Thursday, September 22, 2016

Still Kickin'!

Well it's clear that I must have been in hibernation because I haven't written in two months! Yikes!
I gotta tell you guys.. I've had quite a bit going on!
First off I FINALLY moved into my new construction home in August and have been unpacking things literally for the past month (my new office is still a war zone).
AND... I'd been feeling a little under the weather for the past.. ehhhh let's say about 13 weeks?
But that's just because of the baby. :)



YES! Mrs. Nguyen is having a baby!

I am so beyond excited about having another little one. My existing son is about to turn 8 years old this month.. so he's been waiting a LONG time for a sibling!
And to top things off - we got to find out the gender really early!
Guys.. science is amazing. Like really. 2 vials of blood from me and the lab was able to determine the baby's likelihood of inheriting any genetic diseases AND could tell me the gender.

So without further adieu...

Brody's getting a baby brother!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Cup Stacking

It's the end of the year. You've already cleaned up your classroom and you are done making messes.....buttttt you still have a few classes to teach. What to do - what to do?


I know this isn't a new thing.. but man is it effective. Break your class up into a couple teams and give them a ton of plastic or paper cups.. then let them go wild.
Who can build the biggest tower? Who can build a bridge? Who can build a castle?

The best part is when the cups come tumbling down - which will inevitably happen. The kids go crazy!
It's the happiest I've ever seen them in my classroom without paint or clay everywhere. :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

My Dirt

I'm going to begin by apologizing for not blogging as often lately. I've been a little bit distracted.
We all know the end of the school year is crazy.. but it's even crazier when you throw building a house on top of that!
My husband and I are building our first house - which is so incredibly exciting AND so much paperwork! Just when you think you're done signing stuff or fetching documents... nope.
I realize that many of you wonderful art teachers already own homes, so this may not be as exciting of an announcement for you (also perhaps because I'm some random art teacher), but I just wanted to share it!

I've driven by our lot 10000 times already and I'm pretty sure both my husband and son think I'm insane. Our lot is still a pile of dirt and weeds, so every time I drive by I eagerly check to see if anything has changed. It hasn't. Construction hasn't even started yet.. and won't for another week or so. Sooooooo I really don't know why I expect it to.  ;)  Again.. I'm insane.

"My Dirt" as my sister calls it.
We just recently has our appointment at the design center to pick out our design selections. I think I'm in love!
The brick color in the image below might be a little off.. but it's super close to that.

Though it isn't represented in the picture above, I think the very best part about this new house is going to be my walk-in-closet. You guys.. it's like the size of my son's entire bedroom. LEGITTTT.

Also - the covered back patio complete with a ceiling fan. I'm so excited to sit outside without having to be directly under that hot Georgian sun (too bad I can't escape the humidity).

Anywho.. so that's what's going on with me.
On the bright side - I am so behind in posting my latest lessons on here, that I am pretty much set for content for this summer's blog posts! :)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Emoji Soft Sculptures (5th)

This lesson started off by me showing my students a PowerPoint presentation which introduced the Pop Art movement and some of its major artists. I really emphasized that Pop Artists wanted to connect to everyday people, so their subject matter reflected the pop culture of the time (movie stars, advertisements, comic strips, food items, etc.). People saw their work, recognized it, and connected with it (a BIG difference from Abstract Expressionism).
Then we began talking about popular things in our culture today - which of course lead to talk of iPods, iPads, video games, Instagram, Facebook, texting, and a slew of other apps I'm sure I'm not cool enough to know about. It hits hard when you don't even know what your students are talking about - I used to know it all!
I explained that emojis are also a great example of contemporary pop art because they are super recognizable and relevant to the tech-savvy time we live in.
Then we looked at a few different (emotion) emojis and talked about what they meant. Then I asked students what they would mean if they were used in a different context.
So for example, the emoji with one eye closed and its tongue sticking out. On its own my students said it meant "crazy." Then I asked them what they thought it meant if it were sent with a text message that said something like, "I hate you." The words on their own sound mean and hurtful, but when sent with the emoji, they become almost endearing - clearly not meant to be serious.
Emojis can help to provide context to written words, like in the previous example, or they can be used decoratively in a fun illustrative manner.
As visual people ourselves, I think art educators are in an amazing position to teach our students about the power of this type of visual imagery and its effectiveness in communicating more meaningful messages.
Once we were done talking about the symbolism of emojis, we began talking about what soft sculptures are. I told my students that they would be creating their own double-sided emoji soft sculptures using felt and yarn.
Guys I gotta say - I love it! I used to do an angry birds sewing project with my 5th graders, but decided to change things up this year to keep the project super relevant to my student's interests. They were crazy engaged during this lesson!

Prior to deciding to do emojis (and the decision was made pre-happy meal) I was planning on doing Minecraft Soft Sculptures with my kids. If you are interested in that lesson, click on the image below to go to my TPT store. :)