Showing posts with label first day of art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first day of art. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 30

Don't forget to join the chat tonight, Wednesday, at 8pm CST over on my official Facebook page. We'll be talking about the Art Teacher in Training badges: how we are using them, how they've been working and the rest. We're also sharing our favorite art supplies. AND, lastly, let's chat about that dreaded thing called CLEAN UP. See you then!

Today I thought I'd share with you how I've been using the Art Teacher in Training badges in my art room and how they've been working for me. I LOVE THEM! Check out this episode of Art Teacherin' 101 to find out more. 
I often times will talk myself out of introducing new things to the kids with the mindset that "I'll do it at the beginning of next year". But now my motto is: Why wait?! I actually think it's the perfect time when the kids are starting to get that spring fever. Anytime I introduce something new and present it in an exciting way, the kids are always game. Here's the video that I've been showing them to explain the badges. Feel free to use it in your art room. 
Be sure and check out these other badges created by art teachers and how they are using them too. See y'all tonight! 
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

In the Art Room: Give Directions Just One Time!

Hey, y'all! If you missed last night's Facebook Live chat, it was so fun! We talked about all things Art Show and so many fabulous ideas were shared. I'm so thankful for all of you that took the time to join the convo. You can still catch the archived chat right here and be sure to join me on Wednesdays at 8pm CST for the fun! 

My least fave thing? Repeating myself. As much as I love to talk, saying the same thing again and again to small people is, like, the worst. I have found a solution that works for me: Call and Response! I have chatted about it here as well:
The kids really enjoy Call and Response and it's very much apart of our art learning routine. Do you use this? What techniques do you use to help your students retain directions? Love to hear from y'all!
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 26

Hello, most amazing art teachers! In case you missed last night's super fun chat, you can find it archived here. Be sure to join the fun next Wednesday, December 28th where we'll be talking about the advice we'd have given our young art teacherin' self. 

Last night's chat was create but lengthy. I decided to put together my favorite take-away's in this week's Art Teacherin' 101. Be sure to follow me here if you'd like to see more 101's, lesson videos, One-Minute Art Teacher clips and a random Elf surveillance clip. I'll be creating a lot of new video content to go along with this new Classroom Management adventure that we'll be kicking off in my art room come January. 

Love to hear your favorite classroom management tips! Leave 'em below so we can all get better at this magical thing called teaching. Love y'all!
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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

In the Art Room: The Art Rocks Escape Game!

Welcome back to school! Over the summer, my husband and I played an Escape Game. If y'all aren't familiar, the concept is that you are "locked" in a room that is filled with clues to help you escape. The clues usually involve code-breaking, riddle-solving and just plain old hide-n-seek. We had so much fun that I decided to bring the concept to the art room. I thought it would be a great way to introduce my kids to the rules, routines and the space that we call the art room. It was such a blast that I thought I'd share it with y'all! 
As the students entered the art room, I had one kid stand at the door and pass out these small slips of paper. There were 7 different colors with about 5 of each. This year I average about 32 third and fourth graders per class so I needed to make sure I had enough for everyone. Once seated on the floor, I started this video:
A whole lotta (poor) editing went into this bad boy. Apparently I forget to edit the part where I adjust my wig. AND, if you make it all the way to the end of this video, you'll catch a look of how I really felt wearing that too-tight head piece and super-sweaty pleather jacket. Regardless, the kids ATE.IT.UP.
Just before I let them have at it, I read them the wee rules of the game...
Now, if you're worried that the kids will get a lil to wild playing this game, I found a sure-fire trick: Tell them there are SPIES watching. I fibbed to the kids and told them that before class had started, I had pulled aside a couple of kids to be my spies. Their job was to listen and share the secrets they overheard with other teams. Oh my goodness, y'all. Those fourth graders took that so seriously it was bananaz! My only other rule was no running...I have a big room and there was A LOT of excitement. But we can't be running in the art room, y'all. 

