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

Monday, November 12, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #209

Hey, Pencil Dress! You can find out all the details of this dress, including where I scored the fab fabric right here

HOW DID IT HAPPEN THAT IT IS NOVEMBER ALREADY?! Like, who allowed that to happen? Who gave this year permission to fly by at the speed of light leaving me behind on all things! Y'all I know I say this all the time but MY HEAD IS JUST BARELY ABOVE WATER...maybe it's because...well, I'm in the midst of finishing my SECOND BOOK
Sweater from Urban Outfitters, skirt by me, details here

That's right! This one is the same format as my Clay Lab book but it will be all fibers. Coming up with over 50 fibers projects for kids has been a feat. Y'all know that I love to teach fibers and have been doing sewing, weaving, felting and more with my kids forever...but coming up with even more projects has basically fried my brain. It was a small brain to start with. And now it's basically burnt to a crisp. 
And I feel bad because I know I've missed out on sharing so much here, on this blog. This is such a fun place for me to share lessons, what I'm wearing and what I'm creating...but I've had to give up some of that to push on with the book. I know I'll be happy in the end (like, when I'm DONE!) but right now, it kinda bums me out that this space has been neglected. I'm sorry! More videos and posts to come. By the way, these Loud Mouths were created by my KINDERGARTENERS and you can find the video lesson here
Found this old photo of me back in '81, totally rockin' the teacher bun! AND kinda lookin' like a hostess from Shoney's. 

I've also been busy hitting fall state conferences! Last month I went to Florida's conference where I was one of the keynote speakers and presenters...y'all. It was such a blast! Florida knows how to conference! I'm excited to be heading to Connecticut this weekend to speak and present there too! 
I've also been getting ready for our Artome Art Show! I'm doing a new lesson with my fourth graders this year and I'm so excited about the results. I will DEF be sharing this lesson with you as it was one that the kids and I really enjoyed. 
Crayon sweater needle felted by me, details here!

Also...it seems that I don't often share that I have a podcast so I'm just gonna throw this out there as a reminder! A new podcast airs each Thursday and I'd love it if you gave it a listen. Also, if you have any suggestions for podcast topics, I'm always open. Feel free to drop me a line in the comments.  
After saying all that...I guess I can see why I feel like my head is just above water! In other news, check out these cute suns that my kindergarten created...it inspired one of my fourth graders to stitch up this sun pillow during her recess/stitching time. Isn't it the cutest?
The suns were created for these cuties. I'll be sure to share this kindergarten lesson with you soon!
I hope y'all have a wonderful upcoming week! Check out my pencil dress here
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Monday, October 29, 2018

In the Art Room: Teaching Scissor Safety

There's nothing quite like finding a pile of clipped hair in the art room just as your email inbox pings with a not-very-happy message from a parent of a child with brand-spankin' new bangs. In a miserably short and asymmetrically style ("But I hear it's all the rage on the runways right now...?"). Who knew we were hosting Beauty School Dropouts up in the art room?! NOT ME!

Look, I learned long ago that with kids, you gotta teach EVERYTHING. Like, EVERY-shouldn't-you-know-that-already-THING. And how to use scissors properly, safely and correctly in the art room is one of them. So, here's my scissor chat with my kindergarten as they prepared to cut out the clouds to add to their rainbow collages (lesson details to come!).
Here are the three things we cover when it comes to Scissor Safety:

1. SCISSORS ARE ONLY FOR PAPER. Not people, hair, clothing, applesauce, pizza, eyelashes (yes, that's happened)...just for, REPEAT AFTER ME, paper! The end. 

2. When scissors are not in use, they are closed. For some reason, I hate seeing scissors sitting on a table open. It looks like an accident waiting to happen.

3. Scissors have a HANDLE. It's where your hands go! That's how it got it's name. When HANDING someone scissors....HAND them the HANDLE. 

