Sunday, October 17, 2021

How to Create a Paint-by-Number of Your School, an Update!

Hi, my name is Cassie Stephens and I like to start projects and then wait months, sometimes even years, before I finish them. 

Please tell me I'm not alone. 

Case in point: this project that my students began on field day last spring. You can read all about it here. You can also check out this video unless you are reading my blog from your which case you'll need to view this post from your laptop in order to check out the vid. Technology is super cool. 

We go all out on field day with collaborative projects. ANYTHING to keep me from sitting outside all day and doing sidewalk chalk or melty face painting. You can see our field day set up for the art room here. 
After the kids painted it in the spring, it looked a little rough (sorry, I don't have any photos). I was a little disappointed by the look of it until I realized that all it needed was to be outlined again. That REALLY made the colors pop and cleaned it up nicely. 

I went in over my fall break and really enjoyed listening to a podcast and outlining this beast. It took no time at all. And I used my fave new hack of drawing with a Q-tip dipped in ink. It works so well, provides a consistent line and holds quite a bit of ink! 
I did use a Sharpie to write the name of our school. I also would STRONGLY recommend using bottles of craft store acrylic for this painting. We initially painted it with tempra and it looked so faded, translucent and chalky. 
Like many schools, the front of ours is a little boring in that it has a huge parking lot out front. So I took some liberties by adding our country and state flag, our state flower and a banner with our school district logo.
And now I'm totally hooked on the idea of creating more paint by numbers with the kids for our school!
It was really easy by just snapping a photo of the school and tracing in Procreate. I am thinking that we need a giant canvas of our school mascot next!
Pretty sure this beauty will end up in the front lobby of our school. I cannot wait to see it up! Here's what it looked like the day we started painting it. I'll keep you posted on how it looks once up!

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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Kindergarten Rainbows and Self-Portraits!

Hello, friends! My kindergarten is wrapping up a self-portrait lesson and it's one that I've never done before with them. I'm super happy with the result and I wanted to share with y'all. Mostly I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks and things I learned in hopes that it may help you, if you decide to go down this rainbow/self-portrait path. 

But first, let's chat about where this lesson falls in my kindergarten line of projects. We start the school year in kindergarten with Line Sculptures. From there, we moved on to Dot Painting. Following this, we painted Rainbows! Now, in the past, I completed this Line Unit before moving on but the last couple of years I've mixed it up a bit. I will bounce back to those lessons but for now, we are painting. We've also not finished our rainbows (by adding the sun and clouds) but that will happen this week. 
My favorite supply for painting with kindergarten are tempera cakes. This is a little what my set up looks like. I always serve up paint (or have the kids get their own paint) on trays. This helps us carry the supplies easier and contain the mess incase there are spills. If you know me and my paint set up, then you know that we normally use dog dishes for water and a sponge. But sometimes we are using them for other things so this is my back up set up: water pot (these are my favorite and you can find them here, they are NO SPILL!), sponge for 'drying' our brush (sponges are called Dirty Ole Sponge Bob and I get them from the Dollar Tree) and a tray to hold the sponges (old sushi dishes!).
My tempera cakes are usually a mess. You can purchase tempera cakes in a set but they always end up getting crumbly or with a big hole in the middle. The tray the cakes come in is crap and a thing plastic. I noticed huge messes of paint left on tables a couple of years ago...which was from the thing plastic tray splitting and paint leaking out the bottom! So now I NEVER order the whole tray, just the refills like I do my pan watercolor paint. I love Prang's tempera cakes as well as Jack Richesons. I order all the colors in the rainbow. I use muffin tins and plastic condiment cups to create a palette for the kids. When we are painting our skin tone, the palette is changed to have only red, orange, yellow, white, brown and black. For painting rainbows, this is how I set up the palette. 
We spend a LOT of time listening to this song and this song as well as learning the ASL for all of the colors in the rainbow! Then we hit the ground running and paint our rainbows. 
Even in 30 minutes (the length of all my art classes), I always have early finishers! So early finishers are given another sheet of paper and told to paint a rainbow pattern. We wrap those up the following art class. 

Hot Tip: Cut 2" off the paper that you plan to frame that way it's ready to frame on traditional size construction paper! I plan to frame these self-portraits on black construction paper 12"X18".
The following art class, we learn what a self-portrait is! This video REALLY helped and we loved it! 

After listening, dancing and singing with the song, I demonstrated drawing a large self-portrait as the kids directed me. I asked "what should I draw first? What shape should I use? How big should I draw?"

