Sunday, February 19, 2012

Membership Matters

Where else can you find a group of passionate teachers on a Saturday morning sharing, collaborating, and awaiting results of their students' work? This scene is happening all around the state of Michigan as Visual Arts teachers meet for their region conferences that will determine which work is in the regional show and those that will move onto State adjudication.
Region 9 Visual Arts teachers share ideas, lessons, and resources as they await results from the judges.
In addition to having time to share with others about what is happening in your district, this annual event also allows a time to receive PD from your peers on topics of great concern to Arts Education and the Common Core. At the Region 9 meeting, Tricia Erickson from Northview Public Schools shared how she uses visual vocabulary to teach students concepts of design while focusing their attention on the meaning of the top 100 words found in the SAT. Using brain-based research, Tricia shared how critical the Visual Arts can be to students not only learning vocabulary, but remembering it beyond the initial teaching and applying it to other content areas.

If you have not become a member of the MAEA yet, please consider the benefits and community gained when joining. Opportunities for your students to shine in regional and state shows, a place to collaborate and communicate with your peers, as well as a place to learn and grow as a professional all await you when you join. Good luck to all members whose students are participating in their regional competitions and I look forward to seeing the top finalists selected from the State meeting next month.

If you have pictures of your region show or conference, please post the links/images below; we love to hear your and your students' successes!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What's Art Gotta Do with It?

Art offers a unique opportunity to share with others what you feel on the inside. On this day filled with ideas of love, I think it is appropriate to explore what Art has to do with it. If you are like me, you became an Art teacher because you love Art and teaching. You like being able to make something with your hands and have an idea spring from your mind into something tangible. You also like being able to show others how to do that with their ideas, too.

Art is an amazing tool we have to be creative, innovative, to collaborate and communicate with others, as well as show pieces of ourselves that sometimes might go unnoticed. In addition to all of those smooshy, gooshy, heartfelt reasons to love Art, Art also has a lot to do with how we learn, function, and perform in our lives.

One thing I make sure to emphasize with students is that Art is everywhere. From the chair you sit in to your favorite television program, both aesthetics and design were apart of their creation and both are taught in the Visual Arts classroom. In addition to Visual Arts as a way to teach design, it is also important to note that Art has a lot to do with how students do in their other classes. A recent study published in the U-T San Diego posted by Andrea Ondish on our MAEA Facebook wall, points out how classrooms that integrated Visual Arts curriculum with other classes yielded higher scores than classes that did not. For many students, Art is the reason to come to school. It is what allows everything else make sense.

For this February 14th, consider what Art has to do with your life and maybe consider making it a Valentine...
Jim Dine at the Meijer Gardens, 2011