Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cassie stephens. Show all posts

Sunday, April 22, 2018

In the Art Room: Fourth Annual Chalked Ceiling Tile Event!

Well, here we are...it's that time of the year, y'all. Time for ALL THE THINGS TO HAPPEN ALL AT ONCE: Clay Week, Art Show Prep and our fourth annual Chalked Ceiling Tile Event!
 That's right...it's been four years now that my second grade kiddos have created legacy ceiling tiles to be permanently displaced in the ceiling of our school. What started out as an "alternative project" has quickly become a school-favorite and an annual event. You see, four years ago, I had a visiting sidewalk chalk artist come to our school with the idea that my students would also chalk outside right along with her. But on the big day, rain was in the forecast so we had to improvise. My admin had been requesting painted ceiling tiles...knowing that, I had my custodian buddy Mr. Scruggs (see here!) get me a tile and I played around with drawing on it. After fiddling with the front of the tile, I realized that the back actually worked better as it wasn't as porous. And that's how our Chalked Ceiling Tile Event was born. You can read all about our first event here and here
So what do you need for an event like this? The following supplies:

* Faber-Castell Chalk I used to swear by a brand called KOSS but I can no longer find it. So we started using Faber-Castell and it turns out I like it better! The colors are so vibrant and the shorter size is perfect for my student's hands.

* Ceiling Tiles We always have a ton on hand as we do this every year. We ALWAYS use the backside of the tile. One tile per kiddo.

* Foam Brushes These ceiling tiles are huge and would be much too difficult for the kids to blend colors with their bare hands. We use foam brushes for blending. I've had the same set of brushes for years now.

* Baby Wipes This is a messy task, not gonna lie. But with me being in charge of four classes of second graders, I'm not about to let them all loose on the bathrooms. So baby wipes it is!

* Bulletin Board Paper Again, this is messy...like having rainbow dust everywhere. So we try our hardest to control that by putting paper down on the floor of the multi-purpose room.

* Hairspray I always fix the tiles when we are finished by dousing them in hairspray. It will dull the colors slightly. However, the spray doesn't matter too much...the tiles are in the ceiling and therefore no one will be able to touch them and cause them to smear. 
So, how does it work? Well, I usually create a video to walk the kiddos through the process. This saves my voice in a loud space like this big room. I block out about an hour and a half to two hours of time for the kids to spend on their piece. I pool all of my second grade classes together and, well, we just go for it! It's loud, messy but beautiful and so much fun!
 Usually the classroom teachers will take 30 minute shifts during this time or my specials team will help out. Really tho, it's an easy event. Once all the kids are rolling and understand what to do, it's just fun to watch them roll up their sleeves and create. 
 Every year, we do something a little different. Our first year, we did the butterflies. The following year, we created flowers and last year, we made fish! You can watch the action here:
Here's the video I used to teach last year's tile: 
This year, Ms. Rebecca, our cafeteria manager, has requested healthy foods for the ceiling tiles. We're going to be creating fruits for our tiles...you'll have to stay tuned to see how they look!
  These tiles will remain on permanent display. I've been asked before how the kids react to this, knowing that they won't get their artwork back. We spend a lot of time chatting about what a legacy is and how important it is to "leave your mark". I've not had a student yet get upset about having their work up in the ceiling.
The only wear I've noticed from the tiles is some slight fading on the first year's butterflies...but I think that is hardly noticeable. Thankfully, Mr. Scruggs loves to hang these tiles. I hung the ones that are up in my art room and I ended up with a ton of chalk in my eyes! 
 He does a beautiful job of spacing these out and getting them up!
 On top of this big event, I also have first graders painting their clay projects and third graders FINALLY finishing their plaster crayons...the art show is quickly approaching so we are in "wrap it up" mode. 
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Sunday, April 15, 2018

In the Art Room: An Art Class Playlist!

A while back, I shared with y'all a playlist for art teachers (read, not for the kiddos) which you can find here. I have been meaning to create an art class playlist forever...and I finally did it. Y'all, it is my new favorite addition to the art room! I've been working on this playlist for sometime and I'm finally ready to share. It's a growing list...and I love thinking of new songs to add. I did have a couple of rules for this playlist:
1. It had to be songs I liked. No cheesy baby-ish songs, sorry. I don't want to spend my days listening to stuff that makes my ears bleed. 
2. It had to be a variety of genres. Still working on that one but I did try to touch on different genres and eras.
3. It had to be classics. The kids need to hear Michael Jackson, Elvis and They Might Be Giants, right?! I'm schoolin' them. 

