I’ve been teaching long enough to remember when visiting an art website meant only seeing few images of art from a famous dead painter and the text from a paper written in Art History 303. One time I actually displayed a Monet site on my computer just before my principal observed me, cuz you know, I was going to impress her or something. (The funny part is that she was impressed.)
Today we have some amazing teachers sharing real content on what goes on in contemporary art classrooms. We share lesson ideas, embed YouTube videos, and advocate for quality art education. Thanks to social media we are able to share this content and collaborate together.
Check out this amazing list of art education blogs recommended by art teachers around the world. This list is interactive! Please join in and add your favorite art ed blog and help sort the list by ranking up your favorites.
Favorite Art Education Blogs
What are your favorite art ed blogs? Help rank your favorites up the list.
iPad Art Room provides resources, ideas and insights into the reinvention of Year 6-12 Visual Art programs using the SAMR Model to merge traditional art making processes with innovative content, techniques and ways of thinking. Through these posts you'll find lots of lesson ideas, teaching tips, resources and most importantly, inspiration.
AOE exists to provide Art Teachers with Ridiculously Relevant Professional Development
Great resources for art teachers! Innovative ideas from an award winning art educator.
My name is Ted Daniel Edinger, but you can call me Mr. E.
The Teaching Palette is a blog authored by art educators for art educators. Our goal is to provide a collaborative and resourceful forum where art specialists of all levels can explore professional topics that impact our subject area – from classroom management to tools and techniques to integrating music.
This is not your typical art teacher blog. This is a humor blog.
You will not find cool lesson plans or pictures of student art work here. There are many other (better) blogs out there where you can find that sort of thing. Here you will be given a glimpse into the everyday life of an elementary art teacher.
This blog is not safe for children.
This blog contains the work of Visual Artists, Computer Graphic Designers, Animators, and Street Artists from Apex, NC.
This blog is a conversation of how to teach our mini's. Let's share great ideas and creative attitude. We can make this big world a little smaller.
An art education blog written by an elementary art teacher. This blog showcases hundreds of art projects and lessons for kids. Here you will find painting, drawing, clay, sculpture, crafts and many more kinds of creative inspiration for teaching art.
School Arts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.
We are so honored to be in the final top 10 choices for Best Art Ed Blog of the Year 2012 by The Art of Education! Today is the final day to vote so please take a moment to vote for the Teaching Palette. You can vote for the Palette by clicking here. Good luck to all the amazing art ed blogs that were nominated!
The following is a guest post from Suzanne Tiedemann who teaches art at Brunswick Acres School in South Brunswick, New Jersey and Tricia Fuglestad who teaches at Dryden Elementary in Arlington Heights, Illinois.
Tricia: In late 2010, I wrote a grant to receive an iPad for the art room. I hadn’t any experience with one at the time, but thought that they may have a use in the art room some how and I was curious to explore the possibilities. I imagined that students would publish a collaborative book, record their voice for video, or access the Internet. The iPad 2 hadn’t been announced yet with camera/video so my thoughts were mostly on apps for exploring art and making art.
I asked my building tech assistant to allow me to play with an iPad over winter break.
That’s when it happened. That winter I was completely smitten with the touch- swipe-pinch-zoom-undo-ease of the iPad. I loved the “tweet this”, “email that” simplicity of use.
I started to play with the Brushes app with layers, transparencies, textures, and playback mode and thought…this is transformational!
For years I’ve been trying to do technology based lessons with my elementary art students and found that they needed a great deal of instruction in how to use the tools, where to click, and how to troubleshoot issues. This meant that I was more of a tech teacher than an art teacher during class time.
Since those days my school purchased 100 iPads that travel throughout the school one grade level at a time each month. This means that I have the opportunity to create a digital art lesson with every grade level on the iPads in my K-5 elementary school. I jumped right in with uncertain expectations. I didn’t know how much my students could accomplish, how many issues we might have with network connectivity, and how I would deal with image management.
