Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Visual no particular order...

Vincent Van Gogh

Niki de St Phalle
My photos:
Anna Mary Robertson Moses (Grandma Moses)

One of my favorite art videos:
Women in Art

Who are your favorites ?

Jitish Kallat's Public Notice 3: Art Institute of Chicago
In the first major presentation in an American museum of Jitish Kallat’s work, the contemporary Indian artist has designed a site-specific installation that connects two key historical moments—the First World Parliament of Religions held on September 11, 1893, and the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on that very date, 108 years later. The resulting work, Public Notice 3, creates a trenchant commentary on the evolution, or devolution, of religious tolerance across the 20th and 21st centuries.

With Public Notice 3, Kallat converts Vivekananda’s text to LED displays on each of the 118 risers of the historic Woman’s Board Grand Staircase of the Art Institute of Chicago, adjacent to the site of Vivekananda’s original address. Drawing attention to the great chasm between this speech of tolerance and the very different events of September 11, 2001, the text of the speech is displayed in the colors of the United States’ Department of Homeland Security alert system.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SSL Resources..

This is so appropriate for our SMART Technology & Art focus. Thanks Samantha!

Appreciating SSL's

I learn  a great deal and derive inspiration and acquire teaching/learning resources from our SSL's (Serious Self-Learners). Thanks for the YouTube Dina!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Twitterstorm from Chicago & Denver: The Idea

As I learn about Smart Technologies in Chicago and Social Studies/Art Integration at NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies) in Denver over the next two weeks, I plan to stay connected with my students @

Some of the questions I am exploring with this activity:
Will students sign up and follow my tweets from the conferences?
Will they find the content I add valuable and relevant?
Will they respond and contribute relevant content?
Will they create additional hashtags?
Will they consider Twitter as an effective tool for teaching/learning under these circumstances?
Will they use Twitter as a part of their PLN beyond this exploration?
Will I tweet consistently? Will I tweet valuable, relevant content?
Will I consider this an effective tool for teaching/learning under these circumstances?

Follow me! pvbaggett

A good place to learn about Twitter is Shelly's Wiki:
Shelly Terrell has a great Twitter Wiki with videos providing explanations, resources, and applications for using Twitter for education.
I use Tweetdeck for hashtag discussions. You can learn more about this at Shelly's wiki too:

(Students, remember I will be using #AED501 and #EDU301 as hashtags for our classes as well as various associated subjects such as #smartart, #recyledart and #puppetry, etc...). We can make more up as we go and explore what others contribute to the discussions. Just be sure to at least use your course number hashtag if your tweet is course related so we can sort conversations by courses.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


Oops...I didn't mean to do that...I need another piece of paper...I messed you have an eraser?...sniffle...tears...I'm sorry!

Statements made by children (and adults) in art production experiences. Have you heard or said any of this yourself?

In a previous post, I shared Elizabeth's Peterson's "lessons learned" from engagement in good art lessons. One of my favorites dealt with the dreaded "MISTAKE."
■“Mistakes Will Happen, Work with Them”
Something may go wrong, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop or throw your work away. Instead, work with it. The stray mark can be turned into a flower.
Peterson's latest post at The Inspired Classroom expands on the teachable moments when mistakes are declared. She suggests how to react and respond in our own process and to the behaviors of our students. She aptly models the quote she discovered in a bathroom:
"There are no mistakes in art, just surprise ideas."
Again these art experiences Peterson describes so vividly mirror life and provide our students with opportunities to practice behaviors which just may help them to become happier, healthier, creative, and productive citizens of the world. Where else in the curriculum do they learn such necessary lessons?

As Peterson states: "That’s one of the great things about the arts.  When you give students opportunities to really work with things and make mistakes in a non-threatening atmosphere, they learn to adapt and see things differently." Be sure and read her POST.

And think about your own ability to persevere, to work with what I call unintended marks, or consequences. Sometimes the unintended consequences result in better outcomes than those art... and LIFE!

Other than the types of mistakes Peterson points out where a good lesson is learned and you might say, “I’ll never do THAT again!”...
Maybe..."There are not so many mistakes in LIFE, just surprise ideas."
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
Have you ever had the "unintended" turn out better than the "planned?" In art or life? Please share!

Recycling for the ARTS!

One of my new artistic (and environmentally conscious) pursuits is to develop and share ideas for using recycled items to create art. I am exploring options, saving bottle caps, and designing activities to implement with teachers and students. 

