Showing posts with label cassie blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie blog. Show all posts

Thursday, December 3, 2015

In the Art Room: A Winter Mural Collaborative

So this story of Winter Mural Collaborativity begins with a simple request from my amazing music teacherin' friend: to create a piece for the winter program. The making of this beast involved multiple grade levels with one incident of two classes working simultaneously and another where third grade created alongside kindergarten "buddies". Confused yet? Not as much as my art teacherin' friend Jennifer's daughter was when she popped by for a visit. "I just don't understand why this is on the floor!" Girl. At well over eight yards in length, it was the only place I had for it!
But at least that meant there was plenty of room to spread out and paint!
So just how did the kids create this masterpiece of monstrous proportions? 
 Like, I mean, mammothly monstrous. 
It started when two of my second grade teacher buddies both had to be out for an hour. I offered to take their classes which they thought to be super gracious...what they didn't know was that I was gonna put their kids to work. We called it a Painting Party! The kids were to go to their usual seats but, because of lack of chairs, were told not to sit. They'd need to stand to reach the entire paper anyway! A pattern was started on their large bulletin papers by me and their goal was to finish the patterns. Once complete, I'd pull their paper off their table, ask them what color paper they'd like to tackle next and what they thought they'd like their winter-y pattern to be. After an hour, we had a dozen large painted sheets of paper. My music teacher buddy Kiera and I assembled the papers to create the landscape the day before Thanksgiving break. I even put that girl on painting duty, she outlined all of the hills! Sadly, no photos were snapped...but you can see a very similar process in this mural creation and this one
On our half day before break, I arranged for a kindergarten class to come at the same time as a third grade one. I did this mostly because my poor kindergarten kids have fallen a pinch behind due to scheduling. I thought it would be a fun way to catch them up. Little did I know just how much the third graders would LOVE working with their "little buddies!"
Once all of my kinder and third graders were seated, I gave them the basics on building a house. Pick out two squares, cut one into a triangle, glue as the roof. Decorate. Add details. DONE. For my third grade kids, this was a larger version of the houses they created for the Houses to Help
By the end of the thirty minutes, we had a stack of these colorful beauties. 
When I told the kids that class was over, the third graders seriously said, AW! and hugged their sweet little friends good-bye. It was the cutest thing ever and I can't wait to do something like that again!
 On Monday of this week, back from break, I laid the mural out and had some second graders go to town painting some trees. It was a fun review of value (dif greens), shape (of the trees), texture (of the branches) and space (painting different sizes of trees). AND collaboration!

Did I mention we played the music program songs the entire time? We got our practicin' in, y'all!
 Love them trees!
NOT TO MENTION, the program was fabulous! Special thanks to Kiera for the awesome program (and mad painting skillz), my P.E. teacherin' buddies for helping me hang that masterpiece...and the young artists that made it all possible! 

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

In the Art Room: Teaching Line with Larry the Line!

Hi, friends! Well, it's been one of those Wild -n- Crazy art teacherin' weeks and I didn't manage to snap a single What the Art Teacher Wore photo (tho, if you follow me here, you'll see what I'm wearin', what I'm making and what's goin' down in the art room, daily). However, if YOU did, please be sure to send it my way at for the What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Art Teacherin' Contest! You're good-looking face will not only be featured here but, if chosen, also in School Arts Magazine. AND the winner-winner-chicken-dinner will get a free subscription to School Arts. So get dressed, snap a pic and send it to moi, s'il vous plait. Gracias! 

In other news, if you are an art teacher with other art teacherin' buds on Facebook, then I bet your feed is just blowing up with photos of back-to-school/freshly-deocrated art rooms. I absolutely love it because it is art teacherin' eye candy! I've shared several snaps of my art room (with a blog post about my first days here) and was asked about my Line poster. If you've been around this blog for a pinch then you know that I use this poster with my kindergarten friends in my unit on line. I created this and accompanying poem years ago. It's been a great tool for me to teach line with a bit of rhyme and a whole lotta fun. So, without further ado, here's the Larry the Line poem! 
So that you don't have to watch this video a million times, here's the Larry the Line poem in it's entirety. 