Additional pet peeve: do not walk around with scissors. They stay at your seats. With you. And your paper. That you are cutting. With said scissors.
 Kids these days, y'all, they don't know how to hold a pencil let alone scissors. I blame technology. I pretty much blame EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THE WORLD TODAY on technology...but I don't say that too often for fear of sounding like an old lady (which, hello, I am). But, for real, have you even seen how kids hold scissors these days? If it strikes you as odd...then guess what, chicken butt? IT'S YOUR JOB TO TEACH THEM! Remember, we gotta teach them everything. After all, they've only been on the planet for, like, 5 years. 

So, here's how I teach Scissor Usage:

1. Your dominant hand (the one that pretty much does EVERYTHING) is your scissor hand. It's job, when cutting, is to ALWAYS FACE OUT. Never toward you, but away from you.

2. All that hand does is open and close those scissors while FACING OUT (stress this...otherwise you gonna find kids with clipped clothing). Now, that hand that usually does NADA MUCHO? When cutting, it does almost all the work. 

3. The "lazy hand" turns the paper for you! Pretend glue your cutting arm to your side. Put it in FREEZE mode so it only faces OUT. Remember, all it does is open-close-open-close those scissors. That other hand does all the paper-steering like mama does when she drives a car.
Y'all. I know it is a lotta explaining. But, seriously, you'll thank me later. And LOOK at how beautifully they cut out those clouds! And I'm happy to report that not a single one ended up with one of those asymmetrical bobs! 

P.S. Giant scissors came from a flea market...but a fake pair could totally be made with cardboard and a brass roundhead fastener thing. DO IT. 
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Monday, October 22, 2018

In the Art Room: Guided Drawing, Part 2

In light of yesterday's post, I thought I'd share a follow-up blog post. One reason I find most folks argue against guided drawing is the following:

It is too restrictive.
It leads kids to believe that there is only one way to draw.
It puts too much pressure on the kids.

AND I AGREE...if guided drawing is a tool used incorrectly in the art room, it can be all of those things. So I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that I use in my art room that eliminates the pressure, the restrictiveness and the notion that there is only one way to create.

I tell the kids that we are all unique and our artwork should reflect that. 
We have a little pep talk before drawing: each of us is unique and that's a wonderful thing. We are all going to hear the same directions...and each of our artist's brains are going to hear and translate those directions differently...and our artwork will reflect that. 

I tell the kids that if I had wanted copies of artwork, I would have just MADE copies. But I want to see their artistry, their work of unique art. 

I call our Guided Drawings, Practice Drawings. 

I tell the kids that this drawing that we are doing together is just practice, not perfect. If they aren't happy with their drawing, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, IT'S JUST PRACTICE...and you can do another one next art class. This eliminates the pressure of trying to be perfect (and how is?!).

I also tell the kids that they are not to throw away that drawing. If they do decide to redo their drawing the following art class, they are to use their initial drawing as their guide...and keep it. Take it home, color it, give it to mama, give it to me. But the trashcan is NOT an option. 

I've also noticed that by the time the second art class rolls around, most kids have forgotten what little thing bothered them and are happy with their drawings.

ALSO...having kids practice on dry erase boards as they draw along with you makes a big difference. Then they can take that drawing to their seat and copy from that onto a piece of paper. 

When we draw on the floor, we either use pencils with no erasers or Sharpies. I don't want the kiddos to use their art time erasing holes in their paper. 

We talk about Beautiful Oops! 
What a great time to talk about all the endless options you can do if you draw something unexpected. It's a happy accident. Let's see where it takes you!

WE KEEP IT SUPER SILLY...
And that really helps release the pressure the kids may feel. I recently recorded myself teaching my kindergarten how to draw Roy G. Biv. If you are interested, you can see how I try to keep it silly, fun and light for the kids. 



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Sunday, October 7, 2018

DIY: Roy G. Biv Costume!

