Sunday, August 30, 2015

Substitute Angst

I have been a substitute teacher. Memories of those days still have me cringing. Doors were closed in my face. Students made fun of me. And bad behavior was always at an all time high. Students dancing on tables required me to get help from the teacher across the hall. I NEVER subbed in middle school after that day.

OH and let's not forget the directions to get the textbooks out of the cabinet, that was LOCKED and there was NO key. OH AND trying to figure out the gizmos to show a movie, back in the '90's. It was a nightmare....... It got to the point where I made sure I had with me a variety of easy lessons that I could do with students.

It is with having had those experiences that I plan lessons for my substitutes. The advantage of being an elementary art teacher who sees students once a week, is that the same sub plans will last for 5 days. So the plans I am writing for Tuesday I can use in October when I am out for the FAEA conference on a Thursday and Friday. AND I will still have a Monday and Wednesday to use those lessons.

For my primary students I like to leave a book for the sub to read which can jump off to an open ended drawing/coloring experience.
The book above is still available on Amazon. Is about a cat trying to find inspiration for his next painting. The illustrations are very bright and beautiful. Many discussions about what the students are looking at, feeling or how they get inspiration can be had during the reading of this book. Afterwards students are given paper and crayons or markers to make some art.

Another book I've used is Sylvie. Sylvie is tired of eating the same thing everyday and decides to try new foods, which turns her into different colors. I put together step by step directions for drawing a flamingo for the students to follow. And then they decide what she has had to eat and color her accordingly.
Also, this book where all the neighbors decide to make their house "The home of their dreams". Students can then make their own dream house.

I will be out on Tuesday to be trained as the PLC facilitator for the singletons on campus. In other words the liaison/team leader for Music, P.E. and Art. Should be interesting, perhaps a future post?

I decided to leave plans for the sub to read the book Matthew's Dream. It is about a mouse who wants to be an artist. I think it will be perfect for the beginning of the school year because of all the colors and shapes used in the artwork. You know connecting to the Elements of Art.

Now, while the books work for the k to 2nd grade set. It won't cut it for the older kids. Some of those projects need to be more of a follow the steps type of deal. What's in the Box? (Check out the resource page for a photo of the directions.)  Is fun, students draw things inside and then can decorate the outside (back of the paper) as if it was wrapping paper.
 Making up or using a ready made glyph works really well.
I have had these plans for so long that I have no idea where they came from. Or if I made them up? I also like to leave a copy of Shel Silverstein's poem "What's in the Sack?" Students can then draw a sack and fill it up with anything they want. Or fold their paper, book style, draw a sack on the front. Then draw a special item inside. AND to add a writing component have students write clues as to what's inside. They can then partner up and share.

There are many wonderful resources just a few clicks away! Gotta show you all what I found to leave for my older students. A Lego Person! Check out the link to download your copy.

Not sure how rolling a die will work with this, I really think students will want to draw the Lego person their own way. However, this will fit in nicely with  the self portraits we are working on.

Being in a new room and doing a few things a little differently then before I have had to write up new directions for the sub as to how to manage the classes. It will include where to find things, who to contact for help, seating charts, schedule and how to use Mona Lisa to get student's attention. Which by the way worked really well last week. With the exception of one class where a student called out "There is NO Mona in this class!" With a little more practice..........
It's really great when I find a person who follows my plans and everyone is happy. It doesn't always work out that way. It was a nightmare last November when I took a week off for my son's surgery. He is fine and when I returned I certainly felt appreciated.

I learned from my subbing experience to make sure my plans are written clearly, I use images if possible. I over plan for students to have options if they finish early. And I try really hard not to worry about it. It's awesome our profession has a sub system in place, so let's try to make sure our sub is successful in our art room!

Tell me about the lessons you leave for your subs!  Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The First Week: Welcome and Rules

 For the first week of art I always welcome them back and go over the rules. This year however it's welcome to the new ART ROOM! I will give students the opportunity to have a look around and play a game of "I Spy the ...." With the new room/school year I also updated my rules.

With that in mind I made some new posters. We have all seen the above poster or a variation of it as a method to rein in our students. So while I would desperately like to give credit where credit is due, I'm afraid I wouldn't know where to start. Just gonna say THANK YOU! AND I'm looking forward to trying this out in my art room this year!

I remade the sign on the left. It had been one big long blah, blah, blah, on a poster that was too small to read. I also remade the sign for having a safe art room. That was previously on a poster with photos and a lot of unnecessary info.

I always plan for a short activity for students on their first day of art. They will all get sketchbooks. K-2 will do a Summer Memories in a Jar, thank you Artsy Fartsy Art Room.

I have done sketchbooks for the last two years. The first year through a grant and last year through the generosity of my son's friend.  I did them with only my 4th and 5th graders. This year I have decided to do them with all the students. The question of course, is how to do this cheaply. Office Depot is a vender for our district, so the prices in the photos are if you walked into the store to buy these items. I know I paid less.  I really felt compelled to buy the copy paper with the holes, as it would really save on labor. 5000 sheets of paper with 3 holes apiece...........

 My little kinders and first graders will get 10 blank sheets in a folder to start with. That is one of the reasons, I think, I'm going to like the prong folders. We will be able to add to them.

By the way, a BIG SHOUT OUT to Mrs. Hall's daughter for putting ALL those sketchbooks for the little ones together! THANK YOU EMILY!!
 My second graders  will get 10 blank sheets and some lined paper for note taking. (The line paper was donated.) They will make their own books.
 For 3rd, 4th and 5th grade they will get the 10 blank sheets and some lined paper. In addition to that, they will get a page with sketchbook suggestions, and another page listing the Elements & Principles of Art that they will be required to fill in as we progress through the year.
They will also put their own books together. I have set the stuff up on the back tables and I will assign a helper from each table to facilitate. Then we will start to think about our first project.
We will look at different portraits, I added the Key Words and some questions from the back of these posters to the front to spark conversations with my students.

Yes, that is a portrait in the upper left hand corner of the photo below.  

 They will need to think about self-portraits in a very different way.

Below are 3 posters. The first one is from Box Artist and can be found here, the second poster is mine. I was inspired by Box Artist and the third poster is hanging up in the new art room of Kristen Trent Bourdier, who apparently I inspired! AND that is why I'm blogging to inform and INSPIRE!  Have an awesome 1st year Kristen! I'm SO happy for you!

What do all of you do the first week of art? I would love to hear from you!
Oh, not sure where I will be fitting in The Statue of Liberty from last week. Just found out the park is under construction. I may do the younger grades during Freedom Week in September.

Thanks for reading!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Remembering 9-11 Sims Park

OMG!! Tomorrow I am back to work. Gotta go back tomorrow, even though it is my birthday. A really BIG birthday........ SIX-O or 60! When did this happen???? I sit here shaking my head.......

It is all good! I LOVE my chosen career! I LOVE the people I work with AND I have a brand new art room!

Soooo in planning for the new school year, I have many ideas flying around in my head. According to the Art Teacher Facebook page many art teachers plan self portraits for the beginning of the school year and again at the end of the school year. It's a great way to see student progress. I LOVE THIS IDEA! And I actually got a box ready to do this at the end of last year. I even took the box home so it wouldn't get lost in the move.

However, I put an event on my phone for the first day of school: Peter Max Liberty 9/11. This was to remind me about the Memorial Service my school district does every year at a local park. They expect the art teachers to provide student work. Nothing crazy-fill up a poster board.

Here are most of them from years past-in no special order. I always provide a photo of the poster and the event information to each student.

As you can see from the variety, I have done something different each year. (The teardrops were from the same year.) Now let's take a good look at the posters. You will notice that with the exception of the "forget me not" flowers, that not many children participate in this project. To fulfill this request for art and only include a few students is tricky. Some years I have done the 9-11 lesson with just one class, but that always puts that class behind the others. It also hurts the feelings of the students I don't pick, sigh.....  Some years, like last year (see top photo) I picked my top artists in the 5th grade. They came in during my planning time and I inspired them with the following:
 I do realize that most of the art was expanding on a shape that I drew and they filled in. It can be debated that it isn't completely original student work. I get that. It is quick AND at that point, at the very beginning of the school year-it NEEDS to be QUICK.

Okay-so here's what I looking at this year. I will see students for two 50 minute classes before I need to send out work for 9-11. (And we all know the first class is all about rules and seating charts.) I REALLY, REALLY want to start the year off with self-portraits. However, my plan this year is to go deep NOT wide. In other words really explore a few themes deeply, not rush through lots and lots of themes.

Soooo we will start out by doing portraits of The Statue of LibertyAND since I want to introduce them to the art of Peter Max, I will use photos like the one below that I can grab off the internet. I want to go into a little history and use words like patriotic and symbolism. I think I also want to corrode some copper pennies in front of them......
Anyway, I knew both Peter Max and Romero Britto have done Lady Liberty art. I saw beautiful examples on my last cruise. For further inspiration I Googled: Statue of Liberty art lesson plans and then clicked on images. There is a lot to choose from. Check out this link for step by step directions from Art Projects for Kids.

In addition to Lady Liberty, we will explore other portraits to see what we can learn about the person posing. We will study our facial features and practice drawing them in sketchbooks that I plan to have for them.  Still working out the details. Students don't start until the 24th. I have time?!?

So it remains to be seen what I will be able to do. I will certainly blog about it!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Home at Last!!

 Those of you reading this blog on a regular basis probably know I have been located for the last 2 years in a middle school down the road, from my elementary school, waiting for MY school to be renovated. AND for all of us to move back. The moment has finally arrived.....drum roll please!
 I walked into my BRAND NEW room, in a BRAND NEW location on campus over a week ago. VERY EXCITED to see NEW tables & NEW chairs, everything bright and shiny!
Containing ALL those boxes I packed up, starting last March and finishing after all the students were gone in June. WOW!!!

It didn't take as long as I would have thought to unpack. I think that was because I decided to open a few boxes and set them up near where I was planning to put things.

So how and where and why do things go where they go? Great question. I figured that out my first year there. I needed a place to gather up students, a place to store art work and room at the sink for all the messy stuff.
 In the first picture you can see the yellow chair I sat in and the carpet the students sat on. The blue cabinet held what was necessary for me to teach the lesson. The second picture is how I stored art work. The boxes are from cases of water purchased at Sam's club. (A very long time ago.)
By the sink are paint trays and brushes and containers for water. This worked out pretty well, so when we were relocated temporary, I configured the room out the same way.
 Since the science counter was in the way, I worked off the little table in the middle. Students gathered on the colorful floor mats. Storage was a little tighter, so I put art work into tote trays by my desk. Below by the sink, are the paint trays and everything else messy.
So in my new room again I have my teaching area, art work will be stored on my new shelves. I plan to use the colorful bins (thank you for class sketchbooks.

Here's the room from all 4 sides.
 Standing at the entrance to the room.
 The wall with the entrance door.
 Back by the sink.
Wall opposite the entrance. Below is my storage room and kiln room.
Okay, not completely unpacked.......... 

I want to label the cabinets for everyone to find things easier. So I took photos of stuff and will stick them onto the doors.

Not allowed to hang stuff from the ceilings, so the cool plastic crayons are gone. I feel that I still need to personalize the space, especially after seeing all the art teachers posting photos of their rooms recently. It WILL HAPPEN! Eventually..............

If you are an art teacher in FLORIDA and are planning to go to the conference in Naples in October, you can register for it starting tomorrow. I will be doing a mini studio titled: Look! Listen! And Learn! on Thursday at 8:45 am. It will be about learning to use museum activities in your art room.

And on Friday at 11:45 I will be presenting Born to Blog about how to start your own blog.

I do believe both will work with all grade levels! Hope to meet some of you there!!

Thanks for reading!!