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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  1. Thanks for the shout out again Cassie! :)

  2. Anonymous1/20/2016

    Your room is a sensory overload - I couldn't concentrate with all of that visual-ness going on.

    1. I know. I have a More is More is MORE kind of decorating philosophy. I ain't proud.

    2. I LOVE YOUR ROOM!!! It's energetic and inspires creativity :)

    3. Thank you, Lauren, I appreciate that :)

    4. Anonymous1/21/2016

      I voted for you! And if there was an art room contest, you would be sure to win! It's the perfect blend of color, teaching info, and fun! LOVE it! --Sharon Johannesen

    5. Cassie, your room is great and all that you do and share is so so wonderful and awesome and appreciated :o) Please don't let any negative comments get you down!

    6. Thank you for saying so! To each his own, I say. Tho why folks leave negative comments is beyond me. I appreciate people like you, makes sharing worth it!

  3. What size are your messy mats and is the base material tag board? Thanks.

    1. Hi! Yep it is tag board! The standard tag board size which is, uh, big? Like 24"x12" or something?

  4. charles2/02/2016

    Greetings,Compliments,and Advice...

    Greeting: Hello!
    Compliment: Your Ron Clark assignment is superbly genius,or geniously superb. And by that,I mean,for you to take something like his work,and break it down so succinctly for kids that age,and end up succeeding with that super cute finished piece by the students,truly,you are a natural teacher,a mentor to all seeking creative inspiration. Brilliant!
    Lastly,Advice:After viewing the Clark project video,a question that I asked you earlier was answered. Your groovy watch is a swatch chronograph! Niiice! The advice is this: the second hand,if it is sweeping around the dial,you must press the top button,just above the stem,this will stop that,because it is not the second hand,but the chronograph feature,and is draining the battery life unnecessarily. After stopping it,press the button under the stem,it will reset the hand to 12 oclock position. The true second hand is the tiny one near the 6 oclock position. Boom,now your groovy swatch will serve you for a much longer time!

  5. I LOVE the mat idea!

  6. Hi Cassie,
    What better way to spend President's Day than to check out what you have been up to. I am just starting a portrait unit with 4th grade and your Perspective Super Hero lesson has just saved my Art Teacher life again. I wanted to have students show their super hero in action as a part of the background of their Super Hero portrait drawing. I may shift the emphasis to the background. Show only a portion of the Super Hero portrait in the drawing.

  7. I bought place mats the local grocery store was clearing out when they are/were remodeling. I asked for a cheaper price for each mat. I told them I am an art teacher trying to buy stuff with my own money. The manager added a discount to the already low clearance price and now I have Minions and Turtles mats. Hopefully I won't be doing much table wiping this year.

  8. Hey. I am wondering- How are your messy mats holding up? I'm looking to have some made over winter break. Do you find that you use the art element resources? Do you wish you had added more resources or different ones? Thanks! You are so wonderful and inspiring!

  9. Hi Cassie! How much time do you spend with clean up each class?


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