Sunday, January 8, 2017


In order to keep a healthy balance of work vs. not work  (something I struggle with) I decided I needed a hobby.  I had attended a few painting parties and really enjoyed myself.  My great-grandmother had taken up painting at the age of 60 so why couldn't I.  It's never too late! In the age of YouTube you can learn almost anything.  I had taught a couple of soccer players to tie their ties on game day via YouTube.  There are some fabulous YouTube creators out there who share their passion through weekly lessons. I stumbled upon a wonderful artist who refers to herself as The Art Sherpa and her Big Art Quest series, I painted a pair of pears and the rest is history.  Through her site and her collaborations with other artists I found other YouTubers who are out there doing the same thing.  I love how they collaborate, just like we do as math teachers. I actually whip out my graphing calculator while painting, (it is the only calculator I own) to measure out proportions and scale.  Math is everywhere guys!!

I hang some of my creations in my class and my students love them.  Some of them love them so much I give them away.  I have had to stop that practice recently because I was running out of paintings and couldn't keep up.   They all think I am some crazy wickedly good artist with a hidden talent, so not true!!  This is a lesson to them on how you can learn to do almost anything with some effort and a desire.  I show them the good and the bad, let them know we are all life long learners, we just need to find what we like and do it.

Here are a few of my latest creations I made time to do over the break.  Some are straight off the tutorials and others I felt brave and did my own thing.

Bob Ross technique from Cive5Art Tutorial

African Ladies inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest

African Family another Clive5Art Tutorial

Coffee Cups an Angela Anderson Tutorial

Sun and Moon, Inspired by Painting with Jane 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

My Favorites

This week we talked about what we want to achieve in 2017 and wrote about them and posted them around the class.  I got the usual hemming and hawing associated with writing in math class, but we were writing inside of numbers, so it must be math!

These are my favorite activities when I get a chance to connect with my students, when we sit and talk, color, draw.   I will add some pictures later of the creative work they did.  This year my room has turned into a "hangout" for an eclectic group of young people.  I have my son and his gamer friends.  His band friends who play Smash Bros.  I work with a club that helps the ELL students at my school so some of them come and hang out and then there are my Sped students, (the kids who are in my math classes).  I invited them to partake in the 2017 activity.  Some looked surprised others were like yeah right, I have 45 minutes and I just want to sleep on the big comfy beanbag.  Those who did were touched that I wanted to know what their goals were and even more pleased that I was going to display their 2017 amongst the others.

My favorites this week were less about the math and more about the connections.  This year I want to "zero" in on my blogging and the "one" thing I want to definitely work on is my organizational skills.  I am hoping that blogging about my days will help me organize myself a little better.  The "two" things I am looking forward to this year are my son's graduation and him going off to college.  Well, I say that now, ask me in June and I'll be a hot mess.  I'll save the "seven" for later.