Tuesday, October 20, 2015

In the Art Room: Beautiful Oops and Barney Saltzberg Visit!


So today a magical surprise happened in the art room: Barney Saltzberg, author of Beautiful Oops dropped by! 

Okay, pick yourself up off the floor and lemme tell you how this amazement went down. 
So this book is every art teacher's dream. It focuses on working through your "mistakes", or oops as Barney calls them, and turning them into something beautiful. This is how creative ideas are born! Isn't this what we art teacherin' types try to teach our young artists everyday? 
So all y'all can only image what a thrill it was to have Barney himself not only read Beautiful Oops to the kids but also talk to them about his creative process. When writing the book, he didn't start with a plan, so to speak, but he created each "oops" illustration and then worked from there. What a perfect method for such a book, don't you think? He shared with us that after illustrating this page, he went into his son's bedroom and saw that he had drawn a similar penguin to the one his son had created! It was so cool to hear his ideas behind each page. 
One of my fave stories he shared was how Amazon stopped shipping his book soon after it was released (don't worry, they've since resumed). Apparently a ton of folks were returning the book because one of the pages is torn and Barney makes an oops out of it. Guess some folk were a lil unclear on the concept and thought they'd received a damaged book!
Y'all might be wondering just how a girl and her students got so lucky. Well, I have Mark Meckel, the dude on the right, to thank for that. You see, last year, my then third grade kids had the opportunity to visit a recording studio and record the song It's a Beautiful Oops. 
Working with Mark and our music teacher, my students learned the lyrics of the song and recorded it in Nashville. 
But the icing on the cake for me was chatting with Barney via Skype that day. So you can only imagine how thrilled I was that he popped by today! Fortunately, when Barney dropped by today, he visited with a fourth grade class, the same group of kids who had sang It's a Beautiful Oops! 
After reading the book, Barney used one of our messy paint mats and created a crazy elephant head sculpture out of it (he named it Elepantish, ha!). Then I passed out the kids sketchbooks and told them to close their eyes and draw a piece of scrap paper from our painted paper box. They were to create something from that oops. I gave them free reign to sculpt, collage, draw, etc. They were thrilled! We spent our last 15 minutes other just oopsing it up!
It was an awesome day, one me and my students are sure not to forget. Thank you, Barney, Mark and Tom! 
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12 comments:

  1. There are no words........SO JELLY!!!!!!! And happy for you and your kiddos!!

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    1. Thank you! It was so exciting, I got VERY lucky!

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  2. Anonymous10/21/2015

    That is beyond cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ---Sharon Johannesen in Maryland

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    1. I know! That's what I kept thinking in my head!!

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  3. How wonderful for your kids,,,and you too! It's always fun to have an illustrator of a favorite book in the classroom. My mentor teacher when I was student teaching had a sketch and article from the newspaper framed in her classroom from when an illustrator of a book about a historical event in the area, The students remembered the visit as well...

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    1. These kind of things stick with them! I don't think they'll soon forget the day Barney visited!

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  4. Cassie,

    What an amazing opportunity for your students (and you!) to experience! Beautiful Opps is one of my favorite books for my art classroom because it teaches such a great message about making mistakes and being able to turn them in to something new. Just the other day a student of mine was drawing an animal (We read The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly) and were filling old ladies bellies with animals :) and he "messed up" on his paper which looked like a bunch of vertical lines. I asked his neighbor what he thought his neighbor could do and the 5 year old replied "turn the lines into a tiger!" which not only was creative, but it was also a wonderful "Beautiful Opps" moment. I praised the students for being such creative problem solvers and working together. You've got to love those teachable moments.

    Keep up the blog writing, I always enjoy your updates and Instagram photos!

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    1. LOVE those Oops Moments, they are the best!

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  5. Amazing...what a wonderful opportunity for you and your students! I am so glad you write this blog as a first year art teacher it has inspired and supported me.

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  6. You lucky lucky girl! My kids love that book, and I would've just died if that happened to me.

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)