Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts

Monday, October 9, 2017

How to Decorate an Art Room: Line and Color Wall!

If you've been hanging around this here blog lately, then you know I've been sharing quite a few redecorating of the art room posts. For many of these art room flips, I have the Fire Marshall to thank. What previously was in this space were some super fun things hanging from the ceiling. You know, the usual art teacherin' decor: a disco ball and extra large plastic crayon piggy banks. Need I say more? The FM was not a fan because, let's be honest, FMs hate all things happy, colorful, fun and ceiling-dangily. Yeah, yeah, their fun-zapping ways save us from a fiery doom but whatever. They cramp our art teacherin' style.
Or do they? It was after I removed, let's be honest, the clutter, that I started to think of what I could use this space for. I remembered that my buddy Michelle created a large scale visual of lines for her students in her art room. With that in mind, I decided to create my own version in my art room. Allow me to share my (big pain in the behind to create) Line and Color Wall...hugs to Michelle for the inspiration! 
Supplies:

* Picket Fence Posts Y'all know I have issues with going in to the Paint All The Wood Thingies aisle in the local craft joint. I found these guys there and I'm assuming they were supposed to be fence posts? Whatever, to me, they looked liked pencils so I picked up seven. With my teacher discount, of course.

* Duct Tape I didn't want to paint my wall because 1. I didn't want to ask permission to do so and 2. I didn't want to even attempt to paint over that lumpy bumpy brick. Did you know that they make thin duct tape?! It's the best thing ever when you are creating a line and color wall, y'all!
 Now, when coming up with my lines, my biggest problem was space. There's not a ton of space above my white board. So I had to keep that in mind when dreaming up what lines to showcase.
With that in mind, I went with the following: bouncing, zigzag, thick, thin, dotted/dashed, curvy and parallel lines. Not even gonna lie: this was NOT my favorite art room decor project because it took forever...but it is my new favorite thing to look at in my art room!
AND it's totally not coming down. Sorry not sorry, sweet FM! Okay, let's be honest, if they ask, I'll take it down. But words will be spoken. Most unpleasant ones, at that. 
 Okay, so. I've covered Lines, Color Order, a Color Wheel in my art room with my new decor...but now I'm perplexed: I want to showcase shape an form. How so? Love to hear your ideas! 
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Everyday Art Room: Episode 6

Aw, Lawd, y'all. If you've not listened to this week's podcast, I PROMISE you, you won't wanna miss it. The tale I tell at the start is my VERY favorite art teacherin' story. It's also one that I was surprised that AOE was okay to let air. It's a gem...enjoy! You can find the complete podcast right here
Teaching kindergarten is ALWAYS an interesting ride. I thought I'd share the transcript from the podcast here. I also recently recorded myself teaching kindergarten. Here is our first day of art together...
And here is a recording of our class this week. 
We have a lot of fun together! You can find an entire unit on LINE with kindergarten projects here. Also, if you search my blog for "kindergarten" you'll get a little bit of everything from clay lessons, painting units and more! Now, on with the transcript:


