Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Happy Spring everyone!!!

I am so excited about the project that I have had ALL my k-5 art classes working on- THE AWESOME SQUIGGLE!!!  I learned about this project through a former teacher of the year who teaches 3rd grade at my school, Palencia Elementary (the only 1 to 1 digital school in St. Johns county Florida) and she is a Skype educator expert!  I learned more about the project at our St. Augustine Edcamp that was held at our school in March.

While I wasn't sure exactly how to approach this project, I loved the idea of allowing students the freedom to create meaningful artwork using media of their choice.  Since I post most of my lessons on Youtube to introduce students to how I would approach such an artistic challenge, I decided to make one video using my iPad and the sketchbook app.  (All my k-2 students have iPads) This first squiggle of mine was of an Egyptian girl in the desert.  Then I did another video based on the incoporated study of the artist Juan Miro, and surrealism.

After I had almost all my classes introduced and most started the project, the next step once a student squiggle was finished I had the students or I take pictures of them and publish them to our Artsonia gallery.
Then I typed a brief script for students to record their squiggle using an app on the iPad called Chatterpix.

So many students have LOVED the freedom in this project and wanted to choose it for the best piece of art work for our school wide art show.
Our next step is to connect with some great classes across the country and continent to share our awesome work and learn more about others!

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year New Goals

As our winter break is winding down, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on and make some goals for the new year.  Goal setting is so important and such a powerful way to achieve new and better things.

My Art Goals for 2017:

1. Finish manuscript for my second book; Robot's Artageous Egyptian Adventure.  I actually just finished typing the manuscript in the correct format and my next step is to add the text to the scanned images.

2. Send the completed manuscript/pages to a publisher.   :)  Some of the considerations are   , Other publishers,  Dial books

3. Start my third Book ROBOT GOES TO CHINA!  I can't wait to start this one because Chinese New Year is coming up!  Chinese New year is on January 28th this year and it is the year of the Rooster!  I can't wait to celebrate with my classes by studying Asian Art and Culture when we get back to school!

4. Meet with my resource team and other grade level teams more often to try to do more cross curricular lessons.
5. Write a donors choose for more Lego- iPads.  I really would love to have a class set of iPads.  :)
6.  NEW SKETCHBOOK!!!   One of my fourth grade students heard me say that my sketchbook was almost full and he went out and bought me a new one!! How sweet, right?  I drew him this and I hope to do lots of sketching/art challenges this year with it.  I have always been interested in figure/portrait studies.  Maybe I can develop a series.

I also have some personal goals for the year.

-I want to work on my art and join more of the twitter chats on Thursday night.
-Work with my son on some academic social goals for school.  He started kindergarten with me with year at my school and it was been a joy and a challenge.   He has an IEP for developmental delays in his social learning.  We also just found out that he is far sighted (even though is an extremely talented artist and excellent reader)  and is being evaluated for any other social/emotional delays.  I want to learn how i can do my best to help him be successful in all areas including at school and home.

What are your goals/resolutions for the new Year!  Good luck!!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Seussical Fab Arts Friday and Van Gogh!

Soooo today was dress as your favorite Seuss character today in honor of Dr. Seuss's birthday so while we haven't done much 'Seuss' themed art (we are trying to finish projects and get as much completed for the Night of the Arts Artome art show) my intern and I did dress up as Seuss characters because WE LOVE incorporating literature into all our lessons!  So today I was 'Ms. W in the hat'!!

I tell students that March is not just about Dr. Seuss but also MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE ARTIST- VINCENT VAN GOGH!!!!  And to top it off - they are making the first ever COMPLETELY painted animated MOVIE based on his work -LOVING VAN GOGH!!! (faints)
This is an awesome video that I show my students to help discuss the principle of art movement!

Our media specialist also gave me this AWESOME book by Bob Racska that has tons of great artwork in it that I enjoyed showing a lot of the classes.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Art room attention grabber!!!

So I am just so excited about this that I had to share ! First I have to say that I am beyond grateful and excited to have a full time intern this semester, Sarah. I have been clinical educator certified for at least 6 years but have never gotten a full time intern for art. It has been one of the best experiences of my career. The level of professional collaboration and sharing has been immeasurable. I have learned just as much from her as she from me.

She has taken over designing instruction And lessons for each grade and they are amazing and so engaging!  To plan for this we looked at the Florida Art standards for each grade level that had not yet been covered.  The fourth graders needed collaborative and cultural art so we decided on a great Origami Village lesson from Blick that we began with students last week.

During one of classes, the fourth graders were being particularly loud and unproductive so we (both feeling weak in the classroom management sphere) decided to come up with a new routine that would allow us to get the whole classes' attention quickly and with 100 percent participation.  There are so many fun and creative attention grabbers out there but we wanted ours to also reinforce a specific art skill.

We decided on "red, yellow, blue (primary colors) eyes on you"

As the students say the words they have to clap for each word so we make sure that they stop working on whatever project they are working on.

It has worked so well that I just had to share!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Out of this World STEAM Art Lesson

Howdy everyone!  I am so excited to share this art lesson because it combines so many great concepts! Do you ever plan something and have things just all fall in line?  Well this lesson did just that!  The idea for the plan came from the book Dynamic Art Projects for Kids- WHICH BTW is a must have book for ANY art teacher.  I can honestly say that I have used almost every lesson from the book and found that students were extremely successful.

