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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Teacherin' Book Club: A Giveaway!

Exciting News! I was recently contacted by a lovely publicist for Ulysses Press, the publishers of our current Art Teacherin' Book Club read The Growth Mindset Coach. The authors, Annie Brock and Heather Hundley have a follow up book that is due to be released very soon titled The Growth Mindset Playbook. And you can enter to win this book! 

Here's how:

* Leave a comment below! Tell me a little bit about why you are interested in learning more about growth mindsets. Lemme hear how you might want to use this in your art room. Share what you had for dinner last night...really, write what you like! I just want to hear your thoughts on growth mindsets.

If you are so inclined...but not required to enter:

* Share this blog post on your fave social media outlet. Just so your friends can learn about this opportunity (thus lessening your chances, I know...but you are being a good person and isn't that worth more? Don't answer that). 

I'll be back on Sunday to share the winner! 

Now...do you think you can handle even MORE exciting news?!
Mark your calendars because on Wednesday the 19th, on our third book club chat, co-author of the very book we are reading, Annie Brock, will be joining our chat. I KNOW! Big thanks to a fellow art teacher who put us in touch, Annie has graciously agreed to join the chat that evening. Come prepared to ask her a lot of questions that you've had while reading her book: how she started on this journey, what it looked like in her classroom, what she had for dinner last night, you get the idea. I'm super stoked that she's kindly offered to take time out to join our wild and crazy art teacherin' bunch!
I'm also stoked about our chat this week. We'll be pouring over the first month of school (whichever that may be for you) and how best to teach growth mindsets to our artists. What resources, books, videos, yoga poses, you name it, will best excite and educate our kiddos on changing their minds for the best. Come ready to chat at 8pm CST right here. Some folks have told me that they don't see the chat at times...I think the best thing to do is make sure you have a strong internet connection and be certain to like/follow my page. I should then pop up in your feed at 8pm...so you might wanna have your laptop on mute so as not to frighten the children.
Looking forward to reading your comments (I had pesto lasagna for dinner last night that I actually made, in case you were wondering) and book clubbin' with you soon. 
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Monday, October 10, 2016

In the Art Room: The Start of Art!


How you start your art class sets the tone for your art teacherin' day. Lemme chat with y'all about what I have found to be the most successful ways to start art off right. 

A Greeting: Okay. Y'all know that if you let them, your kids will walk into your art room saying the following: I like your hair; I like your shoes; I lost my tooth; My grandma is visiting; It's my birthday!; Yesterday was my birthday!; (and, my personal fave) WHAT ARE WE DOING TODAY?! 

I like to divert this practice of holding 20 individual conversations by starting the class with a greeting. 'Hello, my most amazing artists!' is my favorite. It works for me and it eliminates the chance of me getting sucked into long winded chats. 

A Minute to Prep: I like to give myself a minute to grab the supplies I'll need for a lesson. Sometimes that means I'll have a "teacher" sit in my chair and chat with the kids about art. Another way I like to do that is with a short video created either by me or found online. This gives all my students a chance to settle in quietly. 

Tape on the Floor: The tape on the floor is a gift sent from art teacherin' heaven. I don't have a carpet (I'm not a fan of 'em even though they are pretty) so the kids don't know where to sit. Tape helps guide them in quickly to take a seat. 

Happy/Sad Board: Y'all, I'm the worst about being consistent but my happy/sad board is something I can handle...and I'll often have the kids handle it! I talk about it in my very first Art Teacherin' 101:
These little things like a greeting, a minute to catch my breath by having a "substitute teacher" in my chair, tape on the floor and the Happy/Sad board make a big difference when it comes to starting my art class off right. What do y'all do at the start of art to set the tone? 

Oh! And I did mention the Smartest Artist, more details here
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

In the Art Room: Clean Up, the Movie!

 
Hey, guys, Box o' Crayons here! I'm so excited to share with y'all a little something I've been referring to as Clean Up, The Movie. It has been brought to my attention that my wee artists have kinda forgotten our clean up routine (cuz their art teacher foolishly assumed that they'd remember it as we were only out of school for two months and they are under the age of 10 [I know, I know. When will I learn]). Because I covered it quickly at the start of the year, I failed to really drive home the important parts of our routine. So I recruited my awesome buddies Kiera Crite, our music teacher, Ali Starkweather, our P.E. teacher and Bethany Kokoski, our P.E. teacher, to help a crazy art teacher out. 