Due to limited resources, modeling the use of recycled items might even be a good way to begin the "Studio Days" idea with faculty, staff, and students in the College.

Please add any cool ideas you have and join us at The Green Art Classroom: A network of environmentally responsible art educators.

The Imagination Factory
Creative ways to recycle by making art.
The lessons and activities include drawing, painting, sculpture, collage, papier-mache, marbling, and crafts.
Non-Trashy Recycled and Trash Art
The artists featured here exclusively use recycled and/or trash to make pieces of contemporary art. These artists practice the art of “upcycling”, or literally turning everyday trash into creative treasures.

Check back for photos of and reflections on teacher-created art from recycled materials!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Biodiversity: "See the Bigger Picture"

The images on display in the “See the Bigger Picture” traveling exhibition are the winners and honorable mentions from the worldwide photography competition where youth submitted photographs representing biodiversity. . acclaimed exhibition is making its United States debut in... Mobile at the Exploreum!!!!

The photography by the youth of our world is on display and worth seeing!

Pictures of my night with my "blue-eyed boy" (nephew) enjoying the Exploreum are posted:
EDU 301 students...this could be a Visual Arts Field Experience!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Whirled Peace" at the USA COE

We celebrated the International Day of Peace in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama with our own first  Pinwheels for Peace art installation.

Not only did Dr. Giles encourage her students in the Early Childhood classes to participate, she brought her sons Jay and Kade to be the first to plant their pinwheels Tuesday morning.

Ms. Jayne Kennedy's students in the Social Studies methods classes participated.
And my many students in Arts in the Elementary School elected to create and participate.

Thanks to all who participated in planting whirled peace! ~Dr. B

Pinwheels for Peace and the POWER of ART in Texas

Pinwheels fro PEACE and the importance of publicity

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Studio Days" and How Lessons Learned in ART can teach us about LIFE

I just read a great post at the "Inspired Classroom" by Elizabeth Peterson about her Studio Days. She basically gives students a long amount of TIME to start and complete a project. (Time, or lack of it, is a significant condition that often frustrates me as I make decisions on the design and development of my own teaching.)  Fourth grade students in Peterson's "Studio Day" are given time to really work their way through the creative process and allowed to become quite involved and include some real artistic creation in the visual arts, music, theater, and/or poetry making, etc. (This condition reminds me of the wonderful state of being, which requires more time, known as FLOW (the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.)
I also really like her idea of “pushing time" for the students who rush to complete and miss out on the advantages which occur as a result of becoming engaged and immersed. She describes it as when the first student says he/she is done and she follows up with, “No you’re not. What else can you do with this?”

Peterson's "Lessons Learned" are a great list of outcomes of being involved in  GOOD ART projects...and as I read them I also thought about how they mirror LIFE:
Peterson's Lessons Learned in her Studio Days -
■“Trust the Process” Sometimes things don’t go as you planned, but if you keep working (persevering) an end result will come.
■“You are Never Truly Done” When you think you are done (after 20 minutes), you are forced to sit with your product and realize there is always more you can do to make your work better.
■“Mistakes Will Happen, Work with Them” Something may go wrong, but it doesn’t mean you need to stop or throw your work away. Instead, work with it. The stray mark can be turned into a flower.
■“The Process Takes Time and Focus” When you work on something, you need to give it your attention. Multitasking often does not work. You owe it to yourself and your work to take time and focus.
Sooo....I'm thinking about having a College Student "Studio Day" (or night) maybe once a month...How should I structure it? When would the best time be? I wonder if anyone would show up? Let me know what you think former & current students!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Whirled Peace"

September 21, International Day of Peace

From "A pinwheel is a childhood symbol – it reminds us of a time when things were simple, joyful, peaceful. A pinwheel is easily made using just about any type of material, from copy paper, to thin plastic, to lightweight metal. The stick of the pinwheel can be as simple as a pencil or as intricate as a carved stick or metal rod. Pinwheels can be made as small as one inch in diameter or as large as desired – limited only by the creator’s materials and motivation. Pinwheels can be minimal or very complex – imagination, creativity (and a mild breeze) are the only variables needed.

Everyone will create pinwheels, pinwheels of all shapes and sizes – as part of the creation process, write your thoughts about "war and peace / tolerance/ living in harmony with others" on one side. The writing can be poetry, prose, haiku, or essay-style – whatever writing form is appropriate as you express yourself. On the other side, draw, paint, collage, etc. to visually express your feelings. Assemble these pinwheels and on International Day of Peace, Sept. 21, 2009, "plant" your pinwheels outside (at the schools, museum, public places, etc.) as a public statement and art exhibit/installation. The spinning of the pinwheels in the wind will spread thoughts and feelings about peace throughout the country, the world!