How do I play these tunes? I created an Art Class Rocks playlist on my iTunes account. Then I simply connect my phone to my UE Boom speaker (the sound this thing pumps out is BANANAS! And, of course mine has to be super cute). I love that I can keep my phone in my pocket to adjust the volume, skip or silence a song when needed. Now, let's get to that list!
In no particular order...
1. Journey's Don't Stop Believing. I want the songs on my list to inspire my students and what better mantra than Don't Stop Believing?
2. Smash Mouth's All Star. The lyrics are so awesome...I wish more songs like this were played on the radio today!
3. They Might Be Giant's High Five. Disco in the art room is how this song feels. I love it because when it comes on, we all take a high five break!
4. They Might Be Giant's Roy G. Biv. Gotta throw some educational songs into the mix.
5. Celebration by Kool and the Gang. I remember my mom playing this song on the record player loud and proud. It always makes me happy. I played it for first grade the other day and was told it was "old school". It really is!
6. We Are Family by Sister Sledge. I am always trying to emphasis that we are family in the art room...this song helps!
7. REM's Shiny Happy People. Seriously...why aren't songs like this on the radio right now? LOVE this video too.
8. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive by Jonny Mercer. This song is one of my all time favorites. And what a message. 
9. Sly and the Family Stone's Everyday People. You cannot go wrong with Sly. I used to play this record for the kids all the time. 
10. Thank You by Sly and the Family Stone is another favorite of mine. "Thank you for letting me be myself...again." So good!
11. Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club. Fun fact about this video, James Rizzi was the illustrator! This song has such a great beat, the kids and I love it.
12. Van Halen's Right Now. I just love classic rock and I think everyone should too. PLUS such great lyrics, again!
13. Love Train by the O'Jays. More old school for the kiddos.
14. In college, I went to see these guys and I swear the lead singer inspired me with her fun and funky style. Grove is in the Heart by Dee-Lite.
15. Europe's the Final Countdown is my favorite way to let the kids know we have five minutes until clean up. It cracks me up every time.
16. The ENTIRE soundtrack from The Big Chill is worthy of any art room. Here's what you'll hear: Marvin Gaye's Grapevine, The Temptation's My Girl, The Rascal's Good Lovin', Smokey Robinson's Track of my Tears...just to name a few. My favorite?
17. Three Dog Night's Joy to the World is my favorite from The Big Chill soundtrack. 
18. This one was my favorite as a kid...so why not play it now? Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Wanna Have fun.
19. I love the lyrics in this song so much. Labrinth's Express Yourself.
20. The Beatles could be played all day long...I mean, really. Yellow Submarine is just one that made my playlist.
21. I love the B-52's. This song is one of my faves.
22. Say what you will about disco and ABBA but I love a song that you can dance to. So do the kiddos!
23. This song is a classroom staple as are most of the songs from Scratch Garden.
24. Having some more calm songs in the mix always helps. Variety is good.
25. I'm a HUGE fan of the Blues Brothers, being from Joliet and all. I have the whole album and this is just one of the songs I play from it.
26. Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart because it's a great song. 
27. Since you all know I love me some call and response, then you know I had to add some songs that require the kids to sing back too. This is Otis Day but the Isley Brothers sing it as well.
28. No playlist is complete without some of the Jacksons or just MJ himself. 
29. I live in Tennessee, y'all. It would be a crime not to play some Elvis!
30. Don't ask me how Cab Calloway's Minnie the Moocher became our unofficial clean up song but THE KIDS LOVE IT. 

What's on your art room playlist?! LOVE more suggestions. I'll share a Part 2 of this list in an upcoming blog post!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

DIY: Confetti Cowl

I feel like I've not chatted with y'all in FOREVER but...if you follow me on Instagram then you know I'm currently BURIED ALIVE under clay projects with no end in site. I'm so excited about the projects they are working on...our theme is Super Heroes and their artwork is so fun. I'll be sure to share them with you super soon. Until then...