Is it just me or does every really good story in the art room always begin with Kindergarten? I mean it never really seems funny or humorous at the time, let’s be honest, but they do make for really good stories. So I’ve got one for you. I had Kindergarten in my room and we were talking about ROYGBIV, and chatting about how letter in ROYGBIV stands for a color in the rainbow. But the kids were stumped on the letter V. So I gave them a clue. I said, “Okay guys. It looks like purple but starts with a V.” And this really bright girl, very artistic, her hand shot up. I could see a light bulb went off and I just knew this one had the answer. So I called on her. And here’s what she said. “Vagenta.”
I paused just like that with my jaw dropped. And in that moment, because of my pause, I guess the other children assumed that that yes, indeed was the correct answer and the next thing I know I’ve got 20 five year old said saying the word vagenta. Yo, I don’t know what vagenta is. I don’t even think I want to know. And I understand how she combined the two words, violet and magenta, very clever but never a word I want to hear spoken in my art room again. Ah Kindergarten. Today we’re going to talk about how to tame that wild beast. This is Everyday Art Room. And I’m Cassie Stephens.
I don’t think any amount of art education prepares you for the beast that is Kindergarten. Every year when they come trampling into my art room it’s like I have forgotten, once again, just how wild and crazy these wee ones can be. If you do it right, they can end up being your most favorite classes to teach. After all they are a bundle of excitement, questions, interest, and curiosity. The perfect specimen for the art room. If you can tame that beast. So today I’m going to share with you my four tips to getting you kindergarten class to the most amazing level that you possibly can.
Now you’re going to have to bear with me. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. This is a beast after all, but like I said one of the best kind to have in your art room. So let’s start with number one. My first tip for taming that Kindergarten beast, is out crazying the crazy. I mean let’s face it, they’re pretty wild. If you can get them in your art room and really ramp it up over and above their expectations you will immediately have captured their attention. And isn’t that what you need to do first? No amount of, “Please sit quiet. Please put your hands in your lap. Please make sure you’re sitting on your bottom,” none of that is going to capture all of their attention. You’re going to end up fighting a battle of the stop, quits, don’ts, and I promise you Kindergarten will win each and every time.
For those first couple of days in art class, you got to be even more wild and crazy than the kids are to really capture their attention. Here’s what I do. I start the very first day of art with my Kindergarten students, with the Larry the Lion poem. Once everybody’s seated, I show them how to hold their arms in a specific way to make a snake. Try it with me. Take your left arm, and hold it horizontally under your chest. Take your right arm and hold it vertically underneath the fingertips of your left arm. You’re essentially making a big L. The vertical line, that’s your snake. So with your hand, create a puppet mouth. And, get ready, repeat after me.
I teach them real fast that whenever they hear me clear my throat that means they’re about to repeat after me. “Larry, the lion, is a friend of mine.” In which case our Larry nods his head gives us a smooch on the cheek. “He can make three straight lines for me. Vertical,” in which case we’re holding our arm up and down. Then tilt it a little bit. “Diagonal.” Now have it lay on top of your left arm horizontally. “Horizontal. Any curve, he can learn with a twist and a turn. When he’s out of his tangle, he makes great angle. Any line, he can make. After all, he’s a snake.” Now I have a video of myself doing these motions so you can actually see the hand motions that I teach my students. It’s on my YouTube channel. You’re more than welcome to take this back to your own art teachering world. I promise you your Kindergarten friends will love it.
We do that poem about two or three times getting louder and more crazy every time. Then I really out crazy the crazy. I bring out a stuffed snake. With my stuffed snake I form different lines and review the names of the lines we just talked about. Now you want to talk about being wild and crazy and having everybody’s attention, all you got to do is pull out a stuffed snake with Kindergartners and you’ve got them hooked. So that’s tip number on. Out the crazy the crazy.
Another tip is this. If you notice, after you’re covering your rules and routines, because let’s be honest, you have to do that with your Kindergarten kids of course. In a more abbreviated manner. You might notice that they’re a little bit squirrely. And like I said, you don’t want to get into a battle of the stop, quit, don’ts because they will win. Instead, sometimes you got to go with my second tip which is ride the wave. Don’t fight it. In fact whenever I have a classroom of Kindergarten kids or any of my classes in fact, and I can tell there’s an excitement in the room that I am not going to be able to fight, it’s just present and I’m going to have to ride that wave because you can not fight it.
And if you find yourself in that kind of predicament, here’s what I always do. This works great for all of my students, but especially my Kindergarteners. I’ll say, “Okay, everybody stand up.” Once everybody’s standing, myself included, I’ll clear my throat and we do a little dance. I’ll say, “Clap your hands,” and we do it. “Clap your hands,” and they do it. “Clap them just like me.” Then, “Shake your bottom,” and I demonstrate. “Shake your bottom,” I do it again. “Shake it just like me.” We go through the twist, the mash potato, the swim, I keep on going until I feel like they’ve gotten the giggles and wiggles out. When that’s the case, we end it with “Take a deep breath, let it out. Relax just like me.” And I really turn down the tone and the speed of my voice, and I say, “Let’s see who’s sitting so nicely in the first row with their hands in their lap.”
Once you get the giggles and the wiggles out, and they’re seated on the floor you’ll notice, especially if you change the way that you’re speaking like I’ve changed mine, you’ll notice that the temperature in the room, the mood is a lot calmer. You rode the wave, you rode it out. Mission accomplished. Now granted, that’s just being silly and dancing. If you want to make it educational, why not do that? I once learned from an art teacher, have all of your kids stand up and do this. Have their arms out side-by-side and say, “Horizontal,” please forgive my singing, “Horizontal. Side to side. Side to side.” My hands are sweating because I feel so stressed singing in front of you guys. My apologies. Have their arms go up and down. “Vertical goes up and down. Vertical goes up and down.” Then have the kids lean. “Diagonal. Diagonal.” Another great way to ride the wave, wiggles and giggles begone. And it’s educational.
