arts education

May 2019 Arts Educator of the Month: Allison Smith

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We are so thrilled to introduce you to our May 2019 Arts Educator of the Month, Ms. Allison Smith. Allison is a spectacular K-4 art teacher at Galapagos Rockford Charter School  in Rockford, Illinois.  She is beloved at her school and because of her strong instructional and planning skills, serves as a model to her colleagues school-wide.  She is dedicated to her scholars and regularly finds innovative and creative ways to encourage the pursuit of the arts not just at school but at home and in the community.  

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 Allison was nominated by her supervisor, Stephanie Boeddeker.  Read her nomination below to learn more about the incredible work that she is doing in her role as art teacher! 

Congratulations, Ms. Smith!  Thank you for your vital contributions to arts education. 

 

Why do you think this arts educator deserves to be nominated?

 Allison is dedicated to the achievement of her scholars in art and all subject areas. She serves as a model for our instructors within her content and through her planning and organization in her classroom. 

 

Tell us how this arts educator has gone above and beyond to help students.

 Allison encourages scholars to create and become an artist outside of the walls of her classroom. She ALWAYS has new and fresh displays of scholar artwork in the halls and takes the time to articulate what scholars are learning via their projects. She has taken initiative to create an art show for parents and makes art an important part of the curriculum in our school. 

 

How would students describe this arts educator?

 Scholars say Mrs. Smith is patient, caring, fun, and a great artist! 

 

Please share the innovative and creative ways that this educator is teaching the arts.

 One of my favorite things that Allison does is a display she creates in the hall outside her classroom called the "Art Challenge Board". She encourages scholars to make art at home and bring it to her to display proudly. She tries to find ways to connect her content with scholars in their everyday life and encourage them to continue their journey as artists.

 

What distinguishes this arts educator from their peers?

 Allison really knows and understands scholars' academic levels outside of the art classroom. She takes time to understand what they are learning in other classes and supports them in other academic areas. She knows how to make her content important, while also investing herself in the school as a whole.

April 2019 Arts Educator of the Month: Noel Spring

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We are so excited to introduce you to our April 2019 Arts Educator of the Month, Ms. Noel Spring.  Noel is an exceptional art teacher at Rusheon Middle School in Bossier City, Louisiana.  She works each and every day to ensure that her students are introduced to and actively working on a variety of arts projects.  Additionally, she uses her art class in strategic ways that allows for math, science, reading and social emotional learning integration.  Simply put, she is fantastic! 

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Noel was nominated by Jacqui Impson, the school counselor at her school.  Read her nomination below to learn more about the incredible work that she is doing in her role as art teacher! 


Congratulations, Ms. Spring!  Thank you for your important contributions to arts education. 

 

Why do you think this arts educator deserves to be nominated?

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 She is a dedicated, brilliant, talented, amazing woman and teacher! 

 

Tell us how this arts educator has gone above and beyond to help students.

Ms. Spring goes above and beyond the normal duties of an art teacher. She supports the students through mentoring with our PBIS Tier II Climb Program and provides extracurricular support with her Ram Pride Spirit Team. 

 

How would students describe this arts educator?

Many students say they love Ms. Spring because she believes in them even when they don’t believe in themselves. I’ve also been told they know when a teacher loves them like they are their own child and that Ms. Spring is one of those teachers. One of her students who needs behavioral support said, “Even when I don’t make the best decisions she is there to show me that she cares, even if it’s tough love.”

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Please share the innovative and creative ways that this educator is teaching the arts.

She incorporates Math, Science and ELA into her lessons on a regular basis. The projects the students create are wonderful! They have made architectural pieces from popsicle sticks to represent key places in the world (Eiffel Tower, Stadiums, Twin Towers, etc.) The students do historical research on their locations as they prepare their design drafts prior to building. They have made some incredible tribal pieces this year that the students were extremely proud to show in the art gallery at our school. Another great project that she has done is an “emotions in abstract” assignment. The students are able to express themselves through their art and they have used it as therapy as they work through issues with sexuality, racism, domestic violence, self-harm, suicidal ideation, etc. Many of the pieces turned out amazing! 

 

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What distinguishes this arts educator from their peers?

In the Bossier Parish Schools  i3 Art Expo  this year, Ms. Spring represented Rusheon with a display of our students’ art work and she won 1st place in the Parish!! She is a vital part of Rusheon and is dedicated to improving the school and the students. We are blessed to have her on our staff and in our Ram Family! 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyday Artist Spotlight: Laura Monsreal

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We are pleased to introduce you to a talented, young, Latina artist, Laurel Monsreal.  Laura was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and has been raised in the Chicago suburbs. She uses many art mediums, including painting, photography and film.  Laura’s commitment to pursing her passions: art, storytelling, women’s empowerment, wellness and spirituality is inspiring.  Continue reading to learn more about what inspires Laura’s art, what projects she is currently working on and how arts education has impacted her life!

