Monday, June 14, 2021

Podcast: How to Tackle Your Biggest Goal!

I know most people set goals at the start of the new year but I'm inclined to set my goals at the start of summer. I think many teachers are as we have the long and lovely days to work toward accomplishing them. But how many summers have we set the same goals only to, well, not achieve them? It's so frustrating! Today, I'm talking about that very thing on my podcast. You can take a listen here or wherever you download podcasts. 

I mention both of these books in my podcast so I thought I'd share. I recently finished The Four Agreements and I could read it over again, it's just so good. I did enjoy The 100-Day Goal Journal but definitely not for 100 days. It did help me change my thinking and work toward my goals. 

And in case you need a little background's that song I mentioned in my podcast. I don't often quote the Beebs but when I you go. 

Thanks for listening, friends!

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Monday, June 7, 2021

Podcast Episode: Does You have to Suffer to Succeed?

Hey, y'all! This is the topic I'll be talking about at length on my podcast, Cassie Stephens. I mentioned in the podcast that I'd share the movie and books I referenced so here you go!

I do also want to share that my book is no longer available for pre-sale but it's now FOR SALE! You can snag a copy of your new fave summer read right here. 

We also have spots available for the Art Teacherin' Extravaganza! So if you are thinking of signing up, now is the time. Feel free to send me an email at if your school is in need of a PO. I can also send along info that just might help you sway your admin to pay for your spot. 
The 2018 movie American Animals was one I really enjoyed...but it's a particular scene that resonated with me and got me thinking. If you've not seen this movie yet, you may want to check it out. It has a strong artist connection so I think you'll dig it.
These two books are the ones I draw quotes from in the podcast. I will say that Man's Search for Meaning was a very emotionally difficult read for the first just beware. I just started The Four Agreements this weekend and I'm nearly finished. It's a fast and amazing read that I cannot recommend enough. 

I have not finished this one yet...I hit the pause button on reading it as the author kept referencing Man's Search for Meaning. I decided to read that first and then I'll return to the 7 Habits. Since I mentioned it in the podcast, I thought I'd share here. 

Thanks, y'all! I hope you enjoy the episode. I'd love to hear your thoughts. If you'd like to chat, feel free to drop me a line at I'm also taking questions to be answered in future episodes so if you have any, don't hesitate to throw them my way!

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

How to Create a Collaborative Paint-by-Color Painting for Your School!

If you know me...then you know I do my field day duties a little different than the rest of the school. After years of face painting, snow cone-ing and watching kids grow bored of sidewalk chalkin' after five mintues, I decided a couple of things:

1. It's too dang hot outside on field day!

2. It's the PERFECT way to do a collaborative because you see all the kids in the whole school all in one day!

You can read all about the field day activies that I love to do in this post. My fave: BACK TO SCHOOL BANNERS! More details here including a video!

The kids REALLY enjoyed painting on this...and I've been really excited to give this a go for a while. I'll be sure to share the final result soon. Thanks, y'all! 

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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 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 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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