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Conference week is finally here! With Art Ed Now coming up in just two days, AOEU’s Lindsey Moss joins Tim to preview everything coming up on Thursday. They talk about Lindsey’s excitement for her upcoming conference presentation, her love of putting together giant packets of information and resources to share with everyone, and the presentations they are most looking forward to this time around. Full episode transcript below.
Tim: Welcome to Art Ed Radio, the podcast for art teachers. This show is produced by The Art of Education University, and I’m your host, Tim Bogatz. Now, over the past few months, you have heard me talk maybe a little too much about the Art Ed Now conference. This week it is finally here. This Thursday is the day, and honestly, I am feeling excitement, and I am relieved because we’ve been planning this conference for the better part of six months. It’s just a really nice feeling to have the week get here, and have everything ready to go.
All the downloads are ready; resources are ready; schedule is ready. Our feature presenter Ron Clark is ready, and honestly, the day is going to be spectacular. I think Ron Clark has more energy than the rest of the presenters combined, so it’s going to be a really good time. You are going to love seeing him. And if you have not signed up for the conference yet, what are you doing with your life? But you can go do it now at artednow.com. It’s amazing way to start out the year.
Unfortunately, a lot of us are thinking about the school year already, because it’s getting so close. In fact, in previous years, we have done this the first week of August, and we actually had to move it up because there’s so many people who go back to school the first week of August. It’s ridiculous. My wife, she teaches seventh grade history; but she goes back on August 4th, I think. I’ve even heard from some teachers who go back July 31st. August hasn’t even started, and they have to be back at school; it is unreal.
Anyway, the conference is Thursday. As you are listening to this, I am probably driving to AOEU headquarters to make all of our final preparations. If you’re thinking about going, there’s still time to register, but you literally have two days. You can sign up today, you can sign up tomorrow; and that is about it.
One other thing that I’m excited about for this conference, before we dive into everything else here; I’m actually doing a presentation this time around. I did a lot of them back in the day before I was actually in charge of the conference, but now I’m usually just hosting. That’s changing this time around, because Artsonia… who’s one of our platinum sponsors… asked me to record a presentation for them. And I love Artsonia for everything that they do in the classroom; for everything that they do to help us put on the conference. So obviously I need to say yes to that.
My presentation is about how all of the extra money you make from Artsonia can supplement your budget, and provide even more educational opportunities for your students. So make sure you take out that presentation, and make sure you check out Artsonia at www.artsonia.com.
Now, as far as our guest today, I think you will enjoy hearing from her. Lindsey Moss, one of our most popular conference presenters, is here to talk everything about Art Ed Now. We’re going to chat about her presentation; her famous, or infamous, huge packets of resources that she always puts together for everyone; and talk about what she’s looking most forward to at the conference. How she spends her day. Let’s bring her on and go ahead and get things started.
As is always the case with our conference preview episode, Lindsey Moss is joining me now. Lindsey, how are you?
Lindsey: Good, how are you Tim?
Tim: I am doing really well. I am a little stressed with everything that needs to be done for the conference, and we are so close; but we are just about there. Let’s talk about it. First of all, before we get into that, I want to know about your summer. Have you been doing school stuff here and there? Are you just taking the summer off and not thinking about school? And what have you been doing in terms of AOEU?
Lindsey: Okay, sure. I feel like I hit it so hard during the school year, there’s a healthy balance not doing anything school-related; at least for June. So it was a lot of biking, hiking, camping with my kids. A lot of outdoors stuff, although the Illinois weather kind of thwarted it this summer. We had a ton of rain. But I’ve been working on a lot of projects for AOE, because those are fun for me. So I do that over the summer.
We’ve been getting ready for some upcoming PRO packs that I’m super excited about. I think some things that are going to be game-changers for art teachers. We’re doing a pack on making data manageable, which is not glamorous but so needed-
Tim: I was going to say, that kind of sounds terrible. But if you can make it as an interesting set of videos, I think I might give that a whirl.
Lindsey: Right? And then one one parent communication, which I know can sometimes be really hard for art teachers. So I’m excited about that. What about you; how has your summer been?
Tim: It’s been good. Same; we had a ton of rain, and now it’s 98, 99, 103 degrees everyday; so that’s not great but we’ll survive it. Same for me, I’ve been camping a lot. My wife hates camping, but my kids love it, so we usually just leave my wife at home and go without her. And that’s okay; it works out well for everybody.
Lindsey: Well, it’s like a vacation for her too.
Tim: But yeah, then the last few weeks have just been focused on conference stuff. So, I’m going to direct the conversation that way. Let’s talk about that. You’re doing a presentation this year on making sketchbooks work, and how you do that in your classroom. A couple questions for you; number one, what appeals to you about that topic of presenting on sketchbooks? And number two, what was the aha moment where you had something good with your sketchbooks, and something that made you say “I need to share this with everybody”?
Lindsey: Over the last couple of years, I’ve really been trying to focus more on process in my elementary classes. I teach K-6, for anyone who doesn’t know that already. I’m kind of looking for ways to get my kids to be more focused on risk taking, and on the process; not the final product. And I feel like a vibrant sketchbook practice lends itself so well to that. All these things we’re really primed to teach, outside of just having kids complete one beautiful art project after another. The really fundamental skills happen in sketchbooks.