Once I gave them the go-ahead, the kids immediately teamed up and went to their coordinating table. There they found this:
To make things easy for myself, I made all the puzzles identical. Some kids figured out that they were just to look for the yellow heart...but my rule was that all puzzles had to be solved before moving on to the next. My favorite was when one team said, "our puzzle is too hard!"...and I'm all, "Dudes. They are all the same." 
Once the puzzles were solved, the kids went in search of their heart. I made sure to hide these pretty well so it was a bit like an Easter egg hunt. 
Once they found their box, the kids discovered the following inside:
A dry erase board and marker, a decoder and a code to solve. Each of the seven boxes contained riddles which revealed the class rules. They were to solve the riddle and return to our spot on the floor with their dry erase board. 
Just in case you'd like to use the code feel free! The Rockin' Riddle Rules the kids solved here: have fun, be respectful, follow directions, raise your hand, take pride and be nice. 
They were highly engaged, that's for sure! Once everyone had their rules, I played the next clip in the video where I chat about each rule. Then we were on to a self-guided room tour complete with a back-stage pass. 
(Yes, we refer to the place to put our dirty paint brushes as a "hot tub". Don't judge.)
I tried to think of the places in my art room where the kids would visit the most. I also came up with fun clues to help them find those places. I had specific dry erase marker colors in each spot so they couldn't just write the answers in. Also, I had them go to the places on their pass in the order listed so we wouldn't have any traffic jams. 
 A peek at how I labeled the places and placed the markers. 
 Where we play the Smartest Artist game
After the passes were full, we met again on the floor. In the next part of the video, I take them on a tour explaining the different places in the art room and emergency procedures. 
The final phase of the game was a "solo mission". Each artist was given three Post-It's and a Sharpie. They could pick from any of the six questions on my board to answer in a complete sentence. Once finished, they returned to the floor where we played a quick round of Smartest Artist before heading out the door. 

You.Guys. I hadn't had a chance to read what they had written until this morning. It made my day!
I mean...
This was only after a couple of classes had a chance to write. I can't wait to see these filled up! I plan to hang them around the school for our Open House Night. 
Because my focus is Peace, Love and Kindess this year, this is an important question for my kids. 
Their responses let me know that they KNOW the answer...we just gotta make it happen. 

Thank you for allowing me to share this super fun way to kick off the school year! Feel free to steal any ideas you see here. I'd LOVE to know if you do this kind of thing with your students. The kids told me that they are excited to play this kind of game again...which can only mean that this will be a new and fun way to introduce new concepts to the kids. An Elements of Art Escape Game, anyone?! YES, PLEASE! 
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Sunday, August 9, 2015

What the Art Teacher Wore #144 and a Contest!

 Motivational Monday: Welp, we're back! My small kindergarten thru eighth grade school district is made up of eight schools. To kick off the school year, we always gather for a pep talk by our superintendent (whom I've decided is the best in all the land. Y'all won't find a more kind-hearted or humble person) and his posse. This year, they brought in speaker and singer Keni Thomas, a Task Force Ranger who was apart of what we know as Black Hawk Down. Y'all. I can't even. This man's story was incredible. Never have I attended a professional development that was more inspiring. If you can talk your admins into hosting this amazing individual, I strongly recommend it! dress: made by me! go herescarf: vintage, thrifted; pencil shavings bag: made by Fossil, found on ebayshoes: Swedish Hasbeens, Anthro; color wheel watch: made by Swatch, go here

Well, it's official. School's back in session, y'all! After a week of gettin' all kinds of pro-developmentishness, I finally get my kitten mittens on the kids come Monday. And I'm so excited! I've got big fat plans for those wee artists and I can't wait to get started. By the way, if you'd like to know what I do on my first days of art (and see my "old" art room, I've since redecorated!) go here! But first, I've got news for you!

