Not only do I get to know names through this activity, but I also get to know more about my students.
It always seems to take me about a month to get everyone's names memorized. Because I am a visual person, the project that always seems to do the trick for me is the Portfolio Name. Students took about four days to plan, design, and create a name design to show their interests and ideas on their portfolio. They first brainstorm lists of things that they identify with as being a part of who they are and then use that list to create their names.
Not only do I get to know names through this activity, but I also get to know more about my students.
Bella E.: The materials I used to make the artwork was, paper, ruler, pencil, and gel pens. I first made the right measurements to make the letters even. I first started making the flower which is to represent the "b". Then after I darkened the edges of the flower to add texture and shading. Then I made the "e" which is ice-cream. I colored the sprinkles and the cherry. Then I made the basketball hoop, the "l" and tried to make it the shape of the l and used shading to make it look more realistic. Then I also made a husky that represents another "l". After that I finally made the seedling and I had colored the stem. This artwork means a lot to me because I love to plants, then my nickname is ice, and I like ice-cream so therefor I made ice-cream. Then I love basketball so I therefor made a hoop, then I love huskies and totally wish I had one so I figured why not make a husky.
Ben V.: For my portfolio, I made the B into a hand gripping a basketball, and a soccer ball under the basketball. I am personally connected to this because I love to play soccer and basketball. Next, for my E, I drew a fishing pole catching a fish, with a pond under it. This describes me because I love to fish. I have been fishing since I was a little kid. Finally, for my N, I did a different object for each line in the N. The first line is a wakeboard because I really like to wakeboard. For the second line I drew a snowboard because my favorite thing to do in the winter is to snowboard. Finally, The last line of my N is a wakesurf rope, because I love to wakesurf in the summer.
Grace W.: So for my portfolio I did the letter G in a christmas way because my favorite holiday is christmas. I made it like christmas by make the lights on the christmas tree into the shape of the G. The next letter is R and I made that into a Hawaiian theme. I took a palm tree and made a surf board leaning up against it so it would look like the letter R. Next I made the letter A into my favorite food, watermelon. I made the point of the watermelon point upwards so it would look like the letter A. Next is the letter C. For the letter C I drew a doughnut. But to make it look like a C I made the doughnut bitten into. And last but not least the letter E. I made the E a beach. On each point of the E there is a different beach activity. On the top one there is a wave, on the second one there is a palm tree, and on the bottom one there is a sand castle with a small tide. And that is how I made my portfolio to represent me.
I also had the chance to spend the day in downtown Grand Rapids with students on Wednesday for ArtPrize. It was cold day filled with a ton of art and fun (and sniffles). I am still recovering from the fun we had that day!
Studio Habits of Mind
One thing I have been working on with my after school art students is the Studio Habits of Mind. I asked them to create their own version of the habits to remember via a sketch note and here are two of the results:
It has been a bit of a crazy week to start out the month of February.
I had the honor and pleasure of being a Cultivating a Calling keynote for the Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers conference in San Diego last week and feel like I have just finally started catching my breath! If you are interested in reading more about it, I posted some thoughts here.
While I was away, students worked on a variety of things. Because it is the start of the semester with a new group of students, we made our portfolios and created name designs on them. We also read and created a collaborative piece around the book "The Dot," by Peter H. Reynolds.
Because it is the start of the semester with a new group of students I have not worked with all that much before, I am always thankful for these opening activities. They help me see where students are at, learn about their interests, and get them ready for many more making opportunities!
Here are some of the works we finished up this week and posted to Artsonia:
Drew: The story “The Dot” is a story about a kid that thinks they can't draw so the teacher makes her draw a dot and she makes bigger and bigger dots and better art and figures out she can draw. The Dot fits with my art piece because the teacher encouraged me to go on and on like the teacher in the book.
Abby: In my art, called "Abby, the Portfolio Name", I created the art using my own personal likes, such as the volleyball and softball, my favourite sports, and the books in the shape of the y, because I love to read. In the end, I was happy with the results, mainly because of how successful my shading was, making it look life like, which I think is important in art. I made the shading look like there were everyday shadows on the objects. So overall, I am pleased with how it turned out, and I would like to do a project like that again soon.
