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

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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Monday, September 9, 2019

Dot Day Activity Sheet!

Hey, y'all! Just thought I'd pop in and offer up this Dot Day activity sheet I created for my students. I was out last week and created this activity for my students to use with the sub. If you'd like this free downloadable PDF, then here you go!

When I write lesson plans, I try really hard for my sub to do the same lesson with ALL of my students, kindergarten through fourth. This makes my sub's life so much easier and that's my ultimate goal. I have a TON of sub plan videos on my YouTube channel (you really should subscribe! I'm uploading videos all the time!). I also have a whole lot of blog posts all about how I prep for a sub. In fact, there's a blog post of my very favorite sub plans! 

For this lesson plan, the sub notes were simple:

1. Read The Dot to the class. Engage the students in questions about Vashti, the main character of the book. How did her attitude toward creating change? How did she share her new outlook with another potential artist?

2. Take one sticker dot and place it anywhere inside your swirly frame. What could your dot become? A flower? A face? A sun for a landscape? A piece of fruit for a still life? Draw with pencil. Add color with crayons.

3. Like all artists, don't forget to SIGN IT!

And that's it! My classes are only 30 minutes in length so that was about all my students could manage. I sent these works of art home with the students but they could have been a great chance to chat about their ideas or share their work. 

Have a wonderful week! Pop back by here tomorrow when I'll be sharing my favorite Dot Day lessons!
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Sunday, September 8, 2019

In the Art Room: Painting with Kindergarten

Painting with kindergarten...ahhhh. It's kinda crazy to think that one can experience literally ALL OF THE EMOTIONS in one 30 minute class period: happiness, fear, chaos-management anxiety, bliss, fright, horror and so much more. I decided to dive into painting with my kindergarten for their second art project (you can see our first day projects here) and I thought I'd share a little of what my lesson looks like. If it strikes you as familiar, that is because it's not that different from how I introduce painting to all of my students

Before I dive in to that, I have quite a bit to say about kindergarten. You can take a listen to my last two episodes all about kindergarten here:

And here:

And here's me teaching painting to kindergarten on the very first day:

So much silly, so little time!

Let me share with you about this lesson. In the first 30 minute art class, you see me introduce my students the concept of The Store. In my art room, that is the supply gathering table. I also introduce how to go about using painting supplies properly...and that's it. If I continued to do much more talking, the kids wouldn't have any time to create! 

We will be reading The Dot the following art class and making sure to finish (if not complete) and signing our work of art. In case you are wondering, I never mention having the kids write their name on their papers up to this point. That is because I've been doing it for them. As they are working, I have been going around, pushing their chairs closer to the supplies and jotting their names on the backs of their papers. From here on out, I'll be teaching them to do this.

We'll also be looking at Kandinsky very soon. But, like I said, on this first day, our focus was just to get them painting and painting properly (meaning how to hold their brush and how not to mix up the paints). 
Now, in case you are looking to do this lesson with your students, I just so happened to be gifted a box of dots. That's what's in the center of these papers. Little precut concentric circles that I simple glued to the middle of each 12" square of paper. Last year, when I didn't have those dots, I just used sticker dots from the dollar store (the kind used for pricing yard sale items). The reason I like using a dot as the start as it gives the kids a little spot to begin painting around. AND, of course, because of Dot Day! 

If you are in need of some Dot Day activities, you can search my blog or stay tuned. I'll be posting all of my faves right here tomorrow!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

School-Wide Collaborative: Positive Four Letter Word to Describe Our School

Every year, I like to start my students with a school-wide collaborative. In fact, you can find a ton of our back to school collaboratives right here, just use that search bar! You can also see my third grader's school wide collaborative here. 
To kick off the school year, on the third day of art, all of my first through fourth grade students began painting. I picked up packs of large paper shapes from IKEA on a recent trip. Any construction paper would work great though. The paper from IKEA was thin so it wasn't the best for painting. It did, however, give us a variety of shapes to paint on. 
If you want  to hear more about my painting setup and how I introduce painting to all of my students, you can check out this blog post. Here's the break down of the lesson (keep in mind, my classes are 30 minutes in length):

Day 1 and 2: Painting! We painted patterns all over our letters. My focus for those two days was introducing my painting procedures.
Day 3: Working together in table teams, the teams of four kids had to come up with a positive four letter word to describe our school. Each table team had a dry erase board and had to write down three things: what their word was, who was going to construct what letter and what color of paper they were going to use for the letter. 

