Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Summer Sale, New Products for K-8! #TpT
Hello friends - it's been quite a summer so far here in Georgia with the Knights, including our first trip to NYC (post coming soon) and several family and friend get-togethers. It has been so much fun, and I have really enjoyed this past week at home, getting new products into my Teachers pay Teachers store! (Psst... 15% off sale from June 30-July 3!) I have been adding to my idea list all spring and have finally had time to sit down and get them drawn out. I've decided that I really like the look of hand-drawn resources for a sketchbook/notebook feel, and just to step away from the screen for a change!

I now have 40 products available, mostly for the art room but also a few for the elementary classroom. I have also learned how to "bundle!" That was a big thing many friends had asked for, so I hope to continue bundling groups of products that work together - it offers a discounted price when you buy multiple items. Here is my Art Media and Vocabulary Bundle with a new addition: collage.

One new product I am excited about offering is my Mystery Drawings set! This is an activity I have used with grades K-5 for years - the students draw along with me without knowing what the finished drawing will be - such a great listening exercise because no one wants to miss a clue! Really good for days like end of year when everyone is frazzled, or before the holidays, or even testing week when you need to have a quiet room, because everyone stays engaged and relatively hushed. It includes my Later Gators, a ship, a slice of pie, an owl, and a castle ( but remember, don't tell :) )

Also available now are the illustrations and mural/bulletin board plan I created for our school's 7 Mindsets program last year - I took the words off so that they would work with any character ed program, just fill in your own vocab. These pics show how they look with the words filled in.

Just fill in your own words...

Here's a cute set for a writing teacher - "Write and Color set for Fall" - inspires creative writing. Please share with your LA teachers! 

Lots more new stuff and new bundles - please stop by from June 30- July 3 for 15% off everything!
Thanks everybody - continued summer bliss to you all!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Later Gators - Last day of school!

Today is the last day of the year - summer is here!

***UPDATE - these gators are now available in my Mystery Drawings pack on Teachers pay Teachers
Our final drawing this year was a mystery drawing  - students create a drawing while listening to clues about shape and line and pattern. The first clue was  the theme of "saying goodbye." Once the gators and crocs were complete, we added details to make each drawing unique, and the quote "see ya later alligator - after while crocodile!"

Parents, I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing the artwork in the portfolios - they should all be home by now! Thank you so much for all the great feedback and compliments many of you wrote through Artsonia - they really made my day even brighter.
Please follow me on Instagram for summer updates and inspiration - @smartestartists
See you in August kids and we'll do it all over again!

4th grade embroidery

My fourth graders embroidered an image of their choice while experimenting with different stitches. Embroidery is a little like drawing with a needle and thread - we made different lines and textures with the running stitch, back stitch and cross stitch, as well as experimenting with our own stitches. Stitching/sewing/weaving are all great exercises in problem solving - tying knots, threading needles, visualizing how a stitch should be made to achieve a certain effect. It is definitely the project that gets the most "this is FUN!" responses.

When the pieces were complete, we took them out of the hoops and made a paper frame with a folded construction paper.

3rd grade embroidered monograms

Stitched alphabet letters are known as "samplers" in the sewing world, and back in the colonial days, school children would stitch entire alphabets with numbers and names too! We selected a monogram, or a single letter that represents you or your family, to sew with the running stitch. After learning to thread the needle, load the hoop, and tie the knot, we began our stitching. After the outline was complete, we added some decorative stitches.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New batch of clay cacti pots and desert silhouettes

Here's a lesson I have posted about many times, and I think I have found the best presentation so far - so new post! Here goes - first I'll share a few pics from earlier...
We have made these clay pinch pots with cacti and succulent plants for several years in 4th grade:

And since starting our Artsonia portfolios, we needed a better presentation method, so we tried some different ways of photographing our 3-D works, starting with variegated tissue paper which looked a little like a sunset sky:

Since the students were also learning about what these plants are and where they come from, we started making some cut paper silhouettes as a backdrop, featuring cactus shapes:

So cool! But the silhouettes were kind of temporary, so from there we painted our own colorful skies and made landscapes that could stand as works of art on their own as well as serving as a backdrop for our clay work. We focused on blending analogous colors to keep from getting a muddy sky - it helps to not use water when painting these, because you want blended colors: 

This is a fantastic lesson because there are so many elements to explore - science, culture, color - and plenty of room for kids to experiment. Here's a view from our Artsonia gallery: