"C" term art extra credit question.

List some things you think that are beautiful that other people may not. Explain why you feel the way you do.

8th grade ASSIGNMENT for Tuesday, 12/04/07.

(This is an assignment which will be done in-class on 12/04/07 in the computer lab. If you are absent, you will still be responsible for posting an answer to this question.)

Artists use many different materials to create works of art. Clay, paint, and wood are some examples. List some of the art materials you have used, then identify the one you like best and explain why.

Bonus Point!: What's the art vocabulary word that means "material used to make a work of art?"


earn extra credit and win a computer TOO!

A new contest is announced at http://www.metracontest.com/, and the 1st place prize (one for EACH grade level) is an HP laptop computer! How cool is that?!

...plus, if you're in art, I will give you extra credit in class just for submitting an entry. You need not win the laptop. The deadline isn't even until March 1, 2008 - so you have a long opportunity for extra credit here!

For details & submission form, visit http://www.metracontest.com/.



Often, I get students asking me where I get stuff, such as my rubber ducky collection, stickers on the filing cabinet, or the plush creatures I show to 6th grade students. So I've decided to make a list of some of my favorite places to shop that you may not have known about:

Fly Bird is a neat store in downtown Oak Park where you can buy all sorts of fun things for your house. I've gotten a bunch of stickers there, too.

Rotofugi carries art toys and even plush made by former Sandburg art student Luisa Castellanos!

Kidrobot is one of my favorite places to buy fun and humorous art toys.

Pumpkin Moon is where is where I find most of my devil duckies...

Uncle Fun is another good source for rubber duckies, stickers, and of course, fun.

Where are your favorite places to shop? Let me know where and WHY to earn some extra credit!


extra credit "B" term art.

Not everything we make turns out wonderfully. For extra credit, tell me about an artistic mishap you've had at home or at school. Don't forget about the posting rules to the right.


after-school art class


- will meet Mon – Thurs from 3:20 to 4:20 for 2-weeks per class.
- $5 supply fee per student/per class.
- open to first 24 students per class.
- students who are absent/miss dates may be made up (if needed) at a later date agreed upon between the student & instructor. (optional)
- sign up for each class begins one week before the start of class, and stays open until the start of class, or until the class is full.
- sign up sheets will be available on-line and from Miss Miller in the art room.

for more information, see the after-school art class webpage.


new school year, new extra credit questions...

Check out this short little stop-motion skeleton I made as an example for 8th grade art. (Hopefully the google video embed works - if not, go here)
What kind of artistic hobbies do you have? Share them here and receive extra credit! (Please refer to the posting rules at right.)


What I do during my summer vacation...

Here is a video clip that I made as part of the summer performing arts academy that I worked at during break. (It's posted from YouTube, so if you're watching this here at school it probably won't work. Try again at home.) I taught photo and video classes, as well as shot and edited this first scene of the play. For more information, visit our summer academy blog created by the students and I.


Guitar Heroooooo!

From May 30 - June 1st, art and music classes got together to celebrate the end of the school year by playing GUITAR HERO! It was really fun (it was actually my own Playstation system, games, and guitar controllers...) and we even got some teachers to stop by and play.

The funniest part, though, had to be when Mr. Holbrook and Mr. Gail stopped by and battled it out to "Message in a Bottle" by the Police during 7th grade class. Who do you think won?



So, now that today is over, we have 11 more days of school left. 10 if you're an 8th grader. Wow. This year has gone by really fast. Don't forget to leave a comment on any question that I've posted here if you want to receive extra credit. Oh, there's extra credit on the art website, too. Wordsearches.

And if you haven't noticed it here, I am also working on a little webpage of my own artwork, so you can see what I do when I make art of my own.

Most students don't realize that teachers look forward to summer just as much as they do.


technical difficulties...

i am writing this post on behalf of our school's internet access. i am frustrated and upset that if you try to view this blog while you are here at school, you may not be able to actually SEE all of the content (such as videos or other links) due to random blocking of entire categories of sites, without regard to who uses them or how they are used.

for instance, line rider may or may not work, depending on the time of year and what kind of access your user log-on has been granted. it keeps getting blocked, then cleared for access, blocked, then cleared for access. the same thing goes for leaving comments here on-line. sometimes it works, other times, BLOCKED. we like line rider. it's a game, but you draw lines that a little guy rides along. i teach art! we draw lines! this is something educationally relevant to us! should we NOT also get to have fun while we are learning? i guess not... :(

i was talking with another teacher yesterday and discovered that YouTube is now blocked, under some general category named "K-8." does that mean that the high school can access this, but us lowly underlings cannot? is that fair? granted, there is a fair amount of YouTube content that is inappropriate - i understand that. but a lot of content there can also be extremely relevant, useful, and educationally sound. i personally use Google video to upload content for use here at school. how long until that, too, is blocked?

lastly, if you are here, you have NOT been blocked from my blog (obviously). however, you may not be able to get to anyone else's blog! last time i tried, i couldn't get to Mr. Leban's blog, or to Luisa's pock-it palz blog. that's just ridiculous, since Mr. Leban's blog is his school site that he uses with his students (just as I do with mine!), and Luisa uses her blog to post images of her artwork, which she shares with students when she comes to speak to the sixth graders. neither site is in any way inappropriate. so why are they blocked???

it's very frustrating for me as a teacher to try to integrate technology that you students use on your own at home outside of school, only to be thwarted by some vague general block. we COULD be doing things at school that are exciting and new and motiviating, but instead we'll just stick to the same old stuff that's been going on for years. what do you think about that?!


is this art?

