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

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Best Books for Art Teachers!

Summertime is my favorite time to reflect on the past school year. I often find myself uprooting all of my favorite art teacherin' books during this time. Sometimes, I'll just flip through them, look over my cryptic notes (I really gotta become a better note keeper!) and rethink my life choices, er, strategies in the art room. Other times, I'll dig deep into a book, really opening my mind up to new possibilities for the new year. I love this part of teaching: that we get the chance to hit the reset button every school year, throw out the old and bring in the new. I feel like Bill Murray in Ground Hog Day every August! 

In case you missed, during our last Facebook LIVE art teacherin' chat, we were talking about our favorite art teacher books. You can find that chat archived on my page. Be sure to peruse the comments to see what other folks are reading. We agreed that a book club would be super fun so, during the month of July during FB LIVE, that's what we'll be up to! 
How to join the book club? First, get you a copy of the book. We won't be starting until Wednesday, July 5th so plenty of time to get a copy and start flipping through it. Our chats our held here. In order for you to view the chat, you'll need to like my page. At 8pm CST on Wednesday, July 5th, I'll pop up in your feed! We usually chat for about an hour...but you can come and go any time. 
I'm very excited about sharing ideas with one another on how we can infuse art education and growth mindsets in our art room! Until then, I thought I'd share with you some of my very favorite books as an art teacher. Some of these books, I've had since my first year teaching and they truly helped me so much. One book I discovered during my first years teaching was Drawing with Children by Mona Brooks
 Wow, did this book teach me more than I learned in college about working with children! It's such a comprehensive book that explains child development; showcases lessons and examples; recommends supplies and teaching strategies. I followed this book to a T when first started out and it was like having a friend guide me. It is very heavy on the side of guided drawing which I know some folks feel very much against. But, for me, I believe that there is a place for guided drawing in the art room as long as it is balanced with open-ended projects. You would never expect a music teacher to teach a student how to play an instrument without first showing them how to do it. Why is art thought to be different? I also have Mona's book on teaching older children which is also very helpful. She dives into teaching more from observational drawing in that book. 
Ah, a classic, right? Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain is currently in either it's fourth or fifth addition. I love the concepts in the book...but it is hard to use with children because it is so dry. Trust me, I know, I've tried. As an elementary art teacher, I really do want to use the concepts from this book, but change it up and make it more geared toward my fun and funny little audience. This is something I'm thinking about this summer. 
What I really like about Hooked on Drawing is that the author, Sandy Brooke, does a great job of sharing lessons that go beyond pencil and paper. She has her students work with chalk, charcoal, kneaded erasers; all that stuff I never used until college. My kids LOVE working with those supplies. Observational Drawing with Children is a great read. What I like about it is that it really explains the developmental stages of drawing. It also provides conversations between student and teacher to give you a peak into an art teacher's classroom. Open-ended lessons and ideas are provided in this small book. 
It's hard to teach what you don't know...and I definitely did not know color when walking into the art room. I used this book as a crash course for myself to become a better teacher. If you are a teacher of older students, you could use the concepts from this book with your kiddos. 
My first year was also helped out greatly by Cathy Topal's book Children and Painting. This book is beautiful with full color photos and great lessons that scaffold. Another beautiful book is You Can Weave! I was so fearful of introducing weaving to my students...this book was a game changer. Again, lots of full color photos and easy to follow steps. 
 I love art history. LOVE it! But how to teach it all? One of my favorite ways to teach is by telling a story. Another teacher who is gifted at this is Marianne Saccardi. Her book Art in Story provides inspiring, well-researched and fascinating stories of artists or art history. You can read them aloud to your students or memorize them and add sound effects, lighting, music and amateur acting skills as I like to do. My very favorite art history book is The Annotated Mona Lisa. Y'all, this is one of my top five. I use this when creating my Hot Minute of History lessons for my kids. It's snippets of art history are short, concise and to the point. 
 A fun and inspirational read is Educating Esme. This is the diary of a first year fifth grade teacher in an inner city school. She struggles with the kiddos, her administration and just finding herself as a teacher. It's a quick read that will leave you inspired. Speaking of inspire, Ron Clark, anyone?! Holy mary, the Godfather of Teacher, can I get an amen? I love all of his books. 
 Need more inspo? Teach like a Pirate is beyond awesome. Dave Burgess is the teacher we all wanna be. But Meena Srinivasan shows us that teaching isn't just about being as wild, crazy and energetic as you can. In Teach, Breathe, Learn, she shares her methods of inspiring mindfulness in her students both in and out of the classroom. 

