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[teacherartexchange] Here's what we're doing...


Date: Fri Sep 30 2005 - 16:44:32 PDT

Hi, everyone--

It's been a while since I shared our latest happenings, and I finally
have a moment to catch my breath.

My middle school kids (I have one period of MS in 4 rotations) are
working in the theme of "Art in the Styles of the Artists." They're
just finishing sculptures ala Claes Oldenburg (no pics yet) and they've
had a blast. They've "super-sized" an Oreo cookie, a combination lock,
a crayon, etc. I'll post some pics on my website first of the week.

On Monday we'll change gears and start a project based on Yaacov Agam.
(Thanks, Bunki, for the idea on YOUR website!)

My Art I kids have been doing observational drawings of still lifes,
following a variety of drawing games, guided practice and note-taking,
and they're getting ready to jump into a perspective room drawing
project. Thanks again this year to Harold Olejarz for the great
interactive perspective website:

Art I started the year with a project I called "On the Cover of a
Magazine," which was similiar to the other Art I pre-instructional
things I've done in previous years. I've got a lot of "insecure" artists
in this group (grades 9-11) and it's been a lot of fun seeing their
progress already.

My Advanced Art students are working on colored pencil "PAINTINGS" based
on the work of Anne Kullberg. Some of these works are going to be
absolutely awesome. They spent about a week practicing Kullberg's
techniques before jumping into their own stuff and some really, really
"get" it. (I've got pics posted of one student's progress on my site.)

So far (knock on wood) it's been busy and hectic, especially with the
mixed level classes each period, but I'm so pleased and delighted with
the kids, themselves. Before we got rolling, I was concerned about a
couple (by reputation) from some of their antics in school last year re:
behavior, but I've had absolutely no problem with anyone and that's SO
nice. (Pinch me, I must be dreaming...)

This week I found an old "Magic Eye" calendar on my bookshelf and I
brought that in, along with various optical illusions, right brain/left
brain puzzlers, pictures that create "after images" when you stare at
them, just bunches of things. I've been surprised at how FEW can see
the Magic Eye images, though--and yet amazed at one girl (a senior) and
one 7th grader who don't have to go through the eye "diverging" stuff
initially--they can automatically see the 3-D and hidden images as soon
as I show them the picture. What's up with that?! (While Magic Eye was
mainly a 90s thing, they have a fun website: )

Each day is non-stop, and I'm simultaneously energized and exhausted
when the last bell rings.... After classes I'm out and about taking
pictures and working with a small team of students who'll be helping me
put together the yearbook. In the past I've just had one student who
did this with me, so this is a big change (and one I hope will be a good
one...) The way our school is set up, there's no way to have a dedicated
yearbook "class" so it has to all be done outside of the regular
academic day.

I'm also an advisor to 6 students--all boys this year (!) in grades
7-8. For the past four or five years my advisees have been 10th, 11th,
or 12th graders and I was a bit concerned about working with the younger
ones again. There were some "issues" initially, but things seem to be
going okay now and I'm actually enjoying the higher energy level and the
conversations with them at lunch. (We eat lunch together each day--no
such thing as "duty free" lunch at this school...)

I'm VERY glad it's Friday (and I recently decided that my life and the
Mad Hatter's Tea Party are quite similar in nature), but this year I can
honestly say that being at school with these kids isn't a bad way to
spend each day. :-)

Sharon <> <>
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