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

Monday, August 20, 2018

In the Art Room: A Glimpse Inside my First Day with 1st and 2nd

Ohhhh-whey! Don't mind me, it's just the second Monday of the new school year and I've already got my feet up and I'm surrounded by Getting to Know You Sculptures. Last week, I shared with you a video where I talked you thru what I do my first day with my 1st and 2nd graders for their first 30 minutes. Today I thought I'd share with you a video of myself with my kiddos to give you more of a visual. So, here you go! My very first art class with some of my very favorite people:
Now, if you need more explaining about my very first 30 minutes and why I do what I do, you can check out this lil clip:
I love seeing how other art teachers teach. I am loud, annoying and definitely not for everyone...but that's me. That's who I am and that's how I teach. I really think finding your voice in your classroom is the best way to be your best teacher. So while I like to share what works for me, it's by no means me saying that you should do it too. It's just an offering of ideas and a little peak inside. Y'all are always welcome to my art room! So pull up a chair, roll up your sleeves and...GO CLEAN SOMETHING for heaven's sake. This place is a PIT!

All kidding aside...stay tuned...I've got more videos coming your way this week and a follow up to our sculpture lesson. Love y'all!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

First Day of Art Class!

Well, all this week I've been experiencing my first day of art over and over and over. All y'all know what I'm talking about...with 20 classes, you have the joy of hearing yourself say the same things on loop. Most of my classes, kindergarten through 2nd, are 30 minutes in length. I thought I'd share today what I do in that very first 30 minute art class...and stay tuned. I'll be sharing my second day of art (and what I do with my hour long classes) later on this week. For now, here you go!
The video I play on that very first day of art is one I created last year. My art room looks SO DIFFERENT NOW! It's kinda crazy to see how much I changed and redid last year. My students LOVE this video and it's such a great reminder of what is expected of them. Here it is:
Creating videos is a great way to share with kids important information without putting yourself on repeat. My students love to see the adults in the building cutting up and misbehaving in this video!
 I've been using a variation of this "cheat sheet" for years...and it really helps. I call it my security blanket. I'm sharing it with you in case you need a lil bit of security!
Here are the random and sometimes off the wall questions I ask the students. These questions are all over the place...which really holds their attention and keeps them on their toes. 
Much more to come on how I do my first days...but I did want to share with you what I cover on that very first day when I have 30 minutes or less. Happy New School Year! 

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: Growth Mindset Coach, 1

Howdy, bookworms! I hope everyone's summer has been a relaxing and rejuvenating one so far. It's in this chilled-out state that I thought it might be fun (heavy on the "might") to begin chatting about the upcoming new school year and how we might improve on our art teacherin' awesomeness. One book that I think will really help us and our students is The Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley. 
As some of you know, I do a Facebook LIVE chat right here every Wednesday night at 8pm CST. I did take the month of June "off" as I was traveling and teaching quite a bit. I've so missed chatting with my Wednesday night art teacherin' crew so I'm excited to "see" y'all this evening. In previous chats, we've needle felted, worked in clay, brainstormed, shared nearly every idea under the art teacherin' sun. You can find all of our past chats archived here. When I threw the idea of a book club out there, many enthusiastically agreed. I chose this book because it's one I started midway through the school year and really enjoyed...but one I also felt like I needed to discuss with other art teachers. How can I make this work in my art room? What have other art teachers done? How can we empower our students together?
Tonight I thought we could tackle just a few of those thoughts. This book club is not limited to just art teachers. You don't have to have read the book to join. Feel free to join the fun, no pressure. We'll be happy that you joined, regardless! 

Also, if you join the fun tonight, I've got TWO BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS about this book to share!
I have read the Intro as well as chapters on August and September. I'm excited to discuss the difference the following:

* Fixed vs. Growth Mindset: Where do you fall?
* Growth Mindset in the Art Room: What does this look like?
* Practice and Persistence is a Path to Achievement: We got this!
* Introducing Growth Mindset on the First Days of Art

See y'all tonight!
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Monday, October 10, 2016

In the Art Room: The Start of Art!


How you start your art class sets the tone for your art teacherin' day. Lemme chat with y'all about what I have found to be the most successful ways to start art off right. 

A Greeting: Okay. Y'all know that if you let them, your kids will walk into your art room saying the following: I like your hair; I like your shoes; I lost my tooth; My grandma is visiting; It's my birthday!; Yesterday was my birthday!; (and, my personal fave) WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY?! 

