Friday, September 9, 2022

Dot Day Celebration!

Every year, Dot Day creeps up on me and I find myself scrambling for ideas. This year, I decided to create Dot Day Stations for my students to travel to in my 30 minute art class. I had four tables set up with four different activities of dot makin' mayhem and the kids LOVED IT! So much so that I decided to extend the activities to next week! We'll use our dots to create a collage (like what's seen in the image above). Added bonus: the kids are exploring 12 different art making techniques! Here is what we did on the first day:

The following day, students rotated between these stations:

And my older students did these activities:
I did this with my first through fourth grade students and, seriously, they had the best time. Here's a little short of us in action:

If you need more Dot Day ideas, I have plenty of blog posts! You can check them out here...this one has a free downloadable activity sheet! This one has a lot of ideas for kindergarten through fourth! And this one was a HUGE hit last year and could also be done in one day! Okay...seriously...if you google "Cassie Stephens Dot Day" and hit that image search'll have a ton of ideas and videos. Have so much fun!

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Introducing Kindergarten to Watercolor Paint!

How do you introduce watercolor paint to your students? We are heading into our third week of kindergarten in art class (or is it our fourth?! I think it's our fourth!) and we have already tackled our first and second art projects. With kindergarten, we move quickly through lessons! We are now going into our unit on line. In the past, my students painted lines with paintbrushes and ink. This year, we created them with ink-filled bingo daubers. I created a couple of short videos on that which you can find under my Reels tab on my Instagram

This is the same routine I use to introduce (or reintroduce) all of my students to watercolor. I also keep a spray bottle on hand that I call Wake Up Juice (in keeping with the theme of "waking up the paint") which I spray when the paint becomes tacky or dry. Here's our introduction...and a glimpse inside my art room with kindergarten:

I am updated my YouTube a lot...I've neglected it a lot! I have gotten hooked on creating short videos for Instagram...but will be updating my YouTube and my blog frequently. Be sure and subscribe to my YT so you can stay up to date!  To learn more about watercolor paint in the elementary art room, check out this blog post

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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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