Street Art: VAEA Resources

Today, I was a presenter at the Virginia Art Education Association Conference in Roanoke, VA.  I chose not to provide a printed packet of information, because I feel that we are all inundated with paperwork on a daily basis.  Instead, I am sharing information digitally.  You can print this post if you need documentation of your attendance, and please feel free to share  with fellow art educators!  Keep in touch with me via email ( or add me on Facebook so that we can continue to help and inspire one another.  Thank you for coming to my workshop.


Modern Art for the People (powerpoint)

Art and Social Justice (powerpoint used at the Elementary level)


Obey Giant Worldwide (Shepard Fairey)


Graffiti Diplomacy (Lettering examples)


Big Changes This Year!

After teaching Elementary art for 15 years, I am now a Middle School art teacher! While I loved teaching Elementary school, K-6 art teachers see their students for only short periods of time each week.  Middle School will enable me to spend more time with my older students, getting to know them and helping them develop artistically, intellectually, and as young human beings.  Currently, I am teaching an 8th grade course in Art Foundations.  It is very exciting to offer this class at the middle school level since it counts as High School credit.

During our first week together, the students studied Line, which is one of the Elements of Art.  The Art Foundation curriculum focuses on the physical and expressive qualities of line.  We also covered craftsmanship.  Students created contour drawings, experimented with line making using different art media, read from our textbook, The Visual Experience, and lastly took a quiz.  There were several grades of 100 on the quiz!  It was a successful week.

While Middle School is a new experience for me, with several facets such as grading, attendance, and tests, I believe I have the skills to do the job well.  After a period of adjustment, I expect to find my groove and have a truly productive, vibrant program.  The students are terrific and I care so much about them.  There is a lot of talent at our school.  I look forward to sharing student work very soon.

New Graduate Work

I Live Beneath the Earth
Pencil, Colored Pencil & Micron


This year, I began Boston University’s Masters of Art Education program.  It is a rigorous, research-based program that features 2-4 credit classes per semester.  I am currently taking Contemporary Issues in Art Ed, and next up will be Insightful and Creative Leadership, as I chose the Leadership track of the program.  This work is no joke.  My husband asked me tonight if it was harder than my undergraduate work.  My reply was, “No, but when I completed undergrad I didn’t have two children, a full time job, and a part time job!”   I am working really hard to stay focused and use my time wisely.

The image above is from a visual story assignment using a mimetic approach.  I chose contemporary artist Andrea Kowch as my inspiration.  I really enjoyed researching the different postmodern artists.  Although we don’t do a visual work every week, this week we have another art making assignment- a metaphoric self-portrait.  Self-portraits are my thing, so I am really looking forward to it.

My coursework has already had a major impact on the way I plan lessons.  My intent is becoming less product-based.  I am beginning to utilize thematic planning.  I am more aware of the current trends toward visual culture and the theory that “everything is art.”  I will share more updates as the semester progresses.

Figure Drawing for 2nd Grade

I recently completed a figure drawing lesson with each of my second grade classes, including my inclusion and Early Up groups.  The children did a fabulous job, and I was tremendously excited by the results. 

On Day One of the lesson, we talked about basic body proportion.  To emphasize and demonstrate, I asked a student to lay on a long sheet of bulletin board paper.  After tracing their body, I hung the large drawing on the board.  Using a Manikin, I talked about the basic shapes that comprise the human body, as well as the proportional relationships from the beginning of class.  Students were really entertained by a life-size tracing of one of their classmates!  Next, I demonstrated how to draw a figure made up of ovals and circles for joints.  There were no details, and this exercise was simply about capturing proportional relationships.  Students followed along on their papers, and then, practiced drawing the figure on their own.  On Day Two, we focused on depicting the figure in motion.  For example, I demonstrated posing the Manikin in different positions.  We also viewed paintings by Jacob Lawrence (Builders) and Edgar Degas (Dancers) to talk about the different actions being completed by the figures in the painting.  I used these paintings as a springboard to draw a few examples on the board.  Lastly, students were reminded of proportional relationships.  Their final works of art were completed on 12 x 18 Manila paper.  Students were asked to draw several figures in action, to give the suggestion that they were traveling across the page.  For inspiration, we brainstormed on favorite activities such as gymnastics, soccer, cheerleading, skateboard, etc.  Many of the students were able to do the drawings proficiently, while a few others needed proportion reminders.  Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of this lesson.  To follow, I am planning to feature a detailed, realistic figure in our next lesson. 

