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 Serving up the final installment of our 2019 art show for y'all today! This here is the 2D portion of our art show where every work of art that every kiddo has created all year long is on display! You can check out our Glow Gallery Tour and our Pirate Gallery Tour here

In this blog post, I thought I would share a link to each and every one of these lessons you see! This will give you an idea of what projects I teach (2D, that is) throughout the year. If you are interested in details on this art show: how it's hung, who does the hangin', how it's taken down and sent home, then you might want to watch this tour I created to answer those questions for you:
Art Show Tour 2019 - YouTube
Please feel free to leave any questions about what you see here or on my YouTube channel and I'll be sure to answer them.
 Let's take a tour of theses projects! We'll start with kindergarten. My kindergarteners always have the biggest amount of artwork because their lessons are shorter. I started the beginning of the year with my lessons on line. Those projects did not make it to the art show as they were sent home at the start of the school year. From there, we did the rainbow lesson and Mouse Paint project
 One of the more popular lessons for kindergarten on my blog is this one. This lesson is always followed by my Chicka Chicka Boom Boom project which you can find here.  
 Our snowmen were a lot of fun to create this year too. We learned all about the cold colors and painting spiral lines. 
 A new lesson I came up with this year were the heart prints. We were able to get many prints created and used our two favorites for our work of art. 
With our printing plates, we created these beauties! Super fun and stunning!
 The kindergarten gallery is almost always my favorite! 
 Although first grade sure does take a close second. Let's talk about their projects. One of my favorites this year were our Mad Scientists
 A classic that we've done many years in a row are our Royal Self-Portraits. I love that we have two selfies in this art show: one as royalty and one as kid-genius. Perfect for my kids!
We also did those heart weavings that you see with the stitched edge. With the heart we cut out from our construction paper for the weaving, we created these Romero Britto inspired pieces. You can see a variation of that lesson here
All of the artwork and the kids who created them make me this happy. 
The big penguins you see were created from this lesson here
 Let's move on down to second grade! These kids had many works of art both in the Glow and Pirate Gallery that their wall seems a little empty. Don't let that fool you: we are always crankin' out some art!
 Our Super Hero Selfies can be found here while our Chris Uphues Hearts are here
 This printmaking lesson is one of our favorites. We seem to improve up on it each year! 
 And this lesson is from my String and Stitch Lab for Kids book! Check it out! 
It's a pretty colorful hallway!
Speaking of, let's move on down to third grade! You'll notice these kids also did the Chris Uphues lesson...in fact, all of my students did as it was a sub plan. 

One lesson of mine that was especially popular was the landscape project! I had run out of paper (omg, an art teacher without PAPER, hello!) and had a lot of cardboard pizza rounds...so we improvised! 

The kids also created those amazing Sandra Silberzweig-inspired self portraits!
 My students did two kinds of weaving, tree weaving and circle weaving. Two kid favorites. These are also featured in my new book! 
 One lesson that I'll be sharing soon is this one! If you can't wait, then check out this blog post as this lesson is a variation
 
 This is another lesson that I'm excited to share with you soon! 
 This third grade display brings me so much happiness!
 My fourth graders spent the start of their school year making pillows! We made pizza, donut and emoji pillows, all of which are in my sewing book. 
 One of my favorite lessons this year was our Snow Globe project!
 While planning our snow globes, we made tiny paintings that we later used for our marble still life lesson
 Our Fauve-style self portraits were a lot of fun to create too. 

I hope you enjoyed this art show tour! Be sure and check out the other posts to see all the other works of art these artists created. 

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What lengths will you go to in order to avoid unpleasantries? Me, I go to great lengths to dodge sewing. 

The thing is, I get myself into this sewing pickle every single time. It always starts with the super cute fabric. Currently, I'm in to BIG AND BOLD prints that I usually score at IKEA. Case in point: that bold orange print you see in the background there. I'm currently working on sewing it into a dress but I'm closing in on zipper and hem time and I REALLY don't like zipper and hem time. 

So, I made earrings to go with my yet to be complete dress!
Polymer clay (I like to use the brand Sculpey) is a clay that comes in a variety of colors and you bake in the oven to harden. I used it a lot in this book. When I wrote that book, I really wanted to include that kind of clay because my students and I love it so much. I keep a stash at home for when I want to work with it because it's so stinkin' fun.
How to Make Your Own Earrings! - YouTube
 If you are new to polymer clay land, I thought I'd make a little video to walk you through how I made these earrings. Really the only supplies you'll need are the clay, some jump rings, French hook earrings and jewelry tools. 
 When making polymer clay earrings, just a couple things to remember:

* Polymer clay is self-adhesive. Meaning you don't have to use glue to get the pieces to stick together. Just press and go!