The key is to discover who YOU are in your art room...reading these books should inspire you, not make you feel the need to conform to any one else's methods or styles of teaching. Your passion is what is going to drive you as an educator and make you  your very best. Just keep that in mind as you flip through the pages of these books and happy reading! 



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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Art Scouts, Final Countdown!

Well, this is it: the final countdown to Art Scouts! The months, weeks and days of pondering, planning and preparing is finally here. And, I have to tell you, we really could not be more excited. Art teachers are our favorite friends...especially ones who believe in making big messes with little people, like we do! We have so many returning Scouts that we are excited to see and newbies we are thrilled to meet. So, someone light the campfire, bust out the marshmallows, pop the tent and get ready to create (have no fear, there will be no tent popping with these 90 degree Tennessee summer days...we'll be in the luxury of air conditioning, a direct gift from heaven). 
We still have spots available at both sessions. OUR FIRST SESSION IS SOLD OUT! If you are on the fence, you best hop off and join the fun, y'all! We are down to only openings at the second session. Here's a look at how your 12 PD hours will be earned:
The cost for our full two day camp is $275. That includes all of your supplies, two lunches, a Campfire Craft Night with a sweet treat and a swag bag so big you just might need a U-Haul to get it home. To register, simply hop over here. Be sure to click on the link that says Art Scouts 2017 Important Information as that will lead you to how to book your room at the convention center hotel.
Got questions about Scouts? I might have the answer! I tried to pile them all here. But if I failed to address your thoughts, feel free to join the Art Scouts Facebook page where you can drop us a line. 
And if you'd like to learn more about our beautiful location, check this clip out. We are so excited to spend time with you all...our cheesy grins say it all. See you real soon! 

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

An Art Teacherin' Book Club!

Most of y'all know that I host a Facebook LIVE chat (nearly) every Wednesday night at 8pm CST. I host it on my "official" Facebook page, not my personal one as I assume my non-art teacherin' friends would not be interested in hearing me chat about #artlife. If you've never joined one of our chats, it's a lot of fun. We art teacherin' types commiserate, celebrate and create. No kidding! The month of April, we felted, all through May we worked with clay and now...we're going to have an Art Teacherin' Book Club!
In last night's chat, which you can find archived here along with previous ones,  I shared my favorite art teacherin' books. Many folks who joined the chat shared their favorite books as well. There were so many that I've decided to dedicate them for a future blog post so stay tuned!

The book we settled on (okay, the book I strongly suggested and didn't give anyone a choice on the matter) is this one:
I absolutely love the idea of growth mindsets and the little reading that I've done has lead me to believe that this book will be a great one for us to explore. I love that it's divided up by months of the school year. Within each month, the authors Annie Brock and Heather Hundley share lessons, books and even film clips that emphasis the growth mindset being featured. As a group, I thought we art teachers could brainstorm ways to make this possible in our art rooms. Together, we can inspire our students to grow into the creative, compassionate and kind artists we know they have the capability to become. 
So, how to join the fun? First, get you a copy of the book! I won't be active on Facebook LIVE until July (taking a vacation with the mama AND hosting Art Scouts!). Stay tuned right here. As we get closer to July, I'll share just what we'll be chatting about each Wednesday night.

