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Student work from Grundy Center High School

Volume 4 | Isue 7 | March 2013

The Message

Youth Art Month Celebration - March 2nd Awards, Games, and Van Gogh’s Birthday Bash! For more game info, visit

Do you have an idea for a story?

Wright on the Park Workshop for Teachers Deadline March 4th

Do you want a discussion started?

Endangered Species Day Youth Art Contest Deadline March 15th

Something on your mind?

NAEA National Conference - March 7th-10th Fort Worth, Texas For more info, visit Scholastic Recognition Ceremony - April 6 University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa Spring Board Meeting - April 20th Marshalltown Public Library

Have a great teaching tip?

Then contact to set up a slot for your article submission! It’s super easy and anything goes. If you have an idea but don’t like the idea of a “written assignment”, have no fear - “The Message” has an editor that is happy to cover for you. Now taking submission for April 2013 , May 2013, and June/July 2013.

Editor-Lisa Marie Jorgensen, Marketing, Art Educators of Iowa WordPress: Twitter: @artclasswithlmj President-Shanise Brockshus, President, Art Educators of Iowa Webmaster-Nancy Sojka, Communications, Art Educators of Iowa Copyright 2013 All Rights Reserved, Art Educators of Iowa. All material in this publication is, unless otherwise stated, the property of Art Educators of Iowa. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect these materials. Reproduction or retransmission of the materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, without the prior written consent of the copyright holder, is a violation of copyright law. A single copy of the materials may be made, solely for personal, noncommercial use. Individuals must preserve any copyright or other notices contained in or associated with them. Users may not distribute such copies to others, whether or not in electronic form, whether or not for a charge or other consideration, without prior written consent of the copyright holder of the materials. All images are accredited or protected by copyright through author’s permission. Contact information for requests for permission to reproduce or distribute materials available through this publication can be made through

Shanise Brockshus,

March madness, rabbit holes and the end of the tunnel. It’s not too late! Here we are three months to go and we have a lot to do this school year before we reach the “summer sunshine” at the end of the tunnel. Don’t you wish you could push the pause button or even a slow-motion button just so you can catch your breath? Sometimes, I feel like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. Overwhelmed with the thought of plummeting to my death. Oh, sorry…. I mean, dealing with my busy schedule and all the obligations I have to do. Of course, it’s my own fault. I volunteered to (fill in the blank). I opened my big mouth and said I was available to (fill in the blank). I can’t just sit back and let others decide the fate of (fill in the blank). I just have to be involved. Why is it everything always seems to happen all at once? If you are like me, we need to remember the other part of Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole where she began to float along and take inventory of her surroundings. “Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything:” Even though it may be too dark to see what’s ahead, we need to look at what is around us now. Just like Alice, there are times life does slow down a little. It’s these moments we need to remember to take the time to be present and enjoy life. (It’s also these moments we need to remember to keep out mouths shut and not volunteer. Oh sorry!) You may still be falling but at a slower pace, more like floating along. Just like Alice, we begin to think, “Hey, I got this!” “Hey, I got this!”, three more months to make a difference in the lives of my students, three more months to advocate for the fine arts programs in my school, three more months to share my ideas for scheduling or implementing changes for next year. “Hey, I got this!” It’s time to contact my legislators, advocate for change, step out of my comfort zone and be that leader in my district, community, or the state I know I am . It’s “not to late”.

“when suddenly, thump! thump! down she came upon a heap of sticks and dry leaves, and the fall was over. Alice was not a bit hurt, and she jumped up on to her feet in a moment: she looked up, but it was all dark overhead: before her was another long passage, and the White Rabbit was still in sight, hurrying down it. There was not a moment to be lost: away went Alice like the wind, and was just in time to hear it say, as it turned a comer, “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” Spring is more than focusing on surviving the school year. It’s about setting the groundwork for next year as well. If you want changes to happen, it’s important to lay the groundwork today. The advocacy seeds you plant this spring need to be planted if you are going to reap the benefits of the harvest next year. “Hey, you got this!” It’s not too late. I hope you enjoy the remainder of your “trip down the rabbit hole” this Spring season. Even though this month is beginning in a flurry of activities for me; Y.A.M., Parent-Teacher Conference, NAEA Delegates Assembly, NAEA Conference and the list goes on and on. I am hoping to be present and treasure the opportunities I have as an art educator and your representative at NAEA. “Hey, I’ve got this!” Thank you for all you do for art education in our state!

Fort Worth, Texas

Student Flag Designer Awards Saturday, March 9, 11am

Ronda Sternhagen, MS/HS art educator from Grundy Center Community Schools has been named “Western Region Art Educator of the Year” for 2013. Ronda is our current past-president and has been a very active member of AEI. Sternhagen works passionately to bring her love of art and the creative process to her students. During the convention, she can also be spotted at the artisan fair selling beautifully handcrafting jewelry and other fun items (the artisan fair is on Thursday, March 7th 7p-9p; Omni Ft. Worth Hotel (2nd Floor BR).

Workshop with J. Tiongson Sunday, March 10

Cappie Dobyns, middle school teacher from Ames, Iowa has been

YAM Museum Hours Thursday, March 7, 10am-3pm Friday, March 8, 10am-3pm Saturday, March 9, 10am-3pm Exhibition Hall YAM Awards Friday, March 8, 8:30am NAEA General Session

March 7, 10am, Mtg Rm 122 USSEA Insight, Empathy and Authenticity: The Benefits of Creating Photography in Community One pluralistic, holistic approach to teaching photography in community is shared. Original and student photos reflect authenticity, insight, empathy, compassion, respect for diversity and creativity. Best practice lecture.

Barbara Caldwell, professor of art and design at Iowa State University’s College of Design, INSEA/USSEA Representative and AEI board member will be conducting two presentations in Fort Worth.

March 8, 1pm, Mtg Rm 116 CSAE Touchstones of Transformation: Navigating Change through Art Holistic educational benefits of the interactive installation Touchstones of Transformation: Navigating the Process of Change will be shared. Participants will explore ways teaching and art can foster holistic growth. Best practice lecture.

named “Outstanding National Junior Art Honor Society Sponsor” for 2013. Students and parents of Dobyns praise her dedication and inspirational mentoring for students. Dobyns originally came to us from Texas. Dobyns has also received “Western Region Middle Level Art Educator” in 2001 from NAEA. She currently serves as our Middle Level representative on the AEI Board.

Jessica Balsley, founder of “The Art of Education”, AEI member, and past board leader will be sharing her insight on blogging for education. March 9, 2pm, Mtg Rm 203B Blogging Basics for Art Educators Learn how easy it can be to start your own blog. Gain inside tricks from a professional blogger, resulting in enormous benefits to both you and your art program. Best practice lecture. Vendor Booth #402, AOE Jessica Balsley will also have a vendor booth for “The Art of Education”. Check it out at the 2013 NAEA Convention for some great freebies, discounts, and the opportunity to win some big giveaways!

Ronda Sternhagen, Western Region Art Educator, will be the “Monthly Mentor” for the National Art Education Association during the month of March. Ronda will be blogging through out the month, and her posts will appear in several locations on the NAEA website: Learning section > Monthly Mentor (URL redirect for Homepage (blog feed only) Learning section > Landing page (right sidebar section) Learning section > Lesson Planning (right sidebar section) Learning section > Professional Development (right sidebar section) Learning section > Learning in a Visual Age (right sidebar section).

Lisa Jorgensen, “The Message” editor and middle level educator in Webster City, Iowa has taken on the roll of “NAEA Middle Level Newsletter” editor as of 2013. If you are a middle level educator and do not currently receive the Middle Level Newsletter, please contact Lisa at If you do receive the newsletter and are interested in becoming a leader at the Middle Level, let her know - she will direct you to the right person!

Art Educators of Iowa is thrilled to see educators from Iowa lead at the National level. Be sure to check out Ronda’s posts through NAEA; every month provides great resource for educators across the county.

Molly Wait, Clear Creek Amana Art Instructor Alright so I admit, I love the details of lesson planning and I’m a little OCD about having it all typed up. I know its not the only way, I’m just putting this out there as food for thought. But, for me anyway, once I have it all down in black and white it stays in my head and I don’t forget to cover anything. I have it right there and I can say, yes I shared everything I meant to. I totally go back and add notes after a new idea comes to my head but really once the document is made I can forget about it and be flexible with the students developing their ideas, finding those teachable moments and loving my job. So, of course, I was immediately compelled to work the new Universal Constructs into my system. I know that most of us use these all naturally because our field of passion is all about creativity, collaboration, communicating, being flexible and critical thinking. Me being me, I wanted to make sure I was teaching these things with intention. Therefor I made a lesson plan, ha! Yes, I already encourage the students to collaborate, talk amongst themselves about their artwork, and I try very hard to make the time to collaborate with them. Students, especially middle school age, naturally share ideas and opinions as they work side by side and are influenced by the art history and examples I share in class (whether they know/ accept it or not). Their own experiences outside of class are also so visually rich that they have a wealth of impressions to draw from at all times. (continued next page)

Molly Wait, Clear Creek Amana Art Instructor So when I read the Collaboration “definition” I thought. How can I tweak this natural collaboration and make it intentional. How can I cultivate cultural competence, personal and civic responsibility and what the heck does that mean anyway? How can I teach my middle school students to be open flexible leaders, and follow with ingenuity, being contributors to the greater good. What is respectful disagreement to a middle school age student... “WHATEVER!!”? Ta-dah, I give you my lesson plan for teaching collaboration: Collaboration is working among peers to achieve common goals. It requires personal responsibility, open and flexible approaches, productive group interactions, and respectful disagreement. Goal #1: is to have two or more students working together to analyze each others artwork to produce a result not independently obtainable. Use the Elements and Principles definition handout so that you are making informed decisions and suggestions to your peers.

Analyze: take time to look closely at your peers artwork. Did they use the Principles of design to organize their artwork in a unified way? Think of how you could give them a compliment on their use of one of the Principles. Then think of how you could give them a useful idea for improving their use of one of the Principles. What they are trying to express with their choice of the Elements of art (color, line, shape, texture etc). Think of how you could give them

a compliment on their use of one of the Elements. Then think of how you could give them a useful idea for improving their use of one of the Elements. Tell them your impression or interpretation of their artwork. Choose an emotion that you feel it conveys or an experience it reminds you of.

Goal #2: is to develop the ability to discuss openly your ideas and opinions in a non threatening way. You are not here to force your ideas, observations or opinions on another person but to share ideas that may inspire their work or open their minds to new interpretations or possibilities in their project. It is their job to choose which suggestions they might use as inspiration or incorporate into their artwork.

Goal #3: is to become flexible and open to new ideas by listening to other opinions and thoughts about your work. This experience is about learning how to not take personally any suggestions that you may not agree with, while trying to see your work from a different point of view. You may not choose to incorporate any of their ideas or you may respectfully disagree with their opinion. It is not necessary to tell others that you disagree with them, this begins the challenge of who is right and who is wrong. In art, especially, there is no right answer so rather than argue, please just listen to the ideas that are shared and move on. You do not need to defend your decisions/artwork.

Each student gets a copy of this collaboration guide and we gather around a table. I introduce this with my 6th graders when they are working up their sketches for mask making. They must do 3 sketches and then select the most successful and we use this Intentional Collaboration process to help them further develop and ultimately choose their most successful sketch to produce. I model the process of using the elements and principles to form a compliment and an improvement idea for each sketch. I also interpret the mask sketches and we review ‘inferring” which is something they learn in language arts core and I show them how to use this skill in their interpretation of art (I actually went to their teacher and got the lesson she usedand definition she used, just so I knew). We talk about feelings and respect, as well as thinking before we speak! Then they go back to their own table groups and see what they come up with! So, it is my belief that if we want the students to do something we can’t just assume they know how, to collaborate for instance, turn them loose and expect them to get something from it. We CAN intentionally model and teach the kind of collaboration that will develop their critical thinking, communication strategies, creative flexibility and give them true ownership of their work. Just some thoughts - Molly Wait

Why, what and how by Christine Laue. Traveling Art Exhibit

Traveling Show is one of the perks offered to members of AEI. I especially enjoy this program because it’s like bringing a mini art show into my classroom. My students benefit from this show because it’s something they can all partake of as opposed to having to travel to view original student artwork. Because my school submits work to Traveling Show, students especially enjoy seeing their own work or that of their peers honored in such a manner. Traveling Show can be used by teachers in a number of ways. Some teachers like to hang the entire show in a secure area where students can view it at their leisure. That way students have ample time to enjoy each picture. I prefer to hold each picture up individually and have discussion time. My discussion can vary from grade level to grade level and class to class. I might ask students to describe the subject matter or the medium or to analyze how they think a particular work was made. Many times an art piece lends