* Keep them light! You wouldn't think these would make for heavy earrings but they can if you aren't careful. In fact, the palette ones below, while my fave, are the most heavy and can only be worn for a short while.

* Don't put the hole too close to the edge of the design. I learned this the hard way. If you make it too close, the clay just might break when you are sliding the jump rings in.

* Don't make the clay too thin. Okay, it's a balance...light enough to be wearable, but not so thin that they break when adding the earrings.

* Allow the clay to cool completely. I have noticed that when I take the clay out of the toaster oven, it tends to still be a little bendy. It will harden as it cools.

* Bake at a lower temp than suggested if using a toaster oven. I like to use a toaster oven because they heat up faster and require less energy than my oven. That being said, they do tend to bake stuff a lot hotter...and I've burnt my share of polymer creations because of it. For that reason, I'd say bake at 200 for about 5-7 minutes.
 My little stash of polymer clay earrings.
I also dig using paint pens on them when they come out of the oven...although I have noticed that the paint does tend to rub off over time.
By the way, this here dress was made by me a while back and you can read all about it right here. And if you wanna see more polymer clay jewelry creations, you can go here to see some wild and wacky necklaces!

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Hey, friends! Last week, I shared with you the Pirate Gallery, which was one of the three galleries where my student's work was featured at our school wide art show. Today I'm sharing with you our Glow Gallery, the HIT of our art show. Each student had at least one work of art on display with my kindergarten friends having THREE works of art featured. Whew! Here is one side of the gallery with the lights off and the black lights on.
 And here it is with the lights on. Still just as beautiful, says me! I thought I'd take you on a tour of this gallery, complete with lights we used, projects each grade level did and supplies that work the best for black light. So, let's go!
Glow Gallery Tour! - YouTube
I LOVE going through art shows, don't you?! So much happiness and color, baby, color!
 Full disclosure: This is a spare classroom. I had the luxury of having an entire room to dedicate to the gallery. I spent one entire day with the help of a parent covering the window and setting up the displays. The artwork was simply hot glued to the wall. The best way to do that without damaging the artwork or the walls is to add a flat bit of masking tape to each corner of the artwork on the back. Then add a small dot of hot glue to the tape and stick to the wall. When taking the art down, simply give the work a gentle tug and it will pop right off the wall. 
 My kindergarteners created three pieces of art for this gallery. The first were these clay slab fish. You can find this lesson here and in my clay book
They also made these fun snails from cardboard pizza rounds. They started by painting a spiral with a bingo dauber. Then they added color with fluorescent oil pastels and fluorescent paint (details on supplies in a moment). From there, they were attached to a paper towel tube and antennae were added. So cute! More details on this lesson soon, I hope!
 Some of my third graders made these amazing plaster and paper parrots! I think they are one of my favorite projects from the show.
 Another lesson which I hope to share with you soon...the kids loved making them!
 And they were so striking in the black light. 
But also great with the lights on.
Let's talk supplies for a minute because it's important you use the right stuff. 

* Sargent Brand Fluorescent Oil Pastels
* Jack Richeson Fluorescent Tempera Cakes
* Fluorescent Liquid Watercolor (optional)
* Fluorescent Tempera Paint (optional)

The last two we didn't use...we just stuck with the oil pastels and tempera cakes. But I will be getting the other paints for next year.

In a pinch, when time was running short, we did use fluorescent poster board and bingo daubers for some of the drawings. We did this because I only had one 30 minute art class with the kids before the big day...so we worked with the time we had. I wanted to insure that every kiddo had a work of art in this special room.
On the night of the art show, we did have a couple of teachers at the door to act as Black Light Bouncers as I knew this room would be busy. I didn't want a crowded room to ruin the experience for the kids or have any artwork potentially be damaged. We did have some glow face painting happening which was also fun for the kids. More details on all of the crazy things we had happening at our art show in a future post.
 Let me walk you thru who made what! By the way, each of these 2D works of art took only an hour (or two 30 minute art classes for me) to complete. 

Some first graders created the octopus (by following along with here) while some of my first graders drew the crab...a guided drawing lesson of mine. I'll be sure to share that with you too. I have a lot of sharing to do! 

