Sunday, August 29, 2010

Digital Portfolio

This digital portfolio was created during a class I took, using Windows Movie Maker. It is a very easy program to use and is free to download. I plan on having my 5th graders create their own digital portfolios using all of their artwork that has been loaded on to Artsonia.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Almost Ready!

Here it is! My classroom is about 90% ready to go. I just have a few books to put away and 4, yes, 4 bulletin boards to finish. *sigh*

This year, I have color coordinated my tables. I have placed a basket containing 4 pencils. 4 erasers, and one pencil sharpener in the middle of each table. The numbers will correspond to a bulletin board with art jobs. For example, person #1 may have the job of putting supplies away.
The infamous soffet containing my collection of artsy items. We often use these things in still lifes. I always get tons of compliments on this collection.
Some of these photos are from last year, but I am going to put them here, since this post is also about organization. I have two ware carts that I really don't use as ware carts because my kiln room is right in my art room. Instead, they have become extra shelves.
These shelves are set up for my fifth graders. They keep their sketchbooks in the green buckets (from the dollar store) and their projects on the shelves below.

On the other ware cart holds the other grades' projects and supplies for current projects, as seen below.

Years ago, another teacher gave me a box of X-ray envelopes. They are the perfect size for holding 12" X 18" projects and visuals. I don't know if you can get your hands on some of these, but they are GREAT!

This drawered cart holds the projects I am saving for our end of the year art show. As we finish a project, I save 4 or 5 from each class to put on display at the end of the year at the Arts Festival. These students become the "Artist of the Week" and I make sure they know that EVERYONE gets a turn.

Smaller projects, pieces, and parts go in these drawers.

This is the "Free Choice" shelf where the students may choose an activity when they are finished with their projects. Some of the choices include texture plates, drawing supplies, art related books, How To Draw books, building blocks, and the kids' personal favorite- mini whiteboards.
This bulletin board never comes down, but things, such as cartoons, quotes, and photos, are added regularly.

Fairview Elementary

Photo of my classroom from last year. By the way, those tables look really cool, but they are awfully hard to keep clean.

Fairview Elementary

This photo shows my word wall and timeline. I have a pointer that I use to show the kids certain words.

Fairview Elementary

I may have more to share soon, depending on whether or not I can get those bulletin boards finished. Yikes!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I was honored to recieve this award from Mary at the blog Mary-Making. Visit her blog- it's awesome! I had seen my blog posted for this award on another blog, but I cannot for the life of me remember whose it was. So, if you were the other person who gave me this award... thank you also!

As the rules state, you must:Rule # 1.) Thank the person who gave the award.
See above!

Rule # 2.) Share 7 things about yourself:
1.) I have taught art for 15 years and never plan on retiring. Ok, maybe someday, but I cannot see myself doing anything else!

2) I have been married to my husband, John for 18 years. We began dating at age 14, so I have spent most of my life with him in it.

3.) We have two children, Nathan, and Nick. Nick is a freshman this year and I couldn't be prouder. We lost our older son, Nate, 4 years ago to an AVM (ArterioVenous Malformation) when he was 13. If you are interested, you may learn more about my son on his memorial website.

4.) I was the only one of my friends to declare a major and stick with it as a freshman. However, I also contemplated going into forensic pathology. My brother is in law enforcement, so I live vicariously through him.

5.) I will be forty this year and am not ashamed to admit I love the Backstreet Boys and am a member of a fan forum.

6.) I am addicted to the internet and check various sites and blogs every day.

7.) I recently started running, following the Couch to 5K program. My husband signed us up for a 5K on October 2 and I am scared I won't be ready!!

Rule #3) Pass the award onto 15 other bloggers you have recently discovered and enjoy.
1.) The Teaching Palette
2.) Cake Wrecks
3.) Bakerella
4.) Lauren Alexander Art
5.) Deep Space Sparkle
6.) Geninne's Art Blog
7.) Jinjerup
8.) Sara's Art House
9.) Art Projects For Kids
10.) Art Room Videos
11.) Teach Kids Art
12.) The Crafty Crow
13.) Ms. Art Teacher
14.) Mrs Malone's Art Room
15.) There's A Dragon In My Art Room

*Note: There are soooo many awesome art related blogs out there, so it is impossible to list them all. I tried to mention a few that I hadn't seen on anyone else's lists. Please don't feel left out if yours wasn't mentioned!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

And The Countdown Begins!

Only 7 days until the little ones come back to school, so I spent a few days preparing my room. I'm not done yet, but I had to share a few items that I've accomplished so far this week.

