Showing posts with label early finishers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label early finishers. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101, Episode 42:Grab and Go, Sketchin' Sticks!

 Hey, y'all! As apart of my mission to get my art teacherin' life together (the never-ending quest, I swear!), I'm trying to manage my Early Finishers. I've chatted many-a-time about my fast friends here and here. However, sometimes, sending my EFers off on a fun and far-away adventure can serve as a distraction to my Pokey Lil Puppies (aka HOW ARE YOU STILL WORKING ON THIS PROJECT WE STARTED IN SEPTEMBER?!). For that reason, I've decided that SOMETIMES, my EFers will work in their sketchbooks. And, instead of just assigning the usual "free draw", I decided to take a page from my friend Kaitlyn's book and create Grab -n- Go Sketchin' Sticks! Here's more:
I mean, after all, what do our kids need to do more? DRAW! What are they usually doing? PLAYIN' ON THEIR MAMA'S PHONE! My kids were thrilled to draw with these...it was like a novelty. I was like, y'all know you can draw anytime, right?!
 I just so happen to keep my Grab -n- Go's in a cute container but it's totes not necessary. This ole flower frog finally came in handy! It's from TAG but several years old...so if you really want one, check ebay.
Here are just a few of my drawing prompts. I made them double sided so the artists can pick their favorite idea. If you need more prompts, just google "drawing prompts" and you'll find a never-ending list of fun.
 With these sticks, my students have options. They can use my drawing books. I keep them as organized as I can in these color-coded bins. I spray painted the binding to further color code them. 
They can also use my still-life drawing objects like my wooden mannequins, plastic dinosaurs, 3-D forms and flower pots. I love the incorporation of the mannequin in this prompt!
Kids also know that they can add color with color pencils, markers, oil pastels and more. Whatever is available on the shelf is fair game. Thanks for letting me share, y'all!
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Monday, January 8, 2018

DIY: Yarn Bombing in the Art Room

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that last Wednesday, I had the chance to attend an amazingly fun PD lead by an art teacherin' buddy in my district. Her name is Madison and she shared with us all about yarn bombing! We watched this TED talk about Magda Sayeg who is attributed to "inventing" yarn bombing. It was fun to learn a little about the history of this street art movement.  
Yarn bombed things are usually knitted items...at least that's how Magda began the movement. What I loved about Magda's talk is how she never thought of herself as an "artist" per se...but found herself in the middle of an artist movement. Yarn bombed items since have been knitted, crocheted and wrapped...which is what we did. Madison asked that we bring something to wrap. It just so happened that I'd picked up this heart the day before at the Dollar Tree. I didn't even know that I needed it...but when she mentioned bringing something I realized the benefits of being a shopaholic. Here's a video of how I created this heart:
Of course I had to get a little bit tricky with the needle and all...but this heart would have looked just as cute without going that extra step.
The best part about this project is using up random yarn. I always get a TON of yarn donated to the art room. Oftentimes, it's not enough for a project...so it just sits unused. Now I can add it to an Early Finishers center of objects to be yarn bombed! But more on that in a moment.
Lemme just say that yarn bombing, while easy, is a pinch time consuming. Especially if you go the fancy route with sewing in the yarn like I did. The crazy thing is, I bought SEVEN more of these hearts on my last run to the Dollar Tree...I wanna create a whole wall of these lovely hearts!


Cuz I have just a pinch more wall space left in the art room for that sort of thing. Ahem
So, let's talk Early Finishers. Ya'll know that's been my thing this school year...trying to conquer the Early Finisher Beast. I'm trying to add more and more to my early finishers rooster...to allow more open-ended choice in my art room. I'm currently trying to wrap my head around my fibers area...I think yarn bombing would be just thing thing. Add a basket of yarn, some mundane objects that need a little yarn-love and viola! Yarn Bombing!
 I know it worked beautifully for me when I was avoiding lesson planning on a recent PD day. A few minutes between lessons and my class broom went from Blah to OHHH-LAAA-LAAA.
I had so much fun yarn bombing my broom that I realized the kids would surely enjoy it just as much. And I could use up those small amounts of yarn that seem to be multiplying in my storage closet (is that why I keep hearing Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On coming from my closet?!).
 Have you kids yarn bombed before? So, what gives? Do you love it as much as me?!
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Sunday, December 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Early Finishers, Part 2

Why, howdy art teacherin' partners! I hope all y'all are having a relaxing weekend and bracing yourself as this coming week is FULL.MOON.WEEK. The one week a month that I believe we should have off. Call it mental health days. Call it "for the safety of the children" days...cuz the gone be a lil cray...and Ima hafta be a lil crazier. Which isn't all that hard to do, let's be honest. 

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with y'all a post titled Early Finishers, Part 1. This year, with my larger classes, I have noticed a huge difference between my students' work time. I've got some that finish in no time at all and do a fabulous job...and others that work at a snail's pace. I'm a snail's pace artist myself so I totally feel for those kiddos. I never want to rush them...but I also don't want my other students who are finished to simply have blocks, free draw or dry erase boards as their options. 

