Sunday, September 25, 2022

Creating Line-Making Stations in the Art Room

Hi! I shared earlier this week that all of my students, kindergarten through fourth would be doing line-making stations for 2, 30 minute art classes as an introduction for some and a review for most. I created a short video to walk them through each station and you can check it out here to see what we were up to:

On my Instagram, I got some questions about where I got the line spinner and the other resources I used...I made them! And it was so easy, I thought I'd show you how I did it in case you are interested. So here's the how-to video:

I've already decided what each grade level will do with their collection of line-making papers and I'll share soon. In the meantime, I'm already thinking of ways to expand on this idea of stations. The kids are loving it and it really helps with the wiggles. We have the need to move and this helps. Although a balance of calm days will definitely be sprinkled into the mix! 
Because my students do stations in PE, this concept was something they easily understood. Honestly, the only thing holding me back on doing this sooner! I'm not great with change but this year, I am excited to try all sorts of new things. It's helping me get outta of my burnout that I was experiencing since 2020.
I think that's one of the reasons I slowed down so much on blogging this last year: I just felt stale. I'm feeling excited now...and I think the kids are too.
Anyway, I just wanted to share how we created these centers in case you are interested. I hope you have a relaxing weekend!

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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Learning Lines with Line Stations

So I've been thinking about a couple of things (which explains the burning smell). Last fall, I tried some "Halloween centers" or stations that my students rotated through. I did this on the day our school was having fall parties and costumes because I knew the kids were going to be excited and I wanted to ride that wave of excitement. I liked it, the kids loved it and I thought I should do it more often. And then I didn't. 

Then I did Dot Day centers and I noticed a couple of things:

* The kids got to experience a wide range of mediums in a short amount of time. One thing I've noticed is that I don't 'have the time' to allow my students to experiment with a lot of art supplies. This allowed me to do that.

* Everyone was very excited and engaged. I mean, it's art, they usually are was electric this time around. And they didn't 'need me' or ask for my approval. 

* We created A LOT. I always feel guilty at the end of the school year that we only have a handful of pieces. We had a ton each that we created!

For that reason, I decided to take the same concept and apply it to the element of art of LINE. I noticed that many of my students, since the pandemic, are lacking in skill: drawing, cutting, you know, the basics. So I decided to do this centers or stations thing with ALL of my students, kindergarten through fourth. Ultimately, we will use these papers as backgrounds for a variety of projects (which will vary by grade) but for now...I'm excited with what we've made. I see so many possibilities with this idea: the elements of art, art history, new mediums, etc. And it has me excited. Which is something I've not felt in a while as the pandemic, as well as the following last two years, brought me severe burnout. 

If you are interested, here is the video I created for my students. I'll be sharing the resources and how I created them in the next couple days. So stay tuned! 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Assembling our Dots from our Dot Day Activities

In my last blog post, I shared that my students were spending a couple of days rotating between four different art makin' stations. We spent two days doing that and ended up with a TON of dots! We are now assembling our dots in a large collage on 18"X24" inch paper. Here is the video I created to walk them through assembling their work:

I love how they all turned out and the kids loved all the different stations they rotated to. You can check out the three videos I made of art makin' centers right here
Of course we had to take Vashti's advice and 'sign it' before calling it complete. I love how each one is so unique and amazing, just like the artists who created them.

When I asked the kids which dot-makin' center they liked the best, they couldn't decide, they really enjoyed them all. I plan to do rotations of art makin' like this in the future, it's so much fun!

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Friday, September 9, 2022

Dot Day Celebration!

Every year, Dot Day creeps up on me and I find myself scrambling for ideas. This year, I decided to create Dot Day Stations for my students to travel to in my 30 minute art class. I had four tables set up with four different activities of dot makin' mayhem and the kids LOVED IT! So much so that I decided to extend the activities to next week! We'll use our dots to create a collage (like what's seen in the image above). Added bonus: the kids are exploring 12 different art making techniques! Here is what we did on the first day:

The following day, students rotated between these stations:

And my older students did these activities:
I did this with my first through fourth grade students and, seriously, they had the best time. Here's a little short of us in action:

If you need more Dot Day ideas, I have plenty of blog posts! You can check them out here...this one has a free downloadable activity sheet! This one has a lot of ideas for kindergarten through fourth! And this one was a HUGE hit last year and could also be done in one day! Okay...seriously...if you google "Cassie Stephens Dot Day" and hit that image search'll have a ton of ideas and videos. Have so much fun!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Introducing Kindergarten to Watercolor Paint!

How do you introduce watercolor paint to your students? We are heading into our third week of kindergarten in art class (or is it our fourth?! I think it's our fourth!) and we have already tackled our first and second art projects. With kindergarten, we move quickly through lessons! We are now going into our unit on line. In the past, my students painted lines with paintbrushes and ink. This year, we created them with ink-filled bingo daubers. I created a couple of short videos on that which you can find under my Reels tab on my Instagram

This is the same routine I use to introduce (or reintroduce) all of my students to watercolor. I also keep a spray bottle on hand that I call Wake Up Juice (in keeping with the theme of "waking up the paint") which I spray when the paint becomes tacky or dry. Here's our introduction...and a glimpse inside my art room with kindergarten:

I am updated my YouTube a lot...I've neglected it a lot! I have gotten hooked on creating short videos for Instagram...but will be updating my YouTube and my blog frequently. Be sure and subscribe to my YT so you can stay up to date!  To learn more about watercolor paint in the elementary art room, check out this blog post

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Monday, September 5, 2022

First Days of Art with Kindergarten!

I have found that nearly every art teacher has struggled with teaching kindergarten at some time. I think the reason is that they are like a magical bag of tricks: you never EVER know what to expect! That's why I dedicated an entire section of my book Art Teacherin' 101 just to them! I share all of my tips and tricks of working with that herd of cats. 

As an art teacher, I like to change things up. I don't repeat a lot of lessons (unless I know they are kid-faves) but with kindergarten, I have a routine that I use at the start of every year. In fact, if you've been following my YouTube channel then you may experience deja-vu when you watch these next couple of videos I'm going to share as this is my same song-n-dance routine for kindergarten. If you tap the link A Glimpse Inside on my playlist, you can find many more videos just like these! I've also been sharing snippets of these on my Instagram

Just a little backstory: my art classes are 30 minutes long. I see my students twice a week. I have no more than 20 students in each class (I know, I'm very lucky). We work on these paper sculptures for two art classes and then dive into painting the third week. At the bottom of this post, I'll add more links to kindergarten lessons and project ideas for you. Until then, here's a glimpse inside my first day of art with kindergarten:

My second day of art, I introduce some of my behavior routines. I use a happy/sad board to help manage behavior. I use an open/closed sign to help keep the chatting to a minimum because, hello!, 30 minute art classes here! Here's my second day:
Want to hear more about the happy/sad board? You can check out this video. I will say that I'm doing an extension to my board this year which I'll share in a blog post later this week. I'm really excited about it!

I'll be sharing more of a look inside other grade levels first days of art soon but, if you just can't wait, try these blog posts! This one is from 2019-2020 (I just shuddered at that one...we all know how that ended!) and this one from last year

Need more info on this line project by kindergarten? Check out this blog post! And if you want to know where we go from here, look at this blog post. Have a great week, friends! 

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