Now sometimes you are going to need to calm those friends down which brings me to number three. In episode four I chatted about being calm and bringing a calmness to your art room. One way to do that, I mentioned, is something called palming. Now I won’t go through palming all over again in this episode, but if you go back to episode four I share with you how to do palming. Y’all, if you have kids that you are trying to calm down, palming is the best way to do it. I can’t recommend it enough. And like I said, using your voice, the diction of your voice, and your breath is really impactful when you’re trying to relax and calm children. Kindergarteners are little mirrors of you. If you’re excited, they’re excited. If you start to bring the level down, most of them will eventually catch on and do the same.
All right. So this brings me to number four. You remember the show ER? Of course we all remember that show. And I just remember in every episode of ER they were always shouting, “We’re losing them. We’re losing them,” in which case they would bring out those paddles and give them electric shock. I every now and then have that running through my mind when my Kindergartners are either walking around, they’re painting, it’s getting a little bit dangerously close to chaos and I just think, “We’re losing them. I’m losing them,” And I want to bust out those paddles and just give them a jolt to bring them all back together.
So one way, if you notice that your bag of tricks is empty and you’re starting to lose them, here are some last resorts. One thing my students in Kindergarten and other grades as well, really respond to are videos. Especially really great singy songy videos. My favorite are created by Scratch Garden, and they can be found on YouTube. There’s a great one about lines, and colors, and shapes. We watch it enough in my room, that the children have the song memorized. So that way as soon as I turn it on, I notice that the kids are starting to clean up or they’re in different phases of creating, and some of them are coming to the floor to come back for circle time.
I just press play, and and the whole room kind of gets very calm as they all start singing the line song, or the color song. So I’d really recommend having that in your bag of kindergarten tricks. One more tip, I love the books called Look. Or Look again by Tana Hoben. These are picture books and all they are are photographic images that she’s zoomed in very close and what I do is I share that book with my students when they start to trickle to the floor, my early finishers. And we look at the blown up images and try to guess what they are pictures of.
It creates a great calming game. We bring in a lot of the element of art like line and texture. And it’s an awesome book just to have on hand when you have a couple of minutes to spare. Something for your bag of Kindergarten tricks.
All right guys. So remember, you can tame this awesome Kindergarten beast. I hate to even use that word, because they really are amazing creatures and they want to be in your room so bad. They’re so enthusiastic and absolutely delightful if you can get them tamed. This is Cassie Stephens. And this is Every Day Art Room.
Tim Bogatz: I hope you’re enjoying this episode of Every Day Art Room. I love all things Kindergarten, and if you are the same way I want to recommend the Art of Ed’s Rethinking Kindergarten online graduate course. It is a great way to give your Kindergartners the teaching that fits their developmental needs. You will study the Reggio Amelia approach, exploring your role as an educator, and the role of the arts in our young student’s education. Rethinking Kindergarten is a two credit hour course that runs for four weeks. New sections will be starting in October, November, and December, and you can see more about the course or register at the ArtofEd.com/courses. Now let’s hear what Cassie has to say as she dips into the mailbag and finishes the show.
Cassie Stephens: All right. Let’s take a little dip into the mailbag. This question I actually get a lot, and it comes from Lauren. She asks, “What program do you use to record and edit your videos for the kiddos?” Great question Lauren. Let me just start by saying that you can use what you already have. Please don’t break the budget to create videos. Just either grab your phone, grab and iPad, and try using that. I like to create videos on my iPad. It’s probably my favorite way to do it because it’s the fastest. On your phone, or your iPad, you can download the iMovie device.
Now if you have an Android phone, which is what I’ve had in the past, you can not put iMovie on there. But there are a lot of other easy movie editing apps that you could add to your Android. I just don’t happen to know what they are. So for me, I record short clips with my iPad then I open up iMovie and I just start adding those short clips into iMovie. My favorite thing to do is to silence the clip and speed up the clip. And I do that for two reasons. I like to do voiceovers so I don’t have to think on my feet when I am recording. And I also am trying really hard to make my videos shorter. So speeding them up really helps with that.
iMovie is super fun and easy to use. I can’t really tell you how to use it here, simply because you need a visual. So for that I would strongly recommend you hop on over to YouTube. You can totally find all of your answers there. And by the way, if you ever want to use any of the videos I’ve created in my art room, you can find them on my channel, which is under my name, Cassie Stephens. You’re more than welcome to use those in your art teachering world. That’s precisely why I share.
Now if you’re going to make your videos maybe a little bit more pro looking, you could record them with your camera. I would definitely invest in a tripod. You don’t have to get a fancy one, just hop on over to your big box store and pick one up. Once you’ve gotten your clips filmed on your camera, then you can upload them to your laptop and edit that way. Doing it that way adds another layer of work. However, the laptop version of iMovie has a lot more things that you can do than you can do on your iPad. So those are my tips. My strongest recommendation would to be just do it. Dive right in, grab your phone, prop your phone up on a couple of books, press record. Why not? You don’t even have to edit it. Just share that with your kids, see what works. See what doesn’t work. Go for it.
If you have any questions for me, please feel free to send them my way at EverDayArtRoom@theartofed.com. It’s been so much fun chatting with you guys about the amazing creatures known as Kindergarten. Remember my four tips. Maybe they’ll help you out. You got to out crazy the crazy. Bring the excitement, that way they aren’t as distracted by other things or each other in your room. Shine a light on yourself, and you’ll have their attention. Also remember, don’t try to fight the wave. Ride the wave. Just go with it. If they’re excited, do something exciting. Make sure to ride that wave, otherwise you’ll just fall into a battle of the stop, quit, and do nots, and let’s face it. They going to win y’all. Always and forever. You can of course bring them back down with your calm voice, slow pace, and deep breathing.
Remember to check out episode four, and listen to how to do palming for calming with your students. And last but not least, if you feel like you’re losing them, make sure you have a couple of things in your bag of tricks. Grab some favorite books. Also don’t forget about the power of some awesome videos with song. It’s been so much fun chatting with you guys about the awesomeness that is Kindergarten. Talk to you soon.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

