Sunday, August 28, 2016

There's a New Sign in the Art Room

There's a new sign in my art room. Born out of frustration. I started a new project with my 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders on Wednesday. I decided to do a unit on Architecture. I have hundreds of these packing corners left from last year that I never got to use since I went out on medical leave.

I have done some awesome projects with these before.

This time I came up with using them to make houses. Here's my sample.

It occurred to me that storing them, since I would have 12 classes doing it, 14 if you count that 2 grade levels had split a class, was going to create a storage problem. So I explained to students we would glue the bottom on when they were ready to take it home.

So why the new sign? Well, since 3rd graders are the last class in the room, I let students leave their work on their tables to dry. The next morning as I was gathering them up, and late for a faculty meeting, I noticed 3 out of 4 tables of students did NOT write their names! To make it less confusing for when they return this week I marked each piece with the first letter of the table color.

Now, I would never throw out a student's art work. However, I would really like to let them think I did for maybe 5 minutes. After all if they don't value their work, why should I? But after much reflection and help from the Art Teachers on Facebook I realized it was probably my fault. I have a system in place-no name-no paint brush. But it was the end of the day, I was feeling rushed. I wanted them to have as much time to paint as possible and handing out paint brushes was going to slow things down. (Paint brushes were on the trays with the paint.) Students with their name on their project will get a reward.

So I came up with this NEW sign.
I wrote the numbers 1-6 on the tables with Sharpies (Magic Eraser will get the numbers off). I opted out of using stickers because the students will peel them off, piece by piece........
Now ALL I need to do is call out numbers and I have student helpers!

One student will be responsible for table folders. One student will distribute materials or supplies. One can collect what is necessary or set up for the next group. One will clean and one will inspect to make sure students have written their name or just inspect the area to make sure things have been put away. Using the new sign on Friday had me wondering why I hadn't done this sooner. Well, actually years ago I had table captains, but I'm bad about changing out names and having lists. This sign will be easier for me as all I need to do is rotate the numbers.

So there you have it! A new sign for the art room and hopefully a less frazzled teacher. I do plan to post more about our lovely houses when they are finished. I have a bunch of interesting things they will be able to add. And of course this awesome book to share with them. Click here for details.

I'm a solutions type of person and always willing to try something new to work "smarter and not harder".  What have you done in your art room lately that has helped you to be working smarter? Please share!!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Change of Plans is a Good Thing!

So on Monday when I go to another school, I was completely prepared to give my awesome lesson on Craftsmanship. I knew it to be completely awesome because I had done it the week before at my home school to a lot of oooooos and aaahhhhs. I also did a lot of oooooos and aaahhhs right back at them 'cause they actually got it! Did it with 1st-5th.

But when 5th grade came to my portable and one of the students had a bearded dragon with her, I just HAD to change out the lesson. The student bought the privilege to have the teacher's pet with her for the whole morning with class reward dollars. (Teacher did make sure it was okay with me to have a visitor.)

I put the little critter on the cart under the Elmo (document camera) and did a really quick drawing lesson using shapes right onto the white board. I would love to say I did a really great lesson and included every element of art, known to man, that I could think of. But during class we lost time relocating and then returning to the portable due to a tornado watch (a practice drill). A very crazy, hectic morning!!

Anyway...... check these out!

Thanks for visiting Mrs. Spikey!
Being spontaneous was really fun, I know I enjoyed seeing what these new students of mine were capable of.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Where in the Art Room is........?

I met Glenda Lubiner through the Florida Art Educator's Association. She held my hand the first time I presented at the state conference in 2012. Glenda also helped me choose a name for the presentation that I did last October. We occasionally bump into each other at conferences and we are friends on Facebook. Glenda writes a column for Arts & Activities Magazine titled Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers. I have been reading her column since long before I met her. However, now that I know her and know just how wonderful she is I couldn't ignore her Facebook request asking for some "Back to School" tried and true tips. Check out tip #1!
So it occurred to me that I haven't done this activity for years. Should have done it last year when we moved back into the renovated space. Now, while I know I must start the year off with "all the rules" I really feel that I just want to continue where I left off last February. You know, just jump into the middle of making art! YEAH!!

Anyway, before this activity can happen the room needs to be completely set up. That was my first challenge since I couldn't get in there until the day AFTER we came back to work. Let's just say I was able to take the necessary photos of my art room about 15 minutes before they were setting the alarm for the weekend......

Yesterday I proceeded to pick each of the photos, one at a time and add the words to them. I used the app Meme Design. Then I did an internet order to my local Walgreen's.
Here's a few to look at:

My game plan is for students to come in the art room, sit on the carpet. We will chat a bit about the summer. I will gush at how they have all grown up so much since the last time I saw them..... Yes, I smile, hug and exclaim how wonderful they all look! Then I will tell them that they are going to share out, what they know/learn about the art room, using photos that I will pass out. I will model with one of them and pass out all but the one on craftsmanship. 

I plan to save this photo for last, do a demo and then hand out the worksheet that goes along with this poster that I blogged about here.

I thought this would be a great way to share my expectations with my students. They won't be sitting the whole time and listening to me. It should reinforce the rules that they have heard before. With the exception of kindergarten. I plan to do a shorter/slower version of this activity for them.

While the above activity will be wonderful for my home school. There is not much happening in my room at my 1 day a week school. I did leave it last week with tables set up. And chairs did get put in there. Work in progress.....

It is a portable that the P.E. coaches are sharing with me and a music teacher.

I am planning to do selfies with them. Click here for the first time I did this. I am planning to tie the selfies into my poster of the Mona Lisa. It will be a lesson on portraits/self portraits and what do we learn from them. Also, my way of getting their attention by saying, "Mona!" And they say, "Lisa!"

What do you teach the first week of school? How do you teach the rules? I'd like to know!

Thanks for reading and have a great school year!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

My Very Colorful Day

The conversation went something like this:
My daughter: "Let's take Jake (my grandson) to Medieval Times in Orlando."
Me: "Nah, if we are going to Orlando (about 2 hours away) I want to go to The Crayola Experience."

And since my daughter is so very awesome, we not only WENT to The Crayola Experience, but we got in FREE!!  She did her research. How, you ask?? We are teachers!!! And they are promoting FIELD TRIPS!!

We had fun. I'm the art teacher so I know I had more fun than my Math Coach daughter. My grandson had fun. We were exhausted.........

Here's the floor plan:
The three of us walked around the entire 2nd floor where they had all the activities. The first activity we did was to name and wrap our own crayon. I don't think well under pressure, so my color is Sheryl...

Then we lined up to do the Melt and Mold, where I made a ring for my daughter and one for myself. Meanwhile she was helping her son make a shark. Other choices were a car or a seahorse. FUN!

Then we lined up to do Drip Art, this was like doing spin art with melted crayons. WOW!

I was also able to get a print out of me in a coloring page. LOVE IT!

There were a lot of different activities that required sitting and coloring, dripping crayons, cutting out stuff and of course Model Magic. My daughter and I are the type to walk around and observe. We are not necessarily the sit down type. We grabbed some of the activity sheets and the Model Magic, we didn't stay and play. I didn't get a chance to see the movie because I thought it was continuous, it wasn't and my timing was off.

I will say from my perspective a lot of thought went into planning and decorating the place. Upon entry you are given a bag to hold your goodies, tokens to get a crayon to wrap and a package of Model Magic. Extra tokens are available for 50 cents. AND there are drying ovens for the wet projects. The website is great, it lists the activities and has loads of information on it. Crayola has also made the effort to meet state standards with their many activities! What they need to think about is having a separate line for families. It was not fun standing behind a long line of campers. 

They also have a store with some pretty cool merchandise. I got a shirt and a magnet. The lunchbox was from the cafe and came with my lunch..... may have to share the box with my grandson.

Some of my other photo ops.

In exchange for the free tickets I was to forward all field trip info to staff. My AP beat me to it as she had been called by Denise McKinnie, the Group Sales Account Executive. With my other school (I am 1 day a week somewhere else this year) I sent info to the principal and she shared with staff. Unfortunately we cannot afford that kind of field trip- too far and too expensive.  But my AP did suggest they could come to our school!!  .

Deck out a bus and have a Crayola Caravan! My head is on overload thinking of all the cool things you can bring to schools across the country! Hear me, I am willing to brainstorm!! There are currently only 3 Crayola Experiences-Orlando, Fl., Minneapolis, Mn., and the first one in Easton, Pa. 

There are 50 states!! 50 STATES!!

And seriously who doesn't like the smell of crayons??

I am officially back to work tomorrow and excited to start the new school year. Everyone at my, 1 day a week, school has been super nice and very helpful. Should be a good year!

Thanks for reading!
What are your thoughts on having a Crayola Outreach program come to your school?