New Link to AOE! Update your bookmarks!

19 Feb

If you’re still getting to The Art of Ed via “http://theartofeducation/wordpress.com”, you’re going to want to check this out! We’ve updated our site to self-hosted and now there’s a whole new AOE to follow and love! Visit the new site by clicking this link: http://www.theartofed.com or by typing theartofed.com into your browser window! If you’re already using these links, they’ll still work… you’re good to go.

Remember to bookmark the new site and make sure your RSS feeds are working and your signed up to receive email notifications of new posts! We’re really excited about the new look – and hope you love it too!

Email me if you’re having any trouble: theartofed@gmail.com

Brand New Class! Are You Tech Ready?

17 Feb

Have you even seen a class on Technology designed just for art teachers? Neither had we… So with that, the new AOE class Tech Ready Teacher was born!  I am so excited that AOE will be offering a maiden voyage of this brand new class next month, Starting on March 1st and ending on March 31st.

At first, I didn’t have any interest in teaching a class with a technology theme, and because I already have a class on blogging, I thought that was enough. For some reason, I felt teachers already knew a lot about technology and already spend a lot of time online.  I though you all had overkill with the tech initiatives at your school.  Then, I started talking with art teachers and found they really do struggle to find technology courses that work for them. I want to help teachers think in new ways to use technology to motivate students, educate themselves, and give them that “edge” when teaching. Just because you surf the internet doesn’t mean you are tech-literate. There are so many resources out there I take for granted that I use and do every day, and it’s my time to share.

Our students are magnets to technology and we will easily fall behind if we don’t “keep up.’  This isn’t just another generic technology class you may have in your area. I’ve formulated all the assignments with resources and websites that are perfectly aligned with art education. You’ll even get to connect with other art educators through some of the assignments! Another topic in the class I’m really excited about is looking at the future of teaching. Did you know you can write and publish your own digital textbooks? Yep- These are the kinds of materials we’ll be using in just a few short years. I want you to be ahead of the game, so I’ve included some of these ideas as well.

So with that, I am a changed woman with a new perspective on what kinds of technology teachers need and am here to deliver!

So….What will the class be like??

We’ve divided the class up into weekly themes:

  • Technology for Discovery & Connection
  • Technology for Organization
  • Technology for Creation
  • Technology as the Future of Education

Each theme involves discussion boards, hands on assignments and gives you the time you need to dive deep into the technology and dink around without feeling guilty- You can tell your family “I’m just doing my homework” ha!  Even if you already feel techie you probably never afford yourself the luxury of dabbling with online resources.  Plus did I mention earning graduate credit to become a tech rockstar? Sweet!

The best thing is, all you need is the internet and less than an hour of free time each day (or a few hours on the weekend will do) because the class is self serve. Work when YOU have time, there are no specific log-on times, just weekly due dates to meet, and I’ve put those on Sunday nights so you have the whole weekend to work.

Don’t have an iPad?  It’s ok. Don’t have a computer lab in your classroom? Not necessary. This class will expose you, the teacher to different web tools so you can use them for your professional development in the classroom, personal use, or even teach your students how to use them when you are ready….. You can use the information in any way you choose.  All of the examples and social networks we use will be focused on getting you immersed within YOUR posse – other art teachers!

Head on over and explore the Course Schedule. Convinced? Go ahead and sign up! We have a brand new Online Store that will make your payment process a breeze. We are sure you’ll find it simple and quick.  Join us in March for “Tech Ready Teacher!” I can’t wait!

Any other suggestions of technology you’d like to learn here on the blog or in classes?

Nice Rack.

15 Feb

Get your mind out of the gutter, silly!

Today we are talking about DRYING racks!

One “must have” art room staple is the drying rack.  Where there is paint, there must be a place to dry the paint! For the record, I LOVE my drying rack.

I opted for the model that holds 100 sheets. You’d be amazed at how many days this rack is filled by the end of the day.  I see 6 groups each day, and chances that we’ve painted and or glued are pretty good.  I wedge it between my drawers and paper cutter and can easily pull it out for easy student access. 

I train students to do one thing, and one thing only, when putting their art on the drying rack.  Start at the BOTTOM and work your way UP. This way I can fit  4 whole classes on the drying rack (remember how it fills up fast!). The red papers at the top are the “place mats” students use to put under smaller artworks so they don’t fall though.  Students also use them to paint on to save the table. It works like a charm.