In the Art Room: My First Day with Kindergarten!

I don't often repeat my art lessons. Mostly because I get new ideas, like to try knew things and it keeps me engaged and excited to teach. However, I do struggle with the kindergarten set. I find them a challenge because they came with in so much of a broad range. It's tough to find projects that teach, engage and empower such a wide range of kiddos. For that reason, when I find something that works with kindergarten, I stick with it. Such is how I created my unit on LINE

I've been doing this unit for several years know and I always find that it works for my students. We start on the very first day of art with this project. I recently filmed myself teaching kindergarten on their first day of art. You can find that here:
For time, I did shorten the clip. Here is what you missed:

* When the kids walk in and I'm getting them seated on the floor and introducing them to our entrance routine, I play this short video on LINE

* From there, I introduce myself and have the kids say my name (as seen in clip). Then I call roll. This allows me to greet the kids and start to learn their names as well as insure that they learn mine. 

* Now we've sat for some time so from here, we stand and stretch. Hence the dance moves.

* After that, we dive into the lesson. I don't use too much vocabulary here...my focus is on getting them to correctly make an arch that stands so they can have immediate success. Success on the first day leads to a positive experience and happy kids. Things that are "too hard" or cause them to struggle and/or give up and what I try to avoid with kindergarten. I also want them to understand how I use glue in my art room. Since we paint the glue on with a brush, this will later help them know how to properly hold and use a paint brush!

