Napkin Ring

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  1. Pingback: Art and Technology in the Classroom | Team Dallas Learning Lab Blog

  2. How great that an “art class” can be used to spark an intellectual discussion the way it is sometimes done in core classes; the sad part is that this is what should happen in all of them. I was especially drawn to the last question and the responses. It’s rather like the comparison and arguments that arose between painting and photography. Conceptions about what makes art have moved into the digital age with a giant leap.

  3. Your students’ stories remind me of the ones my teenage grandsons make up, filled with gore, potty humor, goofy situations, and generally bad behavior. These boys are straight A students yet this is what they find amusing. They don’t understand why I don’t share their enthusiasm for this stuff. Perhaps they do it for shock value, but whatever the reason, it will be lovely when they out grow it.
    Keep plugging away — giving parameters could serve as a challenge to think of something other than how to shock the teacher. Good luck.

    PS: “Peasant in a Blue Smock” is my favorite painting at the Kimball. We had an electrician in Italy who looked exactly like this; it was like having a bit of home whenever I saw him.

  4. I do not think you should give up on this activity at all!! This seems like a really great way to get students to think about the artwork they’re looking at, and they obviously enjoyed the social aspect of the activity. First you have to think about the types of video games, television shows, and movies that are advertised to teens these days. A large portion of these things depict the same kind of story lines that the students wrote about. Plus, they’re from a generation that is completely immersed in video games and other visual media for most of their free time. PG13 and R ratings don’t mean what they meant 15 or 20 years ago. These kids are growing up in an increasingly violent world where people are growing more and more apathetic every year. I know this is all very morose and fatalist-minded but it’s closer to the truth than fiction. They also have no idea that the things they see and vicariously live through can effect their consciousness as much as a “real” incident can. It can be tough to say that they can’t write what they imagine from the title, because a lot of artwork actually does reference some of those same topics… SO- if I were faced with this same situation I would probably spend the next class period talking to them about why they would write these kinds of stories (because I would really want to know what made them so write such morbid things). Ask them what prompted them and exactly what their thinking was when they read the titles. You might find that they were just being ridiculous because they knew their friends would see what they wrote and they were afraid to write what they really thought. Or maybe they’re just hardwired that way from all the visual input they receive daily. (I’ll hope it’s the first and not the later, because we might all be in trouble otherwise). I would even give a whole class period to that because I think talking through it and finding out whats really going on is a valuable learning experience not only for you but for them too- even if they were just being silly. Maybe they need to be told that the art classroom is a safe space to be expressive and take risks. And maybe I’m being idealistic or hopeful, but a big part of me thinks their stories were for show and they were being silly. Maybe if you talk to them about it that will help you assess the situation and also find out what boundaries you need to put in place for the next activity if needed. Good luck! I can’t wait to find out what you do next 🙂

  5. Given the propensity for violence in the classroom these days, as a teacher I would restrict writings of violence. What if one of your students went nuts, and the writings in your classroom became an issue? I don’t think you are a counselor, and should not bring up a discussion. You might want to go talk to the school counselor yourself about the writings, and get her or his thoughts. I don’t think violence in writing is an abnormal occurrence during teenage years, however I would restrict them from writing about violence in your classroom, and set them in a different direction, as you are the teacher, and can do this.

  6. I agree the stories are a little upsetting. If there were other “happy” stories that offset these, I would think that we were getting a fairly decent cross section of teenage Americans. But, it does not sound like that is the case. However, imagination being what it is, shouldn’t be limited. This does not mean that it cannot be channeled. Maybe on the next postcard assignment, remind the students that they did such a terrific job on the last assignment that this time it will be a little harder. Still have one minute to write the beginning, middle and end, but this time they must include one of the following phrases, such as “peace and love” or “loving family” or “awesome world”, etc. it might require a tiny bit more work on your part, but might steer the students into a more positive scenario. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how the next session goes.

  7. Yay- I feel honored that you quoted me in your post about the Artist of the Day videos!! I meant what I said, I really love AoD videos. Even when the kids don’t act as thought they liked the videos or show little interest in talking about them afterwards I know that they do. Every time I scan the room while the videos are playing I see them engaged and it makes me smile 🙂

  8. I love your use of Artist of the Day for our own classroom. I think its a great way for kids to see all the different ways that art is used and the many opportunities open for them in an artistic career. Many students aren’t able to get a wide variety of exposure to other artistic careers beyond what they have seen on TV or been taught in school. I love your Artist of the Day concept, its a great way to utilize technology in the classroom and to grasp students attention!

    • Sara – Thank you so much for posting a comment about the Artist of the Day! I love it so much – I get to watch it 6 times each day! I hope when you get a classroom of your own, you’ll remember about the AoD Videos! There are so many ways to use these videos in the classroom…

  9. Violeta Bedolla – Lara – The Artist of the Day is a wonderful way to quickly capture a student. I can say that out of my own experience because of the artist video we watched in class. As soon as the video started I was overwhelmed at the different routes the art piece was making as well as noticing how the video itself was a work of art. I am currently observing in a art classroom on Fridays. I will ask the art teacher if she gives me permission to make a presentation of an Artist of the Day video for the students to watch. This will be a great experience to watch in person!

    • That is such an exciting possibility! Which video would you watch, the “Box” video from Vimeo I showed in class, or will you find your own to show? I’m so happy that you took time to make a post and let me know your opinion about one of MY favorite teaching tools, Artist of the Day videos!

  10. I love your artist of the day section! Their full of inspiration for any artist. I think its wonderful exposure to the students about the possibilities of what art can be. Thank you for taking your time last week and talking to our class. You have inspired us to think about the potential in our own future class!