Until then, throw a good trashy novel into your online shopping cart when you order our book club book. After all, it's summer and you've earned it!
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Art Scouts 2017 FAQ's

Hey, y'all! Now that it's June, we Art Scout troop leaders are getting super stoked to meet our Troops. We've had a lot of questions about Art Scouts lately and I thought it would be best to compile them all and answer them in this here FAQ's about Art Scouts!
Of course, if I've left any questions unanswered, please leave them in the comments. Also, be sure to join that Art Scouts Facebook page to connect with other Scouts. Questions there are welcomed as well! 
One question I failed to address was "Will you be repeating lessons and projects from last year?" Nope! We are rolling out all new projects as we like to keep it fresh, y'all. Not to mention, we have a lot of folks returning for the fun...and I never did like reruns. So get ready for new projects for felting, clay, weaving, paining and more. 

In case you'd like more details on just what Art Scouts is and the location it will be held this year, you might wanna watch this:
We strongly recommend you make a little vacation out of this adventure. Not only is the park beautiful but it is 45 minutes away from Nashville! There are so many things to do in Nashville...it's the perfect place for a one to two day adventure. If you are traveling from out of town, build in some extra time to take in our awesome city!
Our conference center and inn is right on Lake Acorn. The views are just beautiful! Expect lush and green foliage as we've had a ton of rain so far this spring. Definitely pack some bug spray if you plan to hike. 
 We have two separate sessions that you can sign up for:
The cost for the two day camp is $275. This includes the following:
I can't even tell you how stoked we are about Campfire Crafts!
We are so looking forward to spending time with you all in this beautiful setting. Pack light, Tennessee summers are pretty hot!
Come prepared to make a lot of art teacherin' buddies. Looking forward to seeing you all real soon!
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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Salt Dough Sunflowers!

Here's a way to introduce your kiddos to clay even if you don't have a kiln: Salt Dough Clay! Last summer, when I was writing my book Clay Lab for Kids, I had to come up with kid-friendly clay recipes. You see, the book is divided into three parts: projects created with air dry clays available at craft stores; polymer clay projects and clay projects created with homemade clays. There are several clay recipes in my book (including an edible clay!) and this salt dough clay is one of my favorites. Here's how to make it and create a Salt Dough Sunflower (a project not found in my book, just for you!):
Here's the recipe which would be enough clay to create a half dozen flowers:
(Allergy warning! If you are allergic to gluten, this is not the project for you.)

* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup salt
* 3/4 cup water

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Dump out ingredients onto wax paper or plastic and continue to knead until a soft dough forms. When creating, be sure to work on a plastic covered surface as this stuff is sticky! Also, when making this flower, use a styrofoam bowl or a bowl covered in plastic wrap so that the flower pops out easily when dry. 

Also, any clay not used, simply wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for later use. 
I placed my flower in front of a fan to dry overnight. Just so you know: this is a dough so it will rise a bit! Don't be surprised if your flower looks a little fluffy once dry. 

Salt dough can also be cured by baking in the oven at 200. Keep an eye on it as the goal is simply to dry it out, not burn it. I have cooked mine for 15-30 minutes depending on the dampness of the clay. 

I painted my flower with acrylic paint but tempra could also be used. Be sure to cover with a coat of ModPodge to insure that it will not break. 
If you don't subscribe already, I update my YouTube channel with videos like this and all things art teachery pretty frequently. You are always welcome to use my videos and lessons...I just always appreciate a shout out. 

In other news, I'll be presenting at Art Ed NOW on August 3rd on...you guessed it, all things clay! I'll be sharing a TON of no-kiln clay projects for the elementary and middle school set. 

And if you've picked up my clay book and you have a spare moment, a review here would be so very much appreciated. Thank you so much, y'all!

