Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art room. Show all posts

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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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

In the Art Room: More Art Room Decor!


Well, hey there, strangers! It's been a beat since I last chatted with you here. I've been away in Seattle at the art teacherin' conference and took a short hiatus from blogging. BUT now I'm back. You're welcome.
As y'all know, I've been on an Art Room Redecorating Bender since the start of this school year. And I've not slowed down. I realized the other day that I'd crafted and hung a bunch of new things in my room and I'd failed to post 'em here. Of course, I OVERSHARE here...in case you need more crazy in your life. 
 Let's start here, shall we? This is the main entrance/exit to my art room (I also have an exterior door, an office door and a side door. I'm very door-y) and this here is a view from the inside. That fuzzy thing you see thru the window is the Rainbow Wreath that hangs on my door and beyond that is our giant It's Okay to be Different mural. I've long since had this saying on my door but the original was simply hand written on a piece of laminated poster. It was started to look sad and faded. And, while I loved the message, I hated the sign. So I painted a version and it's now on my door. The mermaid was one I found at the Nashville Flea Market (a must go to if you are ever in town...last weekend of every month!). Originally she had a blue tail and blond hair. I was going to hang her in my house but she never seemed to look right anywhere. One night I painted her all rainbow-y and now she loves above my doorway! 
Right next to my Rainbow Mermaid and my door, I hung this chalkboard and my heart sculpture.
 I found this chalkboard on the cheap at my local craft store. I've always wanted a chalkboard but was afraid the kids would wipe off what I had written...so I picked up some chalkboard markers! My plan is to change the sign up every now and then...but my money is on me leaving this up until the end of the year. 
 Every since making this heart, inspired by artist Chris Uphues, I've wanted to hang it up. You can find a complete video tutorial on how to make a heart with wings right here
 Now, I know what you are thinking...how are you getting these things to stay on your walls/doors?! Okay, my secret is: Command Velcro Strips. Y'all, they are THE BEST. I use them for nearly everything on my walls and nothing ever falls. I go for the 16 lbs Velcro just to make sure everything stays anchored. 
 This canvas was one that I had previously painted some other nonsense on and decided to paint over it. I added chalkboard paint to the middle so that I could change up the signage. Again, my money is that my lazy butt never gets to it. I hung it one Storage Closet of Horrors #1. My painting was inspired by Rifle Paper Company. 
 You can also find a PDF of my ART sign here, if you'd like! I painted those right before the school year started. 
 K, so I actually HAVE been cleaning out my closets and pitching MOUNTAINS of junk...but I still have so much to do. Being in a space for 12 years AND being a natural born slob/hoarder means you acquire some stuff. One fun find was a huge bin of magnetic letters. I've been leaving messages for the kids above every door. Info on my tints and shades sign can be found here. 
 Speaking of finding stuff...I discovered that I had several of these blank wooden plaques. One night I painted a Matisse-esque background for a SMILE sign. I hung it on the small sliver of wall space that I have left near my Roy G. Biv paintbrush wall
 This area of my art room, I call The Store as that's where the kids go to gather their art supplies. You can learn more about Art Teachers in Training here (we no longer use badges but aprons) and more about The Store here
 Some seriously sweet artists have gifted me amazing artwork. I want to look at it all the time...so I decided to hang it in a prominate place in my art room. 
 It makes me all kinds of happy. Let me share who made what because each is a seller of their work. The Tennessee sign is from @artroomantics and she can paint any state you like. Chris Uphues, who I mentioned early, sent me the poster of a rainbow from an exhibit of his. Joy makes all kinds of amazing things from customized stationary to my Broken Crayons Still Color sign! My INSANELY motivated buddy Jennifer has been creating a painting EVERY DAY for the last several years...and painted that portrait of me as a super woman. My buddy Stephanie stitched the Small World. 
And my friend Ashley, who is INSANELY talented, made this caricature of me. You can commission her to make one of you too, my buddy Virginia just had one made and it is amazing! 
 One night I slapped some paint on more of those wooden plaque thingies and made this...
One of my favorite books and one of my favorite messages. Right now, it's sitting here but I do think I'll hang it properly soon. As soon as I find some wall space. 
Remember that flea market I told you about? Well, I found this amazing work of art there. The artist sold it to me for $5! I added orange to the frame so that it would pop as the original color matched my walls. 
Also at the flea market, I found these! They actually open and close and I've been using them to talk to the kids about scissor safety. It's pretty hilarious. I did punch them up a bit with some silver and red spray paint. 
I attached them to the wall with some velcro strips so that I can take them down easily. Also new: I spray painted my magazine rack to look like a rainbow! That was gifted to me when another teacher moved away. Not sure what they'll hold. Also, I spray painted my storage bins by grade level...just need to get the teacher names on them. The big clipboard was a thrift store find. My idea is that it can be a drawing center for my early finishers. 

