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"Everything you can imagine is real." Pablo Picasso

From the Bog

Helping Students Understand and Uncover Personal Voice

Helping Students Understand and Uncover Personal Voice

  It can be a real challenge to help students to uncover and develop their own personal voice in their work, but I have found that a good start to the process, is having them learn how to pull out what other artists are doing. Oftentimes it’s easier to unpack how another artist is creating […]

Teacher Tools: The Artist Project

Teacher Tools: The Artist Project

Posted by on Nov 30, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

  If you’re anything like me, you uncover a great website, you love it, it gives you ideas, saves you time, and then somehow you completely forget about it. Yesterday I was working on some new lesson plans, thinking , I know that there is this site with videos of artist talking about other art, […]

Emergency Sub Plan: Are your students using the Design Principles?

Emergency Sub Plan: Are your students using the Design Principles?

This is a good one to tuck away for a rainy day ( or a sub plan!!!) We like doing what we’re used to doing, our students are the same way, and I can’t really blame them. But in AP they really need to push themselves, demonstrate an understanding of the principles of art, and […]

Becoming an Art Curator: Exploring Art history

I’m always trying to find ways to make lessons more student centered, and tied to potential careers in the arts. This year, students in my art history class, are curating their own exhibit, and it’s working even better than I’d imagined. The students are excited and engaged. They’re learning from each other, and gaining a […]

Teacher Tools: Grading made easier with google drive

Teacher Tools: Grading made easier with google drive

Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

Do you hate grading, hate making copy of copy ( and then the machine jams 15 times in the process ) of rubrics that you’re students just lose? Are you tired of having piles of projects teetering  your desk? Me too! Here’s how I use google drive to grade student artwork. Buy it nowBest ecommerce […]

Teacher Tools: National Core Art Standards

Teacher Tools: National Core Art Standards

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

As with anything new, the National core art standards were a bit confusing when they first came out, however, after spending time playing around on the website, and chatting with other art teachers, I’m pretty much in love with them now. The custom workbook has quickly become my best friend, and is a powerful tool […]

Talking to Students about feelings and the future

  As a teacher, you can go years without really feeling like you’ve made a difference, and then you receive an email like this one.  This may be weird but I feel your the only person I can ask about this.. I am well really lost about what to do for college.  I feel so […]

How to Keep your Students Engaged

How to Keep your Students Engaged

  It can be hard to know how to keep all of your students engaged, to check for understanding, or to come up with fun ways for students to review important facts and concepts. Kahoot.it is a great ( and free) program that engages all of your students in a fun and interactive review game. […]

What is imagination

What is imagination

“And what is true for individuals is true for people’s. Our problems are not more harrowing than the ravaging depressions and wars of a century ago. But our economic, demographic, and ecological challenges are in fact existential. I think we sense this in our bones, though it’s not a story with commonly agreed-upon contours. Our […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 12: Where to find FREE Stock Images

Teacher Tools: Episode 12: Where to find FREE Stock Images

Posted by on Nov 14, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

Looking for FREE and awesome stock images, here’s what you’ve been looking for! This is a great resource for both you and your students to find images for presentations. Visit Unsplash

Teacher tools Episode 11: Art History for Kids Made Easy #Metkids

Teacher tools Episode 11: Art History for Kids Made Easy #Metkids

Posted by on Nov 10, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

  This site is great for parents and elementary art teachers. It makes it easy to search by time period, and topic, and helps you to have meaningful conversations about works of art throughout history. Check out METKIDS by clicking here

Teacher Tools: Episode 10: Understanding Art and History

Teacher Tools: Episode 10: Understanding Art and History

Posted by on Nov 8, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

This is a  great tool to bring into your art history class or your visual arts class. It’s also great a tool for language and history teachers. French Teachers: Learn about Women Artists in France Cezanne Photography Teachers: check this out Explore Met Museum Past Exhibitions here

Are you allowing students to discover?

Are you allowing students to discover?

” When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work may be, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressive creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and opens ways for better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, he opens it […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 9: One Great Resource for Inspirational/ Motivational Videos for Your Classroom

Teacher Tools: Episode 9: One Great Resource for Inspirational/ Motivational Videos for Your Classroom

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

  You’re always looking for new inspiration, great ways to grab your students attention and to help keep them motivated. You’re going to love the site The Kid Should See This.  This site is great for a wide range of subjects, topics, and age levels. Bonus, it’s super easy to search!  

