Spectrum Artworks: Entry 3

April 6th - 3.0 hours

It was core group again but there was only one to two people who were present today likely due to the weather. There was one artist that was there from start to finish. They had a dog with them and had a private meeting with Jes while I was putting more gesso on the boxes to make sure that the wording on them didn’t show through. Since there was only one person the during the open studio time. 

After their meeting we started to pack up and head over to a room for an abstract art session. During this session we were all given a sheet explaining the assignment. The sheet said to start drawing circles first, any shape and size and where ever we choose. Then add spirals of any style of our choice. There were only three of us, including Jes and myself. Jes had thought about canceling but then decided not to since she hadn’t canceled a meeting yet. I was called over to the front desk for a Thank You coloring sheet, a snack, and colored pencils - it made my week!


Spectrum Artworks: Entry 2

Spectrum Artworks – Jes Reyes, Mentor – 3hrs

March 30th

Wednesdays are the days I am regularly scheduled to go, which are core group days. Core group is when there are certain members who have special, exclusive access to the studio on certain days. It was quiet and slow, which gave me time to do some of my own work with the few people who were there. Since it was so slow Jes gave me the responsibility of painting gesso on boxes for their earth day project in April. I wasn’t able to finish the project in time before we went up to watch two films on females in art. There were some troubles with sound but that didn’t stop us from watching the films. Jes gave a couple sheets out on women in art. We finished the videos and by that time we were done with the day. 

Spectrum Artworks: Entry 1

Spectrum Artworks – Jes Reyes, Mentor – 5hrs

March 17th 

 I had my orientation and training today at RESOURCE. I learned a lot about things that could become very useful in the kind of work I want to do.  One thing that I took from the orientation that I want to use with friends and students are the Key Principles of a Trauma-informed Approach. I intend to put this up in my room to glance back at for reference every once in a while in case I run into certain situations in my daily life.

We talked a bit about Motivational Interviewing that “is a client-centered, guiding/goal-oriented counseling style for enhancing intrinsic motivation for positive behavior change by exploring and resolving ambivalence.” This was placed in hopes of making the client more approachable while at an actual interview for a place of employment. Though I’m not going to be working with clients who are looking to practice their interview skills I still think that this information will be helpful in motivating in others in their art and life.

I came back to Spectrum ArtWorks and today they had Open Studio. Spectrum ArtWorks is a safe space for artists with mental illness come in and create their art with community materials. Open studio is where clients come in to work on their own personal work at their own pace individually. Jes, my mentor, was creating art for Art4Shelter where artists can donate a 5x7 piece of any medium of their choice. The piece must remain anonymous until sold, so we can only write our names on the back. I was able to finish one piece and then start another that I will finish the next time I am able to come in. 

Kenwood School: Week 10

Kenwood Elementary – Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade – 0hrs

Kenwood Elementary has spring break this week. 

Kenwood School: Week 9

Kenwood Elementary – Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade – 2.5hrs

Today is the only day this week I can come in since Kenwood’s spring break starts on Friday. It’s been an interesting and insightful day for me. The girl who needs extra attention has been having one of the worst behavioral days of the days I have been present. She didn’t want to take a test so she began to disrupt the class and I come into the office to find her there. She’s happy to see me and I bring her back up to class. I let her talk about what’s been happening today but I wasn’t able to here her, I just thought she wanted to talk and it didn’t matter so much what I heard. She tends to go off on tangents.

The class was still taking a test and she wasn’t going in, I figured I would just let her talk and paint. It was a good way of distracting her from the other kids while they tested. However, the students unexpectedly come out for lunch and saw she was painting. This ended in some kids asking why she got to paint while they had to test. Honestly, it was only to distract her but it looked so much like reward for misbehaving. I do feel badly about it. Luckily, some kids thought she did a good job and clapped for her painting skills, which resulted in the rest of the class calming down and clapping too. Still, it wasn’t fair that she got to do something considered fun by most kids.

At lunch Mrs. Williams and I were talking about the situation, she wasn’t mad about it but told me that I was being “played” by this little girl. I didn’t protest because I know that Mrs. Williams knows more than I do about this girl’s personality and the sort of actions she’s prone to doing. I had asked if she wanted a coat because I noticed she wasn’t wearing one. However, she tried to come inside with me and I told her she had to ask Mrs. Williams first.

She was rejected and so was I, since I was only going to go get her a coat and not anyone else. Now, I notice that I have been paying way too much attention to one student during some of my time here. I’ve learned that I need to be more aware of my actions and how it affects the students around me. 

Kenwood School: Week 8

Kenwood Elementary – Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade – 7.5hrs

March 15th

Students are working on poster board creating drawing projects about their “famous person.” Some of these people include George Washington, Ruby Bridges, and Gertrude Ederle. Nelson Mandela’s poster has the South African flag in the corners and vines down the sides. Two best friends are working next to each other, unfortunately, they aren’t very far but I feel if they had a mediator to keep on task they would really bring out the best qualities in one another. One friend is doing Eva Peron and she’s really excited about it because she is a singer and actor, professions this friend wants to pursue. The other is doing Susan B. Anthony and is less excited about the project.

            The friend who is doing Anthony, talked a little bit about her dislike for a certain presidential candidates but soon corrected herself saying she needs to respect others opinions, especially since it’s the parents who are voting. This was a good reminder that kids really do pay attention to what is going on around in their world and understand what is being said. I think it’s really cool that elementary kids are interested in politics and it’s important for adults to encourage and discuss with them these kinds of topics.

            I have recently found out that there is one student who has a bit of a temper. I’m going to have to watch out for him during my lesson. I’ll have to keep him on task so he doesn’t attempt to bother the other students while they work. That makes for four students who will need extra attention. The two friends, who will likely chatter and get off task, will have to be watched and encouraged to keep on task. And the girl who needs extra daily attention will likely end up doing her own thing to the ball bounce animation which I will not discourage as long as she is learning what is needed to be learned.

            Students often come over to read my observations and I let them. I figure that there is nothing to hide from them and maybe it would be good for them to see another perspective. But sometimes I switch from observations to show them some drawing skills.

            After story time, Mrs. Williams proposed setting a goal. Finish the “Famous Person” project by the time the Irish party happens they earn some sort of reward. However, things began to get too noisy and Mrs. Williams had to be done. The idea is still in action but needs to be saved for another day. The students are behind in projects and lack motivation or get off task easily, which is the reason for the goal. Hopefully, the students will be ready tomorrow to discuss the goal appropriately.








March 17th


I start off by being assigned to check on students as they do their “Famous Person” projects. Everyone I checked on was doing well, the boy with some anger issues had decided to pleasure read instead. However, he’s actually a little bit ahead so I didn’t feel too worried about him. I was asked to work with a student who hadn’t started the project due to being ill. I did work along with him in an attempt to keep him on task, he was able to finish making the place his famous person was born.

I stayed in for recess since it’s so cold out but I found that the third grade teachers had sent out surveys to parents on homework. What a wonderful idea! Apparently they got a wide range of responses, some parents say no homework and others say not enough!

For a little while the students learned about the Spring Solstice from a teacher who had to watch the students while Mrs. William’s needed to step out. The teacher had them listen to the book she was reading about New Years in different cultures and then had the students mediate to their renewed self for the New Year. 

Kenwood School: Week 7

Kenwood Elementary - Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade - 0 hrs.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to this week's classes due to transportation troubles and other events. 

Kenwood School: Week 6

Kendwood Elementry - Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade - 5.0 hrs. 


March 2, 2016

Today was a relaxed day, not much noise or trouble. There were a few incidents where they would get noisy but that would instantly stop when Mrs. Williams reminded them what they were supposed to be doing. The students created and worked with kaleidoscopes today.

At lunch the girl who needs extra attention wasn’t talking to anybody, she was just standing and playing by herself. When I went over to interact with her I asked her if it had been a good day. She was honest and said no, that she got in trouble at their specialist class (it happened to be music). I see a lot of similarities and differences between this class and the previous one I assisted. At Myers-Wilkins many students had behavior issues, and Mrs. Williams’ class I can tell has a lot of children who have trouble with this too.

Mrs. Boyson was not as strict as Mrs. Williams from my time spent with each teacher so far. Mrs. Boyson is a great teacher for 5th graders because they already have a sense of what is right and wrong and therefore don't need to disciplined right away unless absolutely necessary, she would also let a few things slide recognizing that it’s just a part of the students’ personality and a way to build responsibility and problem solving skills.

Mrs. Williams' teaching style works for 3rd graders because they are still learning and developing their sense of right and wrong. Students this age also like to test their limits, so clear, fair and timely discipline is just right for this age group. 



Kenwood School: Week 5

Kenwood Elementary – Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade – 5 hrs

February 24, 2016

I come in when the students go get their lunch and bring it back to their classroom. Today is a special day because the fourth and fifth graders are putting on the play Pinocchio.  Right when I come through the door I am greeted one of my third grade friends who sang to me last week. She talked to me about her day and her lunch. Then went on to eat. The students were noisy since this was going to be their recess. At the table closest to me a little girl got angry and hit one of her peers, lightly, but it was still ill intent. I talked to her a little bit and it made me wonder if this is a common occurrence among kids in general. I think this particular student is not a bully but was acting on her feelings.  She’s very hyper and loves talking to her desk-mates.

After lunch we go down to the play, which was in the “multi-purpose” room which has a stage and where lunch is held every school day.  The play was beautifully done and the all the students showed magnificent talent.  Mrs. William’s class sat next to Mrs. Green’s, both classes were very well behaved and quiet. On the walk back up to the classroom the girl who was having troubles last Friday decided to grab my hand. I noticed that other students where pairing up and holding hands while walking up the stairs.

February 26, 2016

Before entering the classroom, two students where outside the door. Today, we had the substitute that Mrs. Williams told me about Wednesday. I found out from the aid in the classroom that there have been students who have been misbehaving. She’s been writing down kids’ names for Mrs. Williams to see who wasn’t respecting the substitute. The girl who needs extra attention from the teacher was very kind to me today offering me lunch money. I declined and ate lunch in the Staff’s Lounge. Before I ate I found a space called the “Piano Lab” which I was astounded by.

I had a very enriching conversation with the substitute as the students had recess. We talked about his time teaching in Chicago where he lived most of his life and I talked about how beneficial I think it would be to have more media-based arts in the school. From there I tried to figure out from other teachers if Minneapolis has more media-based arts. I know that my cousin’s school in the suburbs uses iPad instead of textbooks during their school year. I wasn’t able to find anyone who knew for sure since it appears all the third grade teachers are out for the day.

Since today was Friday the students had reading buddies with their first grade friends. Everyone was on task and behaved until towards the end things began to get a bit active. Also, I noticed today was a “Spirit Day” for the school, today kids dressed up as their favorite character. I hope to participate in the next spirit day, as teachers dress up as well! 


Kenwood School: Week 4

Kenwood Elementary - Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade - 5 hrs. 

February 17, 2016

I came in while the students were learning about what does and doesn’t make a polygon. Students were engaged in an activity where they say out loud if the shape Mrs. Williams was pointing at was a polygon or not. Soon after we went to lunch (ran out of the main entrée but there was a back-up, which was still equally as nutritious) and recess. During recess two girls from Mrs. Williams’ class caught me wandering around before the teachers where outside, we played by crushing ice with our feet and then the girls sang their talent show song for me (“Roar” by Katy Perry).

It took a while after lunch to get the students settled. Mrs. Williams is hilarious aIt took a while after lunch to get the students settled. Mrs. Williams is hilarious and has a great sense of humor for a third grade classroom, the kids have picked up on her personality and have somewhat copied her.  Mrs. Williams reads about African-American history. Bessie Coleman, a female pilot; Jesse Owens, an Olympic gold medalist; Marian Anderson, female performer that sang at the Lincoln Memorial; Jackie Robinson, first African-American major league baseball player.

Students learn about financial literacy with a Time Magazine for Kids. The magazine focused very intently on celebrities and how they save money. The magazine also goes over choosing what you want to do with your life at eleven and using your likes from that age to decide, though I don’t know if I agree with this being mentioned.

I am wondering about putting that much pressure on eleven-year-olds and if it might be too much pressure too soon. For example, this kind of talk can go into their twenties making them feel like failures. There are many twenty-year-olds who still don’t know what they want to do career-wise. I think the financial literacy focus of the magazine is good and helpful but I hope that putting pressure on students to know what they want so early might be better considered if children dreamed a bit more and thought about all of the options they had or might dream of having. 



February 19, 2016

             When I walked in, Mrs. Williams was meeting up with reading groups to check in on how far they were (predictions, responses, questions) with their readings. Students were a bit chaotic, they were supposed to be doing homework and reading, instead they were chatting. However, when I come in (11:30) it’s only a half hour away from lunch so that may be why. It’s too icy and rainy for students to go outside today.