No need to adjust your T.V., this is not a rerun. I literally just knitted the same cowl twice with a different color of yarn. Cuz why not? Let's face it, what the world needs now are more cowls. Confetti ones to be exact. 
Unlike my last knitted cowl, this one required two skeins of yarn. This yarn was thicker and less of it was in a skein. It didn't seem to take any longer than the last. Knitting is my favorite thing to do when we hit the road, travel or late at night when I just wanna watch more stories and relax. Now that we are FINALLY approaching spring, I guess I'll have to put my knitting of cowls aside but I have loved doing it. 
Putting them on and taking them off is always an adventure in face-makin'. 
My favorite place for late night knitting is the couch in my newly flipped bonus room/art studio. This happy pillow from Target reminded me of Small World and y'all know I love that! 
If you'd like to see more about my Small World mural, you can find it here
The best part about making a cowl is how easy it is! You literally just knit a short and wide scarf that you whipstitch together. It's a weekend project, really...if you either knit super fast or knit all weekend long. 
With our crazy Tennessee spring, I should have plenty of chances to wear the cowl...while it's 70 today, it's supposed to drop down to chilly temps by Sunday. This means I have the perfect thing to keep the chills away. Happy Friday, y'all! 

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

In the Art Room: Heather Galler Inspired Bouquets by Second Grade

 Hello, friends! I'm here today to do some oversharing of my second grade masterpieces as they are giving me so much LIFE! Both my young artists and I are beyond excited with how our Heather Galler-inspired masterpieces have turned out. These works of art are HUGE as we created them on 18" X 24" tagboard. I cannot wait to share them at our upcoming art show. Here's the video lesson I created for y'all to explain the process:
I only see my second grade kiddos for 30 minutes, twice a week. On our first day together, we managed to knock this out:
 This lesson could easily be done on a much smaller scale. However, while going through our pieces for the art show, I realized that my students had yet to do a BIG show stopper. Many of the second grade works of art were on the smaller side. I knew I wanted one piece that they would be super proud of. So this big masterpieces were destined to happen.
As y'all know, I have a slight bingo dauber addiction. I have created so many lessons based on my new favorite art room tool! You can find lessons where my third grade students created our school mascot; my first graders created Britto hearts and my kindergarten kids created pigeons and TWO alphabet paintings which can be found here and here
 On our second 30 minute art class, we started to add color to the flowers with both our florescent oil pastels (my favorites are made by Sargent) and liquid watercolor. I don't normally bust out the liquid watercolor but for this big scale, I knew my pan watercolors would just not do. 
 The following two art classes, we wrapped these bad boys up. The kids were THRILLED with their hard work! And so was I.
 But, like I said, this project would have worked out just as beautifully on a smaller scale. In fact, I'm so tempted to do the same lesson with my fourth grade students!
 Some of my students decided to leave their tables or vases unpainted and black and white. I loved their work no matter what they decided.
 These paintings were so much fun to create....we played loud music and even did a little dancing while painting. Who wouldn't be happy while working on these. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my kiddos in action. 

 Our art show is now a little over a month away. I will be keeping you posted on our progress. These will be such a beautiful addition to our show!
 When working so large, my students really had to spread out. 
 Can we talk paper for a hot second? I LOVE tagboard, it can easily withstand the weight of the ink that we filled the bingo daubers with as well as the watercolor paint.
 As did the poster board. The only problem was that the shiny side of the poster board did not take to the paint as well as the matte side. Just something to keep in mind. 

 Of course, those kind of papers can be costly. So I would recommend 80lbs. paper. That's what I always order in reams of 500.
 As far as watercolor paint goes, I have found that the paint I get from Sax works just as well as the other brands...I've yet to find a favorite as each is very vibrant. How about y'all?
 I get A LOT of questions about the bingo daubers...y'all! They are my fave but are probably on backorder everywhere as I've told everyone to get some. Try just searching "bingo daubers"on The Google and see what pops up. I fill mine with diluted India ink...I have no favorite brand of ink, they all seem to be great. 
 LOVE to know if you are doing this lesson. Please be sure and tag me if you share on social media!

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

In the Art Room: Walk Around the Room

 Did you know that today is National Walk Around Things Day?! Me neither! That is, not until I checked my calendar. What is this day? Well, apparently, it's open to interpretation...personally, I thought it sounded like a fun way to get the kids up, moving, doing something new AND having them search for mini-masterpieces by the artist we are currently learning about: Vincent van Gogh! Here's how I introduced Walk Around Things Day and this hunt to my first graders: 
Y'all, this was so much fun and so interactive! When I explained what they were to do, one of my students said, "like an Easter egg hunt, but for Vincent van Gogh!" My fourth graders are also learning about van Gogh and I did the same activity with them. Because I have doubled up fourth grade classes, I skipped over the "walking around like a giant bit"...I'm certain they would have loved it but I know my crowd: they are a little wild. I can only give the a little bit of leash, if you know what I mean. So, instead, we reviewed what we knew about van Gogh before going on our hunt. I managed to snap one photo of the fourthies as they walked around the art room. 
When they returned to the floor with our found masterpieces, We chatted about them. This lead to many more discussions about van Gogh as well as the difference between a still-life, a land and seascape and portrait vs. self-portrait. After this bit of moving around, we were ready to settle in to our lesson for the day. What a great way to get moving, thanks National Walk Around the Things Day! We'll have to do it more often!

