Saturday, October 1, 2022

Favorite Fall Lessons!

It's the time of year, my very favorite time of the year: fall! We are gearing up for some fun fall art makin' stations and I thought I'd share a bit about that as well as my favorite fall lessons. Many of these links include videos for you to share in your art room. Let's start with this one, a fourth grade favorite: Spooky Starry Nights!

Now I just mentioned art makin' stations which has become my new favorite thing of late! With 30 minute art classes, it's been a fun way for my students to really roll up their sleeves, move around the room and explore several different art makin' activities. You can find out how we did stations for Dot Day here and here and how we are doing it for learning the elements of art LINE here and here...all with videos for you to share in your art room and some videos that are just my tips and tricks for YOU! Here's a blog post about the stations I did on Halloween in my art room here.  I plan to do a week long stations this year so all of my classes can experience the fun. The above pumpkin prints is one I will be adding to the mix. I can't wait!

Monsters are always fun to do during this season and my students LOVE creating them! This lesson, with video, is one I know your students will love!

This one is fun for all ages especially if you want to introduce color mixing, painting, printing and collage. Another lesson with video right here!

Speaking of fall trees, check out this amazing weaving lesson! If you've never woven with your students, I recommend doing a short paper weaving first before diving into this activity. I would give this a go with fourth grade and up if students are new to weaving. Lesson and video here!
Speaking of weaving, my students love this weaving project! All the weaving details can be found in this blog post!

Wanna do printing with your students but don't want to deal with the mess? This leaf printing lesson with just markers and water is sure to be a hit! Here's more.

Speaking of printing...check out this Warhol-inspired sunflower print idea! You'll love it!

How about more monsters? Maybe even ones that glow under black light? All the details and videos can be found here!

Need more monsters? Look no further...than here!
Before Gelli-Plates and the like, we had to make our own sort of gelatin printing plate. 10 years ago, I posted this lesson and it's still one of the most visited on my blog. However, I no longer make the stinky gelatin (not to mention, it's not vegan friendly...I'm not a vegan, but I don't like using it) so you may want to try the same method but with the longer lasting plates. Here's the details.
Another super popular lesson that always yields amazing results is this one! I've done a variation of this type of lesson with students of all ages. More info here. 

Have fun, friends!

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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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Friday, June 17, 2022

In the Art Room: Cassette Tape Sculptures!

I've not shared details from our art show yet...I've just been enjoying my summer vacation a little too much, I guess! But we had a themed art show, as we usually do, and this year it was 1980s themed! 

I came up with the theme after winter break but got the idea for this project a little too late in the game. We ran out of time to create these cassette tape sculptures but I did create a video...and I thought I'd share it with you just the same. 

The boxes were ones I happened to have a surplus of in my storage closet. But they look like they probably came from here, if interested. The plaster strips are from here!
And the video is here! Have fun!

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Monday, June 6, 2022

DIY: Art Teacherin' Plant Markers

I'm testing my notoriously ungreen thumb, as I do every summer, with plants! I usually just spend my summer spending loads on flowers and then ushering them into a slow summer death but this year I thought I'd try killing herbs! Pardon me, I'm trying to remain optimistic: GROWING herbs. 

So far, I have been able to make tabouli with my parsley and I now have enough basil to make some pesto so...I'm not doing too shabby, if I do say so. However, telling some of these herbs apart has been a wee bit of a problem. So over the weekend I made these little herb markers! Here's how:

All you need is old paintbrushes (no plastic handled ones!) and some left over polymer clay. These were super fun and easy to make. 
As for the plants...they seemed to like the new addition well enough. Please pray for these beautiful greens! I'm hoping to keep them going strong. 

Speaking of going strong, check out my planters! I made these back in 2015 with old cat liter containers and they are still going strong! 

Happy Summer, friends! 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Let's Make a Black Light Disco Ball!

Our school-wide art show is coming up and our theme is 1980's! And, I know what you're thinking: aren't disco balls more of a 1970's thing? Well, I suppose although I do remember them in the skating rinks growing up and loving them. So I thought my fourth graders would enjoy creating them as their contribution to our Glow Gallery! 