* After creating, we "clean". All that means is we put our work in a designated spot and return to the floor. From there, I play the LINE video again as a wrap up and cool down. 

* Then we line it up and head on out! First day in the books.
On their second day in art, I'll introduce them to LINE vocabulary with Larry the Line!
Larry then feeds directly into learning and creating more lines!
On our third visit to art, we'll start to explore the next step in my LINE unit which is painting! You can check that out here
By the way, here is a great technique that I learned from Mona Brooks' Drawing with Children book. It's a GREAT way to bring calm back to your kindergarten art room.

Thank you for letting me share! I hope y'all have a great week. Would LOVE to hear your fave kindergarten tips, tricks and lessons!
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Thursday, May 4, 2017

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Creates Arlo Needs Glasses

 We are winding down the year and heading to the art show...which means art projects now need to be short, sweet and a review of what we've learned. Today, kindergarten did a review of both pattern and texture while listening to the tale of Arlo and his need for glasses!
These cuties were created in 45 minutes and it was go time from the moment they walked in the door. I LOVE author Barney Saltzberg (his book Beautiful Oops is an art teacherin' fave) and I'm a big fan of Arlo Needs Glasses. Unfortunately, I don't own a copy but I did find a sweet little YouTube video of a boy reading the book. 
The kids were immediately interested in Arlo and couldn't wait to create. I had them gather up an 11" square piece of construction paper with any color of their choosing and a paintbrush. Once at their seats, the kids wrote their names and then used oil pastels to create a colorful rubbing. After a few minutes, we did a guided painting together. Here's the one minute version:

So much fun!
I loved how sweet and cute each Arlo was and so did the kids. I overheard the kids talking about how much they loved their creation. "I like mine and so does Mrs. Stephens!" to which another replied, "She likes everyone's art. That's her job." It's true. 
There were a lot of squeals when I said that we'd be finger printing. 
 I love how some of them look like koala's in glasses!
Once paintings were completed and drying racked, the kids met me on the floor to create the pipe cleaner glasses. 
 I played the book video again while those who finished early with their glasses helped those who struggled. 
 As they finished, I had the kids bring the glasses to me. I placed them on a large sheet of paper and wrote their names on the paper. Once the paintings were dry, I took them off the drying rack and hot glued them to the paintings. 
One more masterpiece for our pet-themed art show! Since the artwork for kindergarten is already hung, these just might be displayed on the cabinets in the art room.
 This one is so stinkin' cute...
 And this one completely cracks me up!
 Kindergarten is a tough beast to tame...but this project was definitely one that got them excited (more so than usual!) and one that I would def do again.
How about you, what are some of your fave kinder lessons? 
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 33

If you are anything like me (and bless, as we say in the South, if you are), then you prolly got that art ed degree of yours without being a total pro in all forms of media. I didn't take a single printmaking or ceramics class in college and I got a C in textiles (which is a fave but at the time, I was huffing too many paint fumes, er, REALLY into my painting class, to be bothered with warping that freakin' floor loom). What I did get is a two year degree in oil painting because...you know, that's something we teach to the 10 and under set. Ahem. All that to say, we are expected to be at least somewhat knowledgable about the media we share with our students. But, let's be honest, a lot of times, we are learning right along with the kids. 

Now, I've been at this art teacherin' game for sometime now (18 years but who's countin'?) and I have learned a thing or two along the way. One thing is for certain: kids LOVE clay. However, it can be frustrating to teach if you lack experience. Since I've been around the art teacherin' block a time or two (wink-wink, nudgenudge), I thought I'd share some of my fave art teacherin' clay hacks with you. Here you go:
 Let's talk about some of the things I've shared and just where you can find them. 

* Clay mats. I mentioned The Clay Lady and her clay mats. I seriously have had mine FOR YEARS. They are worth the cost of $2 each. 

* Toothbrushes and doggie bowls. Seriously, what would we art teachers do without places like The Dollar Tree?! Toothbrushes are perfect for teaching scoring and doggie bowls are awesome for holding slip while preventing spills. 

* Texture! A visit to your thrift store will provide you with a good stockpile of texture for your clay adventures. Placemats, cable knit sweaters, burlap, stamps, you name it. If it has a texture, your clay will capture it.

