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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Room Rules

Yesterday, some pretty big and exciting news was released: I'll be teaming up with The Art of Education in the creation of Everyday Art Room, a podcast dedicated to all things elementary art teacherin'! I sat down with Tim Bogatz, the co-'caster of Art Ed Radio to share the fun news. You can listen to our chat here and catch my very first podcast next Thursday. I'm super excited! I do hope you'll take a listen. 

In one of the first podcasts, I'll be chatting about how I start my school year, which, as you can imagine, is with rules. My rules have changed...drastically...over the years as I learn and change as I go/grow. Recently, with the reading of The Growth Mindset Coach (you should totally join our book club if you haven't already. Like/follow here to stay tuned), I've been thinking of my art room rules as being more like life rules. Rules to follow to become a happy, compassionate and fulfilled person. With that in mind, I created these three art room rules life goals. I thought I'd share them with you in the form of a free downloadable PDF if you are interested. 





But before we get to that, when I shared these paintings on my Instagram, I got a lotta questions about how I hang things on those unstickable concrete walls. My go-to is usually hot glue but that does have a weight limit. It can also damage walls and artwork. My latest love are these Command Velcro Strips. Y'all. These bad boys can hold up to 16lbs and can be removed without damage. If you are hanging something heavier or from an actual hanger, you might wanna check out Hardwall Hangers by OOX. These hammer easily into concrete walls but are difficult to remove and leave behind some holes. Of course, if you are just hanging posters, Blue Dap (aka sticky tack) works great as well. All of these can be found at your local hardware store. 
Here is the download for the letter A

When writing rules, keep the following in mind:

* Keep Your List of Rules Short. The list of rules should be so short that you can easily memorize them. Any more beyond five rules and you might be confusing your rules with your routines/procedures. 

* Know the Difference Between Rules and Routines. Rules are the broad brush strokes. Routines are the finer details. I have 8 routines in my art room. I'll be covering those in my very first podcast that will launch here next Thursday. Confusion between the two can lead to confusion in the art room.

* Keep in Mind the Take Away. When your students reflect on creating, what do you want them to think? Feel? Be inspired by? Your rules should help you create that environment where they feel safe, inspired, confident, successful and encouraging to others.

With those thoughts in my head, I decided to create three rules, based on the word ART. You are more than welcome to use these in your art room. I've created downloadable PDFs of each letter and rule. Here is the download for the painted letter A.  

If you'd rather paint your own version of your rules, go for it! I had a great time coming up with these and bringing them to life in a colorful and exciting way. I scored the canvas panels, which I used for the letters, at Michael's in a package of either three or four. The long canvases were sold in packs of two. 

I picked up my favorite colors in acrylic paint. I laid out the canvases and quickly painted them. I tried not to overthink it...keeping in mind that one can always just paint over it! 
Once dry, I added some dry brushing of paint where I wanted the letter and rules to go. From there, I added the text, details and designs. The beauty of acrylic paint is that fast dry time! I did manage to mess up my spacing of letters so there was some serious repainting...but it was not a big deal.

Growing up in the 80's, where there was a strong resurgence of 1950's style and fashion, I've got a love for all things kitsch, colorful and tacky. This explains my color palette and design aesthetic clearly, doesn't it?!

Let's be honest: with rules like these, some explaining, modeling and role playing will need to be done. When teaching rules, always expect that your sweet kiddos know nothing. After all, what seems like common sense to you, an adult who has been on this Earth years beyond that wee person you are teaching, is news to the petite peeps. Think of everything as new, exciting and noteworthy...it will make teaching what we might deem "the mundane", the magnificent. 
Not even gonna lie, strong Pee Wee's Playhouse and Bebo influence here! 

Tell me if you do this: when thinking of lessons, plans, arrangements, whatever in your teaching environment, do you put yourself in your student's shoes? I do this...all the time. I often think of what excited me as a kid: seeing my third grade teacher in a silly costume; that teepee my second grade teacher had in her classroom; the parachute we played with in P.E. It's with that in mind that I craft my own teaching environment. I know I'm not alone in this...maybe it's for selfish reasons...but I use what excited me as a student now as a teacher. 