Matt: In my portfolio name I chose to have these things in it because these things really describe me. For my M I chose to have 2 American flags forming the shape of the m. I decided to do this because our baseball team has US jerseys that support fallen soldiers and officers. I thought this is really cool so I decided to add it. My a is the shield of Captain America because he is awesome. My first t is in the shape of a cross because my religion is a big part of my life and it is really important to me. My last t is in the shape of a baseball field. I purposefully made the part that makes the t darker so you can tell it is a t easier. I chose to include the baseball field into my portfolio name because I love baseball and it is a big part of my life.
Katie: In this piece of art I choose to express my self in many ways. starting with the K I choose flames because I think of them as a reminder to stay bright and determined at school, even on a bad day. I choose the swords and knives for my "A" because I have a fascination with medieval times and also sharp objects in general. I made my "T" be vines and thorns because I love to garden and I feel that the thorns are a reminder of my roses. I chose a candle for my "I" because It reminds me to be the light in a dark time. the candle also reminds me of the bible verse, "You are a lamp to my feet and light to my path." Finally the E represents my love for music and the arts. I have no talent in paying an instrument I love to sing and dance whenever I get the chance. What you see here only make up a small part of me and who I am but They are some things that reflect what I like and who I want and strive to be.
Students worked on finishing up their Portfolios this week as we also transitioned into our first project theme of Identity. I am excited to see the innovative ways students used either substitution (finding objects that mimic letters), mosaic (combine multiple items to make a letter), or a combination of both to complete their names. Students first drew out multiple solutions before applying the design to their work, getting feedback from both their peers and me along the way. It was fun to see them use the design thinking process throughout this project and execute their ideas as a result of thoughtful planning in their sketchbooks.
Can you figure out the names below?
As we finish the third week of the semester, I finally feel like I have names memorized and am starting to get an understanding of my students personalities. I feel so fortunate I am an art teacher because I have some great visuals to rely on when it comes to getting to know my students and place names with faces.
The first thing we did in class this term was create portfolios and use the Design Thinking Process for creating each letter to represent interests and personalities. Some students used a substitution method for their letters, where they replaced letters with objects that look like them. Some students used a mosaic method, where they used multiple objects to form the letter. Some students used both. Not only does this project help me get to know my students better, but the large format letters act as name labels that help me match names with faces (rather than calling out, "Hey kid."). It is also the first project students upload to Artsonia, which is something we will do many times before the semester is through.
As a way to get students thinking about contemporary art issues, we watched the video below about the history of Graffiti shown below and then students created their own names and used Photoshop to put them in interesting places.
Started second semester this week with a new batch of students. It is always fun to get a chance for a fresh start in the middle of the year with kids who are ready to get their hands mixed up in media. Just like every other first day, we made sure to spend it immersed in clay as we created bowls for our annual Empty Bowls event which is held on March 19th.
We also started working in our Sketchbooks this week, planning out our name designs before applying them to portfolios. We went through the basics of Schoology, how to check grades, and other intricacies that will help students keep on top of the fast-moving art making environment that is the art classroom.
Although I am sad that I will no longer see the amazing students I had from first semester, I am super excited about all of the learning that is going to happen this semester with this new group!
On a Side Note...
Two exciting announcements were made this week:
First, I have been awarded the 2015 National Art Education Association Western Region Middle Level Art Educator of the Year. I was up against teachers from various states (like illinois, Ohio, Arkansas, etc.) and will get a chance to celebrate the recognition at a ceremony during the National Art Education Association Conference in March. I am also presenting at this conference, so I am very excited to share the success of my students with others during this professional development.
In addition to that, I also found out this week that this classroom blog received recognition in the Art of Education Art Education Blogs of the Year. This was nominated and voted on by other Art teachers from across the country and world. I am very flattered for the recognition and happy that others find the posts I write and the work my students make useful for their own classrooms.
Teaching Visual Arts since 2004 and making images since picking up a crayon.