Some of the things I’ve learned:
- Find a way to project the ipad as you teach (I use Apple TV to wirelessly mirror the iPad through my projector. View my blog post to learn more)
- Learn the vocabulary for the ipads (home button, settings, wifi, share button, swipe, pinch, zoom, undo, double click, tap, shut down, mute, etc.) Manual
- Teach students to respect the iPads as learning devices (not for playing Angry Birds and filling the camera roll with silly pictures)
- Teach what you would have normally, but digitally if you can. Don’t let the ipads disrupt learning, but rather transform. Here are some examples.
Suzanne: Over the past four years, I have been taking steps to acquire touch screen devices for my students to use as art making tools. In 2009, I took photos of my family and friends with my iPhone and created silly portraits of them with bulging eyes and very lopsided features using the app, “FaceMelter”. Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” popped into my mind, and I thought that if I was having this much fun creating images in this style, my students might like it too. I found myself lending my iPhone and iPod Touch to my students. It was both hysterical and inspiring for them to learn about surrealism by creating “Melting Self Portraits” . Their excitement about using the touch screen to create made me look past the possibility that my devices could suffer any casualties. Fortunately, students took great care of my technology. The administration in my district believes in demonstrated practice; therefore, I was determined to prove that my students needed touch screen devices in the art room. At that time, I began uploading student work to their online Artsonia galleries and printed others to display in my school.
In 2010, I invited my supervisor to observe a lesson where my students were using my iPod Touch to create digital collages using the app Faces iMake. To this day she recalls how amazed she was that first graders were all completely engaged and in awe when trying to watch a demonstration on one tiny iPod Touch. She was equally impressed with how intuitive they were when it was their turn to create digital collages on such a small screen.
At the end of the 2011 school year, my district acquired iPads through a grant. Select classroom teachers and a couple of specialists, including myself, were invited to be a member of the iPad Pilot Program. I was given one first generation iPad to use with my students. We explored digital storytelling, augmented reality, graphic design, photo and drawing apps and more. Each week, I was required to submit a form to my technology leaders that described how I was infusing the iPad in the art room. It was a super exciting time, but only for a select few. Students wanted to use the iPad, but only having one iPad for 550 students meant that the odds of using the iPad were pretty slim for most.
Some of the things I have learned along the way:
- Publish your students’ digital work online if possible and share the work they are creating with your administrators and technology leaders. Demonstrated practice could possibly go a long way. Read about how the iPad has been infused in the art room B.A. Art/iPads and see my students in action by viewing our B.A. Vimeo iPad Library.
- Download and install Dropbox on your computer, iPads and iPhone. I cannot imagine managing and uploading my students’ digital files without it.
- Talk to your students about your efforts to acquire technology for them. My students seem to appreciate that I include them in on the process. This could possibly be part of the reason why they take proper care of the technology when it arrives for them to use.
- If you do not have a class set, create an iPad station where students can cycle through and take turns using the iPads while others are using traditional tools at their tables.
- If you do not have a class set, provide time for students to work in groups. They enjoy solving problems together and are less frustrated when navigating tools for the first time in apps like “Brushes”.
- Apply for grants when possible and look for opportunities that may help you acquire more iPads and perhaps a class set. Having an iPad station makes it possible to offer basic digital lesson extensions. A class set will allow you to teach digital lessons to an entire class on some days while using traditional tools on other days.
Suzanne Tiedemann and Tricia Fuglestad spent the last year exploring uses for the iPads in the Art room. They presented on their findings at the National Art Education Association on Saturday, March 3, 2012 in NYC. Fnd their resources on their iPads in Art resource site.
Intel wants to help teachers get the supplies they need this fall and has generously donated to The Teaching Palette a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift card. We will give away this gift card to one of our lucky readers to win by participating in the “Show Us Your Favorite Art Lesson” campaign!
More Ways You Can Help
So remember to…
- view Wheezy’s Waiter’s new video before September 14.
- share this link with everybody you know before September 14.
So go…click and win a donation to help students across America! For the inside scoop on Intel’s campaign with Amazon click here.
It’s a constant battle every year to stretch the art budget and this year may be among the toughest. Try applying for grants or participating in art contests to help finance a resident artist, bolster your supply budget or assist in the purchase of equipment. Below is a list of resources that will get you started. Also, check out our post from last year “Expanding Your Art Room Budget” for tips on finding writing support along with an additional list of grant opportunities.