So I spent a LONG time thinking about this and crafting a system that I'm hoping works for me and my students. I'm also hoping this system allows for me to continue to teach the lessons and curriculum I do while allowing the kids time to explore other areas of art. Call it a directed art/choice-based art combo...or just call it doin' what works. Cuz that's what we do all day long. 

So, how does this work? Well, I created a video to explain it to my students. It's SUPER long-winded (there's so much to cover!) that I will definitely be sharing it in two parts. But, basically, the run down is all spelled out on the poster above (which I HAVE GOT to figure out how to make a downloadable PDF for y'all! I messed up on this post and need to fix it...and want to do the same for this poster. I'll try to have that done this coming week). 
It's long...but I ALWAYS have so much to say (story of my LIFE!).
When kids are finished they are #1: NOT YELL OUT "I'M DONE!" Because me no likey. The first thing they have to do is clean their area. I've noticed that many times, when I make things available to the kids who finish early, they just stop, drop and go. Then I'm left being a naggy-nag callin' so-n-so back to their seat to clean their spot. No more. If you fail to clean then, sorry(not sorry), all options are removed and you are left with a dry erase board. 
After their spot is cleaned, I'm requesting the kids write an exit slip...which we've only done a handful of times because I.SUCK. Seriously. I will sometimes do what you see above: quiz the kids as we are standing in line and jot down what they've learned. But now, I'm putting the ball back in their court. I'm simply asking for one sentence. That's not too much to ask...right?! (insert wink-y face emoji). By the way, if you wanna see what my room USED to look like before I went bonkers and tore everything off the walls this summer, check out this blog post
If all of this is sounding vaguely familiar, that might be because I recently chatted about my early finishers in a podcast. BTW, did you know I have a podcast?! I DO! It's called Everyday Art Room and you can take a listen here
 SIDE NOTE: I got new flooring this week! YES, I'm so excited! When I shared the photo on my IG, many folks asked me where the flooring is from...right here. I also was asked how I was able to afford such flooring. Well, first of all, the flooring was about $120 so SUPER reasonable. Much cheaper and more sanitary than a rug. I do have some extra cash because of the fundraiser I do called Artome
 Okay, now that I've explained the first half of my poster, let's talk about the whole "check time and clips" dealio.
 Okay...so my biggest struggle with early finishers is that there are some who literally have 2 minutes left of art class and will bust open the blocks, grab a piece of free draw and/or get a dry erase board only for me to be like: DUDE. YOU HAVE 2 MINUTES LEFT. They've got no concept of time based on my wall clock. But they do understand my timer...so I'm hoping this method of having the clocks on the bins works. 

An incentive for good behaviors is telling them how many clips they must have. I explained my clip system in this blog post and on this podcast. Fewer clips means fewer options. 
 I decided to limit the blocks/building area to 8 kids because the floor space doesn't comfortably allow for many more kids then that. I also decided to move the drawing supplies to the other side of this cabinet. This way, the kids who wanna draw, aren't stepping over the kids who are building. I'm fortunate that my art room used to be the school library: it's big and has wonderful shelving like this!
 (Please try to ignore the bloodshed...I had a red paint bottle EXPLODE this summer and leave behind this mess. And, yeah, I've yet to clean it up. Raise your hand if you're surprised.) So now the kids have LOTS of drawing options: free draw, how to draw books, idea stick, Fashion Plates, stencils and observational stuff. For observation, I've got mannequins, blocks, dinosaurs, mirrors and vases with flowers. 
 Last option: the light table! My kids REALLY love this.

Next up: I will share a follow up post to let you know how all this shakes out. I'm planning to add more: origami, fibers, collage...and maybe build in more time for these areas and not limit it to just early finishers. 

How do y'all handle those rascally early finishers?! I'd love to hear!
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

In the Art Room: Early Finishers, Part 1

Well, hello, strangers! I normally aim to post on this here blog about three times a week but, over the last two weeks, I've hardly shared here. It feels weird not chatting with y'all but I've been super duper distracted with creating a new and exciting space for my early finisher friends! If you follow me on Insta, then you've seen me (over)share what I'm working on. Usually, on this blog, I post projects when they are complete. But I really have so many projects in the works right now (that are all in various stages of completion/do-overs/rethinking-my-life-choices) that I thought I'd give you a peek behind the mess that is my thinking process. Creating and thinking are always messy, amirite? 
 My art room is large because, once upon a time, it was the school library. So I'm spoiled rotten and y'all better believe I know it's true. In fact, the art room is what sold me on changing schools...I literally stalked the previous art teacher for two years (she was set to retire at that time) to get my foot in the door. However, with a big space, comes more room to make big messes...which is what I'm (unfortunately) super good at. This year, after nearly 15 years in this space, I'm making LOTS of changes. I've shared them with you mostly in the form of switching up my wall decor but now I'm ready to tackle the big things on my to do...namely, what to do with my Early Finisher Friends. 