Do y'all recall last week when I mentioned a lil What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Schoolin' Contest? Well, the deal just got real, kids! Not only will you appear here but School Arts Magazine has also decided to run a feature of your art teacherin' self! Not only that, but the winner will get a free subscription to the magazine! How fun is that?! Here's how you can enter (please read carefully, I don't want you to miss a single step!):

*  Email me a photo of what you wore your first(ish) day of school! The more art-teachery, the better! If you want to qualify to be featured in School Arts, the photo must be high resolution (so, um, not your phone). Send it on to me at

* Share your look on Instagram! Don't forget to use the hashtags #schoolartsmagazine and #whattheartteacherwore and to tag me @cassiestephenz! This way we can all see what awesomeness you be wearing! 

* All photos will be shared here! In a special edition What the Art Teacher Wore (which will prolly appear after Labor Day to get all y'all late-startin' teachers a chance to enter), your good-looking face will appear here. We'll have a lil vote to see who will be featured in 
School Arts magazine and win that subscription! 

And that's it! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. I know several of you have already shown your look on insta and I thank you! Can't wait to see what all y'all be wearing! 
School Pride Tuesday: We were to wear our school t-shirts on this day but, ya know, I don't do the t-shirt thang. So I went with our school colors of yellow and blue (with a lil red thrown in). We spent our day catching up with teacher friends and meeting new ones. I do hope all y'all teacher friends of mine love your schools as much as I love mine. scarf: vintage, thrifted; blouse: from Buffalo Exchange, vintage; skirt: another score from Buffalo, originally from Anthro; bakelite: gifts; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; shoes: Crocs
 Since we tend to go to Disneyland frequently, I decided to start commemorating our trips by picking up a Disney pin each visit (any excuse to spend money and start a new collection, ya'll). I've got almost a dozen now and I'm trying to think of the best way to display them all. In the meantime, I've been wearing 'em too! This is one of my faves. I grew up with a fuzzy screen, "hey, move that antenna to the left! No, right!" kind of telly so this pin brings back memories. 
 Meet Your Teacher Night! Wednesday: So our district does a lil evening gathering a couple days before school starts. This allows the kids to meet their teach, see their rooms and get the lay of the land. It's a fun night to welcome 'em all back! dress: palette dress, made by me; shoes: Shoe Carnival
 Right before Meet-Your-Teacher night, I ran to the post office. I was chatting it up with the mailman who asked, "What is it you do?" When I told him I was a teacher, he asked, "What do you teach?" I just looked at him with my best dead-eyes face and said, "Really?" After doing a double take, he was like, "oooooh, right. Art." 
 First Day of School Eve Thursday: I decided to go all Mary Blair-esque on this day. vintage dress: a lucky find on etsy; Mary Blair-inspired necklaces: made by me, DIY herebelt: Anthro; Mary Blair-inspired bag: made by me, details here
Of course that means I gotta wear my It's a Small World pin, right?! 
First Day of School! Friday: Our first day was a half day so no kids came to art. However, we did gather them all in the gym during their shortened specials time to introduce ourselves and the staff (our SRO, the principals, custodians, you get the idea) as well as cover some basic school procedures. Of course, I decided to get right to the paint, ahem, with a goofball Steve Martin-inspired crayon-thru-head headband. On third grade girl's comment: You are the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Why thank you! dress: made by me, details hereshoes: gift, Anthro
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Thursday, September 4, 2014

In the Art Room: Those First Days of Art Class, 2

Oh dear Lawd. Please don't ask me what is happening here as I've no explanation. 