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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

DIY: Creating a Home Studio

 The second big project on my Spring Break To Do List was carving out this brand new home studio space! This was the second big endeavor I set out to accomplish over my break (check out the others here and here) and I'm so excited with how it turned out. This room is our bonus room (dubbed the "bogus" room by me for years as I literally just piled stuff in it!) and it sits right above our garage. It's a big space and filled with light and windows. This room serves many purposes: it's my yoga studio on the 3 times a year I decide to practice; it's a book writing space; a lesson planning and video recording spot and where I host Facebook and Instagram LIVE every Wednesday night at 8pm, CST. While it's always had many jobs, I never felt like this space was my actual studio. My drafting table was in another part of our house and my art supplies were scattered about. Over break, I decided to change all of that.  
 I started by clearing out the accent chairs and the end table that previously sat in this space. If you'd like to take a tour of my bonus room, you can see it all right here. Those chairs are now sitting in a heap in my front room...another space that I've yet to figure out. And, before you ask, no, we didn't just move in to our home. I'm just a VERY SLOW decorator/figure-er out of life-r. I then moved my 1940's drafting table to this space. 
Let's talk about my drafting table for a minute. I scored it a couple of years ago from a Craigslist seller. I had always wanted one after I broke mine in college (how does one break an iron drafting table? These are questions only those in college under the influence of Zima can answer). The vintage light was an ebay find. 
Despite the fact that I like ALL OF THE COLORS  I'm trying to approach decorating my home in a less crazy manner. For that reason, when deciding on framed pegboard and an accent color, despite my knee jerk reaction, I decided to go with ONE accent color...not ALL the accent colors. Yellow was my color of choice. I thought it was bright, happy and would compliment the slate gray of the curtains. My vintage desk lamp was originally gray. After priming it with a white spray paint, I hosed it down with a sunshine yellow. It makes me so happy!
 Now let's talk pegboards. After I decided I wanted to hang pegboards up, I thought they would look better framed. Since this in my house and not my garage, I just thought it would elevate the look. I am a hoarder of all things but frames in particular. When I found three in my stash that would work, I took them with me to the hardware store to have pegboard cut to size. Why not just measure them, you ask? Well because the frames are a touch wonky. I wanted them to be certain the pegboard would fit. I'm glad I did...each pegboard had to be trimmed down at least two times before they fit the frame. 
While at the hardware, they had a couple of pegboard kits. These came with the supplies needed to hang the boards and the hooks for supplies. 
 Here's my advice for hanging pegboard...and take this with a hunk of salt as I'm not handy AT ALL: hang the frames with a heavy duty hook. I happened to have these Monkey Tail hooks that could hold up to 20 lbs. They slide right in to the wall and work fabulously. 
 Now you can't put the frames right up to the wall. You'll need a little bit of space in the back for the backside of the hook. The pegboard kits I purchased came with long screws and a bumper. The bumper goes in the back and forces the frame to sit some distance from the wall. 
 When putting in the screws, you'll want to be sure to put add them to the stud. This will further anchor your pegboard so that the weight doesn't cause it to simply fall off your wall. I used this cheapo thing called a Stud Buddy (heehee) and it worked great at helping me find the studs. It's really just a high powered magnet that finds the nails in the studs. 
 The baskets were a purchase from Target and work great at holding my small bottles of paint. I hate having all of those bottles of paint laying around on tables...this seems to be such a colorful solution.
 As for the tubes of acrylic, I decided to hang them store-style.
 I'm such a visual person who loves to have EVERYTHING OUT so I can see what I've got. These pegboards allow me to do this without having a mess of stuff all over the place. 
 The added bonus is that I can change the configuration of the arrangement at any time. Now I want WALL TO WALL PEGBOARD: for my jewelry, for my sewing room, for my LIFE. 
I also have a stand alone easel that I'm contemplating bringing up to this space also. 
 I did purchase a drop cloth to go under my table as I really don't want to mess up the hardwood floors any more than I already have (ahem). You can see the drop cloth in the basket I've got hanging from the table.
Eee!! Y'all don't even know how happy this new space makes me!
Do you have a home studio space? In what part of your home is it in? What are your favorite parts of your space? I'd love to hear! 
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