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

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In the Art Room: A Colorful Village!

What's the worst thing about taking time off from school? Say it with me: SUB PLANS. Well, I thought I'd share a couple of sub plannin' tips with y'all today along with my most recent sub plan video! Let's kick it off with that, shall we?
My super fabulous sub will be hanging out with my artists for a couple of days. Most of my classes are just 30 minutes long...so, for that reason, I've left my sub this video and some instructions: just have the kiddos create the houses and begin the coloring portion. I learned my lesson the hard way my very first year teaching: don't leave a sub anything complicated. Granted, my first year teaching, all I left out were markers (brand new ones, mind you) only to find them scattered about with their caps off when I returned. Needless to say, I'll be handling the painting side of this project when I return.

Speaking of, here's why I like having ALL of my grade levels work on the same project AND have them continue to create when I return. It means that, come Monday, I'm not running around, scratching my head wondering what we are working on. Instead, I can take it easy, set out one supply: watercolor, and know that it will be a calm way to return. Not only that, but we'll have a beautiful masterpiece to show for our efforts even if the art teacher had the day off. 

Before we continue chatting about this project, I thought I'd share some of my other fave sub plans that resulted in beautiful creations. Feel free to use these sub plans in your art room!
I have to say, whenever I can, I call upon the same subs. My subs LOVE these videos...at least that's what they tell me. It makes their life so much easier and the kids are actually creating! Not just watching a video (well, they ARE but you know what I mean) or doing busy work. The kids are engaged and that makes the subbie's job so much easier. Complete version of this sub plan can be found here. 
This sub plan was a fun one...I could tell the kids had a blast based on the monsters they created! Find the complete details of this sub plan right here. 
While prepping for the sub, I created an Art Teacherin' 101 all about planning for a sub. This is what I can accomplish in an ideal situation: when I know I'm going to be away and I have plenty of time to prepare. Not all of us have this luxury. But, when I do, this is what I do. 
Holy Moly, this has been one of THEE most popular lessons I've shared on my blog: The Wings Mural! I've seen so many versions of this lesson and I LOVE it! This all started out as a sub plan and grew much bigger than I ever imagined. I'm so thrilled so many of y'all have found it useful. Here's the link to the original blog post
My very first sub videos were created when I had to be gone for...jury duty. Boy, that was a good time. Let me tell you, nothing makes you happier for your chosen profession than...JURY.DUTY. Anyway! My sweet artists created these happy hearts while I was away jurying. 
Alrightie, now let's return to the sub lesson at hand, shall we?
 As I was sayin', with my sweet sub, my artists will be learning how to draw a 3-D house. I'm encouraging them, via video, to create a variety of houses embellished with patterns. As inspo, I'll be leaving my sub the book The Big Orange Splot to read to the kids if time allows.
If this book is not in your library, it totally should be. AND, if it is, can we PLEASE talk about what Mr. Plumbean is serving over at his house during those late night talks with the neighbors? I'm thinkin' it's pretty good stuff to inspire those wild houses created!
AND now let's talk oil pastels. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE ON THE PLANET! I keep referring to them as Galaxy in my IG feed because I'm completely ignorant. Sorry, my bad. They are GALLERY (I get points for staring with the same letter, don't I?!) and they are by Sargent. They are also sent from Art Teacherin' Heaven and I cannot recommend them enough. 
 When I return, the kiddos will add a splash of liquid water color paints and return to their usually scheduled program. I'll be happy they continued to learn and create in my absence and they'll be thrilled not to have watched a mindless vid and drawn all over a worksheet. Winner-winner, Chicken Dinner!
LOVE to hear your fave sub plans! AND, if you give this project a-go, I'd love to see the results. Be sure and tag me on Instagram, Facebook or where ever you get your social media on. 
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Monday, September 18, 2017

