I returned from the WAEA conference in Milwaukee with a plethora of ideas to implement in my school district. This writing is a reflection of the sessions I attended while there.
One session had the focus “what does literacy look like inside the art room?” In this session, Frank Juarez spoke about how the 365 Artists, 365 Days Project (365artists365days.com) was infused with the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) Model. It gave the students the responsibility to gather information about a contemporary artist (in groups) where each person in the team had a role. They addressed specific focus questions about their artists and reported back using an exit ticket, along with an oral sharing of what the group learned.
“Art in the Age of STEAM” by Deb West demonstrated a variety of lessons where technology, science, engineering and math can be used with visual art to bring about learning that spans curriculum areas.It opens student eyes to see that collaborative learning in all areas makes learning fun and relevant.
I learned from Karl Wallick and Erica Chappelear to use scoring, bending and cutting card stock to explore architectural concepts. This connected well to a paper sculpture lesson I have done with students as young as second grade. In this lesson, we envision the paper sculptures as large-sized structures.
Jill LaGrange shared her public art project that incorporated the community with a nature and fitness trail and art. Another project shared included a free library and intergenerational activities that brought the community together. One item was the buddy bench project. One takeaway I got from Jill’s presentation is that making the “reveal” of a project a celebration gives a lot of attention to the art program. Also, she applied for a WAEA grant for this project and brought in an “artist in residence” to ensure quality of design.
I also attended a workshop about EdTPA, which is the program by which student teachers in college achieve certification to teach. Although my student teacher has spoken to me about this, I thought this session helped me to see its importance and to see if she was getting the right things accomplished.
The product session by NASCO revealed some of the quality products available I had not yet been exposed to. The items described were then raffled off to the attendees; I got an electric pencil sharpener!
By attending Art Club, What’s Up?, I got some good ideas to take back to my school to make club t-shirts, do fundraising, and when to meet efficiently. Also, not all art club advisors are paid, but they should be! I networked with other teachers who have art clubs.
The technical application (and science) in printing onto surfaces that would not otherwise accept an image transfer was presented by Meagan Hahn and Jeanne Bjork. It revealed how an inkjet printer and purell hand sanitizer (alcohol based) can do image transfer onto aprons and more. I learned about digital substrates and took home their published article about this unique printing process.
Make sure you share with your administrators the importance of attending a WAEA conference. There is no other place you can get the high quality and concentrated professional development in two days at an affordable price. One exception may be attending the NAEA conference! Budget for it. I did!