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

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Room Decor

 Well, I'm back at it: picking up more things from the Wooden Thingies You Can Paint aisle and goin' to town. I've painted paddles into paint brushes, a picket fence into a stack of pencils and now this fun Tints and Shade sign! 
The other day, I was at Hobby Lobby and spotted this fun little fence. I picked up two of them and used a coupla coupons to bring the price down a pinch. I wasn't sure what I'd do with them until the idea of creating a value scale of tints and shades came to my mind. 
Over a couple of evenings, I managed to get this bad boy complete. It was very similarly to my Stay Sharp pencils. I will say, mixing up a gradient is no joke, especially when you do it over the course of a couple of days. I did struggle a couple of times getting colors to great an even value scale.
 Once the pencils were complete, I added the lettering and the fine lines. I love using black and white lines to give things a cartoon-y look 
 I was going to go with "value scale" or "gradation" but those aren't words we use a lot in my art room. We do talk a lot about mixing up tints and shades...so this was what I went with!
  Don't be throwin' no shade now, y'all. 
I also had a chance to hang my Color Families display today! I used Command Velcro strips to hang these and my Tints and Shade sign.
Because I want to be able to remove the crayons and use the as teaching tools, I used velcro dots to add them to the crayon boxes. You can see them in the secondary color box. 
 Now I did mention that I purchased two of these wooden thingies...the other will go over the door to the left of my clock. I plan to paint that in a rainbow gradation...but not sure what I'll write on it yet, if anything. I'm really excited about this area of my art room now! I am loving the new look so much...I am slowly working on giving my entire art room a make over! This is an area that the kids see a lot so it gets first priority. I even painted my easel to match some bookcases I recently redid. I'll have to give a complete tour once complete...although who knows when that will be!
 Until then, this will have to be my happy place!
 Thank you for letting me share!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Room Etiquette


As y'all know, during those first days of art, it's mission impossible to cram in all of the rules, routines, procedures (and more) that we need to cover...while making sure that the kids have fun and create! With 30 minute art classes, the struggle is super real. I hate to bog down each day with too many do's and don'ts without any actual doin'. So I try to build on each day. On our first day of art, I shared with my students this routines video I created with just some of my fabulous and fun coworkers (thank you, ladies!):
But my routines video just didn't cover it all. I mean, we now know how to walk to my art room, enter, take a seat, go "shopping" for supplies, clean up and line up...and that's a lot. However, after showing the video and diving in to my first projects this week, I started taking notes of some behaviors I noticed that I was not too keen on. Here's what I wrote:

* Raising hands. Okay, we all know (kids included) that our students are to raise their hands to talk. But there seems to be some missing information here. First of all, HOW do you raise your hand? Do you wave it all around like you are swatting an onslaught of flies? Um, preferably not. Second, just cuz your hand is up, that don't mean you get to talk, friend. These are things that I took note of this week...and decided to work on improving.

* Interrupting. Ugh, a pet peeve. We lose so much time with this one! So I decided to address that in my video as well. 

* Staying in your seat. I want the kids to talk to me...I want to talk to them! But, as you know, once one kid is up THEY ARE ALL UP and in yo' face. Some of my classes have close to 40 kiddos. We cannot have that many people up and roaming the room. 

* Silent Signal. There are just some times when I need the kids' ears. And there are other times when I need their hands empty and their undivided attention. I decided to address that as well. 

With my notes, I rounded up whoever was available for 10 minutes this morning and filmed what I've dubbed Art Room Etiquette. This 3 minute video will give me a way to quickly address issues. Here it is:

After I play this video next week, I will readdress my rules. Now, like I shared before, I consider my "rules" to be more life rules...not necessarily what I'd otherwise label routines or procedures (or, in this case, Art Room Etiquette). I'll also share this etiquette video which will be followed up by our chat about consequences. More on that next week!