I’m kind of the queen of the template; I just really love making worksheets, and activities, and games and manipulatives for my kids. They really respond well to that in my classroom, except with sketchbooks. I kind of dive into this a little bit in my presentation; but it’s interesting that my kids love those things that I make, but then when I was trying to really make a sketchbook that was just a ton of really great ideas for them to use, they kind of rejected that. They were like “Can we just have blank paper?” They wanted to get back to creative process.
Then I had sort of a personal aha moment. If you’re not already following Amber Kane… she works for the Art of Ed… on Instagram, she has an amazing sketchbook practice. She comes from a modern background, and there was one day I was having coffee, and I saw Amber weaving in her sketchbook and I was like “Man, why didn’t I do that?”.
Tim: Can I interrupt you real quick? It’s an amazing thing; she presented on that a couple years ago at the conference and I showed that to my kids at home, and they were just in awe. They watched all 12 minutes or whatever, and then were immediately like “Can we watch that again?” And they have been doing that for the last year and a half or two years. They’re constantly weaving in their sketchbooks. And I don’t know what it is that fascinates them so much about it, but it’s just this amazing thing that they respond to so well.
Lindsey: Right? And it’s like once you start thinking about weaving in a sketchbook, then you start thinking about all those other things you weren’t already naturally thinking maybe you could do. So after I saw Amber’s thing, I was thinking about all the stuff I could have my kids do. Previously, they weren’t painting in sketchbooks; they were just doing dry materials. I started thinking about incorporating painting, incorporating 3D forms that fold up or fold down in a sketchbook. Cutting through the pages of your sketchbook, and all this cool stuff my kids could be doing.
So it ended up, I went back to the template; you know how I am about those. The idea is just to get kids to use the template once, and then to just learn those skills. What would be the procedures for painting in a sketchbook successfully? Or, how could you build something 3D in a sketchbook and then fold it flat? And then after they’ve just used that template the first couple weeks of school to learn those things, take it away. Give them the blank sketchbook. Which is kind of different from what we normally do, but I kind of think that’s what is best practice for my students, anyway.
Tim: That’s awesome. I think those are some great ideas. I think your video dives into a lot of those things, too, so people will really enjoy that presentation. I need to ask you though; I feel like you maybe have been slacking a little bit, because usually your resources… there’s like 60, 70, 80 pages. And there’s only 25 pages, so two questions regarding that. Number one, are you doing okay? And number two, can you tell us what all is in there for people? What kind of resources you have put together?
Lindsey: Yes, it’s true. Normally my beautiful research creation is in this packet, but again, after I discovered in my past that this is the one area where my kids don’t want all the bells and whistles. I have in that packet what I’m using in the fall, and I piloted it with some of my kids this spring and they loved it. It’s basically what I was describing; it’s a printable packet that’s ready to go. Right after the conference, you can download it and print it on your copy machine, and use it on the first day of school.
It’s just a tiny sketchbook made out of copy paper that goes through each of these procedures for each of these types of creatives materials usages in a sketchbook. And then, it’s directions for how you can expand that, and it just turns the kids over to their regular blank sketchbooks. So it’s basically just to teach them those skills, and then let go. So it is very anti-me, because it doesn’t spell everything out, but in this case less is more, I think.
Tim: That’s awesome. I love the idea of how you’re focusing on the process. I love that it’s just kind of teach skills, let them go. I feel like you’re branching out a little bit here. I’m proud of you Lindsey; that’s good. Let me ask you, though; besides your amazing presentations coming, what else are you looking forward to at the conference? Are there some people in particular that you want to see, or is it just kind of sit back enjoy the show; whatever comes, comes to you? How to you approach it?
Lindsey: Oh man, no. I feel like the lineup this time is chock full. I’m going to be scrambling to go to the bathroom, because there’s so much I want to see this time. I’m excited about watching art, because I feel like in the fall you’re really getting amped up for the school. I feel like this is in terms of student engagement and getting teachers really passionate and ready to go for the fall. But then I felt like when I was looking through the conference lineup this year, there’s a lot of things that are new techniques; which is perfect for right before I’m heading back to school. I saw Caitlin Thompson… is that her name?
Lindsey: She’s doing newspaper pottery?
Tim: Yes, it’s going to be amazing. Let me just say, when we were putting this together, one thing I wanted to do is get more art-making and just like you said; more new ideas because this is the time. Everybody wants to try new ideas as they go back to school. Caitlin Thompson, or Art with Coach T, I think she is on Instagram. She’s got these amazing things that are actually pretty simple to build. And she says it’s for anybody who doesn’t have kiln, but honestly it’s for anybody, period. There’s awesome. She does this amazing newspaper pottery, making bowls and cups out of newspaper. She also has an after pass video that does it with magazines.
Anyway, they’re just really, really cool techniques, and I think definitely something that people look forward to. We have that; as you can tell I’m very excited about this. There’s sculpture stuff, there’s jewelry stuff. just so much. There’s cartooning, all kinds of hands-on art making that people-
Lindsey: Wow, and I saw Matt and Craig are going solo this year. Craig with the cartooning and Matt with that mixed media thing?
