Tuesday, April 15, 2014

spring break.

Entering our 3rd week of spring break. One more to go after this! For those of you that are not aware, Zamorano is on a modified year round schedule. We have 4 weeks in the winter, 4 in the spring, and 6 in the summer. I love our schedule. It provides plenty of time to recharge, reflect, and plan.

During these breaks I always think I will do more blog updates than I ever do. I have been disappointed with myself about this in the past, but I have come to realize that it's important for me to take a bit of a break from blog writing during these times as well. Just like with teaching, when I come back to it I feel fully charged and enthused about the process.

This break I have done some drawing, although not the type I thought I would be doing. I have had the time to hang out with my family and I have continued to play with dolls:) So much, in fact, that I decided to put a little book together using Blurb. It's over 40 pages of photos I've taken of "my son's" Star Wars action figures at various locations in and around socal.

I'm stoked to get my copy in the mail in a week or so. If it looks cool, I'm going to make it available as an actual book and as an ebook. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 31, 2014

3 is the magic number:)

the force was strong at naea14.

NAEA 2014 is in the books! 3 whirlwind days of attending sessions and meeting art ed peeps. I'm looking forward to NOLA 2015 already:)

On my way down to the conference today, I stopped in the East Village to document a few of the murals I had been passing by each morning. It's nice to see the public art realm growing and thriving in San Diego. It's about time...

Day 3 started with a fantastic session by Phil Hansen. He just had is new website, goodbye art academy, go live today. It's full of info for kids and teachers. Some very cool introduction videos that the kids will love! A lot of it is breaking down fear in art and creation. A couple lines stood out in particular-
"Creativity is the currency of the 21st century." So true.
"The repetition of the mundane bears a deeper state of mind and this is where creativity can happen." Amen.

There was a pretty cool session on play and ideation and how to use play in the classroom to engage kids and encourage visual and spatial exploration.

I also attended a session by Mario Torero, who is responsible for numerous murals in San Diego's Chicano Park. He led a charismatic discussion on politics, art, and healing communities.

So much information gathered in the last 3 days. I'm glad I have some time off to digest it all. I continued to meet more great art educators from near and far, and I look forward to growing these connections and relationships in the future.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

naea. day 2!

Another great day downtown at the national conference. Got to check out a bunch of kick butt sessions and continued to meet new, fascinating, creative people.  I also got to witness the atmosphere and optimism outside the ballpark down there as it was the home opener for the Padres today. It'll probably be the happiest Padres fans will be all season. Ba da bing!

Han was my co-pilot today. 

I caught an on point common core session to start the day, followed by one on working with minecraft in the art room. Learned about minecraftedu and some interesting ways of integrating it into my curriculum. My students would LOVE this.

I would really like to start getting more digital explorations into my instruction, so I also went to a session led by Katie Hatch of ipad Studio that was focused on using ipads to do work and play through a big idea curriculum. Got a number of new processes and apps to play with!

Took the opportunity to listen to Ted of Art with Mr. E talk about the blogging process, and in turn I reflected on the purpose and goals of my own blog. Reflect, promote and celebrate, collaborate.

Jessica Balsley and the team at the Art of Education hosted a meet and greet for bloggers today and I was able to talk with somw wonderful readers and writers/art gurus like Ted, Nic of Mini Matisse, Phyl of There's a Dragon in My Art Room, Ian Sands of the Art of Apex High, and Cassie of, well, Cassie Stephens:) Got to spend some more quality time with Rina of K-6Art and her North County peeps too.

a serious bunch;)
Good times, indeed!

Continued to make a small drawing at each session today. I caught myself thinking ahead to later this week when I'll be off from school for the start of spring break and I couldn't help getting a little giddy at the prospect of drawing for an extended period of time in our art studio, Ethel! I also started thinking about what incentives I'll be using to get my son to come with me as I document some more of the mid century architecture in San Diego...

Until tomorrow. Shine brite.

minecraft and spills on my shoe.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NAEA so far...


This is my first visit to the national NAEA conference and I am loving it so far!

It started with hosting a couple tours of Zamo and then I headed down today to the convention center for the first full day of sessions.

The first one I went to was called "Comics! Art, literacy, and learning." 3 different speakers about the use of comics/graphic novels to engage student artists and struggling readers. Of the 3, Josh Elder from reading with pictures stood out.

Kerry Freedman also spoke and dropped this interesting quote, "Art is a commodity and a love that floats." Love it.

Then I went to Katherine Pohl's session on melding Pac Man and Mondrian! Very cool:)

Checked out Andrew Watson's session on the art of video games. Got some info on some basic programming and animation sites to apply to the elementary level. Thinking my son (aka "the boy")  would love to try some of this out:)

At the end of the day I caught Nancy Walkup's session with Elementary Colleagues. It was at this one that I got to personally meet Ted  of Art with Mr. E and Patty of Deep Space Sparkle. I also got to catch up with Rina from K-6Art and her North county artners in crime. I got to hear many different, yet similar art educator stories from this one.

Can't wait for the next two days! So many sessions to see, so many people to meet:)

early morning coffee in the yard:)

one of Josh Elder's images:)

5 sessions. 4 sketches.

drawing of me drawing. by rama from glendale.

ted of art with mr. e!

Friday, March 28, 2014

NAEA tour of Zamo!

We just finished hosting a tour of Zamo for attendees of the national conference. What a great experience. A wonderful group of art educators came out to check out our art instruction and mural program. They got to visit with each of our art teachers (all 5 of us!) and got a peek into some of the things that make our site such a strong example of a school that nurtures the creative process in our students.

Let spring break begin!

 old guy talking.

 the group:)

 VP Don Nitzel addressing the group.

 Danielle Guimond discussing photo and fashion design.

Cynthia Pothier sharing her 5th grade pottery wheel program.

 Visiting with Kathi Arinduque doing tempera batiks.

Melony Vance (left) talking about her instruction.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

one tour down and a couple more muppets:)

NAEA is off and running... for me, anyway:)

I had the pleasure of hosting 4 wonderful art teachers from the Kamehameha schools in Hawaii for a morning tour of our campus and art instruction at Zamo. It was great to share practices and to celebrate what we do here on site. It was also nice to take a small group around because tomorrow it will be a group of 25 as art teachers come over for a pre-conference tour.

Before and after the Hawaiian foursome tour, I did a couple more muppet mix ups. A 3rd grade class took on Beaker, while a kinder class did the project with Kermit:)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


I have a couple 3rd grade classes this week due to our modified parent conference schedule, so I tried the Thom Pastrano project out with one of them today. We did all of the cutting first, then students planned their designs. I modeled moving parts around to different places in order to find the most interesting composition. I was so impressed with the results. As we looked at them at he end of class, we noticed that they all looked different. Some in subtle ways, some in drastic ways, even though they all started with similar parts.

This range of visual possibilities is a wonderful thing about abstract art. It gives us the freedom and chance to look at things in different ways.