Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts

Friday, November 8, 2019

In the Art Room: ASL in the Art Room

A couple of year ago, my students created a giant collaborative piece that says Learning for All. We had a great time making and my P.E. teacher buddy Ali and I had a not so great time trying to figure out how to assemble it (thanks, Ali!). But now it proudly hangs in our front lobby. Here's look:
 At my school, we have a few deaf students who have interpreters. And, while the interpreters speak for me, I often feel there is a disconnect between myself and those children. At my school, every morning on morning announcements, students throughout my school are taught signs to better communicate with everyone. Recently, I decided to start doing the same in my art room. We have an Art Class Catchphrase as well as an Art Class Greeting. We recently learned how to sign them. And, slowly, we are adding signs to more areas of our art education. Here's a clip of us signing our greeting and the colors in Mouse Paint.
The interpreters in our building have been WONDERFUL at helping my students and I learn how to properly sign. It is not easy! It is a new language to learn so it does take time. But I'm so glad we are doing it and hope to continue to reach all of our amazing learners. If you've not tried introducing sign language to your students, start with something simple, like color. You won't regret it. 


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Monday, September 16, 2019

DIY: Super Simple Way to Paint Furniture!

 Last week I got a wild hair and decided that I needed to paint not one piece of furniture for my art room but three. And the process was so stinkin' easy, I thought I'd share it with you. Here you go:
A while back, I created a couple of murals for my art room and I didn't end up using all of the paint. I kept the paint and I'm so glad I did (I mean, what else was I gonna do with it?! I'm an art teacher AND a hoarder, HELLOOO!). Now I can make sure that, despite all of the different crazy patterns, everything kinda-sorta goes together because the colors tie it all. Says me. 
 All this madness actually started with a cabinet that I'm now calling Sketchbook Town (see below). But then on Friday afternoon, I just couldn't stop! I repainted my easel that had become sad and ugly with just blobs of the cold colors. Thinking I'll paint the reverse with the warm colors. That cabinet was a score from the teacher's lounge. The space below that table was just begging for something to fill it AND this little cabinet does the trick. It currently holds my dry erase boards, markers and erasers as we use those everyday...but they were taking up too much space on the table above. We call that The Store and it's the supply-gathering area. I try to keep it clear but I also have a terrible habit of cluttering it up. So getting those dry erase supplies outta the way will (hopefully) help. 
 So all this painting mayhem started when I decided I wanted to create Sketchbook Town. I'll be filling you in on this later (so much to share!! I'm excited). But here is a sneak peak. Oh yeah, I also painted three paintings in this dotted style. I think I actually caught Dot Day fever, y'all! 
 Here's my sketchbook cabinet. If you are wondering where all this furniture came from, lemme just tell you, in your school there is ALWAYS furniture that folks are wanting to part with. Ours is kept in a spare classroom or sometimes it's dropped in the teacher's lounge. Also...if you need furniture, be sure and stop by that local thrift store. You never know what thrift you are gonna score. 
 These are the murals I painted in my art room a couple years ago. You can read more about this mural here...
And the mural that started it all! You can read about that one here.

Okay...I seriously had a million things to do last week...but sometimes, you just need to slap some paint on stuff. Trust me. Carve out some time and do it. You won't regret it. 
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Friday, August 9, 2019

In the Art Room: First Day of Art 2019-2020

I have been talking SO MUCH on this blog and on my podcast about the first days of school. You can read all about how I set up my art room (complete with a video room tour), my very favorite (and easiest!) classroom management tool, my favorite first day of art projects, my art room rules, and my art room routines by clicking any of these blog post links!

It's all wonderful to hear about how folks do things but I find it's even better to see it in action. So...today I'm sharing a video of all the things we run through on the very first day in art (keep in mind, my classes are 30 minutes in length.)
Here's what I do:

* I do my greeting, which you'll hear.
* We learn our Art Class Catchphrase.
* I introduce the Word of the Day.
* We talk about the Open/Closed sign.
* We talk about the Happy/Sad board. 
* We watch this video:
* We stretch!
* We greet each other and I ask a list of silly questions (more on that in an upcoming blog post!).
* We get our assigned seats. 
* We learn the lining up routine...and that's it!
My list of things to cover was much longer but time was not on our side. Notice...we didn't make any art! And we didn't on our second day either as we had rules to review, consequences to chat about, another video to watch, emergency drills to cover and drums to play. I will be posting a video of that second day later this week (or next, mama's tired!). 