NOTE: This poster and poem were both created by me. Please feel free to share this with your students and colleagues (credit thrown my way would be greatly appreciated). This may not be reproduced by you for profit. I feel sad that I have to add this disclaimer...but I do. 

Larry the Line
Is a friend of mine
(creating a snake by opening the fingers of your hand, puppet style and there's your snake!)
He can make three
(hold up a three with your fingers)
Straight lines for me!
(create a vertical line with your forearm)
Diagonal and horizontal!
(pantomime each)
Any curve, he can learn
With a twist and a turn.
When he's out of his tangle
he makes a great...angle.
(created by placing your hand on your hip and pointing to your elbow)
Any line, he can make
After all, he's a snake!
And here's how I go about teaching the creation of line sculpture to the kids! 
From there, my kindergarten friends create line sculptures like this. I have a super silly way of teaching this which I will share on my youtube channel this week. By the way, if you subscribe to my channel, you'll see my videos before I share them here!
I'm not gonna lie, sometimes after the whole Larry thing, the kids are bananas. To bring them back down, I'll often do this activity called palming. It works magically! 
I love this unit on line and it's made so much more fun with this goofy poem and carnival snake! What poems and songs do you use when teaching? I'd love to have a whole collection! Too bad my songwriting skillz are seriously lacking. 
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In the Art Room: School-Wide Collaboratives!

Hey, kids! I'm comin' atcha with a mere two and some change weeks o' summer vacay left before The Return. Which means, if you are anything like me (and, Lordie help you if you are), you are dreaming up ideas for the new school year. One of my fave things to do to kick off the beginning of the year is have a big ole school-wide collaborative (or "scollab" as I like to call 'em). And lemme tell you why:

1. It gets the kids creating right at the start of the school year! If your kids are anything like mine, they spend their first full week learning rules -n- routines everywhere they go. The cafeteria. The classroom. The playground. The bus. WHICH I know is important BUT I'm dealing with the under-10 set. When they come to the art room they are soooo over that mess. Not only that, but I've had most of my students since kindergartenland. If they don't know my R-n-R's by now, well, when they see that we're gonna create on the first day o' art, they learn 'em real fast. Nothing like a big ole fun and messy carrot to get 'em behaved and ready to create, amirate?!

2. It makes the school look lovely! At the start of the school year, our school halls are empty and nuthin but wall to wall BLAH-eige (my friend Debbie coined this term: blah + beige = BLAH-eige). What better way to spice 'em up than with some kid-created masterpieces?!

3. It shines a spotlight on your art program! Let's face it, you ARE the Donna Summer of your school:
Sing it with me, "I work hard for the money. So hard for it, honey! I work hard for the money so you better treat me right!" However, you just can't run around tellin' folk how hard you and your young artists are working. You gotta show them. Put up a show stopper at the start of the year and you'll have everyone talkin' about your art program. 
Now, I know y'all are thinking, "That's all well -n- swell but what scollabs should I dooooo?!" Well, I'm here today to share with y'all some of my very faves with linky-loos to the blog posts that will walk you thru all of the steppies. Let's start with this fourth grade legacy mural! And, good news, if you are attending this Thursday's AOE conference...
You can hear me chat at length about each of these projects! As well as me questions live at the conference. AND take a tour of my school and get an even better view of these masterpieces. However, if you can't attend, don't you sweat it. I've got ya covered in this here blog post!
The mural is proudly displayed in the front lobby of our school and give a fair amount of fun -n- funk to our entrance way, doncha think?
Another fun scollab we did this year was our Village of Kindness mural/installation. 
Our theme for the school year was Be Nice and what better way to do so than with a village full of houses with kind messages to greet the viewer.
This also incorporated a fun backdrop that was painted by my rockin' second grade artists! More on that process here
This scollab is prolly one of my all time faves and it was purely by accident. Our school hosted a "street painter" or sidewalk chalk artist who introduced the kids to her trade. The kids were then supposed to try their hand at chalk art outside on our sidewalks but the weather decided against it. So we used the flip side of ceiling tiles instead! Full details here
Now we're thinking of doing this project every year because my administration loved it so much!
 If you want a scollab that will have EVERYONE feeling all warm and fuzzy at the start of the school year, have I got the one for you. The Gallery of Gratitude is an idea I played with forever...and I totes wish I had done it sooner. It meant so much to the faculty and staff to see their portraits and words of kindness written about them. 
Who doesn't love to feel appreciated?! This project def did the trick.
And, last but not least, the final scollab I've got for you here in this post is the Johnson Elementary has Heart mural! If you need a heart stopping show stopper (sorry, had to), this is it, kids!

