Sunday, April 24, 2016

Goodbye Dear Friend

Tragedy often strikes when we least expect it. 
One second everything is just fine, then the next it's not.
It makes you think about the things that really matter in life and reminds you to always hold close those special moments in time. 
Oftentimes we take things for granted and don't even realize how special something is until it's viciously taken away.
I don't think I'll ever understand how they could do it - living with such disregard.

With that being said, I'm so sad to announce that at approximately 9:39am this past Friday morning - my sweet beautiful area rug was (figuratively) taken away from me - splattered in blue tempera paint.

It's hard not to close my eyes and still see the bright blue pigment strewn across my classroom floor.
Why oh why did you have to be in the way that day. 

The worst part is that the 7-year old offenders got away - never punished for their crimes. An "accident" they said.

Goodbye dear friend.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Textured Clay Initials Project (2nd)

I'm always on the lookout for simply yet awesome clay projects - and this one is inspired by Cassie Stephens!

On the first day I went through my now standard "Journey of Clay" PowerPoint with my students and we talked about the four main ways of building with clay: slab, coil, pinching, and wheel.
Afterwards I showed my students how to use my slab roller to flatten their chunk of clay into a lovely "sheet of clay" (aka - slab), then each student got to try it out themselves.
Once they had their slab, students cut any shape they wanted into their clay and then pressed some texture into it (I have a ga'gillion texture plates now - I went a little crazy on Amazon). Once they had that done I had them put up their clay, clean up their spot, then wash their hands.
On the second day I demo'ed how to roll out a coil, create a letter, and then properly attach it to a slab using the score and slip method. Students could create 1-3 letters to add to their slab. Then they used a straw to poke two holes into the top of their slab (to hang them later).
After a few days of drying out, I bisque fired the clay in my kiln.

Then during my students next rotation (about a month later) we got down to decorating!
I wasn't sure what I wanted my kids to paint with. Normally we just use tempera, but I was worried that it might cover up the texture too much, so instead we used oil pastels and watercolor paints. It's a technique that I've always wanted to try anyways, so I thought what the heck.
Once their clay pieces were dry, students added pipe cleaners and beads to make their clay slab into a lovely hanging decoration.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

NAEA Webinar!

I'm so excited to announce that I will be one of three art educators presenting during an NAEA 'Snapshot: Best Practices' webinar on April 19th, 2016!
If you've never registered for one of these webinars before - you should check it out! They are free for NAEA members ($49 for non-members) and you can get an hour worth of professional development credit from NAEA! 
The other two presenters will be Nichole Hahn (from Mini Matisse) and Debra Pylypiw.

To give you a taste of what the presentations will be about:

Nichole Hahn: The Connect Effect is powerful with Art! Explore how art can create connections within the schools, between students, classes, and disciplines. Make community connections through artists in residence, authors, illustrators, and dance groups. Art can connect a student to something as big as a global art trade and something as small as a personal connection shown in their personal exploration.

Debra Pylypiw: All-County Art—Highlight Your Most Talented Students! Have you ever looked at the music program's All-County, All-District, and All-State programs and wondered how you could give the same recognition to your talented visual artists? Learn about this successful program in North Carolina that does just this! Find ideas for developing an honors program in your school system.

Melinda Nguyen: Organize Your Classroom and Optimize Success! Give your classroom management a boost with great organization! Learn about an organizational system implemented in an art classroom used by 1,000 students, optimizing instructional time and teacher sanity. 

Please consider joining us on April 19th from 7:00-8:00pm EST!
I'm so exited to have been chosen for this opportunity! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Succulent Garden Still Lifes (5th)

Guys.. I've been so excited to post about this project!
I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my 5th graders work! So beautiful! And best thing is that they were super proud of it too!
The subject of this artwork was 100% inspired by some art I found on Pinterest that linked back to the Jamestown Elementary Art Blog. If you're not already a follower - you need to be! Those ladies are absolutely fantastic at what they do!
I just added my own flair to it. :)

So to begin with we looked at a PowerPoint I put together about how Southwestern Native American art and its influence on more contemporary art from the region. Then we briefly talked about the harsh climate of the region and how it limits the type of vegetation that can survive there.
Afterwards I had my students do a practice succulent still life with me on a sheet of copy paper.
Once they were comfortable, they created their own final design on a piece of watercolor paper (some chose to use the arrangement from their practice drawing). Then they outlined in sharpie marker, colored in with oil pastels, and blended with baby oil.
Once all that was done, we finished up by painting the background with liquid watercolor paints.

This friend didn't get to finish his work - but I love how technical it was looking!

If you are interested in the full version of this lesson, please check out my Teachers pay Teachers store! The package in my store includes fully written teacher directions with pictures, student samples, the PowerPoint presentation with all the background info, and an instructional video to help your students will drawing their still-lifes! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chicago-bound!! ...well next week anyways.

I am SO excited to say that I'll be heading out to Chicago next week (Wednesday to be exact) for my 6th NAEA conference (my past conferences include: Seattle, New York City, Fort Worth, San Diego, and New Orleans)!
If you've never been to the national conference - you NEED to! There is no better place to learn about teaching and advocating for art education! It is also a GREAT way to travel the country and meet TONS of new people who do exactly what you do!

On Friday, March 18th, the Art of Education will be hosting their annual blogger meet-up at 1:00pm at their booth in the vendors hall. Both Mollie (from Please Don't Eat the Artwork) and I will be there for a while (as well as like a million other awesome people).. so if you are interested in meeting in the real lifes - come on by!

Otherwise send me a message if you'd like to meet up some other time to talk shop or hang out (we have a great time every year)!