Thursday, March 23, 2017

Save our Teachers

 
There are much larger problems out there in the world, but I am posting this in hopes that it will be shared with the general public in NC. I have found that most people don't know about the current layoff/reassignment  that the art, music, and PE teachers are facing. When our last governor was in office, he created legislation to lower class sizes next school year in grades K-3. Right now class sizes are an average, but he created a hard cap so there is no flexibility at the school level.  Unfortunately, there were no additional funds allocated to create new school infrastructure or to hire additional teachers. The legislature has been giving schools additional funds for a while to help lower class sizes and add additional staff, however, they have not taken into consideration the large numbers of people moving into communities around our schools. Administrators have been adding additional classrooms, but the class sizes have not lowered as much as the legislature originally thought. Because of this, they did not add enough money to the budget to lower class sizes to the level they passed. That is the backstory for where we are now.  School districts went to the General assembly and let them know that in order to lower class sizes to the hard cap, they would have to eliminate positions in art, music, and PE.  When this happened, the North Carolina House created House Bill 13 to raise the class size back to a manageable number. However, the Senate is currently sitting on this bill and not passing it through. Principals will be receiving their teacher allotments very soon, but until the senate passes HB13 principals will not be able to sign contracts for those enhancement teachers to teach in their subject areas. Some counties have already cut positions, and other counties have been asked to create two schedules for next school year (one with and one without enhancements). Some teachers in our county have been told that they will be put into a regular classroom and asked to get additional certifications in order to teach a regular ed class. As of right now, if the Senate does not pass HB13 before schools start creating schedules and hiring for next year's positions, it will be too late. All of our art, music, and PE teachers are in jeopardy of either losing their jobs, being reassigned to another subject, or being reassigned to another area. There have also been talks about raising class sizes in grades 4 through 12 in order to accommodate the large number of teachers that will need to be hired to teach the additional kindergarten through 3rd grade classes. This means not only will our students not have art, music, and PE, but they will also be in unmanageably large classes after the third grade. I feel like this is something that all of my teacher friends, non-teacher friends, and family would want to know about. This has been on the news, but not in any large capacity. Teachers in other school districts seem to know more about this problem than many of the teachers in my county. I think that might be because our current superintendent wants to keep everyone, but it's really not in his control. 4,500 positions are at risk, plus without infrastructure and additional staffing funds- classes in conference rooms, more mobile units, and higher class sizes in upper grades.  
There are some things that we can do to try to get our legislators to PASS House Bill 13 (to raise class sizes back to a manageable number). Right now, the bill is in the Senate Rules Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Phil Berger (R, President Pro-Temp) and Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake Co.). Legislative observers have called the Rules Committee "a place bills go to die."
Here's what you can do:  

* Call the NC Senate 919-733-4111 and urge them to PASS HB13 to fix class size restrictions threatening art/music/PE teaching jobs across NC! 

* Sign the NCAE's petition to the Senate:

https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/pass-house-bill-13-to-save-teachers-increase-per-pupil-funding-to-national-average?clear_id=true&source=direct_link

*Email Phil Berger:  Phil.Berger@ncleg.net       Personal phone: 919-733-5708

*Email Chad Barefoot:  Chad.Barefoot@ncleg.net      

Personal phone:  919-715-3036

This isn't something that "will never happen." It already has happened. Now it has to be reversed. They have no timeline for when they have to vote on this bill. I hope that we can show the legislature that they need to vote on this quickly, before it's too late.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Printmaking Emojis

Hi guys!

It's has been a while since I posted (since I went on maternity leave almost a year ago!) So it's about time for a new post.
 
We've had this entire week off from school due to the devastation from Hurricane Matthew, so during one of the workdays I decided to change my next 5th grade lesson to something more lighthearted for the kids. We are going to be creating prints of Emojis! I don't know about your kids, but mine are obsessed with emojis. This project is simple and fun, and you can bring in lots of artists as reference, but I think Andy Warhol is my go-to for printmaking like this.

Ok, here we go!

Step 1- I am using styrofoam plates for this project as my stamp. They are affordable and easy to find. I think a pack of 150 is like $8? The students will cut the plates into a 4x4 square.

Step 2- I'm going to have them trace a cup to create the circle.