I like to divert this practice of holding 20 individual conversations by starting the class with a greeting. 'Hello, my most amazing artists!' is my favorite. It works for me and it eliminates the chance of me getting sucked into long winded chats. 

A Minute to Prep: I like to give myself a minute to grab the supplies I'll need for a lesson. Sometimes that means I'll have a "teacher" sit in my chair and chat with the kids about art. Another way I like to do that is with a short video created either by me or found online. This gives all my students a chance to settle in quietly. 

Tape on the Floor: The tape on the floor is a gift sent from art teacherin' heaven. I don't have a carpet (I'm not a fan of 'em even though they are pretty) so the kids don't know where to sit. Tape helps guide them in quickly to take a seat. 

Happy/Sad Board: Y'all, I'm the worst about being consistent but my happy/sad board is something I can handle...and I'll often have the kids handle it! I talk about it in my very first Art Teacherin' 101:
These little things like a greeting, a minute to catch my breath by having a "substitute teacher" in my chair, tape on the floor and the Happy/Sad board make a big difference when it comes to starting my art class off right. What do y'all do at the start of art to set the tone? 

Oh! And I did mention the Smartest Artist, more details here
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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 19

Last week, I discovered a little magical device that worked wonders with a chatty fourth grade class: this wee plastic sign from the Dollah-Make-You-Hollah Tree!

So, just how does it work? In short, I start off by placing it on the table of the hardest working group. Then I set my timer for seven minutes (because five minutes broke the class up too much) and when the timer went off, the Rock Star group chatted about who was the next set of Rock Stars. The wee sign was then passed to that table and Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Allow me to do a slightly better job explaining it to you here:

I'm REALLY BIG into putting the kids in charge of stuff like the Happy/Sad board (see below-below), the clean up signal, and, now, this. I could tell a big fat hairy fib and say that it's because I like putting ownership in the kids hands or instilling responsibility. I suppose that's a super sweet side effect but the fur realz reason is that 1. I'm Lazy and 2. I'm Crazy. I'd forget ALL of that stuff each and every art class if the kids weren't so stinkin' good at reminding me and keeping up with all of it. So there. Now you know the truth. 
In case you missed my Dollar Tree shopping spree finds, here you go! It truly is Art Teacherin' heaven, y'all. 
And in case you missed that bit about the happy/sad board...dudes. I love this thing. It's quick, it's easy and it's a visual for the kids. It's also great for when I have a sub as he/she can keep up with it as well. In my sub videos, you'll often see me chat about it as a reminder to the kids that I am watching. ALWAYS WATCHING...(something on Netflix). 
Because I did a lousy job explaining my table set up, here it 'tis. With my bigger glasses, we use every seat in the house except those end cap seats. That's where I like to plop down and check out the happenings. 
Now to figure out what to do with the rest of the little signs. I have a feeling this idea is going to progress so stay tuned. Love to hear your tips and tricks for management in the art room. We can all learn from each other! 
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 14

My very first art teacherin' gig was in Nashville over 15 years ago. I was hired the weekend before school started and I was COMPLETELY CLUELESS. I had absolutely no idea where to begin when I was given the keys to my portable. The only evidence of art teacherin' that I could find was a sad stack of curriculums (shudder), worn SchoolArts Magazines (which I poured over) and a coffee can of broken crayons. I must have turned around and around in that little space a dozen times trying to figure out just where to begin. I stayed up until 3am creating the most beautiful Vincent van Gogh rules posters thinking that the rest would take care of itself. Um. It did not.
If I had known then what I know now, I woulda said that getting ORGANIZED is the most important way to start your art teacherin' life. I don't mean getting that storage closet all tidy or having every bottle of paint in a perfect row, that's all surface stuff that can be whittled away over time. I'm talking about getting the important parts organized: your class lists, your schedule, your lessons and your yearly plan. Once you have that squared away, you'll be able to breathe so much easier and will have a more enjoyable time getting the rest in order. 
Organize Your Day-to-Day: I recycle the same stinkin' 5 folders each year. My schedule changes every day. For my sanity, I print out a copy of each day's events and tape it to the front of each folder. Inside the folder is a class list of who I'll see that day as well as my seating charts. I pull this out each day, sometimes placing a sticky note of some topics I need to touch on with each class on the front. This works fabulously for those days I'm out sick as well as it makes my sub's life so much easier.