Whew! So, that's all that's new. Thank you for letting me share a tour!
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Sunday, March 4, 2018

DIY: Do it Yourself Crayola Bins!

Yay! I made something for my art room! It's been, like, 10 minutes, since I last made something for my most favoritest space, so why not, right?!
I'm currently on an All-Things-Rainbows bender and let's just hope I like it for a VERY long time. It had been YEARS since I'd moved in to my art room (nearly 15!) and I hadn't really changed anything until this year...meaning, I just kept piling poster on top of poster until it was just a cluttered disaster. This past summer, I tore it all down and told myself I was redecorating, rearranging and organizing the entire space. Six months later, I'm STILL in the middle of it all but I can't tell you how excited I am everyday when I walk into my art room. In fact, I've been spending entirely too many Sundays in my art room, sprucing the place up. Now that I've got the revamp bug, I'm looking forward to tackling my home this summer. But, I'm getting off track. Crayola bins!
 I was inspired to create these bins after someone shared THESE bins with me:

They sell these online nearly everywhere if you just search Crayola Bin: Bed, Bath and Beyond, Amazon, Target, you name it. However, every place sold them for $14.95...EACH. I was like, surely that can't be right. That's gotta be 15 smackers for three of them? Nope. Each, y'all. There was no way I was gonna shell out that kind of dough even if they are as cute as can be. 
 On a recent trip to Target, I found these colorful bins for $4 each. I bought one of every color they had (why no yellow and orange, Target?) and decided to make my own. 
I created a poster board template and painted each with acrylic paint. Not super sure if that was the best move as the fabric soaked up the paint...it was like painting on a sponge. It was time consuming but I do love them so.
 I have the perfect shelf for them in my art room in my fiber arts area. I'm thinking they could hold our fiber arts supplies like small looms, yarn, felt...not super sure yet, but when I find something, I'll have the cutest bins to store 'em in!
When I shared in my Instagram, several folks shared other ideas: use black felt and glue that one; create a screen print with freezer paper; use a Cricket cutter to make the design. All super duper ideas! 
I hope my kiddos love these as much as I do! 
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

In the Art Room: Art Room Tour Before and After (Part 1)

In this blog post, I'll be sharing a lot of images from my art room over the years. This image is from a post about my New Years Art Teacherin' Resolutions from 2016. Check it out if you'd like to see how I created my art room placemats!

Over the summer, I dropped by my art room to grab some things and I saw my art room with fresh eyes. The above was my view. And all I could think was: LOOK AT ALL OF THIS VISUAL CLUTTER! One of the posters was falling down (as all things do on those cinder block walls) and it inspired me. Before I could stop myself, I was tearing it ALL down until the wall was blank. Hearing the commotion, my custodian buddy, Mr. Joe, walks in and asks me what I'm doing. Decluttering! Like you always tell me to do! 

"Yeah, but now what are you going to put there?"

I had no idea. But I did know that it was definitely going to be more visually pleasing and less visually noisy than what had been there before. 
And here is what that space looks like now, after much work. I moved my demo/document camera table so that it is now perpendicular to the wall. This allows me to create and not have my back to the kids while doing so (never a good idea, amirite?!). I created the giant color wheel with wooden oars; repurposed the thrift store cart with pencils and it now holds the artwork of the classes I see on that particular day; I came up with a new set of rules and had a blast painting them (downloadable PDF here) and hung some fun folk art along with my paintings. 
 With my 30 minute art classes with my younger students (1st and 2nd grade) and my doubled up classes with my older students (which allows me to have them for an hour), getting in, seated and settled right away is really important. I've always used taped lines on the floor to create rows. However, my older kids, believe it or not, need seat spots. These are not assigned spots...just so they know to fill up all the space we can to make room for everyone. The spots are die-cut circles with clear packing tape on top. They've really helped speed up our walk-in, sit-down process.
 Of course, I've gotten the rainbow-bug so all things in my art room have been rainbow-ized. Including my demo table! When I saw this cute bunting at Target, I had to get it. The rainbow peace lamp is from Walmart and the pattern pencil cups were created by me. I still use my Happy/Sad Board...it's my old standby and the kids respond well to it. 
For Christmas, my mama got me this amazing chair from IKEA which I hose down with Scotch Guard twice a day. Seriously, I love it! I'm afraid it will be my messy hands that will mess it up! Let's take a look at this area before...
Check out a blog post all about the first days of school in my art room, here