3 Ways to Respond to the Angry Parent Email

3 Ways to Respond to the Angry Parent Email

So  you were in the middle of having a great day, like a really great one. You woke up, had time to both make and drink your coffee , plus you’re outfit is pretty darn snazzy today. The kids are listening…….. OH…. MY …… GOODNESS, you just realized that they’re all working, no one is […]

How to Help Students Make Connections through Combination

How to Help Students Make Connections through Combination

  I’m always trying to find new ways to help my students to develop ideas and push their work further. Recently I’ve read a lot of discussion about the validity or importance of the elements and principles, especially for older students. Just telling students to use the elements and principles creates lack luster results, however, […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 7: How to do group conference Calls

Teacher Tools: Episode 7: How to do group conference Calls

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

Sometimes you just need to have a face to face conversation, but you just can’t get your schedules to line up. Zoom.us has become my new go to tool for super simple video conferencing. Since I do a lot of teaching online, being able to do group conference calls is essential, and the newest tool […]

How to get your Students UnStuck and out of “I can’t” Mode

How to get your Students UnStuck and out of “I can’t” Mode

“I can’t do. I don’t have any ideas. Can I have my mom draw this for me? This is terrible, I’m terrible, this is horrible, I can’t draw. I’m not creative. No one in my family is creative. Why am in this stupid class?” You cringe when you hear these words coming out of students […]

Teacher Tools Episode 8: How to Create online Courses

Teacher Tools Episode 8: How to Create online Courses

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

Love the idea of teaching online, or just wish that there was any easier way to reach all of your students? Wish that there was some way to check for students understanding and give them automatic feedback? I’ve been using zippy courses by Social Triggers for 2 years now and really love it. In the […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 6: Pinterest

Teacher Tools: Episode 6: Pinterest

Posted by on Oct 25, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

  You might be staying away from pinterest because you’re afraid that you’re going to waste your time scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Or you might be on it, but feel like you need some help organizing ideas.  It doesn’t have to be a waste of time. I’ve found it to be a great source […]

Part 3: 6 Steps to Stop Procrastinating

Part 3: 6 Steps to Stop Procrastinating

 ” To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing. ” Picasso We all do it…. we check our phone, email, facebook, over and over again, instead of getting the next thing crossed off of our to do list. 6 ways to help you and your students stop procrastinating. Deadlines: if there […]

Procrastination part 2: There’s No Creativity Without Slack Time

Procrastination part 2: There’s No Creativity Without Slack Time

( audio recording at the bottom) ” There’s no creativity without some slack time. “ I’d purchased a groupon for 30 days of yoga classes, I’d never done yoga before, but I exercised, and figured this might be a fun change. With determination to take full advantage of my 30 days pass, I decided that […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 5: How to make Videos

Teacher Tools: Episode 5: How to make Videos

Posted by on Oct 18, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

  If you want to start using more video in your classroom, but aren’t sure how, this has quickly become my go to tool for creating videos. As I mention in the video below, don’t let the pricing scare you off, tell them what you want to use it for, and they should be able […]

Part 1: Deadlines Do they Matter?

Part 1: Deadlines Do they Matter?

Confession: I’ve recently become a procrastinator I’d agreed to lead a teacher in-service training on creativity, at the moment it seemed like no big deal, creativity is my jam. I marked the date on my calendar, did some backwards planning, and knew exactly what I needed to do and when I needed to do it […]

Teacher Tools: Episode 4: How to use SELZ

Teacher Tools: Episode 4: How to use SELZ

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in teacher tools | No Comments

You have lots of ideas. You want to share and sell your lesson plans, you just created an amazing workbook and are trying to figure out how to share with the world, or you’ve decided that you want to start offering private art lessons and running an art camp, but you need an easy to […]

Teacher Tools Episode 3: How to use the Art Assignment

Teacher Tools Episode 3: How to use the Art Assignment

  I was standing in the back of my classroom sobbing into the phone, my mom was on the other end, and students were about to walk through my door, I needed to get my act together. It was one of those crazy days, that turned into a crazy week, and then a crazy month. […]

How to Help students understand the Drawing Issues.

How to Help students understand the Drawing Issues.

    Usually when when students hear the words, ” drawing issues,” they look confused and unsure, then they realize that the drawing issues are made up of terms that they’ve heard for years, but often still aren’t sure how to use them in their artwork. Below if the video that I use as an […]

What is Appropriation in art?

What is Appropriation in art?

It can be hard to help students to understand appropriation in art. Often in the classroom we tell our students that they can’t copy work or characters that have already been created, and then we turn around and teach them about Andy Warhol and Pop Art… mixed messages much? The college board is clear that […]

Helping Students to Plan

Helping Students to Plan

” The production of ideas, too, runs on an assembly line; that in this production the mind follows an operative technique which can be learned and controlled; and that its effective use is just as much a matter of practice in the technique as in the effective use of any tool.” James Webb Young. As […]

Teacher Tools: How to make a fillable PDF

Teacher Tools: How to make a fillable PDF

I love using google drive, and canva to create PDF’s, but sometimes I always want people to be able to type into those PDF’s. In the video below I”ll show you how to make any PDF fillable, for free.

