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

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Facebook Live! Tonight at 8pm CST

In case you missed my chat on Time Management (and many other things!)...you can still view it for one week here!

Hey there, cats and kittens! I hope you'll join me this evening for my first Facebook Live. So, like, I've never done a Facebook Live and my hubs just asked me if I'd given it a test run yet. Um, no. I am divin' into this thing head first without checking the water for sharks or 'gators cuz that's how crazy I am.

Hope to see you tonight, Wednesday, December 14th, 8pm CST for our first Live chat. I'll be talking about Time Management because I get a whole lotta questions on how I manage my time (which is simply hysterical to me). Get all my magical tips and tricks (bwahaha!) tonight and I'll see you real soon. 
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Friday, November 11, 2016

In the Art Room: Sandra Silbertzweig Inspired Portraits by Third Grade

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with y'all a video I created for my third graders. The video (seen below) introduced my kids to the colorful work of Sandra Silbertzweig and allowed them to explore creating a colorful and abstract self portrait. This lesson is currently  one of my faves! Check out how stunning these beauties turned out. All of my students are currently creating a wide variety of self portraits for our Artome fundraiser...and I daresay, these just might be my faves. 
For this project, we used:

* 9" X 12" black or dark blue construction paper. I would have loved to make these bigger but that is the size of the Artome frames.

* Black glue or black puffy paint. There are a couple of ways to create black glue. My friend Ginger creates black glue with a mixture of Elmer's All Purpose glue and India Ink. I created mine with a one part mixture of paint to two parts glue. The key is to use Elmer's All Purpose, not the school grade stuff as it's runny. Also, I had some students use black puffy paint which worked great. Another alternative is to use glue on black paper as it dries clear and will leave behind a kind of transparent line that the dark paper can show through. 

* Chalk. I'm a big fan of Koss Brand chalk which can be found on Amazon. It's pricey but GREAT. 
 This project took us two plus art classes to complete. On the first day, we watched the video, learned about Sandra and did a little guided drawing. If you watch the video, you'll see I left the drawing portion open to many levels of drawing alternatives. Once the drawing was complete, the kids traced their lines in glue. From there, if time allowed, we watched a bit more of the video as a kind of sneak peak to the following week. 
The real fun came with the chalk. In the video, I really stress how to use the chalk properly...and we do a whole lot of chatting about analogous colors. I really felt like this lesson was a wonderful exploration of color theory. 
 Here is how each table of four children was set up: a laminated colorwheel that I found online and two bowls of chalk, one warm, the other cold. Students were to use the colorwheel as I did in the video. Many of them took the time to pair up and lay all of their chalk out on the wheel. This way, they could easily see what colors were available to use. I love that they were so into picking the correct colors for this project. 
After the second day, several kids were not finished. This was fine with me...I mean, look at those results! The following art class, as they wrapped up their drawing, we chatted about how their artwork was going to be hung like work in a museum. I had them get a notecard and create a label for their work. On their label, they were to write:

Artists Name
Title
Medium
Process or Description

The information from this card will be used as both an assessment and also info for their Artome paperwork. 
 Once all pieces were complete, I blew off the excess dust and sprayed them liberally with Aqua Net. I did that three times to insure the chalk particles were attached. I'm hoping hey remain as vibrant and colorful when they are framed. 
Because of our small format, I decided to opt out of having the kids add designs to their work. I had a feeling it might have gotten a little muddy if we did. If the pieces had been of larger format, I think that would have worked well. 
I'm so looking forward to this winter art show. All of the kids have been creating beautiful works of art! I'll be sharing the work of my other grades soon. 
Until then, have a bright and colorful weekend!
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Monday, October 24, 2016

In the Art Room: Wisconsin Fall Art Conference, 2016!