Tim: Yes, so I was a little skeptical to see how they’re going to do being separately, but they really wanted to. And I think it’s going to turn out well; they both have really cool presentations. They are fighting to see who can be funnier, so we’ll see how that goes.
Lindsey: That’s awesome.
Tim: Cool. Also, I want to ask you a little bit more about the day of the conference. You’re running the chat live from AOEU headquarters… which, by the way, super excited to see you. We’re going to have a good time… but sell us on the chat. Why should people join in the chat? What do you get out of it if you’re going to join in with that?
Lindsey: I feel like the chat is one of the can’t miss aspects of the conference, because I’m lucky; I get to go to my state conference with colleagues from my district every year, and it never fails. I will be in a really awesome presentation with my friend Jamie or Lauren, and something that they say will spark an idea for one of us. And then we’ll lean over and start whispering to each other, and building off of what was just said, and talking about how we could take it to our classroom. Pretty soon, we’re the loud, rude girls in the back of the room. Do you know what I mean?
Lindsey: You’re not supposed to talk when somebody’s presenting, but that’s one of the hundred amazing benefits to an online conference is you can talk. You don’t have to bottle up that creative idea; as soon as you think of something, you can turn to your neighbor and talk about it in the chat. That’s exactly what happens. People start feeding off what the presenter said, and sharing their own experiences or their own ideas. It’s cool because I’ll be in there too, sharing articles that might have been missed from the magazine that might be related; or social media links for the presenters, so if you really love their philosophy or what they’re saying you can go back later and check it out.
Chat’s amazing, and it moves really fast, and I feel like people get worried about that. But it all gets archived, so it’s available later. But the chat is just an extension of everything that the presenter is saying. So for me, it’s almost as important as the presentations themselves.
Tim: Yeah, I think it works really well. Just for people to share ideas; it’s a good forum to expand on what the presenter said, to see what kind of ideas it triggers. The creative spark that it starts with people, which is great. It can be a little overwhelming to see all of that conversation, but you can go back to it later. And honestly, if you miss a little bit of it, it’s not that big of a deal. I would definitely encourage everybody to check that out.
Finally, one last question. You’ve been doing conferences and chats and all this for quite awhile with us now. What would be one or two tips that you have for people to make the most of their conference experience; to get the most out of the day?
Lindsey: Sure, well I guess number one tip, since it’s digital; to get comfy and creative with how you watch. It’s summer; get yourself a lemonade or iced tea, sit on your deck with it. How can you get a tan when you’re doing PD, right? That would be one. The other thing, for me, is I feel like there are so many good ideas in this conference that it’s often overwhelming. You’ve heard literally 50 things you could take back to your classroom, and so what I like to do is focus on choosing just two or three that I’m going to implement right away. So prioritizing out of everything I heard, what can I take to my classroom and start with the first week, and make it into a bite-sized chunk.
If I just have one or two things that I know I’m going to do right away, then I can come back to the conference materials later, or the after pass later; and start a deeper dive then. But just one or two fun things to start with.
Tim: That’s awesome, that’s really good advice. That’s what I love about the conference, is just being able to watch from anywhere. I love seeing people’s pictures. Some people are outside, some people are by the pool in the summer. I love pictures with pets; there’s a lot of-
Lindsey: Yes, the dog pictures are awesome.
Tim: Yeah, they’re always good. And I love people who get together with their colleagues and watch as well. I love seeing teams of teachers watching together, because like you said, that’s just another spot to expand on those ideas. Bounce ideas off each other, share more things, and I love all that. Anybody who’s listening, if you’re coming to the conference, we love seeing pictures on social media of where you’re watching from and seeing what you’re doing with the conference because it’s a great time. Anyway, Lindsey, thank you so much for giving me some time to chat about this. We’ll see you in a couple days and do a conference together, so it’ll be fun. Thank you.
Cool, big thank you to Lindsey for giving me some time and chatting with me. I love hearing her excitement for everything conference-related, and I think she has some great tips for how to make the conference as exciting and as enjoyable as possible. I love the idea of getting a tan while you do your PD; it’s spectacular.
Now before we go, I do need to tell you about our other platinum sponsor for the conference; Nasco. Like AOEU, Nasco is interested in helping teachers create engaging educational environments and opportunities, and Nasco has the products you need; the solutions you need; that can really make that happen. They are helping sponsor the conference; they’re putting awesome stuff in the swag box. They have a video with Susie Belzer that shows you some incredible techniques, and gives you some great ideas on how to use those swag box materials.
So make sure you check out their catalog, see all of the great things that they offer. Or you can check out their website at eNasco.com. At E-N-A-S-C-O dot com. Thanks again to Lindsey; thanks again to all of you who are listening, especially those of you who listen and signed up for the conference. We will see you in two short days.
Art Ed Radio is produced by the Art of Education University with audio engineering from Michael Crocker. One last chance; go sign up for the conference at artednow.com. Hopefully we will see you on Thursday for the conference, and we will be back next week with a conference recap episode. We’ll talk to you then.