Some second graders created the GIANT angel fish by following here while others created the octopus on the neon paper due to time limitations. 
My third graders made the sea turtles and my fourth graders made the sea horses.
 Now, let's talk lighting because that is the true key. It's the reason I avoided doing a gallery like this for so long because I just didn't have a clue what lighting to get. We ended up purchasing three kinds and I'll tell you, this one was easily my fave. Starting out, one is all you need IF you block out all the light in the room, making it completely black. 
We left the gallery up for several days because my admin loved it so much, she called in nearly everyone in the district to drop by and see it. Even with the lights on, it was stunning.
Have you done a black light gallery before? What tips do you have? This was my first so I'm sure I have A LOT to learn. I would love to hear from you!
 Super excited to start our black light gallery projects next year...even if it's MAY and I'm on summer break, ha!
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Real talk for a minute here: the last days of school are INSANE. With schedule changes, field days, assemblies, field trips, art shows, awards days and all the rest, there is lil teachin'/learnin' taking place. The kids are hot, tired and ready to go and the teachers are right there, ready to hold the door open for them as they run off into the sunset of summer. So, instead of fighting that Last Days of School beast, why not embrace it? Ditch the tables and chairs, pull out the blocks, games, drawing books and more, crank up the Alvin and the Chipmunks album (it's what we've been rockin' out to) and HAVE FUN. Here's how I set it up in my art room:
 I started by pulling out all of my Early Finish centers. I've accumulated a TON of items for my early finish centers over the years...but the big hits are always the following: blocks (with dinosaurs!), Fashion Plates, spirographs, stitching cards, origami and my how to draw books and drawing prompts. If you click on this link, I'll walk you thru those centers. 
 A couple years ago, I created a little video explaining this end of the year set up, which you can watch right here:
Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 34 END OF THE YEAR ACTIVITIES - YouTube
In the past, I relied on the kids to read the small labels on the bins to know how many young artists could work at a center. Those little labels are hard to read...and not all the bins are labeled. I used these plastic picture frames from the Dollar Tree for our Field Day activities that worked so well, I decided to use them again here:
 I loved fashion plates as a kid and my students use the set that I once had! I also have a couple more sets that have been gifted or found at the thrift store. Amazon sells a great Super Hero rubbing set that has both boy and girl super hero characters for the kids to create. 

When I picked up a set of Spirographs from the Dollar Tree last year, I wasn't sure how great they'd be...or how well my younger students like first grade would work with them. But check out that amazing design by a firstie! I usually have to give a hand over hand tutorial for the kids because there is a learning curve. I also allow them to use mechanical pencils as they are the only ones with lead that is long and lean enough to fit into the holes of the wheel.
 In this blog post, I share with you how I set up my drawing books for early finishers. I got so tired of the kids just randomly placing the books where ever...so I spray painted the binding of each book to make it easier for them to clean up. Also...I limit them to one paper per artist. 
 If you are a new teacher with few centers, just know that I don't have a ton either. To be honest, with 30 minute art classes, it's a RARE occasion that my students are able to visit these centers. That's why I love having them available these last days of school. It's fun for me to see what they gravitate toward...and gives me ideas for the new school year. If you have limited resources, keep in mind that the following are free and/or cheap:

* Origami printouts!
* How to Draw printouts!
* Blocks borrowed from a kindergarten classroom!
* Random objects around the art room for observation drawing!
* Pictionary! You don't even have to have the game. Just a dry erase board and a group of kids that can come up with an idea of what to draw on their own as the kids attempt to guess.
My favorite places to find early finisher/end of school year activities are Target Dollar Spot (where these stitching cards are from), the thrift store, yard sales, end-of-the-year email to teachers asking them to send old games/toys your way and the Dollar Tree. 
 When my older students came in, I busted out the dry erase boards and my Pictionary game. I found it at the thrift store and, really, all you need are the cards with the drawing prompts. We sat in a circle of kids (the ones who opted to play) and had a great time playing. One of my favorite things about these days is that I join the kids on the floor! I chat with them, play games and build. 
 I do tell the kids that after 10 minutes of exploring, they will be given the opportunity to change centers. They can either opt to stay or go, AFTER they've tidied their spot. During clean up, I simply ask that they tidy which ever spot they were working at and then stand silently beside their area. To encourage a quick, calm and quiet clean up, I silently walk around and just place a couple of stickers on the kiddos who rocked their clean up. I learned this trick from my P.E. teacher buddy. She doesn't announce that she's giving stickers, she just places them on the kids who are on task. She only gave out a few and if the kids asked for a sticker, they didn't get one. It worked SO WELL in her gym that I had to try it on the last day in art...it was MAGIC. 
Do y'all do something similar on your last days of art? I'd love to know what you and your kiddos are up to!
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Now that the art show dust has settled and I'm able to have my life back (like I have much of one in the first place), I thought I'd share our art show with you! I've been giving a ton of sneak peaks over on my Instagram...but have not really given a proper tour. So, let's get started! I created a video tour of the portion of the art show...I hope you enjoy it!
Pirate Art Show, 2019! - YouTube
I know the video tends to sweep over the projects and displays so I thought I'd share an overabundance of photos here. Sorry not sorry, y'all. This show was epic!
The theme of our art show was Pirates! That's right, we had a Pirate Art Show and it was easily the biggest and bestest one yet. I cannot wait to share with you all of the details that went into this show...but there is so much that I'm going to spread them over the course of several blog posts. To summarize, our art show was a showcase of three galleries: The Pirate Art Gallery (which I'll be featuring in this blog post), The Glow Gallery (our first black light gallery that was a HUGE hit!) and our Grade Level Galleries which feature every work of art that the kids have created all year long. 
My art room, shown here, was the Pirate Gallery. Each year, I use my art room as a gallery to feature our 3-D projects. You can see what last year's Super Hero themed gallery looked like here, here and here
This display is one that was seen upon entering my art room. Normally, this area is used as our "early finisher" area with a foam rug and lots of building activities such as blocks and sculpture toys. About a month before the art show, I packed up the carpet and started prepping displays in that area. This first display showcases the work by all of my fourth graders and two classes of my first grade. 
My fourth graders created these Coral Reel Relief projects from kiln fire clay. This was a one hour clay project that they totally rocked. I've not had a chance to share the lesson details or a video with you but hope to very soon. Instead of glazing these, I decided to have the kids use metallic craft store paint. I started by dunking the bisque fired pieces in diluted India ink (any brand works great) and having the kids paint them with inexpensive craft store paints. The results were so pretty!
 I cannot wait to share this lesson with you!
Mixed amongst the fourth grade pieces were the first grade fish! You can find the clay lesson for the fish here, complete with video. While our theme was pirates, I also added a lot of ocean life projects too. 
The fish were glazed and had to be fired on metal stilts as they were glazed on both sides. The base was dunked in diluted sand-colored paint and the kids painted the bases with the same metallic paints as the fourth grade pieces. Then I had the pleasure of gluing together with a hot glue gun and a chopstick!
At the bottom of the table are the fourth grader's Pirate Ships in a Bottle...another lesson I'm excited to share with you soon. More closer photos in a moment...but let's move on from here and over to the next couple of displays. 
I created these giant banners a month before the art show. I plan to tell you how but here's a little secret: they were easier than they look. In a future post, I'll also share how I hung these to the wall. This was a great way to add more excitement to the pirate art show AND hide that big mess of an art room behind it. 
Under the treasure chest banner was a display of my second grader's treasure chests! This project was easily everyone's favorite and I'm looking forward to sharing it with you. These second graders were STOKED to take these home.
The treasure chests were created from boxes covered in plaster and decorated with Model Magic details. We even created "gold" coins from scraps of cay and metallic paint. Each student got a "loot bag" that I stamped with a Jolly Rodger. I just happened to have a bunch of draw string bags in my stash so that worked out perfectly.
My third graders created two clay projects, one of them being these pirate ships!
 The ship lesson is actually one adapted from my clay book! You can scoop up my clay book here...it's written for kids who don't have access to a kiln. So if you are a kilnless art teacher, this book is for you! BUT many of the lessons can also be used for kiln fired clay. So it's an equal opportunity book. 
 The ships were also dunked in a terra cotta colored paint and sparkle was added with metallic. 
Sails were created from...can you guess? Toilet paper tubes! The kids had to hole punch through the tube to slide the straw down. I had a stash of paper straws in my closet for us to use. I did have to hot glue the sails in place which didn't take too long. 
Around the corner from the other displays was this one. This display featured the work of my second and third graders. 
My second graders, in addition to creating their treasure box sculptures, they also made these Pirate Parrots! These are pinch pot birds with fun dangly legs. 
Some had made their parrots with eye patches, pirate hats, you name it. Each had a wonderfully fun personality, just like the artist!
 Third grade, in addition to their pirate ships, they also made these coral reef relief. 
 These were created similarly to the fourth graders pieces but on a smaller scale. They were also painted in the same manner. 
When finished painting, the kids used Twisteez wire and beads to create a hanger for their piece.  
Around the corner, we had more second grade treasure chests, more first grade fish and more third grade pirate ships.
 Fourth grade also created these ships in a bottle which were a lot of fun. We used cardboard recycled from the cafeteria, painted papers and Model Magic for the boats. More lesson details to come!
 This project was a big hit with the kids!
 A lesson that I'd definitely do again. 
To display, I simply hot glued them to the bottom of the paper table cloth.
The last displays I'm sharing featured the work of my kindergarten, more treasure chests by second grade, more pirate parrots by second and some fish by first. 
My kindergarten actually created two clay projects...one was displayed in the glow gallery and I'll be sharing that in a future blog post. 
 This is a clay project from my book also! I've been doing it for years with my kindergarten kiddos and it is ALWAYS a success for each child. Gotta love that!
 Thank you for joining me on this tour of the pirate art gallery! Be sure and pop by at the end of this week...more videos and tours to come!