One amazing idea I found a long time ago, and still want to implement is this sign that Jodi from One Crayola Short. Isn’t it clever!? Click on the photo to see her whole post on this idea.

What other drying rack tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Losing Student’s Attention? Try Storytelling!

12 Feb

One of the most powerful, yet taken for granted teaching strategies is storytelling.

Have you ever noticed when you are reading a captivating story (in a book) to students, you have all eyes and ears? Students are engaged, they can’t wait to hear what comes next, hanging on your every word and waiting for the page turn. The second you close the book. Bam. It can be so easy to loose their attention as eyes glaze over and voices start chatting as you give the directions. This doesn’t always happen, but is a pattern I’m sure you’ve seen from time to time. I know I have!

What if your lessons were as engaging as that storybook?

What if students were hanging on your every word in order to learn something new?

What if you suddenly stopped barking directions and became fun and captivating? 

These what if’s can come true if you start to incorporate storytelling into your everyday lessons. I would like to share with you three types of stories you can easily weave into your curriculum. Hey- you can even throw any of these stories together off the cuff with no extra planing, and see results immediately.

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3 Storytelling Tactics to Engage Students

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1. The Historical Story

The first type of story you can easily start to incorporate into your teaching is a historical story. Art teachers have a lot of history to share.. How the cave painters made their own paint out of berries and coal, or perhaps how Monet decided to drift away from traditional methods of painting and get out side to paint… What about the story of DaVinci and how he would sneak around against the law to discect bodies in order to learn the anatomy… Always a favorite.. DaVinci cutting off his ear.

Find the gem stories in art history and use those as a hook to get your students engaged. Get excited as you tell about the artist, make big gestures, act as though you have some sort of secret to tell the students, that will only be revealed at the end of the story. Change your voice, and get excited. Stand on a chair. Anything to make this story seem so important, EVERY student won’t want to miss a single word. I absolutely guarantee what you highlight and deem important in your story will be the facts and ideas students will never forget.

Some of my favorite stories to tell:

  • How the Mona Lisa was stolen
  • How Grant Wood Painted American Gothic
  • How the Aboriginal people painted on bark
  • Why the Native American’s used every part of the buffalo
  • How DaVinci took the Mona Lisa everywhere with him
  • How Monet painted in an impressionistic style. (oh and my favorite is to do a really crazy French accent as I prevent to paint not smoothly, but choppy like an impressionist…. They can’t take their eyes off of me!)
  • How Matisse’s style changed when he became wheelchair bound
I am sure you could go on and on with taking ONE interesting tidbit form art history and bowing it out of portion into your next great classroom tale.
My favorite historical stories also tell students about how I visited a museum, or went and saw Grant Wood’s studio. I always try to take photos wherever I go to bring back and share. This way, students see me not just as their art teacher, but as a true consumer and lover of art. It motivates them and shows them how much I care. Here I am with a Grant Wood original on a trip to his hometown, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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2. The Process Story

Tell a story about the process of making art.  These stories are great for giving students non examples and telling the directions in a nontraditional way.  Let me know you an example:

I like to tell a story about what happened to “last year’s class” when we were doing printmaking. I make a huge deal out of it. It goes something like this,

“Boys and girls, can I tell you what happened to last year’s class when we started the printmaking project? Oh, I just get so upset even thinking about it… Last year’s class had a huge disaster, because they didn’t listen to my directions and their art was ALMOST RUINED… Listen carefully.. Last year’s class kept forgetting to only use a little bit of printing ink! Can you believe it? These kids would slap on the ink, and it would seep into the cracks of the foam. I told them over and over, but their art was ruined and they had to start over. Oh I was so sad. They just globbed it on like this (demo the non- example) and do you think their art turned out very nice? NO.. Oh it just made me want to cry to see this happen to these expensive art supplies. I BET that won’t happen to this year’s class, Oh I sure hope it won’t, because you are all rockstars at printmaking, aren’t you!?!?”

Now that i have everyone’s attention I can go over how to use the brayer, ink and clean up procedures… I’ve captured them. Surely they won’t want to make the same mistakes as last year’s class. Did last year’s class really have these troubles? Maybe. Mabye not. It’s ok, it doesn’t maker. This strategy really works and you will see considerably less troubles with processes and new supplies with THIS year’s class if you try this type of story.

