Beyond Roy G. Biv

Beyond Roy G. Biv

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

#aoeconference
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"!

~Amy

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
~Amy

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.




Enjoy!
~Amy

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.

Enjoy!
~Amy





Sunday, September 7, 2014

Art Room Tour 2014-2015

I am very grateful for my Art Room. It is very spacious and I've spent a lot of time making it "my own." Some things are exactly the same as they were 17 (!) years ago and some things are different every single year! Please enjoy a tour of my home-away-from-home and leave your comments below!

This is my giant bulletin board that greets my students when they enter the Art Room. We have a SUPERHERO theme this year and I'm a big Disney fanatic, so I had to go with The Incredibles!" The green bins are for each grade level's supplies and samples. And the big table is for demonstrations, extra supplies, and it hides the garbage cans, recycling bucket and bins of my favorite markers. That left the front of the table area for a cute bookcase and display area!


This is a picture of my desk...when it's clean! It won't stay that way for long so I figured I better snap a picture before it's too late! The wooden boxes are from IKEA and I've had them for years! They hold all the extra handouts and paperwork for each grade level.


This gigantic paintbrush and paint splatter stickers are the highlights of The Paint Zone.

Point charts are a heavily debated issue in education, but I find that they work really well for my program. The kids are motivated to fill the rows, fill the entire chart and to compete against other classes. And they work really, really hard for just a small piece of candy or a new pencil. 
And I love the little orange sign below the Point Charts! At the end of each class, I noticed that I was calling up the same quiet tables first. To give everyone equal opportunities to line up first, I started rotating table numbers. So, this week, Table 1 lines up first, then 2, 3, 4, etc...  Next week, 2 will be first, then 3, 4, 5...and 1 will be last. The following week, we'll start with 3...and so on. This system is nice because when students know what comes next, there are less classroom management issues. Woohoo!
And the little hanging signs on the yellow sign are for "extra credit jobs" for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. They include all the jobs I don't like doing but the kids do, like folding the smocks, emptying the pencil sharpeners or washing palettes. What they won't do for one little, extra point!?

And this is my Noise Chart - all superhero-themed, of course! This is another classroom management lifesaver. Each class starts on "Ready to Learn" and can move up the chart by working quietly or can sink to the bottom by being loud or disrespectful. It is a full-class system because I'm not a big fan of calling out or punishing individual students in front of the entire class. And again, this system seems to motivate students to work together for the greater good - getting more points which leads to more rewards. 

And this is my classroom mascot, Art from Monsters University, one of my favorite movies. He has absolutely no educational value but he's adorable, so he stays!!

Here's to the beginning of another great year of teaching and learning!

~Amy








Thursday, August 21, 2014

Art is Incredible!

We have a SUPER theme this year - SUPERHEROES! And we're not just talking Superman and Wonder Woman - we are talking heroic acts by our very own students and staff! The superpowers of Honesty, Responsibility, Respect, Empathy and Cooperation are going to be celebrated this year at Big Bend.
It has been fun coming up with items that will be a creative twist on this theme for the Art Room. Here's what I've got going so far... 
The 3'x12' bulletin board - front and center when you enter the Art Room
Our class Noise Level chart
Our Point Charts

The adorable graphics are from Melonheadz Etsy shop and I adore them! Well, I've still got a week or so until Open House, so I've got a couple more ideas up my sleeve as we get closer to our official start date! Stay tuned!

~Amy

Every time I walk into my room, I giggle a little bit! I wonder if the kids will ever notice the big Art Room no-no?!