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Two years ago, our school reformatted our field day. I'm not sure if your school does a field day but, previously, the field day activity time took place during our students' specials class. Now, the kids do field day all day, rotating, by class, from one activity to another every 15 minutes. Most activities are outside. Our first year, I was placed in the sidewalk chalk activity and, ya'll, lemme tell you, it was THE LONGEST DAY OF MY LIFE. I was hot. The kids were hot. We ran outta sidewalk. We ran outta chalk. We ran outta patience. At the end of the day, I decided never again. 

The following year, rain was predicted but the show had to go on. I decided to do a different activity indoors. Last year, we painted Welcome Back banners to be hung at the start of the following school year. You can read all about it and watch a video here. 

This year, I decided to change it up again...well, really just add more to it, by having multiple painting stations for my students. Here's the set up:
I created 3 painting stations and, just so there was no confusion, overcrowding or the normal mayhem that ensues on field day, I numbered the tables with the amount of kiddos who could create there. They had to pick a spot and stay there. No chairs. Just grab a brush and go. Here's a little video with more of a look-see:
Field Day Stations in the Art Room! - YouTube
The day was so much fun and it seriously flew by! We worked on three things: 4 Welcome Back banners for the new school year, 4 2'X3' giant canvases for the school library, 9"X12" canvas board alphabet and numbers 1-9 for the library also. 

 Last year, during field day, we made this sign...and our school librarian loved it so much, she promptly claimed it and requested a series of paintings for the library. It only took me a year to get around to doing it with the kids...but they are complete, thanks to field day fun!
We painted with tempera paints on the canvas. The canvases were purchased with funds from our school (not my art budget!). The morning crew of younger kids painted the flat colors while the older students painted the patterns. 
Once the kids were done painting for the day, I went back over my black lines and added the white pops of paint.
 The kids did paint on top of my black lines...which I wasn't worried about. I just touched them up.
 I love how happy and whimsical they are. I cannot wait to see them in the library!
 I also retouch the banners but those I do with a bingo dauber so it goes really fast.
 These will get rolled up until August!
 It's a great way to jazz up the otherwise boring walls when we return to school. 
 Out of everything we worked on tho, these letters and numbers might be my favorite. This was actually a lesson I did with my third and fourth graders...as well as a collaborative I'll be sharing this week! I simply give the kids two paint trays, one filled with warm colors and the other cold (tempera paint is what we used, Sax Versa Temp is my go-to!) and ask them to pick one color family for the number and the opposite for the background. 
 They painted as much as they could and then the next class just picked up where they left off. They were to use dots, dashes and dabs of color. 
Aren't they the prettiest?! I need a set for my home too. 

What field day activities do you all do? I'd love to hear more!
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This year marks our fifth to do the chalked ceiling tiles with second grade. I can't believe it's been five years...and I'm happy to say that this year's was by far the easiest and least stressful. I guess I've finally learn a thing or two after all these years! 

In case you aren't familiar with this project that we do, it's a legacy piece that my second grade students create on the back side of a ceiling tile. We use chalk and have a different theme each year. This year, we created tigers because we are the Johnson Tigers!