    • It was my pleasure to be able to meet you and let you know a little bit about my own teaching career! There is nothing more challenging and more rewarding! Please feel free to contact me any time as you continue your journey in becoming a Future Art Teacher of America!!

  11. I think Artist of the Day is an absolutely wonderful idea. The videos allow the students to see many types of media in fascinating ways. There is so much art out in the world waiting to be seen. The Artist of the day opens the door to new and exciting things. The videos are captivating and grab your full focus. This is a great tool to get students motivated in learning about new artist and their artwork.

    • One of my most favorite parts about Artist of the Day videos is finding them! I have learned to “think” like my students, so I work really hard at selecting videos I think will capture their attention and imagination, and not be “boring”. They can be a really critical audience! What kinds of videos do you imagine showing your future art classes?

  12. I think Artist of the Day is a wonderful idea. The videos show art in a new and captivating way. Presenting an artist everyday gives the students the opportunity to see new types of media they haven’t seen before. These videos can also lead the students to search for other artists who make art in a similar way. The “Box” video for example was very interesting, I wanted to see more videos like it. Artist of the Day is a great tool to get students excited about art. As a future teacher I believe this teaching tool should be used by all art teachers.

    • I love it when my students bring me an idea for an Artist of the Day video to show! I really want to encourage them to seek out their own interests and share them with their fellow classmates! Video is where it’s at in the 21st century, and the kids really love seeing what the video of the day is going to be all about. Thanks for taking time to post a comment on my blog! I hope to hear from you again sometime soon!!

  13. I thought that the videos that you showed us were wonderful and engaging. I think it is a great idea to get students excited about art and art making. I want to do a area in my classroom where they can watch a video and create an art work based on that. I also loved your monsters.

    • Creating an area in the classroom for video exploration is a wonderful idea! On our campus, YouTube is not blocked for instructors, but is still blocked for the students. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of issues of protection of our kiddos that create technology blocks. It’s an ever changing landscape – who knows what it will be like when you have your own classroom. I know that exploring the possibilities for teacher and student is what makes the class engaging and vibrant!

    • Thanks so much for taking time to comment on my blog! I love my monsters so much! I am mad that I forgot to bring one of my monsters so you could see them up close and personal! Go out there and find some of your own Artist of the Day videos – if you find a really cool one, let me know!!

  14. Hi Christine!

    This is a wonderful find (for us here at RQI). We would love to connect with you, hear more about your work with the Question Formulation Technique, and think about how we might work together in the future.

    Best,
    Lavada (lavada@rightquestion.org)

  15. WHAT A GREAT IDEA….I ALWAYS WAS FASCINATED WITH THE CIRCLE AND HOW IRONIC I WAS PLANNING ON DOING SOMETHING ON THE WALLS OF MY SCHOOL USING THE SYMBOL OF THE CIRCLE!!!

    LIZA WAX ART TEACHER IN THE BRONX!!

  16. This is just a great way to “check in” with your students and their preferences, and a super incorporation of “play” into the conversation again. We enjoyed your class!

  17. This is awesome! It’s great when even if you or anyone else feels burned out and just ready to move on that someone out there in whatever way that you made a different or a positive impact in their life. That’s priceless 🙂

  18. These are the BEST hand towels I own! Pretty and practical, they are a great addition to any kitchen. They also make the perfect gift–I just ordered a set for my daughter!

  19. These silk scarves are stunning! It is so hard to choose which colors I like best. I carry one of the larger scarves in my purse–folds up super small–but it is perfect to throw over your shoulders when you are sitting in air conditioned spaces.

  20. I have loved the kitchen towel I purchased from Christine! Dries without streaking, holds the colors even after multiple washing and is much sturdier than the average kitchen towel! Add a towel crafted with love and talent into your kitchen!

  21. Purchased multiple of these hand towels to give as Christmas gifts. The recipients were thrilled! Beautiful craftsmanship and quality materials!

  22. I have been using towels from Christine for over a year. They are durable and look just as lovely as the day I recieved them. The towels have vibrant colors that stay true and are absorbent when being used to dry dishes as well as soft to the touch. I appreciate the craft and the crafter.

  23. These handwoven towels are not only works of art, but the most absorbent ones I own. They wash beautifully and maintain shape throughout washings! I highly recommend them,

  24. I have had my dish towels (similar to the fiesta towel above) for about two and a half years now, and the colors are still as vivid as the day I bought them. The towels have retained their shape and still hang beautifully on my towel rack, even after washing them once a week over the years. The towels are super absorbent and I pick them up to dry my hands and dishes after every meal. I don’t use my dishwasher. I would recommend these towels to anyone looking to purchase a kitchen towel. I find them better than the white cotton industrial towels, and so much more attractive.

    • Mrs. Bennie,

      You click on the text and it will take you to the picture and page with prices. I just bought the red butterfly necklace because it spoke to me! IT said….buy me!!!

  25. Chris, I’m having trouble ordering shawls for gifts. It may be my internet. I’ll try again tomorrow or you can check in with me.

    • Carolyn – I’m in the beginning stages of developing the final form of the workshop. I’m doing a BETA version in April. I’ll put you on my email list and let you know when I have more information. Thanks for reaching out to me!

  26. I am an art teacher in Keller Texas and I would LOVE to be in on this as well! My students are obsessed with weaving!

  27. Hi Christine,my name is John and i was wondering if it was you that created a large dish with 4 lizards in a circle.The dish is in a 2 bar stand.Total weight about 18lbs.with a diameter of 47cm.I live in Melbourne Australia.Thanks John.

  28. Christine Miller. My name is Jo Anne Carpenter and I am the current VP of Programs for the Frisco Quilt
    Guild. We are looking for new and exciting speakers for our guild’s meeting. Would this be of interest to you? If so, please contact me and let me know subjects and fees. Thank you