It took me all day to create this paint palette and splashes of color on the walls, but it was so worth it! I am thinking it would make a great mural... must remember to mention that to my principal. If this doesn't impress my students at Open House, nothing will!

The framed art above the rail are Fred Babb posters that came from this poster book and framed in these inexpensive, but nice frames from Dick Blick. Awesome!

I made a set of stencils so that I can make signs using the Ewie D font anytime I want. Love it!

Here are the supply shelves all nice and color coordinated. The drawered unit is perfect for sorting smaller sized projects. I love all of the rainbow colored items in this photo!

This year, I made labels that I am *hoping* are more student friendly. I took photos of the supplies inside and then added the lettering using a photo program. These will be taped to the end of the supply boxes so that even the littlest artists can find their supplies. Feel free to save these photos and use them in your room.

And here are the labels in place:

I still have four bulletin boards to create... wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cool Finds

As I giddily unpacked the new art supplies for the year, I realized that sharing some of my favorite finds would make a great post.

* I am crazy for this little Peruvian Retablo from Crizmac. If you are not aware of this company, you should be! They feature many art pieces from around the world, including Oaxacan Animal carvings, instruments, masks, Molas, and more.

* These large cardboard portfolios from Calloway House are great for storing posters, art examples, and other artifacts. I used them to create artist themed boxes, where I keep all of the resources I use when introducing that artist.

* This glitter gel from Color & Company looks beautiful when added to liquid watercolors. The kids love the extra sparkle it adds to their work.

* Paper Popz are my newest find. I can't wait to pour these out on the table for my kinders to use in a Miro inspired collage.

* These Prismacolor sharpeners are fabulous! But, be sure to keep a close eye on them because they tend to grow legs and walk out of the art room!

* For quickly and nicely mounting projects (especially printmaking projects), 3M Super 77 adhesive spray is the best, and believe me, I have tried many! (Note: not for use by children).

* I tend to use Sharpie permanent markers a lot (especially the silver metallic ones), but for
writing names on projects, nothing beats the Pentel Sign Pen. It has just the right sized
tip and it stays sharp. Although it is not
permanent, I still recommend this pen for every
day use.
* Molly Hawkins' House is by far the best source for paper, expecially the Molly's Midnight Black paper. It is thick and pure black- great for many media. Unfortunately, their website has been under construction for as long as I can remember, but you can call and request a catalog, including samples. I have posted a photo of a project that my students created last year, using the Molly's Midnight paper.

If you have any "Cool Finds", please be sure to share!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


This is a great beginning of the year projecy that I have done with my 5th graders.
oil pastels, nice drawing paper (such as Canson Mi-Tientes) in various colors, cut in half vertically (19" X 25" cut to 9 1/2" X 12 1/2"), sunflowers to view, examples of Vincent vanGogh's work, chalk, scrap paper for "sloppy copy"
1. View examples of vanGogh's sunflowers and also examples of real sunflowers.
2. Students should practice drawing sunflowers in a sketchbook or on scrap paper. I demonstrate drawing the sunflowers' petal shapes and leafs on the board.
3. Students choose a piece of paper in their color choice and use chalk to draw their sunflowers, filling the entire paper.
4. Show students how to lay down the base color for their flowers, stems, and leafs using oil pastel.
5. Students continue to add layers of color until the entire flower is bodly filled.
6. Encourage students to add accents using unexpected color combinations, such as magenta with their yellow petals.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Interactive Art Sites

Our school is switching over to Moodle and our old website is gone, along with all of the links I had on my webpage. I am going to start a new collection of useful, interactive sites to be used with my students and thought I would share with you. Have fun exploring!

Surrealist Painter

Etch-A-Sketch Online


Tessellation Town

Getty Games

Destination Modern Art


The Artist's Tool-kit


Hands On Crafts

Art Safari

Art Jungle

Still Life


Matisse For Kids

Arty Factory

Color With Leo

I Know That!

Greek Pot Painter

Architect Studio 3D

Super Crayon







Mark Kistler Imagination Station


NGA Kids


MR. PICASSSOHEAD (warning here - there have been "nasties" in the gallery)


Learn to Draw With Gary Harbo



Pointillism Practice Page








Waltee's Quest



Warhol's World


Sumo Paint


Surreal Painter


Sketch & Paint




Haring Kids

Art Express

Art Institute Of Chicago


BBC Kids' Site

Color With Leo

Detail Detective

Cake Maker

More to come!