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan, who teach at Monarch High School in Coconut Creek, Florida, as a way for their students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced by their students and the entire school community and by millions of art teachers, teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world.
The first Pinwheels for Peace were installed on Sept. 21, 2005. Since then, we have grown from 500,000 pinwheels planted the first year, to three million pinwheels in 2009!"

Please plan to join us, on Sept. 21, 2010, as we celebrate International Day of Peace with "whirled peace!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

STUDENT-STATUS DEALS: You Should Take Advantage and Start with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra
How many reduced admissions and deals did I pass up as a student because I didn't know or take the time to take of advantage of them? Let me count the ways...

After reading "Symphony kickoff: Music holds its own against football" in the Sunday Press-Register, I was inspired to "Google" the Mobile Symphony Orchestra (MSO) to check out the 2010-2011 Symphony Season.  As I considered purchasing the $45 - $55 dollar tickets to Motown's Greatest Hits, I was thinking about the arts field experiences I require of my students and wished the option for experiencing the Symphony was a little more accessible.

After a little more surfing the site...I found the mother of all deals!!! (I'm thinking about becoming a student again myself!)

College STUDENTS can attend the symphony for $8.00...I repeat EIGHT DOLLARS! (See #14 under FAQ: "14. College student tickets are $8 on Saturdays and Sundays with a valid student ID. You must reserve tickets by phone or in person. Student tickets are not available online. "

K-12 Students can attend selected Sunday matinee productions through the BIG RED TICKET program FREE!

So before YOU read this, take advantage of the musical deal, and reserve my good seats, I'm going to purchase my full-price tickets NOW and support the MSO.

Hope to see you at the Symphony!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Arts Field Experience Reflections

Field experience requirements for the Arts in the Elementary School course I teach include attending community arts productions or events. I have discovered over the years that most students are not aware or do not take advantage of the arts opportunities in our community, but once they get involved and EXPERIENCE the arts, many develop a greater appreciation and value of "art for arts sake."

Because one of my many motto's is that I would not ask my students to do anything I would not do myself, I will post MY community arts field experience reflections. Below are the minimum reflection requirements for my students. Any ideas and feedback on improving this activity is welcomed!

Community Arts Field Experience Reflection Guidelines
Using the dropbox at e-College, add entries describing and reflecting on your attendance and/or participation in:
1. a dance production
2. a music production
3. a theatre production
4. a visual arts production

Each of the 4 reflections for your Community Arts Field Experience attendance/participation should include at least the following information:
1. Art Discipline (dance, music, theatre, or visual arts)
2. Name of production
3. Date of production
4. Location of production
5. Time spent attending or participating
6. Description of the production and how you participated
7. Reason for choosing the production
8. Did you enjoy the experience? Why or why not?
9. As a result of this experience, what did you learn about dance, music, theatre, or visual arts that you did not already know?
10. Could you use the knowledge you gained from this experiences to inform your teaching? If so how?

Visual Arts
The LoDa Artwalk occurs on the second Friday of each month in the Cathedral Square Arts District, in Downtown Mobile. It is from 6:00 to 9:00 pm.

I attended Friday, September 10th from 6:00 - 9:00. This was an event where downtown galleries, institutions, businesses, studios, and shops opened their doors for the public to view the visual arts, taste delicious foods, and hear the sounds of various musicians sharing their talents.

I had plans to eat at Wintzell's on Dauphin Street with some friends and the time and place was just right to be followed by the Artwalk. I've attended the LoDa Artwalk in the past and always enjoyed the event. This was a perfect night, after a busy, and overwhelming week, to enjoy the sights, sounds, and flavors; running into some of my favorite "art peeps" was an unintended added benefit!

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, initially for social reasons; having dinner with good friends from work was a great way to start the evening. Walking to a favorite downtown coffee shop to get a sugar-free almond amaretta iced latte at Serda's was my kind of dessert.

As we strolled in and out of galleries, I found my long lost friend Melissa Morgan in Art Space 301! I had no idea she was one of the directors of this "Centre for the Living Arts." Melissa is a colleague and friend I have collaborated with in the past. The art resources and educational opportunities Melissa shared will certainly inform my future educational endeavors.