Organize Your Student's Art Work: I keep those bins that I shared in the clip handy to organize student work. One thing I failed to mention in the video is that I have my tables organized by color, for example: red table, orange, etc (the video below gives you a room view). I have a folder for each table. At the start of art class, I'll hand a student who sits at that table the folder which they then take back to their seats. From there, they pass out the artwork to their table mates. At the end of class, they collect artwork, return to the folder and put back in the bin.

Organize Your Teaching Life: It's more than just lesson planning, y'all. What I love about my friend Laura's planner is that it covers EVERYTHING. There are lesson plans, a calendar, a day-to-day planner, a monthly agenda, To-Do Lists, like, everything. Because your teaching life is not just lessons. It's knowing what is going on in the seasons, throughout the school, in other areas of curricula. Having all of these things organized in one binder will really save your sanity. Lemme show you how I use mine:
 My school calendar has less items on it than my personal one...although, at school, I do have them open side-by-side. I love how big that calendar is so that I can really scrawl my notes all over it. 
Because I use Laura's template's to write out my lesson plans, what I write on my weekly teaching schedule is an abbreviated version. What I really find to be important is documenting what happened during a particular art class. This helps me to know how to better approach the class the next time I see them. For example, if one class needs to rework their self-portraits or needs a vocabulary review, I like to write that down while it's fresh on my mind. Otherwise, as you know, goes right outta our crazy lil heads. 

Organize Your Personal Life: I'm telling you, I am The Keeper of the Notebooks. I used to have a notebook that held EVERYTHING from school stuff, personal goals, sketches, art, you name it, this bulging lil book held it. Those kind of books always wore me out because it held TOO much information. So I switched to a notebook for each of my different interests: sewing, drawing, ideas for school, ideas for crafts, etc. My purse became a pull-behind suitcase to cart around my library of books. When I discovered that wee 3-ring bound book at Target it was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang. I bought the tabs, the folders, the calendar and everything that went along with the binder. It's small enough to throw in my big ole purse but big enough to hold my thoughts. I can't recommend y'all get one enough!
Once you've got your art teaching ducks in a row THEN you can indulge in the icing on the cake: the decorating! Here's the tour of the art room I have shared with my students this week. Like I said, seeing other teacher's rooms can be so intimidating. But all that decorating comes with time. Be easy on yourself, take your time, be thoughtful as you plan and just know that these things will happen. 
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 13

What's the fastest way to inspire white hot panic in any art teacher? Tell 'em that it's the start of a new school year and they've gotta dream up lesson plans for all their countless classes. Pile that on top of the fact that you gotta prep your art room, teach the rules -n- routines all while making sure the kids have fun and you've got a whole lotta freak out goin' on. Well, in this episode of Art Teacherin' 101, I thought I'd share with you how I start my school year in an easy and stress-free way with an impactful project. How? Just think:

Theme, collaboration or both? 

Here, lemme 'splain it to you...
Here's how I approach it: What do I want my beginning of the school year theme to be? An artist? A culture? An art movement? Or, as is the case this year, a big idea like kindness? Start there. Once you've got that nailed down, think: do you want your students work together to create one collaborative piece? Or do you want them to each create individual works of art that are based around your theme. Like I mentioned I've done a bit of both with success. I'll share 'em with you here in a sec but lemme tell you why I love working this way so stinkin' much:

* It's IMPACTFUL. Getting art on the walls as soon as school starts is a great way to promote your program; instill pride in the students as EVERY ONE of their works of art are on display; beautify the school environment. You need money for supplies? You need parent volunteers? You want kids to have a great self-confidence? Say it with artwork, y'all. Immediate art can garner immediate results.

* It's EASY. Think about it: sticking with the same theme means one prezi/powerpoint/bulletinboard for all. It gets even better when all students are using the same art supplies as that cuts down on prep. Everyone is creating a selfie with markers and colored pencil on the same size piece of paper? Wowza! You might actually be able to spend your lunch hour EATING LUNCH and not scrambling around like a crazy person. 

