Sunday, August 11, 2019

Art Teacherin' 101: My Favorite Art Teacherin' Hacks

I've been sharing so many classroom management hacks on my Instagram lately (and getting such a great response from teachers, thank you!) that I thought I'd put 'em all together in a video! These are the classroom management hacks I use on the very first days in art class...and they help me out so stinkin' much. I hope you find them helpful too. Here you go:
 Also, if you wanna hear about what my first day(s) of art were TRULY like, take a listen to this podcast. I didn't exactly practice what I preach (insert eeek-face emoji!):
 In my hacks video, I fail to mention that one of my fave hacks are showing some videos that I've created. I do chat about these in the podcast episode. Here are the videos I share on the first and second days of art:
First day Rules and Routines video!
Second day Art Room Etiquette video!
 I got a LOT of requests for these questions but, honestly y'all, there is nothing magical about them! They are literally random questions I ask each and every kiddo. Make up your own, I promise you'll love them and so will your students. 
I LOVE this hack: these are my daily schedule folders. I teach the same classes on Monday, same on Tuesday, etc. Since my schedule is different every day, it gets to be...a lot. So I staple my schedule to the front of a daily folder. Then I color copy my class lists and place the color matching list inside the folder. On that class list, I also write my seating chart. What I love about this is that everything is color coded and easy for me to keep up with. AND I love it for a sub! She now can easily see my schedule, my matching class list and seating chart. Been doing this for a couple years now and love it.
 And this is my Happy/Sad board for individual behaviors! I tried hard to explain this in my podcast but it was close to impossible without a visual. So here you are! The goal is for me not to move the button down. If I do, it's after a couple of warnings. Once it's moved down, the kiddo can work to improve their behavior and have it moved back up...if they do, fantastic! If not, well then I need to have a little chat with their teacher. It's such an easy tool and works well for me. 
 The colors of paper match my tables and the numbers coordinate with their individual seat spots. 
And it was simply made with flat marbles, puffy paint and velcro on a clipboard!

I hope you find at least a couple of these hacks helpful. Have a wonderful school year! 

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Friday, August 9, 2019

In the Art Room: First Day of Art 2019-2020

I have been talking SO MUCH on this blog and on my podcast about the first days of school. You can read all about how I set up my art room (complete with a video room tour), my very favorite (and easiest!) classroom management tool, my favorite first day of art projects, my art room rules, and my art room routines by clicking any of these blog post links!

It's all wonderful to hear about how folks do things but I find it's even better to see it in action. I'm sharing a video of all the things we run through on the very first day in art (keep in mind, my classes are 30 minutes in length.)
Here's what I do:

* I do my greeting, which you'll hear.
* We learn our Art Class Catchphrase.
* I introduce the Word of the Day.
* We talk about the Open/Closed sign.
* We talk about the Happy/Sad board. 
* We watch this video:
* We stretch!
* We greet each other and I ask a list of silly questions (more on that in an upcoming blog post!).
* We get our assigned seats. 
* We learn the lining up routine...and that's it!
My list of things to cover was much longer but time was not on our side. Notice...we didn't make any art! And we didn't on our second day either as we had rules to review, consequences to chat about, another video to watch, emergency drills to cover and drums to play. I will be posting a video of that second day later this week (or next, mama's tired!). 

Speaking of tired...I'm not as bad off as I would be if I hadn't made a handful of these videos a couple of years ago. They kids LOVE my rules and routines videos! If you don't make videos like those, I encourage you to do so, it will save your sanity, voice and energy. 
Stay tuned...I've been slowly sharing my favorite art room hacks on my Instagram (@cassie_stephenz) and I'll be doing a proper post here. I love sharing what works for just might work fo you!
 Last year, I also shared a "first days glimpse" series of videos...if you want to check those out, you can see them here. 
AND I have been sharing everything in even more detail on my new podcast, Cassie Stephens! You can download and take a listen anywhere. If you feel so inclined to leave a glowing and glorious review, well....I certainly won't stop you. Have a wonderful weekend, friends!
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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Fiber Arts Craft Nights!

To celebrate the release of my book Stitch and String Lab for Kids, I thought I'd bring back my Facebook and Instagram  LIVE nights (click the link to follow my FB page or IG account). I ran this past y'all a while back on my Instagram and it was met with a resounding YES...which made me so happy. I love doing live craft nights. I fell off the wagon last year when I was writing the I have a little more free time to start it back up again! The beauty of the live craft nights is that FB archives them so you can always join the fun at a later date and time. 