Samsung Grants – Our new 2011 “Digital Preparedness” Grant Program is simple. We are offering 50 SAMCAM 860 Document cameras to worthy applicants based on need and quality of response. An independent evaluation team will review the applicants and notify the winners. Winners will be notified no later than May 30, 2011.
SMART Education Programs – Visit SMARTS grants and fundraising section for additional tips, resources and best practices to help your school or district find the external funding you need for your technology goals.
The Teach@15 Award program helps schools serving any grades 7-12 meet their technology needs. Teens (age 13-18) who are registered members on at15.com (“Members”) can nominate their schools (depending on eligibility) to win a Teach@15 Award. Teen members can vote once a day for 15 days for one nomination. Every 15 days, Best Buy will award 3 schools with Best Buy Gift Cards based on member votes. The school with the most votes will win $1,500, second most votes wins $1,000 and third most votes wins $500.
Find Your Dream ActivClassroom – Conduct a PTA sponsored fundraiser during the 2010-2011 school year at your local school and Promethean will match the dollar amount raised, up to $3,800 per school, towards the purchase of any combination of qualifying Promethean ActivClassroom products.
Visual Arts Contests
Blick’s 2011 Linoleum Block Print Contest - Teachers! Here’s an opportunity to increase your art budget and gain national recognition for your students. The contest is offered in three grade divisions: 4–6, 7–9, and 10–12. A total of 15 students will win art supplies for their schools. ENTRIES MUST BE POSTMARKED NO LATER THAN MARCH 15, 2011.
Doodle 4 Google – A competition where K-12 students use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google’s homepage logo for millions to see. This year students in the U.S. will redesign the Google logo around the theme, “What I’d like to do someday…”
Art Teacher Toolbox Offers an extensive list of visual arts contests broken down by grade level and features an extensive list of resource sites with more contest opportunities.
AVerMedia Photo Blog Contest – Create a blog post about what 3D object you would like to examine more closely with your class using a document camera and you might win! Entries must be received by March 31st, 2011.
2011 Adobe Design Achievement Awards - Higher education students and faculty can submit entries created with Adobe software to earn a chance at winning recognition, travel, Adobe software, and winners receive cash prizes. Entry categories include:
- Interactive Media: Browser-Based Design, Non-Browser Based Design, Application Development, Mobile Design, Game Design, Installation Design, Innovation in Interactive Media in Education
- Web and Mobile Analytics: Web Analytics and Mobile Application Analytics
- Video and Motion: Animation, Live Action, Motion Graphics, Innovation in Video and Motion in Education
- Traditional Media: Illustration, Packaging, Photography, Print Communications, Innovation in Traditional Media in Education
Local and National Arts Organizations
Alaska State Council on the Arts – The Alaska Artists in the Schools (AIS) Grant Program is designed for schools and/or districts that wish to augment their regular Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Curriculum with Teaching Artist.
Arkansas Arts Council – The Arkansas Arts Council administers both federal and state funds, financial aid and state grants for programs and services benefiting arts organizations, Arkansas schools and Arkansas artists. Federal funds are appropriated by Congress to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which in turn grants funds to the Arkansas Arts Council. State funds are appropriated by the Arkansas General Assembly. Grant monies from the Arkansas Arts Council are awarded annually.
Model Development and Dissemination Grants Program – The program supports the enhancement, expansion, documentation, evaluation and dissemination of innovative, cohesive models that demonstrate effectiveness in:
- Integrating into and strengthening arts in the core elementary curricula;
- Strengthening arts instruction in those grades; and
- Improving students’ academic performance, including their skills in creating, performing, and responding to the arts.
New Hampshire States Council on the Arts – Artist Residencies in Schools (AIR) provide partial funding to bring juried teaching artists into classrooms and public schools to support creative learning and skills development in the arts. AIR grants support partial costs for artist residencies in a variety of arts disciplines, including all forms of visual arts (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, weaving, etc.), dance, film/video, music, theatre, traditional arts and creative writing.
