Notan Cut Paper Designs: Third Grade

Notan Designs 2

I have several art lessons that I did not post about yet from this past school year, so look forward to a few more art project ideas this summer.  This lesson is fairly simple to prepare for and teach.  “Notan” is the term used by the Japanese to mean “light/dark” space.  We can also learn about positive/negative space through Notan designs.  My third graders studied Asia this year in their Social Studies class, so this was a nice tie-in. To … Read more…

Getting to Know You Sheets and Printable Art Awards in TPT Shop

Are you looking for something fun to do on the first day of school with your kids?  There is a huge list of ideas on this blog post of tips for the start of the school year.  Another idea is to have your students fill out an “artist profile” about themselves.  I have five new Getting to Know You sheets in my TPT shop.  The first is a colorful 11″x17″ poster size the kids can draw, write and color on … Read more…

An Interview with Margaret Peot, author of Stencil Craft

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Today I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview with Margaret Peot, author of the new book Stencil Craft. Earlier this week I wrote a book review, with the chance to win copies of this book (there is still time to enter).  You can see that blog post here:  Stencil Craft Book Review and Giveaway. Since I am an elementary art teacher, Margaret is also going to share a fun project to do with little children. 1. What … Read more…

First Day of School for Art Class

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Are you nervous about starting the school year?  Or are you excited to get things going?  Even though this is my lucky 13th year teaching, I still get anxious to go back.  It’s a combo of nerves, excitement and anxiety about getting back into a different routine.  I still have dreams that the class is out of control, I forget that I am scheduled to teach or I oversleep.  Recently, I asked readers to share their top tips for starting … Read more…

Lego Mosaics at the Brickworld Convention

Lego Brickworld 2015 (106)

I have more pictures to show you from the Lego Brickworld Convention that was held in Schaumburg, IL this summer. If you love Legos, be sure to check out my first post about this convention. I know some art teachers make mosaics with their students, so I decided to group all of the photos I took of the Lego mosaic art that was at this convention.  At the bottom of this post, I have a few links to some ways … Read more…

Lego Brickworld Convention 2015

Lego thumbnail

Are you a fan of Legos?  Did you know there is a new documentary film coming out July 31 called Beyond the Brick: A Lego Brickumentary?  You can see the official trailer here.  Have you heard of the Lego Brickworld Convention? In June, I went to the Lego Brickworld Convention in Schaumburg, IL.  My husband went for the entire 4 day convention as an exhibitor with his Lego User Group.  I attended with my kids for the afternoon on the … Read more…

3 Art Projects Using Leaves

Leaf Art Activities

Summer is the perfect time to create art with your child.  Nature provides endless inspiration for art.  Here are three fun art activities using leaves that you can do with kids or just on your own! This post was created as part of the Elmer’s Crafty Bloggers team. Learning Activity Topic:  Using nature to inspire art Educational Foundation: 1.  Identifying and sorting items from nature 2.  Using shapes and variety to create a composition 3.  Learning about negative and positive … Read more…

Rubber Ducky Public Sculptures in St. Joseph, Michigan

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A couple of weeks ago we took a summer trip to my brother’s cabin in Michigan.  We spent some time in the lovely city of St. Joseph, Michigan.  It is right on Lake Michigan and we enjoyed playing in the sand, walking on the piers, eating ice cream, playing on the beach playground, splashing on the splash pad and tinkering around in the two children’s museums.   As an art teacher, I was delighted to see large public art sculptures of … Read more…

Masking with Watercolor

Dream Finished

  Hi friends! First of all, have you entered my BIG FUN ART TEACHER giveaway?  If not, go to this blog post or the Facebook page to enter. Today’s blogpost is a cross-post.  This week I was a guest blogger on Marit’s Paper World for her Quirky Dutch Summer series.  In case you missed it, I thought I would share it here as well.  This is a fun and easy technique you could try with your students. Masking with Watercolor … Read more…

