Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time flies when you're having fun!

Here I sit, wondering once more where the time goes.

Spring Break is ending. There are only twelve more weeks left of school. Many of those weeks will be taken up with STAAR and Stanford/Aprenda tests.

At best, I see your children for forty-five minutes a week. With the coming of test season it is quite likely that I will see them less. I am currently working on my class and club schedules for the end of this school year. I will be letting you know more, either on this blog or in the hard copy newsletter, as soon as I have more information.

Before we know it this school year will be over, but there will be plenty of activity in the art room!

For the last twelve weeks of school our focus will be on ceramics, mosaics, and fiber arts. There will be lots of things going on for the end of the year. Keep an eye out for all kinds of great art to be heading your way.


And there are lots of arts events going on for a while.

The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is having its 47th annual conference in Houston this week from March 20th to the 23rd.

The Museum of Fine Arts - Houston currently has several wonderful exhibits up. One of these exhibits is Picasso Black and White. This show is incredible.

Francisco de Goya, The Infante Don Francisco de Paula Antonio

For the weeks prior to the Spring Break the third, fourth, and fifth grade students have been working on Portrait of a Community, a project that ties into the exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts - Houston. The exhibition is Portrait of Spain. It is up through March 31. The works in the show are from the Prado in Madrid, Spain. It's a beautiful exhibition with works by Francisco de Goya, El Greco, and Diego Velázquez among others.

On the morning of Thursday, March 28 the third and fourth grade vanguard classes will be going on a field trip to the museum to see this exhibition. We've been very fortunate to have this field trip given to us by the museum's education department and BBVA Compass.

If your child is in fourth or fifth grade you should have received a permission form for Artsonia. Artsonia is an online gallery. Only works by students whose parents have given permission will be visible online. If you haven't received one of these forms, don't worry. I'll be sending out another form to everyone who has not returned one.

Our online gallery is starting to look pretty good, if I don't say so myself. I'm currently working on posting art work from all of the fourth and fifth grade students.

Blobby Splotch, the Artsonia mascot, and me

Before Spring Break I attended the National Art Education Association (NAEA) convention in Fort Worth, Texas. NAEA is a national organization for art educators at all levels from early childhood to college, from art education students to retired art teachers (RATs). There were wonderful sessions ranging from hands-on activities to talks by famous artists. I presented along with Stevie Mack of Crizmac and Nancy Walkup of SchoolArts Magazine on Day of the Dead.

On the first Monday of Spring Break I rode on the bus to Austin, Texas for Lobby Day. Teachers, union members, parents and children made the rounds to talk to the legislators about restoring funding to public education. It was an inspiring trip. The last I checked legislators are not mind readers. Unless we, the teachers, parents and students, let them know what we think, what we want and what we need, they will do things the way they always have. We need to make our voices heard. There are a number of parents' groups easily locatable online and through Twitter and FaceBook. Let them know what you think of how things are going.

I believe strongly in the importance of the arts. Did you know that the state has Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) that require the teaching of art, music, theatre and dance at all levels from elementary to secondary? For the past six years I have been one of three area representatives for Texas Art Education Association. We've advocated tirelessly for the arts and coordinated with the Houston Area Arts Supervisors.

Last spring and this fall I was a member of the Texas Essential Knowledge Skills (TEKS) Fine Arts Review Committee for the visual arts at the middle school level. It was a privilege to be chosen to take part in revising the Fine Arts TEKS.

Right now the Monarch butterflies that our third graders created are wintering in Mexico at José María Morelos Secondary School in El Rosario Community, Michoacán. Our students' Symbolic Monarchs serve as ambassadors between our communities.

Soon the Monarch butterflies will be winging their way back on their Journey North. I'll be keeping you up to date on their progress on this page. Check back and see how it goes.

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