Beyond Roy G. Biv

Beyond Roy G. Biv

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Thoughts

Looking around my school brings me joy...most days! This week, these are the things that I think are pretty awesome!

4th Grade Radial Prints
Truth be told, these may be prettier from far away than up close. Using donated cardboard, each 4th grader created a "printing plate" for this collograph project. On their 9" square of white paper, they blended chalk pastels in analogous colors (which I called OMBRE and they all said, "Ohhhh!" because that apparently sounds way cooler!) Then, using black ink and brayers, they printed their plate four times in a radiating pattern. Overall, a great/cheap way to introduce printmaking with cardboard, but the end bulletin board display knocks my ROYGBIV socks off!

When I saw THIS on Pinterest with a Tournament of Books bracket, I knew I had to adapt the idea for our sports theme this year and combine it with Youth Art Month.

Art Madness Bracket
 For the month of March, each class will vote on a head-to-head battle to decide which painting is the "best" and the variations of what "best" means to each grade level, or even each student, is fascinating. Some are voting for the most famous, the weirdest, the most details, the one they think deserve to hang in a museum, etc... And while we're voting during art class, the hallway has a large-scale bracket with pictures and some autobiographical facts and tidbits of information.

We already have some students predicting which painting will "win it all" but really, I've already won because I've got students who are actively discussing art history, outside of my art room, in their spare time! #teacherwin

Have a great week, art ed. world! Hope to see some of you in a few weeks in Chicago for NAEA!


Friday, January 29, 2016

Things that bring me JOY

Spam makes me sad. 

I get an email saying that I have a new comment on my itty bitty blog and I get so excited to "talk" to someone about this art world that I love. And's just spam...just a computer generated, nonsensical, email that means nothing. UGH - like a fork to the eye, people!
So, the spam has taken the wind out of my sails with this blogging thing and since I am not one to dwell on the negative...I am going to celebrate things during my day that bring me joy and put a smile on my face! Here we go!

This is a goofy little invention that works SO well! It's a piece of balsa wood with stick pins in it. When the 6th graders are done applying the resist to their silk paintings, they take the tops of the bottles and put them on the pins. No more clogged tops! WooHoo!

Having my paint in ROYGBIV order is nothing new, but having the tape stripes underneath each color has really helped the kids put things back where they belong. And if they clean up, then I don't have to!

This doesn't seem like a very interesting bulletin board, but it is our Art Show Preview. We've got a sports theme this year and I think we'll have a pretty diverse show. We've got spectators, equipment, team logos, athletes, etc... along with all kind of skills and media.  I'm excited to finally get the art show out of my head and into the hands of my students.

And this is the back of my new favorite shirt - and this says it all! So, spam or no spam, I know why I teach art and why I love it!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Art Room Reveal

Welcome to my Art Room for 2015-2016! Be warned - oodles of pictures in this post! Enjoy!

This is my SMARTBoard, which I couldn't live without anymore!

These are my new clean-up signs. When I say "It's clean up time" - they should follow the Clean Up 5 sign and then the Table Job sign. The less I have to talk during clean up, the better! I think the kids would agree!  :-)  
Does the sign on the left seem to familiar? That's because I totally loved what Alecia at Art of Ed wrote about HERE and I totally stole it!  Above the signs are our school's PBIS rules: be respectful, responsible, safe and then I added "be creative."

Below the clean-up signs, I made a new "I Can" display for our learning targets. We'll see how this goes this year. I've never been very consistent about posting them on a regular basis. And I added the Mona Lisa/Marzano chart on the right.

Next to the clean-up signs is our Artist of the Week board. This year, we're going on a trip around the world visiting 26 different countries and learning about different types of cultures and their art. VERY excited to share this with my students and we'll add a "postcard" from each location as we visit throughout the year. Go check out Art Curator for Kids to see her ebook that inspired this presentation.

