Last week I was able to attend my art education association's state conference, held in Columbus, Ohio. I am pretty lucky to belong to OAEA. I have been able to attend this conference almost every year that I have been teaching, with the exception of two years. That means I've been going to this artapalooza for 15 years! There were so many workshops to attend, guest speakers, ideas, colleagues to connect with and art to see! I soaked it up like a thirsty sponge! Below are photos of just some of the workshops I went to and experiences I had.
This workshop was all about Miniatures. Above you see a toad stool house made of Cloud Clay with a cardboard tube armature . This workshop was by Virginia Pacer, Laura Lohman and Lisa Bookenberger. These women are so creative and energetic!
Here is my region's (South West) exhibit, showing our kelly green. The display was nothing but the best, like always!
This was a center piece at dinner one of the evenings. It was made by some students studying the art work of glass artist, Dale Chihuly and taught by Sandra Bacon. Sandra lead a workshop on this lesson.
Above is a photo of an activity from Sandra's workshop, dropping food coloring into water. Students took photos when they did this to recreate the fluidity of glass. So awesome!
The view from my room.
Faux Enameling taught by Dawn Blattel. This is a technique I think Dawn pretty much made up on her own. These are so stunning when you see them in real life. The colors pop and they have depth to them because the lines are actual walls made with aluminum foil. The color is tissue paper dipped in watered down glue and then pressed into each area. Dawn does this with her 7th graders and I think I could adapt for my 6th graders and the time barriers.
The workshop that sticks out in my mind the most I did not take any pictures of. It was called "Giving Birth to Student Cultivated Learning Environments." One of the things I can improve on in my teaching is getting to know the students more personally. It can be challenging as a teacher of 890 students only seeing them once a week for 40 minutes to get to know them personally. They shuffle in and then shuffle out and then the next group comes and this happens 6 to7 times a day.
Daniel Humphrey and Dillon Sedar sparked some ideas in my thinking about how I can build more of a relationship with my students but I will really need to focus on this to accomplish it.
By the way, I wrote in my notes that Daniel Humphrey looks like a young John Cusack. He really does! You cannot ignore it, and I really wish I had taken a picture so that I could show you the resemblance! (I guess that would have been kind of awkward, though.) I would put a split screen right here.
Their key points in what they said in the presentations are as follows:
- Its all about the Relationships (make a personal connection with them)
- Connect with your students on a personal level (say hi every day)
- Create a space/learning environment where students feel safe to explore their full imagination (name stuff in your room: paper towel dispenser, scrap box)
- Allow and Encourage students to take ownership in their schooling. (have students make their own learning objectives, ask students what they want to learn)
- Students do not need to be shown culture in the art room. They are the culture. Use their culture. (start where the students want to start and bring it to an art history lesson or principles and elements lesson)
- Create Meaning (students make the class still-life together with the teacher)
- There are many different ways to solve one artistic problem. Allow students to explore their interpretations of the contexts you present.
- Everybody's right. Everybody's wrong. (we can learn from each other)
- Brag about your students and their accomplishments (art show, newspaper)
Honestly, to try some of these things is going to be stepping out of my own comfort zone. But isn't that what we have to do to improve our teaching? We all teach with different styles and these points can be applied at different levels of intensity according to what our classroom needs.
Thanks to all the people who made this OAEA conference such a valuable learning experience.