New Jersey State Arts Council - Guidelines and application forms are available for grants through the State Arts Council’s Artists in Education (AIE) Program to help ensure the arts are a basic part of a high-quality education for all New Jersey students. Residencies are offered in all grade levels and focus on the processes of creating work in a specific arts discipline. Professional artists work in collaboration with classroom teachers to create substantial and sequential arts programs that help schools meet the Core Curriculum Content Standards and help students hone critical skills that prepare them for the 21st Century. All NJ public and private elementary and secondary schools in all districts are eligible to apply for a residency grant. The deadline for schools to apply is Friday, March 4, 2011.
Greater Hartford Arts Council – The Greater Hartford Arts Council’s Neighborhood Arts & Heritage grants are available to organizations to support creative projects and programs by cultural, heritage, historical and social service organizations in the Greater Hartford region. Grants range from $500 to $5,000, not to exceed 50 percent of entire project/program budget. GHAC funding may be applied towards a variety of purposes including artist or instructor fees, materials and supplies, marketing and facility rentals.
Kenedy Center Alliance for the Arts – A list of project grants form their Arts Education Network.
National Endowment for the Arts – The Arts Endowment’s focus is on identifying and supporting model programs and projects that provide in-depth knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts to children and youth in schools and communities.
Check out this amazing LiveBinder with a bunch of additional grant resources and writing tips:
If you know off any local, regional or national grant or contest opportunities for the visual arts, please list it in the comments section below. It’s up to the arts community to support each other and keep the arts alive in schools. Remember, The Teaching Palette has an international audience so no matter how small the grant opportunity, please share it.
We are excited that The Teaching Palette is listed in the recently published article 50 Awesome & Inspiring Blogs for Art Teachers! Almost any art education topic of interest can be explored in the extensive list of art blogs categorized into six areas: helpful resources, project ideas, classroom blogs, secondary and higher ed, elementary and must-reads. Take a moment to explore some of our personal favorites such as ArTechTivity, PHS Art and Curator’s Corner.
Let’s add to the list! What art blogs are must-reads for you?
We wanted to celebrate National Arts in Education Week by offering ways to improve art program communication among colleagues, students, and the school community. In any classroom, communication is always an important ingredient for achieving success. But when we stop to think about the many people that we come into contact with each school year, what are we really communicating about our art program?
Ways Art Programs Can Communicate :
Colleagues, Fellow Teachers
- Work as a team. When you have a student acting up in class, talk to his other teachers. Find out if his behavior is happening other places or perhaps there are family issues or peer conflict. It is amazing how much you can learn about a student in 20 seconds. Work together to develop a strategy together to empower everyone.
- Seek teacher input when connecting to the classroom curriculum. Often it will help you create a deeper level of learning in your own cross curricular lessons.
- Don’t expect other teachers to read your mind. If you have a procedure or system that involves other teachers then keep the lines of communication open. Create an art room newsletter for your colleagues.
- Artsonia is a fantastic communication tool. Create project descriptions as a way to communicate your learning objectives to all artwork visitors. Let the parents, friends, and relatives hear about the art concepts that they have discovered. Share the creative process and celebrate success. This fall, Artsonia will be adding a teacher newsletter feature. You can even customize specific grade-level parents to receive the e-newsletter. If you’re new to Artsonia, see these tips and tutorial on getting started.
- Start a blog, Facebook Fan page, website or Twitter feed. Many upper level teachers use these tools with their students, but they are also useful for parent communication. Here is how a Facebook page is used to communicate with parents. Need help getting started then check out this post on How to Create a Facebook Group for Your Classes.
- Take a moment to acknowledge individual student work and accomplishments. Mail a postcard or send a note home with an individualized message letting a student know what a great job they did or that you noticed how hard they‘ve been working.
- Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic. We have all types of learners in our classroom – teach your concepts or classroom procedures in a way everyone can understand. Write your procedures in multiple places in the room, say the directions out loud and then have the students retell the direction to someone else in the room, and get up and move.
- People wont know what is going on in your classroom unless you tell them. So you say you don’t like to toot your own horn? Get over it . . . now. Your program is too important to be humble. Take pictures of interesting activities and send them in to the local newspaper with a description. If your picture is good, they will use it.
- Create public art for your community and with your students. Art teacher Ian Sands from Apex, North Carolina works with his high school students to create fantastic community art exhibits.