 

 

Growing , Laura Monsreal

Growing, Laura Monsreal

Why is your art important to you?

Art to me is important because it helps me express myself, helps my mental health and helps me connect with community. 

 

What do you want your art to say?

I want my art to express the story that I am trying to express at that moment of my life.

 

What project are you working on now?

My current projects have been about connecting to the divine feminine energy, nature, and spirituality. 

 

The Blind Trick , Laura Monsreal

The Blind Trick, Laura Monsreal

What is your favorite artwork and/or artist?

Some of my favorite artists that have inspired me since 2017-2018 have been Vanja Vukelic, Pinot W. Ichwandardi, Abigail Halpin, Bella Kotak and Helen Dardik 

 

How has arts education impacted your life?

Art education has impacted my life in many ways. It has helped me express who I am as an individual, made me think about the world and how it works, and helped me learn new knowledge such as principles of design and elements of art. 

Follow Laura on Instagram and on Facebook.

Revealing Relief , Laura Monsreal

Revealing Relief, Laura Monsreal

Elephant Strength , Laura Monsreal

Elephant Strength, Laura Monsreal

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Biography: 

My name is Laura Monsreal. I am a Chicago-based Latina artist. Born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico and raised in the Chicago suburbs. The relationship I have with art stems from the love of storytelling. I am a versatile artist, who enjoys working with painting, photography, and writing. Aside from art, holistic health and wellness are my other passions. Just like art, engaging in movement, mindful eating, and meditation has helped and nurtured my growth emotionally, spiritually and physically. I believe that we must treat our bodies as our own temples. One thing I believe helps in connecting the self to its higher truth is self-love. Incorporating self-love in to our lives is important because we must learn to love, and take care of ourselves first before we can love others. Living in society can feel like such a rush that we often lose ourselves. Through my art, I strive to spread awareness of the importance of self-love. Other themes I focus on are nature, women's empowerment, equality, identity, and spirituality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow-Up: Amidon-Bowen Elementary School Black History Month Art Project

We previously shared an awesome art project that Amidon-Bowen Elementary School (Washington, D.C.) was working on in honor of Black History Month.  Read full story here. We were thrilled to get follow-up pictures of their exhibition "Taking Back the Island" and wanted to share with you as well!  Bravo, Ms. Perry, Mr. Dicke and Amidon-Bowen students! 

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March 2019 Arts Educator of the Month: Sheena Folkman

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We are thrilled to announce our very first Arts Educator of the Month, Ms. Sheena Folkman.  Sheena is an exceptional art teacher at LEARN 7 Elementary School . She works relentlessly every day to provide quality arts instruction to the Kindergarten – 5thgrade students that she serves on the West Side of Chicago. She is passionate, dedicated, innovative and is changing her students’ lives through the arts.  We honor her commitment, talent and transformative work at her school.  

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Sheena was nominated by her wife, Christina Folkman.  Read her nomination below to learn more about the incredible work that she is doing in her role as art teacher.  

Congratulations, Ms. Sheena Folkman! Thank you for your important contributions to arts education. 

 

Why do you think this arts educator deserves to be nominated?

Sheena takes art education to another level. She is referred to as “director” Folkman because her students are not just students, they are referred to as designers in her classroom. In only her second year teaching she has transformed the art program and enriched the lives of all of her students.

 

Tell us how this arts educator has gone above and beyond to help students.

Sheena ensures that her class is doing more than simply art production. Each unit starts with an art history lesson, focusing on a specific artist or art style. That lesson then ties into one of the elements of art, which is demonstrated through a project the designers complete for that unit.

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How would students describe this arts educator?

Creative, firm, funny, talented!

 

Please share the innovative and creative ways that this educator is teaching the arts.

Sheena makes sure to also speak to classroom teachers so she can connect to the curriculum as much as possible. For example, when the 3rd grade read a book about Jackson Pollock, the art room was suddenly transformed into a Pollock-like studio! The floor was covered in plastic, desks and chairs were moved out of the way, and jazz played in the background as the designers learned to drop, splatter with, and tap their paintbrushes to create beautiful Pollock-inspired paintings.

 

What distinguishes this arts educator from their peers?

Sheena is constantly thinking of how to change up the media used, connect lessons to students’ interests, and generally goes above and beyond in her classroom.

CONGRATULATIONS, SHEENA!