Monday, March 5, 2018

STEAM, Arts Integration & PBL In Elementary School ...

I am a huge believer in STEAM and PBL in the art room. I have been, long before I knew there was a name for it. The number one goal, I believe for hiring these days is to look for a person who is proficient in visual thinking and creative problem-solving. What better way to learn these traits then through art education. I mean seriously what art teacher worth their salt has not been teaching problem-solving for years. I give a project students then have to find the most creative way to solve the problem they have been given. What other discipline allows for this type of thinking? 

 The ARTS account for  $704.2 Billion dollars of the US economy according to the National Endowment for the Arts web site. 
Not everyone wants to grow up to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon. But even if you do happen to become a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon wouldn’t you want the valuable problem-solving skills the arts provide?  Wouldn't you want to be able to think out side the box to solve any issues that might arise in your job? Do you want to have your rocket on the launch pad with a  problem or a patient on the table with a troublesome subdural hematoma and you just standing asking yourself, which bubble did I fill in on that multiple choice scantron test that I took that covered this situation? 
People today need real world skills that allow them to think freely, creatively and effectively to solve problems. We do not need more test takers. 

As art teachers we have always known this. There is no one correct way to solve art and design problems. There are principles and elements you can learn but how you use them is up to the individual artist.
I believe in “art for art sake” more than any other thought or concept out there but I do truly believe STEAM and PBL are a very import part of our tool kits as educators. 

  I have been actively teaching STEAM and PBL for a few years now. I started off  by adding one STEAM or PBL lesson to a couple of grades the first year. Then added in the rest of my grade levels the next year. Last year I made sure to have 2 STEAM or PBL lessons for each class. This year I am working on documenting all the lessons and ideas for my blog. I started of being self taught but then began attending workshops and PD classes in my district. I am also a huge fan of the
I take all their workshops and on-line conferences. This has really helped me with my classroom approach to teaching STEAM and PBL based lessons. I highly recommend this web site!

I do not think STEAM or PBL has to be "just another thing you have to do". I think it is really something you are already doing. With a few minor adjustments I was able to upgrade a lot of my existing art lessons. I have some of my STEAM or PBL lessons on my blog

I start with my own art lesson and then look at the STEAM applications it can have. For example, my second graders were drawing flower vases based on the van Gogh painting "Sunflowers".
I took a fresh new look at this old lesson and changed it up, first by having the class grow their own flowers in clear plastic water bottle.  
Everyone got their own water bottle terrarium. They each had to put the dirt, seeds, water and fertilizer in their bottles.  We waited 2 weeks and now we have sprouts.
Students will first create a drawing of the root system.

After the roots were drawn we painted them with watercolors.

For our next project we took a wire and shaped it like a root then did a texture rub with crayons over the wire using several different colors.

Using our texture rub papers we created a collage flower garden.

The next project was to look inside the plants with a microscope and see what the cells looked like.

From this observation we created our own version of our plants cells.

First students selected 2 colors of watercolor paint. Using a the straw blowing technique they blew out their paint spots. When the paint was dry students filled in the spaces with circles using a ultra fine tipped Sharpie.

Our next project was also about cells.
On transparent sheets using washable markers students created
colored circles.
Then added a few drops of rubbing alcohol onto the circles.

Place a sheet of paper over the colored area and rub.

The kids thought I was a magician!!! 

We then moved on to looking at the work of Georgia O'Keeffe

Click HERE for the steps to this part of the project

Then to bring this project home I now introduce the van Gogh project I use to start with. We discuss the cultivation of Sunflowers and careers related to all aspects of this project as well as the fine arts implications. 
We then go outside and plant our flowers in the school garden thus completing our plant PBL project as a means of mastering an education concept.

This month, The Art Ed Blogger's Network is writing about STEAM/Art Integration. Join us on the first Tuesday each month for new projects, ideas, and inspiration.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Monday, February 12, 2018

Artists That Inspire ...

I am proud to be part of a fantastic art ed bloggers newwork. Our blogs are all linked together and every month we will all write about the same subject but from our own point's of view. After reading my post simply scroll to the bottom of this page and click the links to read other great articles from some awesome art ed bloggers.

Artists that inspire me...

Richard Pousette Dart

Dart has to be my favorite artist of all time. The first time I saw his work I cried. I actually cried. It was the first time I had ever had that feeling. I have loved other works of art of course but it was the first time that I had that "I understand this, it speaks to me" feeling. It made since to me. It also profoundly changed the way I create my own art. His work also shaped the way I teach. I want my kids to understand the importance of art not just as a tool towards a better career or part of an integration of arts program but to be able to see art for art's sake. Don't get me wrong I love STEAM based projects but I love just creating  pure art more. Richard Pousette Dart inspires me to do that.