So, never having been a teacher of any other subject, what I'm about to say is completely based on my totally biased and awesome opinion: Art Teacherin' Conferences Are THE BEST Conferences. There. Take that Typing Teacher Conferences (1. Is there such a thing? 2. It took me five minutes to come up with some sort of teacherin' conference to reference without hurting feelings. Sorry, Typin' Teachers. Y'all just don't strike me as the party animal type).
Last Wednesday, I got up at the butt-ugly hour of 2:30 am (that is MORNING, people) because I was so eager to get to the Wisconsin fall art conference and join my soon-to-be best friends. Well, that and the fact that the only decent flight I could find was at that unholy hour. Flying over Wisconsin was a beautiful treat. Can you believe this landscape? 
The WI fall conference was in LaCrosse which is my new favorite town. There's a bar, an antique shop and coffee spot on every corner. That's a winning town in my book. As I was walking out of the airport, my two favorite Wisconsinites were walking in to pick me up: Jen Dahl and Tiffany Beltz. Both Jen and Tiffany worked their tails off to make the WI art conference amazing. Tiffany went above and beyond recruiting fantastic presenters, hand-stenciling over 400 packets for each attendee, baking cupcakes for all involved AND presenting her self! She's a beast, that Tiffany Beltz. I want whatever she's having. Seriously, Jen and Tiff, y'all made my trip a wonderful one, thank you so stinkin' much!
After having a wonderful breakfast with Jen and Tiff, I did my best to lend a hand and help set up. Really, there was nothing to it, they had everything so well organized. That evening, there was a lovely reception for the art teachers who had artwork on display. It was there that I got to meet my online friend Jeanne Bjork. What I loved so much about meeting my folks whom I've only known online is the ease that I can chat with them. It's almost like reuniting with old friends. 
That morning, after a lovely breakfast with Jeanne, I managed to pop into a sessions that looked like so much fun: Stuffed Monsters. Dustin Anderson, Wisconsin art teacher, lead the session and it was so much fun. Big shout out to Dustin for allowing me to crash his monstrous party!
My kids are gonna LOVE this lesson!
My favorite thing about attending conferences: making new friends and seeing what others create. Art teachers are so stinkin' creative, y'all. Go figure. 
Immediately after Dustin's session was mine. I taught two hour long needle felting classes back to back. I love teaching needle felting because it's a craft that EVERYONE can do. It's like having a big ole craft night with all of your new favorite friends. 
We stabbed and stabbed ourselves palettes or anything else we had in mind. My buddy Lindy needle felted poppies onto a pair of leg warmers!
 I do believe I created a bunch of needle felting monsters!
 The following hour long sesh created the same cuteness. Our supplies came from Back to Back Fiber (thank you, Sue!). 
I mean, look how cute! I wonder how many of these were worn when the teachers returned to school. 
I taught over 60 ladies to needle felt! I need to invest in a herd of sheep, y'all. 
After attending a wonderful presentation on mindfulness in the art room, I met up with a group of art teachers who wanted to take the later afternoon to soak up LaCrosse and it's vintage offerings. I had so much fun with my new buddies! We hit LaCrosse Prairie Vintage, a coffee shop and a three story antique mall all before settling down for Bloody Marys, deep fried cheese curd and something called Tat-Chos (um, tater tot nachos aka HEAVEN ON A PLATE). It was so funny, when we were paying the tab, my friend Bonnie remarked, "it seems like it must be so late!" We looked down at our watches only to find it was only 7pm. We'd worn ourselves out!
Bright and early the next morning, I was up and on stage. I was the keynote speaker for the conference (that sounds so strange to say!). I had so much fun sharing stories about my art teacherin', art makerin' and life living journey. Normally, I get a touch of the jitters when presenting but the folks of WI make me so comfortable that it was like chatting with old friends. Love all y'all!
Right after that, I was back to workshop teaching. This time, I taught two hour long sessions on weaving. We explored cord and straw weaving. 
Special thanks to Leah Keller, Frank Korb and Jeanne for helping me wrangle up supplies since I ran out! I managed to overpack my outfits and under pack supplies because #priorities. 
I really gotta say it again: my fave part of the conference: making new friends.
Hanging out with folks like Frank, making new friends and catching up with "old" ones is my most favorite thing ever. Thank you so much, Wisconsin, for having me. I love y'all and had an absolute blast!

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In the Art Room: Easy Way to Distribute Supplies

Since I'm hanging with AOE this week and sharing some tips and tricks, I thought I'd bypass on my usual Wednesday Art Teacherin' 101. Because, let's be honest, a little of me goes a very, VERY long way. 

So, let's talk about this cafeteria style routine I'm sharing. I wrote about it a while back in this here blog post and go into a little more depth on the why's and how's of this method. I don't do this every art class but with my 30 minute sessions, it really helps cut down on movin' around time and allows us more time to create. And, after all, that's what we're there for!