Big Fun Art Teacher Giveaway

Hello!  I love giveaways and thought it would be fun to have a summer art teacher giveaway in honor of reaching 400 likes on Facebook.   To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog or on the Facebook post about it answering this question:  “What is one tip you would give to art teachers (or other classroom teachers) to make the beginning of the year go smoothly?”  or “What do you do with your students in the first weeks … Read more…

Contemporary Art in the Elementary Art Classroom: A Blog Round-up!

contemporary art in the elementary classroom

This year my professional goal was to learn more about contemporary artists and to create art lessons inspired by these artists.   I taught about William Wegman and Justin Vining.  We looked at contemporary artists inspired by microscopic things and living artists that used Disney as inspiration.  At the end of the year, my students learned about Shinique Smith, Nicolas Lampert and various artists that used stuffed animals as a theme in their art (blog posts to come soon about all … Read more…

Painting the Sun- Metepec Suns

Sun Paintings with 3rd Graders

My third graders ended the school year learning a little about the symbolism of the sun in Mexican pottery.  The sun has been used as a symbol of the life-giving energy and of good luck.  Cassie Stephens has a very good Prezi here about Metepec, Mexico. To make these colorful, sunny pictures we started by tracing a circle shape for the face of the sun.  Then we designed our faces with unique facial expressions, rays and other designs.  We talked … Read more…

Positive Behavior Notes for Art Class

Good News Preview

I now have “Good News Notes” in my shop.  Save time with parent communication by filling out these easy positive notes.  It’s always better to start with positive communication so that when you have something less positive to say you already have a relationship with the parents.  I used to send out Good News notes and decided I wanted to revamp and update them for next year.  Here is what one of them looks like: Send individual notes to parents … Read more…

Easy End of Year Art Project: Collaborative Banners

Easy End of Year Art Project

Are you looking for an easy end-of-year art project?  On the last days of school, I had some students that needed to finish up art projects and others that really just wanted to be done with the school year.  This was a fun and easy collaborative project that many students opted to participate in. I got the idea from Romero Britto’s word artworks, like this one and I think I may have seem *something similar* somewhere at some time.. but … Read more…

Create an Art Memory Book

Create a Memory Book of Your Child's Artwork-- Preserve your art!

My daughter who is in 4k comes home with at least 3 drawings every day.  She can draw during free choice or nap time (she won’t nap).  Plus with the drawing she does at home, we have collected hundreds of drawings.  I’ve saved almost all of them.  Her favorite things to draw are My Little Ponies, Paw Patrol characters and people.  By far, she has more pony drawings than anything else.  I don’t bother sorting them, I just take them … Read more…

Summer Art Challenge

summer art challenge

I am going to introduce this summer art challenge to my students next week.  I did this summer art challenge a couple of years ago and we had a lovely display in the fall.  The parents of the kids who participated thanked me for the ideas.  Whenever their kids said they were bored, they told them to pick something from the list. It’s been awhile since I updated the list of challenges, so I went over it today to freshen … Read more…

Bird Pictures with First Graders & Studying Audubon

First graders create bird paintings after learning about Audubon.

I am so proud of how well my first graders drew these beautiful birds and I’m excited to share them with you. We started by reading the beautiful book The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon.  This book is a wonderful connection to science as Audubon was a fascinating man who studied the migration of birds and painted them.  Your budding scientists will love this story. The students looked at reference photos of birds from books.  … Read more…

End of Year Kindergarten Fingerprint Art

A fingerprint and hand art project at the end of kindergarten.

Our Kindergarten teachers approached me with a request for an art project for the back cover of their memory books.  The kids have filled out pages in their memory books all year and they wanted a colorful back cover. I found a fun and easy way to make fingerprint art on the Frogs Snails and Puppy Dog Tails blog.  Then, we used a great end of year poem by Helen H. Moore. We started by dripping water in pans of … Read more…

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