Reflection

End of Year Message 2020

End of Year Message 2020

Art is a language unto itself. Along with speaking and writing, you have inside you your own artistic voice. It is a powerful voice to harness when you really want to say something. Art can be your best friend when you’re trying to work through what’s going on in the world around you. – Alice Gentili […]

Reimagined Book Covers

Reimagined Book Covers

“The illustrations in picture books are the first paintings most children see, and because of that, they are incredibly important. What we see and share at that age stays with us for life.” – Anthony Browne Over the past few weeks, my fifth and sixth grade art classes have been reimagining book covers for their […]

Summer Learning 8: Clay Is Fun/Clay Is Hard

Summer Learning 8: Clay Is Fun/Clay Is Hard

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Thomas A. Edison I spent most of my summer getting dirty and looking like this: And it was glorious! I would spend the early morning hours getting stuff done around the house, writing, or […]

Summer Learning 3: TABnology

Summer Learning 3: TABnology

“I do it/You do it. I challenge/You wrestle. You choose/I support” – John Crowe, Theory of Everything This isn’t the first time I’ve used this quote. It was at the top of the post I wrote about attending the TAB Institute at MassArt in the summer of 2017. If you read that post, you’ll understand the […]

Reflection: My Wicked SmART #NAEA19 Experience

Reflection: My Wicked SmART #NAEA19 Experience

Teachers believe they have a gift for giving; it drives them with the same irrepressible drive that drives others to create a work of art or a market or a building. – A. Bartlett Giamatti It has been two weeks since 6000 art educators descended on Boston for the 2019 National Art Education Association annual convention. […]

WeRMakers: Product ReDesign In Fifth Grade Art

WeRMakers: Product ReDesign In Fifth Grade Art

“A designer is an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.” – R. Buckminster Fuller This is the third fall I have facilitated the WeRMakers Product Redesign unit. This is a project-based-learning unit that utilizes resources from Project Zero Classroom’s Agency by Design. A few colleagues and I  participated in their online […]

A Time to Plan, A Time to Reflect on 2017/2018

A Time to Plan, A Time to Reflect on 2017/2018

“To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven A time to build up, a time to break down A time to dance, a time to mourn A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together” – Pete Seeger (Ecclesiastes) “A […]

Let’s Enter In His Sacred House: St. Gabriel Trip To Haiti 2018 Four/Five

Let’s Enter In His Sacred House: St. Gabriel Trip To Haiti 2018 Four/Five

Vini rankontrew Granmèt la. An Antre nan kay sakre li a. Adore Bondye ki plen pouwa./Come and meet the Lord. Let’s enter in His sacred house. Adore the powerful Lord. Clap and rejoice in His presence. This is the fourth post from my recent trip to Haiti with a small delegation from St. Gabriel the […]

Rivers, Rides, & Roosters: St. Gabriel Trip To Haiti 2018 One/Five

Rivers, Rides, & Roosters: St. Gabriel Trip To Haiti 2018 One/Five

Chen gen kat pye, men li ka mache nan yon sèl chimen. / A dog has four legs, but it walks in only one path. – Haitian Proverb After an 18 hour travel day, I returned home last Monday night at 10pm. Our day started 4am with a 4.5 hour truck ride to the airport in Port-au-Prince. […]

I Don’t Always Wear My Heart On My Sleeve, But When I Do, It’s In Haiti

I Don’t Always Wear My Heart On My Sleeve, But When I Do, It’s In Haiti

 Sa ki rete nan kè-m dòmi lakay: What is still in my heart sleeps at my home. – Haitian Proverb This post is scheduled to publish as I leave for Haiti very early on Thursday morning. This will be my third trip to Haiti, the first since the 2010 earthquake. I’m writing this post because I’ve […]

A Gift Ten Years in the Making

A Gift Ten Years in the Making

“Life is full of sniffles, sobs and smiles. With sniffles predominating.” ― O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi But not on Christmas. Especially this Christmas. It is what you make of it, isn’t it? You do the things that fill you with Christmas spirit from listening to favorite holiday stories to preparing gifts for […]

ETTSummit 2017

ETTSummit 2017

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust I’m just back home from two days at the EdTechTeacher ETTSummit in Boston and want to write a few lines to keep the inspiration alive that I felt there. I go to a […]

Teaching for Artistic Behavior: #TAB Institute 2017

Teaching for Artistic Behavior: #TAB Institute 2017

“I do it/You do it. I challenge/You wrestle. You choose/I support” – John Crowe, Theory of Everything Teaching for Artistic Behavior In the world of Art Education today, the pedagogical practice of Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) has become a movement toward affording students the opportunity for individualized creativity and away from the one-project-at-a-time-for-all-students approach. […]

(Rock the Boat) Don’t Rock the Boat Baby & ISTE17 Part 5/6

(Rock the Boat) Don’t Rock the Boat Baby & ISTE17 Part 5/6

“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” – Jack Kerouac, On The Road Middle Keynote Jennie Magiera kicked off Tuesday with an inspirational message in which she invited educators to tell their own stories as well as empower their students to tell theirs. She invited all of us in the auditorium to […]

Reflection: September 11

Reflection: September 11

My thoughts on the Friday approaching the fifteenth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11/2001: As I walk through the halls of my school, the same school where I was teaching third grade on that day, I think: “We were here when it happened.” As I pass by classrooms and see the teachers with whom I shared shock and horror […]

Light, Shadow, Self Portraits, and Artsonia

Light, Shadow, Self Portraits, and Artsonia

Throughout the past several classes, both fifth and sixth grade students have been engaged in a unit on Self Portraits. Before commencing instruction, students began with a pre-assessment self portrait using pencil and a mirror. Here are examples of before and after drawings: Instruction began with students using iPads to sketch along with some “How to Draw” videos […]

Where In The World Was Mrs. Gentili?

Where In The World Was Mrs. Gentili?

Top quality professional development is hard to come by for art educators. We are often the only art teacher in a building and are frequently starved for conversation about our subject and how it can best be taught. Our in-district colleagues are available through email and occasional meetings, but for the most part, our network has become […]

Thoughts On This Day Off

Thoughts On This Day Off

We have this day off from school to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., a life he devoted to and was ultimately taken because of the American Civil Rights movement. When I first started thinking about writing something about Dr. King, the children’s book, My Dream of Martin Luther King by Faith Ringgold, came to […]

We Remember

We Remember

I wore this “flag” pin to school today, as I have for the past 12 years. I was teaching 3rd grade on 9/11/2001 and had a lovely class of 26 or so kids who I had just met a few weeks earlier. We were just settling in to our school day when an announcement was […]