Saturday, March 26, 2016


Ruth Ayres has a link-up on weekends where people link to posts that are celebrations about their week. I love this reminder to celebrate every week.

Effective Educator Files

Next week many things are due at my school. One of the biggest things looming over me was my Effective Educator work. I needed to create a unit plan, lesson plan, and organize artifacts to show that I am an effective educator. This took many, many hours, but I'm happy to say that my digital files are all in order and I am ready to present them to my coach on Tuesday and later in the week to my administrator.

Ready to start journaling

As an incentive, I promised myself a trip to the arts and crafts store to get a blank journal & some fun supplies like new watercolors and watercolor pencils. Earlier this year I was able to attend the Lighting the Torch Conference at UW-L sponsored by the Hmong Organization Promoting Education. One of the sessions I attended was led by Mai Choj (Chao) Duddeck. She's an artist, teacher and now an author/illustrator of the book Gathering Fireflies. The book tells the story of a young Hmong American boy who is finding out about his families history through a school project. It's wonderful to hear another Hmong voice in literature for young people.

Here's a great article about Mai Choj and another one here. Her session was "Self Discovery Through Art and Writing." The participants got to know each other a little bit, Mai Choj talked about her writing/creating process, and she read from her book. Then, she shared some activities with us that really got us excited about creating and we made small books. She was very encouraging and I loved the chance to just sit and make things. We had beautiful music to listen to while we worked. She had a playlist that was full of Maa Vue's songs. Here's a sample of her music that even includes writing.

 If you click CC you will see the lyrics in English

Mai Choj also told us about the book Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict.

It really reminded me of the books I've read by Lynda Barry. I've used some of the writing prompts from Barry's books and have even done some of the art exercises (I loved those!).

One of the things Journal Fodder recommended was to dive into old family photos and papers. Coincidentally, I went to my mother's house this past weekend and we had a huge bin of old photos to look through. There were also wedding certificates, report cards, school work, journals, telegrams, and other bits and pieces of her life and my grandmother's life too. I was able to take pictures of some of the items to use in my journal and there were some amazing photos too.

I'm eager to get started with the process of making art and telling my story. We all have a story to tell. In the telling, we learn about ourselves. Now the journey/journal begins.

I gathered my supplies & they fit nicely in my basket.
It's a different kind of Easter basket. :)

1 comment:

  1. Crystal, I love that your post is feeding my creative side. I love to design and today after baking I designed my Easter basket for my family and friends. I even made my husband my own birthday card with beautiful paper, one of my digital designs, and fancy pen. It is a fabulous feeling to gather inspiration from your post. Thanks.