And it usually works! I used to think that the notion of bringing what I loved as a kid to my art room was successful because that joy I experienced was universal. I loved XYZ as a kid, therefore all kids love XYZ! Now I know...it was my passion about XYZ that inspired my students. Staying passionate, whether that be by taping into those childhood loves and/or brining what you love to your art room, is what keeps us excited and excitable as an art teacher.
But that just might be the back-to-school jitters talkin'. Let's talk about how you can print and hang these bad boys in your art room! Simply print out the letters and rules as is or blow them up! I did this with some items I purchased on TpT. I just made them as large as I could and then, once printed, taped them together puzzle style and ran them thru the laminator. You can't tell the difference!
Feel free to print and hang where ever you wanna share the love of art. Remember to tune in next Thursday for my first ever podcast, eep! So excited!
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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Field Trip! A Visit with Audry Deal-McEver

Last year, I started a series of videos titled Field Trip! The purpose of these videos was to take all of my students on a virtual adventure to meet contemporary artists, see their creative spaces and witness them creating. You can check out my playlist of Field Trip! videos here. If you subscribe, you can also stay up-to-date as to when I post a video. I actually have three more Field Trip! videos recorded that I need to edit and upload before sharing them with you and my students. Please feel free to use these (and any of my videos) in your art room...I think all students can benefit from learning about these unique, creative and current working artists. 

I admit, I fell off the wagon HARD last spring when it came to searching out artists, contacting them and filming them. I was starting to feel super overwhelmed with all things art teacherin': the national conference where I presented a couple of times; our school-wide art show which is a beast of an undertaking and our clay unit which we always kick off in the spring. I will also admit this to you...I am very lazy, not consistent, a procrastinator and, did I mention lazy? I'm lazy. One look at Mount Laundry and you would agree.

But knowing just how much my students benefited from these videos, I knew I had to continue creating them. So during the spring, I attended an artisan fair and picked up just about every business card that I saw sitting out. Once home, I researched the artist, looked into their location (Nashville and just a little beyond is ideal) and sent them an email. I got a great response...artists are so giving with their time and willingness to share! The first artist I scheduled to visit is the one and only Audry Deal-McEver
Look at her beautiful home! Audry's studio is right behind her home and it is absolutely stunning, check it out:
When I arrived at Audry's home, she reminded me that we actually met many years ago (we are thinking about 10-12). My brother, who is 10 years my junior, was in a very bad car accident and was in a coma for several weeks. During that time, my administration allowed me to be with him and my family. Audry's mom, an art teacher, stepped in for me. She taught my classes, kept the students creating and made it so I could focus on what was most important. Her daughter, Audry, came in one day and did a wheel throwing demonstration for the students. I still have the photos of that day and share them with the kids when we chat about clay. What a crazy turn of events, right? My brother, by the way, pulled out of the a coma that they said he would not and is now an English teacher on a Native American reservation. 

I'm rambling...here's the video!
I have to tell you...Audry is an INCREDIBLE teacher...because she IS a teacher. She's taught ceramics and photography for the past five years at a local school. She is now taking time off from teaching to focus on her work. However, she does such a wonderful job explaining every element of working with clay that I feel this video would benefit all students, upper elementary on up to college. 
At the start of the video, you'll find her wedging clay. She explains the reasoning behind that and how to do it. Then she moves on to throwing on the wheel...which she makes look incredibly simple. I could only dream to throw a pot on the wheel that didn't end up looking like Patrick from SpongeBob Square Pantalones. 
I love how Audry shares her inspiration...and the origin of paisley! I had to include that in the video, it was new to me. Also, watching an artist work is always hypnotizing and she does her clay carving so quickly. It was fun to watch.
I was thrilled when she explained how a kiln works and the different types of kilns. I know that can help even us art teachers who might not understand how to operate a kiln.
Audry mixes up her own glazes to create the desired color. Her application process was interesting to see. 
And I loved the results so much, I had to have one of her vases in my home. She also gave me a beautiful mug...I know the kids will love to see me gettin' my coffee on with one of her pieces. 
A big THANK YOU! to Audry for allowing me to visit. Be sure to follow her Instagram as she shares videos and photos of her process.
I hope you enjoyed this visit to Audry's studio as much as I did! Until next time...
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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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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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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

In the Art Room: Clay Texture Turtles!

Need a fast and fun clay project that teaches kids all about texture? Try these clay texture turtles on for size! Here's a one minute how-to clip:
So easy!
 I did this project with my kindergarten (this was their second clay project...I'll share the other one soon!) and they loved it. Stepping on their clay and seeing the texture that the sole of their shoe left behind was their most favorite thing. Here are the kiddos in action: 
Stepping on the clay was def their fave part! 
 I loved using Mayco's Jungle Gem glazes for these turtles. I stressed to the kids that adding at least three layers of glaze would really make their turtles super shiny.
This is definitely a project that could also be done with air dry clay. In fact, every Wednesday night for the month of May at 8pm CST over on my Facebook page, I'll be hosting a clay chat, starting tonight! We'll also be creating in clay so be sure to bring your favorite clays...or purchase these clays as that's what I'll be working with: 
Of course, that book I wrote is nothing but non-kiln fire clay projects...I explored just about every clay medium in the making of that book. 
By the way, don't you LOVE that painting in the background? My fabulous P.E. teacherin' friend Ali is painting it as one of the backdrops for the art show! I thought it was a cute photo op for these happy and colorful turtles. 
See y'all LIVE tonight at 8pm CST...come armed with your fave clay tips!
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Monday, October 24, 2016

In the Art Room: Wisconsin Fall Art Conference, 2016!