The Chinese American Cultural Bridge Center is a non-profit organization. Since 1992 we have been the bridge offering American educators educational touring opportunities to travel in China. Our founder Rebecca Ji, a veteran teacher who once taught music in middle school in China, started this organization. As teaching runs in the family, her daughter Jennifer has also taught in the Chicago public schools and now takes a part in the family business. The mixture of Rebecca’s Chinese teaching background and

itself to something we have currently or recently studied and we can compare and contrast the similarities and differences with our own assignment. Discussion allows us to use our art vocabulary and engage in a positive critique of student work. Sometimes projects will springboard ideas for new assignments I can personalize and incorporate into my own curriculum. Often times I tell students that artists through the centuries have been inspired by the work of other artists and cultures and challenge them to try some of these projects at home on their own. Please consider submitting artwork to the 2013 – 14 Traveling Show and/or signing up to receive the show. See the Traveling Exhibit entry guidelines listed under programs on AEI’s website for more details. ( Contacts: Christine Laue, Secondary

- Only AEI members are eligible to enter student work. Each AEI member may enter 10 pieces of student artwork. - Artwork must be backed with a firm backing (i.e. oaktag, tagboard) and covered with clear vinyl or acetate or, new this year, artwork may be top mounted on a backing and laminated. - Artwork must be matted no larger than 22” x 28”. Information must be typed in the labels. No labels should be hand written. - Artwork can be given to your area representative to bring to the April (spring) board meeting for judging. - If you want to schedule the Elementary or Secondary shows during the 2013-14 school year, sign up at AEI’s website.

Jean Caboth, Elementary

her daughter Jennifer’s American teaching background has created a unique, one of a kind organization that creates a solid foundation to promote positive interaction between Americans and Chinese Educators. The Chinese American Cultural Bridge Center’s goal is to promote cultural understanding between the two countries. Much can be learned from each other with a study of their educational systems, and their so very different cultures, histories, and influences. Each bridge tour includes a school visit. Visiting teachers will get a view of a Chinese

classroom, share ideas with the Chinese principals and educators, and observe students in their classroom activities. Participating teachers will earn 50 CPDU’s issued by the state of Illinois that can be applied to other states as well. We welcome you to take this journey with the Chinese American Cultural Bridge Center, for more information please contact Jennifer Chan, 847-902-7229,

From Jessica Balsley, Middle school students LOVE Sharpie markers. They like to use them on art projects, their binders, their clothes and even on their bodies. The brighter color of Sharpie, the better. Last week I looked down the hall and saw a girl use a Sharpie marker to write on the back of another girl’s t-shirt. On Monday another student walked into my classroom with her arm covered in Sharpie. (Apparently she fell asleep at a slumber party.) Almost every day I witness my students getting creative with Sharpies. (By the way, isn’t it ironic how some items are referred to by their brand name instead of the item name? Even if my permanent markers aren’t Sharpie brand, I still refer to them as Sharpies.) Unfortunately Sharpie markers seem to disappear, walk away or get kidnapped from The Art Studio. We hope that our students aren’t stealing or unintentionally taking art supplies from our classroom, but in all reality, it does happen. I found myself asking my students, “Is that my Sharpie marker?” I really had no way to tell if it really was my marker or not. Until now…here are some strategies I use to keep my Sharpies from disappearing, walking away or getting kidnapped: 1. Keep your Sharpies in a container on your desk (or another convenient location close to you) I keep mine on my desk because I go to my desk at the beginning and end of each class to take attendance and get my whiteboard ready for the next class. I use an empty frosting container to hold my Sharpies. If you aren’t a frosting eater, ask your coworkers for donations. 2. Label the ends of the Sharpie markers using duct tape. Yes, duct tape. It’s one of the stickiest tapes available. Also, when you pull it off, it leaves a residue. Therefore, if my students ever try to pull off the duct tape, the marker will be sticky and I will know it WAS my marker! One negative part of putting the tape on the bottom of the Sharpie is that the cap won’t fit on the marker anymore. I put all Sharpies cap down in the container so the tape shows. This allows me to identify the color of markers. Also, the ink stays at the tip of the marker so they last longer. 3. Label the container with the kind of marker and the quantity. I have multiple containers of sharpies. I keep them straight with the color of duct tape at the end and also with the label on the container. 4. Write the total number of markers on the container so you know how many you need at the end of the class period. I know that there are 16 fine point sharpies in my container at the end of each class. If a marker dries up when a student is using it, then they bring to me and I will give them a fresh marker and throw away the old one. Before you throw away the marker, take the caps off and save in case students loose the caps to other markers. 5. Let students know how important the art materials are to art projects (Why they need to stay in the art studio.) I tell my students what my budget is and how much supplies cost. They appreciate the supplies more if they know that they’re important, a necessity and limited quantity.