I'll def keep y'all posted...in the meantime, I'd love to hear from you! What do you do at the start of each school year? Are there undesirable behaviors that you are already noticing? I normally just get irritated at these little things...which eventually become big things in my art room. This year, I'm keeping a list of anything I see that I want to encourage and anything I want to change. My goal is to be proactive while having fun. Here's hoping these short videos do the trick!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Monday, August 14, 2017

DIY: Art Room Decor

If you recall from this post, I recently picked up a bunch of oars (or paddles, whatever you fancy callin' 'em) from a local big box craft store. Initially I was just going to paint the primary colors...but they looked so good, I decided to do the secondary colors as well to create a large color wheel. I finished off the color wheel last week and thought I'd share it with y'all today. 

In case you missed the Paddle Painting Mayhem, here it is in 60 seconds or less:
 If only I could work that fast! I do consume a ton of coffee...but I've not reached Level: Lightening Fast...yet. 
Because the grouping of paddles ended up being so stinkin' big, I had to completely rearrange my art room to find a wall space big enough for it. That meant a complete overhaul of this part of my art room. I was fine with that, as I was ready for a change. In fact, this summer, when I popped by my art room, I noticed some of my displays were falling. In a fit of annoyance, I tore it ALL down. You can see what this area previously looked like here. Getting rid of the previous displays forced me to rethink my space and my displays, making both more intentional. 

By the way, I created a video of my desired art room routines...and showed it today on our first day of art. That's what you see on the big screen. I'll do a complete blog post about that soon but in the meantime, you can check out the video here:
It was a huge hit with the kids today and...IT WORKED! Yay!
Having this big space also allowed me to hang my ART room rules. I shared them recently here. You can hear me go over them a little bit in the video above. I plan to do a more extensive chat about my rules soon...they really tie in with the growth mindsets that we are working toward in my art class this year.
After I hung up the oars, I noticed that I had enough space to allow for the tertiary colors. So I cut out some cardboard with an Exacto knife, painted them and attached them to the wall with hot glue. The oars were hung up with Command Velcro Strips and have worked like a charm!
Over the summer, I managed to pick up several folk art pieces. The Mojo Man and the Big Love signs are by my friend Bebo. The other paintings are by Okra Girl. I painted the Stay Sharp sign using a wooden picket fence I found when shopping for those wooden oars. Here's a video of how that was created in 60 seconds or less:
 I'm currently addicted to painting all things found in the wooden aisle of my craft store! 
 A couple of art teacher buddies have really taken off with these ideas and I love seeing what they create! One buddy painted the saying, "Draw Light Until You've Got It Right"...how perfect for those pencils!
Another painted hers into crayons, hung it horizontally and it is going to display her art jobs. Y'all better believe I'm doing that very same thing! Great minds, I love it.

By the way, if you have not entered to win the book giveaway, GET YOURSELF OVER HERE AND DO IT ALREADY. Please and thank you! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

DIY: Back to Art Teacherin' Dress

Hey there, friends! After a week hiatus, I'll be back with you on Wednesday, August 9th at 8pm CST on Facebook LIVE! We'll be talking about all things Back to School: Rules, Routines and Life After Summer Vacation (sigh). I'll also be hosting a giveaway and sharing some fun news. So be sure and drop by right here (liking/following the page will insure that I pop up in your feed). 