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3.  Back When I was Little….

I know this sounds more like something your grandparents would say “Back when I was a kid….” type of story, but these are interesting to kids. It’s fun for your students to think of you as a kid. One way I engage students regarding my past, is through something I like to call “Balsley Originals.” Yes, that’s right. I have ALL of my art from when I was a kid, and I’ve adapted some of my old projects for my students do create today!  (by the way I had an amazing art teacher ). I share with the students my own sample from when I was little and tell a story about how I did this project in 3rd grade, but they are going to do it in 2nd grade, because they are so advanced. I tell them I called my old art teacher and she showed me all of the imporntat tricks for us to do the project with success…I can’t wait to send her photos of their work. I tell them I bet they are going to do even better than I did. And I got a gold star. wink.

The photo below is one of my 5th grade architecture collages, which inspires an entire architecture unit I do with my 5th graders now! The next photo is a sample of my student’s work from last year.

I also like to tell students that I didn’t learn 1 point perspective until 8th grade, but they are going to learn it in 5th grade. This instantly grabs student attention and makes them feel special. I find this really ups the ante when it comes to student willingness to try hard.

Moral of the “Story”…. 

If you are losing student’s attention, try the ancient art of storytelling.  It may just be the difference between having those last few kiddos on board with you, learning the art concepts, or not. Our goal is to reach all learners and I am sure this will really help.

What other kinds of storytelling have you found to be effective in captivating the hearts and minds of your students? 

Mess = Stress?

8 Feb

Even Calder worked in a messy studio.  Mess is ok. It’s a part of making art. As art teachers, we each have our own tolerance for the amount of mess we can handle.  However, if we don’t keep messes at bay in our art rooms it can get out of hand, quick. (By the way, I love to show this picture of Calder’s studio to my 1st graders when we do Mobiles… It’s just fascinating to see him at work!)

Lately, my room has been a mess.  Between finishing up clay, trying to catch up on emails, and basically catching up on everything, cleaning is the last thing on my list.  Just today I got a chance to start doing some deep cleaning of all the clay dust and artwork piles, and it sure feels good. I feel like I can finally focus on teaching when my countertops are cleared…

One thing I like to do to make cleaning and picking up less work is to leave as many supplies out as I can.  I always kick myself when I noticed I asked the students pick up the markers when the next class coming in needed them.  It’s always better to leave out anything you can to save time and energy putting away and picking up.  It has worked well, however, to keep some standard supplies on the table this year. The kids have done a nice job with it and it’s saved a lot of running.

Still in all, each day we make a lot of messages, clean them up, and do it all over again!!

What is your tolerance for mess? 

Any strategies to keep your room in once piece after a busy day? 

Why Art Teachers and Stilettos Don’t Mix

4 Feb

First, a disclaimer to all the dudes out there- I do love and respect your readership- but this post is about clothing. Continue if you dare.

Our clothing is so much a part of who we are, so when thinking about the profession of art education and our  “crazy art teacher” stigma we have to live up to, I can’t help but think that outer appearance is an important part of shaping anyone’s career identity.  I am always amazed when I go to art conferences how cool everyone looks, usually much more unique, earthy and artsy then myself.  I am more of the preppy art teacher (could you guess?).

I remember the moment I knew I was different.

In college I walked into our junior art seminar where all art majors were required to attend. Lots of brown, tan, prints, messenger bags, and even guys with no shoes at all were staring up at me as I walked in with my pink purse, tailored blazer, and wedge heels and I knew right then I was the odd man out (and the person everyone called when they needed that assignment they lost for tomorrow, so in the end, we all made friends).. but I digress..Let’s just say it was a Legally Blonde moment.

So you all know I am not really a superficial person in general. I write and think a lot about inner things. Motivation, attitude, creativity, the organization behind your cupboards and other inner workings. However, today I would like to talk about appearance, professionalism, practicality and also what NOT to wear!

Dress:

I am pretty practical when it comes to my dress for work.  Black pants, brown pants, kacki pants, cardigans, pashmina scarves, basic colored T shirts, ruffled blouses and a few wrap sweaters and dresses are my go-to outfits.  The occasional sweater dress, leggings and boots on office days.  You get the picture.  But I noticed something as I looked around at most of my colleagues.  They always seem more dressed up than me. Is it because I am the art teacher and count to get messy? Not sure. But these little chickies prance around in heels and panty hose all day at school and I don’t know how they do it. Their feet must kill. How can they crouch down and get in a cupboard?