Well this here blog post is just a pinch delayed! I do believe we're heading into the second MONTH of the school year in my neck of the woodz. Howevers, since I did post a First Days of Art Class last year, I thought I'd share another this year. Some things have changed (with some influence from Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess, one of our Artsy Book Club choices) while some have remained the same. I thought I could best explain myself (complete with odd hand motions, apparently) in a coupla short vid clips. One thing I forgot to mention in the clip are the flashcards I used on that very first couple of days. You can see 'em here...
I like to use flashcards at the door as the kids enter. To get them into this routine, I flashed 'em these as they entered. Once everyone was in and on that red line, I told them that this group of words they read had two things in common: they were words that described them and words that described art class. 
Just a lil close-up of our Word of the Week. I actually see my kids on a 6 day rotation so this is more of a Word of the Every Six Day Rotation. Which wouldn't fit on my sign so I took some liberties. Since we are in our 3rd rotation of the year, we've thus far chatted about the words "artist", "unique" and "creative".  As far as artist inspirations go, we've looked at Kandinsky, Hundertwasser (boy, that was a fun name to teach the kids) and and Rizzi. We've yet to use the phone to Dial-an-Artist...I'll let you know when we do.
That Spring Drum was pretty rad, amiright? I know you want one. They are made by Remo and if you google "spring drum" for a hot minute, you'll find tons of retailers with 'em for cheap. Mine is a larger size but I'm willing to guess a smaller one would work just as well. Lookie here.
What?! Rules are SUPER FUN to go on and on and ON about, riiiiight? That Sound Machine can be found here.
My rules with some Haring illustrations. I'll eventually post these permanently somewheres in the art room. By the way, those questions I ask the kids can be just about anything. I just wanna get them talking and feeling comfortable. I also wanna keep it kinda short for those long winded friends of mine.
In all honesty, I've yet to use this routine. I can't seem to break myself of my normal habit of getting the kids attention which is either playing my Energy Chime (thanks, hubs!) or saying, "Point to the ceiling. Point to the floor. Point to your nose. Point to your toes." That usually does the trick. But I'm gonna keep trying.
Um-hmm, y'all better behave. Less you wanna look at this. 
Oh, I did mention The Smartest Artist in that clip. More deets here. AND Dot Day! We're closing in on the big day! I'd love to hear what you are up to. I just hope my genius artists can finish in time, agh!
Oh! And in case you missed my Virtual Room Tour posted a coupla weeks ago, here you go!

Chat with y'all soon.
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Thursday, August 15, 2013

In the Art Room: The First Days of Art Class

Konichiwa'ing and bowing to "Sensei Stephens"...a girl could get used to this. Unfortunately, I can't seem to train the hubs to do the same.
Konichiwa, ya'll!
 I don't know about you, but I am always super curious how teachers begin their school year. Since I just finished seeing all of my first through fourth grade classes for an hour this rotation (I see my students for a 1/2 hour twice every six days. Yeah, I'm just as confused as you are), I thought I'd share with you the first days of art class. Not included in this episode of In the Art Room is kindergarten-town. Because they start a little later than the rest, I only saw one class this week...and I tend to do things a little differently with them (read: whatever I can manage to do with a herd of cats, er kids, in one session).

On the first day of art class, I greeted my students outside my room wearing my kimono. We chatted briefly about how we would be studying the art of Asia this year beginning with Japan. They learned that whenever they are on a red line (one outside my room as you can see below, one in my room where we line up and another set where we sit on the floor) they are to be "samurai silent". I then told them how to say hello in Japanese and how to bow to show respect. Which is what's goin' down in that top photo.
My Samurai Silent line.

Once we entered the art room, following another red line, I asked the kids if they could tell me anything that was different about my room. Keep in mind, the last time they saw my room, it looked like this...and now it looks like this. From there, we gathered on the floor in "Japan".  I used the yellow map to remind them the name of our continent, the continent we studied last year and the continent of Asia. 

I chatted with the kids about my trip to Japan several years ago (I did the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund program which I cannot recommend enough. It was such a wonderful experience. You really outta do it). They learned that children in Japan are very much like them, including their style of dress. However, on special occasions, folks do wear a kimono. I chatted about my kimono, the obi (that giant belt) and my geta (the wooden shoes I'm wearing).
I know what you're thinking: You didn't talk about RULES on the very first day?! I'm getting to it! But c'mon. On the first days of school, it's nothing but rules and procedures and blahblahblah. Not only that, but I've been these kids' art teacher forever. We kinda sorta got this. That being said, after 10 minutes of chatting about Japan, I did have the kids move to this part of my room, take a seat on the floor so we could discuss...Art Class Rules.

