Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101, Episode 43: QUIET CRITTERS!

 I've been teaching for many a year and it's always just been my assumption that kindergarten is loud. Like REALLY loud. It wasn't until recently, when I popped into a kindergarten classroom, that I noticed that they aren't ALWAYS this way. I walked into this room and they were working...calmly. Quietly. Like, frighteningly so. As if they were up to no good or plotting the next time they were coming to art and going to drive me bonkers with their incessant jib-jab. When I asked the teacher why they were so quiet, she was all, "what do you mean? They're working. They always work this way." 

Not long after that, @art_with_mia who I love and follow on Instagram, shared that she recently started using something called Quiet Critters in her art room. Now I've heard of teachers using stuffed animals as quiet incentives before...but these small sparkly pompoms seemed like an easier alternative. With the noise level in my art room with kindergarten on the rise, I was determined to give it a shot. And, you guyz, IT WORKS.
If you read my last post, you know that I've named each of these critters after an artist. Every other art class, I'm introducing that artist to the kids. This one is Andy (Warhol). When a student earns a critter, I simply place them in their table caddy. I do think this would work with slightly older grades...but my older kids already use the clip system (which is what the clothes pins are all about. You can read about that here.) Since it works for them, I'm not about to reinvent the wheel, you know. However, I'm super stoked to find something that works for my wee ones, yay! Finally, I can hear myself think! 

Do you use something like this in your art room? I'd love to hear how it goes!
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Thursday, March 8, 2018

In the Art Room: Fourth Grade Pizza Pillows!

This summer, I was challenged with the task of coming up with a fun sewing project for kids. I called them Stuffed Pizzas Plushies and I was so excited to do it with my students. But when it came time to do it...I got this wild hair that these pizza slices should be big. So big that they could act as pillows...hence our HUGE Pizza Pillows!
 If there has ever been a project that my students have been BONKERS over, They have loved learning to sew, coming up with toppings and, of course, using puffy paint. Some even wanted to create faces on their pizzas which I was all for. Here's the video I created this summer. I shared it with my students but just reminded them that their pizzas would be about triple in size.
This project took us three one hour art classes to complete. Here's the break down:
Day One: The kids got their pizza crust fabric and their tissue paper pattern. I created the pattens by simply making a triangle with a curved top for the crust. You can see an example of that in the video. They had to fold their fabric (which was cut into large rectangles), pin the pattern to the fabric an cut it out. From there, they had to remove the pins, remove the pattern and then re-pin the top and bottom crust of the pizza together. Then they learned how to thread a needle and stitch one side for their pizza closed. It was an action packed day.

Day Two: We learned how to stuff our pizza, pin it closed and then stitch across the top. Some kids didn't want their stitching to show, so they flipped their pizzas inside out. We also began cutting out the toppings for our pizzas. We kept these in an envelope until next time.
 Day Three: Using good ole Aleene's Tacky Glue, we stared gluing down our toppings. We did use a pattern for the sauce (the same pattern for the pizza, just smaller) and added toppings to that. The kids loved this...but having good fabric scissors is key. Nothing is more frustrating for the kids than having scissors that won't cut felt. These are special scissors we only use when working with fabric. Those who finished and wanted to add puffy paint were allowed to go to Puffy Paint Town. 
 Now let's talk supplies for a hot minute:

* Felt for the Crust: I know what you are thinking: that must have cost a fortune! Actually, it was cheaper to purchase a bolt of light brown felt than it was to buy the individual sheets. I bought the bolt at Joann's and it was on sale for $2.99 a yard. With my teacher discount the total was just under $20! I already had a ton of felt so that was really the only cost.

* Chenille Needles: These are the best for teaching kids to sew as they have a large eye and are sharp on the ends.

* Pins and a Magnetic Wand: Magnetic wands are my jam, y'all. You can find them at the craft stores and they are the best at keeping up with pins. I also love the pins for quilting, with the ball on the end. You can keep up with them so much easier.

* The Thinnest of Crochet Thread: I HATE embroidery floss for stitching as it's got all those extra strands. Crochet thread is the way to go because it's strong and is only one strand (or is it two strands, twisted?). I only buy white to save some cash.
 All of my students were highly engaged. So much so that I have several who have now been making plushies at home and bringing them in to share! It's been such a joy to teach my most favorite thing: sewing!
If you give this a go, let me know. I cannot wait to display these in pizza pie form at the art show in May! Now to find some giant pizza boxes to put them in! 
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

In the Art Room: Second Grade Kindness Prints!