I said I'd give you all a supply list for the you go! So take a screen shot so you remember what to have on hand. I tried to think of things you may already have so you wouldn't have to go out and purchase anything. All of these crafts we will be doing are also from my book!  
We'll be doing two crafts on the first night! One to prepare the fabric that we'll use the following week. This way of dying fabric was one I discovered while creating my book and I think you are gonna love it. Then I'll be sharing a simple embroidery for you to do with your students. We'll be doing that on Wednesday, August 14th. 
The following week, we'll be using that dyed fabric to make a stuffed pillow! If you don't use your dyed fabric, any ole fabric can be used. I'll be walking you through the steps of sewing as I share it with my students. This way you can see how I teach them how to thread a needle, stitch and tie a knot. I'll also be sharing how to make tassels that week. 
The final week, I'll be sharing with you how to create a cord weaving and how to make pompoms. Cord weaving is a HUGE hit with my students. They absolutely love it and it's one of my favorite things to teach. We use them to add a strap to our woven pouches. I'll also share with you a super easy way to make pom poms -- no special tools required!
 I'm so excited and I do hope you'll join the fun!
ALSO, IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! There has been date change to my book launch at Parnassus Books in Nashville. It is now on Sunday, September 15th at 2pm. If you would like to attend (and I would love to see you there!), please RSVP here!
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Monday, August 5, 2019

In the Art Room: Setting Up Your Art Room

So I had NO INTENTION of talkin' y'all's ear off in Episode 18: Setting Up Your Art Room but, yous guyz. I HAD SO MUCH TO SAY! So I hope you'll forgive me a little and take a listen. You can do so right here or on whatever your fave place to download podcasts may be. Just a reminder, I no longer chat over on Everyday Art Room. My podcast is called Cassie Stephens because I'm super clever with names. Here's Episode 18!
After I set up my art room, I thought I'd do a little tour. I try to do an art room tour each year...and this one might not be that different of a tour than last year as my room has not changed much. AND it would appear that my tour went as long as my was such a long video, I decided to break it up into two parts. So here is my first installment:
Just about everything you see in my art room was made by me. That was a decision I made a couple of years ago. It really helps me find a creative outlet. You can find just about every DIY from my art room in this blog post!
 Just about everything I reference in the podcast can be seen both in my room tours or in the these photos...but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Here's the second half of my room tour:
After revamping my art room a couple of years ago, it has remained pretty much the same. It is definitely a much happier place than it once was. And it's more easy to maintain since I don't redecorate the entire space with a new theme as I once did
PLEASE keep in mind that I've been in this room for 15 years, teaching for 20...and spent an entire school year in 2017-2018 completely revamping this space. I was in my room on weekends. I was working on new ideas and decor nonstop. I loved every minute of really helped me declutter, decorate to educate and CREATE. It was what my art teacherin' soul needed. 
THAT BEING SAID...I know this space can look overwhelming to some art teachers. Just should DO YOU. Do what you have time to do, do what you feel compelled to do, do what YOU need to do do and create that special environment that you wish for your students. BUT do not beat yourself up. Do not be hard on yourself. All good things take time. Spend time deciding what you want for your students. Take a deep breath. Go from there. 
 That's what I had to do. I had to really reflect on my space. When I see those BEFORE photos in that before and after post, I just see all that visual noise. Granted, this right here may seem pretty noisy to some but for me...I love it. And I think my students do too. 
 I hope you enjoy the podcast...and I hope it proves to be helpful to you as you begin to bring in this new and amazing school year. And if my room does make you feel a little, I dunno, intimidated...just know that behind every beautifully decorated art room (well, mine anyway) there is a storage closet that looks like THIS:
 That arrow is pointing to the one thing I need...which I had to climb over the junk to get to. I hate organizing!! It's exhausting and, obviously, I am no good at maintaining it! Feel better? You should! 
Have a wonderful and colorful day, y'all!

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Friday, August 2, 2019

In the Art Room: Teacher Fill-In-The-Blank for your PD!

For fun, I created these Teacher Fill in the Blank forms for our first day of professional development (I know, my nerd status just got elevated to Uber Nerd). It started with one I created after getting the idea. I ran it past my admin and she suggested I make a couple more for our opening meeting. I ended up creating these three. They were such a hit today that I thought I'd make them available for you! 

Feel free to download and use! Here they to yours truly would be greatly appreciated!
To kick off the meeting, I placed just the fill in the sheets on the tables, not the story. I did this so that the teachers would be more random in their word choices and thereby making the story more funny. The teachers worked in groups at their tables to compile their lists. After about 5-7 minutes, I passed out the paragraphs and the teachers dropped in their words in the order that they'd written them on their first sheet.
Table by table, one teacher would pop up and read their paragraph. Y'all...they were HILARIOUS! We were dying laughing and it was just about the most perfect way to start our school PD...says me. I love a good belly laugh with friends in the morning. 
If your school, or just the folks at your table during a PD, are looking for a fun time, this is it. Let me know if you do it, I'd love to hear what you think. Have fun and WELCOME BACK!
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