Monthly Mentor

Krissy Ponden (June)
Each month, a different member is the guest writer for the NAEA Monthly Mentor Blog. Krissy has been teaching art to elementary and middle school children for the past 15 years in addition to serving as the department chair. She is the co-coordinator of her school’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and currently serves on the NAEA Commission for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion as the Middle Division Commissioner. Click "GO" to read her full bio.



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June 03, 2019

Bringing the Outside In

By Sarah Krajewski

My name is Sarah Krajewski, Art Educator at Cambridge Elementary in WI, and I am so excited to be the NAEA June 2019 Monthly Mentor! You can follow along with my daily art adventures @artroomglitterfairy on Instagram or check out more at I can’t wait to share what is going on in my school and in the world of Art Education. I am truly honored to be a part of this amazing group of people!

Let’s start by chatting about experiences. Think back to when you were in middle school and picture a day you vividly remember. Sometimes it can be pretty hard to think of something! But when it comes down to it, what you remember most is a meaningful experience. You may not remember a specific paper you wrote or what you ate on the second Tuesday in April but you WILL remember that interaction you had with someone visiting your school during a special experience. These collaborations and true connections with artists make lasting memories with your students!

The project I want to bring light is a recent collaboration with author and illustrator, Jeanne Styczinski. Mrs. Jeanne taught Kindergarten before retiring to become a very successful author and illustrator. Check out her website here. The artists of Cambridge Elementary were able to work directly with Mrs. Jeanne during an artist visit with her and created a huge paper creation inspired by her recycled newspaper collage style. For an entire day, Mrs. Jeanne worked with students to create parts of our school-wide garden collage. Her genuine kindness and understanding of students creativity made her the perfect experience for students! I know our students will remember that day for years to come!

Follow this link to see a video of our day with Mrs. Jeanne!

1Collaged flowers created by K-5 students at Cambridge Elementary

2Mrs. Jeanne leading a demonstration for our artists

3Our final garden collage on display in our school library.

4A selection of insects and bugs that were added to our paper collage creation!

Now think for a moment, what kinds of experiences do you think your artists will remember years from now? What can you do to make your day to day focus on creating memories and positive interactions? Thanks for reading and keep being your best you!



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