Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Let's Make a Symmetrical Butterfly!

Recently, my kindergarten and first graders created guided painting symmetrical butterflies! This is a very old lesson of mine...which you can find here. The video I created then was geared toward art teachers. I decided to update the video and make it so you can share it with the artists in your life. Here you go:

Of course you'll need to pause as they go. 
We used black tempera paint and I told the kids to apply the paint so that it is shiny. This made for a better print. Once they understood how the process worked, they knew what to do. 
Color was added with brown, yellow and orange oil pastels. The kids were told to color in those three colors in stripes and then color OVER those three colors with yellow to create a gradation. Afterward, we drew designs in the background with a white oil pastel and then added color to the background with blue liquid watercolor. Have fun! 

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Monday, May 3, 2021

I Designed a Mobile Classroom (with a whole lotta help!)

Last summer, I was told that I may be on a cart. I was devastated...as I know so many of you all were to got similar news. I am very fortunate in that my art room is very large (once upon a time, it was a library) so that saved me from my cart-fate. However, when I did think I was going to be on a cart, I decided to dig in and start doing some research. If I was gonna be on a cart, I wanted the very best. 

What I found is...there wasn't one that really suited my needs. 

It was then that I reached out to my friends at Prang. As many of you know, Prang is the maker of some of our favorite art supplies but not furniture. It was a bit of a stretch to even ask if they would wish to venture into the furniture business but I thought it was worth a shot. Thankfully, they understood the need for a cart designed by a teacher for a teacher. And we got to work. 
Right away, we decided that this wasn't going to be a cart. This was going to be a classroom on wheels, a Mobile Classroom. For weeks, I sketched out ideas and dreams for the cart before I brought the ideas to Spectrum Industries, the company that brought my ideas to life. When I said I wanted a pop up table, metal pegboard, a locker and a whiteboard that could come up and out of the art, Jon Riggs, one of the designers at Spectrum, made it happen. 
Before I dive into any details on the cart, let me just say that all of the info you need can be found here
When designing the Prang Mobile Classroom, we decided to name each part of the cart after a place in a classroom. So the handle has three cup holders or a cup holder and two paper holders as well as a pencil/phone/odds and ends holder...you know, everything you'd want on your desk! Just below that is an electrical strip so you can stay plugged in. I'm a huge fan of pegboard! I love the customizable capabilities of it. While the pegboard hardware does not come with the cart, it can be found at most hardware stores. 
The pegboard is metal which means that it can also double as a place for you to magnize vocabulary words or posters and signs. 

The top of the cart has a lip around it. This is so you won't lose items off of your cart as you roll down the hall!
The cart comes with two adjustable shelves that also have a lip on the end. Each shelf can hold up to 50 lbs each and I was able to stock crayons, markers, watercolor paint, paper, tempera paint and more in the 'supply cabinet'.
The Demo Area is where the pop up table is. This table can be a place for your students to gather around as you demonstrate or...
You can use it with your mobile device or document camera! The adjustable device mount allows you to turn this into a lesson recording place as well. 
The cart comes equipped with four 5" balloon casters that each lock. These are the best wheels on the market!

There's a locker for all of your valubles like your purse and phone when you need to step away from your cart.
And the dry erase board! It comes all the way out so you can place it anywhere in the room you are teaching in. It is also double-sided so you can have multiple lessons written on it. 
Now is the time to ask your school for a mobile classroom. I know that recently we were told that our school was able to fill wishlists as districts receive relief funding from the government. If you know that you are going to be on a cart next year, it may be wise to ask now. 
It's a terrible thing to be without an art room. I get it. And if you are in that situation, you and your students deserve the next best thing. I'm hoping that the Prang Mobile Classroom is it. 
To find out more about where your school can purchase a Mobile Classroom for you, be sure and click the link for details. 
Thanks for letting me share, y'all!

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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 crew...so 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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