I have come to a conclusion.

Other teachers sit a lot more than art teachers, and they also don’t move as much as we do. Our jobs are physical. The attire must match the physicality of our job.

Next, lets talk about my dirty little secret for practicality in my wardrobe.  Goodwill. Yes, I buy some of my clothing at thrift stores, Goodwill, tag sales, etc.  First this came out of necessity as a poor college student. Now, I just do it because it’s smart, it’s fun and you can get a lot of amazing name brand things for really cheap, especially in the somewhat affluent suburb in which I teach. I always enjoy the look in people’s faces when I tell them my entire outfit cost under 10 dollars. They hate me.  Some people are grossed out by it because it had a former owner. Well, guess what? The new apparel you just threw on probably has more chemicals and junk on it being shipped over from China than my pre-worn, pre-softened and pre shrunk Gap sweater, so there!

This strategy really helps when you get paint on your clothes or clay dust or ink.  The profession is pretty messy, even though I wear an apron on paint/clay days. No more guilt for soiled clothing. If it’s ruined, then I guess I only spent 3 bucks on it anyway.

Why Art Teachers and Stilettos Don’t Mix:

I have bad feet. Not ugly, just bad. They are narrow and high arched and need LOTS of support to stand all day. Ballet flats and heels are totally out for me on a teaching day. Basically any shoe under $100 doesn’t feel good enough. So I choose to spend my money on good shoes. Dansko clogs (lots of nurses wear them) are my go to shoes and I SWEAR by them and that brand in general. (No they didn’t pay me to say it, I just LOVE them so much!) Anyhow, remember the colleague who’s feet probably hurt all day in heels or they never stood all day?  I just can’t do it! I can’t wear heels all day long and I envy people who can because my little clog friends aren’t always the cutest, although the brand has come a long way. I do love a great pair of heels to help boost my 5’2” frame, but I save them for weekends. For any of you who can swing it, bless your hearts!

What Not To Wear: 

Just because we are art teachers doesn’t mean we get to be slobs, either. You have to find that fine balance between professionalism and the art teacher look you are going for. And don’t wear leggings with anything that doesn’t cover your tushie. Just saying, legging offenders at work bug me. Sorry!

While we are taking no – no’s….I advise against doing too much with your hair. Mine is curly so I am of the minority with the easy care hair, but with recess and bus duty, by the end of the day I look like little orphan annie – all a mess. I still try, I do.  I just don’t think anyone realizes how different our jobs are from an office job. The days that I work in the office on curriculum work (more about that here) I am always more put together at the end of the day, have WAY more energy and just feel different. Not a complaint for the other days of the week, just an honest observation between the two since I have the privilege of direct comparison.

I do wear makeup every day and keep some lotion on hand at school  for the dry and cracked hands that are a product of washing your hands and washing out brushes over and over and over.

So do you hear the sirens of the fashion police coming near?

Whether this post totally bored you or interested you, lets all agree that we think about and put a lot of energy our appearance every day, as much as we don’t want to admit it, it does define us, so lets talk…What is your idea of professionalism at work? Any hints for all of us? And do tell- can you manage heels all day? Stains on your clothing? What’s the Scoop?

Talkin’ About Teacher Talk Time

31 Jan

 

Recently a reader sent me a question regarding “Teacher Talk Time”- The time at the beginning of a lesson the teacher spends talking about the lesson before work time.  I have found that each teacher varies greatly regarding “TTT” (Teacher Talk Time), but the conversation came up regarding what amount of time is appropriate, and how much should be spent delivering the content vs. work time.

My 45 Minutes of art class can be broken down into the following:

TTT: 5-15 minutes (this all depends if we are in the beginning of the lesson, or middle) The introduction to a month-long lesson can take me 15-30 minutes to introduce and explain, but once we get into production mode, the TTT is greatly reduced to around 5 minutes to explain the next step.

Work Time: around 30 Minutes

Clean Up: around 5 Minutes

Time is so precious in our art rooms.  Students only get a few set minutes each week to create. We must set up the parameters for them to be able to do this, while still teaching and allowing for student interaction as well as clean up.  How do we get it all done?  Lets get the conversation going- I’d love to hear what you do, and what you think about this.

