Friday, August 30, 2013

Spotlight on Art...

We all would love for more people to know about what our kiddo's are doing in our art rooms. 
But we are also busy people.

It is the time of year when I am re-writing our Spotlight on Art master calendar and I just HAVE to share this awesome advocacy piece.  At our summer art workshop a few years ago we were discussing how we could get more artwork out into the community.  We discussed billboards, traveling art exhibits, art websites and "something in the newspaper."  

We worked through a few ideas but quickly realized they were very time consuming or limiting in their ability to share what our kids are creating.  

HOWEVER we did find one BIG WINNER!  

Our local paper The Norfolk Daily News has been running Spotlight on Art weekly for two years.  It is awesome.  Every school in Norfolk (pop. 24,000) is assigned a few weeks of the year.  The art teacher from each school is required to send their art images to the City Page Editor along with a short blurb about what the lesson was.  The newspaper then runs a COLOR image with the write up... for FREE!

Here are a few of my middle school images...
I am so proud (lucky) to be a part of our community.  

As art teachers we came up with the idea and thought "why not ask?"  It is now a favorite highlight of the paper.  It takes a few minutes every few months to send in your images and all the readers love to see it.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Computer Art take 2

My students are handing in their finished posters.

I love them... their picture choices and their wording.

I am glad we started with something so simple.  For this being the start of the school year it is very obvious who remembers how to download, save things, name things and upload things... and who needs some more time.  

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day One Computer Art

My 6th graders have a "bonus" day of art for 9 weeks a year.  I try to have them create computer generated art but 9 weeks is a really short time to learn much in way of super technical programs.  Today is my first class meeting and we will creating a poster.
I am going to read them the book I Am an Artist by Pat Lowery Collins.  It is a nice little book that points out that we can be artists even when we aren't painting or drawing.  We are then going to the computer lab where they will search for images that would work in their "I Am an Artist" poster.  Here is my finished example.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A little Auction Action

This weekend I went to an auction.  I was hoping to get a few vintage table clothes for a "at home" project I have in mind. $31.72 later I left with a TRUCK LOAD of stuff.  Things were going ridiculously cheap and I couldn't say no.  I even ended up with a few things for my classroom.  
a box of yarn that "came free" with the $1 crystal bowl I bought for my mom

a tote full of k'nex for the free time corner that I paid $1 for

several lace table clothes that I am going to use when the 5th graders make clay "lace trivets." 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Don't tell my husband...

But I am in LOVE!

I decided this year I would create a packet of information for my 5th graders.  It turned out to be 12 pages.  I headed up to school Sunday night to make copies as I didn't want to tie up the machine during the week...
300 students X 12 sheets each = a long time!
I am in love with our new copier.  It printed the pages front and back, collated them AND stapled them together!  

I had to stop in every so often to remove the copies from the machine but I now have all 315 packets ready to go!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thanks Jessica...

Just finished my first online, interactive nightime meeting and it was AWESOME!

Jessica Balsley at the Art of Ed hosted a quick webinar tonight about writing SLO's.
It was so relevant and so easy to understand.  Needless to say I will be doing a better job at writing my SLO's this year and I can't wait to share at my districts first PLC.

If you have never checked out the Art of Ed.... go there NOW!

Thank you Jessica!
  (and Derek Balsley... the king of all thing computer)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Official Welcome Back!

sign that I painted at the end of last school year to use up the last little bit of paint in all the gallon containers.

We are up and running for the year.  Tomorrow is a full week of school under out belts so it is probably time for me to share a few of the "new" things I did in my class room this year!

a mirror outside of my classroom... this is where I put the spotlight artist information but for now it is a mirror, because every student who enters my room should see that they are an artist!

our old paper recycling chart redesigned into a blue tree outside of my room... who doesn't love a blue tree!

