Showing posts with label art teacherin 101. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacherin 101. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 24


Let's face it, we can't always be "on" for each and every kiddo and each and every art class. And that's okay. It's perfectly fine to every now and then be the World's Okayest Art Teacher.
The key is to realize that being an "okay" art teacher is only okay if it's temporary. You can only scoot by at level 3 for so long before you and the kids start to lose interest. That's when you gotta punch that art teacherin' energy level back up to a 10 (okay, let's be honest, a 8.25 will do).
In all seriousness, if you are feeling meh, try not to beat yourself up over it. Just the fact that you are aware of it means you care. If you are experiencing guilt-free meh, then, yeah, you might wanna hang up the apron and call it a day. I remember I used to come home and tell my husband that I felt like I wasn't doing my best, that I was doing a disservice to the art education of my students. He said that even on my worst days, what those kids are getting is better than no art at all. 
So on those days that you are feeling just okay, you might wanna focus on accentuating the positive at both the beginning and end of your art classes. Like I said in the video, I start each class with that little "Hello, my most amazing artists!" call and response. I also love ending it with a little "I love you" send off. It helps to bookend my classes on a happy note even if what happened during our art time was just okay. Listening to this song, a fave of mine, always lifts me outta my okayest funk. Because you ARE awesome, bringing creativity and light to your students!

I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Know that I think you are much better than Okay, but seriously The Best. 
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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 18

Not even gonna lie to you: no matter how "prepared" I am, I spend most of my plan time running around like a crazy person prepping supplies, setting up the room, getting videos cued up or visuals displayed. I call it the Art Teacherin' Hustle. And most of the time, my hustle is spent SEARCHING for stuff. From my luke warm coffee to my half eaten Lara bar to the Sharpie markers or the funky monkey scissors, the hustle is strong with this one, y'all. But NOT for grade level examples and visuals. Nope. I always know where that stuff is, thanks to today's Art Teacherin' 101 tip:
How's that for easy? I'm a firm believer in Keep It Simple, Stupid cuz I'm pretty heavy on the stupid. But, you gotta admit, keeping up with all of this art biz is tough! I'm currently digging myself out of all things Dot Day and putting them up on the walls...(or, in the case of the very first photo, putting them around necks. My students also made Dot Day shrink plastic necklaces!)
 In case you missed these snaps over on my Instagram, here is just a sprinkling of all the projects (and project examples) that I attempt to keep up with using my lil system. By the way, you can find this lesson with video here
I've always wanted to do this extension project with printing plates. More on this process later this week. I love when a project lends it self to more fun lessons!
 By the way, my second graders framed out their texture relief pieces with some painted cardboard pizza rounds. I did notice that their texture pieces were looking a little lackluster. So I had them brush a thin coat of ModPodge over them and I'm super happy with how much they pop now.
And this third grade lesson can be found here

I swear one of these days I'm gonna get FUR REALZ organized...but until then, I'll keep offering y'all my super simple tips. Have a great week, kids!
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 17

So you created this fabulous lesson and it's got it all: vocabulary, a cultural tie-in, skills-learned and an exploration of a variety of media. It's big, it's beautiful and you just can't wait to share your Titanic of an art lesson with the kids. Basically, you are all kinds of Dicaprio.
And then, for whatever reason, your Titanic of an art lesson starts to spin outta control...
hits an iceberg and, well, you know the rest.

What do you do with a lesson when it flops? That's the topic of this week's 101! 
I could paper my art room with all of the lesson plans I've written that have flopped. The key is not to place blame or feel shame but think objectively about what didn't work and fix it. OR forget it. And don't look back if you do.
I decided to flip first grade's flop. In the end, they LOVED making these dream catchers...but the first day of the lesson, I really thought there was gonna be a coup to overthrow the art teacher. Would I do this lesson again? Knee-jerk answer: HECK TO THE NO. Ask me in a couple months and I'll be all about the YESSSSS! 

By the way, because of said floppiness, I probably won't be sharing that lesson here...unless y'all are interested. I pulled the project idea from a couple of blogs that went about doing it in a way that proved to be too tough for my 6 year old set. I flipped it around to work for my kids. Cuz that's what we do with a flop.
In other news, here is my full Shibori ensemble. It was ranked MEH by a fourth grader today. C'est la vie. Y'all know I'm totes addicted to dying now, right?! I cain't stop! 

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 16

In last week's Art Teacherin' 101, when I chatted about my favorite way to get kids to retain information, I mentioned that I use a lil sing-song and hand-jive to teach the kids the Element of Art. Several of you asked just what that was (and what it looked like) so I thought I'd share it with you today. It's nothing hard or complicated...in fact, it's so easy you can start using it in your art rooms tomorrow! 
Like, right? Super easy!
I like to use a lot of movement with my students because, well, they're kids. They like to move. Instead of fighting the wiggles, you sometimes gotta find a way to ride that wave. Like I said in the video, big shout out to my friend Erica for the idea! 
"Why teach kids the Elements of Art?" 

