Have You Hugged a Blogger Lately?

Bloggers are some of the most innovate, selfless and exciting people in art education today. They are encouraging us on bad days, providing ideas for our next art projects, and are overall cool people. Often, teachers come up to me and say “Oh, I got this great idea from Pinterest,” but in reality, they probably got the idea from a blogger, and Pinterest just helped them find it. (Let’s give credit where credit is due!)

There are so many bloggers who are sharing new ideas with the rest of us on a weekly basis. They are doing this out of their own free time. They deserve some major props and virtual high fives! 

When Mr. E goes to conferences, I know he gets a lot of hugs. If you can’t hug a blogger in person, try one of these three ideas to show them some love today!



3 Ways to Show Your Favorite Bloggers Some Love! 


1. Comment!

If you are an avid reader of a blog, but are always creeping around the sidelines and never comment, give it a try! Ask questions, interact – they will love to hear from you. Comments are one way you can show a blogger you are reading and that you care. 


2. Nominate your favorite blogs for “Art Ed Blog of the Year.”

Yep, we are running our annual contest right now! You can nominate your favorite blogs right here. This year, we’re shaking things up a bit with all new categories which include “Best Elementary Blog,” “Best Secondary Blog,” “Best Rising Star,” and “Best Wild Card.” It will be really fun to see all the finalists and learn some new resources along the way, but first we need your nominations!


3. Attend the Winter AOE Online Conference on January 31st.

The faces and names of some of your favorite bloggers will be visible at the conference. They include Tim Bogatz from East Art Room, Cassie Stephens, Nic Hahn from Mini Matisse, Don Masse from Shine Bright Zamorano, Tracy Hare from Art at Becker Middle School, Jen Carlisle from Art in the Middle School, Ted Edinger from Art with Mr. E, and Jen Impey from Art Room 104

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.45.38 AM

Come out and show them some support and see what they really look and sound like. Along with visiting their blogs, go ahead and use the arrows below to learn more about each of their presentations. I am so excited for you to meet them!

[learn_more caption=”‘You Made a Print with What?!’ – Pushing Printmaking to the Next Level | Tim Bogatz”] [one_fourth]Tim [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

‘You Made a Print with What?!’ – Pushing Printmaking to the Next Level | Timothy Bogatz

Printmaking always interests our students, but too often it doesn’t go anywhere beyond simple linoleum block prints at the HS/MS level. Tim will demonstrate printmaking techniques from his classroom and share some of his processes, lessons, and ideas that will expand the scope of printmaking possibilities in your classroom.

Tim writes for AOE and teaches art at Bellevue East High School, a 9-12 school of 1,500 students just south of Omaha, Nebraska. Tim is focused on helping his students learn creativity, problem solving, and higher-order thinking skills, through a variety of art mediums. [/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Warning: Your Students May Become Addicted to Weaving After Watching this Presentation | Cassie Stephens”] [one_fourth]Casie-Stephens [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

Warning: Your Students May Become Addicted to Weaving After Watching this Presentation | Cassie Stephens

When you teach your students to weave, you are taking them on an art adventure that introduces history, math, science and color theory, just to name a few! Beginning in kindergarten, I introduce my students to the wonderful world of weaving with paper. Every year, I build on that basic skill of creating a loom, warping and weaving over and under with projects like circle loom weaving, pouch creating, belt weaving and many more! I will walk you through my scope and sequence to teach weaving at all levels, along with some unique project ideas to get your students excited about weaving. Get ready to watch your students blossom and become totally addicted to this wonderful, hands-on craft.

Cassie Stephens has been teaching art to kindergarten through fourth grade students in the Nashville, Tennessee area for the past 15 years. She blogs about her art lessons, her DIY’s and what she wore in the art room at [/three_fourth_last][/learn_more][learn_more caption=”Making Mediums Meaningful | Nic Hahn”] [one_fourth]Nic-140 [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

Making Mediums Meaningful | Nic Hahn

This year I started to really concentrate on the idea of Mediums. I have tried for years to get the kids to know, understand and use the word medium when talking about art. I decided to take the small concept and really explore it. Using mediums as the focus of my art room warm up, a school-wide event, and incorporating it their other subjects, I have been able to teach my students, staff members, and parents what a medium is.

