Sunday, November 5, 2017

AEM-- Art Education of Minnesota

This weekend was the AEM (Art Educator of Minnesota) Fall Conference. Anytime I have the opportunity to get together with other Art Educators... I'm excited! We started out the day with a different format than AEM has had in the past. Katie Boone introduced us to a format shown above where we, the participants, wrote down our wants and needs for discussion. She had designated times and spaces set up... we were just in charge of filling out the what and why.  I was excited to have a format to ask the group how they bring the idea of KINDNESS into the classroom.  What an amazing discussion I was able to 'host' in this platform. I heard from a lot of strong educators who have practiced the development of empathy and kindness in their Art studios. It was helpful and gave me a lot to think about! 

Jennifer Schuetz presented on Exploring and Creating Beautiful Fractal Patterns and I was excited to learn about this math connection to art. She gave us two great hands on lesson in the session and tons more resources online at Fractal Foundation. I will most definitely be sharing more on the concepts covered in upcoming blog post because these activities WILL be explored in my classroom in the near future. 

We learned how to create fractals creating a paper pop-out book as shown above. We also talked about creating fractals using marshmallows an tooth picks.  Or if you have it in your budget, you can just pick up some of these great building toys for fractals... I'm not sure where Jennifer got hers, but I found them online at Zoometools

The other two ways she showed us how to explore fractals is by creating them with a drawing as shown below. Finally, she showed us a free online program that can be found on Fractal Foundations website to allow you to ZOOM in to see a fractals continuum.

Another session I hit was Brooke Bordelon's session on ARTifacts! Wow, the district of Byron Minnesota is doing a lot right and they have amazing educators supporting their big ideas. Brooke showed us how and what she collects to show documentation of learning on each students personal digital portfolios. It was exciting to see the process her students were sharing!

A keynote speaker presented to us about the history of Minnesota's Artist. Patricia Olson opened my eyes to some amazing efforts people have done to create equal rights for Women Artist. She told us about WARM (Women's Art Resources of Minnesota). I feel like I'm an educated and connected person, however, her message about WARM and Women's Art Institute at St. Catherine University was new news to me.  I'm so happy to have had this inspiring and eloquent lady share the history and current resources right here in out home state. 

AEM also had a visit from NAEA's Deborah Reeve's. Wow! What a treat to be able to sit at her table and hold some open discussion of the happenings of our National and State Associations. It was quite the treat to meet her.

Even our leadership from Wisconsin made an appearance. Jen Dahl brought her very successful donut lesson to present for AEM this year! It was such a hit at the WAEA last year and I was so disappointed to have missed it then that I was in the front row to learn how to create this very fun and engaging lesson.

Update: After comments on my Facebook post, Jen was kind enough to update her blog with this donut lesson plan. (click here)

I was joined by good friend Molly Kidd and Brooke Bordelon for this lesson and shared lot's of giggles in the mean time.

I was all about the hands on this year! Loved drawing the lesson given by Bly Pope, a teacher at MCAD and at the U of M. We first laid a based of bold colors of chalk pastel. Blended the chalk and started on a portrait of the person across from us. After 10 minutes we smudged the portrait with a brush and then continued to draw value to the drawing for another 10 minutes. The drawing was smudged again and then final details were added. It was a lot of fun to see the depth of drawings and how they continued to develop throughout this process. 

Such a variety of results from this lesson throughout the hour and from the hands of all these art teachers.  It was a packed room for a reason.

I was also completely humbled with kind words from people I look up to and admire. Dr. Dan Bittman, our new Superintendent of ISD728 joined me as I received the Minnesota Art Teacher of the Year, Elementary division. 

I was shocked as my name was called a second time to receive Art Teacher of the Year- Minnesota 2017. Are you kidding me? This was shocking, and humbling. It is not like a teacher to brag, or be recognized in such a big way.  It's a feeling that I don't know if I could ever get used to. It was tremendous to sit beside Molly Wiste who nominated me and Molly Brion, and Rana Nestrud who are coworkers with at ISD 728 and hear the kind words and warm embraces as we celebrated Arts Education together. 

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