For the last couple of years, I've been making Back to Art Teacherin' Dresses. I thought it was something I'd just recently started doing...but it turns out that this is an ongoing thang. At a school PD today a buddy asked, "How many dresses do you think you have, Stephens?" I didn't have an answer. I'd prob be embarrassed to admit just how many stinkin' dresses I have. I started purchasing vintage dresses many moons ago at thrift and resale shops. When I learned how to sew about 5 years ago, I just added more dresses to the collection...without doing any weeding. I just can't bare to part with a good ole fit and flair number, y'all. 
My very first Back to Art Teacherin' dress was this number. I rarely wear it now as, in my increasingly tacky eyes, it's a bit boring. From there, I've been hooked on creating a dress that helps me get pumped and excited about the new school year. I can't go out and buy back to school clothes as my overflowing closet is evidence that this gal don't need no more garb. However, I can shop for some super cute fabric and make a dress of my own, right? 
Feast your eyes on this mega-goodness. I'm gonna be honest, I'm starting to become a little bit disenchanted with the usual fabric options. Most fabric patterns are cute...but small. Since sewing with the big and bold patterns from IKEA, I've been on the hunt for more Large Marge prints. So I hopped over to Spoonflower and used the search bar to look for a pencil print. And that's when I found this mega-goodness
 Here's a short clip of me twirling in slow mo and fast mo (is that a thing? Who is this Moe and why is he so fast and slow?!). When wearing a circle skirt, it is the law that one must twirl no fewer than 29 times, hourly. Look, I don't write the rules, I just follow 'em. 
Having a deadline, like Meet the Teacher Night, gave me the inspiration to burn the midnight oil (and the early morning, em, oil? Grease? What do they burn in the early morning? Whatever it is, it stinks) and finish this bad boy. Let's face it, that print makes the dress. I LOVE the retro look of it!
It's the best twirling dress this side of the Mississippi. 
Some of my other Back to Art Teacherin' dresses include this number created from fabric found in JoAnn's discount area. I loved it for it's marker-scribble feel. This dress made me happy with the print but I feel like I'm about to fly away with those sleeve things. I don't wear this one very often as I don't find the bodice as flattering as I would have liked. But this van Gogh-inspired dress has all of my fave features: a fitted bodice, a giant waist band and BOWZ. Cuz I like big bows and I cannot lie. 
Everyone has their own way about getting excited about their "jobs" (can we really call art teacherin' a "job"?! I mean, it's like the best thing ever AND they pay us!). My way is sewing up a fun dress. Your way might be decorating your art room, painting your nails in a rainbow pattern, creating a sign for your art room. Whatever it is, dive in! Do it! It will make you happy and, as we all know, Happy Art Teacher, Happy Life...or something like that.
In short, you do you...and bring that what you be doin' to your art room. I promise you that it will not only inspire your young artists but those around you as well. 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Sunday, August 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Best Back to School Projects, Part 1

Oh boy. We're back! In my district, we returned to school last (officially) last Thursday and it's been nonstop action since: professional development, back to school night, room prep, you name it. The one thing, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, that I'm currently consumed with is our first art project of the school year. I love to hit the ground running to build excitement and fun in the art room with a big, fat, hairy paint-y, sticky and colorful project. While I wrack my brain over this year's projects, I thought I'd do a lil series on this here blog titled Best Back to School Projects. These aren't the Best Ever, mind you, these are just the best that can be found here. So take that with a grain o' salt.

That being said, I LOVE to start my school year reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It's got such a great message...one that speaks to children of all ages. In this post, I'm going to share my very favorite Dot Day projects that I've done over the years with my kindergarten through fourth grade kiddos. I'm including links to blog posts with lesson details and videos. I really started to use videos in my art room last year...so that's why not every project has a vid. By the way, feel free to subscribe here to view newly loaded videos. 

So, without further jibber-jabber, let's get started!
One year, my first grade students created this dot-inspired mural...with a heavy influence by the folk artist Heather Galler. They not only painted the plates but created the painted papers used as the flower petals and the papers used in the background landscape. This one is definitely one of my faves. You can find the lesson details here and here
This fun and quick project can be found in more detail here. This was one of those quickie projects where everyone in the school created the same thing: a marker design on a coffee filter. Once each design was complete, the filters were sprayed with water and allowed to dry on plastic. Each was hung by paperclips. This was a show stopper at our Open House...and so stinkin' easy!
My second graders created these reversible dot paintings one year on pizza rounds I purchased via Amazon. This was a fun project and another were I could display the work mobile style. You can find out more info here
Can you tell I have a thing for hanging things in front of our window? Before you ask: yes, the kids DO touch them and we have had a few fall down. The teachers and I stay on top of reminding them that most art is for looking and not touching but, you know. They are curious kiddos!
Last year, second grade created these fun textured dots! I love this project as it really teaches children so much about texture. I've done various takes on this project. More details here
You are more than welcome to use my videos in your art teacherin' world!

