Showing posts with label art blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art blog. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In the Art Room: Spring Breakin'/Conventionin'

Hey, friends! Now that the spring breakerin'/art teacher conventionin' dust has settled, I thought I'd share with y'all just what went down in sunny Cali and windy Chicago. I gotta be honest with you tho: I was terrible at documenting both! The lack of photo shooting (and sharing in social media town) was not intentional. I seriously just never seemed to have a moment to bust out my camera/phone! The fun of meeting so many folks, making so many friends and just chatting the night away was all encompassing. And I wouldn't trade that experience for the world!
So what I've got here in this post is a meager offering of images of what was a fabulously good time. I'm actually sharing these pics in reverse order of my adventurin' as we just wrapped up a brief trip to Southern California this past Sunday.
We shopped, hiked and, of course, Disneyland'ed our days away. I could totes live in SoCal if it weren't for the traffic. And the fact that I'd need a mountain of mulah to afford all the amazing restaurants and shops I'd be gettin' myself into. I always feel so happy after a visit to California. I mean, this amazing canyon hike starts in a Ralph's grocery store parking lot. THAT'S HOW MUCH AWESOME THEY HAVE. "Oh, yeah, man. See some canyons get some canned goods. It's how we roll." 
But let's rewind to the previous week when I found myself in the sunny (altho, true to it's name, windy) city of Chicago. The NAEA convention was all that and a bag o' nuts (and by "nuts" I mean Nuts on Clark, y'all. Holy cow! I love the carmel and cheddar mix!). This here photo was taken outside the Lego store during my one afternoon of shopping adventureness. I managed to do some serious damage in the MOMA section of Uniqlo. Y'all should check that out if you've not already. 
So the NAEA conference was held in this enormous and confusing maze of a mammoth called McCormick Place. Y'all. This joint could hold, like, 25 Chuck E. Cheese'es (I have no idea why that is my chosen reference of measurement but 'tis. Mostly cuz I've no idea what the size of a football field is but El Chucko, I do). Need some perspective? Not only could it hold about 5000 plus art teacherin' types but also a C2E2 convention (which is kinda like ComicCon but not. It was explained to me why it's not the same as ComicCon but I fell asleep after the first coupla minutes. I was all, wake me up after the story of Princess Peach, would ya?)
POKEMON! Just now noticed the handy place to hang a badge. #thickneck. #genius.
One of the highlights of my Chicagoland adventures was getting to see my fam. You see, I grew up right outside of Chicago in Joliet. My aunt Judy (who is actually my age...you decipher that fam tree) lives in Chicago and my mom lives in Indiana. We had a great time going out to dinner, staying at mom's seedy dive of a hotel and catching up. My mama even went with me to see the van Gogh exhibit! Along with my three thousand closest friends...
Holy moly, y'all. Who knew folks be so excited to see a bedroom. I wonder if anyone would even pay a dollar to see mine. I can promise you it's not nearly as neat as van Gogh's. 
At the convention, I presented three times which was a thrill. I was ALMOST as excited as my buddy Tracy there in the front row (heeeeey, Tracy!). I presented alongside blogging buddies Phyl and Laura all about, you guessed it, blogging! If you missed out, go here for the deets, y'all. 
I also had the honor and pleasure of presenting with Janine Campbell. We chatted about student legacy projects. Janine actually inspired me way back at the convention in San Diego when she showed one of her legacy projects. Since then, I've been a big fan of big collaborative pieces. She was such a great speaker that I felt like her crazy sidekick. I mean, just look! Does it look as though I am performing an exorcism or what?!


One of the highlights of the convention was getting to lead a hands-on needle felting workshop! Each participant had the opportunity to needle felt an apron (I chose green because the event was held on St. Patty's Day!). Many got a solid start and had a ton of fun. It was like hanging out with 20 of my newest best friends!
After a super brief needle felting intro, each dived right in. All participants had such creative and unique ideas. I loved each one!
 My favorite part was just getting to know each participant. 
 I mean look at that table of colorful awesomeness!
Most folks worked on their aprons but I love that others decided to work on sweaters and even one person even worked on a coat (it looks fab, Lisa. Can't wait to see it finished!).
 I mean. Really? Really. Awesomeness. 

It was such a wonderful experience. I'm so glad to have had the chance to meet so many amazing folk and share what I love the most in the world: ART! (and art teacherin'). 
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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

In The Art Room: Art Teacherin' Resolutions for the New Year, Part 2


Hey, y'all! A while back, I shared with you some of my Art Teacherin' Resolutions for the Brand Spankin' New Year (that post is jam-packed with resources from all over the place so if you've not checked it out, do it. I spent, like, foreverness on it. That's right, I be guilt-trippin' you into reading that post). So far, I'm loving almost all of the new thingies I've introduced to the kids (one is getting tweaked, deets to come!) and I thought I'd do a Part 2 because, let's face it, there's a whole lotta things that need to be resolved in my art room, y'all. 