Step 3- Draw your emoji. Make it up or copy one (bring in that Andy Warhol pop culture info!) and have images some for reference.

Step 4- make your lines thicker and color everything that you want to be black with a sharpie.


Step 5-  Trace around everything with a pencil...not too sharp!

Step 6- Then "color" everything that you want to be "white" (the background paper) with a pencil or colored pencil. Make sure you press hard enough to indent, but not so hard that you punch a hole in it.

Step 7- Ink your stamp using a brayer. I also had to add a little bit of water to my ink.

Step 8- Try it out on an extra piece of paper.


Step 9- If there are any places that got ink where you didn't want it, go ahead and "color" those areas again.

Step 10- Get your painted background paper ready. (I plan on having the kids do this before creating their emoji so it can dry.)

Step 11- Print your stamp, and remember it won't be perfect! Pressing along the black raised areas helps.

Step 12- Admire your work!


I hope you guys found this informational! Share pictures if you do this project in your own room!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Preparing for a Maternity Sub in the Art Room

I'm going to share the process that I went through to prepare my maternity sub plans!  I tried to provide links wherever applicable/possible.
First of all, I have 2 sub binders, one for the maternity sub and one for any other sub who may come to the room.  The maternity sub will use both binders.  I'm going to go over the maternity sub binder first, and then the regular sub binder.
In my maternity binder the first page has directions for finding information, a flash drive with the lessons and PowerPoints, a school calendar, and a very important sticky note about the type of paper to use for projects!

After that, I have a master list of the lessons along with tentative dates.  This is the first thing I made so that I could figure out how many lessons I needed to include in the book.
My first lesson is a super easy lesson that I would leave for an emergency sub.   It's just a lesson where students will create a "through the keyhole" drawing.  I printed off some examples from Google images.  I have an easy lesson that will be used for all grades first so that my sub can read through the next lessons and get supplies ready.
After that I have some basic information about the projector, logging-in, and some of what the sub will need to do to prepare for the next set of lessons.
My first "real" set of lessons are ones that usually take a while.  I've included links to these lessons below.

3rd-5th grade will all complete optical illusions.  I found a great PowerPoint and some great step-by-steps for each lesson.  I created handouts with each step for each lesson to help out the students and the sub.  I also included some books in case students want to learn more or the sub wants to share more information.
Each table will have step-by-step visuals.  I also made some copies for the 5th grade lesson for any students who are absent on the first day [because that part takes so long].


 K-2 will do a warm/cool leaf study

This is a lesson I used to do a few years ago, and it's really simple.  I tried to keep most of the painting lessons simple.  Students will trace leaf stencils, color the background with crayons and paint the leaves.  They will choose warm or cool colors [and the sub will introduce these colors to the students...eep!].


This is a lesson that I have shared on my own Teachers Pay Teachers site along with the handouts.
Every lesson in the binder is in clear sheets with my examples, artist examples, and sometimes student examples.  [Although for some lessons I printed images of examples from other blogs to save time.]
 4th Grade Castles [I got this lesson when taking the Deep Space Sparkle Art Teaching 101 e-course] BUT I also purchased this step-by-step PPT from TPT.
 Kindergarten "linescape" landscapes

I do this every year and it's SO easy peasy.
[I printed examples from Google images, but the lesson is from TPT]
I always do Chinese New Year every year, but I found this lesson and decided it was great to leave for the sub.
Behind the above lessons I put these extra lessons just in case.  Sometimes kids rush through, so I wanted to leave some backup lessons.
My maternity binder is in a big tub with some supplies, books, posters, and examples.
I've also labeled the types of paper.

Then I have my regular sub binder.  This has emergency information, classroom procedures, maps of the room, schedules, and emergency sub plans.

I have a basic map of the room with drill locations...
 I also made a really specific map of my room with all of the supplies labeled.
I have multiple sets of emergency plans...one for regular subs when I have a doctor's appointment or I'm just sick...
 And one for if I go into early labor...eek!
 I keep this binder on top of the paper I want the sub to use.  And you can see my "early labor" plans with dates.
 I also have MY teacher binder with student rosters for attendance and seating charts.
I hope you found this helpful! Let me know in the comments :)

Sunday, September 27, 2015