So, without further ado, lemme share with you some of my fave collaborative projects that added a powerful punch to those otherwise dull brick walls:
Collaborative Grid Masterpieces: If you settle on an artist as your theme, you might want to consider having your students create a grid mural. You can purchase grid murals online or create one of your own. I always liked having my students draw out the mural themselves as you can see in this lesson here. However, Art with Jenny K sells some great pre-drawn grid murals too! 
Teamwork Collaboratives: My students and I really loved this project last year. It involved team building and was super colorful! Now I'm thinking this project could go even bigger. What if you did this with an ENTIRE class? Maybe each class creating a series of art supplies in this manner? Golly, how awesome would that be outside of an art room!? 
School Wide Collaboratives with a Theme: I know I've shared this collaborative a number of times but that's because it was so simple and successful! If your theme is love or kindness, I would strongly recommend this project. Ours hangs as a permanent piece and still gets plenty of attention and compliments. 
Super Simple Collaborative: You want something super easy but stunning? Might I recommend this coffee filter Dot Day inspired project that would be a collaborative for all students. 
Dot Day Collaboratives: Right after we complete our kindness piece, my students will be diving into all things Dot Day. I've shared all of my past Dot Day collaboratives. They make such and impression and teach a great lesson! 
Grade Level Collaborative: Like the Dot Day Tree Mural above, this jungle-themed collaborative was created by my first graders at the start of the school year. For this style of theming, my students all created unique jungle-themed projects based on a different lesson but learning the same artist, art history and overarching idea. 
For example, here is an example of one of the relief sculpture pieces my fourth graders created
School Pride Collaborative: This beaut is over 3 years old now and still hangs proudly in our lobby. The kids love it, it adds a splash of fun and happy to our entrance way and it was simple to create. All the deets can be found here
Setting the Tone Collaboratives: I recently shared with y'all the kindness collaboratives my students have created in the past. They are a wonderful way to set the tone with your lesson and visually in the school. A list of kindness collaboratives here
Selfies: Self-portraits all over the school at the start of the school year is very empowering for students. It gives them a sense of belonging and ownership to the school. This fun selfie lesson can be found here
Super Duper Kids: This lesson was a wonderful way to explore what makes each one of my students a super hero. Follow this linky-loo for a complete lesson video

For even more selfie lessons, take a peak at My Fave Self-Portrait Lessons
Remember, the start of the school year is already a stressful time for both you and your students (as they anticipate a new school experience). Cut down on your stress level by thinking of a simple, impactful project with an overarching theme, media or collaboration. Trust me, you'll have something beautiful to add to your school walls and one less gray hair on your pretty lil head! 
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In the Art Room: First Day(s) of Art!

Hello, cats and kittens and welcome to the very first day(s) of art! It's been a wild -n- crazy week so far and, y'all, IT'S ONLY TUESDAY. Which means we're having fun, right?! Well, somebody is, anyway. Glue sniffing will do that to a gal. 
For the last couple of years, I've shared with you what my first day(s) of art class look like (go here and here for that, y'all) . I keep saying "day(s)" because my schedule is a lil different than the rest of the art teacherin' universe (I ain't complainin', I'm just sayin'). I see my first and second graders for 30 minutes, twice a week; my third and fourths for 60 minutes, once a week and kindergartentown (who don't start until next week) for 40 minutes, once a week. So! What I've got for you today is what I teach the youngers over the course of two classes and the olders in one class. Make sense? 

Before we get started, lemme just tell you a couple of things I decided at the start of this school year:

* My room doesn't have to be perfect but it does have to be functional on the first day. Y'all, I used to spend entire summers in my art room. Rearranging. Organizing. Making visuals. It was exhausting, time-consuming and I never gave myself a break! This year, I seriously spent a handful of days in my room preparing. I always redecorate my room with a theme (see my Paris-inspired art room and my Asian-themed art room) but this year, I've only just begun updating my decor. Mostly because I knew I didn't need it at the start of the year and I was enjoying every last drop of my summer!