The supplies we used are the following:
* Cardboard pizza circle, found at restaurant supply stores
* Permanent markers
* Silver paint
* Neon tempera cakes

This is a quick lesson, perfect for my 30 minute art classes. We spent the first class drawing and tracing with a sharpie with just a few who started painting. Next time, we'll wrap these up and hang them from the ceiling in the glow gallery. Here's the video you are welcome to use in your art teacherin' world:

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Clay Mugs for Kids!

Hi, friends! My students are wrapping up one of the clay projects they created and I thought I'd share. Last year, my first through fourth created clay mugs and it was easily everyone's favorite clay project. When I shared that we were working with clay again, a few weeks ago, their first question was "are we making mugs again?!" I had already planned on they were excited to hear the answer. Once mugs are complete, we celebrate by drinking hot chocolate out of it's a whole lot of fun. 

This year, I created a video to share with them. Because I have 30 minute art classes, I only showed the pinch pot portion and a bit of coil making for the first class. The second class, we did a brief coil making reminder and then watched the portion about creating a handle. The video helped them trouble shoot and get their mugs completed in just two 30 minute classes!
This week, we started glazing! They were told they could use any two colors of glaze, one for the inside and one for the outside. They were to do at least three coats of their chosen colors and not to glaze the bottom. Once complete, they could join me at the splatter glaze station!

When my students were finished glazing, they could help a friend or work on the large banners I created to announce our upcoming art show! 

We used Prang's Creativity Street Tempera Sticks to color these with.
The glaze we used are from two companies and I like them both: Mayco's Stroke and Coat and Amaco's Teacher's Palette. Both are food safe and fire to cone 06.
When introducing clay to your students, you might find this video fun to share:

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Vincent van Gogh Inspired Buttons and Earrings!

Hi! I scored this amazing sweater recently and while I absolutely loved it, I hated the obnoxious plastic white buttons that were on the sweater. They just stuck out like a sore thumb! So I picked up some polymer clay at the craft store with the idea to create my own. Normally, I buy the 'name brand' polymer clay but this time, I was feeling cheap and decided to give the house brand a try. It was half the price and I have to say...despite the fact that the yellow clay stained my hands a pinch, it worked great! I'm used to stained hands so, no big deal!
I went about creating these factory style and it went pretty quickly. I made a video to share the process in case you need some van Gogh bling in your life. Like, duh. Of course you do.

So easy, right?
Once complete, I just stitched these onto my sweater and added some jump rings and a French hook to the earrings and I was all set in my new upgraded van Gogh sweater!

Not only that but this craft was just the creativity thirst quencher I needed this weekend. Thanks for letting me share, y'all!
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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Jen Stark Inspired Hearts for Valentine's Day!

Need a fast and fun lesson for Valentine's Day (or anytime, really) inspired by the artist Jen Stark? I created this one for my students and they started it last week. Some are working BIG on 12" X 18" paper while others are using it as an early finisher project and worked on paper half the size. I am also giving my students the option of using black and white, all warm or all cool colors (as seen on the left). 

ONE CHANGE I'M MAKING: for my students using black and white, I'm going to have them paint the entire background white and then add the black paint stripes once that dries.

Since my art classes are 30 minutes long, we've been doing the drips in one art class, painting in the next and wrapping it up and adding the puffy paint on the last class. 

If you are interested, here's the video!

Have fun!

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Easy Embroidered Earrings!

I love embroidered earrings! They are lightweight to wear, simple to make and a fast craft. So I made some for Valentines and I thought I'd show you how! Here are the supplies you'll need:

* Felt
* Embroidery floss
* A Chenille needle or an embroidery needle (big eye, sharp point)
* Jump rings
* French hooks
* Scissors

Here you go!

And here are some other tutorials I've made for earrings. Just tap the link to view the blog post and video!
Check out to make these rainbow and color wheel earrings right here
And some unicorn earrings here! Have fun!

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