...so, Mr. Leban and I got some of those "grow-your-own" toys from some friends of ours way back at Christmastime, and we finally decided to try it out. (The one on the left is a "grow-your-own cowboy", and the one on the right is a "grow-your-own fashion police" character...)

I'm watching these weird little creature-things expand and contort as they grow to "600 times their original size!" (as the package claims - but I am skeptical), and I was staring, wondering who actually spends time thinking up this kind of stuff? There has to be some kind of product designer/artist who makes up the original concept and draws out sketches (or tiny test-sculptures) for these weird expandable figures...

So I guess what I'm wondering is - is this art? And then I thought, "Hey, what a great question to ask my art students!"

Want some extra credit? Post here! Tell me what YOU think.


Check this out!

Check out this stop-motion video by Jake & Julian. They did it all in ONE night - at our Evening with the Arts celebration here at school last night:

Let me know what you think!



This is a test post of a video I uploaded to google video. It should be my airplane home from NYC taking off. Let's see if it works:

Yayy! It worked!


My trip to New York.

Current art students know that I was out last week because I went to New York City for the National Art Education Association conference.
I went with Mr. Leban, who is also an art teacher (he teaches in Oak Park). I learned all about new ideas and projects and techniques for teaching art classes, but I also got to see some pretty amazing sights - including MOMA - the Museum of Modern Art!
We took some photos of the artworks that we saw while we were there, including a lot of really famous ones, and I wanted to share them with you.

This sculpture, called Love, is by Robert Indiana.

Object (Fur-lined tea cup), by Meret Oppenheim

Look at how huge this Jackson Pollock painting is compared to the person standing next to it!

At left is a Giacometti sculpture.

Mr. Leban wanders through a "library" of books. Not really - it's a wall filled with plaster castings of the NEGATIVE spaces around books on a library wall. What a crazy concept!

Leonardo DiVinci in New York City?! Who would've thought?!

Mr. Leban gives this one his "seal of approval."

...but these two... we don't like so much.
You call this art?!

Hey, so this part isn't MOMA... but another fun part of New York City. We went to Central Park (even in the freezing snowy weather!) and saw Strawberry Fields. Here's a picture I took of the "IMAGINE" stone dedicated to John Lennon:

...so, a very fun art-filled trip over all. I changed my profile picture, too. Check it out - it shows that you CAN go and hang out at the art museum and have fun. It doesn't have to be ALL serious.

Now, go enjoy your spring break - and visit the art museum while you're at it!


E Term Extra Credit...

For this term, to receive extra credit:

Tell me about the BEST work of art that YOU have ever made.

For 6th Grade on Tuesday, 3/6/07.

Sixth grade - this is for an assignment grade! Answer the following question:

How do YOU decide if a work of art is GOOD or BAD?

This is YOUR opinion. Please include specific examples! The more thoughtful your answer is, the better your grade on this.

EDIT 4/9/07: IF YOU WERE ABSENT ON THIS DATE, please leave your answer in the form of a comment right here on this website. It will get e-mailed to me, so I won't miss it. When we did this activity in class, the computers didn't work right, and that is why you may not see many/any comments on this entry.


6th grade question - ASSIGNMENT - "D" term

Sixth grade classes will be in the computer lab on Monday, January 29th during art. All 6th grade students will be required to answer the following question and post it here on the blog as a comment (this is for a grade!):

What kind of visual art do YOU enjoy making the MOST - and WHY?

If you are having trouble coming up with different kinds of art, here are some categories that might help you out: drawing, painting, sculpting, clay/ceramics, jewelry, computer graphics, movies & film, fabric art, printmaking/stamping, photography...


extra credit question for "D" term art.

Hey "D" term!
Respond to this question and get extra credit! (See "Posting Rules" at right...)

Some COLORS can be aggravating. Name a color you strongly dislike and explain why.


regarding extra credit...

If you are wondering whether or not you received extra credit for posting on the blog, you should check your grade on powerschool! - it will be listed as an extra credit assignment, and you will see that you have points entered there.

As a general rule, if your posting appears on the blog, you may assume that I am giving you extra credit. Double-check on powerschool (or check with me in class) to be sure that credit is given. If you notice that something is in error, please let me know right away - I have been known to make mistakes before, so I certainly don't mind you asking me questions!

Typically, 3 points are given per post, assuming that you have given yourself proper credit (first name, last initial, and class period...) and that you have written a thoughtful answer. To people outside of our class, 3 points may not seem like much... until you realize that I work on a tiny points scale where major projects = 25 points, as opposed to a more common 100 point scale. For more information on art grades, see the art website where I have posted additional art grade information.
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