In the Art Room: Learning For All Collaborative

Those who are unfortunate enough to have to work with me know that I'm a bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew/start-now-figure-it-out-later/wild-and-crazy kind of gal. Thankfully, I work with The Best folks who not only tolerate my silliness but, I daresay, encourage and facilitate my weird ways. All that jib-jab to say this: look what the kiddos created for our 2017 collaborative! Learning for All with a contribution from each of my first through fourth grade artists and a whole lotta blood, sweat and (after misfires of the staple and hot glue gun) tears on behalf of me and my P.E. teacherin' buddy Ali Starkweather!
Ah! This 5' 6" mama weighs in at just over 15 lbs and is every bit of awesome, if I do say so. I've had the itch to create something in our foyer every since the kiddos created our Johnson Elementary sign a couple of years ago. And, with the successful creation of this massively heavy mosaic beast, I KNEW the custodians and maintenance dudes could make hang the monster...but how to create it? 
I originally got the idea this summer while I was at the hardware store and spotted paint stirring sticks. Before I knew what was happening, I was taking the folks at Home Depot into donating a ton of sticks to me for the cause. I was inspired by the Color Wheel Clock I created some years ago and just kind of went from there. 
With this inspo in mind, the first days of school, I had my first through third grade kiddos paint a stick with a color and white. This was easy: after going over the rules, routines and whut-nots of the first day, I was like, here, let's paint a stick, doesn't that sound fun?! After a resounding NO!, I chatted about creating a collaborative and a legacy piece to leave behind. That was a little more inspiring. With our leftover paint, we created painted papers for future projects.  
 My fourth grade kiddos were given the large paint stirring sticks. Those I did have to pay for as Home Depot decided they had to draw the line somewhere. I didn't mind. The kids were given baskets of analogous colors and requested to "leave their mark". They happily did so. After a wee sword fight with the sticks. 
Once all the sticks were complete, the MASSIVE assembling began. I'm not even gonna lie: I hardly snapped any photos as I wasn't sure if this was even going to be possible. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible had my buddy Ali not stepped in. She was determined this was gonna work. I'm so thankful she helped me...otherwise it would still be in bits in the art room!
 I just so happened to have the large round canvas at my house, sitting around, collecting dust. Ali and I began by laying out the colors of the shorter sticks and deciding how they would go together. When someone asked how it was assembled, I believe Ali put it best, "Lots of hot glue, gorilla glue, and a staple gun....and then LOTS of hot glue, gorilla glue and a staple gun!!! lol..." She says LOL but what that really means is for real tho. There's a reason we didn't snap any photos of the assembly.
Y'all better believe I wanted this bad boy up in time for Open House. And all y'all better also believe it was only finished the day of. In fact, these sweet fellas had to wait a pinch as the wording I had JUST painted needed to dry. 
And then, of course, the domino effect of disasters transpired: the lift stopped working; I didn't paint the wording to align with the hanger on the back (no surprise there)...but there was no need to worry. By some miracle of miracles, the lift was fixed the so was my hanger malfunction. And, viola! Masterpiece hung in time for Open House!
 High five to these handsome devils!
Every morning, when I do morning duty, I've been pleased as punch to see this happiness greeting our kiddos as they enter our school. This mantra is a portion of our school motto...and I believe everyone who loves to teach at Johnson Elementary agrees. 
 Even if some of 'em are a wee bit crazy. But I'm in such good company! 
Thanks for letting me share! This was a fun collaborative...and one that my wee artists and I (as well as all who were involved!) are mighty proud of!
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DIY: Top 10 Favorite Fall Crafts

