i’ve been hooked on the french girls app lately, but the upside of that is that i’ve been sketching SO much! 

the social aspect of this app really fosters creative solutions and developing a personal style. i use my work ipad, so i am only drawing with the free tools provided, which requires a bit more creativity to achieve shading effects. i’m working to hone my skills at achieving a likeness in portraits and rendering more fluidly using digital media. 


if you’d like to follow me, or you’d like me to follow your drawings, my username is my name! 



I waited fourteen years to do something that I should have done my first year of teaching: shadow a student for a day. It was so eye-opening that I wish I could go back to every class of students I ever had right now and change a minimum of ten things – the layout, the lesson plan, the checks for understanding. Most of it!

The author’s key takeaways:

  1. Students sit all day, and sitting is exhausting.
  2. High school students are sitting passively and listening during approximately 90% of their classes.
  3. You feel a little bit like a nuisance all day long.

The whole post is worth reading. She reflects on what she would do differently in the classroom to address her three takeaways.

Interesting. I think I will adopt a few of these ideas.

so powerful. all teachers should try this and reflect upon their experiences. 

(via drawing-interrupted)

sometimes an off-the-cuff lesson turns into something very special! 

my third grade students have been practicing observational drawing for a unit on scientific illustration, BUT i wasn’t able to prep the materials for their formal lesson in time! eek! (i have much less prep time this year and i’m still getting into the swing of things)

thinking on my feet, i knew that i had already printed a stack of Audubon illustrations from Birds of America

each student chose a bird as a subject for their scientific observation skills, and everyone was stoked! we discussed the importance of describing unique details including color and texture- so students were challenged to layer colored pencil shades carefully to match the colors and patterns they observed.

this lesson wasn’t intended to be anything important, but the results are quite stunning! i believe they just might have to go on display when they’re all completed :)  

the broken hvac system has my classroom feeling like a sauna. one of my third graders drew me in a pile of snow with snowballs everywhere to help me stay cool.
 thanks kid. 

the broken hvac system has my classroom feeling like a sauna. one of my third graders drew me in a pile of snow with snowballs everywhere to help me stay cool.

thanks kid. 



good monday morning message. 



good monday morning message. 

(via rubyetc)

each year, after an introduction to facial anatomy, i play a silly game with my kindergarten students: i laminate a variety of facial features with some sticky-putty on the back and create a blank face with some guiding lines for the midpoints of the face. 

students are encouraged to make a portrait using the features, placing them where they should appear on a face. as a group activity, members of the class will help and let the person at the face board know if the features are placed correctly. this is often where students realize the power of the eyebrow. it’s absolutely hilarious to see them experiment with facial expressions simply by adjusting the brow positions! 

if you don’t have access to a laminator, this would work well as a collage activity, too!  

i introduced the modigliani-inspired self-portrait project to my sixth graders this afternoon. after an introduction to modigliani’s life and work, we focused on creating a diverse range of thumbnail sketches for peer critiques. 

watching my students give each other respectful, thoughtful and heart-felt critiques really affirms that i’m in the right place. days like this remind me that i have the best job ever. 


“I am so excited to be living one of my dreams – to be here on Sesame Street. I’m here because I am teaching everybody on Sesame Street the importance and the power of ‘yet.’ Never, ever, ever give up because there’s so much power in ‘yet.’” - JMonáe

Sesame Street: Janelle Monáe - Power of Yet [x]

the power of “yet” is such a great message for art students too. there are struggles, sure, but it’s just that we haven’t mastered something “yet!”

(via smartgirlsattheparty)

One of my little friends made a paper dress for me this morning. I asked if I could wear it and she started giggling uncontrollably. It’s still taped to the front of my shirt and I think it’s gonna be the new hot look.

One of my little friends made a paper dress for me this morning. I asked if I could wear it and she started giggling uncontrollably. It’s still taped to the front of my shirt and I think it’s gonna be the new hot look.


Hello our most respected teachers,

I wanted to share the amazing news that I just received-(student name) won 1st prize in an art competition for ‘under 18’ at Blick Fenway! He submitted a piece he made at school w Ms V entitled ‘rejuvenation’.

I thought you’d be proud to know and it will be hung at Blick until next Monday/Tuesday, so if you haven’t seen it yet and would like to, please do!

Thank you for inspiring the artist within! It’s such joy to see (student name) grow up and I thank you for guiding him together.

(Parent Name)


— what an exceedingly lovely email to read after coming home from a long day at work!  

get on up.

after a prep work overload today, i decided to get up on one of the art tables to have a dance party with a colleague. 

not a single students caught us, which leaves me just a little bummed. 

dancing on the tables is where it’s at. 


Me: it’s time to clean up, please give me that red paper rectangle.

Kindergartener: no

Me: we need to clean up, please hand it to me.

Kindergartener: BUT I’M IN LOVE WITH THIS RECTANGLE! *starts bawling*

Me: …

Kindergartener: no, but I love it! *continues to cry*


— no joke - one of my kindergarten students will do this every time we have a collage project. i don’t know what it is about tiny shapes of colorful paper, but the kids cannot resist hoarding them! 

(Source: artedadventures, via theartguy)

On a whim, I decided to shake up my first grade batik unit, which is normally just an oil-pastel resist. The results were always nice, but not very exciting or dynamic. 

This morning, I traced an animal batik motif with elmer’s glue and white 3D fabric paint and let each dry. After school ended, I tested both.

Even a light watercolor wash didn’t show up much with the elmer’s glue, and the glue spread out quite a lot as it dried, so it was impossible to easily discern areas for oil pastel decoration. 

As you can see, the white fabric paint (puffy paint to children of the 90’s) held up incredibly well- even with an india ink wash! 

I can’t wait to try this with a class now… next stop, update that blowfish demo with fabric paint… they’re the cutest! 


In a couple weeks, I’ll officially be a third year teacher. This is nothing compared to so many fantastic Tumblr teachers, but in my short time in education, I have seen many teachers come and leave the profession. Apparently, at high-poverty schools, 20% of teachers…

such excellent advice. take the time to read this- there’s wisdom in it even if you’re not a teacher. 

i’m doing a little observational drawing cross-training with my 3rd-6th grade students. it’s been incredibly successful so far- and one student confessed:

"when you talked about our memory of how things should look getting in the way of seeing, it felt like you were talking directly to ME! now i don’t feel like it’s just me that struggles with drawing things the way they look!"

these are some fun exercises, garnered and adapted from others, i hope you’ll try a few!