Friday, April 15, 2011

Cranes for Japan - All Done!

Yesterday my after school Art Club finished making the cranes we'll be sending to Japan. After four sessions and a "fold off" crane challenge day, we have a grand total of 342 folded origami cranes! I'm no mathematician, but the kids tell me that equals $684! It does - I checked.

They are boxed up and on their way! I'm kind of going to miss those little birds being in my room. To check out more about how you can help Japan head here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Big Finale

Dear loyal and faithful followers,

The following blog post is a requirement of my grad class. I had to do it, or my teacher will fail me. It's wordy, but painless. There may even be a little something in it for you.

How has social networking made a difference in your classroom?

Before actively participating in a personal learning community online, I used online media as a way to gain ideas and resources to improve instruction for my students. As many people probably do, I used the internet as only a taking relationship. I search for art ideas, tweaking here and there to find things that are appropriate for my students. Now I feel more of a need to give and take towards idea sharing. I have things to share and to contribute to the art world. The thing is, I really hate when someone uses an idea and takes credit for the creative process someone else put into something. If someone feels inspired enough by my ideas, I just ask for credit, as I give to those who from which I am inspired. As an art teacher, most of our day to day creativity and artistic thought process goes to our students and the creative lessons we teach. It becomes our own art and I know at times I can feel quite possessive. That is why this class has been good for me. I am working on coming out from under my internet rock and having something to say while doing it.

How do you see an online education community changing education?

Online education communities change education by bringing together people who are passionate about their profession and connecting them to like minded-people. We can learn from those who have great ideas and pass it on to our students. However, education will only change if people allow it to change. The way students learn today is so different from the way we were trained to teach them. We have to allow new technology to bring us together and to move forward.

What plans do you have to continue developing your online personal learning network?

I need some more art peeps in my life! Building an online community of art teachers helps to connect with other crazies like myself. After starting the cranes for Japan, I found teachers who are doing the same with their classes. We've communicated through twitter about our progress and the efforts of our students. I hope to continue establishing learning communities with other teachers and artists. The more I continue to put our work out there, the more people will hopefully stop on by. Plus, I'm pretty cool and I'm pretty sure more people should get to know me. I think Cyrus eloquently sums it all up...

"For those who don't know me,
I can get a bit crazy
Have to get my way,yep
24 hours a day
'cause I'm hot like that"

It's been a fun class getting to know some pretty awesome people. See you on the "Twit!"

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Whole New Me

Social media has changed my life! Ever since joining Facebook and Twitter, I am a new person-I make good choices, I am a courteous driver, I never ever swear, I've given up procrastinating, I eat only healthy foods, and I always floss twice a day. I am virtually perfect. What - you don't believe me? It's true. Just check out my fb page and tweetie postings and you'll clearly see I am an angel.

Our conversation in Social Learning last week was whether or not social media has changed our society. I believe the social sites to which we subscribe make us think about our public appearance more and become more conscientious about what we make available to others, but doesn't necessarily change our behavior. Would you make different choices if you knew what you did last night would be smeared all over the internet? I know of a group of pharmacist friends who have a "No Camera" policy when they go out after work. Are they still doing what they would before Facebook? Most likely. But they know the possible consequence of a leaked scandalous photograph. Who knew pharmacists could get so down? Maybe I'm in the wrong profession.

So, while I believe social media has made us very aware of what we make public, behind closed camera lenses, maybe not so much has changed. In the words of Kesha, "We are who we are."

That's why I am definitely not eating M&M's for breakfast and entering this homework post a week late ;)

I stand corrected. Sorry Kesha fans. "We R who we R" is the "correct spelling of her song. That's another issue we can talk about some other time!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What We've Been Up To...

Let the music play! Fifth grade learned about the artist Romare Bearden and the influence music had on his art. Tissue paper squares created the background. Colorful instruments, cut shapes and "sound waves" and expressive lines were the finishing touches!

A variation of this lesson, but teaching the same concept, is a paper woven background. After weaving the black and white paper, we splatter painted the paper.

One of my 5th graders won a Best of Show ribbon at a local art contest with this art project. It is on it's way to the state contest, but I will be sure to add a picture of it when I get it back. Keeping my fingers crossed for her!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's a Cinch (Bag)

I finished the Bean Bag bag last night. This is my kind of project because it is full of inexactitude. I eyeballed a rectangle and cut it out of the same fabric as the bean bags, and lined it with white cotton. I felt like it needed some jazzing up, so I added some hearts and stitched around each one. Sew up the sides and the top, leaving room for the yarn or ribbon - and you've got yourself a bag, baby!

We're All Cracked 'Round Here

We're all a little cracked, but we all find where we fit in, and learn to accept ourselves. That's the message of the story Eggbert: The Slightly Cracked Egg by Tom Ross. After reading the story, first graders drew themselves as cracked eggs. We added details to tell a little about us and our personalities. Notice my egg cat -not cracked, she's perfect. They turned out really cute. The best part of the lesson? Kids in deep conversations asking each other in all seriousness, "How big is your crack?"

This is really pretty much a true self-portrait. Feeling very egg-shaped these days!