I always get a ton of questions when I share this project on my social media platforms. I thought I'd try and answer them here and also share the last four legacy projects we've created. Be sure and click on the link as many have instructional videos!
Why do you use chalk and not paint? We use chalk because of the history of how we came to doing these tiles. You see, this was an accidental project. Initially, we were going to do a sidewalk chalk project with a visiting artist (more here). But on the day of the event, thunderstorms were predicted. I was at a loss of what we would do until I remembered that my principal had been asking me to have our students decorate ceiling tiles. So I got one and drew on it with the chalk...we had all the chalk prepped and ready for the sidewalk chalk event, so I was determined to use it. The problem was, the chalk didn't work well on the front of the tile. So I flipped it over and, what do you know, it worked perfectly...just like a sidewalk. And that's how the whole thing got started. 
Why do you use the back and not the front? I found the front didn't take to the chalk as well...but the back is perfect. There are numbers on the back but the chalk covers it up.
What brand of chalk do you use? Doesn't it get everywhere? I really like Faber-Castell chalk and Sargent chalk. We do a lot of coloring with the side of the chalk, not holding it like a crayon. This helps fill in large spaces. These two brands make very vibrant chalk colors. Yes, it's super messy...especially since we work on the floor. I tell the kids to wear their play clothes and come ready to make a mess. But, honestly, look at that floor! It's not even that bad. Having a paper banner under their work really helps.
So...how does this work? How do you teach this? On the day of the event, I have all of my second grade classes come to the multipurpose room. I lead all of then in this activity. I don't ask for additional help or teachers to be in the room...I'm kind of a solo act. This year, I did things in a way that I think worked the best: I had my classes all in rows, by class. Each had an assigned spot to cut down on any behavioral issues. Then I lead them, guided drawing style, in the creation of their own unique tiger. It took us an hour and a half. I happened to have a plan period so this worked out well and my other classes still had their art time.
How do you seal the chalked piece when it's finished? I just use hairspray. Yes, some of the chalk smears when it's placed in the ceiling...but not enough to tell. 
Do you do a different theme for the chalked drawing every year? If so, how do you decide what to do? Yes, I do a different theme. It's sometimes based on what the kids are learning about (butterflies) or I also take requests. For example, the cafeteria manager wanted healthy foods, so last year we created fruit tiles. This year, we did tigers as that's our mascot. 
What will you do when you run out of ceiling space? Retire.

Below is a sampling of what the kids have created over the last 5 years...the links have videos too, including clips of the set up and kids working if you are interested.
But first, I thought I'd take you down memory lane so you can see all the tiles my students have created over the years. Let's start with the very first one, which you can read all about here
The second year, we created these flowers. For this demo, I created a video. You can see how I went about doing this lesson with four classes in previous years here. 
Our third year, we created these geometric patterned fish! Prior to this, we did a lesson inspired by Sandra Silberzweig and created these fun black glue and chalk fish
Last year, we did fruit! These are in our cafeteria and I just love them. More details here!
Let me tell you this: it's a bit of prep, a lot of chalk dust, a crazy mob of children...BUT WORTH IT! The big undertakings always are, right? 

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My name is Cassie Stephens and I'M IN LOVE WITH BINGO DAUBERS.

There. I've said it. It's finally off my chest. And I'm here today to tell you that if you've not discovered the magical wonders of bingo daubers and all that they have to offer your art room, allow me to introduce you to "a whooole neeeeew wooorrllllllddddd..."
If you are unfamiliar, than you might be thinking: 

What ARE bingo daubers? Simply put, they are the little dot-makin' things that folks use when playing bingo. You can purchase them with ink in them...or empty so you can fill with what you like. I prefer diluted India ink but other art teachers have also used liquid watercolor. TEMPERA PAINT, even when diluted, does not work...I know...I tried.

Why are they magic? Because they provide a seamless line, much like that of a marker. In fact, in my art room, we call them "paint markers" and have three rules for using them properly: DO NOT SHAKE THEM, DO NOT PRESS HARD but, most of all, DO NOT SQUEEZE THEM as an endless stream of ink my flow out of the bottle if you do. Sometimes, the ink dries at the tip providing a scratchy line. If I know my kids are going to be using them, I test each one out during my plan time making sure they work and GENTLY squeezing them to get the ink to flow. 

Where can I get them? Here and here is where I get 'em!

How do I fill and refill them? Like I said, I put slightly diluted India ink in mine (I don't have a brand recommendation because it seems all India ink is created equally). When it comes to refilling them, I know you can buy some sort of contraption to remove the top but I just use a pair of pliers to pry them off. Over time, the felt on top of the marker may become worn out. You can buy just the replacement tops!