Also, while I was in Art Space 301, the Mobile Mystery Dinners actors got my attention. My daughter has mentioned what fun it would be to have a mystery dinner party, so I gathered them, got information, and they were kind enough to pose for a picture.
As I was heading back to my car around 9:00, I stopped in the Robertson Gallery because I missed walking through it earlier. I found a work of art I would have bought on the spot if I had the resources. I must go back and see it again and get the artist's name (maybe Meredith). I also need to find out the name of the two musicians performing because they were quite good. If I didn't have a Dauphin Island Hurricane 5K race at 8:00 am, I would have helped myself to the Sangria, pulled up a chair and made myself at home in Robertson Gallery for a while.

The painting which got my attention is titled "Glorious" and I hesitate to post this poor quality cell phone picture because it does not do it justice.
So not surprisingly, I left the LoDa Artwalk a happier person. I had a good time with friends, ate good food, made contacts with former friends and colleagues (who will be great resources for future art education field experiences), and was inspired by beautiful visual arts and music.

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." ~Pablo Picasso

Thursday, September 9, 2010

ARTS: "Absolutely Critical" for Business

Jonathan Spector on Importance of Arts/Creativity in Business

"Productivity and innovation are absolutely critical..."
"Arts education is perceived to be absolutely critical in stimulating the kind of skills and capabilities that lead to innovation and creativity..."
Companies are saying they most desperately need people who are: leaders, creative thinkers, communicators, influential, have varied perspectives, are visually observant.

If the ARTS play a "critical role," what are "we" (society, educators, parents, administrators) doing about it????

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Student/Child is About to Make a Mistake...Teachers/Parents Fix It...What's Wrong with That?

Power to the Learner has a great post: "The Cost of "Keeping Things Moving" in the Classroom.

Are we keeping children from learning problem-solving skills? Are we depriving them from developing confidence to figure things out independently? Are we teaching kids to avoid the challenging activities which might lead to a mistake?

In some cases I think so. This post highlights the quick-fix behaviors which so many parents/teachers (myself included) may exhibit in an effort to make our fast-paced, outcomes-based world run a little smoother in the moment. But what are we doing for the development and long-term well-being of our children? Are they learning consequences of their own actions? Do they really expereince/understand cause and effect?

I know it takes more TIME to allow children to stumble, make a mistake, or fail and figure it out (it can also be painful to witness, especially as a parent)...but isn't the time well spent? In analysis of my own actions, TIME is the motivator. I feel there's not enough of it and maybe this is why, at times, I quickly fix/correct the student "mistakes" to move on to more...more content...more (underdeveloped) lessons...more...more...

Maybe the quantity vs. quality debate applies here? What do you think teachers/parents?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PLN Resource Overload (NOT Complaining)

As a result of being in the back-to-school mode, I have neglected personal blogging (along with many other valued activities) and on my list of rationales, I blame resource overload. My PLN (personal learning network) is just too darn good! I've said it before and I'll say it again: Twitter is my most valuable professional resource, but it is all in WHO YOU FOLLOW. I'm tweaking and improving my balance of art/technology/teaching/learning colleagues with entertainment, and inspiration. I regret that I failed to create lists as I acquired followees and now try to get organized in my "I can't focus anymore" time.
Hint: Create lists along the way!

So in an effort not to lose these new and revisited resources which got my attention tonight, I will share them here. (Posting to delicious does not promote the attention I think these resources deserve.)

Live, Learn, and BLOG! ~PVB

Kelly Tenkely's Bloom's Taxonomy : Blooming Peacock
Bloomin’ Peacock to show teachers the Blooms Taxonomy break down and the Bloomin’ digital Peacock that shows how the digital tools in the supplement break down.
The Inspired Classroom
The Inspired Classroom is very excited to announce that the Arts Integration blog series is about to begin!
(I subscribed and will be following...more to come as I interact with this blog.)

Blogging with Students
Responding to student blogs...I find it VERY rewarding to respond to K-12 students who are inspired to write by their teachers. So far this year I have responded to some of Mr. Chamberlain's 8th grade math students at Noel Elementary Class of 2011 and Greta Sandler's 5th graders in Argentina at Sharing Good News. If you are in my class and you choose to respond to any of these students' posts (and I hope you do), please be sure and identify yourself as a USA student in "Dr. B's" class.

Voices on the Gulf
Last (for tonight), but not least, I am a community manager at Voices on the Gulf. Please invite anyone you think would be interested in the discussion about the BP Oil Spill to join us!