While in the hallway, I'll usually give them their "shopping list" of supplies to gather. So that they don't leave anything off their list, I'll usually have them do a call and response which I chat about here:
Once in the room, the kids move quickly to place their supplies on their tables, write their name and class code and meet me on the floor. It helps to have music playing as they do so or even a short video. I like to have something going on my big screen telly as it gets them excited to move quickly and join me on the floor. Also, short fun songs and videos give them a glimpse as to what they'll be learning that day. In an upcoming blog post, I'll share with you some of my very favorite art teacherin' videos to play for my students. By the way, here is a video tour of my art room I created for my younger students...
When I give instruction, I always have my kids gather on the floor, away from their supplies. I do this for a couple of reasons: it removes any distractions for the kids and allows them to focus. It also gives us a cozy feel. I don't have carpet on my floor (I love the look of carpet but I really am not a fan. To me they are like big sponges for germs to gather) and I've never had a child complain about sitting on the floor. Once the directions are given, the kids are free to head back to their seats and dive right in.
In other news, if you need a tool to help you manage your time with your students, I really love my Time Timer!

I hope that is helpful for you. What have you found to be the best way to have your students gather their supplies? I know I've tried giving the kids jobs and they are wonderful at it...it's just that their art teacher (ahem) is miserable at remembering routines. We do what works for us, right?! 
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 20

Y'all have heard me chat before about the importance of pursing your creative passion in order to be the best art teacherin' type you can be. But you might be wondering, how? How do I find the time to do that?! Allow me to introduce you to the Power of NO. 
I was born and raised in the mid-seventies in the Midwest. I was raised to be to do what I was told even if I didn't wanna (the power of the paddle, y'all) and to be agreeable even if I didn't agree (I'm a self-diagnosed passive-agressive). When someone asks something of me, it's my nature to just say Yes! when I'm screaming NOOOOO on the inside. 

As art teachers, we are asked for our time, our talents and our resources. This should be considered sacred and only doled out in tiny amounts, if at all. I'm not saying don't be a team player (although, truth be told, I've NEVER been considered one of those!), if it benefits the education of your students and is fair for all sides of the teacherin' table, I say go for it. However, when scales are disproportionately weighted to the disservice of you, your students and your supplies, you gotta draw the line. And, as we 80's kids learned: Just Say No. Nancy Reagan taught us well. 
This past weekend, I really needed to just say no and focus on some creative YES. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know my weekend was spent crafting up a storm. From making these Celluclay Halloween heads (DIY to come, kids!) to finally getting back into my sewing room with some fun IKEA fabric...
It seriously felt like I was putting gas in an empty tank. 

So, how do you get yourself into that NO mindset? My husband put it so stinkin' well: imagine how long it would take you to do said task. Now think about how long it will take you to say no. The amount of time it would take to say no outweighs that time zapped from you day. Just say NO if you want to and forget about it. 

I also love advice about responding to requests either in person or via email: Thank you for your kind offer and for thinking of me. I am going to politely pass. 

And there you have it! More time for you, your students and their resources. Power to you and your No-ness!
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Thursday, September 22, 2016

In the Art Room: Radial Relief by Fourth Grade


I love a project that leads right into another. I also love a project where there is zero waste. 'Tis the reason I'm totes lovin' this Radial Relief by the Fantastic Fourth Grade!
If these look familiar to you, that's because these were our printing plates we created a couple of weeks ago! You can read all about that lesson and see video demos here
For that project, I ordered cardboard pizza rounds (we used 14" but in the future, I would def use something smaller) and self-adhesive foam stickers. Michael's seemed to have the best deal in town on those. I love that Michael's and JoAnn's offer teacher discounts and take competitor's coupons as well as their own...unlike some craft megastores (not naming names...but their initials are H.L., ahem). 
This really proved to be an effective lesson in teaching all about radial balance!
 And resulted in a ton of colorful prints.
For the second phase of this project, we used spray adhesive, extra wide rolls of foil from the Dollar Tree and Sharpie markers. Just before the kids came, I took their printing plates outside, sprayed them with adhesive and slapped a piece of foil on top. 
From there, they trimmed the excess foil off, folded it around the backside and started adding color to their designs. We reviewed our study of radial balance, the elements of art and chatted about the principals of design. 
I love that we were able to create something beautiful from their printing plates. And they really enjoyed this process.
Of course, we did have a coupla dudes enter Emoji-land. Who can blame them? Emojis are rad. 
 By the way, the patterned papers you see in the background are what all of my early finishers have been creating. They will be used in our upcoming What Lifts You mural that I'm super stoked about.
But I really love the backdrop they create for these pieces so I just might have to make them apart of the hallway display if we have any extra!
Have y'all used this technique with your student's printing plates? I'd love to know if you have and what spin you put on this project idea. 

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