My Five Favs

8 Dec

Screen Print Demo

My cooperating teacher found about 25 beautiful silk screens left in her classroom from a summer project, so she wants me to do a screen printing lesson in the spring.  I am definitely not the best at screen printing, and I had only ever done it in a university setting where I had access to a light table and high quality acetate printing.  The screen print demo gave me some ideas that could be used in a classroom, including stenciling, chemical block, and using a home made dark space.  I think these techniques will help me organize a project that is actually feasible in the school’s situation.

Javier Senosian

Javier Senosian was one of the architects from the global architecture presentations.  During my elementary fieldwork placement, I was having a really hard time coming up with a project that satisfied everyone involved.  Staring at my computer in perplexed frustration, I remembered the class blog.  I am teaching at Pasteur, where the majority of the population is of Mexican descent, and the art teachers make an attempt to connect art lessons to Mexican culture.  Long story short, I used Javier Senosian for my lesson plan, and the students made some amazing work.  I set up the powerpoint as a game, having students guess which animals were the inspiration for which buildings.  They then drew abstract shapes, transformed them into animals, and then finally into houses, adding fantastic, imaginative details.  They really took off with it, so much so, that I had to re-make my exemplars because their work was so much more interesting.

Needle Felting

I see some problems with the initial cost for this, in that roving is pretty pricey, but I think that there is something in how interested we all were in the process, and I could see that interest being just as strong in a high school or elementary classroom.  I’m not sure what the ‘big idea’ would be yet, but I felt healthier after needle felting.  Everybody can do it on some level, and it was a productive way to release frustration.  Maybe it could be a project in which students create a sculpture of something that annoys them, and through the process of making, they might become less frustrated?  I’m not sure exactly how to explain this, but it’s a big part of my own art making—the more anxious or annoyed I am, the more work I make.  It makes me feel better to do repetitive physical work.


In the same way as needle felting, the sketchbook workshop was really engaging.  I sometimes think that teaching an interesting and accessible technique automatically paves the way for ideas.  I could see this being used as in class work for a less structured day (which I think we can all use every now and again).  I also remember having a huge problem with sketchbooks when I was in school.  I think this is because they were approached as a homework assignment.  We had to have a certain number of drawings of specific things every Monday.  Maybe this works for some students, but I could see giving in-class time for sketchbook work, where the teacher might teach a technique and allow students to experiment with that.

Spreads in InDesign

I’m not sure how this might apply to my teaching yet—I would need a much more comprehensive understanding of the program.  I did get a lot of pointers for making my spreads look better and happen faster.  I think I am going to get the program and redo all of my spreads before turning in my portfolio for applications.  I have a really tough time with computer-based design, so I found the little tips and rules to be extremely helpful.


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