Now, before they ventured to that part of the room, I asked them to go shopping at The Store for a piece of newspaper. The Store is simply the supply-gathering table I have set up in my room. You can read more about that here.
Okay, so you mighta noticed I'm wearing a different kimono. I'd accidentally left my other one at home that day and was left using my thrift store kimono.
Once seated on the floor with our newspapers, I went through the roll and greeted each student with a "konichiwa!". This gave them the opportunity to not only practice their konichiwas but to also learn my name if they were a newbie.
Five minutes later we got around to the rules. Now just to spice things up a bit, I like to use my sound machine when chatting about something that might otherwise be monotonous. This little gadget has 16 different awesome sound effects from a scream (to demonstrate what I might sound like if a rule is broken) to a round of applause for awesomeness. Consequences to not following rules are also discussed. Behind my rows of seated kids, I've got two red X's that are my designated time out spots. Students are to stand and face me when in time out so they can still hear instructions but no longer (er, hopefully) disrupt the group. Now, I'm not gonna lie, I've had my share of office referrals. But it's rare so I don't chat about it much.
When all that's covered, we get to our Very First Art Project! After teaching for a million (okay, 15) years, it's one thing that I've found drives the kids nuts on the first day: not getting to "do art". So I always try to include a little something. On the first day, we spent the last 5-7ish minutes making origami hats. I used this as a chance to really emphasize the rules: If you "listen carefully" then you'll be able to "follow directions. Origami can be confusing, so "try your best". "Be kind" to your friends, lend a hand if they need help. And that wrapped up our very first 1/2 hour session.
For our second 1/2 hour session, we practiced our samurai silent business and got our seats in art class. I have six tables with four chairs at each. Every table has a color and every seat has a number. Each student was instructed where their spot was (I'm a believer in assigned seats with an even ratio of boys/girls and positive peer grouping). I told them that we were going to play the Painting Game. Once they were given their seats, they were told to put on the apron that was on the back of their chair, don't touch the paint and wait for everyone to get their seat.
So the Painting Game was just a fun way for us to review proper painting procedures, review the elements of art and have fun. I would draw a number and then either a line or a shape and the kids were to paint it. I reminded them that our paint brushes are like ballerinas: they ALWAYS dance on their tippy-toes. They never EVER scoot around on their bottom. Because that's bad for the bristles and just plain weird. I mean, who ever heard of a butt-scootin-around ballerina?!
After a couple rounds, the kids swapped paint cups and brushes with their neighbors. We talked about the principals of art by chatting about variety, emphasis and all that other groovy goodness.
I changed out the table coverings at the end of each day which means these papers got pretty well covered. The kids were responsible for enhancing the painting that was already before them...which was a struggle for some. However, they all seemed to enjoy their painting time and were eager to do it again. Which we won't be anytime soon because we have a million other projects to get to...but I didn't tell them that. By the way, these paintings will be used as a backdrop for another project I'll share with you soon.
To wrap up the Painting Game and chat about what we learned, we lined up and played The Smartest Artist. More on that game here.

This is actually a photo from last year...I just didn't manage to snap one while we were playing this week. I quizzed them on the elements of art, the primary colors and the names of lines. After that, we bowed and said sayonara before exiting.
And there you have it! One hour in the art room, broken down into two classes. Every time I see these guys, I'll be covering a new routine and procedure (next up, safety drills) but I gotta break it up a bit with some fun. For my sanity and theirs. Teacher friends, how do you approach your first days of school. There's just so much to cover, the fun never ends. Thank goodness Friday comes once a week and saves the day, right?!
And now it's time to announce the Winner Winner Chicken Dinner! Debi! Congrats, girl! I can't wait to send this crayon-goodness your way and see what amazingness you create.

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