Saturday, September 13, 2014

What the Art Teacher Wore #114 and INTERNATIONAL DOT DAY!

Happy International Dot Day, y'all!

I thought I'd share with you what my students created for International Dot Day in this here What I Wore post because I'm so stinkin' excited! My lil artist friends have worked so hard for weeks on these masterpieces (I've shared a sneak peak here and last year's Dot Day here)...and their art teacher (um, that'd be me, speaking in third person like a true crazy) just barely got everything up in time for Thursday's Open House. Over the next coupla weeks, I'll post the complete dotty lessons starting with that Dots-turned-Flower-Garden mural that my sweet first grade artist created as it's my personal fave. Or was it the stitched dots by fourth grade? Maybe the metal dots by third...? Oh, I can't decide, I just loves 'em all!

This week our Word of the Week was inspire and our Artist Inspiration was the author of The Dot, Peter H. Reynolds. We chatted about how The Dot has inspired artists all over the world to "create a mark and see where it takes you". The kids and I talked about how their dots can now inspire others throughout our school. It was so fun to hear them encourage each other and drop the "i" bomb (that'd be "inspire") as they know that anytime anyone says the Word of the Week, everyone says "Whoop! Whoop!" 

In other non-dotty news, I've got a ton of beautiful ladies who've made beautiful aprons to share with you this week! The Apron Sew-Along was so fun that I've come up with another sewing project for those stay tuned, y'all. 

Until then, lemme show you something Dot-tastic!
Lemme introduce to you the Kindergarten dot! With kindergarten, I always start the school year with a construction paper line sculpture (you can read all about my kindergarten unit on line here, if you wanna). Instead of giving the kids rectangular construction paper, I simply gave them either a black or white pre-cut (shutter if you like, it was our first day in art. We'll cut more later.) dot and let 'em have at it. 
Our Word of the Week that first week of school was artist. So after our 45 minute art class, we hoped on the Art Train (um, just a long line of kids that chugga-chugga-chuggas to each table). I held up each kid-created sculpture and would say, "Wow! Morgan is an artist!" to which everyone gave her a Whoop! Whoop! There wasn't a single kid not beaming before they left the art room.
Now, you know, kindergarten is notorious for touching the walls. These have stayed unharmed...and I do believe it's because they created them! 
Totally Dotty Tuesday: Lookin' back on What I Wore for Dot Week last year...I gotta say I did several repeats. Tis okay. Don't nobody need to know...unless I tell em in a blog post. Der. sweater: thrifted; dress: vintage; belt: Target; sandals: Anthro
My first graders are so proud of their mural! They've seen the fourth grader's Warhol Soup Cans and the third grader's Magritte mural so they were ready to create one of their own. So I took down The Great Wave that was still hanging outside my door from last school year's Asian adventure and replaced it with these lovelies. I feel like I'm taking a trip down Candy Cane Lane every day when walking in the art room door!
Y'all might recall from my previous posts that the kids were learning about Kandinsky's concentric circles. After being inspired by that piece, we turned our attention to his other paintings that involve line like Composition VIII. The following art class, we made textured and stamped papers...
and used those to create our flower petals! Like I said, more details to come this upcoming week! Not trying to be vague...but I don't wanna spoil all the fun.
The kids also painted many sheets of line and shape patterned papers for the mural. They informed me that they loved painting on those big sheets o' paper the very best.
Squiggly Lines and Dots Wednesday: The temps here have been slowly dropping so much so that I'm currently sitting in a sweater and wearing tights. TIGHTS! I'm so afraid to pack up summer duds this early because it was only a week ago that we were still trapped in the 90's. Not the decade, the temps. Did I really need to clarify for you? Sorry. sweater: Forever 21, old; dress and belt: Target
So last year, all the kids had a coffee filter dot hanging in the window. It was the first time I'd hung art in the window (what took me so long?!) and it was a huge hit. This year, I picked up a buncha pizza rounds that were white on one side. I painted the other side black (to remove one useless step for my mere 30 minute classes)...
And we talked about Kandinsky again. Which is totes perfect for my second grade friends as they are the grade level I'm taking to see the big ole Kandinsky exhibit that's coming to our local art museum The Frist. We looked at Kandinsky's painting Several Circles  and our word of the week was creative. I challenged the kids to only paint dots or circles on this side of the board. We chatted how we'd have to be super creative with such a constraint and they totally nailed it. I love this dotty painting.