So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle a scollab to kick off the start of your school year? If so, what do you have in mind? I'd love to know. Leave me a lil sumpin sumpin in the comments, would ya? Til then...

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

DIY: Bedazzled Bros // What the Art Teacher Wore #138

Sunshine Day Monday: I was having a very Brady moment on Monday, can ya tell? Since everything is now in bloom, I decided to bust out all my flowery dresses and look the part. dress: vintage, gift; necklace: vintage, my mom's; blouse: gift; tights: Target; shoes: Clarks

Hello thar, all y'all! I hope your week was a wonderment of wonderful. Mine was on this side of groovy with a great interview with the lovely Heidi Easley on Tuesday (pretty sure you can still check it out here). I'm so thrilled that the interview brought some new friends here (welcome, y'all!) and if you entered to win the drawing, the winner-winner-chicken-dinner will be announced this Tuesday (and if you've no earthly idea what Ima talkin' about, then, well, you aren't entered to win nuthin except a big ole "howdy!" from moi). 

My weekend was super fun as I took an incredible hat-making class at The Frist Center for Visual Arts here in N'ville! If you follow me on the instagram-crackers, you saw some of the incredible hats and even my (nearly complete) disaster-piece. I'm hoping to have it finished off and a lil DIY-in' blog post for you this week. So, stay tuned!

AND speaking of DIY...did you notice that this isn't just a What the Art Teacher Wore post but also a DIY number? That's right. You see, not too long ago, I was interviewed by the AOE Live dudes: Tim Bogatz and Andrew McCormick (you can catch the interview here, kids) and it came out that the guys were really suffering from some severe fashion deficiencies. And while I promised to jazz up their ensembles by bedazzling their khakis, I opted to take it to the next level by sparkle-izing their ties. Because nothing says Pro-fessional Art Edumacator like studs and rhinestones. AMIRIGHT?!

So, I present to you...DIY: Bedazzled Bros 
Here you see Tim proudly wearing his wonky starburst patterned tie (did I mention this was my first Bedazzled Rodeo?! That thing is not for the novice crafter, ahem. Do any colleges offer a bachelors in bedazzling? Cuz I could use a course or three.)
Personally, I think Andrew's tie is a nice subtle kind of glam. Which totes fits his personality, doncha think?
 Oh, what's that?! You too wanna make a bedazzled tie? Well, of course you do! It's all the rage in art teacherin' dude land. You'll need to start by heading to your local thrift store and stocking up on ties. Next up: hop in your time-travelin' machine and pop on over to the mid-1990's and scoop yourself up one of these gems. Pardon the pun:
 Lookie there! It's TANA FROM NATIONAL TV! (like, who the heck is Tana, y'all?!). I'm so excited that I was able to add some "sparkle and excitement" to Tim and Andrew's otherwise sparkle-less and unexciting wardrobe. P.S. My apologies for the awkward close up of the lady's jeans. Look away, friends! Scroll down, SCROLL DOWN.
 Whew, camel toe crisis averted. Back to our regularly scheduled bedazzling. So the tool is really quite easy: insert said bedazzle into the machine and press down. It kinda works like a stapler, y'all. 
 The sparkly beauty is practically blinding. 
And, wait, what's this?! An artist always signs her masterpiece, y'all. It'll be worth the big bucks some day (and by "big bucks" I mean maybe a whole dollar; and by "some day" I mean this summer when they attempt to sell 'em at their yard sales). 
By the way, I'm currently selling prints of this glorious image in my etsy shop. The proceeds are going back to the mid-1990's to help them aid in better fashion-choice making. Thanks, guys! Every contribution helps!