Halloween is my all-time favorite holiday. So it should come as no surprise that I start thinking about it in August, decorating for it in September and craft for the big day all the way up until October 31st! Today I thought I'd share my Top 10 Favorite Halloween Crafts. These are my personal DIY's...not ones that I've done with my students. I'll be sharing my fave fall projects for kids this week, so stay tuned. Until then, here are my Top Ten!
1. Celluclay Pumpkins These pumpkins were so stinkin' fun to create! You can read all about the process right here. I was inspired by a SUPER expensive collection of vintage Halloween buckets that I so wanted to purchase. But the price was just bananas. Once I took a closer look, I realized I could make them myself with Celluclay. This was the start of my love affair with Celluclay (I'm not ashamed to admit it: I'm addicted to the stuff!) and a whole slew of pumpkins was created. Here's a tutorial:
What I love about Celluclay is that you can adhere it to anything. It doesn't require gluing; it doesn't crack or flake off; it dries with a great texture...my list could seriously go on and on. It's just fab. Which leads me to my next craft...
2. Celluclay Book of Spells More fun with Celluclay was had when I picked up an old jewelry box from the thrift store and made it into a Book of Spells! I covered the entire box with the Celluclay and then built up the skull with additional clay. 
While at the thrift I picked up a stash of bottles that I decided to make into potion bottles. I simply added the clay to the bottle and it stuck!
Add a little cotton to the top for a puff of smoke and potion bottle complete!
3. Zombie Head Planters Easily my most favorite thing I created last fall were my Zombie Head Planters. These guys crack me up! I stuffed 'em full of fake plants so they could be used year after year. 
Oh, look, it's my ex-boyfriend. He always was such a looker.
4. Cheesecloth Bride and Frank The miracles of liquid starch, y'all. I found this figurine at the thrift and covered it with cheesecloth and liquid starch. This gave it a great texture for me to paint. Find out more about how this was created here
Or check out this quick tutorial!
5. Bride of Frankenstein Painting My painting pride and joy is this number...I loved creating this painting! It was def a challenge as tonal paintings aren't the easiest but I really loved doing it. I was all set to create a Frankenstein version but I spent so much time on this one, I didn't have time for the other. Maybe some day!
6. Day of the Dead Clay Heads I LOVE hosting Halloween craft nights, it's one of my fave things ever. Here is one craft we created with polymer clay. More details here on our craft night fun
 7. Embroidered Day of the Dead This reversible Day of the Dead necklace was a great way to pass the time while traveling. I love embroidery but rarely have the time/patience for it unless we are on the road. 
I love being able to wear this necklace two ways since it is reversible.
8. Dead Head Planters This idea I found whilst pinterest'ing and had to bring it to life. I simply spray painted some planters white and then went to town! More details here
9. Pumpkin Marionette This paper clay pumpkin was inspired by more vintage Halloween decor. I simply created the parts of the pumpkin and, when dry, added the wire. I think I might have to make more of these. It's always fun to have a little collection of canvases and clay laying around for painting and sculpting fun
10. Witchy Textured Painting Speaking of paintings...the base of this one was actually an old painting of mine where I was playing with texture. On an impulse I decided to paint over it and I love the result for this painting. 

Okay, brace yourself. Not only do I have fall projects for the kiddos lined up to share with you but I've also got a huge blog post of JUST my Halloween ensembles! Stay tuned. 

Love to hear about your fave spooky creations!
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DIY: An Art Teacherin' Pantsuit

Seeing as how the premise of this blog used to be all about what I wear as an art teacher, it should come as no surprise that I LOVE me a themed dress up day! It's spirit week and today was Career Day. I decided to go as myself: Artist/Art Teacher! They are one in the same, says me. 
In true procrastinator fashion, I started painting this pantsuit at, oh, about 9:30pm last night. I found it a couple of weeks ago at Goodwill and my mom-in-law was like, YOU GOTTA GET THIS. Well, she didn't say it like that, but she was pretty persuasive. It didn't take much arm twisting. Believe it or not, my first year teaching art, I LIVED in a pair of Oshkosh B'gosh forest green corduroy overalls that I found at the thrift. I wish I still had those suckers. I loved 'em. 
Anyway, when I spotted the 'suit, I knew I'd have to upgrade it somehow. I left is sitting in my closet until Career Day Eve when I decided to paint it...yay! I had so much fun wearing it today. It's a RARE occasion when I wear pants...and this pantsuit, with it's mom-jeans, extra-long front part, isn't exactly the most flattering of ensembles. But it was so super comfy! That is until I had to go to the bathroom. Then it was like wrestling myself outta a straight jacket while my bladder screamed bloody murder.
 By the way, the jacket was a purchase from Gap Kids a couple years back. I had the kids add more splatters to it when they splattered this skirt for me. 
 And the palette beret was felted many moons ago...you can find it here
 I love using Tulip Brand paint for my fabric paint because it really does keep it's vibrant color even after washing. Check out the dress I created with the Tulip paint here
My favorite part of the day was seeing all these sweet cuties dressed up as Artists/Art Teachers too!
Seriously, y'all. We have the best job, EVER! 
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 39

Haha!! I'm BAAAAACK with a lil Art Teacherin' 101 action, y'all. It's been since this summer that I recorded one of these bad boys. Between the podcast, the Wednesday night FB and IG LIVE chats, I kinda thought y'all might be a little bit tired of hearing what I have to say. Unfortunately for you, I STILL GOT LOTS TO SHARE (deal wit it). 