My mascot, ART, from Monsters University

This mega-cabinet was donated a few years back and it is A-MAZ-ING!!!! Each drawer holds all of my 2-D samples for each grade. (I think I need some color in this corner now that I saw this picture! Add it to the To-Do List!)

This is inside one of the drawers. I've got all my samples, organized by project name and grade level. I don't know how I stored all of this craziness before this cabinet!

This is a large wall above their Class Crates. I used a stack of scrapbook papers to create the large visual full of sports imagery and then, threw in some Monsters University/teamwork posters for a bit of Disneyness on this side of the room.

Moving around the room, this is my sink area. I love that I have two sinks and I try to keep the chaos to a minimum by having the kids wash palettes at one sink and paintbrushes in the other. Thanks to Pinterest and the Teacher's Palette website, THIS picture has gotten a lot of attention over the years. It's pretty old now because we had a full renovation since this picture was taken, but I still use the footprints. It really helps the kids not to bunch up by the sinks.

This is where I hand out paint over by the sink area. And its all RoyGBiv'd of course!

These are my Point Charts that go with our sports theme and I was a golfer for a long time, so the fabric covering my kiln room door is a golf fabric this year. It's fun tying in my other passions into my Art Room!

Continuing back around the room, this is a cabinet from IKEA that contains so many things! On the top, you'll find my seating charts and my document camera along with a work space for doc camera demos on the SMARTBoard. On the left side, I have an art library full of fun and inspirational books to look at if a student gets finished early. Then, the four black bins are for common every day supplies: tape, staplers, Sharpies of every shape and size, pencil sharpeners, and free drawing paper.

A new addition to my room this year is this desk area, behind my regular desk. I'm lucky enough to have a student teacher this year and wanted her to have her own space. Being a cooperating teacher brings back so many memories of my own student teaching experiences! And it's really an interesting process to not only TEACH art but to explain to someone else WHAT I'm doing it and the WHYs of it all. 

The first project of the year for all grade levels is a celebration of International Dot Day - stay tuned for the next post showing our all-school mural!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Happy 2015-2016 school year!

We are "teaming" up for a great year at BBES and celebrating teamwork, cooperation and kindness while using a sports theme!

I love our all-school themes and use it to create an eye-catching display on my 12' wall that is front-and-center in my Art Room.
This was a ridiculous amount of time (and money...sorry hubby!), but it is SO ME! I love me some Disney and will sneak it into just about anything! 

Here's how I put it together: 
I bought a Monsters University set from (on sale, with a discount code by the way!), stuck them onto foam core, cut out all the characters (and some are really, really fuzzy hard to cut out!), put them onto bulletin board with long t-pins to create some depth and cute shadows. For the final touches, I added a 1/2 soccer ball (which is actually a lamp my daughter will get at the end of the year) and I found a whistle to hang around Mike Wazowski's neck, like a ref!

This is one of our Class Point Charts, adorable gym class graphics from Melonheadz

And our Noise Chart, which helps keeps the crazy to a minimum. Basically, if the kids are noisy, they go down the chart and could lose a point for the week. If they go up to the top of the chart, they get two points (very exciting when that happens!) I like this system because it doesn't single out any one child, but encourages teamwork to reach the goal.

Stay tuned for more sporty stuff from around my room and our school!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Centers...Stations...TAB...Whatever you call it!

I am NOT a traveling art teacher this year (for the first time EVER! Can I get a "hallelujah"?!) and my newly opened scheduled allowed for some great opportunities.

The 5th grade teachers in my building were the first ones to jump on board with my crazy idea, so they became my guinea pigs. Because of their RtI groups, they had some students that didn't need reading interventions. So...what do you do with THOSE kids, while you're trying to work in small groups with the kids who DO need the interventions?? You send them to the Art Room!

I get between 12 and 18 kids, twice a week for 30 minutes, for 6 weeks. Then, another batch of kids comes in for the next 6 weeks, and so on, for the entire year. Each student works through the artistic process at their own pace and they are given much freedom when it comes to subject matter and media.

