Showing posts with label art day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art day. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

DIY: Folk Art Fish UPDATE!

My sweet second graders had to push the pause button on this project last week to tend to painting and bedazzling their exotic birds. But now that those are done, we were able to bring back our Sandra Silberzweig-inspired folk art fish and work on them a bit more today. Almost all of the kids finished them off in 30 minutes (which is pretty awesome, considering these are 12" X 18"!) and they were so thrilled with themselves...as was I!
You can check out (and feel free to use!) the complete lesson right here: 
My students did this project in three 30 minute classes. On the first day, we chatted about Sandra, her work and the use of line and black glue. We drew our fish and went over our lines in glue. If you go to this post, I share how I make black glue. 
 The following art class, we began working with the chalk. This project is perfect for my second graders as they are about to embark on their chalked ceiling tile project super soon. You can check out what my second graders have chalked in the past both here and here. I'm not sure what they'll be chalking this year...but I need to figure it out soon! I'll be sure to share with you right here. 
The key to working with chalk is getting the kids the right stuff. So much chalk is filler and junk. The end result is usually very light in color. I love Koss Brand Chalk, even it if is hard to find. We purchase ours through Amazon. I love the subtle colors in this artist's work. 
 Compared to how bold and vibrant this one is!
 I seal all of our chalked projects with Aqua Net. I have noticed that the nozzle on the 'Net has changed and it now does not come out in a nice stream but speckled. However, if you hold the can far enough away from the work and spray, it's fine...and the speckles (mostly) disappear. It's much cheaper than fixatives.
This is usually how I lay them out to spray. Take 'em off the drying rack, spread 'em out and spray away!
They are going to look stunning at our art show!
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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Exciting News: Free Clay Workshop!

I have got to be honest with y'all: I am LOVING our Wednesday night craft nights! If you aren't familiar, I've been hosting a free felting workshop over on my Facebook page each Wednesday at 8pm CST during the month of April (in fact, if you are joining in the fun tomorrow night, I'll have a list of supplies needed below). You are ALWAYS welcome to join, even if you do not have the felting kit. That was simply created with the help of Sue at Back to Back Fiber. And, if you decide you do want to join, you can still pick up your kit from Sue. All of my LIVE chats are archived both on my Facebook page and on my YouTube channel. Remember: I would LOVE to share what you create right here. Just use the hashtag #creatingwithcassie when you share your work on your preferred social media outlet. 

So now on to the exciting news: I'm going to continue the craft night fun with Clay in the month of May! I've partnered up with Activa Products to create a kit just for you and our creative evenings. Here's what your kit will include:
 A 1lbs. box of Celluclay, a 1lbs. box of ActivClay and 4" X 180" of Rigid Wrap which can all be purchased here. Knowing that we art teachers love a bargain, Activa is offering us a very special rate. I want to throw a big shout out to them for working with me! I know I've shared this before...I am not making a profit from these craft nights. I am doing them simply because I find creating, teaching and spending time with y'all so much fun. Thank you for joining me on this adventure. Remember, you do not have to make a purchase to participate in this free Clay in the month of May workshop. These are simply the supplies I will be using if you want to create along with me. You might have heard me mention both Celluclay and Rigid Wrap before. Here's a peak at some projects I've done with both materials:
This was my first experience with Celluclay and I was HOOKED after creating these vintage-inspired treat buckets!
Maybe too many episodes of Walking Dead was the inspo behind my Zombie Head Planters
Obviously, I'm a fan of the Halloween. This Book of Spells was big fun! 
I also introduced my second graders to Celluclay with this project
I shared Rigid Wrap with my fourth graders when they created these Candy Heart Sculptures

This is the perfect opportunity for you to explore new sculpture materials before introducing them to your students. If you are without a kiln, these materials are just the thing as they don't require kiln fire. I became very familiar with Activa Products when writing this here clay book of mine
My book is currently available for preorder here and slated to come out early June (I previously said mid-May but that release date has changed). In this book, I work with a variety of air dry, polymer and handmade clays. Once you are done with our 5 Wednesdays of clay exploration, you'll be ready to dive into this book and bring the fun to your art room next fall. 

As for this Wednesday, we'll be Wet Felting. So bring a zip lock bag (whatever size you have handy), a bowl of warm water, a bar or pump soap and scissors. Can't wait to create with you!
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Monday, April 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Stitched Monsters, Update!