But first, this just in!
This silliness of a blog has been nominated for AOE's Blog o' the Year Contest! I'd love y'all to throw a vote my way but, more importantly, go and check out all of the incredible blogs nominated! There are some new ones for me and I cannot wait to spend my snow day checking them out (okay, we've not gotten the "snow-yay phone call YET...I'm using the Power of Positive Thinkerin'). 
Art Room Jobs: Okay, so speaking of AOE, I have a girl-crush on one of their writers, Alecia Eggers. She is THE MOST organized art teacher on the planet, y'all! I want her to come, organize my art room, my life and, finally become my life coach. I learn so much from her posts and videos on AOE. However, because I am such a hot mess, I always have to put her tips and tricks into a Cassie-Fur-Realz context. I get all excited when I see her ideas but then I take a deep breath and say, "Cassie, fur realz? Is this something you can maintain?" Well, with my spin on Alecia's clean-up jobs, I think I can! I have the jobs you see above posted in two places in my art room. One under the large telly in the top photo (it's small but big enough for the kids to view when they sit on the floor) and the other is Large Marge on my white board (shown above). 
Because my tables are covered in paper and my chairs get moved around so much, I decided to color code the table legs! I used stickers but they were pretty lame at sticking so I ultimately put clear tape over them. Which means I coulda just used cut pieces of construction paper. Le sigh. Now, my tables seat four children...but most seats are not taken. So the kids know they must do their job and the job of an empty seat beside them. Let's talk jobs!
TABLE TIDIER: So, like, make the table tidy. Like how you found it. Only better. Hence make it tidy-errrr. Which means supplies put back...
Scissors and pencils in their lil orange caddy, table top trash can emptied (which is just a Folder's coffee can with a laminated Warhol print wrapped around it) and drawers of art supplies organized and closed. 
Speaking of, I've not really thought through my drawers yet (uh, that didn't sound quite right). I know glue in various forms will go in the top drawer (glue sticks, glue sponges and glue cups) but the lower drawers are pretty much empty. I'm thinking eventually our everyday-ish supplies will go there like oil pastels, colored pencils, you get the idea. I'd love to print up some pretty labels too...but that's on the back burner with everything else. 
MESSY MAT MOPPER: Did y'all notice my laminated and ART-ucational messy mats?! You don't even know how happy these guys make me! But more on that in a minute. The job of the mopper is to use a pre-dampened sponge to wipe down the mats on their table. This job is a favorite currently. Because kids are weird. 
MATERIALS MASTER: These dudes and dudettes are in charge of, you guester, materials. They have to get out the special supplies for their class and put them back at the end of class. In my Barbie Art Teacherin' Dream World, I'd have my counters labeled and all that jazz. But, look, I'm no Alecia Eggers, okay?!

SOUND SILENCER: Ya know. They get to shush the above-a-whisperin' kids. This job is also a fave...unless the SS is a known chatter-box. Which leads to self-shushing. Always fun to observe. 
 Art-U-cational Messy Mats!: All my classroom teacher friends have these awesome things taped to student desks. The alphabet. A number chart. Other stuff. For years I've wanted to do something similar but I couldn't figure out why/how/spaghetti (ADHD. The struggle is I LOVE PIZZA real). Then I started buying things off TPT like it was going outta style and one of them was this fab-o Elements of Art purchase by Mrs. Nguyen  (also a Blogger of the Year contender, go girl!!). 
For the reverse side of the mat, I found a free color wheel and color mixing chart on the interwebs. 
The kids have LOVED seeing the recipes on their mats! One first grader even thanked me and some kindergarteners were excited to see that what they were painting was correct according to the mat. It was a chore to make these (I had my fab friend Carol give a girl a hand, thank you, Carol!) and it did take us about 2 hours to cut, glue and laminate 25. But I think they will last a good long time. 
 Relocated "I Can" Wall: Previously this was located by my telly but it often was blocked by an easel. And then I would forget to update it and refer to it. Like, seriously, that's bad, y'all! (please ignore the HAWT MESS EXPRESS under my demo table. ALECIA! CLEAN UP IN AISLE 13!)
Of course the I CAN's include an I CAN DANCE TO OLD 70'S RECORDS. Which wouldn't be complete without a disco ball, y'all. 
 The "I Can's" are divided by grade level and by "Today, I Can...", "So That I Can..." and "I Know I've GOT IT When...". I also used these awesome magnetic strips I found at the Parent/Teacher Store to divide up my board. 
 Filmed Sub Plans!: If y'all were here 10 minutes ago, you know I filmed my latest sub plan (go here, kids). I remember reading about how Ron Clark does this and thinking, that is GENIUS. Well now that I'm out for several days for jury duty, I thought I'd give it a shot. I went to school this morning to prep and I met my sub. I could tell she was a little nervous about the whole thing (she had an understandable technology aversion of which I can relate) but at the end of the day, when I dropped by, I heard she LOVED it! And look!
I just grabbed a couple of fourth grade and second grade pieces, put them together and let out a squeal! They did fab-o! I'll share the finished mural soon. This has made jury duty and missing teaching the kids a little less painful.