I added foot prints around the sink to avoid the "rush" of bodies that sometimes crowd the sink.  However, I am even more excited about the fact that they fixed my sink.  Last year the water would get REALLY hot.  Come to find out someone had turned the cold water off.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

I tried... this year I told myself I was going to do a better job of  "getting ready for school" in the morning.  I would put real deal makeup on everyday (not just mascara and chapstick).  I would do my hair.  I would wear cute clothes (that I bought on clearance so I don't get too upset when they get paint on them).  This morning when I left this is what I thought I looked like...

Tousled beach hair, cute cami, capris and a sweater

This was my reality
Tousled hair gone flat and frizzy
only mascara... didn't even cover up my black eye (thank you vacuum handle)
cute cami 
sweater (that ended up tucked into my pants waistband for all of 3rd period)
and decent capris

At least I was on time and smelled good. 

It is days like this that I applaud those teachers who are put together all the time!
and am in awe of teachers like Cassie Stephens who ROCK outfits like this 
(image from

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day One... in the books!

(disclaimer... this post was started on Thursday)

The first day is always one of my most/least favorite things.  I never feel prepared (there is always one more thing to do...) and it is always scary to go over new names.  You never know exactly how the schedule is going to work.  BUT... you get to meet all your new kids.  You get to see them excited to be there.  You get to see them "get to work."

This last week my daughter started her first day of Kindergarten, my son started second grade and I started my 12th year of teaching.  WOW!

Another first for me this year is teaching my first "second generation."  When I started teaching I was teaching 7th-9th grade.  During that first year I had a 9th grade student who was expecting.  This year I will teach her daughter.  It makes me feel a little o(l)dd.  Part of working in a small(er) town is that you plan to eventually teach generations of students... I just didn't plan on doing it when I still feel "so young."

It was odd when I started teaching the children of my classmates.  It was odd when I noticed former students pictures starting to show up in the wedding announcements.  It is odd when I have former students whose children are in my children's class...

I know that my students grow up after they leave me in 6th grade but it sometimes a little surprising how quickly they do it!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Last year...

I was working on beginning of the year stuff and thought I would clean out some files from last year.  I found a few things I meant to share; hence the next few images.

love this ride... makes me think of how awesome it was to get to ride in "the back" when I was a kid.

one of my favorite things about our schools first and last days of school.  Our welcome line!
these snapshots are from our district wide art show.  We are so blessed to have an amazing art center in town that lets us put our school show up for a month every year.  We mix the work K-12 so everyone has to search for their images.  It is always one of my highlights of the year.  
Students were given the challenge of creating a patriotic image that wasn't a flag. 
Artist Tree houses:  Students had to research an artist and then create a 2 point perspective tree house that reflects what they know about their artist. 

Our collage projects for the end of the year from different classes...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Paint Shirts...

As I am getting ready to send my kiddo's off to school they were both asked too bring paint shirts.  I Googled them and found these simple to make, easy to use shirts.  Here Miss Haylee is modeling for us...
Take a regular older t-shirt (if you have this awesome that is great)

cut up the back 

so it is super easy on and off.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Back to School Reality...

 "Back to school" time is in full swing!  I have gone shopping one on one with my kiddos to get their school stuff.  One home teacher visit is done and another one is coming soon.  School shopping for me is done and I have been to my room a few times.  Today was supposed to be my first full "work at school" day and my kiddos are SICK!  My son woke up throwing up and my daughter has a "really bad head-ech."

I am trying really, really hard not to have a complete breakdown.  We are moving sometime (the seller of the house we are buying is building in the "backyard" and so we are on her new houses schedule.) so  I spent June getting ready... cleaning the house, finishing projects, having a garage sale, etc.  July my school room was being "cleaned" so I got a bunch of paperwork stuff done but nothing finished as it was all working from home.  Last week and this week I have been showing our current house so there have been a few "spurts" of school work time but not my normal amount.  Today was going to be my first BIG day back at it... and now it is not.  My stress level is sky high... but this is all part of being a mom, right!

Just so this post isn't all negative, boo-hoo me.... I did get an email that one of my paintings was accepted to the Nebraska Art Teachers show.  It is called remnants and is made from painted tape left over from my school kiddo's project.  I haven't shown my artwork since college (not that I have made that much!)