Sunday, November 20, 2011

My two workshops - SUCCESS!

These are scenes from a workshop I taught at the NYSATA conference this weekend. Attendees were learning how to make a trihexaflexagon, a tetratetraflexagon, and if they were brave enough, a kaleidocycle. HUH?! Look these things up if you've never heard of them; they are a wonderful link between art and math, and the trihexaflexagon could even be used for multicultural lessons in Islamic tile design (a social studies link!). They can be used to teach color theory, symmetry, and could link to lessons on M.C. Escher. Fit that all into your Common Core Standards, everyone!!!

I think everyone looks busy and happy, don't you? There were, I think 43 attendees, who, due to a scheduling problem with the hotel (we didn't get the promised block of workshop rooms), skipped a keynote speaker to attend this workshop, and stuck it out with me for almost 2 hours!

I was honored that they made the decision to come to my workshop despite the keynote and other offerings, and was gratified by their overwhelmingly positive responses. Thank you everyone for being great students and trusting me with your time! You were all fabulous students - please feel free to email me with any questions or problems you run into when you try this project without me there to help you fold.
*And thanks to the kind participant who willingly took my camera and shot these photos for me. I didn't get your name, but I really appreciate your help.

**By the way, if YOU are one of the people IN one of these pictures, and you don't want it on my post, just let me know which picture by leaving a comment below or sending me an email and I'll gladly remove it immediately. But honestly, you all look beautiful to me!

And then there was my other workshop (Come Blog with Me)!!

I was so worried about technology working OK that I forgot to get photos. (sorry) So here's a photo of my wonderful co-worker who attended the conference with me. While I was teaching my workshop about blogging, she was at a different workshop learning about Korean theater masks. Isn't she lovely? She had already heard my whole workshop, at 10pm the night before, in our hotel room. I wasn't going to ask her to sit through it again.

But anyhow, if you've been reading my prior posts, I want you to know that the internet worked without a hitch, and after sorting out a minor glitch with the projector, everything else went smoothly. I would have liked a larger audience (I didn't count but I'll guess there were 25 or so attendees) but I know there were lots of workshops scheduled concurrently, and we art teachers do LOVE our hands-on workshops so you have to hope you get the audience. Hopefully spending an hour with me was worthwhile to those who attended.

The primary goal in my workshop was to let people know three things:
  1. How EASY it is to blog and read blogs (and how much fun it is to do this).
  2. That blogs are a great source for lesson ideas, information exchange, dialogue, and more.
  3. And that for art teachers who often work in isolation (no other art teachers in the school, and maybe working at more than one school, so always on the run), I wanted to share what a wonderful supportive and collaborative community we have formed through blogging. Art teachers need not ever feel alone.
That's it for now; I'll post a little more about the conference later.


  1. Looks like lots of smiles and fun! Wish I could have been there!

  2. I would have loved to have my bloggy-buddies in the room - how cool would that be?!

  3. Great Job Phyl! I presented a week ago and had a great turnout as well. I always worry about technical difficulties so glad you had no problems!!! :) It is always exciting to share with others :) Laura

  4. Congrats, Phyl! Sounds like a great time was had by all!! Bet you are happy to home with a bunch of new ideas:)

  5. I would have loved to have been there too! Everyone looks completely entertained and "into it." Congrats!

  6. Hey Phyl,

    Glad you had a good time and your workshops were successful and well attended. I know I always feel refreshed and fired up after attending aconference with like minded people!


  7. P.S. Your hair is getting long! :)

  8. I was thinking the same, Pat - my mental picture of you is always of your cute short hair - but I like it long too.
    Glad everything was successful - you remind me that I still need to blog about how much fun I had at my state conference!

  9. Your hair IS getting long! And AWESOME job! You are truly an inspiration to many fellow art teachers! Keep it up : )

  10. About the hair - in my younger days, I had thick almost black hair, down to my waist. But once I started cutting it, I was stuck. But now I'm trying again - my goal is to look like an old hippie with a long silver braid down my back. A return to my roots, you might say. Getting it through this middle stage is the tough part. Too short to tie back, but too long to NOT tie back on some days.

  11. Good times Phyl!!!! I'm sure everyone was blessed by them(how could they not be!?!?) It sure would be fun to all meet up(all us bloggie buddies)...maybe a National conference one of these years(not NY for me..maybe Texas..thinkt hat is the next years).

  12. looks like a fun time! Did you get any feedback about the blogging. I am just curious if they knew how many of "us" there were blogging. We should take a poll of who is going to Nationals in NYC in March. Maybe would plan a meeting are sooo right it would be cool to meeteveryone in person.

  13. congrats on the successful workshops! wish i could still grow MY hair long:)

  14. Love everything! The hair, the famous jacket, the smiles all around!

  15. Wow! I just started an elementary art blog and would love advice. I have been checking your blog for the last year and now subscribe. Is the presentation (powerpoint) for your blogging workshop anywhere on line? Do you have a pdf you wouldn't mind sending? Thanks so much.
    Rina V.