Afterward, they were given paper and a permanent marker (I wished I would have had them use a regular black marker as the line would have been thicker). They did an amazing job! 
The following art class, we learned all about scissor safety! And how to carry and wear our scissors correctly. Below is a video on how I explain scissor safety to my students (if you cannot see this video, try viewing this blog post from your laptop):

After cutting out, kindergarten glued their selfies to their rainbow backgrounds!
This is definitely a project I'll be doing again! 

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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Painting with Kindergarten!

Painting with kindergarten can be a daunting task...especially if you approach it at the beginning of the school year. My kindergarten recently completed these paintings on their second week of school. The goal of this lesson is simply to teach my painting procedures: how we hold our brush, the parts of the paintbrush, how we dip for our paint, what to do if the paint drips, how to clean our brush between colors and how to clean up when class is over. Oh, and have fun! Those are the main objectives for this lesson. I started doing this lesson last year with squares of paper and a sticker in the center as a guide for students to paint around (see below). This year, I decided to have them paint on 14" cardboard pizza rounds (found at Gordan Food Services) and I love how they turned out. 

Here's a one minute video filled with as many tips for this lesson as I could squeeze in:

And here's our paintings from last you can totally do this on square paper, no pizza rounds needed!
I've created a couple of videos to share with you on this process. However, if you are viewing this blog post from your phone, my videos may not appear. So you may want to hop on over to my YouTube channel (and subscribe cuz why not?!) and see them there. 
One thing I tried when we were printing out dots for Dot Day this year was to create a warm and cool color paint tray. One day the kids used a warm color tray and the next day they swapped with their neighbors for a cool color tray. This allowed the kids to use all of the colors while not muddying up the trays. 

If you need some ideas for Dot Day, check out more blog post here!

Or if you just need a one day activity sheet, pop by here for a free download. 
Wanna see me teaching painting to kindergarten? Well, here's a video. It covers everything I wish to share with my students on painting procedures and routines for their first painting adventure! It's from 2019. 
Have fun!

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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Dot Day Art Lesson: Printing!

Hey, y'all!

We are officially back in school and in full swing! Our first days of art were spent printing dots after reading The Dot! We used Gelli-Arts plates to print our dots because I found that I had about 20 brand new round plates in my storage closet (wow, the things you find when you clean). Here's the video I created for my students:

If you cannot see this video then it's because you are looking at my blog from your phone. Super annoying, I know. It's a blogger thing, it's not you. So here's the direct link to my YouTube page. You should totally subscribe because I add new content all the time.
Now I know many of you don't have those Gelli Arts plates (and they are a bit expensive) so...I came up with an alternative for you: pie pans from Dollar Tree! I am using the pizza pie pans here:

Again, if you can't see it, here it is
First grade through fourth were printing which means I had drying racks brimming with art. So a way to keep up with everything was clipping clothes pins with the teacher's names on them between the classes on the drying rack. Once dry, the clips were used to hold the artwork together. I know...every now and then I have a decent idea. 

After two 30 minute art classes of printing, my students looked at all of their prints and picked their fave for display. They then had to give their piece a title and 'sign it' like Vashti so it could be displayed in the hallway. Here was a video I created to explain this process:

Need more Dot Day fun? Well, here is a simple one-day activity I created as a sub plan a couple of years ago. Sheet included:
And if you want to check out a big ole blog post filled with TONS of Dot Day ideas, then here you go

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Sunday, August 8, 2021

Welcome Back to Art, 2021-22

So I just noticed that the last time I posted here was MID-JUNE. Y'all! How did summer vanish so quickly!? A large part of my summer was dedicated to putting together The Art Teacherin' Extravaganza which, if you follow me on Instagram, you got to follow along on that journey (and if you were there in real life, well, you know what a blast it was!) Between the Extravaganza and shipping out copies of Art Teacherin' 101, it was a full summer that went by in a blink!

But now we're heading back and, honestly, I'm not sad about it. In fact, I'm pretty excited about this new school year. I have a lot of new ideas I wanna try; books I've been reading with techniques I want to implement; and some new projects that I know the kids will love. 

But first things first: we gotta dive into our Rules and Routines. Last year, I really dropped the ball on this one. Everything was just a mess last year with the constant uncertainty that I let go of my normal Back to School routines...and it showed for the rest of the year. I was burnt to a crisp at the end of the year and was so ready to hit the reset button. This year, I'm determined to take it slow and try to stay more organized. I'll let you know how that goes ;)

I like to start the first days of art covering rules and routines...but I HATE talking about them, it's so dry! So I always have a short video that touches on them...and allows us to move on to other First Day things before coming back to them in following art classes. Here's my latest video that I'll be showing this week...I decided to include some personal things in this year's video. I find that the kids are always curious about what we were like as children as well as our personal lives so I decided to add that to the video this year. Here it is:

More Back to School stuff will be shared here soon...but I do write about it A LOT in my book, which you can order here! 

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