* Skewer sticks. Perfect for cutting, drawing and carving into clay.
Something I failed to mention: what to do with those projects that kids work on for more than one class? To store these effectively, I have a stockpile of old and large zip lock baggies. The kids write their names on the bags in Sharpie, wrap their project in a damp paper towel and place gently inside the back. I tell the kids not to zip their bags shut as that usually traps air inside. Instead, I tell them to push the air out and tuck the opening of the bag under their project. This will keep their clay workable for about a week. 

If you would like to continue this clay chat, you are in luck. All throughout the month of May, I'll be hosting clay chats (and craft nights, so come armed with clay!) right here, every Wednesday at 8pm CST. You can work with any ole clay you like...however, I'll be using the clays made available in this kit which you can purchase here. For more info on what we'll be up to, check here

And now, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave clay projects over the years (many with video links!) for you to take back to your own Art Teacherin' Town. LOOOOOVE to hear your fave clay projects and words of wisdom. Please feel free to leave in el commentos below. 
This clay project was one that I did with my second graders FOR YEARS. They love it, it's a great way to introduce texture, slab, coil and glaze. It's also a quickie and with my short art classes, it worked very well. 
This was a fun project my third graders did one year. If you've taught clay before, then you've probably done the coils-in-a-styrofoam-bowl project (I know I have!) a different spin on that is having the kids use slabs of clay to create flowers. We had a spring theme one art show and these fit in beautifully. 
I almost always do a clay project that emphasizes texture with my kindergarteners. I'll share all of those projects...but this one is always a fave: texture butterflies
This is another kindergarten clay project with an emphasis on texture. This project is also shared in my clay book...but with homemade clay! 
These clay fish by my first graders always crack me up! They had so much fun creating the silly expressions on these a couple years ago. If every glaze is not an option, here is a fun alternative: florescent oil pastels and watered down black paint! 
Inspired by the painted elephants in India, my fourth graders created these fun guys one year. 
Funky frogs were created by my fourth graders one year. They had so much personality! This was a project we worked on over the course of a couple of art classes...which really allowed the kids to get creative. 
One year, to go along with our Asian theme, my fourth graders created these fun pandas. Each had their own wild and wacky personaltiy. 
To go along with that theme of Asia, my third grade kiddos created these Chinese dragons which they had a great time doing.
So I might have a thing for animals and clay...what do you think? My kindergarten and first graders created these pinch pot pets a couple of years back when our art show theme was to raise money for a local animal shelter. And, what do you know, animals are our theme again this year! 
That year, my second graders created this version of pinch pot pets: two pinch pots put together to create the body of their animal. 
And my fourth graders created these! Definitely a favorite by both me and the kiddos. 
Yet another spin on pinch pots and animals: using the pinch pot as a container. Our school mascot is the tiger and this particular year, second graders created tiger pinch pot containers
 Now last year, I decided to go for a food theme and create the art room into a 1950's style diner. These projects were not shared in detail like my others because...I was in the middle of writing my clay book and these projects are all featured in that book! The book is written to be used with no kiln fire clay...but, as you can see, you can use kiln fire clay as well. You can scoop up your book here
 My first graders served up these coffee and donut delights. 
 Second grade backed up cupcakes. Y'all better believe the retro lover in my totally enjoyed decorating for this art show!
 Third graders made hamburgers and fries...complete with all the fixin's. 
While others made pancake containers with hand painted paper plates. 
A kid and crowd favorite were the pie containers. The kids had so much fun googling pies and sculpting their favorite. 
While other classes did pizza containers. I reached out to a local pizza place for the boxes to display the pizza in. 
This year, we are back at it with an animal theme! We are transforming the art room into a pet shop. Third grade is in charge of the reptiles
Fourth grade had a blast creating these bobble head pets
But a crowd favorite so far are these fun and funky birds by second grade. They crack me up! 

Many more clay projects are coming up so stay tuned. However, if you just can't wait, you can see a handful of clay projects that have not been shared here but are on my YouTube channel. I always upload there first...so if you'd like to stay up to date, you might consider hitting subscribe. 
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