As y'all might recall from my last post, my kindergarten is in the middle of what I'm calling Rainbow Bootcamp. We've been learning the order of the colors in the rainbow in many ways...always kicking off our lesson with my very favorite They Might be Giants song Roy G. Biv
Well, next week is Spirit Week for our Scholastic Book Fair at our school. What that means is each day this week, we are dressing up in accordance with the theme for the book fair. The theme is Enchanted Forest...which has made for some very interesting dress up days. One of them being "Dress like a Gnome or a Fairy Day". Now. At first I was like "wait, whut?! What in the world am I supposed to dress like on that day?!" 
Oh. Duh.
Making this costume was so easy that I thought I'd share the process. The supplies I picked up at the craft store where:

  • Martha Stewart plates at Michaels! Those were used to create my prism wand. I sandwiched a dowel rod between two plates with some hot glue and viola!
  • Dowel rod
  • Fabric for the beard
  • Quilter's batting for the beard
  • Elastic or a ribbon to tie the beard
  • Poster board for the hat
  • Sparkle rainbow adhesive foam for the hat
Lemme tell you, I was not looking forward to making the prism...I initially had a foam block and a lot of glitter in my cart. But when I saw those Martha Stewart plates, I thought those would be so much easier to assemble! Also...I started out with sparkle ribbon for the hat. But each roll was $5 and that was getting expensive. Turns out the adhesive glitter foam was much better and, at only a $1 a sheet, much cheaper. 
I'll keep you posted on how the kiddos react! Oh! AND for the rest of the outfit: overalls and top from Forever21; socks from Sock It to Me; clear boots from my bestie!

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Sunday, September 2, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #204

Hey there, friends! I come to you just as excited as this photo from Monday because...it's a three day weekend. Here's to staying in my pj's all weekend, watching The Office for the umpteenth time and working on all the projectzzzz. I hope you all are livin' it up and partyin' hard like me!

To kick off the week, I wore my needle felted Kandinsky inspired dress to inspire my third graders as they started painting their plates for our Circle Loom Weaving unit. I've got several weaving videos on my YouTube channel if you are interested in bringing fibers to your art room. Just search my playlist Fibers!
Many of my grades are kicking off the year with fiber arts projects like sewing, weaving and fiber applications. I'm so excited about that, here's just a peak. MANY more details to come, I pinkie swear! Of course, I share tons of sneak peeks here. 
 On Tuesday I got all set to teach some of my classes about landscapes. They are getting ready to do my Tree Weaving project which means they gotta paint a landscape first. 
 I was feeling all sorts of prepared. We partnered up and looked at the landscapes in those clear plastic sleeves. The kids had to work together to find the horizon line, the back-, middle- and foreground. It was a GREAT pre-assessment. Then we went over the vocabulary and corrected our mistakes. I chatted about scale, perspective and atmosphere. We were just getting ready to paint when the fire alarm went off.
C'est la vie. After being outside for 10 minutes, we were hot, bothered and not ready to paint. So with our short class, we each took our turn playing the Clean Up Drums instead. More on the Monet Dress here. 
Many years ago, my husband scored me a drum set for my art room. I haven't pulled it out of the storage closet in a couple of years...but decided to this year. It's our Clean Up Drums...an incentive for awesome behavior. One student is picked at the end of class to play a fill. I teach all the kids how to play a fill so that when it's their turn to play, they'll know. On our first intro do, we each get our chance to learn and play a fill...it's a lot of fun. 
 My fourth graders are gearing up to sew. Once class is stitching emoji pillows and they are SO EXCITED. I had to wear my needle felted emoji dress for the occasion. 
Teaching sewing means teaching good sewing habits. I created color coded sewing kits for each table. The kits include a color coded needle book (the felt piece with the button) and a color coded felt backed magnet for pins. I'll keep you posted on their progress!
 Another fourth grade class is stitching pizza pillows! So OF COURSE I managed to leave all of their supplies at home. SMH. They were great and the rolled with our alternative project instead...sewing next time!
Third graders from Monday had a bonus art class on our half day Friday. I was excited to see the patterns they added to their plates in just 30 minutes!
Since my younger students have really been focusing on line, I have been introducing them to the work of Kandinsky...which means I got to end my week on a Kandinsky note too. Hope y'all have a long and relaxing weekend! 

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101, Episode 43: QUIET CRITTERS!

