Beyond Roy G. Biv

Beyond Roy G. Biv

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"!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Specially Designed Art - A Year of (FREE) Lessons

What do you do when you have students that are not succeeding in the traditional Art Room setting? You make up a new class! 

That's what I did a few years back when I felt like the students in our Cognitive Disabilities program were not getting a high quality experience Art. An hour was too long, the materials and multi-step directions were too much, and some of them were becoming aware of how different their art was turning out compared to their peers, etc... I just felt like there had to be a better way to serve these amazing students. In the beginning, I didn't really know what it was going to look like or how it was going to work. There have been some surprising successes along the way and some "well...we won't do THAT again!" moments as well.

Each year, I set out to organize the class in a slightly different way because I don't want the kiddos getting bored and well, let's be honest, it would be dull for me too! I've talked about my yearly plans for SDArt before HERE, along with other lessons I've done with these kiddos. 

I love the SMARTBoard aspect of our SDArt class because it provides a way to see/read the directions along with a cool way to link to songs or online activities after the project is finished. I have posted the entire PowerPoint, but don't feel like you need a SMARTBoard to use the file. It has over 25 lessons that can be looked at on a computer, printed out and used with a variety of students or grade levels. Each project has some images to look at, step-by-step directions, a link, and a picture of a finished student example.

I'd feel guilty if I kept this huge file all to myself! Please enjoy and share!
Specially Designed Art: A Year of Lessons

Here are some of my favorites:
A is for Apples

F is for Feet

L is for Light

T is for Trees

U is for Umbrella

V is for Vegetable (Prints)

Z is for Zig Zag

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monster Paintings & Fotobabble

Have you ever wished that you could make your students' artwork TALK? Well, there's an app for that! Fotobabble allows you to add an audio recording to a still photograph.

We use it on our Art Room iPad after we make these colorful monster paintings. I send the kids into my "recording studio", which is the storage room, so they have some privacy to have fun with their stories and their voices. 

Click on the captions to take a listen to some of their stories!

Zoe's Monster

Jackson's Monster

Paige's Monster

And click HERE to download the lesson plan for this painting project.


Monday, October 13, 2014

First 1st Grade Project...CHECK!

When I tell the first graders they get to use NINE different art supplies all on one project, they get super excited! 

They start with pencil, add watercolors, then glue down ripped paper, use foam stamps and tempera paint, throw in some leaf rubbings with crayons, and finish it all up with scissors and glue! WHEW! 

Sound like a hot mess? Not at all! Check 'em out!

And here's a little tip for the leaf rubbings (even though as you can tell from the kids' work, they like the stamped leaves a little better.)   :-)

For the leaf rubbings, I gathered leaves from our playground, pressed them between some encyclopedias for a few days, and then laminated them. I love that all the texture comes through, the colors remain vibrant and they last for YEARS!

Don't be afraid to mix up the art supplies on a project - the results can become a beautiful blend of colors and textures.