  Richard Pousette Dart
You can view 9 of Dart's works on-line at the MOMA

Richard Pousette Dart
Blood Wedding
77 x 112 3/4 in

Blood Wedding was the first painting I saw of Dart's. Look at it... it is the most amazing thing I have every seen. It just glows. I never get tired of seeing it. It just makes since to me. This painting recently sold at Christie's Auction House for USD $2,629,000. To me it is priceless, I hope the new owner appreciates it as much as I do.

Richard Pousette-Dart 
Dart was an American artist most recognized as a founder of the New York School of painting. His artistic output also includes drawing, sculpture, and fine-art photography. 
In January 1951, he was included in Nina Leen’s “The Irascibles,” published in Life magazine. This now-iconic photograph has largely come to define the core group of Abstract Expressionists. Dart is on the second row, far left.

Richard Pousette-Dart
Illuminaten Gothic

This website has good information and photos of Dart's work along with many other artists.

My kiddos are starting their Dart inspired art this week...
Using a circle tracer, Sharpie and a rule students are creating an abstract work of art in the style of Richard Pousette-Dart

This is our inspiration piece by Dart...
Christmas Tree
Richard Pousette-Dart

Friedensreich Hundertwasser
The I Still Do Not Know

I can not say enough about how much I love Hundertwasser's work. I speaks to my just like Dart's work does. It's bright and oh so colorful. I could stare at it all day and be filled with joy. It seems to make my brain work better just by looking at it. 

Mourning Schiele

Cathedral I

Singing Steamer in Ultramarine III

Click HERE for the official Hundertwasser web site.

Since I teach elementary school you just know the kiddos love his work, all the bright primary colors are just perfect for my age group. They are fascinated by it, as am I.

We are creating a work of art in the style of Hundertwasser

This is our inspiration piece...
Green Town

El Anatsui
I think only Richard Pousette Dart's and my mother's work has hit me as hard as El Anatsui. He works with old bottle caps and reclaimed items. His work brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. Again it just makes since, it is perfection, it is how art should make everyone feel.

Chick HERE to see El work on 

A few other artists that inspire me...

Daryl Howard
Wood block print
Daryl is in Austin, Texas. I just love her prints.

Why yes, that is me with Daryl Howard!

Martin Cervantez
Martin is a retired artist for the ARMY and how works out of his studio in
Northern Virginia. I am proud to say that hubby and I collect his work.

Cindy Thornton
I just love Cindy's style. She is an illustrator and has several children's book out now, which are fabulous by the way.
Click HERE for my lesson we do based on Cindy's work and style.

Art Teacher Blogs
This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Artsy Things My Students Wear...

Do they make this in adult sizes?

Project Runway Season 16...

I am a huge Project Runway Fan...
I got to go to NYC last year and all I wanted to do was go to Mood and by fabric. While I was there I got to meet Swatch. He was right there at the front door waiting for me. He loved me!!!
I can sew but I hardly ever do. I am in a Facebook group were we try to draw our the challenges along with the contestants each week. I would love to be on the show one day but it takes me about a month and a half to sew one outfit! Here are my sketchers for my outfits from Season 16.
The challenge was 3 looks in the same collections

Runway ready 1st challenge Season 16

The twin 1 hour challenge. In season 16 there were twins competing against each other but they were also helping each other. So Heidi have them a one hour challenge to see which one was actually doing all the work. I did not even finish sketching this dress our before one twin had a breakdown and   told the other twin to stay on the show. It was kind of hard to watch.

The Dixie cup challenge. The winner got to have there design on a Dixie cup.

From the Shopkin Doll challenge. I had a boy...who is now a grown man so I did not even know these dolls existed! The challenge was to design a dress for the doll. The winner actually get to have their design make into a dress for the Shopkin dolls.
Mine was Rosie Bloom

The unconventional challenge. If you do not watch the show there is one challenge where the contestants have to use things other than material to make and outfit. 
The orange mesh is construction site plastic fencing, the center is a fire hose and bottom is heavy plastic sheeting. 

This is the Breast Cancer Warrior challenge.
My mother died of breast cancer that spread all over her body. I was only 13 when she passed away. She was very sick for 5 years prior to her death. From what I remember of her she was an amazing person. I would have loved the opportunity to know her, she was a fantastic artist, she was a modern dancer and taught dance, she worked with clay, sewed and painted. She helped a friend write a book title "To Dance is Human". What I remember most was how she would always ask me what words meant. I usually had no idea but she would say "it's okay, what to you think it means". Then I would give it my best shot and she would always say "very good" even when I was wrong. Then she would go on to tell me the correct meaning. I miss having a mother to grow up with.

Winter wear challenge

My final 10 runway pieces....

My final 10 for Fashion Week 

This is a 3 piece collection that has to work together from Season 15

Inspired from the movie Leap starring Maddie Ziegler
Nightware...although I am not sure why I thought have NYC buildings on nightware would be restful!

Inspired by the Descendants 2 movie 

Daily street wear the models would wear to have selfies taken in.

Women's wear inspired by men's ware.

Something from Season 15...