How much do you spend teaching the content?

How much time do you allow students to talk and contribute?

How much is left for art production and clean up? 

pssstttt. The AOE Class Assessment in Art Education starts tomorrow (Feb. 1st). Want to hop in? Sign up and pay ASAP to grab a spot!

8 Simple Tricks to Make Mornings Easier

26 Jan

You arrive at work at 7:30 am (or whenever you arrive) and somehow you get there in one piece. How? You probably have a morning routine.  So often we focus on the deals that happen while we are at work, but did you know what happens before you get there has a very big impact on how you perform at your job? I went back to work this week from my maternity leave, (Sniffle, Sniffle) and have used some of these simple tips to help the transition go smoothly.

So, lets talk about morning routines and how they can help you become a better teacher.

8 Simple Things You Can Do To Make Mornings Easier

  1. Pack your lunch the night before. Even better, keep a week’s stash of food at school. One young mom I know has a case of Progresso soups, a loaf of bread and jar of Peanut Butter in her desk.  Then, each day, although boring, she has a lunch ready to go.  I might try this!
  2. Get your coffee ready the night before, so all you have to do is pour and go. Get a reusable cup and skip Starbucks. Some teachers I know who are ALWAYS late come in with Starbucks. I don’t get it. You obviously don’t have time to stop.
  3. Lay out your clothing the night before and stop worrying so much about what you look like. This is a hard one, because as the art teacher we have this quirky funky standard to live up to, but keeping it basic will help you go faster in the AM.  I have a hook that I can hang the whole outfit on in my closet, and I put the jewelry right on the hanger, too. Easy.
  4. Get up earlier. I am a morning person, so it’s easy for me to say. I am accustomed to getting up at 5:15 to workout before I get ready to go to school. We’ll see if I can still pull this with a little one, but I plan to just go to bed earlier.  The last 10 pounds of baby weight are not going to come off on their own, are they?
  5. Eat Breakfast (or keep a stash of granola bars in your desk) because you really can’t be a good teacher running on “Empty.”
  6. Chug Water- I make sure I chug a whole thing of water before my first class walks in the door. (Not the best idea for using the rest room) however, what it does do is give you energy. Drinking water gives you more energy then just caffeine alone.  I am the only person at our department meetings with a water bottle and not coffee.  Yes, I’ve been up since 5 drinking coffee, but I switch to water after I brush my teeth in the morning (better for my teeth and stains) and never look back. I’m telling you, it helps so much with energy!
  7. Don’t take much work home. I try not to bring anything home at night if I can help it. Less to drag, less to load, and less to remember. Plus, once I get it home I am usually too tired to work on it anyway, so why did I bother?  I just aim to use my time more efficiently the next day while I am at school.
  8. Take a deep breath. Before students walk in mentally reverse how you will talk to them, and check your disposition.  They will pick up on it so fast.  You can control this!

All of these tricks can help you as an educator because you are fueling your own fire. You are making sure that your energy is up, your aren’t frazzled or rushed, and it will make your day go much more smoothly and help you enjoy your students.

What other tricks do you have for getting the morning going on a good note and not a sour one? 

A Classroom Management Strategy Elementary Art Teachers Can’t Live Without

24 Jan

Today I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Michael Linsin with a guest post today.  Michael is the author of the book Dream Class: How To Transform Any Group Of Students Into The Class You’ve Always Wanted, an award-winning book released in June of 2009. He is also the mastermind behind the website and blog Smart Classroom Management.  As an author who I respect a great deal, and even revamped my Classroom Management Plan based upon some of his ideas, I am excited to share with you an EXCLUSIVE post that Michael wrote just for AOE viewers regarding management in the art room. Enjoy! 

dA Classroom Management Strategy Elementary Art Teachers Can’t Live Without

by Michael Linsin

I feel your pain.

Having been a PE teacher for eight years, I know all to well the feeling of being at the mercy of classroom teachers.

The greatest challenge for art, music, and PE teachers and others who see their students less than an hour a week is overcoming the bad habits and misbehaviors learned—or tolerated—in regular education classrooms.

When I first became a PE teacher after many years in the classroom, I was surprised to discover that much of what had worked for me before, when I saw my students every day, didn’t work any longer.

If classroom management was less than effective in the regular classroom, I’d spend most of the hour with my students trying in vane to instill basic listening and attending skills and dealing with startling levels of disrespect.

