Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Now Picture this...

Of course we didn't just study one book and create one fabulous piece of art work! I brought a mountain of books and had several stations for participants to explore which ever endeavor was most appealing (Academic choice, baby!! Yeah!), of which the Piven portraits were the most popular. But this one came in a close second...

Book 2: Memory Bottles by Beth Shoshan
These amazing coiled creations hold a secret inside inspired by a heartwarming story of a little boy and his grandpa-ish neighbor. These were made using 8oz water bottles and Amaco white (air dry) Cloud Clay and liquid water color paint. Add a little glitter gel medium for a little sparkle! I love how sculptural they became!! Choose any number of artists to add a little history to this unit on how memories inspire artists!!

Elementary Art Needs More Sculpture...don't you think?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Picture This...

No fooling...My friend Mr. E scheduled me to teach a workshop this month, on April Fool's Day!! I have to say I was energized and exhausted from NAEA but my Nashville elementary art teachers did not disappoint!!
Children's Literature in the Elementary Visual Art Classroom
Book 1: My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks

So, what did we do all day...well the topic was how to use children's literature to inspire young artists.  Our first author, illustrator and artist was Hanock Piven!! These are Piven inspired self portraits using found objects!! The best part is that every object used not only has a similar shape to a need facial feature, but it also holds a clue to the artist's personality. You may be familiar with the iPad/iPhone app inspired by this artist called Faces I Make! Here are some more created by the art teachers in my class!!!

"How Great Is That!?!!"

Friday, April 11, 2014

To someone, you are a Rock Star!!

That is what I told my 4th graders today and here is the story...

While I was at the conference, I went to the elementary division luncheon. 

I was sitting at the table with, in my opinion, the holy trinity of techno-art-teachers, Trisha Fuglestad (The iPad Queen), Theresa McGee (Tech/Artsonia Queen) and Donna Staten (Pintrest Queen) among others who's skills I am in awe of and I felt privileged just to share their table. Anyway...a lady came up to my table and said:

"Hi Tina, my name is Brooke and I was in your session last year in Texas. I was so impressed that you walked in with just an iPad for your presentation that I made it my profession goal for the year to be able to do that." 

I looked around the table and back at her..."Are you talking to me??" I thought. Then I said "I was your professional technology goal?? Really?? That's AWSOME!!" 

(BTW Brooke-my friend Susie was in your presentation and she said you did an amazing job!!)

So...just remember to focus on the positive and not get bogged down in what you can't do or what you didn't finish, because to someone, you are a rockstar and you may not even know it!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Assessment is Elementary!!

So while at NAEA, I taught my very first hands-on, ticketed event at a conference called "Assessment is Elementary". Participants were engaged in an unconventional self portrait lesson which they created, inspired by Pop Artist Andy Warhol. I modeled and reviewed some of the assessment methods I use in my classroom to help others find their own flavor of art assessment. 

 I here are some of the amazing (yes-that is the word of the month) piece they created. When it comes to assessment, a finished piece of art work is the ultimate in Post-Assessment!!! Follow it up with a student checklist for craftsmanship and a chance to write about what they have learned and you have Create, Perform, and Respond!! 

I like to have everyone cut them out and display them in a grid just like Warhol's 100 Soup Cans!! Love it! 

Sunday, April 6, 2014


This year's NAEA conference in San Diego was amazing! It was an extremely intense three days of learning, art and fun. I met so many amazing art teachers from all over and I'm proud to say that there were a lot from right here in Tennessee!! I had several people say, "There are a lot of art teachers here from Tennessee!!" :) One highlight was getting to travel with my very 1st and best art teacher friend Sara (on the Ferry). She made sure I saw something besides the convention center!!

Unconditional Surrender 
 I made art in the exhibit hall and gathered great ideas about everything from technology to advocacy and even visited with some bloggy-rock stars (some of whom I knew before they were famous!) 
If you have never been to a national conference, it is hard to describe because the energy of being in a place with 4,000 people who share your passion for art and the art of teaching it is so invigorating! I recommend you start saving for next year!!! See you in New Orleans, LA!!!

Cassie Stephens at the Elementary Division Carousel