What can I do with them? I'm so glad you asked! Here are my Top 11 Fave Things to Do with Bingo Daubers (it's a workin' title...don't judge, naughty pants).
 1. Make Giant Painting Sheets! For our upcoming art show, I wanted to inspire excitement and decorate the walls to announce the event. I sketched out my pirate-y design in charcoal and then laid out paint for the kids to go to town. 
When they were finished, I went back over the black lines on spots where they'd gotten a little excited with the paint (that's putting it mildly) and added white highlights. 
And ta-da! Giant banners to announce our art show! I've seen many art teachers create huge coloring sheets in the same manner for their art shows or art activities. 
 2. Make Welcome Back Banners! If you are like me, you have a CRAZY schedule at the end of the school year. Field day, field trips, assemblies, you name it...it's nuts! And so are the kiddos. Last year, when our field day was rained out and my station was cancelled, I decided to have the kids create Welcome Back banners so that we'd have some color on the walls come fall. They had a blast, we used up excess art supplies and made a rained-out field day super fun. 
Much like the art show banners, here is our paint set up!
3. Heather Galler-Inspired Florals! What I love about the daub is that it forces kids to draw BIG! We never use pencils first, we just dive right in. It's a little scary but it's a great chance to talk about turning a "boo-boo" into something "boo-tiful!" 
More on this lesson (with video!) here...perfect for Mother's Day!
 4. Dean Russo-Inspired Animals! Our mascot is the tiger...and it was so fun creating these massive colorful tigers for our hall. 
We finished them off with our chalk pastel in Sta-Flo trick (see video here!) and oil pastels. 
5. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Kindergarten uses my bingo daubers the most in my art room. Many teachers have told me that they've not had success with kids and daubers...that might be because you gotta remind them of the three rules...with rule numero uno being DON'T SQUEEZE THE PAINT MARKER! This Mo Willems project is always a hit! Lesson with video here. 
6. Jasper Johns-Inspired Kindergarten Alphabet! This is a fave lesson of mine and many others. You can find the lesson details and the lesson video here. 
7. Chicka-Chicka Boom-Boom Kindergarten! We follow our first alphabet work of art with this one, a huge hit with my students. We watch the video version of Chicka-Chicka on YouTube and the kids love to sing along with it. You can find the lesson and video here. 
8. Romero Britto-Inspired Hearts! Easy and super great for learning about line, shape and pattern! All of these dauber works of art are HUGE too which I love. Details here. 
9. Fauve-Inspired Self-Portraits! Self-portraits are not my students fave thing to do...or my fave thing to teach. I think it's because the older my students get, the less confidence they have in making their artwork look "real." With that said, the bingo dauber frees them up, makes them relax and not get hung up in the details. Check out this post to see how we added color to these lovelies! 
10. First Grade Penguins! Oh yeah. These are pretty much the cutest...or, wait...are THESE cuter?!
11. Kindergarten Snowmen! I mean...look at them! Lesson and video here. 
 My third graders created these abstract name designs earlier this year with bingo daubers and I loved how they turned out. I don't have a lesson for this one yet...but will work on soon to have available for you and your kiddos!
 I've been in the middle of Art Show Prepland and the bingo dauber is saving my behind! I was able to crank out this pirate ship (which will be a photo-op prop) with a little help from the dauber. 
And I've even made SEVEN massive backdrops like this for the art show too, all with the dauber. So...if I've not convinced you yet that you need to get some bingo daubers in your life then I've just failed at life. Have a super week, y'all! 

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This week, on my podcast Everyday Art Room, I'll be sharing my favorite sculpture projects, materials and supplies. Since so much of what I'll be talking about is visual, I thought I'd also put it all together in this here blog post. Please be sure to click the highlighted links as those provide the full lesson and, oftentimes, a video lesson!

Before diving in, I thought I'd share my favorite supplies to hoard for sculpture. Here's my Top Ten:

1. Toilet paper tubes! Just send out an email and you'll get more than you'll ever need.

2. SCHOOL paper towel tubes! The paper towel tubes at my school are super sturdy and thick and are my fave for sculpture.

3. Packing supplies! Packing peanuts (a rarity these days which is for the best) and what I call "packing pillows" are my favorites for sculpture.

4. Cereal Boxes! They are also great for when you run out of paper...they are the perfect weight to withstand paint.

5. Cardboard! Visit your school cafeteria manager and ask her what she often disposes of. Cans, cardboard, boxes...all of these items are perfect for sculpture.

6. Restaurant supplies! Okay, now I don't want no trash brought into my art room so I never take used items, especially ones that have held food. BUT if you visit your local restaurant supply, you'll find so many great items for sculpture. 

7. Aluminum foil! Dollar Tree sells aluminum foil by the sheets and it's the perfect size for the sculptures we create in my art room.

8. Egg cartons! You probably already collect these for paint...but they are also perfect for plaster molds (for candy! Scroll down!) and sculpture armatures.

9. Chopsticks! I love chopsticks or skewer sticks. We use them a ton in my art room.

10. Containers! My husband rinses out and saves nearly every lid (perfect circles!) and container we use for my art room. It may drive me bonkers but we use them all!

Now, I know what you're thinking: Stephens! I don't have the storage space for all that! To which I say, that's why you do this sort of craziness at the end of the year. Hoard it, bust it out and then send it all home. What you don't use, toss them in grab bags and let the kids create on their own at home.  

The following is a much shorter list of my favorite sculpture materials:

1. Activa Products Rigid Wrap. I LOVE plaster wrap for sculpture. It has replaced papier mache in my room. It dries super fast and leaves the sculptures rock hard. The only draw back is the price, it's not cheap. But it's my go-to and the kids love it.