I have been oversharing this lesson so much on my Instagram because I LOVE IT! My second graders learned so much in the making of these kindness prints: how to create a printing plate, make marker prints, pull ink prints, burnish their printing plate with spray paint, steel wool and aluminum, use Model Magic to mix colors and create a heart and...last but not least, pick a word of kindness that best resonates with them. DID I MENTION THAT THIS LESSON PACKED A PUNCH?! Holy cats! But, y'all. I'm in LOVE.
 So, how did we create these masterpieces? I created a video to share the process. I thought I'd break it down class-by-class what we worked on. Keep in mind that I have 30 minute art classes with my 2nd I'll be breaking down my lesson in baby bites for those of you that have hour long classes. Just combine my two days and you'll know what you can accomplish in one class of an hour.
Day One: Chatted about Robert Indiana, looked at his LOVE sculpture. From there, we switched gears and began drawing the designs on our printing plate. First with one color ink pin and then a different color to insure that we made the lines deep enough.

Day Two: Continued tracing and then started coloring our designs with water soluble markers. Early finishers pulled the first of the marker prints.
 Day Three (week two): We spent the class pulling marker prints. Once you print one, you simply recolor and print another! 
Day Four: EVERY ONE'S FAVORITE: INK PRINTING! These kids loved ink printing...and pulled a million amazing prints. The key is having a tray that is rectangular (so the kids only roll up and down; I'm using the lid from my tempera cakes) and using ink. Sorry, no skimping here, paint just won't cut it.
Every two kiddos shared an ink tray and a brayer. I used the same ink and brayer for two classes, back to back. No issues with the ink drying...prints pulled were still beautiful!
 Day Five (week three): I've had the idea of the kids doing something with their printing plates for some time now...and I really thought they would be great embossed. Here's the key: the prep is a little on the heavy side. I laid all of the plates on a large sheet of paper, gave them a shot of 3M spray glue and covered them with inexpensive foil. Then I sprayed them all with the $1 a can matte black spray paint from Home Depot (this is the ONLY paint to use when doing this kind of project, it burnishes off the easiest!). Then the the kids burnished off the spray paint and they were amazed with the results. Some even wanted to add color:
 While pretty, I would recommend skipping this step. It just about killed my Sharpies as the tip of the marker was ruined by the spray paint particles. 
Day Six: We made Model Magic hearts! The kids could pick any two primary colors and white. They rolled them, twisted them until they got their desired color/design. Then they shaped them into hearts. They had to also decide upon their word of they would know where to place their heart. Their heart would act as the dot to the I or the O.
Day Seven: LAST DAY! We used strips of 4.5" X 1" pieces of paper to create our words. They were glued down. Then the kids picked a construction paper frame and decorated it with sparkle tape I found at the Dollar Tree!

A long project? YES. Did they learn a lot of new styles, methods and techniques? YES-YES! I would definitely do this again...I can't wait to hang these in the hall!

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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Painting

 Hello, friends! If you saw my post earlier this week, I said I'd be sharing a follow-up lesson to our Jasper Johns-inspired alphabet paintings. Here's a peak at that project:
 And the video lesson!
I see my kindergarteners for 40 minutes, once a week. I knew they'd zip through the alphabet I shared with them a super fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom video from YouTube and challenged them to make a painting of upper and lower case letters. This resulted in beautiful black and white paintings of letters. We piled them on to the drying rack and were done for the day...two masterpieces complete!
 Once the ink is dry from the bingo daubers, my students are going to "hug" their letters with water soluble markers. Then they'll add just water right over their marker lines for this fabulous result!
 Another alternative to having them paint over their lines is simply spray them with water! Once class only had moments left so we did this trick and, while I like the other result better, these still look great. Just a tip: when spraying with water, less is best. The colors will bleed if given time.
And there you have it, two great literacy projects for kindergarten in one! 

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Monday, February 26, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Alphabet Paintings

This kindergarten lesson was so fun for my students that I wanted to share! I even created a video of the process. The beginning of this video will show you how to create your own Texture Rubbing Plates with simple supplies like tagboard and hot glue! Here's the video:
I will tell you some things that I did in preparation for this lesson:

* I made a set of texture rubbing plates, about 6 for each pair of students to share. Having a variety really helped them stay engaged in this portion of the lesson.

* With the help of a fellow specials teacher, I folded the paper and created the grid. This took time but I did it well in advance and I'm so glad I did. 

* When we did the alphabet, I did have "cheat sheets" for them at their tables to share with their neighbors. This way they could look at the sheet as a reference for writing their letters of the alphabet.

* I prepped the bingo daubers with ink. That's what the kids are using...and a lot of my lessons are currently filled with bingo dauber drawings. I'm addicted!

* For oil pastels, we used Sargent's florescent colors and for water color, we used Crayola's mixing colors. In the video, I am using Jack Richeson watercolor as that's what I had on hand at home.
I see my kindergarten for 40 minutes at a time. For the first class, we talked all about texture and added textures to our squares with the rubbing plates.