So, never having been a teacher of any other subject, what I'm about to say is completely based on my totally biased and awesome opinion: Art Teacherin' Conferences Are THE BEST Conferences. There. Take that Typing Teacher Conferences (1. Is there such a thing? 2. It took me five minutes to come up with some sort of teacherin' conference to reference without hurting feelings. Sorry, Typin' Teachers. Y'all just don't strike me as the party animal type).
Last Wednesday, I got up at the butt-ugly hour of 2:30 am (that is MORNING, people) because I was so eager to get to the Wisconsin fall art conference and join my soon-to-be best friends. Well, that and the fact that the only decent flight I could find was at that unholy hour. Flying over Wisconsin was a beautiful treat. Can you believe this landscape? 
The WI fall conference was in LaCrosse which is my new favorite town. There's a bar, an antique shop and coffee spot on every corner. That's a winning town in my book. As I was walking out of the airport, my two favorite Wisconsinites were walking in to pick me up: Jen Dahl and Tiffany Beltz. Both Jen and Tiffany worked their tails off to make the WI art conference amazing. Tiffany went above and beyond recruiting fantastic presenters, hand-stenciling over 400 packets for each attendee, baking cupcakes for all involved AND presenting her self! She's a beast, that Tiffany Beltz. I want whatever she's having. Seriously, Jen and Tiff, y'all made my trip a wonderful one, thank you so stinkin' much!
After having a wonderful breakfast with Jen and Tiff, I did my best to lend a hand and help set up. Really, there was nothing to it, they had everything so well organized. That evening, there was a lovely reception for the art teachers who had artwork on display. It was there that I got to meet my online friend Jeanne Bjork. What I loved so much about meeting my folks whom I've only known online is the ease that I can chat with them. It's almost like reuniting with old friends. 
That morning, after a lovely breakfast with Jeanne, I managed to pop into a sessions that looked like so much fun: Stuffed Monsters. Dustin Anderson, Wisconsin art teacher, lead the session and it was so much fun. Big shout out to Dustin for allowing me to crash his monstrous party!
My kids are gonna LOVE this lesson!
My favorite thing about attending conferences: making new friends and seeing what others create. Art teachers are so stinkin' creative, y'all. Go figure. 
Immediately after Dustin's session was mine. I taught two hour long needle felting classes back to back. I love teaching needle felting because it's a craft that EVERYONE can do. It's like having a big ole craft night with all of your new favorite friends. 
We stabbed and stabbed ourselves palettes or anything else we had in mind. My buddy Lindy needle felted poppies onto a pair of leg warmers!
 I do believe I created a bunch of needle felting monsters!
 The following hour long sesh created the same cuteness. Our supplies came from Back to Back Fiber (thank you, Sue!). 
I mean, look how cute! I wonder how many of these were worn when the teachers returned to school. 
I taught over 60 ladies to needle felt! I need to invest in a herd of sheep, y'all. 
After attending a wonderful presentation on mindfulness in the art room, I met up with a group of art teachers who wanted to take the later afternoon to soak up LaCrosse and it's vintage offerings. I had so much fun with my new buddies! We hit LaCrosse Prairie Vintage, a coffee shop and a three story antique mall all before settling down for Bloody Marys, deep fried cheese curd and something called Tat-Chos (um, tater tot nachos aka HEAVEN ON A PLATE). It was so funny, when we were paying the tab, my friend Bonnie remarked, "it seems like it must be so late!" We looked down at our watches only to find it was only 7pm. We'd worn ourselves out!
Bright and early the next morning, I was up and on stage. I was the keynote speaker for the conference (that sounds so strange to say!). I had so much fun sharing stories about my art teacherin', art makerin' and life living journey. Normally, I get a touch of the jitters when presenting but the folks of WI make me so comfortable that it was like chatting with old friends. Love all y'all!
Right after that, I was back to workshop teaching. This time, I taught two hour long sessions on weaving. We explored cord and straw weaving. 
Special thanks to Leah Keller, Frank Korb and Jeanne for helping me wrangle up supplies since I ran out! I managed to overpack my outfits and under pack supplies because #priorities. 
I really gotta say it again: my fave part of the conference: making new friends.
Hanging out with folks like Frank, making new friends and catching up with "old" ones is my most favorite thing ever. Thank you so much, Wisconsin, for having me. I love y'all and had an absolute blast!

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