            On Fridays they have reading buddies with Mrs. Frank’s first grade class. Some well-behaved third-graders are assigned some excitable first graders, doing this it show these young ones what good behavior looks like. For the last fifteen minutes students fill out their planners and get ready to be sent home. Overall today was more event-fill and noisy than the Wednesdays I’ve been here.

            I talked with Mrs. Williams after class about a student who I noticed was very distressed. I asked if this was a regular for this student and I was notified that this was an everyday problem for them. I feel Mrs. Williams handled the student’s distress very well and I was ecstatic to see that she sat down with them to give them one-on-one attention. The sort of teaching I want to do in the future is more personal with students than other teachers have told me is obtainable. Seeing a teacher who is able to hold down a class while also giving students the attention they need gives me a sense of hope. 

Kenwood School: Week 3

Kenwood Elementary - Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade - 0 hrs. 

I had to call in this Wednesday and there was no school my next available day. 

Kenwood School: Week 2

Kenwood School - Jacquelyn Williams - 2.5 hours

Mrs. Williams is out of class today; the class has a substitute named Mrs. Allen. Even with a sub the students have been nothing but respectful towards her. They’re a bit more excited than when with Mrs. Williams but I assume that’s just because of a different teacher, not out of disrespect.

The students have just come back from a field trip from Connect Concert seeing the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. They are given a few minutes to talk about the trip and then are instructed to silently read. If they don’t have a book they must put their head down on their desk and sit quietly. I think this can be a good incentive for kids to read as sitting there doesn’t look like fun.

The students are released to get ready for lunch in “squads”, each of which is a group of desks. One squad is four desks, another is six desks and then there is two squads of ten desks. The classroom is a bit crowded with thirty students in total. The walls have a lot of decoration such as paper-mache space planets, the alphabet in two places and work from the kids. Mrs. Williams has kept bouncing exercise-like balls with small pegs at the bottom in her classroom.

Students have taken a longer lunch and recess than I had anticipated today, an hour and fifteen minutes. Likely this has happened because of Mrs. Williams having to take a sudden leave earlier in the day and not having enough time to set up a lesson plan for Mrs. Allen.  

Students are being given the option to start their reflection piece for their field trip they took earlier today. As a story Mrs. Williams has assigned for the sub to read to them, they write about their day. Mrs. Williams, typically, has the students use sign language to ask what they need to get up for (such as water, bathroom, tissue, etc.).

Mrs. Allen has a tender and patient way of disciplining the students. She waits patiently until they are ready and if it takes too long, respectfully lets them know that she is ready to start. At the end of story time the students begin to put their chairs on top of their desks before they go to put on their winter gear. 

Kenwood School: Week 1

Kenwood Elementary - Mrs. Williams, 3rd Grade - 2.5 hrs

Introduction went well. Students were very attentive and interested in my practice. I told them about my school and what I practice but I forgot to mention why I was here. I think most students caught on that I’m here to learn how to teach them animation but many had to ask to clarify. I feel I have gained more confidence in my introductions since my last site but I still waver from time to time.

One student came over to me telling me, “One thing you need to know about our class is that we are very noisy! We are rarely ever quiet, we really can’t be.” And then went on that when they do become quiet it’s because Mrs. Williams asks them to be or other students request it.

Mrs. Williams disciplines by reminding them that she doesn’t have to be here, that this is their education. I believe that this can be very beneficial to getting the children to realize how much of a privilege education has really become. This method quiets the students quickly and gets them back on task. 

Myers-Wilkins Elementary School

January 13, 2016

In Mrs. Boyson’s class:

Every time I walk in on their math time they’re doing some sort of interactive math activity. Today they are taking large fraction cards and have to figure out what order they go in using their learned math skills. I think this is a great way to get students interested in math. By having students use their body and own acquired math skills they are more likely to remember the material.

Though it is just 6 degrees out the students went outside today. A large reason for this is because they will be going on a field trip to Portage so the staff is trying to get them to remember to dress warmly. I think this will be helpful in getting the student to remember hearty winter clothing for their trip.


Myers-Wilkins Elementary School

January 12, 2016

In Art Room:

I first saw 1st graders today, who were creating self-portraits. When I introduced myself the students were very enthusiastic about animation. I worked mainly with three students who all needed extra help. A boy, with special needs, behaved well and completed his work. Though he got off task multiple times trying to get my attention while I was working with other students. He called himself my “biggest fan” and when I would say, “My biggest fan would…” he would do what ever I asked him and I used this to get him to stay on task. He hugged me before he went back to his regular classroom. Another little boy had a hard time listening to instructions in the beginning. But he eventually got the hang of things. One child was frustrated because she couldn’t make hers look like the teachers’. We went out in the hall and had a talk about how artists use their mistakes to the make the art better. With my encouragement she was able to go from behind everyone in the class to ahead of everyone in the project.

The second 1st grade class I saw I was assigned at table for one certain student who would get off task but when I sat down he was excited to show me every mark he made in his work. Their was a child who was a bit rambunctious and I think he was just excited to see a new face. 

Myers-Wilkins Elementary School

January 8th, 2016

STEM Day: the class was shown games, which were received with gasps of amazement on the “STEM” Cart. While playing with the toys they are very engaged. Moving on from the cart the students are assigned to create a doghouse using certain materials they are given, which include marshmallows, straws, wax paper, clay and tinfoil.  Mrs. Boyson brought marshmallows to eat and not just use to build. I was asked to work with a girl who was very enthusiastic about building. One student claimed to us that our finished doghouse wasn’t supposed to have any holes, which ours did. But there were no consequences so it seemed okay. My building partner added a dog bowl, bed, dress, garden, and dressing room. Students are learning architecture terms (frame, beams, foundation, scaflting). One boy, was focused on the accessories same as my partner.

Because of the project I was able to observe and gauge students personalities and work ethnics. Specifically there are three very intelligent girls; they are the girls who created the “intricate” house. They caught on fairly quickly and brought in more than what was expected. The one boy gains inspiration from his peers. Another girl in an all girls group gave up when she had to compromise with her peers but works best by herself. My building partner was more focused on the creative side than figuring out what works best to make the house stand. 

Myers-Wilkins Elementary School

January 7th, 2016

Reflections on Teaching Strategies the Teachers use at Myers-Wilkins and Classroom Management

Ms. Boyson: She’s gives a lot of genuine compliments. She’s able to find a balance between speaking to the students as teenagers and as children. She is very respectful towards them. At 10:00am they students have recess and lunch, Mrs. Boyson prepares for next lessons. After break they have story time, she asks the couple of rambunctious kids take themselves aside to center themselves then come back when they are calmer and can listen. Students are quiet; somewhat attentive a few look sleepy. I wonder what could happen if they were allowed to draw out the scene being read? 

She asks how the students relate to the book. Asking, “Where are you from?” and “What are you thinking right now?” Mrs. Boyson even admits to being immature herself to get on their level of understanding. She wants students to connect and think deeply about the characters in the book. 

In Art: the students are more active in Art than they are in their classrooms. I am unsure why some students are behaving differently but I think it’s the change in environment as well as working with a teacher they only see every 8 days. Things calm during work time. I wonder if they consider art a second recess?

Myers-Wilkins Elementary School

January 4, 2016    

I arrived at the elementary school at 8:40am to meet the teacher I will be shadowing for the next two weeks at 8:45am. I had told her prior that I would find my way to the art room and come to her.

It was Ms. Isenberg’s Prep Day. She uses this day (Day 2 on the 8 day cycle) to prepare for this week’s classes. Though it is her day off from classes, Ms. Isenberg must still be there for the school day. This week she has every grade level, K-5. The Kindergarteners use cardboard stamps and ink to create a house structure. First graders create a self-portrait. Second grade, this week they make colorful pieces of paper they paint on that they will use for next week’s landscape collage. I didn’t help with third grade prep nor did I get to observe the third grade. And fifth graders are going to be assigned to do a collage that will go into the next week.

 I helped prepare for the kindergarten, first grade, and second grade lessons. For kindergarten I cut out the rest of the cardboard stamps needed. First grade, I created head cutout samples for kids to trace from. And second grade, I prepared a significant amount of tan paint for students.

When I had told Ms. Isenberg that I needed to get home she had me meet with the principal, Mrs. Heilig. We had a 15min discussion on what class I will be teaching and at this time we were looking at the first group of forth graders that had art tomorrow or the fifth graders. At this point, it was a matter of figuring out teacher’s schedules and what students would work best with my practice, animation.