Thursday, June 23, 2011

Let's trade ATC's this fall!

Last year I was asked to do an Artist Trading Card exchange with Ms. Hahn at Mini Matisse.  She was very helpful in sharing the how-tos of ATC's.  My fourth graders had a ball doing it.  I would like to do it again this fall with all of my fourth grade classes (I am expecting to have about five 4th grade classes of about  26 each) and possibly another grade level too if we have enough participation.
I would love to possibly exchange with some older art students as well as other 4th grade classes.
If your class would like to do an exchange this fall, please send an email to me at, and we can email each other the information once the school year gets started.  I know it's a little early to plan for next year, but I was hoping to just get a list of people over the summer who were interested, before the craziness of the new year hits!
Also, if you have ideas or experience with themes or techniques for ATC's that you've found success in, please share in the comments.  Thanks!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer Sketchbook Ideas

Hi kids - I hope you enjoyed going through those portfolios with your parents and selecting some works to save in scrapbooks or frames.  Keeping a summer sketchbook is a great idea for going on trips or afternoons when there's not much going on.  Here are some sketching ideas for the lazy days of summer:
1. Draw your pet when they are napping.
2. Draw what you see in the rear-view mirror when riding in the car.
3. Draw your dinner plate, before you begin eating and then again after.
4. Draw yourself wearing goggles or a diving mask.
5. Draw something floating in the pool.
6. Draw the view out of your window.
7. Keep your sketchbook by your bed and draw your dream when you first wake up.
8. Make a detailed drawing of something from nature: a seashell, a flower, an insect.
9. Create a new American flag by rearranging the stars and stripes.
10. Draw a watermelon before and after it's cut.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

a huge thank you to all the blogging art teachers

I started this blog at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year after a frustrating attempt at keeping a website updated the previous year.  I noticed that a friend had started blogging and said it was so much easier to keep current than a website, so I decided to give it a try.  The intent of the blog was to keep parents informed of what we were doing in the art room since there is so much more learning going on than just what is seen in the final product, and to give students a chance to show off their projects at home, or continue their learning in personal sketchbooks.  Our principal asked us to write a goal or two for the year on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope, and mine was to update my blog weekly to keep parents involved with the fun we were having in art class.
At the end of the year, I had accomplished half of my goal of posting at least weekly, but I didn't yet have the second half: parent followers.  Hopefully there were parent and student visitors to my blog, they just didn't click "follow."  I posted my blog address in several school newsletters and asked classroom teachers to link my blog to their classroom blogs, so I'm hopeful for next year!
The highlight here is this - I had one of my most inspired teaching years of my entire 19 year career, thanks to the art teacher bloggers I have found this year.  I just hit 90 followers and 30,000 page views, and have significantly enhanced my portfolio of lesson plans by seeing what all is going on out there in the art teaching world.  Talk about best practices!  I am comparing my lessons to similar ones from teachers around the globe and tweaking my own by learning from you guys.  I feel that my sharing is being appreciated by others who give the nicest comments.  It has been one of the most rewarding things I've experienced professionally, and I hope you all feel the same way.
I will continue to write for the parents and students and hope that some day I will get a local following... I teach at an amazing school with great support for the arts.  Until then, I will continue to enjoy sharing with all of you dedicated, talented, savvy, and most of all COOL ART TEACHERS!!!!!  Thanks so much for an inspired year in the art room.    - Hope

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"what are you doing with all those caps?"

We have been saving caps, lids, and "too short to sharpen" pencils all year.  They are finally meeting their recycling destiny... check out the clues below and see the result in August... what do you think it will be, kids???