Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Preparing for YAM!

Today I had a meeting with my principal to get some of my ideas approved for Youth Art Month in March.  I hate to admit it, but I haven't done anything for YAM in the last two years I taught, nor did I really realize it existed until I started following blogs!  In particular, it was Adventures of an Art Teacher's blog that first introduced me to YAM.  That particular post is also where I'm going to steal my first idea for YAM from!  I'm going to turn one of my bulletin boards into the YAM logo and invite students and teachers alike to reflect upon what they're favorite thing about art is/was and write it in the logo.

After attending a workshop at the NYSATA conference back in November, I was really inspired to do some YAM activities.  While I won't be able to live my dream of having our first annual parent-student art night at school due to time restraints (that will be next year's goal), I have some great ideas that my principal gladly accepted and expanded on that we are going to attempt this year.

In March, we have three full weeks of school (the last week, we have Friday off for Good Friday), so I plan on doing 3 1/2 weeks of "stuff".

The first week will be an art spirit week to kick things off.
     Monday:  Wear primary colors.
     Tuesday:  Wear secondary colors.
     Wednesday:  Wear complementary colors.
     Thursday:  Wear a warm or cool colored outfit.
     Friday: Crazy patterns day.

Then, on week two, Friday will be a big dress up day...dress like a piece of pop art!  In other words, wear popular logos, popular style clothing, polka-dots/stripes, etc.

Week three on Friday will be dress like your favorite artist or artwork day, and that's the day we're both really excited for!  Sometimes, teachers at our school don't like to go above and beyond what they are supposed to be doing, so we decided this might be a good way to practice linking Common Core between the specials.  I plan on working with our librarian to set aside all the books about artists that we have in the library.  We're going to ask that each teacher choose an artist to read about in class, and then I'll follow up with an art project in each class based on that artist.  I'll also send home a packet with students with some photos of popular artists/artworks and suggestions as to how they can dress up like that artist/artwork.

Next Monday, at our staff meeting, I'm going to introduce all of this to the teachers, so they know it is coming up, and then at our staff meeting in March, I'm going to set up stations for teachers to participate in art themselves based on a few artists, just to pull them in, get them in the mood, and hopefully make them more willing to participate through their classrooms.  I'm thinking some Jackson Pollock action painting, some Andy Warhol hand prints, some quick Monet waterlilies paintings, and maybe some monochromatic Van Goghs might be some quick and easy stations to set up.  Brainstorming is still in the works for this, but those are my beginning ideas.  This will be the first time teachers will be participating in something like this at our district, EVER so it's quite exciting!

I'm also dabbling with the idea of making random Facebook page bulletin boards for around the school for some of those famous artists...


  1. You go girl! Can you bottle up some of your energy and send it my way?! It all sounds like fun! Good luck with it! I look forward to seeing your posts about it! :)

  2. I don't know how you find the time! Great ideas.

    At our school, Red Ribbon week is a similar event and even that now gathers many complaints because it takes time away from teaching. Good luck, I really hope it works well for you and look forward to seeing photos.

  3. I'm so excited about your spirit days! My Art Ed professor in college gave extra credit if we wore outfits that fit color schemes when he talked about it. I always thought it would be fun to do at school but I'm split 3 days at one and 2 days at the other so I've never tried. Good luck with all your plans! Also, check to see if your state Art Education Association does a YAM scrapbook. If so, they'd probably love to have a report and photos from your YAM events!

    1. They do. I met the two women who are NY's YAM coordinators/people...whatever you want to call them...at the NYSATA conference. That's where I got a lot of the ideas I want to try and put together. Let's just say the only reason I probably have enough time on my hands to do this is because I don't have any kids yet! ;-)