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 35

 As an art teacher and a human, I find that there are many things I struggle with: consistency, finishing projects before starting new ones and, most of all, organization. I like to think that my decent art teacherin' qualities outweigh the bad but there is no denying this...I'm an Art Teacher Hoarder. And one of these days, my cold and colorfully dressed body is probably going to be found under a mountain of toilet paper tubes, bottle caps, yogurt lids, wire hangers and gently used popsicle sticks ("Why was she saving THOSE?!"). They say the first step is admitting you have a problem, y'all. There, I've said it. Now what?
Like a tour of my space, would you? Here you go! Just watch your step...I've just about boobytrapped the entire space. One of two things inevitably happens when I walk into my storage closet: I get injured by one of the art supply landmines I've haphazardly thrown on the floor or I find some amazing treasure, get a fun idea for a project and completely forget why I entered the storage closet in the first place. 
 I had a group of fourth grade girls who decided to make my art room their hang out place every morning the last month of school. It was fun, like our own secret art club. They'd come in, take out whatever they felt like working on (sewing pillows, painting a poster, you name it) and create for a solid 20 minutes before the bell would ring. I didn't mind, I was just making coffee and enjoying their company and love for creating. One day I opened my closet in front of them and it was like the door to Narnia opened before their eyes: they were amazed. Not only by the mess but by the sheer volume of stuff. I let them raid the closet for fabric several times...not that you can even tell. They hardly put a dent in the place. 
 With so many art teachers lacking supplies and space, I'm embarrassed to show just how much I've got and the large space I have to store it. I am super fortunate for the donations that I receive and the closets I have to store them in. I'm telling you, my art room (along with the closets) is what got me so determined to land the job at my school. I literally stalked the former art teacher for two years to get the job (she's a friend who was retiring). I'm not even kidding: I went to her art shows, helped in her art room, observed her. When it came time for my interview, the principal and staff already knew who I was (probably because of the restraining order). All that to say, I know I'm spoiled rotten. And I'm every bit of that spoiled kid who has the messiest toy box on the planet. All this I know. 
This is why it's part of my summer routine to pop in to my art room for a couple of hours once or twice a week to start chipping away. I really and truly do want to start my new school year feeling organized and ready to roll...not chaotic like I usually do. I'll keep you posted on my progress. In the meantime, can I interest any of you all in a 5 lbs box of chopsticks that may or may not be used? 
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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spotlight on Today in Nashville!

I hope y'all had a wonderfully relaxing weekend! I spent mine trying to snap out of a funky spell that left me weak and tired. I did get to see my best buddy Mallory and hit the flea market, celebrate the birthday of my sweet friend Jennifer and hit the movies and dinner with the hubs and friends (Bay Watch: it was pretty good; Alien: no bueno). Oh, and I also started on a broccoli dress! So, now that I think about it, I can see why I'm a little tired...too much fun for this gal!

Speaking of fun, I got to spend my Friday with Kelly and Carol over on Today in Nashville! I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a good time, it was like a fun party over there at the Channel 4 studio. You can catch the full four minute clip of my segment here
 Y'all might remember that I was on Talk of the Town the previous week which was also a ton of fun. One thing I have learned from doing these super short clips: these hosts are PROS. I mean, I knew that going in...but, what I'm trying to say is, they only have moments to meet you beforehand, chat with you, ask you a few questions to get your "story" and be able to share it in such a way that it seems we are old friends. And it truly felt like we were. These ladies were so fun, funny and the scene in the studio was like that of a party. 
I snapped a couple of photos to give you a little behind the scenes tour. This is a show that airs daily and is an hour long. It's a talk show that features folks around town. There's a kitchen for the cooking segments, an area that looks like a little living room for relaxed interviews, two demo areas, which is where I was recorded, and a stage made to look like the Ryman Auditorium
Country singer Tara Thompson performed a couple of songs live which was so super fun to see. I cannot imagine singing or playing an instrument live and she nailed it as did her bandmates!
I really had the best time on the set. Thank you to those of you who caught the clip and sent me sweet texts and Facebook messages. When you are in front of the camera, you really have NO IDEA how you are sounding or looking...in fact, I'm still afraid to watch the clip! What was funny is that afterward, I went grocery shopping and a woman ran up to me at the grocery and said, "I just saw you on T.V.! You did a good job!" I thought that was very sweet...and everyone else around us was trying to figure out who I just who I was. Just a crazy art teacher, y'all! 
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