Now that Clay Week(s) has come to an end, it's back to business as usual in the art room. In order for all of my kids to work with clay at once, I have the kids "push the pause button" on whatever we are currently working on. That means, after clay week, we un-pause and resume what we left behind. For fourth grade, that meant our Stitched Monsters! Here is the lesson video I created for this project. Feel free to use in your art teacherin' town!
Out of all the projects we have done this year, my kids have ranked this one very close to the top. Clay was a first place winner, of course, but it was a tight race. Many of my students have started sewing at home, bringing in their pillows, monsters and other creations. I remember when I was first introduced to hand sewing as a kid. It felt like a whole new world of creating was opened up to me. I think the kids are feeling the same. 
 I really liked having the kids use Smart Fab for the body as this made it easy for them to see thru and insure they were "capturing" the arms and the legs of the monster as they stitched. Once the stitching was complete and the monster was flipped to the correct side, if they noticed that part of their arm or leg was not securely attached, the kids had to go back and restitch. This really taught them the importance of good, even stitches. 
Once flipped, the kids had to complete a sketch of their monster. This sheet asked them questions about their monsters to really get their creative juices flowing. Once the sketch was done, they were to slide a card into their monster, cut the shapes of the face and glue them down with tacky glue. The card inside made it so the monster would not be glued together. 
Not until the kids started stuffing their monsters did they really seem to understand that they were creating a stuffie. One told me he was going to go home, make a bunch and sell them. Right on, dude! I had many requests to take them home today...but I need them for the art show! Give me a month, y'all.
Have y'all done stuffed monsters with your kids? I know there are may ways to go about making them. 
 Earlier this year, one of my sweet students gave me a small stuffed monster with a rectangular body and dangling arms and legs. That look is what I based this pattern on. 
Learning to sew monsters this way taught my students how to properly pin, stitch and create a monster. I definitely think this is a lesson worth repeating! 
Love to hear about your students stitchery projects! 
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Monday, March 27, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Chameleons!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you've seen me over-sharing all of the clay projects that my kiddos will be creating during Clay Week. I like to go with a theme when it comes to clay as that makes the art show seem cohesive. Last year, we went with the clay theme of a 1950's Diner where all the kids created clay food. It was a big hit and a whole lot of fun. 

This year, I decided to go with a Pet Shop theme! You can actually view all of the clay videos I've created for my students right here (and feel free to use them). I add new art teacherin' videos every week so if it's something that you are interested in, you might want to subscribe.

Today, my third grade students watched this video in bite-sized pieces and were able to create their chameleon from start to finish. We did use up more than our normal hour long art class...thankfully, I have a plan time after this class and the teachers were kind enough to let me use some of their instructional time for the kids to finish. I work with some super supportive folks, y'all! Otherwise, this project would have taken us about an hour and a half.
I get a lot of questions on how I show my students my videos because they are pretty long. I don't show the video in it's entirety as that would be too much information for the kids to process. Instead, I show bite-sized portions. Then I send the kids to their seats to work. When a handful of them have finished and trickled back to the floor, then I call all of them to join us, finished or not, and we watch the next portion. For these guys that meant they learned how to make a leaf and then created it; came back to learn about how to make the body and legs of the chameleon and created it; and finally, they learned how to create the head and attach to the leaf. This keeps us up, active, busy and working the entire time. 
Have I told y'all lately that I wrote a clay book? You can scoop it up for preorder right here. When I first became an art teacher some 18 odd years ago, I'd never even taken a ceramics class. And yet...my first year teaching, clay was in my curriculum. With no kiln and a small budget, I had to create clay for my kids to use. Without much info online at the time, I scoured the public library for recipes and ideas. I learned many recipes and included them in the book. In fact, all of the projects in the book are made with no-kiln clays...but have been tested out with kiln fire clay. So it's for everyone!
Working on a book filled with 52 projects meant that I had to dream up, snap photos of and write about, well, 52 projects. Y'all, that's a lot! I learned many a thing working on that book...and I believe it has made me a better clay teacher. 
If you find clay to be intimidating as I once did, I have a surprise for you! I'm going to be offering a Crash Course in Clay here during the month of May! Follow me on Facebook and I'll keep you posted on the details. Here's a peek at how I set my tables up for clay: doggie bowls for water (from the Dollar Tree and they NEVER spill!), toothbrushes for scoring, skewers for carving, cutting and creating design, clay mats (which I have had for well over 10 years) from my friend Danielle McDanielle, aka The Clay Lady, usually lots of texture tools and sponges for wiping hands when they start to feel too dry. What do you keep on hand during clay time?
Oh! And I busted out the marker caps to make these fun eyes for the chameleons.
I'm thinking we will glaze these after firing. I hope I have some room in my budget to splurge on the glaze with the flecks of glass in it. I think that would be perfect for these little guys. I'll be sure to do a follow-up post once complete. 
I've tried many a thing when it comes to finishing clay projects: gouache, oil pastel and dip in black tempera and glaze. Which is your preferred method? 
By the way, this clay project could just as easily be done with air dry clay! You'll have to keep me posted if you give it a go. 
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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 32 CLEAN UP

Ah, yes. Clean up. You know, everyone dreads clean up: the kids because they are so into what they are creating and me because I have a different idea of clean up than my students (ahem). I've come up with some things that work and I've slapped 'em together in this here Art Teacherin' 101.

Also in this video, you'll see a clip of my students participating in something I've been calling The Clean Up Contest. This has been working fabulously with all of my classes, grades kinder thru fourth. My room is left spotless, the kids all clean, working together to make their table look the "even better than how you found it". My big rule is that they must do it silently...which really cuts down on the silly and helps them focus on tidying. 

I'll also be sharing with you how I do the Smartest Artist. This is a simple game that all of my students love.