Nic Hahn is an AOE Instructor and authors the popular blog, Mini Matisse, where she shares creative ideas and positive attitudes about teaching. Nic has worked with all types of learners (Pre-school though adults) and has discovered so loves teaching at all levels.[/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Effortlessly Track Student Growth Visually with the “ARTifacts” Method | Tracy Hare”] [one_fourth]Tracy-140 [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

Effortlessly Track Student Growth Visually with the “ARTifacts” Method | Tracy Hare

Let’s face it…student self-assessment and tracking student progress are some of the most mundane topics in art ed. However, art education lends itself to documenting student growth visually more than any other discipline. In this presentation, discover how to encourage students to independently demonstrate reflection, growth and express connections between what you teach in class and the “big ideas” of art education. Peek into the hybrid method I’ve created called, ARTifacts: Self-Assessment, Reflection and Tracking Student Progress. Templates and documents will be provided to help you visually track growth for each of your students.

With more than a decade of middle school art education experience in central Minnesota, Tracy’s passion is enabling students to find connections between art, other disciplines and the world around us. She is excited to be joining the AOE’s writing team as a new member this winter. [/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Taking Control with Teacher Led PD | Ted Edinger”] [one_fourth]TED [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

Taking Control with Teacher Led PD | Ted Edinger

You know your strengths & weaknesses! Your peers know their strengths & weaknesses! So why don’t you do something with this knowledge! Teacher led PD’s can be THE BEST PD out there because they aren’t “removed” from the situation…THEY ARE LIVING IT! Learn some tips & tricks to developing teacher led PD in a variety of environments.

Ted Edinger (also known as Mr. E from Art With Mr. E) has been teach elementary art in Nashville, Tn since 1997. He has served on the writing team for the TN State Standards & District Curriculum, represented TN in setting the PRAXIS Cut Score, led sessions about blogging at the NAEA National Convention(’13 & ’14), and is a mentor for area universities & for MNPS. [/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”How to Rock the Sketchbook in Your Art Room! | Jen Impey”] [one_fourth]Jen-Impey [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

How to Rock the Sketchbook in Your Art Room! | Jen Impey

Learn some tips and tricks to smoothly integrate the sketchbook into your curriculum in a meaningful way to your students! This presentation will cover how to use the sketchbook on a daily basis, how to eliminate groans about sketchbooks, how to use the sketchbook as a reflection tool, and so much more! With a little something for everyone, see how sketchbooks can be used from lower elementary all the way to high school.

This is my fifth year teaching art in a very small, low income district. For my first three years, I was a k-6 teacher working at 83%. Last year I became the only art teacher in my district, seeing k-12. I work very closely with my district on APPR and Common Core integration. I also write my own blog that focuses on how I integrate Common Core into my art curriculum.[/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more] [learn_more caption=”Insanely Successful School-Wide Projects | Don Masse and Nic Hahn”] [one_fourth]DonNic-140 [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

Insanely Successful School-Wide Projects | Don Masse and Nic Hahn

Each year your school climate and student population can change drastically. How can you build community and bring everyone together? School wide projects, that’s how! This presentation will outline low stress, high impact opportunities to re-engage your students while creating a collaborative work of art that brings your school community together. Nic Hahn and Don Masse will share ways of doing this from different ends of technological spectrum. While their approaches may be different, the impact on their school communities is quite similar.

Don Masse teaches at Zamorano Fine Arts Academy, a public elementary school with a visual arts focus where, in 2008 and 2011, he was named the school’s Teacher of the Year. He writes about his art-room experiences on his blog, Nic Hahn is an AOE Instructor and authors the popular blog, Mini Matisse, where she shares creative ideas and positive attitudes about teaching. [/three_fourth_last]

[/learn_more][learn_more caption=”One App: 4 Lessons | Jennifer Carlisle”] [one_fourth]Jen-Carlisle [/one_fourth] [three_fourth_last]

One App: 4 Lessons | Jennifer Carlisle

Incorporating new technology can be a daunting task. Teaching to a room full of 10 and 11 year old techno wizards can be downright scary. This presentation will introduce you to one simple App called “Drawing Pad.” I will show you how to create 4 different lessons from start to finish. You will leave a little more confident in your iPad creation skills, and with a list of some of my favorite art apps, too!

Jen Carlisle is a middle school art teacher in Norfolk, Ne. Teaching since 2001, she is always looking for new ways to open the amazing world of art to her students. She recently joined the AOE team and is very excited to be presenting online for her first time at this conference. [/three_fourth_last]



What are some ways you show bloggers your appreciation? 

What was the latest idea you received from a blog and implemented in your classroom?




Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

More from Jessica