On the reverse, we chatted about line and went crazy creating a line design in black ink. The following art classes we added color. I love how they rotate in the window so both sides of the painting are visible. These kids had Double Dot Duty!
Open House Thursday: I still can't believe it's all up -- all 400 plus kids works of art. I really liked having a deadline to get all the work up and I think I might set that as a goal in the future. It forced me and the kids to really hop to it. AND I also snapped photos of (most) works of art and a super mom uploaded 'em all onto Artsonia for me! Yay, I'm thrilled! You can see them here. art supply blouse: DIY here; pencil skirt: DIY here; pencil shoes: DIY here
My super third graders created these foil relief sculpture dots. I'm currently obsessed with Sharpie on aluminum foil (we've seen it before...and yet it never gets old!). I'm plotting a project for my fourth grade using a similar technique.
But we couldn't just leave 'em be. Oh no, we had to dot-afy the frame as well. ESPECIALLY when metallic markers are thrown into the mix. Then the kids were unstoppable. Or, rather, undotable!
They even wanted to sign their name like "Peter H. Reynolds" which totally cracked me up.
Exhausted but Standing, Friday: Not gonna lie, after a long day (and night) at school on Thursday, I was super pooped. But it was a good, big-sigh-of-relief kind of tired. This weekend is gonna involve lots of chill-axing. And not much else. top, skirt, shoes: thrifted
Here's a peak at what the final display of all my fourth grades stitched art looked like together. I paper clip chained them like I did the second grade paintings. I like the way the look all together like some sort of groovy stitched string art quilt. You can see the complete lesson on this string artiness here. 
I had one class finish their's off the very day of Open House. That didn't stress me out. Oh nooooooo. Not. At. Alllllll. 
And there you have it! 

Happy International Dot Day, everyone! I can't wait to hear all about what you and your students have created for the occasion! 


  1. Lovin' the first grade mural! That must make everyone who sees it smile like crazy.

  2. I love this post. I love everything in it. But nothing beats that absolutely fantabulous mural! That is, unequivocally, the most gorgeous elementary mural I've ever seen, and I can't wait to hear all the details of how it came together. I'd like it on my living room wall. Seriously.

  3. YES to all of these outfits. I love your style and the sunshiny joy that radiates out of every one of your pictures. Wonderful.

  4. Gorgeous! Everything! And that mural is the bomb! :)

  5. whoa so dot-tastical! Inspired once again! Thank you Cassie Sue!

  6. Very inspiring! I just love reading your blog and seeing all your great ideas.
    My students decorated paper bags from our local Kroger that are going to be given out tomorrow. I hope the community enjoys it ;)

  7. Oh and tomorrow we are doing a human dot outside, with all 500+students and staff and everyone has a dot they are going to put above their head... So excited and anxious.... We have a local photographer with a drone coming in to video and take pics of our human Dot....ahhhh reeeeally!!!! Yes!!!

  8. Shoot my first comment did not show... Humph! �� I did the same dot as you with kinders... Thanks for the steal!!! BUT I had them design their dot (uumm pretraced of course...) And they cut them out... Then we added the 3D effect with strips of paper.. Pics are on my fb page...Manchester Elementary Art Studio

  9. If they give awards for the most pinned thing on Pinterest that mural is gonna win. Spectacular!!!

  10. Lots of great work! (And it's only mid-September!) :D

  11. Anonymous10/05/2014

    Ok, soooo....i think my jaw dropped with every post I read on your amazing blog! From the colorful beginnings of day 1 to the 400 displayed artworks by Open House to your inspiring fashion creations... i'm about to fly to TN for a professional development field trip! I love your (and your kiddos') work!! I do have a few questions: How often do you see your classes? What is the time frame of your class sessions? Do TN teachers have to follow any crazy teacher evaluation systems? .... Thank you for inspiring! ~*Alexsa*~

    1. Hi Alexsa! Thank you so much for your kind words, you made my day! To answer your questions, my schedule (as of this year) looks like this: kindergarten, 3rd 4th once every 6 days for an hour; 1st and 2nd twice every 6 days for 30 minutes. This is the very first year I see my k, 3 and 4 for an hour, I used to see everyone for 30 minutes twice a week (which is so tough! 30 minutes accomplishes so little!). We usually spend up to 3-5 classes per project because the projects are so involved. At the end of the year, each kid has about 5-6 pieces of artwork completed (including clay). We do have an evaluation system that requires about 3 observations and my writing stuff up. It's not too painful, thankfully. How about yourself?

  12. Anonymous2/20/2015

    Hi Cassie,
    Where can I find the details for the tree and flower mural?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi! Here's the link to that mural project, it was a lot of fun, I know you and your students would enjoy creating one!

  13. Everything that your little students made is just superb dear. That mural is the centerpiece of attraction. The Aboriginal Art designs on that mural are looking amazing. Wonderful work! I love your style too!

  14. It just must be so much fun to be in your art class!
    Cheers to great teaching!

  15. Cassie, I love the mural idea. Have you ever done a Matisse mural?

  16. Do you have a tutorial link for the 4th grade stitching project? LOVE ❤️


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