Playing Catchup

So I am finally finding the time to sit down and play catchup with my blog. I created this blog at the beginning of this school year with the intention of posting all my lessons, resources, and outcomes for all the world to see (or at least the interested art ed'ies). BUT once the first school bell rang, and the children flooded the halls of my elementary school, I found that time became a very limited resource.
WOW! Keepings my classroom organized, my lessons well-planned, and all the other 1,000,000 things I have to do as a teacher (even when it doesn't relate to my department directly) sure does eat up a lot of time!!
So here we are.. I think I'll begin with a basic introduction of myself. My name is Ms. Gram and I am one of two full-time art teachers at Nesbit Elementary School in Tucker, Georgia. This is my very first year teaching and I LOVE it (even though it COMPLETELY stresses me out sometimes). I graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University in December of 2011 with my BFA in Art Education. I have a 4 year old son named Brody, and a super cute tattoo artist boyfriend named Daniel.
The school I teach at is HUGE (second largest in Gwinnett County) with 1,800+ students. We have a very high percentage of students on free or reduced lunch (over 93%), a very large ESOL population (43%), and a very large minority population (2009/2010 data - 72% Hispanic, 18% African American, 5% Asian, 3% White, 2% Other).
My school's goals are to increase student achievement in reading, writing, and math... so I am constantly searching for ways to create and teach lessons which integrate common core concepts. This really describes my approach to teaching. For me teaching art is not just about how to paint, or collage, or draw ... but instead is about how to think creatively and make connections between all that life has to teach us.
So please, sit back, relax, and enjoy reading about my adventures as a first-year art teacher. It may get messy sometimes - but that's just an indication that we're having a good time! :)

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