The directions I gave in the beginning were simple:
1. Be inspired.
2. Choose a media.
3. Go through the artistic process.
4. Reflect afterwards.

Subject matter was up to each student. Different media stations were opened up a regular intervals (drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, sculpture). I checked in with each student each day so we could check on their progress, answer questions, and problem solve together. After a project was finished, they completed a writing assignment that asked them to reflect on the entire process.

I've put together a video of what they've done so far this year - please enjoy!

So, call it "TAB" or "Centers" or "Stations" - but whatever you decide to call it - just try it! Because if you've been considering offering more choice in your art program, I say "Go for it!" Being a major control freak, I was really nervous in the beginning, but by giving them more control over the process, they became more invested students and more creative students. Win-Win!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Good idea? Maybe!

I'm not sure if this was a GENIUS idea or maybe a waste of time, but either way, I thought I'd share! The kindergarteners were going to be painting with watercolors today and I wanted them to only use the primary colors. So, I made a cover, of sorts, that covered up all the watercolors EXCEPT the colors they needed. It was kind of tedious cutting out the ovals but it kind of worked! Because they're kindergarteners, they totally smashed down the watercolors, but at least they only smashed down the primary colors!
I'll take that as a win!

How do you limited your supplies with the itty-bitties?

Saturday, January 31, 2015

6 Big Take-Aways from the AoE Conference

I absolutely LOVE the Art of Education's online conference format! (The swag box is pretty fantastic too!!!) And I can't really afford to go to a big national conference, but I sure can set aside some time on a Saturday, drink buckets of coffee, and hang out in my yoga pants and get some good, quality PD!

Like Jessica said, being one of the "misfit toys" who doesn't quite fit in to traditional teacher professional development is also one of my biggest frustrations. And to find a community of like-minded art teachers is such a breath of fresh air!

Here are my 6 biggest take-aways from this year's winter conference, in no particular order:

6. There are amazing art teachers out there! Passionate, witty, diverse and dedicated humans! And while I so, so, so want to be one of the "cool kids" in that club, I want to take Jessica's words to heart about "choosing your best 'extra' and ROCK it". I love our school-wide theme and making a thematic art show is kinda "my thing" and I'm gonna rock THAT like nobody's business and not apologize for not doing all the other things I feel pressured to do. (Insert sigh of relief here!)

5. Amanda Heyn's message regarding parent communication really hit home. When you have an invested art teacher, you create invested students, who then go home and create invested parents. No one will save my program when its time to cut programs if they've never heard about my program! I am my own Public Relations department.

4. It's all about that PAINT! I totally loved the Blick lesson "Matisse du Soleil"! I've always shied away from the liquid watercolors (not totally sure why - maybe I'm just a big chicken!) but they are going on my next budget order! I adored the bright colors, simple shapes, the added embellishments and the fact that it looked like it would be uber-successful for any of my students! Can't wait to try it!

3. I want Alecia Eggers to make all my visuals! Actually, I just need to sit down and make mine as cool as hers! She really inspired me to re-do my clean-up posters and give those "Learning Targets" another try.

2. Johanna Russell is hysterical! The puppy dream?!? I've totally lived that in my Art Room! While I don't know if a flipped classroom would totally work in my situation, I loved her passion and humor! Getting back to why we do what we do is a powerful message for any art educator to hear. And I now want to go out for coffee with Johanna (maybe decaf though!)

1. How much fun is it when you find out you're doing something similar in your Art Room like someone you admire?! I have been a long-time follower of Nic Hahn at MiniMatisse and her final presentation about impacting school climate with school-wide collaborations with Don Masse was spot-on! I used the monochromatic self-portrait idea floating around on Pinterest as my "make art on Day 1" project this year and its so gorgeous, I don't have the heart to take it down!

Big Bend's Artsonia Gallery

What a day! I'm a little overwhelmed, but in a good way! I have new books to read, new projects to try, and a renewed feeling of "we're all in this together." Thank you to Jessica Balsley and her crew for putting together an amazing opportunity for all of us "misfits"!