* Introduce the art room, routines and other new stuffs gradually. I used to try to cram in everything in the first couple of art classes. What do you think the kid's first impression of art class was? Rules, Do's and Don't's, Procedures and Zzzzzz-snoozefest. I think that whole deal is flawed. The kids only hear about the first two minutes of whatever it is you are talking about anyway. You go over one million boring-ish things with them all at once and you've lost them! I want their first impression of art class to be a fun one so we are covering those necessary things in baby bites, over several art classes. And doing some fun stuff everyday, like painting on the first day of art class!
So, speaking of talking too much, here's a clip of me talking too much TO YOU about what goes down that first day. I go into more detail about what you see here in the post...but if you have any questions, you can find me in the comments, y'all. 
Those flash cards I mentioned? They say: inspire, art, artist, create, creative, imagine, unique, etc. All words that describe the kids, art class and what artists do! My first thru fourth grade students read these at the door. For kindergarten, I show them shape flash cards. More in this vocab blog post. 
This is the view of my art room from the doorway. This is what the students see when they enter my room. The "teacher chair" is on the right and the other students are to sit on the floor in rows in front of the "teacher" (the quotes are cuz the teacher is a student I picked at the door to both monitor student behavior and play the game "see, think or wonder".)
Here's what the kids seated on the floor see. A view of my giant telly with an image from our Artist Inspiration, Henri Rousseau. When I am finished quizzing the kids at the door, I ask the "teacher" who was the best behaved boy and girl. Those two kids will get to be the host of our end-of-art-class game The Smartest Artist
At this point, I take over and introduce our Word of the Week. What the kids don't know is that I am secretly introducing them to our art class routines as we do this each and every art class! Whenever they hear the WoW, they are to "whoop! whoop" which is one part annoying and two parts fun, depending on your mood.
After talking about our WoW and our Artist Inspiration, I (re)introduce my students to Jes, our mascot/traveling tiger! I made a Jes a couple of years ago (details here) and he traveled around the world like Flat Stanely. It was so fun, the kids loved it...and then the poor dude was shipped to China never to be seen or heard from again (in my imagination, he took a turn to Bangkok and decided it was so fun he never wanted to leave!). So I made a new one and the kids are so excited to send him packing. I'll keep you posted on how that goes as I'm going to need your help!
Then we made a list of all the places we thought Jes should go!
After a quick stretch, we talked about rules. Oh, rules. Double snooze. But we made ours all sorts of wild and crazy which I think I explained in el video. So, we'll just leave it at that!
 We have a new incentive this year with a sticker chart! I've never EVER done a sticker chart, y'all. I'm seriously the most unorganized and inconsistent person you will ever meet in your life. However, I juuuuust might be able to do this one. All the special area folk in my school are on board so we are hoping to do it together. The kids have the chance to earn two stickers by following the two thoughts above. 
At the end of a quarter, whatever grade level class has the most stickers is rewarded with (a super cheap/easy) party! Like a 5 minute dance party at the end of class, popcorn party(tho we have so many allergies, y'all. It might have to be peanut-free/glutenless/flavorless/why-bother-living candy of some sort), you get the idea. Who else does this? Has it worked for you? TEACH ME YOUR MAGICAL WAYZZZZ.
At this point, I wanna hear the kids talk because I'm tired of hearing myself. So I call roll. The kids are to respond with a "Hello, Mrs. Stephens" (which helps the newbies learn my name, to hear it said 20 other times!) and then I ask them a silly question like those seen above. Yesterday, I asked one boy, who was new, when his birthday was and he replied "Today!" So, OF COURSE we had to stop, drop and sing Happy Birthday. The kids love these questions because they are random and ridiculous. Which is always a good time, says me.
 Oh, lookie! I can's! I changed up how I post these and I'm really digging it. Let's zoom in, shall we?
 Big, simple, kid-friendly and with visuals! Thanks, Dollar Tree.
This will also help the kids know what supplies to gather for art projects of the day.
So this was the beginning-of-the-school year decorating that I did which I felt was necessary for that very first day. The cute stuff will come later. And when it does, room tour
Another new thing for us this year, the Look What I Learned Today board! I call on three kids to tell me one thing and jot it down. While I do, the kids do their "ooguh, ooguh, OOOOGUHHH" chat. It's fun to see what sticks with them! 
Our wrap up game at the end of class is The Smartest Artist. The Masterpiece Gallery is for the fun art the kids like to bring in to share. 
 Now, for the younger kids, that was the end of art class on day one. But for the olders, the fun was just starting. I told them their table assignments, sent them shopping at the store, had them drop their supplies off at their seats and meet me at my new demo table (seen in the center). After a quick texture painting and printing demo, the kids set to work!
This year, at Tennessee Arts Academy, the super awesome Laura Lohmann of Painted Paper, talked just about everyone into painting with our students on the first day of art. So we did! 
With a limited palette of yellow, blue, turquoise and white, we painted and mono-printed as many papers as we could until it was time to clean up.
We now have a huge stack of these beauties to use for our upcoming jungle-themed projects! Henri Rousseau, eat your heart out...
 So much happiness.
And a beautiful mess at the end of the day! I can't wait to share with you what we do with our papers but that will just have to wait. Mama needs to soak these feets! 

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