Grab your popcorn, folks! And enjoy Clean Up, The Movie
I got the idea to create the movie earlier this week, wrote out the "script" (if that's what you wanna call it...been over-sharing all the deets here) Thursday night and we filmed on Friday after school. I strongly encouraged the ladies to do a little improv because they are so funny, I knew they would come up with some great stuff. And I know that the kids are going to LOVE seeing some of their favorite teachers ham it up in this video! Be sure to watch to the end where I threw in our outrageous outtakes.
Here's what I decided to cover in the art room:

* Clean Up Signal I once casually mentioned that I thought it would be cool to have a gong in my art room after seeing one at a music shop. My hubs works for a musical instrument company and, well, I magically received one for our 10 year wedding anniversary. The kids love the Clean Up Gong (tho it has been accidentally referred to as the Clean Up Bong and the Clean Up Dong...oh boy). Before I had the gong, I used this chime from my husbands company. I love using this inexpensive chime as an attention getter. 

* How to Clean Up Essentially, the kids need to know that they are to make the room as tidy as they found it (or better!). My older students totally get it, they are actually really great at straightening and tidying up. I have noticed that my younger kids don't even seem to see that they left scissors out or their chair not pushed in. I don't know if it's because they are young and mama picks up after them or what. But the words, "I am not your mama!" may have come outta my mouth a time or two.

* Standing like a Statue Their signal to me that they are ready to roll is that they are standing silently behind their pushed in chair at a tidy table. To encourage them to work together and clean up, the "best" table gets to line up first. Which is really bogus as they all have their certain spots in line. 

* Alphabetical Order Okay, you might think this one is crazy but it's the best thing ever. My students either leave my room and go to P.E. or vice versa as they have P.E. every day at my school. For our total Special Area sanity, we have the kids line up in designated spots so we don't have to deal with "But I'm the Line Leader!" "I'm the Door Holder!" "I'm the Caboose!" We ain't got time for that. Our fabulous P.E. teachers teach them how to line up in alphabetical order so when they come to me, they already know their spot!
* Painting Clean Up I must get asked a bazillion times, "where do I put my painting?" My response is usually "really?!" Or, even better, when they bring the painting to ME and I'm all, "do I look like a drying rack?" I totally forgot to put in the video where to put the paint brushes but the kids are really good at remembering where to put those (in a large plastic coffee can filled with warm soapy water by the sink). 
Weren't the actors hilarious?! We were DYING in between takes, y'all. I'm so lucky I work with folks who are willing to join me in my crazy ideas. BIG THANK YOU, Kiera, Ali and Bethany! I can't wait for our next movie making adventure. 
In case y'all are interested in how I created and edited the video (and did the voice over on the prezi), you might want to watch the above video. I'm SUPER low-tech...so if I can do it, you can!
While the making of the movie didn't take us long, the editing was a bit of a beast. Splicing all of those clips, trimming them down, creating the Prezi at the end and doing that voice over...it was a labor of love. I think I'll be able to use it for several classes and years. And I can always edit it some more in iMovie if needed. 
I'll keep you posted on the kids' reaction to Clean Up, The Movie!
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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 15

Second grade and I going over the Elements of Art. Here we are flexing our muscles and showing FORM. 
"Why, yes, I did become an art teacher so I could repeat myself over and over and OOOHHH-VERRRRR again. In fact, I'm pursuing my masters degree in the Fine Art of Repetition as I do love hearing myself give the same set of directions during one art class so stinkin' much!"

Said.No.Art.Teacher.EVER.

If you are like me (and bless you if that truly is the case), you absolutely positively cannot stand it when you have just finished giving all sorts of fabulous directions only to have a student come up to you and say, "So, like, what am I supposed to do?" 

Well, roll-those-eyes, shake-that-head and face-palm it no more, my dear art teacherin' buds. I have a solution that has worked wonders for me: Call and Response!
My face, after my head does a Linda Blair head spin, when asked to repeat the directions for the gazillionth time...


If you aren't afraid to be a little silly and animated (and, I mean, really. You teach ART, y'all! Get silly and animated already), then this method is for you. 

Here are the keys to making Call and Response successful (and fun!):

* Have a cue. The kids will need a signal to know when it is an appropriate time to repeat after you. I clear my throat with an "ah-hem" which they mimic and know that anything I say and do from then on, they are to parrot.

* Deliver it in bite sizes. Keep your directions short and sweet so that the kids have an easy time repeating.

