A New School Year, belated

28 08 2011


Well, we’ve been in school with students for a week and a half now and I am a little late in making this post. The first exciting note is that we rolled out our 1:1 laptop program for MS/HS students and set up a Connected Learning Community, which I was a member of drafting, alongside other talented teachers such as Kim Cofino, Adam ClarkRebekah Madrid, admin, some parents, students, our great IT team, amongst several, several others. In regards to this, I am attempting to go paperless (as an art teacher!) in delivering the art curriculum documents to students. I started using this wiki 1.5 years ago but would like to take it further with the introduction of the laptops. Ideally, I’d like the students to assist in building the wiki and think about how to change, enhance and improve my pedagogy. Hmm…skype lessons from home perhaps? ; )

Secondly, we have continued to implement the MYP now into grade 7, so I’ve also been busy restructuring and changing those units as well. Not perfect yet, but getting there. Each additional year will see it creep up a grade level.

Lastly, in addition to teaching art to grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 12, I am also teaching one class each of grade 7 and 8 drama. I’ll admit I was a little nervous at first but my colleague Shane has done a great job at planning and writing those units with some really fun activities, and I’m learning to boot (even with my drama background!).

Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to do my own art and have been really slipping on my one “drawing” a day promise for this year. OK, OK. I’ve been slacking since the summer because I got “kind of” lazy and instead caught up on a lot of reading, and have been trying to get into some kind of respectable shape. But, September the 1st would make a nice start to get back at it.

So, in my classes, I’m teaching:

Grade 6 Art: Realist Portrait DrawingGrade 7 Art: Visual Journals, Grade 8 Art: Abstract Painting, Grade 9 Art: Observational Drawing, Grade 10 Art: Observational Figure Drawing, Grade 12 Art: IB (no link)

Grade 7 Drama: Mime, Grade 8 Drama: Characterisation

Here’s to a good year! Oh, and have I mentioned my grade 7 tutor (homeroom) group are great?

(photo credit)






29 Ways to Stay Creative

17 08 2011

Uugh. I am still unable to repair my embeds on this blog (no thanks to PayPal), but check out this 1min 50sec motion graphic on how to stay creative by TO-FU.

The Drawing Projects: book review

12 08 2011

I recently just finished Drawing Projects: An Exploration of the Language of Drawing. I have a lot of art books that I buy with the best intentions, but often, they collect dust on the bookshelf after a quick initial browse. I find this one a little different as it explores the fundamentals and meaning of drawing with 15 drawing activities that may interest students a bit more, as well as including work by some contemporary artists where you see the concepts in action. It’s not really a tutorial book but may help some to view drawing and expressing line and shape in a different light. Simply, the act of mark making instead of attempting to draw photo-realistically.

In the book, the authors recommend beginners avoid drawing symmetrical man-made objects as more often than not, students will fail to master the precise symmetry. I must say, as a teacher, I am guilty of giving my students bottles the second week of drawing class. I may now change this. One of my favourite activities offered was superimposed drawings (poor quality picture below). Students are to redraw the same subject five times seen from different points of view and superimpose/overlap each drawing. A lot of the activities should help students to get away from drawing with those small hair-like lines that they all start off with (and that drive me crazy) and begin to express themselves and their subject matter more.


“Off Book” series from PBS Arts

4 08 2011

I just stumbled upon this new great series from PBS called “Off Book.”

Off Book is a web-based series that explores cutting edge art and the people that make it. The 13 episode series focuses on the process, motivation and meaning of a new generation of artists. A new episode of Off Book launches every other Wednesday on PBS Arts. Follow Off Book: Twitter: @PBSoffbook Tumblr: http://pbsarts.tumblr.com

They have 2 episodes so far that are approximately 5 minutes. The first is on light painting and the second is on typography. You can view the videos and subscribe to the Off Book YouTube channel here. A great resource!