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Melissa is an art educator in Massachusetts, who has been teaching art for 12 years. She is the Massachusetts Art Education Association Division director, and the 2016 Elementary Art Educator of the Year. She received her undergrad and graduate degrees in Art Education from Salem State University, and her love of a variety of materials reflects those degrees. When able to get into the studio over the last three years, she likes to create monotypes that combine her love of maps and architecture. She also loves to create works in fiber using knitting, crocheting, and weaving techniques. Technology integration has been something that has always interested her, and she has worked hard to get technology for her art room, through grant funding. Tech that she uses with her students day to day include a document camera, Smartboard, a teacher iPad, and 2:1 ipads. Her philosophy of art education reflects her love of a variety materials. Through rich and varied studio classes, students develop visual literacy skills that are unique to learning in the arts. Studio Habits of Mind are practiced throughout the art making process. Students are encouraged to think innovatively, ask questions of themselves and others, and make meaning from their artistic experiences. Learning in the arts engages the hand, the heart, and the mind, while also making connections to the greater world. Whether sculpting with clay, drawing with charcoal, or producing an animated film, students are encouraged to articulate and solve problems in multiple ways. She believes her students become fully educated when they are literate in the arts.
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