Since we are in the throes of Back to Schoolin', my social media outlets have been blowin' up with art rooms decorated to the nines. I have gotten SO MUCH inspiration...but I've also gotten the feeling that my art room ain't never, not EVER, gonna be at it's peak and/or prime. And that's okay. I'm taking is slow and steady (some turtle told me that how to win the race). I'm going with what works, throwing out what doesn't (read: all.that.clutter.) and enjoying the process. So that's what this Art Teacherin' 101 is all about this week. At the end of the clip, I'll take you on a wee tour of the parts of my art room that make me happy...and the parts that need some more lovin'. Here you go:
If you are interested in seeing more Art Teacherin' 101's then you can subscribe to my YouTube channel right here. If you'd like me to chat about something in particular during these AT's, you just let me know! 
(more looks inside my space...a game/tour from last year)
(and a video tour I created last year for my youngers...this will give you an idea of a "before" my redecorating spree!)...

Have a super week and remember: take it easy! Decorate to educate! You can take comfort in knowing that MY ART ROOM IS WAY MESSIER THAN YOURS! 
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Everyday Art Room, Episode 5

Can I go all Honest Abe on y'all for a moment? I've been hosting the podcast Everyday Art Room for the last month and, for the first handful of episodes, something felt off. Because I've been working with The Art of Ed on this venture, I felt like I should sound, for lack of a better word, "professional". So I donned my Speech Geek hat (I was a big time speech geek in high school...much love to my amazing English teacher/speech coach Mr. Dave McKenzie!) and used my "speeching" voice...and not my for realz voice. The content was all me but the tone was...off. All that to say, I've dropped the act. I'm not "professional" (just ask my teacherin' buddies), I'm not an expert in my field and I seriously have a lot to learn about this thing we call art teacherin'. Don't we all? 
So, what am I trying to say? Who knows...that's the point, I certainly don't know! What I do know is that I hope you'll take a listen to Everyday Art Room if you haven't already. I have LOVED working on this podcast...I hope you enjoy it just as much. In case you are interested, here is the transcript: 

Some of you guys might know that I have a gong in my art room. That’s gong with a G, thank you very much. It’s our cleanup gong. It is a massive gong, 24-inch, and it is probably the coolest thing in my room, according to my students. I’ve been asked, “How did you get a gong in your art room?”
Well, it was a 10-year wedding anniversary gift, my present. What? You guys didn’t get one of those? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not the standard 10-year wedding anniversary gift, but it is if you are in my household. Anyway, I digress. It is obviously the coolest thing in my room, and we use it as a signal for cleanup.
As you know, cleanup can be a little bit hairy, so imagine, if you will, this scenario. I’ve got a room full of 25 first graders. We’re late, as usual. We’ve been painting, and cleanup has become pandemonium. I have a student. She’s standing at the gong. Her one and only job is to hit the gong, to signal to everybody else to stop and clean up, but for some reason, she’s frozen. She’s holding the mallet. She’s standing at the gong, and she’s not hitting the gong. It’s just then, that the classroom teacher walks in, and my administrator, to see, number one, why am I running late, as usual, and two, what’s all the chaos about?
That’s when, from across the room, a little girl shouts, “Hit the bong! It’s time to hit the bong!” to the frozen little girl at the gong with a G. It’s then, my admin turns to me and says, “Really, Stephens? Really?” This is Everyday Art Room, and I’m Cassie Stephens.
Today, we’re going to talk about all things cleanup. Cleanup, as you know, is a really important part of your art class, for a couple of reasons. It can salvage your sanity, your art supplies, and it’s how you end your art class. You always want to end your art class on a positive and upbeat note, not one where kids are yelling about hitting a bong and not cleaning your room up to your expectations.
Today, I’m going to share with you the Four F’s of Cleanup: How to Make Sure that Your Cleanup is Fun, Fast, Chaos Free, and has a Flow. I’m going to share those four tips with you today and hope that it’s something that you can take back to your art room and ensure that your cleanup is fun, fast, chaos free–there’s my F; that’s why I keep emphasizing free–and has a flow. Let’s start at the beginning.
Before you can think about how you’re going to introduce cleanup to your students, you need to put yourself in your students’ shoes. Go sit at one of their tables, get a paper, get some paint, have a little fun and create a painting, just relax. As you’re sitting there working, think about how the art room looks, through your students’ eyes. Then think about cleanup. Where will your students put their dirty brushes? Where will your students put their painting? Do you have one drying rack or multiple ones, like I do? Where will you position that drying rack, so that it’s easy for your students to get to, so there’s not a bottleneck of children? How will they clean their hands–oh, my goodness!–the bane of our existence? Once you’ve really sat down and thought those things through, then you’ll be much better prepared to introduce a cleanup routine that’s fun, fast–say it with me–chaos free, and has a flow. Let me share with you how my cleanup looks.
First of all, before my students even gather up their supplies to start their project, I do call and response. Call and response, if you’re not familiar, is when your students repeat after you. Believe it or not, I do this for every class, kindergarten through fourth grade, done it for years, so the kids know what to expect. In order for me to get their attention, to remind them that they’re about to repeat after me, I simply clear my throat–ahem–and they know that whatever I’m about to say, they are going to repeat.
I usually go through what our directions are for the day, what supplies they will be using, and I also cover cleanup. It might sound a little like this: “When I’m finished,” and then I pause for them to repeat, “I will take my paintbrush to the paintbrush hot tub.” That’s right. We have a can full of water that we refer to as the paintbrush hot tub. I have found that the sillier you make things, the more they stick. Silly sticks, so give that paintbrush hot tub a fancy name, and they’ll remember it.
Call and response really works for me in my art room, because it gets all of the children repeating with me and doing hand jives and hand motions where they will be cleaning up. That’s one way to make your cleanup a little faster. If your students know in advance what they are to do when they finish–and this really helps those early finishers–they don’t have to come up to you and ask you, “Hey, where do I put my painting?” because they already know. If you can get a call and response going, or if you can instill in your students where everything goes, before they even start working, that will make your cleanup a lot faster.
Now, let’s talk about chaos free. Whew! Last year, I had doubled up third and fourth grade classes. That means I was maxing out around 35 kids in my room, big kids, not the littles, and it could get really chaotic during cleanup. I mean, I literally would jut stand back and watch the chaos. I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s fine. It’s because there’s 35 of them. It’s supposed to look like this.” No, y’all. It doesn’t have to look that way. Let’s talk about how to make your cleanup chaos free.
I have a time timer in my room, and I set it so that it goes off about seven minutes before we are to leave, and that’s our two-minute warning. About two minutes before cleanup, in an effort to try to make cleanup chaos free, when the timer goes off, all of my students are to go to level zero–that means they are silent–and I just cover where everything goes, one more time, with them, and I make them help me with this. I’ll say, “Please point to where dirty paintbrushes go,” and all arms swing toward the paintbrush hot tub. “Please point to which drying rack you will be using. Please point to where aprons go. Please point to where baby wipes can be found,” if we’re using them that day. That way, one more time, in just a matter of seconds, all of my students understand where everything is going to go, so there’s no confusion and hopefully a little less chaos during cleanup.
Now, let’s talk about flow. Remember when I mentioned that you should sit and create a painting? When you’re done with that painting, make sure, when you’re putting things away, that there’s a flow, a flow of traffic. Think about yourself being like a crossing guard or a person directing traffic. You want the traffic of your room to have a flow, to make sense. Last year, I had all of my drying racks–they’re small and moveable–all in one place, and it created a huge bottleneck of children getting to the drying rack. Somebody always ended up dropping a painting or getting paint on them.
