Monday, August 29, 2016

Day one lesson: school wide mural

Last year for my day 1 lesson I read and did "the Dot." Each student created their own dot, and I had two marvelous parent volunteers that helped hang it for me. Here's a glimpse of what that looked like...

This year I decided to read "Only One You" by Linda Kranz. It's a great day one story and I love any book that encourages students to embrace what makes them unique. Here is the cover of the book. I think it's also worth the mention that Kranz also recently came out with another book similar to this one called "You Be You," which I haven't gotten a hold of yet, but I'm looking forward to it! 

Each student was given a half sheet with the outline of a Kranz fish on it that I actually found on her website here under the teacher tools link, there are all sorts of activities for the classroom that tie into her book! 
Each student in grades K- 4 were asked to create their own patterns on their fish using markers, and color them in using crayons. I didn't give kindergarteners crayons on the first day, that's a lesson for day 2. The next time I saw my students, they were asked to cut out their fish, and given a sheet of construction paper and a tracer. I explained it as they were making a picture frame for their fish. Each grade was given a different color. 

Finally I had one class that I see more often than the rest, they were assigned to create painted paper on the butcher/ bulletin board paper that later became the water underneath. A few trips to the die-cut letters, and a little hot glue, my mural is finished and ready for open house! 

So many fish they wrapped around the corner! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Back to school... Classroom set up!

It's been a while, my apologies! I wanted to post a few things I have done different with my classroom this year so far, and the "day one" art lesson. 
First off, I am completely in love with and satisfied by my new set up this year! The first major change is that I covered my windows with butcher paper and used them to hang posters on rather than having them as Windows. My principal didn't seem super keen on the idea and I'm sure you're thinking, why would she want to do that? Well directly outside my classroom is the PLAYGROUND! Probably the biggest distraction that there could ever be adjacent to any classroom! After teaching in this room for 4 years, I decided this would be a major improvement and so far it is :)! Here is an in progress shot of the room. 

I also love that it naturally is giving me more wall/ bulletin board space. It's really helped allow me to spread out some of necessities that I needed to hang on the wall like the rules. Before I tried jamming them in around my front wall and it just was overwhelming. 

A new addition to the room that is pictured below is my crescent shaped/ guided reading table. This has already been amazing for demonstrating techniques to students! I do have a cheap version of an Elmo or document camera that I use in the room for drawing demonstrations, however when it comes to painting, especially color mixing the colors are off and the picture quality is extremely poor. Having this table has already changed the way I demo lessons and the kids seem to love it as well. Everyone fits pretty nicely around it, a few sitting and most standing, every view is a good view! If you have the space and the resources to add this to your room I highly recommend it! 

Another must for teaching elementary is a floor space where you can read to your students and introduce lessons, as well as have class discussions. I purchased this rug from "at home" which is kind of like a pier one on steroids, last summer for around $95 on sale. I'm able to use it again, however this year I took the additional step of duck taping all of the edges down. If you teach elementary kiddos then you know that no matter how many times you tell them not to run, inevitably someone runs across the floor anyway, and then the rug slides from under them, and there's a crash. I had seen another fabulous metro art teacher who had bought a rug and taped it down. I'm not sure why I didn't do this last year, but so far so good this year! The tape is one of the best decisions I made during my classroom set up for sure! (Tape is not pictured below, but I used a navy blue duct tape that matched the carpet.) 

One last addition I made to the room are the new and improved "no no board" and my beautiful oops board, aka what to do if you make a mistake. I used my little boho birds to explain what/ how you can improve your 'no no's' in your drawings. 
And of course we all have students that want a new paper immediately after making mistakes without even trying to erase what they've done, so I thought some sort of mistake board would make a bulletin board this year. 
Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with day one lesson later! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What's that smell? Essential Oils in the classroom!

Peppermint is amazing for focus, attention, energizing, and so much more! That is why this is the best essential oil for your classroom diffuser. Lavender is calming, however it isn't uncommon for people to be allergic to it, so I would shy away from other scents. Peppermint is pretty safe!

At the yoga studio, we use diluted oils to clean our yoga matts with, so why not my classroom tables?! Tea tree oil and lavender are mixed together to make a matt cleaner, however I'm sticking with peppermint! I have labeled a couple of spray bottles in my room with decorative duct tape, and diluted a few drops of peppermint oil in some water, and use these to spray the tables with. I pass out a piece of paper towel to each student and let them go to town wiping the tables clean. The students LOVE this! They love to clean and they love the smell! This is a fabulous chemical free way to clean and deodorize your classroom. This is also awesome when you run out of baby wipes! If you're like me, with one sink and 20+ kiddos there is never enough time to wash hands. Kill two birds with one stone. I go around spraying their hands and their tables with the special spray, then they can use their paper towel to clean their hands and then the tables.

Happy Spring Cleaning!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Wicked Warhol's!

I am in love with this lesson. First graders last learned about how Georgia OKeeffe made the world look different at flowers by making them really big! Then they learned how Warhol looked differently at the world by making art from things that maybe weren't considered art and learned how to print make. Once the students made 4 prints of flowers, we created mixed media collages inspired by Warhol's flower images. I'm thrilled with the results and I think the kiddos really enjoyed it too! 

Teacher sample 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Come on Spring!!! Japanese Cherry Blossoms

First of all... who doesn't love Pinkalicious, Silverlicious, Purplelicious? Well you get the idea, I certainly do! Pinkalicious recently came out with another new book about Cherry Blossoms. I was so thrilled to get this new book in the mail from amazon and use it for a lesson.
Below are the results from my lesson. Black watercolor paint for the branches, and pink tempera for the flowers. The students dabbed the pink on using q-tips. I really loved this lesson because every students final outcome was completely different from the next! Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throw back Thursday! Published in Family Fun Magazine!

So in early September I was emailed by an editor for Family a fun magazine in regards to my post on the Dale Chihuly Macchia coffee filter lesson that I did with my students nearly 5 years ago. They wanted me to write an article for the magazine that was about the lesson. I said of course! What I found most interesting was that they were going to re-create my lesson example in their in house studio and shoot the photos of the project themselves. (Even better less work for me!) The article turned out gorgeous, ran in the December/ January issue, and now I am officially published! Also I learned that Family Fun is a subscription only magazine when I went to "buy 10 copies for my mom!" Fortunately the magazine was kind enough to send me some extra copies! Yay! Enjoy! 

Full page

Close up! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Blogging revival!

Life update! Since my last post... I have graduated from Boston University with my masters in art education. Before starting my 'masters research project,' I also had made a commitment to myself to be healthier and lose some weight. Last January I started taking yoga classes 2-3 times a week and there was just nothing else like it. It made me feel incredible, and while my peers in my masters class were all freaked out about our papers, I stayed relatively calm. Then a good friend of mine from Knoxville TN suggested I do research on mindful art in the classroom- which led me to think about yoginos, and so I started practicing yoga with my third graders as well as one own. The students love it! I still have am running an after school yoga club this year for my students in second, third, and fourth grades.
My paper was titled, cultivating a mindful art room, and discussed the benefits of yoga practice before the creative process in art making. The experience was so powerful that it inspired me to begin a teacher training yoga to become certified to instruct yoga. My blog will now be dedicated not only to my experiences in the art but also in yoga and holistic practices.
I welcome everyone to follow me on this journey as I have developed some dreams, am setting some goals, and document my progress along the way.

Love, light, & peace

Namaste :)

Here is a funny photo of me at the graduation ceremony, enjoy!