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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…

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 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…

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…

Huge List of Contemporary Artists

Huge List of Contemporary Artists

Are you looking for some new contemporary artists to teach your students about?  On the Facebook Art Teachers group, members suggested LOTS of contemporary artists that they teach their students.  These are now all compiled into ONE HUGE LIST on Google Docs!  I added websites and short descriptions to most of the artists so it is easier to use.  Thanks to all the teachers who collaborated to share their ideas and add artists.  This huge list has about 130 artists … Read more…

Welcome Back to School, Art Teachers!

Welcome back to school!  Are you ready? We start our staff meetings tomorrow and then the kids come on Wednesday!  With the new school year starting, I thought I would highlight some old posts that might be helpful to you. Create a Welcome to Our School bulletin board! Making a collaborative bulletin board display is a great way to start the year.  I have some new ideas for this year, but here is an example from the past! Here are … Read more…

Interview Questions for Art Teaching Job

I opened up my email this week and was thrilled to read the following message: I wanted to thank you for your post regarding portfolios and interviewing.  I was recently hired at a fantastic school, and the interview wouldn’t have gone well without your advice about preparation. Yay!  I love it when someone finds something useful in something I’ve written!  The post she was referring to was Art Teacher Portfolio Ideas.  Later, I posted an article about digital portfolios.  I … Read more…

15 Favorite Posts from 2013

  Another year is rapidly coming to a close, so I thought I would spend some time reviewing my favorite projects and blog posts from this year.  Here are my favorite posts, in no particular order! 15.  How to Paint Gorgeous Clouds with Watercolor 14.  Clay Castles 13.  Postage Stamp Art Project 12.  Heart Photography Project with 3rd Grade 11.  25 Amazing Books for Teaching About Art 10.  Editorial cartoons are a unit I teach every year.  We even were … Read more…

Cardboard Creations and a Blog Layout Review

Art projects with Cardboard

Hello all! Wow, summer is almost here! It’s hard to believe, right? I entered a blog giveaway to receive a free layout review from a web designer. I won! She posted the review on Blacksburgbelle’s blog. Bottom line: reduce the clutter.  I think it was very useful and gave me a lot to think about! Maybe you will get some ideas from her review. This will be a little project to work on during the summer. Building with cardboard and … Read more…

On Teaching Art #3: Integrating Art with Other Subjects

Welcome to the 3rd post in my series On Teaching Art. The first post and the background behind this series is On Teaching Art:  Art vs. Craft. The second post was On Teaching Art #2: Organizing Curriculum. The question posed for this installment is: How can art be integrated into math, science, social science, and literacy? That is a great question and I very often connect art lessons with their units of study in the classrooms.  Integrating art with other … Read more…

On Teaching Art: Art vs. Craft

I received an email from Carrie Birmingham of Pepperdine University about teaching art.  She teaches a general education course.  She proposed a number of questions about teaching art that she would like to share with her university students.  Here is what she writes: “The students I have will be general ed classroom teachers, mostly K-5. They may or may not end up at a school which has an art teacher, and I want them to have a starting place if … Read more…

5 Fabulous Things an Art Teacher is Loving Right Now

5 fabulous

Before I start with 5 Fabulous Things let me just tell you how jealous I am of any of you who went to Texas this week for the National Art Education Association conference.  I love love love going to these conferences.  Unfortunately it’s not possible for me to go every year, but I’m living vicariously through blog posts and facebook posts of other art teachers… like Mr. E  and the Art of Ed. 5 Fabulous Things– a round up of … Read more…

A Day in the Life of an Elementary Art Teacher

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an elementary art teacher? Maybe you are interested in becoming an art teacher.  Maybe you are curious how my day compares to yours’.  I know I would love to walk a day in another art teacher’s shoes to see what it is like at different schools or in different locations.  Through words and pictures, I am going to walk you through my day.  Out of privacy of the students, … Read more…

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