Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 22

Ah, yes. Preparing for a sub. Always a...pleasure. 

Oh, what was that? Not exactly the first word that came to your mind? Yeah, me neither. So I thought I'd share with y'all just how I go about preparing for a sub that will (hopefully) make their life as easy as possible which will make for a happy return for me. Much unlike my first year teaching when I found all of my brand spankin' new markers left decapped and strewn about. It looked like a freakin' war zone where the kids were the obvious victors (I half expected to find the sub laid out with markers sticking out of him like some kid created voodoo doll). 

So, sit back, cap those markers and let's talk subbie plans.
I learned that when I'm out for several days, I need to have a high quality lesson for the kids. I began creating recorded sub plans last year when I was out for a stretch with jury duty. I was thrilled to hear that my sub loved the idea of recorded lessons and that my kids enjoyed it as well. I've not looked back since. Here's my latest sub vid: 
 Not even gonna pull your leg: this kind of sub planning takes time. A lot of it. And planning ahead is not my bag, baby, so the struggle to create such extensive plans is real. That being said, if I can do it, you can do it. Or just use my plans cuz my mama taught me how to share. 
Here's a peak of what was left for my sub: a recorded plan and, if all else fails, a story board version. This also will serve as a reminder of the steps to follow for those early finishers or Forgetful Franks.
 I loved having a cart to load up over the course of several days. This allowed me to add to the cart in between classes. It was also nice to wheel out of the way.
Since I'm super visual, laid out everything in such a way that made some sort of sense (hopefully!). Having everything labeled with the same color sticky note was key. 
I tried to be as thorough as possible...but you always forget something. For that reason, I made sure to let my fellow teacher buddies know that I'd be out and to be sure and check on the sub. 
It's so nice to have the time to prepare to be this elaborate...but, let's face it, this is what sub planning looks like in an ideal world. 
 Often times, we only have time to prepare the bare minimum. For that reason, it's important to have a Sub Tub stocked with the basics: Emergency Procedures, Class Lists, Schedule and Basic Sub Notes. Also...simply sub plans that can be used for all grade levels. I have several books for my sub to read to my kids as well as "how to draw" sheets that he/she can bust out in a pinch. 
But this time around, I decided to go's to hoping it works out! I'll be certain to share the Monsters of Creativity mural once complete. 
My sweet friend Julie also offered to cover my sewing club I had a cart ready for her as well. 

What do y'all do to prepare for a sub? What are your Must Have's? Love to share ideas!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

In the Art Room: Monsters of Creativity

Fall means art teacherin' conference time which I so totally love. What I don't love is prepping and planning for taking those days off. I mean, I gotta create content that's educational and engaging both for the sub and the kids all while using materials that aren't too difficult for someone who just might not have an art background. I recently shared with y'all a bunch of my sub videos. Because I'll be out for the next couple of days attending an art conference in Wisconsin (can't wait, y'all!), I created this lesson and thought I'd share it as well.
 It's been my goal this year to introduce my students to contemporary artists with a focus on street artists. I recently did that with our wings mural project. This go-round I wanted my kids to meet the street artist who goes by the name Phetus.  
I think my students will love his colorful and humorous monsters...and hopefully be inspired to create their own!
 My hope is to display their monsters in a grid-like manner such as this. We're calling our display Monsters of Creativity. This will be showcased right outside the art room. Kinda fitting, no?
 I had so much fun creating my own examples for this project. I just love these!
Tomorrow, in Art Teacherin' 101, I'll be sharing with y'all just how I prepare for being absent and what I believe to be the essentials for a sub. 
Fingers crossed my subbo has a great time and that the kids create monsters...and not behave like them. 
 I'll be certain to share a follow up to this blog post and let y'all know how it all goes. Until then, put that tongue back in your mouth and...
Make something monstrous!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Monday, October 17, 2016

In the Art Room: You Be You Mural Complete!

So, like, at the end of August, I shared with you my You Be You lesson inspired by the wonderful book of the same title by Linda Kranz. I did this project as apart of our kindness and growth mindsets theme with my first through third grade kids. It was fun, easy and a great way to reintroduce the elements of art as well as drive home some super positive warm fuzzies. 
Unfortunately, I suffer from a serious case of Squirrel-itis and got sidetracked from assembling this mural. However, right before Fall Break Eve, I conned my special area buddies into "helping me" with the mural (two hours later, my friend Ali was still glueing and outlining the fish in blue...thanks, buddy!) and getting it up on the wall. Yay! Another Mammoth Mural in the books.  
In case you wanna give this fun lesson a go, feel free to use the video. You are always more than welcome to use any of my videos in your art room. I try to update weekly (with an Art Teacherin' 101 going up every Wednesday-ish). If you subscribe, you can stay tuned. 
So...true fax: this mural was only supposed to be a You Be You tribute...but with so many fish created, I had to create a second mural. This one with the title of Linda's first book in the series. By the way, when the murals went up, the edges just felt a little meh. I picked up that cute border at Joann's and added it today. I think it makes a big difference. 
Right after the mural was hung...I discovered another bin of third grade fish sitting there all, "hey there, forget something, Stephens?" Looks like I have more fish to add to the mural!
When I have my students create large murals, we usually create huge sheets of pattern papers. We call this our Painting Party. I throw papers down on the tables and either I'll start a pattern motif of the kids will. They are to repeat that pattern until their paper is full. Once complete, I remove the paper and replace it with another large sheet. This gives me a nice big stack of fun papers to use when assembling the kid's murals. 
First grade fishes just swimmin' and swimmin'. 
After the murals were hung, I realized just how much our school walls (and ceiling!) are devoted to the artistry of our awesome kids. I think it's vital to showcase ALL student artwork (not just a hand selected few) for several reasons: 1. It tells your students that "Hey! You are awesome! Your artwork is amazing! You deserve to be seen by all!"; 2. It showcases your art program and the importance of the arts to your parents, faculty and staff. This is just one small nook that is full of their work from this year! You can see more of their monochromatic selfie mural and the fourth graders' radial prints
I think my favorite part of this mural is the message. I'm a big believer in you doing you. It took me entirely too long to really listen to my inner voice. I have spent a good portion of my life doing what I thought I was "supposed" to be doing and being the person who I thought I was "supposed" to be. Letting go of that notion and really being comfortable with who I am, what my interests are and where that takes me is now the place I find myself. I want my kids to get there faster than I did. I want them to know it's awesome to be who they are cuz There Is Only One You so You Be You! 