2. Art Paste. If you GOTTA use papier mache (maybe you love it!) then I recommend Art Paste. It's great stuff.

3. Activa Products Celluclay. If you don't have a kiln, this stuff is great. It isn't like real clay...it's more like a paper pulp clay. You do have to mix it up (I don't recommend having kids do it) and it can be dusty...but I love the stuff. 

4. Model Magic. No prep, just open an pack and go. It's not cheap so we use this sparingly.

Okay! Now that we have that covered, let's talk projects!
1. Paper Sculpture! Paper sculpture is a project I do with my kindergarten kiddos on their very first days in art class...and every year THEY ROCK IT. This year, I did it with the entire school as apart of a project I called Getting to Know You Sculptures. 
2. Pipe Cleaner and Recycled Sculptures! This is another project that I do with my kindergarten friends. We use insulation foam, pipe cleaners, packing peanuts and, this year we'll be adding cardboard squares to the mix. You can read all about it here.
 3. TP Tube Pencils! Need a QUICK sculpture project that is a sure fire hit with your kids? Last year my FIRST GRADERS made these and loved it! They are made with TP tubes, snow cone paper cones (or tagboard rolled into a cone shape), aluminum foil and paint. All the details with video here! 
4. Crayons and Crayon Boxes! Another kid fave, y'all, and so easy. In groups, the kids used cereal boxes for their crayon boxes. This was also a great way for them to explore color theory as they had to come up with their own custom crayon color. They also had to come up with a name for the color. More here. 
5. Paint Tubes from TP Tubes! I think what some folks find daunting about sculpture is the notion that it has to be big and elaborate. You might have a small room, short class time and big classes...so manage your lessons around that. This lesson I think you and your students will love! 
6. Spilled Glue Bottles! Do you see a theme here? One of our art show themes last year was "art supplies"...so that's where the inspiration for all of these came from. You can tour that portion of the art show here. Details on these bottles here! 
7. Candy Hearts! These were so fun to make...while munching on candy hearts, of course. Created with tagboard and plaster wrap. The big box was painted by my early finishers, using a recycled box. All the details, with video, here. 
8. Jim Dine-Inspired Second Grade Hearts! These were created with tin foil and Celluclay. Colorful and fun with all the info here. 
9. Plaster Candy Hearts! My second graders are currently creating treasure boxes and they think it is the best thing ever. It reminded me of this project a couple years ago...my third grade had created these papier mache candy boxes with plaster candies. They had a BLAST! The candy was created from plaster poured into a variety of molds like egg cartons and ice cube trays. For more info, visit here. 
10. Taxidermy Creatures! This lessons has yet to be tested on my students but I've shared it in many workshops and it's a hit. Those teachers have in turn done it with their kids with great success. Just a little foil, Celluclay and imagination for this one. 

Happy sculpting, friends!!
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 About three years ago, I did a project titled Mad Scientists. We focused a lot on color mixing and drawing three dimensional shapes. We even did some bubble printing. The end result looked like this:
And you can find all the lesson details here. 

And while I really did enjoy this lesson, along with my students, when I went to do it again this year, I decided to put a different spin on it...and include scientist self portraits!
 This was a lesson that took several days. I have 30 minute art classes with my first grade, twice a week. Here's how we broke it down:

Day #1: we watched two wonderful bubble videos. One explained the science of bubbles and the other showed GIANT bubbles being blown on a beach. We went to our seats and filled our construction paper with bubbles using chalk. I walked around the room with my Target Dollar Spot bubble gun and we took bubble dance breaks throughout the class. It was super fun.
 Day #2: We learned how to draw three dimensional beakers! Here's the video I used then and this year too. We drew in pencil first and then traced in Sharpie. Feel free to use it in your art teacherin' world:
Mad Scientists Creations for First Grade and Beyond! - YouTube
Day #3: We read Mix It Up and learned how to use the primary colors to fill our bottles and create the secondary colors! Early finishers met me on the floor and we also read Mouse Paint. 
 Day #4: We drew ourselves as Mad Scientists!
How to Draw a Mad Scientist! - YouTube
Day #5: We traced our drawings in Sharpie and added color with construction paper crayons. Many were ready to start cutting out their portraits. 
 Day #6: We put it all together! Many kids wanted to add more bubbles when they were finished so after they collaged, they returned to bubble making. 
 I really love this new layer of this project...each one is so stinkin' amazing. 
 Next time, I'd love to share with them more about famous scientists. We spoke a lot about Einstein...but I do want to share more with them, especially female scientists. 
 We used so many different media and learned so many techniques in this project that it was so fun. 
You'll have to let me know if you give it a go! 
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