Friday, January 12, 2024

Pay It Forward Plants!

I have always wanted to be a plant person. But, sadly, after many plants whithered away under my care, I assumed I was not a plant person. Then a sweet friend gifted me a Spider Plant. It grew and thrived and made me so stinkin' happy! 

That is, until it started having babies.

Next thing you know, I've got pots and pots of spider plants! And while I love them, I just can't maintain this many plants. Some new babies were not going to be able to stay. But I just couldn't throw them away. 

So I got an idea...
I pulled all of the yogurt containers and other plastic containers from our recycling and decided to repurpose them into temporary planters! It was fun creating these and I used up some of my extra bits and bobs I had laying around. 
I created little signs that I glued to popsicle sticks and stuck in the dirt.
I wrote out brief instructions incase someone is a plant newbie. I also named each plant because...why not?! And who wouldn't want a plant named Rosie?! I named each after a grandparent of mine. 

I thought about where to leave these plants. I go to the post office frequently to drop off book orders. I often see people there who are not in the best mood. The employees are great (I love my friends at the post office) but everyone else always looks like they would rather be doing something else. I also meet a lot of older friends...who seem a little lonely. We often chat. I think they would like a plant. 

So I left some in the post office to be found and loved. 
And I left some outside a popular shopping plaza for maybe moms and their children to find. Perhaps a project they could enjoy together!

I did spend the rest of the day WORRIED SICK about these plants! So I may add my social media next time so they can be posted and shared...and so that I know they are loving their new home.

This made me happy to do and I look forward to doing it again. I just wanted to share in case you have too many plant friends too!

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Sunday, January 7, 2024

My 12 Favorite Winter Art Lessons!

Need some fun winter art lessons? Here ya go!

Greetings, art teacherin' and art-lovin' friends!

I got such a wonderful response from my last blog post where I shared my 25 Favorite Lessons for Valentine's Day that I thought I'd continue to share. 

Today I'm sharing with you my very favorite WINTER lessons! Around here, we are just now experiencing the cooler temps with winter on the horizon. What better time to incorporate it into your art teacherin' world?

So I present to you my favorite winter lessons, ALL FREE! Just tap the link listed with each lesson and you'll find a kid-friendly video, handouts and lessons. Feel free to use in your art room but, please, be sure and give credit if you decide to post on social media. AND, of course, please do not repackage my lessons and sell on TPT. I know what you are thinking, "Cassie, people do that?!" 

YESSSS! All the time! SMH.

Anyway, let's get started!
If you are looking for one of those lessons that, let me be honest, takes a while (sometimes those can be a good thing!) this Snow Globes is for you! The kids do love it! Drawing buildings is their favorite part but we also do a lot of painting and, despite my custodian's protests, we do bust out the glitter. Here's the full lesson with video!
This lesson could totally be shortened with less painting! We painted these papers to draw on but you could always use colorful construction paper or copy paper to eliminate that step.
One of my most popular lessons both with teachers and students is the one inspired by Jen Aranyi! Just tap the link and you'll find a video as well as a handout! 

You'll notice we are working on cardboard circles of my very favorite surfaces! You can buy cardboard circles at your local food supplier. I get mine at Gordon Food Services (GFS) where they sell them in a variety of sizes. I like the brand Circle King.
Ya know how "you live and you learn"? Well...after having done this lesson and others involving "black glue", I'm going to share with you a different and much easier way to get the effect of black glue without making it! 

So, don't make black glue. Seriously. Unless you hate yourself and have more time than you know what to do with. Because, honestly, it's the worst and there is a MUCH better way!

When doing this lesson, for example, have students draw their trees with black washable markers. I prefer Prang markers (always! Trust me!). Then, using ELMER'S GLUE ALL (never EVER School Glue), have students trace over their black lines. Overnight, the waterbased marker and the glue will mix and mingle and create...a black glue line! Don't believe me? Check out this blog post and video where I share the process. 
So I've shared with you some lessons I've done with my older kids so let's now focus on kindergarten and first. Here's a lesson I did many years in a row! I love it because it teachers value. Students create tints for the snow and shade for the sky. We also practice our cutting skills with collage. Full lesson here.
Okay, kindergarten!
Another super popular winter lesson (and one that the kids love) is this Winter Penguin lesson I did with my first graders. All the details can be found, including a video, here. 
We kick things off with a painting review as well as warm an cool colors. The first graders painted the warm color papers while the kinder did the cool for their lesson, details below. We talked A LOT about holding our paintbrush and brush control. 
Using one of my favorite art supplies: the bingo dauber; we created these penguins! Again, the lesson has all the details so be sure and check it out!
And here's some kindergarten cuteness! Same method as the first grade project except we did snowmen instead. Full lesson with video here. 
We used chalk after drawing our snowmen to add the pops of color. 
Got that one class that's ahead of the rest and you need a one day lesson for? Well, here ya go!
Looking to dip your toes into some printmaking? This one is always a hit with my second graders. No printing ink? No problem! Tap the link and I'll show you how to do printmaking with markers!
Such a fun way to create winter selfies!
Don't you love a fast and effective art lesson?!
One of my favorite all time lessons is for kids to create their own mugs and drink hot chocolate out of them! For all of THOSE details, just tap here!
Speaking of printmaking: if you have Gelli Plates and have been dying to bust them out, here's your sign. And your lesson!
Now we took ours a step further by printing on fabric and stitching the into banners but...let's be real: how many of us have sewing machines?! So you can try it with a small group or just enjoy the printmaking process!
Tis the season to remember just how important collaborations in art can be! For that reason, why not try a big ole winter collaboration on for size?!
Look how colorful and fun!

What to do with all of those paper snowflakes you teach the kids how to make? Try THIS project on for size! Faux metal tooling with fourth grade -- stunning!

Thanks for checking out this post on my very favorite winter lessons! In case you haven't heard, I've written two new books and have self-published! You can take a closer look and find them both here. 

Thank you as always for all of the support, y'all!

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