Monday, September 5, 2022

First Days of Art with Kindergarten!

I have found that nearly every art teacher has struggled with teaching kindergarten at some time. I think the reason is that they are like a magical bag of tricks: you never EVER know what to expect! That's why I dedicated an entire section of my book Art Teacherin' 101 just to them! I share all of my tips and tricks of working with that herd of cats. 

As an art teacher, I like to change things up. I don't repeat a lot of lessons (unless I know they are kid-faves) but with kindergarten, I have a routine that I use at the start of every year. In fact, if you've been following my YouTube channel then you may experience deja-vu when you watch these next couple of videos I'm going to share as this is my same song-n-dance routine for kindergarten. If you tap the link A Glimpse Inside on my playlist, you can find many more videos just like these! I've also been sharing snippets of these on my Instagram

Just a little backstory: my art classes are 30 minutes long. I see my students twice a week. I have no more than 20 students in each class (I know, I'm very lucky). We work on these paper sculptures for two art classes and then dive into painting the third week. At the bottom of this post, I'll add more links to kindergarten lessons and project ideas for you. Until then, here's a glimpse inside my first day of art with kindergarten:

My second day of art, I introduce some of my behavior routines. I use a happy/sad board to help manage behavior. I use an open/closed sign to help keep the chatting to a minimum because, hello!, 30 minute art classes here! Here's my second day:
Want to hear more about the happy/sad board? You can check out this video. I will say that I'm doing an extension to my board this year which I'll share in a blog post later this week. I'm really excited about it!

I'll be sharing more of a look inside other grade levels first days of art soon but, if you just can't wait, try these blog posts! This one is from 2019-2020 (I just shuddered at that one...we all know how that ended!) and this one from last year

Need more info on this line project by kindergarten? Check out this blog post! And if you want to know where we go from here, look at this blog post. Have a great week, friends! 

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Friday, June 17, 2022

In the Art Room: Cassette Tape Sculptures!

I've not shared details from our art show yet...I've just been enjoying my summer vacation a little too much, I guess! But we had a themed art show, as we usually do, and this year it was 1980s themed! 

I came up with the theme after winter break but got the idea for this project a little too late in the game. We ran out of time to create these cassette tape sculptures but I did create a video...and I thought I'd share it with you just the same. 

The boxes were ones I happened to have a surplus of in my storage closet. But they look like they probably came from here, if interested. The plaster strips are from here!
And the video is here! Have fun!

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Monday, June 6, 2022

DIY: Art Teacherin' Plant Markers

I'm testing my notoriously ungreen thumb, as I do every summer, with plants! I usually just spend my summer spending loads on flowers and then ushering them into a slow summer death but this year I thought I'd try killing herbs! Pardon me, I'm trying to remain optimistic: GROWING herbs. 

So far, I have been able to make tabouli with my parsley and I now have enough basil to make some pesto so...I'm not doing too shabby, if I do say so. However, telling some of these herbs apart has been a wee bit of a problem. So over the weekend I made these little herb markers! Here's how:

All you need is old paintbrushes (no plastic handled ones!) and some left over polymer clay. These were super fun and easy to make. 
As for the plants...they seemed to like the new addition well enough. Please pray for these beautiful greens! I'm hoping to keep them going strong. 

Speaking of going strong, check out my planters! I made these back in 2015 with old cat liter containers and they are still going strong! 

Happy Summer, friends! 

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Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Let's Make a Black Light Disco Ball!

Our school-wide art show is coming up and our theme is 1980's! And, I know what you're thinking: aren't disco balls more of a 1970's thing? Well, I suppose although I do remember them in the skating rinks growing up and loving them. So I thought my fourth graders would enjoy creating them as their contribution to our Glow Gallery! 

The supplies we used are the following:
* Cardboard pizza circle, found at restaurant supply stores
* Permanent markers
* Silver paint
* Neon tempera cakes

This is a quick lesson, perfect for my 30 minute art classes. We spent the first class drawing and tracing with a sharpie with just a few who started painting. Next time, we'll wrap these up and hang them from the ceiling in the glow gallery. Here's the video you are welcome to use in your art teacherin' world:

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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Clay Mugs for Kids!

Hi, friends! My students are wrapping up one of the clay projects they created and I thought I'd share. Last year, my first through fourth created clay mugs and it was easily everyone's favorite clay project. When I shared that we were working with clay again, a few weeks ago, their first question was "are we making mugs again?!" I had already planned on they were excited to hear the answer. Once mugs are complete, we celebrate by drinking hot chocolate out of it's a whole lot of fun. 

This year, I created a video to share with them. Because I have 30 minute art classes, I only showed the pinch pot portion and a bit of coil making for the first class. The second class, we did a brief coil making reminder and then watched the portion about creating a handle. The video helped them trouble shoot and get their mugs completed in just two 30 minute classes!
This week, we started glazing! They were told they could use any two colors of glaze, one for the inside and one for the outside. They were to do at least three coats of their chosen colors and not to glaze the bottom. Once complete, they could join me at the splatter glaze station!

When my students were finished glazing, they could help a friend or work on the large banners I created to announce our upcoming art show! 

We used Prang's Creativity Street Tempera Sticks to color these with.
The glaze we used are from two companies and I like them both: Mayco's Stroke and Coat and Amaco's Teacher's Palette. Both are food safe and fire to cone 06.
When introducing clay to your students, you might find this video fun to share: