Sunday, December 27, 2015

Art Themed Treasures

I know we get plenty of inspiration and gain wonderful knowledge from all the people who share their great art projects on Facebook and Pinterest. However, many of those people, also, share, about the cool artsy merchandise they bought or received as gifts. Having just celebrated Christmas, I thought now would be a good time to share out just how influenced I've been by reading Facebook.

 First I gotta start with this classroom rug from Today's Classroom. Click here for more info.
Someone on Facebook shared it (thank you!) and I had to get it! It is priced according to size and mine was under $300. AND since I've been really GREAT at doing grants to fund my program, my principal actually got it for my art room with HIS funds. 

I had been looking for something to use as the rubber puzzle pieces(see photo below) had seen better days. AND the little ones loved pulling the pieces apart. So when every other word out of your mouth is, "Please stop pulling at the mat!" You know it is time to move on..........

Another time I saw this lamp. Seriously, who could resist this? Hubby was super excited to be able to buy it for me. Oh and it comes in several different colors. Check it out here.

Pretty sure there are many art teachers out there with these pajamas. When the photos started showing up on Facebook many people headed to Target to get a pair. Not sure about availability at this point, but you can click here for more info. Brand name for pj's are Nick and Nora.
The popularity of these pajamas inspired Phyllis Levine Brown who blogs There's a Dragon in my Art Room to write a post about the phenomenon, check it out here. Recently (no doubt for Christmas) I saw a photo of an art teacher and her 2 daughters wearing them on Facebook! Crazy!!!

Now let's check out t-shirts! The first one was from my husband (I believe he is on the hunt for them now, as he is always notifying me when he sees a new one). The second I spotted on Facebook during a lunch break and ordered it immediately. The third one someone on was wearing on Facebook and I hunted it down.

Got Art came from Tee Spring however I can't find it. Don't know whether or not it was limited. Perhaps contact customer service if you are interested.
I Teach Art  What is your Super Power? came from SunFrog.
Keep Calm and Teach Art: Tee Shirt Palace.

And this party stuff from Hobby Lobby. And there was some Day of the Dead stuff from Target.
Then I decided I should post a photo of the watch my friend got me for my birthday. Which you can find here. Pretty sure some were purchased after I posted that photo!

Hard to believe but, there was a lot of things I did pass on. There were some really cool art socks posted, but, since I live in Florida I very rarely wear any. JoAnn's Fabric had an art teacher Nutcracker I passed on. There are some super dresses (too expensive) and fabric to choose from to make your own clothing-thinking about it.

Truthfully, I believe at this this point you could Google just about anything you were looking for and come up with great stuff. I know I did trying to put in links for this article. (BTW "stuff" in our house is a dirty word, something to do with hoarding....)

I had also planned to mention, the awesome stuff, I couldn't bare to live without, that I found at conferences....... but decided to save that for another time.

Hope all of you are enjoying your winter break!
Please share photos of what artsy merchandise you have bought or received. I've GOT some holiday gifts cards to use!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Happy Trees!

The last two weeks before the "Winter Break" aka Christmas Vacation were spent making happy trees with my students in 2nd-5th grade. I know many teachers out there don't want to get into the whole holiday scene and many of you are not even allowed to. However, we embrace it at my school. We have a Santa who brings hats, scarves and mittens to our students in k-2nd grade. Which are provided by a local community of retired adults who have adopted our school.  And a Santa who comes to have hot chocolate and cookies with the children. 

Since my 4th and 5th graders were already experienced at making pop up cards which you can read about in this post.  I thought we would do these Christmas trees which I found here by Robert Sabuda.

 Print out the pattern on card stock. Score the broken lines (I used a pointed stick).

 Fold on the middle line. Cut on the heavy solid line.

And then pop through to the other side.

Decorate inside. Use double stick tape to attach to the outside of the card, which should also be card stock.

Use some interesting lettering to decorate the outside of the card. Ways to connect this to the curriculum: designing greeting cards as a career, learning about different fonts and typography, using paper to create 3D art, and developing self expression.

My 2nd and 3rd graders also did trees and I used the book: If Picasso Had a Christmas Tree  in the photo below to inspire them.
The book has trees created in the style of a wide variety of artists done by art teachers. I put postcards up on the board of artwork done by the actual artists that were emulated in the book. Children were to match the trees in the book to the postcards on the board. It was a blast! It always amazes me when I try this type of activity and the students have so much fun.

To tie this into the curriculum we reviewed lines and patterns and then 2nd graders were taught about warm and cool colors.

3rd graders were taught about complementary colors.

And for any early finishers I had this amusing Roll a Snowman sheet for them that I found here.
 I had some dice on hand from when I had a sub do this Lego activity.

Below are a couple of cute snowman made by my little ones.

What were all of you doing last week with your students? I would love to hear about it!

 Have a wonderful holiday break and thanks for reading!!

Sunday, December 13, 2015


According to the curriculum guide I am attempting to follow, 2nd and 4th graders are required to learn symmetry. What really excited me with this lesson was I got to incorporate the iPads I received from a grant that I wrote. Click here for details.

I started the lesson with my students on the carpet and introduced the app Kaleido Free. There are different options for making art with lines of symmetry, from one line to 4 lines. My plan was to do kaleidoscope art with 2 lines of symmetry for 2nd grade and 4 lines with 4th grade.

I also let them look through actual kaleidoscopes that I bought years ago at Oriental Trading.

Before we started our project I wanted students to understand the basics of tracing and transferring their designs so I used these coloring sheets from Art for Kids to scaffold.
They taped tracing paper (which they were very excited to be able to see through) over the insect, traced it and then flipped over the tracing paper and transferred the lines to the other half of the paper.

For 2nd grade each student received the following: a 4 1/2" square piece of tracing paper a 4 1/2" square and a 9" square of white drawing paper.
They made their design on the 4 1/2" square paper, traced over the design with the tracing paper and then transferred it to the 9" square 4 times. Basically- draw design, trace design, flip over design (so that the pencil marks made are facing down on the paper) and retrace. Continue to flip and trace around the paper. Students painted to complete their kaleidoscopes.

As I did this project with students a few things occurred to me. Some of them were having trouble understanding the concept, some did very complicated designs which were taking a long time AND suddenly I didn't want all the art from all the groups to be the same. So I changed out the lesson for a few classes. I even managed to eliminate a step. Students folded their paper in half, did the design on one side. Then they traced it, flipped it and transferred it to the other side.

My 2nd graders did suns inspired by this book by Denise Logan.

And my 4th graders did African masks from this book, also by Denise Logan.
I have done many of the lessons from both books, they are well worth the money.

My 4th graders still need to finish because I just had to throw in a fun Christmas activity. I will share that in another post!

That's all for now, thanks for reading!!