My third graders had not yet done any collages AND our artist of the month for January was Jackson Pollock so I felt that the Solar System Splatter Painting Landscape Collage was the perfect project for the time.  ALSO our Teacher of the Year Banquet theme was "Teachers are Out of this World" and during the banquet I happened to see some great examples of this collage that another teacher had sent for decoration.

I also wanted to tie this lesson into as much of the third grade science standards as well so that I could reinforce what they needed to know about the Solar System.  It turned out that third graders did not actually need to know all the planets ( that is a fifth grade standard)  but they did have to know things about the stars and sun.  Even though they were not required to know them- they got a kick out of me singing the BluesClues planet song-

Here are our lesson objectives:
1.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach students how to use the elements of Art to create a collage.
2.  Students will be able to describe the connections between visual art and other contexts through observation and art criticism
3.  VA.3.S.2.1 Use the elements of art and principles of design with sequential procedures and techniques  (splatter painting- texture from plastic wrap) to achieve an artistic goal.
I a 

Then I attended the teacher of the Year Banquet- and just GUESS the theme!  Teachers are out of THIS WORLD!!?  What? What?  Yup and a third grade teacher had submitted artwork for their third grade that resembled the Solar System Lesson but even better because the background paper was painted blue instead of using just black paper.  
The Banquet was AWESOME this year.  Here is a picture from the photo booth of my daughter and I !  Such fun!

So the world experience inspired me to really give this project and UPGRADE by adding EMOJIs and other fun imaginative elements to the planets.  So here are some examples of our finished products!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year in Art

Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had a super fun and relaxing break! I know I did. It was so warm in Florida, it felt more like summer than winter which is fine by me since that means more beach time and good running weather.  I've been training for my second marathon in February.  Im super excited!
My youngest son loved getting Legos, a new bike and tons of his own art supplies so he doesn't have to steal mom's anymore! I also fell in love with the Snapchat app over winter break! The filters are so fun and you can edit, draw etc! Most of the pictures in this post are snaps saved from my snapchat, Mandyandmadison.
So that brings us up to New Years! I must admit I have been a bit of a slacker lately. I haven't updated my blog and haven't been keeping up with my Twitter chats. BUT I have been working a lot on my own artwork! My goal is to finish my second book in the Robots Adventures series.
( I published digitally on Amazon last year) Robot is the dog who discovered the cave of Lascaux. Now in my second book he is traveling on to be next ancient artistic civilization, EGYPT! I've finished the cover and several sketches but I'm still working on finishing the writing of the story. It's fun!
 I'm including my daughters kitten, Artemeis as evil cat villain in the book!( you can probably tell I'm more of a dog gal but I love kitties too!) Hopefully I can finish it soon! It's one of my many goals I'm setting for myself in the new year.  I went out and got myself a brand spanking new sketchbook from Barnes and Noble and realized that I have been able to finish and fill a new sketchbook each year for three years now!! Yay me! It's all those awesome sketchbook challenges i get to take part in!
I also took the last couple of days of winter break to cram in as much art museum time as humanly possible with my youngest.  We went to the Cummer Museum on Saturday and the MOCA (both in downtown Jacksonville) on Friday.  We had a blast even thought the temps began and drop and we were pretty chilly. It was an inspiring and motivating two days full of awesome art work and even gardens. 

Smoke and Mirrors Exhibit at the Cummer- Penguins that are programmed with a Kinect to follow you!

So today is my first day back at school!  Luckily it is a PLANNING DAY!!!  So in addition to report cards- I have been getting my artist of the month lessons ready- also getting lessons for my formal observation.  Our artist of the month is none other than the AWESOME Jackson Pollock!  Kids of ALL ages love splatter painting!  Here is a video I made for kindergarten- not so messy splatters! (using a shoe box)


Thursday, October 15, 2015

FAEA, Teacher of the Year, and Cave Paintings to Picasso!

Just call me Ms. Bad Blogger- cuz I have been so super busy that I haven't been able to write any posts FOREVER (it seems)  The first big event was being awarded with our school's TEACHER OF THE YEAR!!!  It was such an amazing thrill and honor.  But along with that amazing honor also comes PAPERWORK.  There was an entire packet including letters of recommendation that I had to turn in only TWO days after the announcement.  Now I have my TOY interview on November 19th and my TOY photo and then of course the banquet.  How exciting!  I also want to plan on on doing something special at the banquet because there were at least FOUR other art teachers from other schools around the county that were chosen.  We are all in a PLC so I am excited to take over the banquet and turn it into an ART EXTRAVAGANZA!!!  (wish me luck!)
The other HUGE event I had to prepare for was the FAEA Florida Art Education Association Conference in Naples, FL.  I presented two workshops; digital Artist Statements and Street Painting.

My sub plans and the whole month of October are based on our artist of the month; Pablo Picasso!  Here are the lessons:  One is called from Cave Paintings to Picasso because the second graders also got to learn about cave paintings and I shared my book I wrote and illustrated, called the Discovery of Lascaux.   You can buy the digital version on Amazon (shameless plug)