Alrightie! That's all the Art Teacherin' Resolutions for 2016! Here's to stickin' to 'em. Cheers! 
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

In the Art Room: 5 Quick Winter Projects

Dear art teacherin' friends...ARE WE THERE YET?! Oh man, I dunno about you but I am so ready for a wee breakie. If anything just so I can clean this art room and start planning fresh and new projects. If you need some quick and winter-y projects to make to the gloriousness that is Winter Break (or need something upon our return!) have I got some art-makin'-mayhem for y'all! Let's start with these Heather Galler-inspired hot chocolate creations by my second grade students!
Heather Galler is a contemporary artist whose colorful artwork is always super fun to introduce students to for inspiration. We created our Dot Day trees last year with her work in mind. This project only took us about two thirty minute art classes...and that's with a hot chocolate party to celebrate our good behavior in-between! 
(EEEE! I love them all together!)
Here's how we did it:
  • Using 8" X 8" squares of scrap and painted paper, we created patterns. I really emphasized that patterns are made by a repetition of the elements of art like line, shape and color. We used oil pastels.
  • On a 3" X 8" sheet of scrap paper, more patterns were created. We chatted about using a contrasting pattern and color to allow the designs to stand apart from one another. 
  • The following class the kids used a cup, saucer and handle template that I cut from a manilla folder, the kids cup, designed and glued the rest into place. Patterns were added if desired.
  • To emphasize the cup, they were traced in black oil pastel. This was also a nod to our Heather Galler inspo. We added steam to our cups with a thin brush and white paint.

Our final step was to add our names! They now proudly hang in the hallway. 

Of course I always end up with the one random class that happens to be a couple of days ahead of the rest. To allow them time to explore materials and create in a short amount of time, a second grade class worked on these cute dudes. On their first day, they used 9" X 12" paper and created an oil pastel resist with white snowflakes and the cool colors of watercolor. 
On our second day, we did a quick review of how to draw animals using shapes: oval for the body, rectangle neck, circle head and rectangular legs. Details were added as the kids saw fit. These guys were then cut out and glued to the background. 
 Kindergarten created these sweet reindeer in the same fashion. On the second day of art class, we drew together with brown, peach and black oil pastels, emphasizing shapes and lines. We began with a peach oval for the muzzle. From there we added an arch for the top of the head which was colored in. Triangles were used for ears and a rectangle neck. We always use black last because it can smear so easily. 

 These were then cut out, glued down and signed by the artist!
First grade has been going through all of the elements of art and this lesson was great at introducing texture. I busted out the texture rubbing plates for these and the kids used oil pastels to create a background. Once the entire paper was covered in texture, a white oil pastel was rubbed over the entire sheet to make the colors more muted. We chatted about the three parts of a landscape, fore-, middle- and background, and added those with oil pastel. Our final step was to paint light green triangle trees (with the largest being the closest, getting gradually smaller as they fade to the background) with dark green texture. 
The following art class, the kids were shown how to draw a deer using shapes, much like my second grade class. These children had the time to add as mean deer as they liked. I am in love with the one peaking out from behind the tree!
 I only had one art time with this particular kindergarten class so we weren't able to make deer. Instead, we busted out these sweet penguins which introduced much of the same concepts! Together, we drew the penguins on white paper in oil pastel. You can see the steps and another version of this project here
From there, we used the cool colors and practiced out painting of spirals! It's not easy for the wee ones to have such control over their brushes and create such delicate lines. I was pleased with their hard mad skillz!
I shared this second grade lesson just last week! In case you missed it, check it here
Of course, for some variety, your students could create baby polar bears! 
 Or winking bunnies! 
The possibilities (and the ideas they'll come up with!) are endless! Any animal they think of, just google "easy how to draw..." and you'll find all the deets! I'm currently too pooped to give a proper how-to, me so sorry. Now if you'll excuse me, Ima gonna go fix me a cuppa like this...

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