Sunday, January 31, 2016


Three things you should know about me...

#1 Paper is my favorite medium to work with
#2 All of my work is about color
#3 I excelled in 3D in college but never found the best way to pursue it in my personal work outside of college so I have a pretty deep love for it

Here is why those three things are very important...

Someone posted (on the incredible) Art Teacher Facebook group a link to an installation of a French duo who create mostly paper art and I am IN LOVE. They call themselves Zim&Zou and started off in Graphic Design and moved to working with materials like paper, thread, and wood.

Do yourself a favor and spend hours exploring their website...

Most of their projects are also geared around bigger issues like genetically modified food and the food industry...

They even have some videos and images of their process so great resources to show to students.
Edible Monsters - Behind the scene from Zim and Zou on Vimeo.

Now I just have to come up with a project to connect to!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First Place Rising Star!

Sorry for the delay in celebrations but I have been out sick for 2 days going on a 3rd tomorrow! Hard to be functioning with a fever over 100!

There is no words for how excited I am to receive this honor and how appreciative I am for all of you who voted for me! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! And THANK YOU to the Art of Ed for shining lights on such talented fellow bloggers and running this contest!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I've Been Nominated!

For anyone that follows The Art of Ed every year they have an Art Education Blog of The Year Contest. The last few years they have broken it down into categories and I've been nominated and chosen as a finalist in the Rising Star Category (new and upcoming blogs).

I would love your support and a vote! You can vote for me HERE!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

3rd Grade Passports (2015)

The Art curriculum for 3rd graders in our district is to explore other cultures and parts of the world through Art. To help track our world "travels" I created a passport with help/inspiration from here. Students use their passport each time we start and finish a project or as I say when we "arrive" and "depart" from our destination. When we took our first "trip" to India at the start of the year they got their cover page and first entry page of their passports.

Typically for a project I do my big intro and then together (on the SMART Board) we fill out the side 1 of the entry page before we start the artmaking portion of the day. The top portion is straight forward but the last part asks "How is this place connected to Art?" Now that we are almost 1/2 way through the year I no longer write word for word what they need to write and just give them some vocabulary that I want them to include.

Side 2 is totally independent when they finish their project. They can either write a fact they remember about where we traveled, something process related to the project, or even along the lines of if they overcame any challenges. 

The pages are hole punched and held together with brad fasteners making it easy to add each new page with each new destination.

My favorite part is reading their responses and stamping their pages with my compass stamp from Hobby Lobby!

Monday, January 4, 2016

4th Grade Yearbook Covers (2015)

When I started in my new district this year the big THANG in the Elementary Art program is 4th graders designing the covers for the yearbook. We do a joint elementary yearbook of all the elementary buildings so it is a pretty big deal. It was also a big and long undertaking but they really did a great job! The middle school art teachers choose the winning covers. One is chosen for the main or back cover and three for the inside.

The bottom right and top left won two of the inside cover spots!
We talk a lot about good design, fonts, best coloring, and creating sketches and drafts. Here are some of the sheets we used for this process, including a rubric when they were finished.

In the past coloring goes out the window in big areas so to help prevent that I had color sticks by crayola for them to use in large areas. If you haven't used color sticks they are essentially a naked colored pencil. No wood surrounding the color core. 

When they were finished everything had to be colored and have a sharpie outline.

Bottom left won a cover spot! 
I think the only change I'll make next year is to do a color test/skill check differently, maybe a coloring sheet!?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2nd Grade Artist Books

Here is a look at the "Artist Book" I created for my second graders to use each time they are introduced to a new artist. Second grade curriculum is all focused on artists so this is a great way to track what they learned.
 When we start the year with our first artist they get the cover page and their first empty page. They fill out just the front of the page when the artist is introduced and then when we finish the project they complete the second page.

The pages are pre-3-hole punched and the books are held together with brad fasteners. Each page gets added as we go.

It seems to be just the right amount of writing for second grade. We fill out most of it together on the SMART Board and they are responsible for doing only two sentences that are entirely their own. I used to get complaints from students about having to write in Art but the longer I am teaching the less of those comments. I think because we are starting to put literacy in every subject they just go with the flow.

Fall Arm Trees with K and 1st (2015)

POST #175! WOAH.

Okay still running behind on fall project posts...again, thanks to break for me catching up!

A fall favorite and good line intro/review for my Kindergarteners and 1st Graders. I did a similar version of this project in the past but it develops and gets better each year.

I Can Statements: I Can identify different types of lines. I Can use 5 or more different lines in my tree. I Can use watercolors appropriately and correctly. I Can follow directions to print with bubble wrap and brayers.

Day 1: Read "Lines that wiggle" and drew the lines in the book with our arms in the air as we read. Had them take the sheet below to their spots, I named a line and then they had to trace it before finding the same line on the floor and walking across it. I put the lines on the floor with vinyl floor tape the week before and they are still there almost 2 months later, and after many floor washings. It's good stuff!

Back to the carpet to watch the demo for tracing their arm and adding 5 or more different lines with brown oil pastel.

Day 2: I drew a picture on the SMART Board made up of all different lines and a key. Called kiddos up to find a certain line in the picture and circle it or X it. They seriously loved this. After this activity they did the watercolor on their trees and sky. 

Day 3: Read a new favorite book "Fall Is Not Easy" and they watched a demo of how to use the bubble wrap to do the leaves on the tree. I had a station set up in the back of the room for this and they would put the paint on their bubble wrap there and carry it back to their spots to add it to their tree.