I've heard this question asked by art teachers and I'm usually all, uh...is that really a question? The E's and The P's (that'd be Principles of Design) are what you use to create a work of art. Not knowing what they are, why they are used, when to use them and how makes for a rocky art making journey. I was much too lazy when I was in high school to be bothered with learning them. I thought that my natural talent was enough. Once I hit college, I realized that my arrogance put me at a disadvantage with my fellow artsy buds as they were fluent in the tools of creating and how to best implement them. I don't want to deprive my students of this knowledge! Tis the reason I teach The E's and The P's...not to mention, it's in our curriculum, y'all.
AND if you are in need of a little line poem, allow me to introduce you to Larry the Line, an oldie but goodie in my art room. 

Have fun!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 14

My very first art teacherin' gig was in Nashville over 15 years ago. I was hired the weekend before school started and I was COMPLETELY CLUELESS. I had absolutely no idea where to begin when I was given the keys to my portable. The only evidence of art teacherin' that I could find was a sad stack of curriculums (shudder), worn SchoolArts Magazines (which I poured over) and a coffee can of broken crayons. I must have turned around and around in that little space a dozen times trying to figure out just where to begin. I stayed up until 3am creating the most beautiful Vincent van Gogh rules posters thinking that the rest would take care of itself. Um. It did not.
If I had known then what I know now, I woulda said that getting ORGANIZED is the most important way to start your art teacherin' life. I don't mean getting that storage closet all tidy or having every bottle of paint in a perfect row, that's all surface stuff that can be whittled away over time. I'm talking about getting the important parts organized: your class lists, your schedule, your lessons and your yearly plan. Once you have that squared away, you'll be able to breathe so much easier and will have a more enjoyable time getting the rest in order. 
Organize Your Day-to-Day: I recycle the same stinkin' 5 folders each year. My schedule changes every day. For my sanity, I print out a copy of each day's events and tape it to the front of each folder. Inside the folder is a class list of who I'll see that day as well as my seating charts. I pull this out each day, sometimes placing a sticky note of some topics I need to touch on with each class on the front. This works fabulously for those days I'm out sick as well as it makes my sub's life so much easier.

Organize Your Student's Art Work: I keep those bins that I shared in the clip handy to organize student work. One thing I failed to mention in the video is that I have my tables organized by color, for example: red table, orange, etc (the video below gives you a room view). I have a folder for each table. At the start of art class, I'll hand a student who sits at that table the folder which they then take back to their seats. From there, they pass out the artwork to their table mates. At the end of class, they collect artwork, return to the folder and put back in the bin.

Organize Your Teaching Life: It's more than just lesson planning, y'all. What I love about my friend Laura's planner is that it covers EVERYTHING. There are lesson plans, a calendar, a day-to-day planner, a monthly agenda, To-Do Lists, like, everything. Because your teaching life is not just lessons. It's knowing what is going on in the seasons, throughout the school, in other areas of curricula. Having all of these things organized in one binder will really save your sanity. Lemme show you how I use mine:
 My school calendar has less items on it than my personal one...although, at school, I do have them open side-by-side. I love how big that calendar is so that I can really scrawl my notes all over it. 
Because I use Laura's template's to write out my lesson plans, what I write on my weekly teaching schedule is an abbreviated version. What I really find to be important is documenting what happened during a particular art class. This helps me to know how to better approach the class the next time I see them. For example, if one class needs to rework their self-portraits or needs a vocabulary review, I like to write that down while it's fresh on my mind. Otherwise, as you know, goes right outta our crazy lil heads. 

Organize Your Personal Life: I'm telling you, I am The Keeper of the Notebooks. I used to have a notebook that held EVERYTHING from school stuff, personal goals, sketches, art, you name it, this bulging lil book held it. Those kind of books always wore me out because it held TOO much information. So I switched to a notebook for each of my different interests: sewing, drawing, ideas for school, ideas for crafts, etc. My purse became a pull-behind suitcase to cart around my library of books. When I discovered that wee 3-ring bound book at Target it was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang. I bought the tabs, the folders, the calendar and everything that went along with the binder. It's small enough to throw in my big ole purse but big enough to hold my thoughts. I can't recommend y'all get one enough!
Once you've got your art teaching ducks in a row THEN you can indulge in the icing on the cake: the decorating! Here's the tour of the art room I have shared with my students this week. Like I said, seeing other teacher's rooms can be so intimidating. But all that decorating comes with time. Be easy on yourself, take your time, be thoughtful as you plan and just know that these things will happen. 
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