* Make it silly. Silly sticks, y'all. They remember the silly. Goofy voices, funny phrases, that's the stuff they remember.

* Add a hand jive. I'm all about the hand motions. Use those to help reinforce what you are saying. Throw some sign language in there to boot!

Like I said, I do this with all of my students, kinder thru fourth. They are all expected to repeat (because I have noticed that those who do not never know what to do!). It truly works wonders! I've had parents tell me that they've tried it at home...sadly, it doesn't work as well there. 
And to change things up, I sat in front of a random supply cabinet this week. I thought y'all might want a look see without my crazy self sitting in front of it. 

So, what do you say? Is this something you would do? I really recommend you give it a go...your kids will love it and you'll be amazed at what they remember! We do this for all sorts of things: learning vocabulary, the elements of art and more. Have fun, y'all!
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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 14

My very first art teacherin' gig was in Nashville over 15 years ago. I was hired the weekend before school started and I was COMPLETELY CLUELESS. I had absolutely no idea where to begin when I was given the keys to my portable. The only evidence of art teacherin' that I could find was a sad stack of curriculums (shudder), worn SchoolArts Magazines (which I poured over) and a coffee can of broken crayons. I must have turned around and around in that little space a dozen times trying to figure out just where to begin. I stayed up until 3am creating the most beautiful Vincent van Gogh rules posters thinking that the rest would take care of itself. Um. It did not.
If I had known then what I know now, I woulda said that getting ORGANIZED is the most important way to start your art teacherin' life. I don't mean getting that storage closet all tidy or having every bottle of paint in a perfect row, that's all surface stuff that can be whittled away over time. I'm talking about getting the important parts organized: your class lists, your schedule, your lessons and your yearly plan. Once you have that squared away, you'll be able to breathe so much easier and will have a more enjoyable time getting the rest in order. 
Organize Your Day-to-Day: I recycle the same stinkin' 5 folders each year. My schedule changes every day. For my sanity, I print out a copy of each day's events and tape it to the front of each folder. Inside the folder is a class list of who I'll see that day as well as my seating charts. I pull this out each day, sometimes placing a sticky note of some topics I need to touch on with each class on the front. This works fabulously for those days I'm out sick as well as it makes my sub's life so much easier.

Organize Your Student's Art Work: I keep those bins that I shared in the clip handy to organize student work. One thing I failed to mention in the video is that I have my tables organized by color, for example: red table, orange, etc (the video below gives you a room view). I have a folder for each table. At the start of art class, I'll hand a student who sits at that table the folder which they then take back to their seats. From there, they pass out the artwork to their table mates. At the end of class, they collect artwork, return to the folder and put back in the bin.

Organize Your Teaching Life: It's more than just lesson planning, y'all. What I love about my friend Laura's planner is that it covers EVERYTHING. There are lesson plans, a calendar, a day-to-day planner, a monthly agenda, To-Do Lists, like, everything. Because your teaching life is not just lessons. It's knowing what is going on in the seasons, throughout the school, in other areas of curricula. Having all of these things organized in one binder will really save your sanity. Lemme show you how I use mine:
 My school calendar has less items on it than my personal one...although, at school, I do have them open side-by-side. I love how big that calendar is so that I can really scrawl my notes all over it. 
Because I use Laura's template's to write out my lesson plans, what I write on my weekly teaching schedule is an abbreviated version. What I really find to be important is documenting what happened during a particular art class. This helps me to know how to better approach the class the next time I see them. For example, if one class needs to rework their self-portraits or needs a vocabulary review, I like to write that down while it's fresh on my mind. Otherwise, as you know, goes right outta our crazy lil heads. 

Organize Your Personal Life: I'm telling you, I am The Keeper of the Notebooks. I used to have a notebook that held EVERYTHING from school stuff, personal goals, sketches, art, you name it, this bulging lil book held it. Those kind of books always wore me out because it held TOO much information. So I switched to a notebook for each of my different interests: sewing, drawing, ideas for school, ideas for crafts, etc. My purse became a pull-behind suitcase to cart around my library of books. When I discovered that wee 3-ring bound book at Target it was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang. I bought the tabs, the folders, the calendar and everything that went along with the binder. It's small enough to throw in my big ole purse but big enough to hold my thoughts. I can't recommend y'all get one enough!
Once you've got your art teaching ducks in a row THEN you can indulge in the icing on the cake: the decorating! Here's the tour of the art room I have shared with my students this week. Like I said, seeing other teacher's rooms can be so intimidating. But all that decorating comes with time. Be easy on yourself, take your time, be thoughtful as you plan and just know that these things will happen. 
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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 13