Now, what was I wearing again...
 Ah, Yes, Flowers on Tuesday: Somedays, I walk into Anthro and the clothes are practically free. Like this $19 dress I managed to skip out the door with. However, I've put myself on a Anthro-shopping-hold as I have entirely too much clothing from there. I'm gonna make more of an effort to start stitching all my clothes. Who's with me?! necklace: made by me, DIY here; dress and shoes: Anthro
 Wear Your Dress Backwards Wednesday: Sometimes a dress just looks better worn backwards. Like this Anthro number. The ruffly part is meant to be in the back but I think it's way more flattering this way. dress: Anthro; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; tights: TJMaxx; shoes: ew, I hate these things! But my feet are happy so there's that.
Floral Friday: Yeah, so I missed snapping a pic on Thursday, my bad. Believe me when I say it was another floral number, ermkay? blouse, brooch and skirt: vintage; sweater and sandals: Target

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Sunday, January 25, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #131 and Happy Surprises

 Dorkin' Out Tuesday: My sweet baby bro got me that rainbow tie and suspenders for Christmas. Upon my request. He asked mom, "Does she REALLY want this stuff?" You know it! One kid said I looked like "Dr. Art". I'll take that! blouse: thrifted; rainbow tie and suspenders: Amazon; skirt and tights: Target

Hey, y'all! I hope you had a super fantastical week, are all rested up and ready to roll for that one day of the week that I swear always seems to come a day early: Monday. My week was an exciting one. I found out on Wednesday that I was crowned Teacher of the Year at my school (and by "crowned", I mean no such thing. I was, however, given a lovely amount of paperwork to complete). I was very honored as I work with the best educators in all the land. It was funny, when the announcement was made, I was in the middle of teaching third grade. When the kids heard my name, they were all, "Hey! That's YOU, Mrs. Stephens!" And I was all, "Are you sure? I thought there was another Mrs. Stephens at this school. I think she teaches Deep Sea Fishing." To which they rolled their eyes and gave me their best, "Mrs. Steeeeepheeeeeens" reprimand. 

Then, just this morning, I found out that this here blog received this: 

That's right, y'all. Ima First Place Wild Card. Can I get that printed on a t-shirt, please? Can I go around acting (even more) like a crazy person and when someone questions my behavior, can I do this...

In all seriousness, I'm excited to receive such a title! Thank you so very much for the nominations and the votes. It really means a lot. If you've not checked out the list of winners (as well as nominations!), please be sure to do so. There are so many incredible art teacherin' bloggers out there who I'd be lost without their advice, tips -n- tricks as well as friendship. Often times, teaching art can be like teaching on a deserted island without a single soul in sight who "gets" you. Thankfully, the interwebs have made it so we can all stay connected and sane. Ish. 

Oh and one last thing before I shuddup. I now have 700 lovely "followers" of this here blog! Now, normally, I don't like a follower but in this case, if you wanna follow me, well then, who am I to stop you? Welcome, all you new readers! It's super fantastical to have you here.

AND one last-last thing (I swear), since I've blabbed enough in this post, we'll resume our Artsy Book Clubbin' chat next week, ermkay? Cuz, let's be honest, you stopped reading this post like 5 minutes ago, didn't you? THAT'S what I thought. Y'all have a great week and I'll be back attcha soon.
 Prom Dress Wednesday: I love this stinkin' dress, specially with a big fat crinoline underneath cuz I feel like I'm going to some sorta artsy prom all day long. Course, the crinoline drives the kids crazy because every time I walk past their table, my big skirt knocks their painting/pencil/papers/you-name-its off their table. "Mrs. Stephens! Your swishy skirt took my paper!" Sorry, not sorry. sweater: vintage, thrifted; necklace: The Paper Source; Jackson Pollock Dress: made by me, details here; tights: Target
 Sharpen Yer Pencils Thursday: So I got this dress a while back and it's been super popular among art teachers for obvious reasons. Howevers, if you do order this dress, just be aware that the catalog which will flood your mailbox is, um, very interesting. One that you'll wanna have stashed away when company comes over. sweater: thrifted; dress: The Pyramid Collection; tights: Target
Runs with Scissors Friday: I love a skirt with a good art teacherin' motif, don't you? sweater: vintage, thrifted; top and tights: Target; bow belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; scissor skirt: ModCloth
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