This year, I moved my drying racks in such a way that they are at the ends of every long table where children sit, so when they stand up, they’re automatically in line to put their artwork on the correct drying rack. It only took me 19 years to figure that one out, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope that little nugget helps you out. Think about how you could have more of a flow, so it’s not children going every which way. I even recently picked up, from the Dollar Tree, some of these reusable arrows that stick to the floor. That’s been a great way for me to visually share with my students my flow of traffic.
Now, last but not least is how to make cleanup fun. Okay, brace yourselves. I’m going to tell you about the best thing ever! It is called the cleanup contest. Dum-dum-dah! Oh, my goodness! This is a hit. Let me tell you how this goes down. I always pick one student, who’s working extremely hard, to play the cleanup gong. The gong is played five minutes prior to cleanup. When the kids hear the cleanup gong, this is how the contest works. They are to clean up at level zero. That’s right, silent cleanup. The reason we do this is because it really cuts down on the chaos.
I noticed a lot of times when we were cleaning, there were a lot of conversations going on that didn’t entail creating art and definitely didn’t have anything to do with cleanup, so forget about it. Go to silent cleanup. As the students are cleaning up, they are responsible for their own area.
I have yet to master the table jobs, so all of my students are responsible for cleaning after themselves. However, if they are finished cleaning up, and they have friends at their table who need help, they are to step up and help them out, so all of the tables are working together. They’re a team to get their tables tidy. The way the kids show me that they are completely finished cleaning up is they are to stand behind their pushed in chair, with a zero in the air, meaning they have their hand up, and they’re creating a zero with their fingers. This is how their table shows me they are ready. Usually, I try to emphasize that the best table gets all sorts of privileges. We don’t know what they are, but they just get a lot of praise from me. Isn’t that a privilege in itself?
Then I will usually choose one student, who’s standing exceptionally well, to be the cleanup contest judge. I’ll call that child to stand right next to me, and I have all of the kids–this is where the fun part comes in–do a drum roll on the back of their chair. It’s like a thunder in my room, a roar of thunder, and the kids stop when the judge makes the stop motion with their arm. One way to really ensure that they stop is to tell them that the judge is basing their choice upon who stops the fastest.
When the judge makes that motion with their arm, I make a big announcement, like this, “And the winner of the cleanup contest is …” I pass it over to the judge. They announce the table, and then there’s an eruption of an applause, and that table gets to line up, at level zero. Ah, and that’s how we do cleanup. It’s fun. It’s fast. It’s chaos free, as much as cleanup in the art room can be, and there’s a flow.
I hope that those tips have helped you. I hope that you can add them to your already awesome cleanup routine to make it even more awesomer. Thanks for letting me share that with you guys. It was fun.
Now it’s time to take a little dip into the mailbag. This question comes from Robin. Robin asks, “Do you have any wise words of advice to share about student teaching or teaching in general?”
Whew! That’s a big one, Robin. I think I can help you out in a couple of short tips, but that actually sounds like an episode of Everyday Art Room, if I’m going to be honest, but let me see if I can help you out. I just jotted down a couple of my tips, words of advice that I would give somebody, who’s venturing into their first year of teaching or student teaching. Boy, that question brought back a lot of memories.
First of all, biggest and most important, is please be on time or, better yet, be early. I remember when I was student teaching, I always made sure to get there before my cooperating teacher. I was overwhelmed, anxious, had a lot of things that I felt like I needed to do, and just getting there early and actually having a little bit of time to myself was wonderful. I have had cooperating teachers in my room, not my student teachers but visitors to my art room, who’ve been late before, who’ve been no-call no-shows, and I can tell you, before I even met that person, I had already formed an opinion of them. Leave your house early. Give yourself plenty of time. Make sure everything’s ready to go, so you’re not feeling scattered and rushed and flustered, and quite possibly could get into a car accident on your way. That is my biggest, number one tip: Be on time.
Of course, another tip I would offer is to get out and meet the other teachers. Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of shy. I don’t enjoy meeting people that I don’t know. It kind of freaks me out. It’s something that I work on all the time. My advice would be that you need to do that, though. You need to get out of your art room and meet other people. Introduce yourself, share ideas, collaborate. That being said, don’t be a doormat, meaning don’t open up your art room to art supply giveaway. Remember, you are not a craft store, and teachers need to know that, as well, and you don’t want to be taken advantage of. Next thing you know, you’re making posters for everybody on the planet. You need to make sure that, despite getting out and making new friends, you aren’t taken advantage of, and neither is your art room.
That was a great question, Robin, and, like I said, one that I think I need to explore more in an upcoming podcast. Do you have a question for the mailbag? Please feel free to email me at everydayartroom@theartofed.com. I would love to hear from you.
It’s been a blast sharing with you guys cleanup. Who knew cleanup could be a blast, but why not make it that way? Remember, by a blast, I don’t mean that it needs to be chaotic. Let’s talk about it. Remember, you can make your cleanup fast by doing a call and response at the beginning of class. That way all of the kids understand all of your expectations for cleanup.
You can also make it chaos free. Two minutes before cleanup, have your students point out where they’re going to place everything. That way, when it’s time for cleanup, nobody’s asking questions. Everybody knows what to do.
Also, think about your traffic flow. You want to make sure that your cleanup makes sense, so all of your kids are moving in a rhythm and not scattered all over the place, walking from one end of your room to the other. Think about your flow.
Then, last but not least, make it fun. Why not? Give my cleanup contest game a try. I would love to hear from you if you do. Remember, it’s easy, but to win, they have to clean up at level zero. Everybody is responsible for their own area, and, when they’re finished, they help buddies tidy their table, standing behind their pushed in chair with a zero in the air, and then pick a person to decide who the winners of the cleanup contest are. Of course, tie in what already works for you. Don’t throw that out the window. You guys, have an awesome time teaching art. This is Cassie Stephens, and this is Everyday Art Room.


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