January Jewels

   Happy New Year!  My New Year’s resolution is to blog on a regular basis and share what’s going on in my art teacher world!

   Here on the Olympic Peninsula I have been working with homeschool students on drawing and blockbuilding.  Both of these topics have provided such a rich field for exploration.  

   I tried a drawing game in which we wrote names of animals on slips of paper and then drew out a slip at a time to create an animal stack up.  It was such fun and it led me to realize that there are so any ways to vary the game and the individual drawing outcomes. And of course there are so many possible things to draw in a stack!  How about drawing household objects such as coathangers, teapots, lamps, and hammers?  That just reminded me of the Dr. Seuss book The Cat in the Hat in which the cat balances all kinds of things while standing on a ball! Maybe Dr. Seuss played the stack up drawing game!Image

   In my block building class we have a wonderful new set of unit blocks with some really interesting pieces.  Once the students became familiar with the variety of pieces I had them draw a simple structure as a blueprint and then create their building much like an architect designs and builds.  All of the students enjoyed this, but several really got a charge out of doing it and loved talking about their “blueprints”. I think for many of my blockbuilders it was a good mental reversal that got them to think about building and the blocks from a different perspective. Usually the play and experimentation leads to ideas and then creation, rather than coming up with an idea, drawing it, and then building it. In fact in the block creation above, I did not think that the triangular blocks at the bottom would support the rest of the creation.  I was thrilled and pleased for my student when they did!


  I am really looking forward to attending the NAEA conference in New York City in about 6 weeks.  I will be able to meet up with colleagues and attend some wonderful sessions.  I know I will come back with lots of inspiration and fresh ideas for my students. 

  I hope that the rest of your January is artful! F. R.





About francifularts

I am an independent art educator. I had my first experience teaching ceramics when I was 24 and worked in the University for Youth program at the University of Denver. As an elementary school teacher I always found myself integrating the arts across the curriculum, which led to me working as an artist in the schools. In May of 2008 I began a master's program with Lesley University in their Creative Arts in Learning Program. It was a truly transformative and incredible experience which led me to decide to devote the rest of my teaching career to teaching art, and through the arts. About the same time that I completed my master's degree in January of 2011 I was hired to teach art in two different programs. I have never been happier in my work as a teacher, and I really appreciate the wonderful professors and cohort of fellow teachers I studied with at Lesley University. I also want to thank all of the wonderful arts educators that I have met online through the TAB/choice list serv for their thoughtful posts and insightful suggestions for teaching art!
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4 Responses to January Jewels

  1. Clara Crosby says:

    I look forward to your blog!! I value what you add to the TAB site!!

  2. Joyce says:

    It’s beautiful, Frances – I approve! Your Twenty Ten template is a favorite of mine.

    I think your kiddos are tremendously fortunate to have an art teacher like you. That your heart begins with sculpture gives a special feel to everything you do with them. I think I’ll tie a resolution to yours and see if I can do a better job with the care and feeding of my own blog.

    Salud, neighbor!

  3. Joyce…your blog is what inspired mine! Thanks for being so willing to share your expertise, time, and humorous take on life!

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