Sunday, March 2, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #91 and Works in Progress

Wacky Tacky Day (in celebration of Read-Across-America Week) which, in my world, is simply known as Monday: I actually had several parent volunteers in and outta my room on Monday...and not one of them commented on my outfit. Which can only lead to one conclusion: THEY THINK I DRESS LIKE THIS EVERYDAY! When I complained about this to a fellow teacher, they said, "Stephens, for you Wacky would be jeans and t-shirt. Maybe you need to step it up a notch." Hmm, point taken. sweater: Target; stripey shirt: Forever 21; skirt: thrifted, originally from Target; tights: dunno; shoes: thrifted, Crocs; necklace: The Paper Source; headband: gift from a friend

Like, wow, ya'll. That last blog post was a doozy, no? It was kinda like I drizzled gas all over the post, flicked a match and BOOM! So many passionate responses from all walks of art teacher, classroom teacher, home school educator life. I appreciate all of you that commented and sent me emails. I loved reading each and every perspective. I'm still sorting through my thoughts...but I'm so glad that we were able to have a thought-provoking and open-minded discussion. I think that just shows that as creatives, we are always open to ideas. I have plans for a follow-up post in the future. In the meantime, feel free to continue the conversation via comments or email. Muchas gracias.

Moving right along, did ya'll celebrate Read-Across-'Merica Week (a link to what I wore last year for the occasion)? It's my fave week as I have outfit-inspiration all week long! I thought I'd share that with you along with some of our latest works-in-progress. Enjoy and I'll be back with a DIY on my Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus dress soon!
My second grade create a circle loom weavings every year. Last year we made them on a CD which, if you are an art teacher on pinterest for, like, 30 seconds, you've seen. I loved doing it, but wanted to move back to weaving on a plate this year. After a brief chat about Kandinsky and his concentric circles, we painted our own on Chinet plates. You gotta use Chinet when doing circle weaving as they are super sturdy and make for a great canvas.
On the following art class, pattern was discussed and the kids were given the World's Smallest Paint Brushes to decorate their plates. They are so super bright and happy, I actually thought of leaving them as-is! But I know the how much the children love weaving. It's like this magical thing that reaches those kids who are more tactile learners. Like the boys. I hope to have them warping their looms by next week. I'll keep you posted.
Crazy Hat Day: Man, did I need a sushi fix by the day's end! I made the hat and matching sushi shoes...but failed to have my dress completed in time. Thankfully, a sweet friend of mine had scooped this lovely dress up at the thrift store for me (thanks, Ann!) and it fit the bill perfectly. dress: thrifted; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: thrifted, altered by me; hat: made by me
Once my dress is complete, I'll be sure to tell you all about my sushi hat and shoes!
When I glanced at the drying rack at the day's end, it looked like this. Painted plate looms by 2nd grade, sushi collage by 1st grade, cherry blossom paintings by 2nd grade, warm/cool watercolor paintings by 3rd grade, wet-on-wet and sumi-e paintings by 4th. It's bright cheeriness made me so stinkin' happy.
Words on a Shirt, er, Skirt Day: Pretty sure this was my get-up last year for R-A-A Week. It was so fun telling the kids all about how the skirt portion of my dress used to be my bedsheets as a kid. dotted tights and shirt: Old Navy; dotted boots: DIY, go here; Star Wars Dress: DIY, go here and see me chillin with Boba Fett. Seriously.
Wednesdays have become my new fave day of the week. Me and two absolutely lovely teachers work with a group of about 17 girls and boy (yes, singular. He JUST NOTICED last week that he was the only dude in the class as he's been so involved in his cross-stitch) teaching a hand and machine sewing class. The kids have been creating a sampler of stitches that ended with them cross-stitching their name. And adding buttons or a satin stitched shape of their choosing.
When they come in, they drop everything and want to start immediately. They are supposed to have snack first but most are like, "can we just skip snack and get started?!" I love their enthusiasm!
Most finished up their embroidery this week. These will be the front of pillows so they chose fabric for the back and were introduced to machine stitching this week as well. I can't wait to see how they turn out!
Whoops, sorry. Totes forgot to take an outfit photo on Thursday. My bad.
My school purchased some Gelli-Plates for me this year. They aren't cheap, about $10 each. I managed to get 10 and my first grade students played around with 'em this week. They thought monoprinting was just about the best thing ever.

These prints will be used for our sushi platter collage which I'll share with you soon.
Dress Like A Book Character Day!: Aw, yeah, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, ya'll! I do love this book (although, Pigeon Finds a Hotdog is my personal Mo Willems' fave). I had so much fun creating this dress. And, even though the zipper is an absolute nightmare (note-to-self: wine and zipper-sewing don't mix) AND I managed to back into a tray of red paint thus staining the hem (I'm determined to get that paint out: OUT, DAMNED SPOT!), I still love this crazy dress. DIY blog post to come, ya'll!
After reading the book to kindergartenland, they created and painted their own pigeons. I got the idea for this lesson from the always awesome blog, Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists (thank you, Hope! I think you're rad!). Go there and be inspired!

And that's all, ya'll! I hope your week is a fantastical amazing one!


  1. I read Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus, when I was student teaching and the kids LOOOOVED it! I equally love your dress, I can't believe it's handmade!

    1. I know, it's one of those books that gets "read it again!!" So fun.

  2. Can't wait for that DIY post on the pigeon dress! Soooooo awesome! :)

  3. Anonymous3/02/2014

    I LOVE your pigeon dress! I recently made one, too!

  4. I was getting ready to start complimenting that pigeon dress when I saw my shout-out! Cool and thanks! I have always had success with all kids on that one, and they are always so cute and expressive - just a few simple shapes can create such character. Have you seen the poster for Mo Willems' book The Naked Mole Rat? I think you'd like it.

    1. I think I did just see it when I was searching his other books! I need to get it. Thanks for the awesome blog post!!

  5. Girl, you do a lot of weaving! My second graders are starting round weaving this week, and I really like your painted plates. I did a search of weaving to see if you had any completed. The pages just went on and on-ha! I love weaving! I recently had a non-art teacher ask me why I taught weaving? What skills did I want them to learn? Uh, I want them to learn to weave?

    1. I usually teach weaving in the spring. I love teaching it and it's the kids' fave right after clay! It's a VERY important hand-eye skill for the kids to learn, but, more importantly, it reaches those kids that might not otherwise be LOVE drawing/painting type projects. Fine motor skills and math are a huge part of weaving...along with so many cultural tie-ins! Tell that non-art teacher to stick THAT in her pipe and smoke it ;)

  6. Thanks, that was a really cool read!

  7. Oh my gosh!!!! You are my hero!!!
    I'm a crossing guard for my son's school and help as a EA. Last year we had issues with cars almost hitting me with a vest and a stop sign. One day while at my thrift store i found glittery antlers. My son deared me to wear them if it snowed. Well it did a lot, I was worried about wearing them. Its been over a year and the dress up hasnt stopped. Kids at school now hunt me down to see what i will be wearing.

    Most of my stuff is second hand or i make my self. I'm working on the mad hatter cause most of my kids think I'm mad and I love to sew. I'm so glad to see others in the education field keeping thing silly and fun. There is a Liberian that dresses up similar to Miss Frizzle from The Magic School Bus somewhere in the US.


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