For our second class, we painted. This was a review as we do a lot of watercolor paint in art with kindergarten.
 On our final art class, we watched a great video on YouTube of the story of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in song form. It's so cute and the kids loved it. After that, we created two paintings. Our first being these! We simply added our alphabets to our painted papers, so pretty!
 My favorite part was hearing the kids sing the alphabet song as they worked. 
 As soon as they finished, they placed these works of art on the drying rack and got a square paper from the store (what I call my supply gathering area). Then they painted a Chicka Boom painting of all the upper and lower case letters in a heap.
Stay tuned for what we do with these...I'll post a video and lesson right here on Wednesday!
 Just loving these and cannot wait to get them up for Read Across America Week. So time to stop blogging and start hanging!
You'll have to let me know if you give this lesson a go!
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Thursday, February 22, 2018

How to Make a Paper Heart with Kindergarten!

Teaching kids how to make a paper heart can sometimes make you question your life's choices. And that is ESPECIALLY true if you teach kindergarten. The week of Valentine's Day, I wanted to take a break from our usual projects and teach this skill. Knowing that it might be a bumpy ride, I wrote this poem. It helped me so much, I wanted to share. Feel free to use in your art room with any age group of kids!
So, how does this poem work? I recited it during my demo with the kids and had them repeat after me. I do call and response ALL DAY LONG in my art room so they are used to this routine. Here's a glimpse into my art room with kindergarten:
By the end of our 40 minute art class, each student had successfully cut out many hearts. We also chatted about the artist Chris Uphues and added fun faces to these. The kids were beyond excited to create and take these home with them. Just had to share!
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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

In the Art Room: First Grade Woven Owls

 Holy cats, I'm excited to share this first grade weaving lesson with y'all. I do a paper weaving project with my first graders each year and try to put a different spin on it each time. Here's a peak at last year's weavings
This year, I knew I wanted to do something a little different. Here's this year's weaving project, owls! Feel free to use this lesson in your art creating world:
What's the hardest part about teaching paper weaving? Creating the paper loom! I've been creating paper looms with my first graders since my first year teaching. So, like, for 100 years. I would like to say, I've got it down. Here's me teaching first graders how to create a loom:
The giant loom is a huge help. Also, that book, The Goat in the Rug, is a must have in the art rom. Here's our follow up lesson where we learn to weave:
I like to have my kids weave in a circle. I love this because it creates this fun atmosphere. It also allows me to sit in the middle of the circle and help those that need it. I also utilize a ton of peer tutoring at this time. Oh, you done? Go help Joe Bob over there, please and thank you.
 Pudgy first grade fingers KILL me, y'all!
 I'd like to take a moment to point out that I merely SUGGESTED rainbow weavings...but did not twist any arms. So pretty!
 The following week, we learned about abstract painting...well, as much as we could in our 30 minutes together. Here's the lesson:
 And here's the result. Not too shabby for 30 minutes and a whole lot of jibber jabbering by me, right?! Eat your heart out, Kandinsky!
 The following art class, we watched some great kid-friendly videos on owls before doing a guided drawing one of our own.
 This coming week, we'll begin to assemble and I'll be sure to keep you posted. I'm so excited about this lesson! I'd love to hear from you if you give it a go!
Until then, have a great week, y'all!
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Monday, February 19, 2018

Field Trip! Visiting the Artist Miranda Herrick

This summer, I had the chance to visit the artist Miranda Herrick at the gallery where she works, Bennett Galleries. In an attempt to bring living, breathing artists to my students, I've been working on a video series called Field Trip! In this series, I visit the space where artists work and/or create and interview them about their process. Miranda's work is super unique in that she does a lot of her creating with recycled goods. In fact, this series of work is made entirely with recycled aluminum soft drink cans. I really think her method of creating is something students in middle and high school could also do. Here's a video of her walking us through her process:
I love so many elements of her work from the recycling to the idea of meditation to the notion that her work can be changed like that of a kaleidoscope. I also loved that she shared her inspirations...and that they ranged from her grandmother's quilts to Islamic tile work. 
 I've not tried to cut aluminum cans but Miranda made it look so easy. I really would love to explore this avenue of creating on my own...but, I don't know about my students. Ideally, my fourth graders should be able to cut this material. But, honestly, I'd be worried about them harming themselves. It will definitely be something I'd explore on my own before bringing a project like this to my art room. However, I do think that sharing this video with them will be fun!
 Someone recently asked me how I go about sharing these videos that I've created. I share them when they tie in with a current lesson. They also come in handy when I have to be absent and need a video to share with the kids. I've also shown snippets to my early finishers as they relax and use the dry erase boards on the floor. 
 Love to know your thoughts! And feel free to use the videos I create in your art room...that's why I share them with you.
 Now, when it comes to Miranda's drawings, I do see a way to tie-in. I really think they would be fabulous at teaching mindfulness and meditation. I am excited to bring this lesson to my student's sketchbooks. I can see even a collaborative project based around these. So many thoughts are in my head! 
 Um, can I get a wall of these in my home, please? 
 In case you've missed the other videos in the Field Trip! series, here you go:

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