 I've been teaching for many a year and it's always just been my assumption that kindergarten is loud. Like REALLY loud. It wasn't until recently, when I popped into a kindergarten classroom, that I noticed that they aren't ALWAYS this way. I walked into this room and they were working...calmly. Quietly. Like, frighteningly so. As if they were up to no good or plotting the next time they were coming to art and going to drive me bonkers with their incessant jib-jab. When I asked the teacher why they were so quiet, she was all, "what do you mean? They're working. They always work this way." 

SAY WHAT NOW?!
Not long after that, @art_with_mia who I love and follow on Instagram, shared that she recently started using something called Quiet Critters in her art room. Now I've heard of teachers using stuffed animals as quiet incentives before...but these small sparkly pompoms seemed like an easier alternative. With the noise level in my art room with kindergarten on the rise, I was determined to give it a shot. And, you guyz, IT WORKS.
If you read my last post, you know that I've named each of these critters after an artist. Every other art class, I'm introducing that artist to the kids. This one is Andy (Warhol). When a student earns a critter, I simply place them in their table caddy. I do think this would work with slightly older grades...but my older kids already use the clip system (which is what the clothes pins are all about. You can read about that here.) Since it works for them, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel, you know. However, I'm super stoked to find something that works for my wee ones, yay! Finally, I can hear myself think! 

Do you use something like this in your art room? I'd love to hear how it goes!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Painting

 Hello, friends! If you saw my post earlier this week, I said I'd be sharing a follow-up lesson to our Jasper Johns-inspired alphabet paintings. Here's a peak at that project:
 And the video lesson!
I see my kindergarteners for 40 minutes, once a week. I knew they'd zip through the alphabet painting...so I shared with them a super fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom video from YouTube and challenged them to make a painting of upper and lower case letters. This resulted in beautiful black and white paintings of letters. We piled them on to the drying rack and were done for the day...two masterpieces complete!
 Once the ink is dry from the bingo daubers, my students are going to "hug" their letters with water soluble markers. Then they'll add just water right over their marker lines for this fabulous result!
 Another alternative to having them paint over their lines is simply spray them with water! Once class only had moments left so we did this trick and, while I like the other result better, these still look great. Just a tip: when spraying with water, less is best. The colors will bleed if given time.
And there you have it, two great literacy projects for kindergarten in one! 

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Monday, February 5, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Mo Willems Pigeons!

 Need a fast -n- fabulous kindergarten lesson? You might wanna try these Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus creations on for size. In the following video, I demonstrate using a bingo dauber. I know you might not have those to try using either a black oil pastel or a Sharpie instead. This was a two-day lesson for my 40 minute kindergarten art classes. Here you go:
Super fun and easy, didn't I tell you? I love doing guided drawing every now and again with my students. They LOVE it and are always excited by their results. Kindergarten is especially great at just "going with the flow" and not worrying about being "perfect"...but there are always some kids who do stress. That's why, before doing a guided drawing, we always chat about how we are unique people which means we are unique artists who create uniquely! We also love to give a shout out to Barney's book Beautiful Oops.
Y'all know I had to wear my Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus dress
 Each little squawky bird was so different, funny and cute. 
 After reading the book, this was as far as we managed to get. I've gotten a lot of questions on where to find bingo daubers and what to fill them with. I got mine from my art supply catalogs but I've also seen them on the Oriental Trading website. I fill mine with India ink...I don't use any particular brand as all the India ink I've ever purchased has been fine. 
 My go-to oil pastel for projects like this are Sargent's florescent brand. They GIVE ME LIFE. I love how creamy, bright and bold they are. And so do the kids. 
 As for watercolor, you'll see in my video how I set up my trays. Every two kids gets a sponge, a non-spill cup of water (art supply catalogs!!) and my Crayola Mixing Colors watercolor paint. I always order: magenta, red, red-orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue, blue-violet and purple. 
 I cannot wait to get these hung in the halls!
 I've also been asked a lot recently about what kind of paper we use. I ALWAYS order 80lbs paper and we use it for EVERYTHING. It can take a lot of art: paint, watercolor, collage, you name it. This paper is strong stuff. 
We called these our Party Pigeons...I like how hard some pigeons partied! 
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