When I first began teaching at my school, close to 15 years ago (I taught for 5 years in Nashville prior to my current school-home) I used to spend my summers decorating my art room. Seriously. I'd drive in at 8am, work through lunch and leave at 3:30 when they kicked me out. Every.Day.Of.My.Summer. I would pick a cultural theme that we were to study and completely transform my art room into that environment. That was pre-blogging days but I do have a couple images from then (will share in a moment). At the time, I had this kind of freaked-out perfectionist mentality. It made it so that my room was sweet but I was burnt to a crisp when August rolled around. Over the last several summers, I've hardly gone in to my room at all...which is good, that's how it should be! But at the same time, my art room started to get neglected and feel stale. Posters had been up for ages. It had the look of an art room where the art teacher had lost interested. At least according to me. Here's how this space has now changed:
When I was given a large TV and a document camera, it was installed in an area of the room where I never used to do my instruction. So that took some adjusting. Previously, I did all my instructing in front of my giant dry erase board which is further in my art room (scroll down to see...might help you visualize the lay of the art teacherin' land). That dry erase board was super because I could draw, demo, hang examples and reference it all day long. In this new spot, I'm trying to add more demo and writing space without adding junk as is my usual MO. So, with Command Velcro Strips, I hung both this dry erase board and this painted cork board on the doors of my kiln room and my storage closet. I created the Crayon Color Family Display this summer with the help of my mother in law and the kids LOVE it. Along with my giant color wheel, it has made a huge difference in them retaining color theory information. I also had big fun painting my Tints and Shade pencils as well as my Gradation one. 
Just to the left of my Gradation sign are these colorful plants! I found these laser cut wooden flowers at Target a while back and had no plans for them. Then one day on a whim, I painted them in rainbow order and hung them above my kiln room window. 
 Images from this post about the first days of school in my art room.

When my students enter my art room, this used to be their view. It's changed so much! Before we talk about that area behind the gong, let's chat about what I call The Masterpiece Gallery
This is an image of what that area used to look like. By the way, the dry erase board is for our game that we sometimes play called The Smartest Artist. Back to the gallery: when I first started at my school all those years ago, this was one of the first things I did: create this gallery. You know all of those drawings the kids create at home? This is where I hang them. The window looks directly into my office (yeah, I have an office...not that it even remotely resembles anything other than a huge dumping ground but I'm working on it!). I painted it many years ago with window paint. I scored the frames from the thrift store and backed them with cardboard, cork and fabric, in that order. I love this space but it has also seen some change:
Because I really wanted to introduce my students to sketchbooks this year, I knew I had to figure out storage. I picked up a bookshelf from an abandoned classroom and gave it a painted makeover. 
Since creating this space and this sketchbook system, I've already made changes! If you read the sketchbook post, you'll see how I formally had the kids pass out the sketchbooks. It was a decent system and it worked...but this past week, I came up with something even better. So, soon, those book bins will be empty. More storage for something else. I'll share the new process with y'all super soon.
Read my original post about sketchbooks with kids here

This space in my art room, just past my instructional space, ALWAYS sees change. Remember when I said that I often change the area to match the culture we were learning about? Here is what it has looked like in the past:
 One year, we "traveled" to Paris...
Another, Ancient Egypt. 
 And Mexico to name a few. 

But recently, I decided that I didn't want to have one culture dominate my art room for the entire year. So now I present cultures with videos, books and artifacts. This also means I don't have to start all over every summer and redecorate this space. When I got an email fro Treetopia this year, asking me if I'd like a rainbow tree for my art room, I jumped at the chance...but knew I'd have to make the surrounding area just as awesome. So I washed the Rousseau-inspired tiger off my window, painted my wall, painted my GONG(!) and got new flooring. Here's the before, right when I got my tree up:
And after:
The kids FLIPPED.OUT. when they saw this new area. I'm so excited by all of the color. The winter afternoon sun has had a habit of blasting through that window and making it hard for the kids to see. So I have since changed the space even more...
By adding curtains! I've also hung up our "I Am" collaborative which makes me all kinds of warm and fuzzy. Folks have been asking me lately about my aprons. We hang them on Command Hooks under the window. I accidentally ordered them via a website online...I had ordered adult aprons for a workshop but these were way too small! So I brought them to the art room and we've been using them since. The kids do have to help each other when tying them but I see that as good practice. 
The curtains were easy to make: I had this amazing IKEA fabric in my stash and just hemmed and hung with an extension rod.
I've been working so hard on a fun space for my early finishers this year...a space that provides more than just the usual books, dry erase boards and blocks. I'm tweaking this area every week and adding more things almost daily. The kids LOVE it! You can read more about my early finisher activities and policies here and here. By the way, I have been getting a lot of questions about my art room placemats. I made them...you can find out the details here
I have the Fire Marshall to thank for a lot of my redecorating (insert side eye). No more hanging things from the ceiling, she said. Boo! At the start of the school year, my cute crayons and other ceiling decorations all came down. You can check out how I made that big ART sign here
That left my space so bare! As a lot of you know, this table is my Art Supply Store. After giving lesson instructions, this is where my students "shop" for their individual supplies like paper, paint brushes, you name it. That large wooden drying rack has since been moved into my office which is right behind that door. I'm hoping to add a pegboard to hold supplies in it's place. 
I created this Roy G. Biv wall display with Duct tape, paint brushes and letters. By the way, Duct tape has become my fave go-to decorating tool...I've used it so much in my art room. 
 It's funny, as I continue to see what works and what does not, the coat rack has stopped holding my Art Teachers in Training aprons but actual coats and jackets on days when we are painting. Here's that area currently:
That little chalkboard sign is from Hobby Lobby. 
I don't have much of a before photo of my cabinets as they've pretty much just always been cabinets. This whole area of my art room, the counter space, is definitely under construction. I would love to have pegboard added either under the cupboard or at my "store" area. Regardless, the only thing I'm happy with here are my Alphabet Cabinets
Art room set up on the first day for our Escape Game.