Congratulations to the five students throughout Iowa that have had their artwork sent to the National Art Convention in Texas through the YAM exhibit. We have many Art Educator of Iowa members attending this year’s convention and all of us are very excited and proud for both our students and their teachers.

 A link for hotel reservations at our beautiful Kirkwood Hotel in Cedar Rapids will be available in a few days. So check that out on the AEI website. The special conference rate is $99 for a single and $109 for double.  Check the presentation proposal form (next page as well as on the Website) and share your ideas, processes, and concepts with others. Or team up to discuss issues. Proposals are due by May 1.  Create art in your classrooms with a Circus theme!!! Share student circus art with us at the conference. (digital gallery of works and possible live show as well) More info later. Art work must be done this year as exhibits will be organized during the summer.

The 2013 AEI State Conference

“Cirque De Arte” will bring to Iowa art teachers

three rings of amazing professional development, chances to share student successes and discuss strategies for improving the creative education of our children.

Not to mention we’ll have FUN!


October 11-13, 2013 ----Cedar Rapids, IA.

Pre-conference events will be scheduled for Thurs., October 10th for retired art educators and others who would like even more possibilities. Location: Kirkwood Hotel, Kirkwood College, New Bohemia Arts and Cultural District, and museums and galleries in the area. In the next Message we’ll share speaker topics, bios, and elaborate on other special events that are being planned.

If you have ideas or questions:

If you wish to be involved in the planning or have questions contact: Lynda Black-Smith,

Contact Lynda Black-Smith:

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS AEI Annual Fall Conference: Cirque D’Arte Oct. 11, 12, & 13. With optional pre-conference day on Oct. 10th

1. Name of presenter: School, job title or other descriptor for program: Address: Email:


2. Title of presentation: 3. Description of presentation:

4. For what level or specialty is your workshop? □ Elementary □ Secondary □ Other: Please list ___________________________ 5. How many 45 minute session blocks are needed? 6. Check Day and time preferences: (We may not be able to accommodate all requests.) □ No preference □ Friday □ Saturday □ Sunday morning ? Time:

□ AM


□ PM

No preference

7. Are you willing to give your workshop/presentation more than once? Check one response. □ Yes, on the same day □ Yes, once on Friday, once on Saturday

No, one presentation is just right

8. Fee, if any, and what the fee includes: 9. Supplies the attendees must bring: (if necessary) 10. Prerequisite skills attendees need: 11. AV or electrical needs: 12. Other needs: Please forward to Program Chair, Lynda Black-Smith: or send hard copy to: Lynda at 3858 Trailridge Rd. SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403 Thank you. Check the website for a downloadable copy:

Lesson Plan

Grades K-2 Shape

“Kandinsky Abstract Painting” Step 1: Make the Template Give students the piece of 3x4 card stock. Each student will draw a geometric shape of their choice very large on the card stock. Cut out your shape. Cut out your shape and trace it 5 times on your white 7x12 paper. You can overlap, go off the paper or not touch at all. Outline your shapes with sharpie marker.

Step 2: Design Using your sharpie marker, make 3 lines on your paper (review line types) anywhere you want, as long as they go across the page.

Objective: Students will produce 1 geometric shape and 3 line types while learning about the work of Kandinsky

Using permanent colored markers, color in 3 shapes any color they wish. Leave 2 shapes white, or the outlines of 2 shapes white.

Materials ¥ Card-stock 2x4 or 3x4 ¥ White construction paper 7x10 ¥ 9x12 black construction paper ¥ Sharpie markers and colored permanent markers ¥ Watercolor paints

Motivation ¥ Show students PowerPoint with slides of Kandinsky’s work. His work is abstract. It is not a picture of something we can recognize. He used lines, shapes and colors to create paintings with a lot of energy. ¥ Tell them how he created. He was an lawyer, but started painting later in his life. He also incorporated music into his work. He listened to classical music while he painted, and so will the students.

Step 3: Painting Paint the background using watercolor paints. Talk about strong colors like black and brown. These are not allowed because they are too powerful. Listen to classical music just like Kandinsky did for inspiration. The background colors are the choice of the student. When dry, frame on a black piece of 9x12 paper Tip: When assessing the artwork, think about the student’s ability to create an abstract composition using accurate shapes and lines.

Get more plans |

AEI The Message, March 2013  
AEI The Message, March 2013  

AEI The Message, March 2013