Know Your Administrators
- The fist line of administration we need to work with is our building principals. They hold the keys to scheduling, building budgets, space allocation, teacher evaluations and more. Your principal can be your biggest advocate in many situations. Help your principal out by contributing to your building community.
- Sign up for committee work. There is often committees that focus on whole building or issues such as safety, staff development or technology. Be active in new building initiatives that reach beyond the art room like Peaceful Playgrounds. Volunteer for some of the miscellaneous projects that pop up from time to time such as signs, posters or creating that paw print stencil to mark where kids should stop at the crosswalk. Helping others will build good karma that comes right back to you.
- Get to know the upper administrative team in your district. Introduce yourself at the end of an Institute day. Join a committee that works at the district level. Invite them to art events at your school. They love to see what the kids are doing and escape the office. It also gives them a chance to see your program in action.
In a time when budgets are tight and every program is under scrutiny how we communicate is more important then ever. Be an advocate for your art program.
This post is a part of Craig Roland’s Synchronized Blogging Event celebrating Arts in Education Week! [Synchronized blogging is "where a group of bloggers agree to post on their own blogs on the same broad topic on the same day" (Wikipedia)]
Read more from our other fantastic synchronized bloggers about how to celebrate National Arts in Education Week:
The following is a guest post written by April Millian, a high school mathematics teacher in collaboration with Lisette Morel, a high school art teacher. April and Lisette teach at New Milford High School in New Milford, New Jersey.
As a child I loved art class and excelled at mathematics, often creating artwork with a definite geometric flair. However, it wasn’t until college that I developed a real appreciation for the connections between these two subjects. I was fortunate to spend a January term (a three-week class) in Greece for a Classics course studying of Greek art and architecture. Along with our two Classics professors, a math professor joined us. My initial thought was that it’s crazy to have a math professor on this trip. I mean, what was he going to teach us in Greece? I was standing in front of the Parthenon listening to my professor discuss the Golden Ratio and how it applied, not only to the ancient structure in front of us, but to countless other works of art. That is how my love of mathematics and its significance in art was born.
Fast-forward 13 years I, Miss Millian, am now fortunate to be teaching in a school that is technology-oriented with a fantastic art teacher, Ms. Morel, who shares my interest in relating our two subjects. I was teaching linear perspective to my geometry students when I realized what a great topic it would make for a cross-curricular activity. Ms. Morel and I began to develop an idea for a video scavenger hunt at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that would combine the art with the mathematics behind it.
Teacher and Student Preparation:
Our objective for this interdisciplinary lesson was simply to introduce our students to and have them recognize and apply the relationship that art and math share. It is crucial to establish and maintain real-life connections in education. This connection brings relevance to the subject matter and to our students’ lives.
To prepare students for the interdisciplinary lesson plan I, Ms. Morel, introduced my drawing students and Miss Millian’s Geometry class to western and non-western viewpoints, such as Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Asian and their applications to visually documenting real life. Afterwards we discussed the Renaissance and linear perspective and how it was utilized by the architects and later by painters. For a real life experience I had our students step out into our hallways and view a one-point perspective. We also looked at photographs of homes and streets where students had to point out a one point, two point, high, low or normal vanishing points. While in Miss Millan’s Geometry class I used a document camera which I found to be extremely helpful in my demonstration and presentation to a large class. Our lesson culminated with a technology, art and math scavenger hunt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
To create this scavenger hunt, we started off by visiting the museum ourselves to get acquainted with the layout and decide which pieces would be included in our scavenger hunt. We also took pictures of each work of art. Then the real work began. We used iMovie to create a video that would take our students throughout history on a search for linear perspective (or sometimes the lack of it) in art. The students were armed with an iPod Nano for each group of two, and a question sheet that they needed to answer. The clues were recorded on the iPods by Ms. Morel and myself. They were also given visual clues, such as a cropped part of a painting, to help them find the correct work of art. To add a bit of challenge to the adventure, the first team to complete the scavenger hunt with the most correct answers received a prize of two prints we had purchased at the museum gift shop. Upon returning from our quest, the students created their own linear perspective drawings and completed an online survey.