Yep, the Fire Marshall wasn't a fan of the paper chains and all the rest I had hanging from the ceiling. When I took it down, I took down a ton of other stuff too. I also had a sweet and kind friend of the school custom build me a shelving unit to go right under my dry erase board area. I had always thought was a waste that space was...and I now have all of these fabulous shelves for our supplies!
I used to color code my tables with bulletin board paper. That got to be too much to change out and keep up with...so my alternative was to place Duct tape on the edge of the tables and it has been working perfectly! If you look closely, you'll see the new shelving under my dry erase board. That board now serves as my I Can statement wall.
The baskets are from the Dollar tree. They didn't have all of the colors to allow me to color code them...so, if you look at my labels, you'll see I color coded them.
Above my dry erase board, I created this line display with...Duct tape! I also made that clock a while back with paint samples. 
 These trashcans are ones I brought from home. The art room ones are so small! And I'm always moving them around and unable to find them when I need them. So I decided to color code them and keep them at the end of each corresponding tables. 
Now I keep the cans and the drying racks at the end of each group of two tables...and I love it. Although I STILL get the question: Where is the trashcan?
I swear, this is the year of trying new things...and one that I'm really excited about are my seat sacks. I found some at the Dollar Tree...but they didn't have a rainbow so I had to make my own! 
And, yes, they've already gotten paint on them. It is an art room, after all!
In this area of my art room, I also have two new things: the Blabber Brush behavior system and my Color Mixing Spray Paint Cans!

One of my most favorite things in my art room has always been my Art History Wall. I had had it up FOR YEARS...and was over it. The art history wall was rarely visited or seen by my students. So I decided to take it down and replaced it with this:
My It's a Small World mural! This new area makes everyone smile. I even painted a broken globe to fit right in. 
This bookcase is new too...another abandoned find. I'll share more about the supplies on this shelf soon...I'm still working out the kinks on this system.
So...the REAL reason for sharing all of this with you? Honestly? BECAUSE I'M SO FRUSTRATED. Every morning when I walk in my room and I just see all the projects that I want to accomplish to make my art room as fun and exciting (and clutter free) as it can be for my young artists. I shared my anxiety recently with a coworker and she said, "Are you kidding?! Look at everything you've done so far!!" That's when I realized just how hard I had been working...and that there was progress. 

At the start of the year, I knew I would want to make changes, so many changes, and I told myself: go easy, take it slow, change what doesn't work, keep what does. I can often get excited, ahead of myself and frustrated. Seeing all of the changes I've made in one VERY LONG blog post has made me happy...I am working hard. I still have so much to do but it's like eating an elephant: one bite at a time. 

So, what's next? I want to create an early finishers fibers area as I have started to do in the photo above. I want to create an area where the kids can take photos of their art work and upload to Artsonia independently. I want to create binders for each table that will have idea sheets and drawing prompts. I have already purchased supply carts for each table (they have not arrived yet, will share soon) so that the kids can get their own supplies and I don't have to hustle to have everything out. And I really REALLY want to tackle that counter, my cabinets and my closets. 

Do you see why I get overwhelmed?! 

But I'm getting there...and I'm so happy I decided to scrap the old this year. It's really been making going to school every day and teaching in a bright, colorful and less cluttered place so much better.

Thank you for dropping by this VERY long-winded blog post! xo!
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