Speaking of tired...I'm not as bad off as I would be if I hadn't made a handful of these videos a couple of years ago. They kids LOVE my rules and routines videos! If you don't make videos like those, I encourage you to do so, it will save your sanity, voice and energy. 
Stay tuned...I've been slowly sharing my favorite art room hacks on my Instagram (@cassie_stephenz) and I'll be doing a proper post here. I love sharing what works for me...it just might work fo you!
 Last year, I also shared a "first days glimpse" series of videos...if you want to check those out, you can see them here. 
AND I have been sharing everything in even more detail on my new podcast, Cassie Stephens! You can download and take a listen anywhere. If you feel so inclined to leave a glowing and glorious review, well....I certainly won't stop you. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
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Monday, August 5, 2019

In the Art Room: Setting Up Your Art Room

So I had NO INTENTION of talkin' y'all's ear off in Episode 18: Setting Up Your Art Room but, yous guyz. I HAD SO MUCH TO SAY! So I hope you'll forgive me a little and take a listen. You can do so right here or on whatever your fave place to download podcasts may be. Just a reminder, I no longer chat over on Everyday Art Room. My podcast is called Cassie Stephens because I'm super clever with names. Here's Episode 18!
After I set up my art room, I thought I'd do a little tour. I try to do an art room tour each year...and this one might not be that different of a tour than last year as my room has not changed much. AND it would appear that my tour went as long as my podcast...it was such a long video, I decided to break it up into two parts. So here is my first installment:
Just about everything you see in my art room was made by me. That was a decision I made a couple of years ago. It really helps me find a creative outlet. You can find just about every DIY from my art room in this blog post!
 Just about everything I reference in the podcast can be seen both in my room tours or in the these photos...but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Here's the second half of my room tour:
After revamping my art room a couple of years ago, it has remained pretty much the same. It is definitely a much happier place than it once was. And it's more easy to maintain since I don't redecorate the entire space with a new theme as I once did
PLEASE keep in mind that I've been in this room for 15 years, teaching for 20...and spent an entire school year in 2017-2018 completely revamping this space. I was in my room on weekends. I was working on new ideas and decor nonstop. I loved every minute of it...it really helped me declutter, decorate to educate and CREATE. It was what my art teacherin' soul needed. 
THAT BEING SAID...I know this space can look overwhelming to some art teachers. Just know...you should DO YOU. Do what you have time to do, do what you feel compelled to do, do what YOU need to do do and create that special environment that you wish for your students. BUT do not beat yourself up. Do not be hard on yourself. All good things take time. Spend time deciding what you want for your students. Take a deep breath. Go from there. 
 That's what I had to do. I had to really reflect on my space. When I see those BEFORE photos in that before and after post, I just see all that visual noise. Granted, this right here may seem pretty noisy to some but for me...I love it. And I think my students do too. 
 I hope you enjoy the podcast...and I hope it proves to be helpful to you as you begin to bring in this new and amazing school year. And if my room does make you feel a little, I dunno, intimidated...just know that behind every beautifully decorated art room (well, mine anyway) there is a storage closet that looks like THIS:
 That arrow is pointing to the one thing I need...which I had to climb over the junk to get to. I hate organizing!! It's exhausting and, obviously, I am no good at maintaining it! Feel better? You should! 
Have a wonderful and colorful day, y'all!

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

22 Fun Projects to Rainbow-ize Your Art Room!

If you have been joining our book club weekly LIVE chats where we have been reading The Wild Card then you can relate to what I'm about to say. If you've not been joining us here and here, YOU TOTALLY SHOULD! We are a fun group and do not exclude folks who've not read the book. In the chapter I was reading just last night (because y'all know I'm all about catching up on my reading the night before the book club chat!), the authors Hope and Wade King were talking about classrooms that had lost their magic. Rooms with faded posters just barely hanging on the walls, rooms with non-sensical stuff just everywhere, rooms that LOOK EXACTLY LIKE HOW MINE DID THIS TIME LAST YEAR. Seriously! They were describing my art room perfectly. I'd gotten into the habit of just adding more and more clutter to an already clutter-tastic space. When I went in last summer, I was seriously struck by just how junky my art room felt. It really bothered me. I noticed a poster coming down at the front of my room where I gave instruction and I took that as a sign to just TEAR IT ALL DOWN. And I did. I promised myself from that moment on that I was going to Decorate to Educate. And that's what I took a year to do.

My art room is still a work in progress. I still have Early Finisher areas to set up, job charts to figure out and create and just little fussy things that I know would make my art room happier. But the bulk of the work is done...and I'm thrilled with the result. 

I hear from a lot of y'all that you are feeling overwhelmed...especially with the new school year starting. I knew that would happen to me as well. So I made a promise to myself to think of my art room as a big ole elephant that I had to decorate one lil bit at a time. I couldn't do it overnight...and stressing that I should was not going to allow me to enjoy the experience and really decide what was needed. I wanted everything in my art room to serve a purpose: to educate and, of course, decorate. I promised myself to take my time. 

Today I thought I'd share with you my favorite fun projects to rainbow-ize (and energize!) your art room. When you click on the links attached, be sure and check out the timestamp on each of them. You'll see that this was not done overnight but over the course of the year! So...if you feel inspired, just know...you got this!

