Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Bleeding Tissue Paper Flower Garden!

Need a quick art lesson for your students? I have a couple of classes that are ahead of the rest of the kindergarten and first are creating these bleeding tissue paper flower gardens for Mothers/Grandmothers day! Here's a how-to video:

To add some extra pizazz, frame these in plates that look like fancy frames from Hobby Lobby! 

Also...did you know about PRECUT bleeding tissue paper squares? Yep! Just one of the things I am currently addicted to that are available in my Amazon store. That's right, I have an Amazon Store! You can check out all the goodies that I just love right here. 

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

5 Fun and Easy Earth Day Projects!

Hello, friends!

Earth Day is next week and I thought I would share 5 fun and easy projects for the occasion! I created these lessons last year during the shutdown. So if you are teaching virtually or homeschoolin' and limited supplies, you might find something here! Each one has a video that I've added. You can also learn more about what supplies you'll need by clicking on the link. Have fun!

Creating your own salt dough clay is super easy! Learn all about it here. 

Make a fun Earth Day poster by following along here. 

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Monday, April 12, 2021

Preorder My Book: Art Teacherin' 101!

Friends! I'm so excited to announce that after 23 years of art teacherin' and 2 years of sitting in front of my laptop, biting my nails and spillin' my art teacherin' guts that my book, Art Teacherin' 101, is NOW AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER
What's Art Teacherin' 101? Well, in short, it's everything I wish I would have known as I entered the world of teaching art. But it's also a book that I hope can help you when you hit that wall that is known as burnout (you know, that thing we all go through but so many of us think that no one goes through OR, worse, that we are a bad teacher for experiencing). Look, art teacherin' is hard. And no one seems to get that except those of us who are right there in it. I want this book to help be a warm blanket, a comfort, a lift, a boost to those of us who try our best every day and yet...strive to do even more...for creative selves and our students. 
Inside Art Teacherin' 101, you'll find information about how to be a student teacher and how to host one; what to do during an art teacherin' job interview (and what not to do!); discovering your WHY as a teacher; art room management from rules and routines to consequences; how to create the best art room environment for you and your students; teaching kindergarten(!); what to do when you hit the burnout wall and SO MUCH MORE!

Just to be clear: this is NOT an art lesson book! This is your day-to-day unofficial art teacherin' operator's manual. If you are interested in art lesson books, you can find my Stitch and String Lab for Kids and my Clay Lab for Kids books!


I am printing my book independently. This means I'll need to have a good idea of just how many books to print. Your purchase of my book helps me do just that. If I'm optimistic and print too many then everyone in my family will be receiving a copy for their birthday for the next 10 years. And, trust me, they don't want that. 

Once presale orders are in, I'll be able to print. This means you'll have a copy of my book in your hot little hands by mid-May! Hooray! 
Thanks for letting me share, y'all! I'm so excited. Here's the link to advance order your copy!

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Sunday, March 28, 2021

20 of My Favorite School-Wide Collaborative Projects!

Collaborative projects! Collaborative projects are one of my favorite things. I love them at the start of the year and the end. I love doing them with the whole school or just a grade level. I love using songs, themes, name it. I just love collaboratives!

We've done a TON over the years and I thought I'd put them all together in one big ole blog post. So, here you go: my 20 Favorite Collabortive Projects. Be sure and click on the links, many of these have how-to videos. 

Check out this blog post on how we created several canvases in this style for our school and the school library!

Students worked in table teams to create these positive four-letter words to describe our school

A fun mural based on the book You Be You was created by nearly all of my students. You can learn about the process of creating our fish here. Read all about the making of the mural itself here!

Another book we used for inspiration is the book by Todd Parr called It's Okay to be Different. You can check out how we created these collages here!

The Our School Has Heart mural was a piece with a contribution from each student in the school. You can see the breakdown of who created what in this blog post
Our clay collaborative mural is a bright and shiny beauty that hangs in a prominent place in our school. Each student contributed something to this can read more about the process here

One year, we created a Village of Kindness as apart of our art show! Each student upcycled a milk carton that our cafeteria queen cleaned in the dishwasher. The students made little doors that opened and said kind words to those who peeked inside. Students worked together to create the landscape on the bulletin board. 

I love to do collaboratives at the start of the school year. I especially like ones where students celebrate our school and that set a postive tone. That was the idea behind this collaborative!
Another fun way to start the school year is with some selfies! We've created them for a monochromatic mural. You can check out the video here. 
Inspired by the artist Romero Britto, this mural was created by my students when I was out for jury duty! My sub just played the video and when I returned, I assembled the mural!
A collaborative mural that definitely made the rounds was this one! The kids loved creating the feathers and it was a beautiful thing while in the hallway but I will was a lot of work to assemble. All the details here. 
My fourth graders created this collaborative one year that lives at the front entrance of our school. We even 'wrapped' it for Christmas and brought out admin out for them to unwrap it as it was hung on the wall of our school. 
We kicked off this school year with our What a Wonderful World collaborative mural. Details and video tour here. 

Here's another look of our school mural. Above that, you'll see our Learning for All collaborative!
During our field day one year, my students rotated through many art stations. One of them was this alphabet and number series. My librarian requested them and we just love how they turned out. Click here to see them framed and hung in our school library. 

Much like our monochromatic collaborative, this map collaborative was created with a self-portrait of each of my students! 

We are the tigers at my school so we do tiger-themed artwork every so often. This mural was created by first graders of all of their tiger drawings. You can find a how-to video right here!

In table teams, my third graders created a Rizzi City inspired by the artist James Rizzi. 

One year, we did super-sized works of art inspired by Andy Warhol and Vincent van Gogh! When these came together, they were stunning. All the details can be found here

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Are You an Art Teacherin' Workaholic?

Pop quiz time!

* Do you forego bathroom breaks so you can fill paint trays despite your about-to-burst bladder?

* Do you eat junk food for lunch because it's fast and easy and that kiln ain't gonna load itself?

* Have you given up your own creative pursuits because you 'just don't have the time' but spend hours after school hanging a bulletinboard? 


You just might be an Art Teacherin' Workaholic!

The other day, I made a comment in an art teacherin Facebook group (my first mistake). Someone said they were having headaches and I suggested they drink more water. Every time I am overwhelmed and stressed (usually during art show prep time), I start to feel sick: headaches, dizziness, I stand up and ask ‘who turned out the lights?!’ before feeling like I’m about to faint. Went to the doctor and was told: you are dehydrated! So now I think water is the magical elixir (cuz it is). But when I suggested that this art teacher drink more water, another said (paraphrasing here): who has the time?! Who has the time to refill on water and then have time to relieve the bladder when there is so much Art Teacherin prep to do?

L👀K...I get it. I survived on granola bars and Diet Coke (terrible, right?!) for lunch my first couple years teaching and, up until last year, frozen burritos (frequently consumed still mildly frozen) and Halloween candy because I just thought 1. I don’t have time and 2.  My health can wait.

If you are doing that, you are an art teacherin workaholic.

What to do about it? Well, let's talk about it. I'm chatting all about it on my podcast today, take a listen right here. 

You can’t be the best art teacher you can be if you don’t take care of yourself. So! For heavens sake, drink water and go pee. Love y'all! Mean it!

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