A couple years ago, my third graders created these dotted relief sculptures with Styrofoam plates and aluminum foil. I love shiny and reflective surfaces for the kid's creations. And they do to. The Sharpies used really take on a new life. 
Last year my third grade created these amazing dots! This project was a huge hit with the kids. It also sparked a lot of conversation in the halls that started with, "How did they make this?!" Third grade project can be found here
Using pre-cut tissue paper found at The Dollar Tree REALLY saved on prep time!
I've been a big fan of string art since 5th grade when my teacher introduced me to it. I still have my string art example that I share with the kids. This project is a FAVORITE of theirs, it's so much fun. You can find lesson details here
Having a video really helps with a project like this!
Radial printing project with fourth grade can be found here. Again, we used pizza rounds for this project and it was a great way to kick off the school year. The kids really enjoyed working with the foam stickers to create their designs. 
I did question my sanity doing printmaking with 35 fourth graders during the first month of school but they really loved it. 
Printmaking is always action-packed tho, am I right? 
Once printmaking was complete, we covered the boards in aluminum foil (again, see a pattern here?).
This was a fun way to allow those early finishers to continue creating while my other students were still printing. Full lesson here. 
 I don't usually repeat projects but when I do, it's projects I've done with kindergarten that I know are successful. One project I ALWAYS do on that very first day in kindergarten is have them create line sculptures. 
I begin by introducing them to line with his poem.
And then we dive in. This is one of my favorite days of the school year! I promise you, the kinder kiddies will love this project. You can check out more dot stuff here but you might enjoy this unit I created about LINE for kindergarten
I promise you, y'all will have the best time with this project! 
I'd love to hear your fave Dot Day projects. International Dot Day is on September 15-ish and you can read all about it here. Last year, to celebrate, some of my classes made Shrinkie Dink Dots! More details here
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »

Friday, July 28, 2017

DIY: Wooden Oar to Paint Brush Decor!

The other day, I was perusing the isles of my local big box craft store with the previous night's Art Teacherin' Book Club on my mind. We were joined by the amazing Barney Saltzberg, author of Beautiful Oops (among 62 other titles!) You can still view his live chat here. He said some things that really stayed with me: "You need to build your imagination muscle. Don't look for ideas, they are already there!" He shared with us that "art finds him" and that he has built his imagination muscle up so much that he can see what most people fail to. 
With those words ringing in my years, I stopped in my tracks when I spotted these oars on the Wooden-Thingies-You-Can-Paint isle (actual isle name). I was like, "Big Box Craft Store, you say Oar, I say Paint Brush Decor!" And marched outta there with a cart full o' oars faster than you can say, "take my fistful of coupons and can I score that teacher discount, please?!"
Now just HOW I was gonna paint them was still yet to be determined. In fact, my first attempt was what I'd like to call shabby sh** (just a step above shabby chic). Then I remembered Lichtenstein's painting Brushstroke. And I was totally inspired. 
So I went the cartoon-style route. It really made the painting process so much easier. Lay down flat areas of color, allow to dry and then add the high- and low-lights using black and white. 
Once I had these bad boys in my cart, I was so excited to see more inspiration in the mundane. Before I knew it, I had my cart full of Wooden-Thingies-You-Can-Paint...but decided to return them to their shelves for another day. One project at a time, right? My hoarders-therapist (aka the hubs) woulda been so proud. 
Now, I will admit, when I got them home, and these oars looked every bit like an oar, I was fearful I wouldn't be able to pull this off. Then I happened to look at the paint brushes I'd been using and realized that they had the long handled look as well. With a little skillful painting, I might be able to transform them. 
My name is Cassie Stephens. I used to suffer from Painting-Dysfunction. Every time I approached a surface for painting, I would convince myself that I would create a complete mess. It was not until I discovered alcohol relaxed and realized that I could always just paint over it, that I was able to paint with ease. Now I have no problem consuming alcohol enjoying the process and painting without worry. It's just a canvas or a Wooden-Thingie-You-Can-Paint, after all! Don't like it? Paint over it!
Blah, blah, blah, here I am doing the boring part of laying down the color. 
By the time I'd finished painting the paint portion of the brush, the handle was dry enough for me to add the white and black accents. They have a British and French accent, by the way, respectively. 
Ta-dah! I am really so stoked about these, y'all don't even know. I'm excited to paint the secondary colors and hang them as a color wheel in my art room...stay tuned!
 Did I mention I was stoked? I'm a little stoked. 
 Now that these guys are finished, I'll have to stroll down that Wooden-Thingies (ahem) isle once more. Thank you, Barney, for the inspiration. See art. Look for it. It's everywhere, y'all! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png
Read more »