It was so amazing to watch our students scamper through the museum, intent on finding these works of art. The students enjoyed the activity and found using the iPods more engaging than just reading off of a sheet of paper. What made this scavenger hunt so fascinating was that it brought to life a true connection between classroom learning and real life experience for our students.
Below you can view The Met Scavenger Hunt created by Miss Millian and Ms. Morel.
(Having trouble viewing this video. Try this link.)
Preview Scavenger Hunt Worksheet by clicking on the image below.
April Millian is a high school mathematics teacher in New Milford, New Jersey. She enjoys traveling and coaching the school’s Varsity Bowling team.
Lisette Morel is a teaching artist-mom, working with her students in a variety of art disciplines while maintaining an active art career.
This year was the first time I traveled outside of my home state to attend a National Art Education Association (NAEA) Conference. If you ever have the opportunity to attend, it is an experience you will never forget. Listed below are some of the my favorite activities, observations, presentations and tidbits of information I picked up from casual conversations in Baltimore:
- I had never heard about Merlot (peer reviewed online resource of teaching and learning materials). A quick search on Merlot turned up this awesome Cave of Lascaux interactive explorer.
- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the American Visionary Art Museum. Although I was not allowed to photograph inside, I spent about 20 minutes outside admiring the sculptural forms.
Once I finally made it inside, the theme of the museum became very clear by the words and messages incorporated into the art. Watch this entertaining video featuring the art of Chris Robert-Antieau to get a feel for what the museum is about.
My favorite Visionary Museum message through art: “Some stare though me and refuse to see that we are different branches of the same tree.”
- Took the plane home with the Artsonia guys and learned some top secret plans to make Artsonia even better. (Pressure’s on guys!)
- Learned about some great web resources from Jean King. Special needs: I Can’t Draw Syndrome and ArtPromote. Character development: Powerful Projects.
- Inspired by Samantha Melvin’s teaching empathy through art curriculum.
- Discovered a timeline of Carrie Mae Weems life!
- Make your presentations Sticky by Craig Roland was a crowd favorite.
- Saw a great video presentation on Universal Design Learning by Kathy Rulien-Bareis. Her methods are very useful for creating an adaptive classroom addressing special needs. Watch her video segments one, two, three, and four.
- I got a chance to present an art experience that that incorporated science, writing, social/emotional development, and technology into the art curriculum.
Tons of additional great resources from conference presenters can be found online.
Did you attend NAEA Conference this year? What did you discover?
The following is a guest post written by Katie Jarvis. She has been teaching art for nine years and currently teaches at Cameron Elementary in Alexandria, Virginia.
At the beginning of every year, art teacher’s everywhere make up a “rules poster” to review with students on the first day of classes. Throughout the year I would find that the students would claim to forget or not know the rules. While researching art room rules last year I came across a teacher on Youtube, Chris Biffle, a college professor who taught what he called Whole Brain Teaching.
How does it work? At the beginning of every class the students and I recite the art room rules. The rules have hand motions and each week we change the style in which we say them- squeaky voice, deep voice, sad, happy, fast, cowboy, etc. The kids love it! In fact if I try to skip over doing the rules even my 6th graders complain.
I created a video to illustrate how I teach these rules on the first day of art. Trouble viewing video below? Click here.
There is also a scoreboard to help with classroom management. I mark “smiley faces” and ”sad faces” on the board as the class earns them (see monkeys in image on left). When the class earns a smile they get to cheer. When the class earns a sad face everyone groans. The points are tallied at the end of each class and a gold paintbrush is awarded for more smiles than frowns, a silver paintbrush for an equal number of smiles and frowns, or no brush for more frowns than smiles. Four paintbrushes earn the class a free art day. Each silver brush is worth 1/2 a gold brush (2 silvers = 1 gold)
The most effective tool I’ve learned from Whole Brain Teaching is getting the students attention. When I say “Class” they say “Yes!” I vary the way I say class to keep them on their toes. For example if I say “Classsity, Class” they respond “Yessity, yes!”
Whole Brain Teaching involves lots of hand gestures and verbal responses from students to keep them engaged and entertained. Using WBT creates a “peaceful classroom full of orderly fun”. Students have more fun following my rules, since I switched to Whole Brain Teaching, rather than ignoring them.