And then a week later I’d find myself doing it all over again—wasting another class period on behavior and then sugarcoating how the class went when speaking afterward with the classroom teacher. “Oh, your students were fine. No major problems.”

So I went on an Indiana Jones-like quest to discover the simplest strategies that did work, that did influence students in such a way that they behaved for me, even as they were hellions in their own classrooms.

I’d like to share with you one of those strategies, which I’ve found to be among the most effective.

Create Competition

 Despite what regular education teachers may tell you in polite staff-room conversation, if you pit them in friendly competition against their grade level colleagues, their pride and desire to win will come roaring out.

You can use this to your advantage by grading each class period on a scale of zero to four, based on how well they behave and follow your directions. You’ll then compile the points earned every week until a winning class is announced and a nominal award is delivered.

By using just this one strategy, the resulting change in behavior can be immediate and drastic.

Here’s how it works.

Create a point system based on the four whole-class behaviors that are most essential to effectively teaching your class.

For example, you might assign one point for walking into class and sitting down quietly, one point for listening to your directions, one point for following your directions, and one point for lining up quietly to leave the classroom.

After each class period, as your students are leaving your classroom, simply let them and their teacher know how many points they earned that day.

The first class to earn the most points beyond 30—or whatever number you choose—wins the title of the best art class in their grade level. You can award a simple trophy if you wish or a poster they can display on their classroom door.

When the competition is over, start again from zero the very next week. This gives the classes that didn’t win a chance to earn the award themselves. It also ensures that the contest continues for the entire school year.

It’s a good idea to create a bulletin board that lists, by grade level, each class you accommodate during the week and how many points they’ve earned so far. The students, as well as the teachers, are then able to track their progress and that of their competition.

Accountability

In a small but powerful—and visual—way, the point system holds classroom teachers accountable for how prepared their students are when they show up to your art class. And even if they won’t admit it, they’ll love the competition and enjoy needling their grade-level counterparts.

As for the students, it forces them to be accountable and answerable to each other and to their classroom teacher. And because it gives classroom teachers something their students can rally around, it has the potential to help build community and improve behavior in their own classrooms.

And as for you… it gives you the window you need, the opportunity you crave, to teach and instill in your students a love and appreciation of art.

Everybody wins.

It’s important to note that the point system is meant to improve whole-class behavior and is not a strategy for difficult students or specific incidents of misbehavior. You still need a classroom management plan in order to hold individual students accountable.

Your points, therefore, should only reflect how the class did as a whole. Never fail to award a point based on the behavior of only one or two students.

Bragging Rights

The beauty of using competition to motivate your students to behave is that, unlike other incentives, it doesn’t weaken over time. You see, it isn’t the award itself students and teachers care about.

It’s bragging rights. It’s being regarded as the best that motivates them to show up at your door ready to learn…

Which means you can depend on the point system strategy working for you as long as you need it.

Announcing: 2011 Art Ed Blog of the Year!

21 Jan

Two weeks ago we announced the 1st Annual Art Ed Blog of the Year Contest! One week ago we Announced the Top 20 Finalists and opened up the voting process! Last night at 12:00 voting ceased, and this morning we have a winner! Below are the top 10 Art Ed Blogs of the Year, as voted on by you the amazing readers that keep these blogs writing every day! In the end, we had over 1400 votes in total! Great job voting, and a big congratulations to all of the winners and nominees! We are truly blessed to have so many great Art Ed resources out there to take advantage of.

(Click on the blog’s header image to visit the site)

This race was incredibly close, and those who didn’t quite make the top ten still had a ton of votes! Here are the other 10 ‘finalists’, be sure to check out these great blogs as well: Art Teacher’s Guide to the Internet, Art Project Girl, Art is Basic, The Paper Pear, Art for Small Hands, There’s a Dragon in my Art Room, Splats, Scraps and Glue Blobs, Fugleblog, Paintedpaper, Splish Splash Splatter.

All of the winners and finalists will receive customized Art Ed Blog of the Year Badges which they are invited to display on their blog’s sidebar or other prominent position linking back to this post helping the entire Art Ed community discover more great new blogs every day! What an incredibly fun and rewarding process this has been! I don’t know about you, but I’m already excited to see who will win 2012 Art Ed Blog of the Year!