Please share your tips and tricks on Clean Up Time! I know I'm always looking for ways to make this process more streamlined. 
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 31

If you've been joining in on my Facebook LIVE chats which I (attempt) to host each Wednesday night at 8pm CST, then you know it's a large crowd of art teachers from all walks of art teacherin' life: we've got high school teachers all the way down to pre-K. Our common bond is our love for creating art with young artists...and the gamut of feelings that come with that: joy, stress, frustration, celebration, etc. I look forward to our chats each Wednesday as it helps me know that I'm not in this alone and that the feelings I experience are shared by many. At the close of our chats, I'll usually ask what we'd like to talk about the following week. One art teacher tentatively threw out the topic of burnout. I think she was apprehensive to admit that she was experiencing this as what you often see here on this blog and on other social media platforms that art teachers use are the celebrations...not the frustrations. But, trust me, we ALL experience burnout. In fact, it was burnout that brought me to blogging!

It was several years ago and I was feeling stuck in a rut. I wasn't excited about the lessons I was teaching and it was reflecting in my art room. Then I would become frustrated when my students weren't excited either. It became a bit of a cycle and I knew I had to do something about it. So I decided to create a blog. I figured that if I had to weekly share a lesson that I was proud of, something that I'd created and whatever wacky outfit I wore, it might inspire me to try a little harder, be more creative and give my approach to art teaching the reboot it needed. 

That's what worked for me. If you are going thru a slump, you need to find out what is gonna work best for you. Maybe it's taking some art classes. Planning a craft night. Taking a mental health day. It's a super short life we live, y'all! We need to be healthy, happy and have the energy to share our joy for art. You gotta do what it takes to make that happen. But know that burnout is just a part of life. I think of life as a cycle. And burnout is just one of those phases that we all go through sooner or later. 

Love to hear what you do when you find yourself in a slump. And I hope to hear from you on Wednesday night over on my official Facebook page. See you then! 

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

DIY: Kid-Created Self-Portrait Dress

Last spring, I found this amazing frame-covered fabric and my head just about exploded from excitement. I wish that were an exaggeration but it's really the little things, like AMAZING fabric that get this girl all head-explode-y. I had really wanted my kids to create selfies on it then and debute their work at last year's art show...but between frantically finishing projects and slapping them on the wall, we just ran out of time. Not to mention, we ended up going with a 1950's diner theme and the kids ended up splatter painting my ensemble instead. So there's that...er splat. 
So this year, I decided to just bust the fabric out for my earlier finishers and leave it as an option for them to create on. It seems I have more early finishers with my kindergarten through second grade. Those are the grade levels that contributed the most. I didn't give much direction other than to draw their portrait with a black marker, color it in and do their best. 
In fact, earlier this week when I said, "Remember, please do your best!" 

First grader: Yes, Boogey.
Me: Who in the world is Boogey?
First grader: That's my mama's love name for me.
I laughed and that's when the rest of the class chimed in: Ms. Boogey!
Me: Let's just stick with Mrs. Stephens, okay?
First grader: Okay (whispering)...Boogey. 

There are so many happy memories tied to this dress! 
 On Friday, I had a kindergartener look me up and down and say, "Why do you dress different everyday?!"
Me, knowing full well what he meant but still...: Don't you dress different everyday?
Kindergarten: Not THAT different. 

Touche, kindie, touche. 
When the kids grew tired of drawing themselves, they started to draw me...or me with them. I'm so loving my big hair day on the bottom left. 
When the kids finally finished the fabric this weekend, I was determined to get it stitched up. I really wanna wear it next week at NAEA in NYC. When I told my second graders that I was going to make the fabric they were drawing on into a dress, they were completely stumped...even though we've done this before.

Second grader: Wait. This {pointing to the floor} is gonna be a dress? 
Me: Yes! And a bunch of other art teachers are going to see it.
Second grader: Wait. {is this a new thing? Why am I always "wait"ing?!} Are we gonna be famous then?
Me: Oh yeah. Totally!
And the crowd went wild. 
Many of my kids had colored the IKEA Coloring Book fabric that I stitched into a dress and they know the drill. They love that dress and have so much fun pointing out the spots they colored. It's my favorite dress to wear when I travel to art teacherin' gigs as the folks at airport security seems to know me based on that dress. It doesn't stop them from going through my luggage of oddities tho. 
Final touch: a French hook to close the top of the dress. We'll see if I ever get around to that. Why do the smallest of tasks seem like mountian-moving to me?!
 I love that I didn't give the kids any direction as it really allowed their artistic personalities to shine. I have highly detailed drawings all the way to scribble-ville and I wouldn't have it any other way.
I was so surprised that I knocked this dress out so fast...tho I should't be. This is only the MILLIONTH dress I've created in this style. I cut the fabric Friday night, got the bulk of the work done on Saturday and today I just added the second sleeve (ugh. don't get me started on slllleeeeeeves), put in the zip and stitched the hem.
I think the kids are gonna love this dress!
I know I smile at the little faces on it! 

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