). But I know that they are looking for teachers to be out and about with the kids more regularly and more often. And of course if you are like me, when you finally sit down, that is the point when one of the admins walk in and you think...of course. Anyway, I have decided for the next three days to not change what i do but each time I am up from my desk, I am hitting the stopwatch on my iPhone and seeing how many minutes/ hours I am up a day. I figure the next three days will give me an average and then I will begin to add five minutes a day to my time. Small Steps. I do think it will be interesting to see just how much time we do spend on average up and about in the classroom. i will report my time at the end of the day. If you decide to take the challenge too, post yours!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cardboard Shoes


Things get a little crazy when we run out of hot glue!

One of our "almost" finished shoes

Drawing and planning of the design

Hoping we don't make a "wrong" cut as cardboard is becoming a hot commodity in the artroom

My Art 1 classes have using the works of Mike Leavitt, a modern artist, who began constructing in carboard in 2006 (,as a springboard in the the design and construction of carboard shoes. This has become quite and process. On the first and second day of construction they were quite clueless as to how to begin. Finally with some help from you tube I found a video,, that showed children how to make a shoe from cardboard using their template. Although the students have to create their own template, they were still able to visually and metally able to put all the pieces togther. Mike's quick put together

There are not a lot of required materials for this project. We used drawing paper and scotch tape for the template and clothing boxes and scissors, and hot glue for the actual shoe. We are going to be painting some of them, but I believe that spray paint will give us the nicest finish and then students can add detail if they choose.

Photo 2

Students are working on (and hopefully) finishing their first independent assignment for the semester. I have a very very small class this semester to at the beginning, we talked and decided that each student would work in an independent format. They had to research and present a syllabus of sorts to me as to what they were going to accomplish this semester. I am enjoying what I am seeing. Although I am not sure this type of teaching would have worked so well as a larger class, it suits us just fine. Above are a couple newly turned in assignments.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


A few works from one of my seniors who spends the majority of her life in my classroom. I am not complaining. She is going to make an awesome art teacher in about 4.5 years!

My Room Looks Like It Exploded

Sooo, we have been so busy this semester. I got tired of all the 2-D artwork that occurred last semester and I was so refreshed and inspired to start our semester of predominately 3-D courses. On the other side of that comes the craziness of where to put it all. Kids are so funny because they always want to "hide" their stuff so no one bothers it. Hiding becomes putting it behind Mrs. Phegley's desk. Today I laughed as I literally climbed over art to get to my desk. There has to be a better way, I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Little Art World

When you teach at a little school you find yourself in a unique little world of having to know everything about art. OK, so not really, but you have to pretend you do, or at least act like you do. It seems like a normal high school teacher is expected to know one subject and teach it all day. For me, in class calendar year, I teach 8 different preps. Which means 8 different sets of lesson plans, 8 different curriculum maps, and no textbooks.

That was probably the scariest thing coming out of college and walking into a classroom. Not knowing everything. Give me a giant floor loom and I could rock it out, hand me a piece of metal and I was clueless. But I am getting better, I think...Being an art teacher requires constant learning. I had to admit, as hard as that was, that I just don't know sometimes.

I love my high school kids, they aren't afraid to try anything once, therefore we become guinea pigs together. Although I am going on two decades of teaching soon, I am finally enjoying the learning process. I don't feel like I need to have all the answers. It is really more fun to say "I don't have a clue, let's try it" and together as a class, sometimes we fail and sometimes we succeed with great results. You just never know.

This week, my students are exploring in exploding color in photoshop, creating in porcelain, designing and constructing shoes in cardboard, creating clothing from non-traditional items, and making art from recycled magazines, just to name a few things. It should be a fun week of learning...for all of us!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Art 1/ Art History

Today is a good day. I have come to remember this year that I actually really enjoy teaching my introductory art one classes, especially when you get those classes where the students really want to be there and this semester I have those classes. They make me smile when they walk in the room.

My students come from three junior high/middle schools to make up my classes. Some of the students have never had art, even in the elementary and some have had art from kindergarten through 8th grade, so in a nutshell there is a large range of learning taking place.

Our first unit is a simple study of line. We talk about contour line and blind contour line drawing and we do the art basic practice rounds of both. For the first time in a long time the majority of these students had a very difficult time of letting go of the control. Contour is loose and continuous and simply implies the form. They simply could not let go of realism and in turn we had a terrible case of bad cartoon image. So learning from that, I headed a different direction. We took photos of each student and I had them trace in sharpie, the contour of the their own face. Once that was done, we flipped the photo. The sharpie had bled through to reveal their contour line drawing. At that point there was an "aha" moment and they got it! We then did four total drawings and took a time out to explore the work of both Andy Warhol and Peter Max. At this point students were then to take their four contour drawings and create a unique project in the style of one or both of those artists. The project is not initially where I intended to go, but I ended up where we needed to be. Our line study is coming to a close and I am so ok with what they learned as are they!

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I have noticed that sometimes I walk away from the blog in times that I find myself overwhelmed. I suppose this fall was one of those times. I am not sure, I suppose it was a combintation of things and I could not seem to catch up no matter how hard I tried, so while my classroom is so quiet as my advanced art students are painting on their large scale works, I decided to jot a note.

I am making some New Year's Teaching Resolutions:

I have decided to make some resolutions in regard to my teaching for the new year. I am not sure any teacher is so perfect that they never need to make changes or improvements and I am truly in need of change. I look around my classroom as I am sure a lot of art teachers do and see a lifeless messy room. To many people it is simply a happy creative area. But for me I want more. I want to create a chic, cool art room that kids want to create in, not just because its the art room and they have to, but because it is THE ART ROOM. I am in the process of brainstorming inexpensive ideas. We lack storage space. Everything sits out in the open and I hate it. I know if it could all be enclosed how nice it would look. We also lack storage space for projects, and I need to be creative in storing those as well. We are in almost an attic area of a pole building, which I don't mind. It is quiet and large. But we also have three style of walls and it is beginning to show its age. I just don't know but I will figure something out. I know I will.

My second is organization. So many kids walk in and out of this room all day. One student leaves something out, ok I can pick it up, but then two, three, 20 students leave things out and I am trouble. I need to be tougher and I need to create spaces for those materials to go. To create a routine which makes it simple.

My third and final resolution is keeping up my blog. I know I can and I need to and I will!

All three are doable, I just need to do it. And sometimes, I might need a reminder.