Art Ed Forecast



Change is good.  Here are just some of the ones in store for this school year:  

The Standards are Changing.  According to VAEA President Scott Russell, art education leaders have revising our art SOLS.  
Our Curriculum is Changing.  There is a new format for the PPS art curriculum, featuring color and images.  That was my summer job!  The sixth grade document is being piloted and the rest of the grades will be edited as soon as the revised SOLs are available.  
Teacher Evaluation is Changing.  PPS unveiled a new observation form this year.  Also, our art department is responding to the current push for more teacher performance data.  Diana Davenport met with fellow art supervisors to develop an assessment format that made sense for elementary art teachers.  We will be completing this assessment project with third graders by evaluating still life drawings completed during this school year.  
Lesson Plan Information is Changing.  Last spring, we were asked to incorporate Bloom’s Taxonomy and Higher Order Thinking questions in our lesson plans.  

Andy Warhol says: “They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. “

We can benefit from all of these changes, however, first we must accept and adapt.  Sometimes it is easy to get stuck in a cycle of only doing things one way.  As good teachers, we make the choice to evolve.  Change is good!

New Classes


I created the Wordle above for an online course I am taking through WHRO’s Teacherline. The point of the Wordle was to introduce myself. The course is on “Dynamic Media and Digital Storytelling.” From the class, I hope to gain more experience with student-driven technology assignments. In the art room, we usually reserve the COWs (Computers On Wheels) at least once per year for grades 4, 5, and 6.

I am also taking a completely different course through VCU on Visual Journals. I will be presenting a staff development session on this topic to Portsmouth’s art teachers in March. I look forward to posting images as we complete more assignments!

5th and 6th grade opportunity

This would be a STELLAR experience for students!

ODU Art Education Program is hosting FREE art classes !

 Please invite your friends to join us/register on line



Old Dominion University Art Education program presents:


FREE Saturday Morning Art Classes

at ODU Fall 2010

for Students Grades 5-12


Inspired by contemporary artists, art education can be a transformative experience. 


The ODU Art Education Program is hosting classes written by ODU Art Education Students to educate students and the public on the power of transformation through art.  Students will be encourage to make meaningful connections to contemporary artists and through creative art studio experiences, gain understanding of how artists today can express ideas and personal points of view through the big idea of “Transformation”.

Saturday, November 13th
9:30 – 11:30am

and 12:30-2:30
Saturday, November 20th
9:30 – 11:30am and 12:30-2:30

*students preregistered for both morning and afternoon classes should bring their own bag lunch.

ART SMAC Exhibition ~ OPENINGING ALL WELCOME: SUNDAY Dec 5th 3:00-5pm in Studio Art Building diagonally across from the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries in the ODU Village

Technology for Physical Education Teachers

I recently held a staff development session for PPS Elementary Level Physical Education teachers.  Mrs. Sharon Moore, P.E. Supervisor and Wellness coordinator, asked me to talk to her group about the ways in which I’ve integrated technology into my teaching.  Here is a collection of links relating to that discussion so that Physical Education teachers (and all other interested parties) can check them out at their convenience.  The Web 2.0 links, particularly, could be fun for anyone.

First, here is a link to the Prezi outline we viewed.

Now, check out the following links:

Blogs & Wikis

A Class Wiki by Linnea Barth

Art Room Service, the collective blog of the PPS Art Department

Web 2.0 Applications

Capzles Social Storytelling




Big Huge Labs


Teacher Resources

Promethean Planet

Discovery Education

Social Networking


Classroom 2.0


Finally, here are some P.E. – specific blogs:

Mrs. Marshall’s PE Class

Physical Education Update – coach perspective

Mr. Fields Weekly PE Class Updates

Mr Kirk’s Blog- not updated recently, but good example of class assignments.