First, if you've not taken a tour of my art room yet, here you go:
More room tours to come! This will allow me to explain certain areas and aspects in greater detail. This here is an overview. Feel free to drop me any questions in the comments if you have them!
Paint Brush Color Wheel
One of the first things I made for my art room were these paint brushes from wooden oars I found at Michael's. You can check out a complete blog post with how-to video right here
I decided to use these to create a huge color wheel in my art room. The blobs of paint were created from cardboard. Everything was hung with 3M Velcro hangers that you can find just about everywhere. I always use the ones that hold 12 lbs. or more.
Here's a view from the area I call Command Central where I do all of my instruction. Another thing I decided to create last year were my ART room rules
Art Room Rules
I've been doing a lot of reading on growth mindsets and really wanted to put them into play with my art room rules. These were so much fun to paint...I think that is what I enjoyed the most about redoing my art room, having the chance to create so much!
Pencil Picket Fence
As y'all might know, I got super in to finding things at the craft store and making them into something else last fall. This small picket fence was no exception. Video tutorial included in the link!
Color Mixing Cans
When I spotted these small rectangular canvases as the craft store, I knew immediately that they would make the perfect shape for a spray can. I created a video tutorial to show you how to make your own right here
 Crayon Color Families
EVERYONE loves these crayons...especially the kiddos who get to create their own! These are a crowd favorite and are displayed prominently to help my students remember the color families. Tutorial here! 
 The crayon boxes are what I get the most questions about...they are made from cereal boxes! Even my kids created their own box when we displayed them at our school-wide art show
Each of the crayons is held in place with a little Velcro dot on the back. This makes the crayons look like they are about to jump right out of the box!
Pencil-tastic Paint Stick Cabinet
I needed just a little cabinet to keep at the front of my art room to hold the art tubs for the classes I would see that day. I popped by the thrift store and scooped up this rather boring black cabinet. With a bunch of pencil-painted paint sticks and hot glue, I made this guy! Video tutorial and details right here
Color Wheel Gong
I've had a Clean Up Gong in my art room for years now...and it used to make such an incredible sound. But it was not cute, says me! So I decided to create a color wheel out of it! It is actually my favorite teaching tool as it is so stinkin' big! It also...sadly...no longer makes a fantastical sound as the paint deadened the sound quite a big. You can see more of my gong here. 
Color Coded Trash Cans
Y'all, these were so fun and easy to make! All you need are some trashcans, some painters tape and some spray paint. Easy to follow tutorial right here. 
Crayon Bins
So there are crayon bins like this...but they are not cheap. Turns out making your very one is much cheaper! Now if I could only find that elusive ORANGE bin...seriously, I've looked everywhere! You can learn how to make your own version of these right here.
 Rainbow Ornaments
Did you know you can make an art room ornament outta ANYTHING? Turns out you can! And then use them to decorate your...
Rainbow Tree
Y'all, this rainbow tree from Treetopia was just about the best thing my art room has ever seen. It totally inspired me to go ALL RAINBOWS, ALL THE TIME and it is alway there when I need a smile or a slightly prickly hug. All the details on my rainbow tree and how to get your very own right here.
Rainbow Wreath
No rainbow art room would be complete without the addition of a wreath on the front door. This wreath is also from Treetopia...and decorated by me. The tubes are created from toilet paper tubes and the brushes were just recycled. More details including a video tutorial right here
Small World Mural
I did paint my share of murals in my art room this past year and this Small World themed one is one of my faves. My kids love how happy and colorful it is...and I love being able to refer to it for shapes! More details here
Rainbow Trippy Mural
Of course, the other mural I painted this year was this beast. I had so much fun creating this backdrop...and balancing it out with a "calm" curtain and a wild rainbow flooring. All the details here
 ROY G. BIV Paintbrushes
If my kiddos leave my art room and STILL don't know the order of the colors in the rainbow then, y'all, I just don't know what. This one was SO EASY! Just paint brushes, some letters and Duct tape. Video tutorial right here!
I mean...c'mon!
Tints and Shade Sign
This one falls into the category of NO WOODEN ITEMS AT THE CRAFT STORE ARE SAFE FROM CASSIE category. In case you didn't know there was one. 
Gradation Sign
As does this one! Oh my goodness...it's a good thing I'm outta wall space.
Color and Line Rainbow Wall
LOVE this resource for referring to line names! Another easy one to accomplish with just Duct tape.
 Alphabet Cabinets
I love having tons of cabinets...but I've always hated the way the look. I don't want to paint them tho...I mean this won't be my art room forever...and I'd hate to ruin the beautiful faux wood (ahem) that are my cabinets. So this seemed liked a fun way to fix that drab brown wood. 
I've since decluttered that hot mess at the top of my cabinets!
 Early Finishers Rainbow Stuff
Seriously, y'all, nothing was safe. I spray painted these pots AND flowers in rainbow colors. They are used both in still life drawings and when my kids finish early and want to draw from observation. 
Even my wooden models and dollar store dinos got a make-over! These are also in my early finisher drawing area.
 Happy Little Signs -n- Stuff
These random bits were created just to further decorate, educate and promote kindness with color. You can spot all of them with details here. 
 Who doesn't love a good chalkboard?!
 The things I find at the flea market! This mermaid had to get a makeover before coming to my art room. The canvas was a new one painted by me as a message to my students as they come and go.
More thrift and flea market finds! I even rainbow-ized my class tubs!
Rainbow Seat Sacks!
While Dollar Tree had some seat sacks...they didn't one one in each color of the rainbow. So I had to make my own. Here's how!

WHEW!! I just went back and counted 22 rainbow-ish things?! I hope you find some that inspire you!  
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