The letters were created from strips of paper. Students who finished early helped their teammates. Any tables that had fewer than four kids still had to create a four letter word...they just had the help of early finishers.

Day 4: Assemble the word! For this, the kids again worked in teams. They had to glue two long strips of cut posterboard together Then they laid out their words and glued it down. This only took a short amount of time. Once complete, they wrote about their chosen word!
 If you are interested in doing this lesson and would like a free copy of this bunting, here you go! 
To display, I stapled four triangles together to create a pattern bunting. 
 The bunting was then hung between the displays.
Because I didn't want their words to get lost on the boring wall colors, I cut out flags to go behind them. Yellow and blue are the colors of our school. Yes, that was time consuming but I really like the look. Also, the bunting and the integration of writing in my art room makes me so happy!
FOR FIRST GRADE: Okay, full disclosure, getting first graders (who are really still kindergarteners) to dream up a word and create it was gonna be super difficult. So, instead, I assigned each class a word that we voted and agreed on. One class did NICE while another did KIND. These were then hung by string in the hallway.
 I was so impressed by the artists during this lesson. The words are now hung throughout our school. The message they send really makes me happy.
 The kids dreamed up so many wonderful words. They did outline the letters in the opposite color of paint once complete. 
 I love the choice of SWAG. I also had one group come up with the word ZANY which I totally hung by the art room door!
 If you do this lesson, I'd love to hear from you! I can think of some things I would change...but for now, they look lovely, especially for our upcoming Open House.
 And it got all of the kids painting nearly right away!
 This would be the perfect project to use up any scraps of paper too. Those papers could be used as the paper for the letter making or the background shapes. 
 And how we have moved on to our sketchbooks. I am loving that lesson too! More to come on that soon.
 The ramp that leads to my room created some difficulty when it came to hanging these. 
 So I made sure to hang them a little higher...and at varying heights so they could be seen. This way of hanging them ended up being my favorite!





Thanks for letting me share this fun lesson with you all!
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Monday, September 2, 2019

DIY: Spoonflower Student Artwork Dress!

I've had it on my mind to print my students artwork on fabric for a very long time. I've done just about every variation of kid-created fabric for dress-makin' such as having them color IKEA coloring sheet fabric which I then stitched into a dress (more details on that dress here): 
Or the time I found the fabric of picture frames! I had my students draw their self portraits on the fabric before creating that into a dress. Both of these dresses were created with Graffiti fabric markers. They've seen plenty of washing and, while the colors have faded a bit, they still look pretty vibrant. And the kids absolutely love them. More details on that dress here. 
But the idea of creating fabric from student work is one that I've been toying with every since hearing about Spoonflower. In the past, I've ordered fabric from Spoonflower and made a couple of dresses with designs created by artists. 
You can check out the details of this dress and fabric here
And details of this dress can be found here. Having ordered fabric from Spoonflower before, I knew I liked it. The fabric I ordered has a good thick quality which is great for the kind of full dresses that I like to create. So, this past spring, just before I hung some artwork up for our art show, I laid a bunch of it out on the floor and took a couple of snaps with my camera. After the art show, I uploaded the photos to the Spoonflower website and was shocked how stinkin' easy it was to rearrange the works of art to create the desired pattern. 
 In case the artwork on this dress looks a little familiar to you, it's from one of the more popular lessons on my blog: The Chris Uphues Lesson for All! Here's a peak of just a few of the works of art based on that lesson:
Take a look at the work of art above and then the print quality below. Pretty amazing, right?!
 This weekend I decided to cut into this Chris-Uphues inspired, kid-created fabric and create a dress using one of my favorite vintage patterns. Now, I did use a circle skirt pattern for the bottom...so only the bodice was used for this dress. 
Here's a little peak at some of the other fabrics I had made with Spoonflower. I cannot wait to make them into dresses too. 
 Usually I'm all about the big belt but when I tried my big belt on with this dress, it seemed to take away from the print. So I went with a hot pink ribbon for the belt instead. 
 Not wanting to waste even a scrap of this precious fabric, I decided to create a couple bow to be featured at the base of the shoulder straps. 
I'm so excited to wear this dress to school and share it with my students. Big thanks to Spoonflower for working with me on this fabric-making adventure and to Chris Uphues for his constant inspiration. 
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