What's the fastest way to inspire white hot panic in any art teacher? Tell 'em that it's the start of a new school year and they've gotta dream up lesson plans for all their countless classes. Pile that on top of the fact that you gotta prep your art room, teach the rules -n- routines all while making sure the kids have fun and you've got a whole lotta freak out goin' on. Well, in this episode of Art Teacherin' 101, I thought I'd share with you how I start my school year in an easy and stress-free way with an impactful project. How? Just think:

Theme, collaboration or both? 

Here, lemme 'splain it to you...
Here's how I approach it: What do I want my beginning of the school year theme to be? An artist? A culture? An art movement? Or, as is the case this year, a big idea like kindness? Start there. Once you've got that nailed down, think: do you want your students work together to create one collaborative piece? Or do you want them to each create individual works of art that are based around your theme. Like I mentioned I've done a bit of both with success. I'll share 'em with you here in a sec but lemme tell you why I love working this way so stinkin' much:

* It's IMPACTFUL. Getting art on the walls as soon as school starts is a great way to promote your program; instill pride in the students as EVERY ONE of their works of art are on display; beautify the school environment. You need money for supplies? You need parent volunteers? You want kids to have a great self-confidence? Say it with artwork, y'all. Immediate art can garner immediate results.

* It's EASY. Think about it: sticking with the same theme means one prezi/powerpoint/bulletinboard for all. It gets even better when all students are using the same art supplies as that cuts down on prep. Everyone is creating a selfie with markers and colored pencil on the same size piece of paper? Wowza! You might actually be able to spend your lunch hour EATING LUNCH and not scrambling around like a crazy person. 

So, without further ado, lemme share with you some of my fave collaborative projects that added a powerful punch to those otherwise dull brick walls:
Collaborative Grid Masterpieces: If you settle on an artist as your theme, you might want to consider having your students create a grid mural. You can purchase grid murals online or create one of your own. I always liked having my students draw out the mural themselves as you can see in this lesson here. However, Art with Jenny K sells some great pre-drawn grid murals too! 
Teamwork Collaboratives: My students and I really loved this project last year. It involved team building and was super colorful! Now I'm thinking this project could go even bigger. What if you did this with an ENTIRE class? Maybe each class creating a series of art supplies in this manner? Golly, how awesome would that be outside of an art room!? 
School Wide Collaboratives with a Theme: I know I've shared this collaborative a number of times but that's because it was so simple and successful! If your theme is love or kindness, I would strongly recommend this project. Ours hangs as a permanent piece and still gets plenty of attention and compliments. 
Super Simple Collaborative: You want something super easy but stunning? Might I recommend this coffee filter Dot Day inspired project that would be a collaborative for all students. 
Dot Day Collaboratives: Right after we complete our kindness piece, my students will be diving into all things Dot Day. I've shared all of my past Dot Day collaboratives. They make such and impression and teach a great lesson! 
Grade Level Collaborative: Like the Dot Day Tree Mural above, this jungle-themed collaborative was created by my first graders at the start of the school year. For this style of theming, my students all created unique jungle-themed projects based on a different lesson but learning the same artist, art history and overarching idea. 
For example, here is an example of one of the relief sculpture pieces my fourth graders created
School Pride Collaborative: This beaut is over 3 years old now and still hangs proudly in our lobby. The kids love it, it adds a splash of fun and happy to our entrance way and it was simple to create. All the deets can be found here
Setting the Tone Collaboratives: I recently shared with y'all the kindness collaboratives my students have created in the past. They are a wonderful way to set the tone with your lesson and visually in the school. A list of kindness collaboratives here
Selfies: Self-portraits all over the school at the start of the school year is very empowering for students. It gives them a sense of belonging and ownership to the school. This fun selfie lesson can be found here
Super Duper Kids: This lesson was a wonderful way to explore what makes each one of my students a super hero. Follow this linky-loo for a complete lesson video

For even more selfie lessons, take a peak at My Fave Self-Portrait Lessons
Remember, the start of the school year is already a stressful time for both you and your students (as they anticipate a new school experience). Cut down on your stress level by thinking of a simple, impactful project with an overarching theme, media or collaboration. Trust me, you'll have something beautiful to add to your school walls and one less gray hair on your pretty lil head! 
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