How to Teach Art History without Lecturing

How to Teach Art History without Lecturing

Students don’t learn from teacher’s that stand in front of the classroom and lecture, however, all too often that’s how we teach art history. I”m always working to develop new ways to have my students interacting with the works of art, thinking about them, responding to them, asking questions, and making connections. While watching ” […]

Creativity Defined

Creativity Defined

 A collection of my favorite thoughts and reflections on creativity. ( Audio recording at the end of the post) ” Through art alone are we able to emerge from ourselves, to know what another person sees of the universe which is not the same as our own and of which, without art, the landscapes would […]

How to Set Measurable Goals for Yourself and Your Students

How to Set Measurable Goals for Yourself and Your Students

  It’s the time of the year when you need to write out goals for yourself and for your students, this often seems a bit tricky when it comes to art, because these goals also have to be tracked and assessed, aka tied to data. You probably stay away from giving tests in your art […]

How Artist Megan Auman Finds Inspiration and Keeps Creating

How Artist Megan Auman Finds Inspiration and Keeps Creating

Megan mentions that she’s not super productive in the afternoon, so instead of freaking out ( which she sort of did at first), show now goes for a walk, or takes a nap. The main idea is that it’s important to understand you’re own creative process. While I fully understand, that it’s not always simple […]

Digital Photography Lesson Round-up

Digital Photography Lesson Round-up

While my first year of teaching was 10 years ago, I still have some pretty distinct memories of excitement and terror when I was handed my schedule;  Darkroom Photography Digital Photography Jewelry/Metals Foundations Sculpture I had no experience or background in jewelry/metals, and while I’d taken a film photography class in college, taking a class, […]

How to Balance Instruction and Experimentation in a TAB Classroom

How to Balance Instruction and Experimentation in a TAB Classroom

When teaching digital photography to students, I always find that it’s a bit of a dance between the technical elements, with allowing time and space for experimentation and discovery. I once read a quote, ( can’t remember who in the world said it, and google doesn’t seem to be sure either), but it’s good none […]

How to Make Cool Graphics for Teachers pay Teachers

How to Make Cool Graphics for Teachers pay Teachers

  I received a text from my brother, he’s an elementary physical edu teacher, he wanted to know if I could help him up his game on making graphics for Teachers Pay Teachers. As any good sister/ art teacher I said of course. However, that made me realize that if he needs help, you just […]

What the Teacher Wore: How to wear a Head Scarf

What the Teacher Wore: How to wear a Head Scarf

A photo posted by Amber Kane (@amberkanescarves) on Sep 1, 2016 at 11:09am PDT I’ve been trying to find ways to blend my two worlds, teaching and designing, and suddenly , as in a few hours ago, it hit me.  I can “what the teacher wore”, posts and also do a little bit of teaching […]

Helping Students Understand Content and Context in Art History

Helping Students Understand Content and Context in Art History

    Previously, when teaching Art History, students were often confused about the idea of content and context and how it relates to works of art. This year I develop 3 new exercises to walk them through, and now they are understanding it like nobodies business!!!! Here is the video that walks students through the […]

Troubleshooting Digital Photography: How to have Better Photos

Troubleshooting Digital Photography: How to have Better Photos

  After teaching photography for 10 years, there are certain problems that students seem to encounter no matter what. I’ve created three handouts that address the 3 most common problems, and possible solutions. Video 1: What to do if your photos are too dark   Video 2: What to do if you photos are coming […]

An Introduction to the Creative Process, How Artist Come up with Ideas

An Introduction to the Creative Process, How Artist Come up with Ideas

” Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.” Ken Robinson ” Imagination is the root of creativity. It is the ability to bring to mind things that aren’t present to ourselves. Creativity is applied imagination. ” Ken Robinson When I tell people that I’m an artist and art teacher here the […]

What Questions Art Historians Ask

  Over the weekend my husband and I headed to the Phildelphia Museum of Art. We first checked out the contemporary section, they had a lot of Cy Twombly’s work on display, and I love his mark making. A lot of people look at his work and see childlike scribbles. I see layers, pain, sadness… […]

How to Stay Organized as a New Teacher

I was 22, fresh out of college and freshly married. They handed me the keys to not one but 2 high school art rooms, that were all mine!!! Along with the keys, came a stack of class rosters, revealing that I was going to be teaching, jewelry/metals, darkroom photography, digital photography, sculpture, and foundations of […]

How to Help Students Develop Ideas

Everybody gets stuck sometimes, but one of the harder things about bringing choice into your classroom, is finding ways to deal with students that can’t seem to come up with anything. Leaving them sitting, staring at a blank page, ask you for ideas. A few years ago I brought the concept of an “idea generation” […]

What’s the Point

What are you actually doing when you’re writing lesson plans, correcting papers, and grading projects? What are you really doing when you’re scrounging for supplies because your budget ( okay, you don’t even have a budget) never covers everything that your students need. What are you doing when you spend your summer going to professional […]

2 Easy ways to kids writing, and 1 way to organize your books

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway For the years that I taught in the public school system, we, the art teachers, were always being told that we needed to find ways to bring math, writing, and reading into […]

What do You Want to Become?

Ever imagine what you want to become when you “grow up”? When I was little , I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. Yes, I was one of “those” people, that always knew what they wanted to be. I spent my time teaching both real and pretend students, assigning the neighbors homework, and […]

How to have better ideas

When you ask the wrong questions, or not enough questions, you get the wrong answer.  Lowe’s was having a .99 paint sample sale, which to an artist, is pretty darn exciting. Sorry, the sale is over as I”m writing this to you. It was perfect timing as I’d recently decided that I want to paint […]