Rubber Ducky Public Sculptures in St. Joseph, Michigan

11_farmer_freddie_duck

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…

Non-objective Drawings by 3rd and 4th Graders

NonObjective Drawing (4)

I love non-objective art. Non-objective art means that the art does not represent or depict person, objects or places.  It is a picture with lines, colors and shapes as the subject. I teach this drawing project every year and the results are always beautiful. The children learn about concepts such as types of line, organic and geometric shapes, shading, values, variety of sizes, variety in general, overlapping, texture (from rubbing plates) and how to categorize non-objective, abstract and realistic art. … Read more…

Color Scheme Studies with 3rd Grade

Color Scheme Studies (3)

My third grade classes studied color theory by using the color wheel.  They learned about many different color schemes including warm, cool, neutral, primary, secondary, rainbow, analogous, monochromatic and complementary.  First, they started by coloring in this Color Wheel worksheet.  (I added monochromatic and neutral to the list.) On 8.5″ x 5.5″ white copy paper, the students drew a design that had rhythm through the use of repeating lines or shapes.  We talked about how rhythm in art is similar … Read more…

Reflections on Intentions

Medieval Banners

I was honored to be included on a list of recommended blogs from Art Mouse House.  I have just recently started following Art Mouse House and it is a very new blog.  It already looks like it’s going to be a wonderful blog with lots of fresh ideas and clear explanations. I read her post about setting an intention and found myself nodding my head in agreement the whole time.. thinking, yep, that’s totally what I believe too!  I’ve been … Read more…

Paper Hats with 2nd Graders

Making Paper Hats with 2nd graders

This is just a quick post to share with you a simple and fun project for the end of the year.. paper hats!  The kids started with a long strip of construction paper, drew designs on their hats with construction paper crayons, punched out shapes and added fun paper extensions from the scrap box.  The strip was placed around their head and stapled by me. We got more use out of our paper sculpture techniques poster (below).  Easy.  Fun.  Practice … Read more…

Art Around the World – Sketchbook Prompt Cards

I am super excited to tell you about my new pack of sketchbook prompt cards.  My Art History Sketchbook Prompts have helped out a lot of art teachers and I wanted to make more.  My students enjoy learning about different art works and they like getting small nuggets of information along with the chance to create artwork inspired by what they see.   The new art history prompts are called Art Around the World – a set of 14 task cards … Read more…

Making Talking Sticks with Kids

Making talking sticks by painting and decorating branches.

Earlier this year, one of the second grade teachers approached me about an idea for an art/social studies collaboration.  She had read a story to the children about a tribe which used talking sticks. She thought the students would be interested in making their own special talking sticks.  This could be a great project to accompany character education on taking turns and listening. Talking sticks have been used in native tribes of the Northwest Coast (North America) and in Western … Read more…

A World of Artist Journal Pages Review

I am excited to share with you the book A World of Artist Journal Pages.  It just arrived in the mail yesterday and it is thick.. just full of inspiring art pages.  And I am super excited because five of my art journal pages have been published in the book! I put together a video flip-through to show you some of the pages of the book.  I have really low voice and my voice is even scratchier with a sore … Read more…

Making an Assemblage & Learning about Louise Nevelson

Learning about Louise Nevelson and making an assemblage with children

  I have seen variations of this project many times but have never tried it with my students.  I am pleased with how our assemblages turned out!  This was a great opportunity to clean out the junk in the classroom and teach about using found objects. My Primaries (or first grade) learned a little about American sculptor Louise Nevelson.  There is a short clip on YouTube that explains about her artwork. I put a call out to families to donate … Read more…

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