"At Voices on the Gulf, we invite all of our colleagues who teach on the Gulf Coast to make this site their home and to welcome their students as well. Students from elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, and universities are involved in discusions on this site. We welcome all."

Please explore the site and comment on student posts. I have submitted a number of photographs and posts; most relevant for art ed is my nephew's contribution: "Mom, what color is oil?" Feel free to tell Josh what you think of his art!
If you are currently teaching , please consider this as a platform for your students to write and respond to the impact the oil disaster has had in their lives. I specifically posted these questions for my students at "Exploring Community Impact..." and would be interested in your feedback.

Friday, August 6, 2010

DI POD #6 "Jacy's Horseshoe Crab Research at the Sea Lab"

As a requirement for the International Baccalaureate Program at Murphy High School, students are required to complete an extended essay. The extended essay is a culminating 4000 word paper/project requiring primary research and can be in a content area of  the student's choice; My daughter Jacy chose marine biology. This choice was followed by an impromptu trip to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in February, 2010 to explore possible options. We were eventually led to someone on the premises who could give us some information and fortunately met Nicole Taylor, a lab assistant for Dr. Ruth Carmichael. Nicole took a lot of time explaining the types of research being conducted at the Sea Lab and encouraged Jacy to contact Dr. Carmichael to pursue her questions. Jacy did later e-mail Dr. Carmichael who has now spent numerous months supervising Jacy's research.

Jacy spent the summer measuring horseshoe crab growth and development under various conditions. She  created (literally built) 4 environments and counted/sorted 360 horseshoe crab larvae to get started. The environments included rectangular tanks with natural or clean sand and round tanks with natural or clean sand. While numerous data are still being analyzed (dissolved oxygen, salintity, and temperature), the variables of tank shape and sediment type resulted in the most horseshoe crabs staying alive in the rectangular tanks with natural sediment.

Welcome to Jacy's Wet Lab

Jacy is making sure the air stones are working.

Finding a baby for us to see.

Two month old babies measured in millimeters!

Jacy sharing her research with our scientists...Papa and Josh!

DI POD #5 "Dauphin Island Estuarium"

My daughter Jacy and nephews Josh & Cody
enjoying a day at the Estuarium.
Doing my best to talk Josh into holding the spider crab (actually not a crab but an arachnid).
He did it!
Horseshoe Crab (about 9 years old)

(Jacy's baby horseshoe crab research pics will be DI POD #6)

"The Estuarium is an exciting educational facility highlighting the four key habitats of coastal Alabama: the Mobile Tensaw River Delta, Mobile Bay, the Barrier Islands and the Northern Gulf of Mexico. It includes the 10,000 square foot Exhibit Hall and Living Marsh Boardwalk. This facility is a showcase of the plants, animals, and other natural resources found in the Estuary and its surrounding marine habitats."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

DI POD #4 "Dauphin Island Signs"

I have personally purchased some nice "island wear" at Marti's.
The "Little Red School House" is ON the beach.
I'll post more pictures and info in a future DI POD.
I've run many a 5K beginning at Historic Fort Gaines.
We joke about Ship & Shore. It has been here as long as I remember and I don't know of ANYTHING I've ever needed on the Island and haven't been able to purchase here. I'll put them to the test shortly when I go in search of a MacBeth DVD ("summer reading").
Personal connection?
Uncle owns a Harley store in Florida!
Posted in front of a home (with numerous other political opinions).
HESCO Barriers are numerous. They have been placed by our National Guard and others to keep the oil from reaching the shore (something I question and will blog about in the future).

Some things I saw/heard today:

A mature local gentleman laughing and exclaiming, "Oil spill, what oill spill? It hasn't changed anything for me. I haven't seen any oil, but of course I don't go to the beach."

There was a small film crew at the Bakery this morning. This afternoon, the same  crew was at the Library/Welcome Center. I asked them what they were flming and they indicated they were with "" and it was a community outreach project. I will have to look for it.

A little girl (about 3 years old) was just given a coin by her dad to throw into a small fountain in front of the Bakery. Her dad told her to make a wish and then asked what she wished for. She replied , "for you to be nice to mommy." He didn't respond, looked up at me, then smuggishly laughed. Children are so perceptive!

Tomorrow's DI POD's:
 Jacy's horseshoe crab research at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and my exploration of the Dauphin Island Estuarium with Josh and Cody.