Thank you, Linda Kranz, for the powerful message!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Friday, October 14, 2016

In the Art Room: AOE Winter 2017 Conference

Hey, kids! I thought I'd share with y'all something rather embarrassing: my very first video created, ever (well...except for those VHS recordings I created in middle school of my Ed Grimley impersonation. Fingers crossed those never surface). I first began working with AOE back in 2013 for their online conferences. I used a GoPro camera (which is not exactly known for it's high quality sound, as you'll see) and paid a former student $20 to teach me how to use iMovie (thank you, Griff!). I've learned a whole lot since then...but we all start somewhere. Despite the poor sound quality and the fishbowl effect, I do still believe in the ideas I shared in that presentation. So I've dusted it off and popped it up for y'all to view:
I'm sharing this today for a couple of reasons: I'll be presenting with AOE again this winter on, of all things, video recording! I know showing video instruction is hot in the art rooms right now (it's commonly referred to as "flipped instruction" but edu-buzz words make my skin crawl) and I use them all the time with my students. In fact, you can keep up to date with them by subscribing to my YouTube channel. But lately I've been thinking of ways of taking my recordings one step further: by interviewing artists, acting out proper clean up procedures with colleagues and more. In my presentation this winter, I'll be chatting with you about ways to go beyond videoed instruction even if you've never recorded a single lesson. I'm so excited!

If you apply for the Winter 2017 AOE Conference before December 1st, you'll qualify for the early bird price of $99. Also...if you use the code SAVE10WITHCASSIE, you'll get an extra 10% off! Yippie skippie, y'all! 

Here are somethings I love about the AOE online conferences: 

The After Pass. I don't usually have the entire day to spend watching the presentations. I like knowing that I can watch a little, take a break and then finish them off at a later date.

The Handouts. Who doesn't love a good handout, right?! From lessons plans to supply lists, the handouts have it all.

The Chance to Chat. One thing I do love is the opportunity to talk with teachers all over THE WORLD! That is seriously my favorite part. The conversations I engage in and ideas that are shared add a whole 'nuther later of awesome to the conference. 

So! I hope to "see" y'all there!
Oh! Speaking of coming a long is a video I created last spring about creating videos. Wish I woulda known then what I know now. Oh well, such is life, y'all!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

In the Art Room: Easy Way to Distribute Supplies

Since I'm hanging with AOE this week and sharing some tips and tricks, I thought I'd bypass on my usual Wednesday Art Teacherin' 101. Because, let's be honest, a little of me goes a very, VERY long way. 

So, let's talk about this cafeteria style routine I'm sharing. I wrote about it a while back in this here blog post and go into a little more depth on the why's and how's of this method. I don't do this every art class but with my 30 minute sessions, it really helps cut down on movin' around time and allows us more time to create. And, after all, that's what we're there for!

While in the hallway, I'll usually give them their "shopping list" of supplies to gather. So that they don't leave anything off their list, I'll usually have them do a call and response which I chat about here:
Once in the room, the kids move quickly to place their supplies on their tables, write their name and class code and meet me on the floor. It helps to have music playing as they do so or even a short video. I like to have something going on my big screen telly as it gets them excited to move quickly and join me on the floor. Also, short fun songs and videos give them a glimpse as to what they'll be learning that day. In an upcoming blog post, I'll share with you some of my very favorite art teacherin' videos to play for my students. By the way, here is a video tour of my art room I created for my younger students...
When I give instruction, I always have my kids gather on the floor, away from their supplies. I do this for a couple of reasons: it removes any distractions for the kids and allows them to focus. It also gives us a cozy feel. I don't have carpet on my floor (I love the look of carpet but I really am not a fan. To me they are like big sponges for germs to gather) and I've never had a child complain about sitting on the floor. Once the directions are given, the kids are free to head back to their seats and dive right in.
In other news, if you need a tool to help you manage your time with your students, I really love my Time Timer!

I hope that is helpful for you. What have you found to be the best way to have your students gather their supplies? I know I've tried giving the kids jobs and they are wonderful at's just that their art teacher (ahem) is miserable at remembering routines. We do what works for us, right?! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png