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New Award Certificates!

I have new Award Certificates in my shop!  These are suitable for classroom teachers and art teachers.  They can be modified and used for a variety of reasons. I also have a set of Yearbook Cover award certificates.  I had a custom request to make certificates for winners of yearbook cover contest for a school.  I decided to include a modified version in my shop for other schools who may have an annual contest for yearbook cover designs. Finally, this is … Read more…

“Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night

5Fine Arts Night

It has been several weeks since our Fine Arts Night and I have been waiting until things settled down here to write all about it. Many, many thanks to my co-worker Katie McEnaney for taking photographs of the event! “Wild About the Arts” Fine Arts Night We had our first ever Fine Arts Night.  The night combined musical performances, an art show and art activities to celebrate the arts!  We decided on an animal theme. We displayed one artwork from … Read more…

A Few of My Favorite Posts from 2016

Another year has come and gone.  Here are some of my favorite posts from 2016.  Wishing you and your family a Happy New Year! My Top 6 Favorite Posts in 2016.. in no particular order. 1. Huge Printable List of “What Artists Do”  The list is two pages long and can be printed and hung in your classroom as a reminder of all the things that artists do!  Click on the image to find the downloadable pdfs. This goes along with a … Read more…

Huge Sale on Art Teacher Resources

Cyber Monday Sale

Hi friends! Thank you all for your amazing support of my blog and my shop.  You have no idea what it means to me!  I love reading your comments on my blog posts. Like I mentioned earlier this week, I am part of the huge sale at Teachers Pay Teachers this MONDAY and TUESDAY– Nov. 28 and 29 ONLY.   Many sellers are participating and nearly all of my products are 20% (the only thing not included is the Growing Art … Read more…

A Great Way to Communicate with Parents in Art Class

This year I have started using a new way to communicate with parents.  After receiving some feedback last year that parents didn’t know quite what we were learning about with each project, I decided to type up description statements that would explain artists we learned about, skills and techniques practiced and any other goals of the art project. After the projects are completed I have a student helper tape the descriptions to the back for the younger classes.  The older … Read more…

Blogging with Students: A Guest Post

logonauts-logo-800-blue-words

Hi friends!  I have a treat for you today.  My very intelligent and dedicated co-worker Katie McEnaney is guest posting for Art is Basic today.  She was previously our 3rd grade Language Arts/Social Studies/Drama teacher and this year she moved to the 6th/7th grade level.  She also created the blog The Logonauts, which focuses on a variety of literature related topics. Many readers have asked me for advice about blogging with students.  Since my time is so limited with my students, I … Read more…

How to Get Traffic to a Blog: Blogging Basics, Part Four

  Are you interested in starting a blog?  Here are some tips for you! If you missed the other posts in this series, be sure to read: Blogging Basics Part One:  Why Blog and How to Choose a Platform Blogging Basics Part Two: Choosing a Blog Name and Getting Ideas Blogging Basics Part Three:  How to Write a Blog Post People will Read A big concern from new bloggers is “how do I get anybody to read my blog??”  That … Read more…

How to Write a Blog Post that People Will Read: Blogging Basics, Part Three

If you missed the other posts in this series, be sure to read: Blogging Basics Part One Blogging Basics Part Two So, you started a blog, picked a name and have a great idea for your first post.  Here are some tips you need to know. 1. Pay Attention to Permissions & Copyright Before you write your blog post, think about whether or not you got your idea from somewhere else.  Did you learn about this technique at a conference?  … Read more…

Blogging Basics, Part Two: Choosing a Blog Name and Getting Ideas

  If you missed the first post in this series, check out Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives, Part One.  In that post I share reasons to start blogging and how to choose a blogging platform. In today’s post, we will talk about how to choose a blog name and where to get ideas for your blog.   My blog was originally called Vivid Layers (raise your hand if you read my blog back then!).  The header is the … Read more…

Blogging Basics for Teachers and Other Creatives: Part One

Blogging Basics:  Tips for Art Teachers

So… you want to start a blog about teaching or art?  One of the questions I get asked frequently is how do you start a blog?  I asked the experts (other popular art bloggers) to share advice about getting started with blogging.   The bloggers, in no particular order: Me from Art is Basic, of course Lee Darter, from Art Room Blog Phyllis Levine Brown from There’s a Dragon in My Art Room and The Artful Advocate Don Masse from … Read more…

3 Tips to Make Assessing Your Students Easier

Patty Palmer from Deep Space Sparkle asked me to share tips about assessment with her Member’s Club.    I am no expert on assessment, but I thought I could share a few good ideas about what works for me when assessing my students in art.  If you are not a member of the Member’s Club, you can still see my 3 top tips for assessment by watching the video below. How do you assess your students?  Do you have any tips … Read more…

Annual Art Re-Swap

art-supplies-31

Today I am going to show you some fun pictures of super cool art teacher finds that I picked up at an Art Re-Swap.  My city has an art supply swap at least once a year and it is probably one of my favorite events of the year!  How it works is people bring in old supplies and “stuff” that can be used in art projects.  Then, you can take anything you want from the piles of stuff other people … Read more…

Art is Basic Newsletter

Hello friends! Did you know Art is Basic has a newsletter?  If you sign up for my newsletter, you will receive emails about once or twice per month from me.  The newsletters will point you to blog posts you may have missed, tell about new products and give you words of encouragement or art teaching tips.  I will never spam you or send you too many “salesy” emails. You can sign up with this form below (you might have to … Read more…

Butterfly Origami Gift

Butterfly Origami Gift

The other art teacher at my school is retiring this year.  I wanted to put together a collaborative present by students to honor her.  We were both hired here at the school 10 year ago.  She loves origami so I knew it had to be something origami-related. I had all of her 7th and 8th grade students learn how to fold origami butterflies.  Now, I am terrible at origami, so I wanted it to be relatively easy to figure out … Read more…

Art Curriculum Template and Guide

Art Curriculum Matrix

Hi!  I recently finished rewriting my K-6 art curriculum plan.  We are required to do this every 4 years.  You can see my first blog post about organizing curriculum that I wrote a few years back. I use the curriculum plan as a guide for my yearly planning.  If students are interested in one area of art more than another, I tend to adapt my plans.  If I have a brilliant idea for something new I want to try with … Read more…

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