Monday, October 28, 2013

Spice up your Learning Goal for your 21st Century Learners

Get your students excited about about your new Learning Goal and preview new content in a fun way for your 21st Century Learners! Power Point offers so many great features that are easy to use and entertaining for your students!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Girl Scouts Computer Expert Badge

Are you a Girl Scout looking to earn her Computer Expert Badge? 

Watch this great video to find out how fun and easy it is to make that happen. 
Made by a fellow Girl Scout! 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Monkey Mind with Doctor Who, Art Class, and Humanity

As a Doctor Who fan who not only watches the show but has completely transformed my art class into the TARDIS this year, it's obvious that Doctor Who is on my mind a lot. I found myself thinking deeply about connections between the show and art in general the other day so I thought I'd share some of my discoveries.

First I thought about the characters. They are for the most part aliens. And then my mind wondered...what is alien in art? Art that is foreign to us. Art that to us is not really art. What language do these aliens speak on Doctor Who and what is the language of art. Can we understand all the languages in a piece of art. Do we have to know the language to understand the meaning?

The Cybermen are evil aliens. Why do we see them as bad? Is it because they want everyone to be like them? Conformity and assimilation is their goal. For creative people this is the opposite of what we strive for. Creativity NOT Conformity!

The Doctor says "I don't have anything to lose". What do we have to lose as Artists? Don't be afraid to make "happy accidents". This is art we have nothing to lose. You are making something out of nothing. That in itself is Extraordinary! Let the creativity flow we have nothing to lose.

"Fantastic!" "Brilliant!" "Be Extraordinary!" All words used by the Doctors. All words we should think about in art. When encouraging my students I use these words. At the beginning of the year I asked them if anyone had ever said they were extraordinary in school. And usually no. The answer is NO. Because we don't have time during the school day for "Extraordinary". 

But we do in that Art Room. In my TARDIS (The.Art.Room.Discovers.Incredible.Skills) we have all the time in the world. The sky is not the limit. There is not limit. In Doctor Who they travel throughout the universe in space and time. Is the universe ever finished...will our art ever be finished. Who says it has to be finished. Art does not have to be finite. Is that scary? Are we scared of the unknown. 

Doctor Who himself is an alien. He regenerates, transforms into a new Doctor. How does our art regenerate? How do our students transform throughout the years and how does their art evolve? It's a constant evolution in Doctor Who and for our students and ourselves it's the same. We are all regenerating or transforming throughout our lives. The show is a creatively colorful and entertaining representation of the evolution of ourselves. And not necessarily throughout thousands of years. But throughout our own lifetime. Isn't that fantastic? Isn't that brilliant. That we are constantly changing.

Aren't our lives in fact extraordinary?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

What Am I Teaching Them? These art students of mine.

I've been reflecting on my teaching a lot lately. Probably has a lot to do with reading "Becoming a Reflective Teacher" by Marzano. But it also has a lot to do with the underlying theme I am noticing in all of my art lessons. I'm still working this jumbled riddle out in my mind but here's where I'm at now.

I'm not just teaching them art. I'm teaching them the art of THINKING. And we all know this as art teachers but, as I evaluate myself by recording my lessons and watching them multiple times it seems to be so much deeper.

Teaching them to think. To think. To think. Not to memorize. But to think. These are life lessons they are learning in the Art Room. And it's not like teaching them in Math or other disciplines where the pressure is on because the test is coming. It's a relaxed setting where they test themselves by trying to interpret the information they are seeing.

They want to know. They want to learn. They want to open their minds to new things. And it's hard. And it tickles. And they scratch their heads and they FIGURE IT OUT! Because they are given the opportunity to really use their minds and THINK! And it natural and organic and it comes from them.

And they leave this class with their mind a little more open. The machines a little stronger. Their brains functioning a little higher. And every time they come in it's a little more and a little more. And they know they can think. And they know they can figure things out. And they know they art THINKING! Because I have helped them learn what real thinking is. And this is what I am teaching them.

Creativity NOT Conformity!

Beth :-)

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

We should all be listening to this and asking ourselves this question. I know the answer. Do you?

Creativity NOT Conformity!

Thursday, October 3, 2013