We've all got 'em. Sometimes they've got 5 minutes, sometimes they've got 10...for me, it's my doubled up classes (where I have about 35 kids for an hour) where my artists finish their work at different paces. In the past, the space above was where they could go to build with blocks or draw using my drawing books...but I just have always had this nagging feeling that I wasn't offering them enough. I really want to allow time for more individual creative choice. So I'm thinking that my early finishers area could be just the thing. 

My plan is to allow kids time to BUILD, DRAW, DESIGN and/or READ. So, in the photo above, you'll see the bins on the right...those contain a variety of building blocks. On the top of the shelf, you'll see mannequins that I spray painted (I saw an art teacher who did this and LOVED the idea!), dinosaurs, flowers in pots and forms. That will be my draw area. Also included in this area will be these drawing prompt sticks:
 I got this idea from my buddy Kaitlyn and had to add it to my drawing area. I'll be sure to share more about this soon...but if you hop over to Kaitlyn's IG, you'll see a ton of ideas for drawing prompts!
 My biggest issue with friends who finish early is their concept of time. They have none. If they see there are only 3 minutes left on the timer, they STILL gonna go get a brand new sheet of paper or dump out 456 blocks. Then I'm all, "ain't nobody got time for that!" So that the kids do know what's available for them during the time they have, I've been creating these using Canva:
Each of these will be added to the front of my bins or in a draw, read, design area. They will show how much time the kids will need for each activity, what it is, how many clips their table must have (this a new behavioral management plan I'm trying...more details in a future blog post), where they can do the activity and how many kids can work together. These are simply prototypes...still kicking these around in my head. 
 The reason I'm sharing all of this with you today is because I'd LOVE your advice. What do you do with your early finisher friends? Or, if you have a more choice-based art room, how does it look? How do you organize the space for your artists?
 Side note: you might have noticed a rainbow theme...inspired by my gift from Treetopia, a rainbow tree and wreath! I've been tasked with decorating it...but I'm gonna put the wee artists on the job. Stay tuned!
I love my specials team, by the way. Thank you, Ali, for helping me get this beauty up!
 Another view of my space. It's going to be a great area...I've just got a lot to do before I can call it complete. My goal is to have it open for my kids after Thanksgiving break. 

But, again, I'd LOVE to hear from y'all! Please share your fave activities for those early birds. 
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Art Teacherin': Episode 29

Ah, early finishers. Y'all know what I'm talkin' about: those kids who are "DONE!" like they are some sort of turkey dinner. And isn't it funny how "DONE!" is contagious? It's like popcorn kernels in a bag of microwave popcorn; once one starts poppin', they all do. So...what do you do with those early finishers? Check out this video for my tips, tricks and tour of my art room!

I don't know if you know this but just about every Wednesday night at 8pm CST at this spot, me and a buncha art teacherin' types have a Facebook LIVE chat. We've talked about Classroom Management, Art Shows, What We Wish We'd Known our First Year Teaching, and...Early Finishers. All of these convos are archived here. They have been so much fun. And I'm excited to share that this week, we are doing our first ever MAKE AND TAKE! Here's what we'll be up to...

We are creating Art Teacherin' Assistant Badges!

The idea is this: create fun and cute badges that a select number of students in your art room can wear. These kiddos are your assistants which can mean anything you imagine from helping pass out and collect supplies to peer tutoring, reminding other kids of directions and much more. It's really up to you how you use your badges. In my art room, I plan to create one per table (for me, that's four). Students with questions will ask these Art Teacher Assistants questions (such as "where do I put my artwork?"; "where can I find this supply?"). The Assistant's job is to know the answer (which means listening extra carefully as your buddies are counting on you!) and if they do not, they are to seek out another Assistant. 

My goal is to do the following: empower my students! And, let's be honest, make it so I don't have to repeat myself bunches of times. I have a select number of friends that LOVE to ask me questions which I am quite certain they already know the answers to...just to (drive me bonkers) talk to me. I'm removing this constant exchange so that I am free to roam the room and have more meaningful conversations with my students...and not have to say, "WET PAINTINGS GO ON THE DRYING RACK. DO NOT BRING THEM TO ME. I AM NOT A DRYING RACK." Ahem. 

If you'd like to join the Make and Take badge making fun this Wednesday at 8pm CST, here is the list of supplies I'll be using and recommend. OF COURSE, you can bring and use any ole thing you want. Just so you know...badges will be featured in an upcoming blog post so you know you'll want yours to be the most glittery, sparkly, blingerly (yes, that's a word) in the universe. 

Index cards, card stock, tag board, poster board, etc. Cut into 3" X 4-5" rectangles. These will serve as our badges that students can wear around their necks. Think of a good size for your kiddos. I'm going with index cards.

Packing tape. This is how I will seal my cards...or you could laminate them.

Sharpies, markers, gel pens. Whatever you might like to decorate your badges.

Hole punch. 

String or yarn. So these can be worn.

Puffy paint, glitter, sparkle, bedazzler, etc. Any ole thing you can think of to make your badge one of honor that your students will love to wear!

I'm so excited to create on Wednesday with y'all! I do hope you'll join the fun. AND, in case you want more views of my art room, here's a video I created for my students of my art room. See ya real soon! 

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