November 30, 2010

Nominations/Best Blog Lists- What are your thoughts??

I know many of us in the bloggie world have been receiving e-mails of our blogs being listed on "Top Blog" lists & such.  It's fun to be recognized because blogs do take time, energy, and heart!  However, I wonder sometimes about the motivation of such awards.  Some may just be trying to increase their hits by connecting to our loyal blog followers.  Though, I have had many hits come from these I guess it does work both ways!!  ha ha  I kind of appreciate the lists I find my blog on where the individual/company did not contact me.  I just found one today from Canada!  I'm thankful for Sitemeter.  Lets me know a bit more about those visiting my site.  I found one of my lessons popping up on several French blogs over the past month!!!  That's kind of strange...and cool!  What are your thoughts?? 

November 24, 2010

The Thankful Art Teacher

I am thankful for having a job that I love(because I know many do not).

I am thankful for having a beautiful classroom & supplies to teach(because I know some do not have either).

I am thankful for my students who I have the privilege to teach...and who end up teaching me many a day!

I am thankful for administration & teachers in my school who believe in the power of art(and I'm working on those who do not!!! ha ha)

I am thankful for all of you who make blogging about art ed so much fun!  Thank you for giving me some of your valuable time...I pray I never waste it!  

Finished Winter Mural - K-4th

This project is very directed.  As the teacher, you have to have a vision for the final product so you can have the students create the components that are needed.  Wanting my students to enjoy this is created in front of them, and their opinion on where things are placed is encouraged(though if they want a tree in the sky...I over rule them!).  Each lesson must be engaging & have value on its own, but at the same time fit into the bigger picture.  Not always easy.  For a couple of the lessons the students create multipul of their item, and leave the best of the best for the mural & take the rest home.  This is a win/win!!!  You also have to take into consideration that the object must be finished in once class time...something like this should not go on forever...or the kids will get bored with it.  I hope this info helps some of you...if you want more information on individual lessons...just e-mail me! . 

November 23, 2010

Winter Mural - K-4th

Last year I had my students create a Fall Mural.  It turned out soooo cool!!  Here is a link to it!!

This year we have just two days before Thanksgiving break.  I did not want Mon./Tues classes to be ahead since I only have my classes once a week.  So my student teacher and I decided it would be best to do projects outside of the units we've been working.  We decided to do a Winter Mural.  High impact..and each child plays a part!! We have collage trees/ snow people/houses, watercolor van Goghish sky, tinted snowy ground, and colored pencil animals. It has been going great...I wanted to show you the start of it! 
I'll post the finished project tomorrow!

November 16, 2010

Fabric Fun

I come from a long line of quilters.  Though I personally do not quilt, I love fabric!!!  Colors, patterns, designs....going through the fabric section at Jo-Ann's or Hobby Lobby is like going to an art gallery for me!  I've inherited a ton of fabric for my classroom!!!  I do a quilt lesson with 4th grade, but I'm dreaming of some new projects.  The hardest part, I find, when using fabric with elementary students is cutting it!  Our class scissors are not great at cutting fabric after hacking into a million pieces of paper over the years.  So today I backed a ton of fabric with paper. In theory...this will give the scissors more traction(I think).  So now I'm dreaming of fun projects!!  I think I may do a mixed media painting with a object as an inspiration piece?  Any other fun ideas???  Share!!!

Your Thoughts/Ideas on Math/Reading in the Art Room

So, I have just made more work for myself. Why do I get myself into these things?!?!  My 1st year mentor is now "Executive Director of Instruction for Elementary Schools".  He is over the instructional coaches for our district(my wife is one of them)...among other things.  I've told him about my desire to be a coach for the elementary art teachers for our district(we have over 90 elementary art teachers).  Well he had a great idea...why don't I work up something to show the instructional coaches for our district on how math & reading/writing can be incorporated into the art room.  I have many things that I do, but would like to hear from bloggie friends...on what you do in your classroom to go cross curricular.

November 15, 2010

Mood/Emotion Masks - 2nd Grade

2nd Grade has been working on a unit with my student teacher that uses color & line quality to express mood/emotion.  They have been doing a great job with this concept.  This week they are creating collage masks(decorative not functional).  It seems the most challenge part of the lesson is not the abstract concept of creating a visual representation of a mood/emotion....but cutting the paper on the right side so their mask doesn't fall apart! ha ha  My suggestion to my student teacher....have them draw the outline of the mask...then check before they cut!! takes more time, but you'll have a higher success rate!

Circle Weaving Time

I love circle weaving with the 3rd grade!!!  It is a challenging project for them, but with such a rich pay off!!  We just started last week, and my student teacher is getting to experience circle weaving with the kids for the first time.  I think he's lovin' it too!  The kids are really doing a great job, and I can't wait to post the finished work in the next week or two.  If you have not done circle weaving before,
go to this post for the details.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me and ask!

November 08, 2010


So there is only so much I can tell you(nothing about the test)....we had to sign papers saying we wouldn't divulge too much information. .

21 art teachers. 21 states. Elementary. Middle. High School. College.  Teachers of Teachers(co-operating teachers for student teachers as well as college advisers). Quality art educators that were recommended by their state to participate. I was humbled & excited to be in the midst of them.

We were treated extremely well by the ETS group. How often are we pampered as art teachers?  Usually, we are the work horses of our schools that are underappreciated.  I can say that I felt extremely valued & respected during this experience by the ETS staff.  This being said, it was not just an awesome art teacher retreat. We were given the new exam first thing, picked it apart, rehash what we picked a part, and questioned our verdicts on the questions. It was challenging to have so many quality educators from extremely diverse backgrounds come to an agreement.  However, an agreement was not always necessary & the varying opinions provided a more realistic perspective of what the pre-professionals will be bringing to the table when taking the exam.  I have a new found respect for test creation!  The time, experience, consideration of standards, diversity within our field, fact checking, statistics...and a million other things!!!!  I still believe that a test does not show everything...but it is a good indicator of what knowledge pre-professionals have.  Without knowledge, what can they teach?!? 

During our meals & down can imagine all the shop talk.  I am more thankful than ever for my teaching situation.  I have been in the same school for the past 10 of my 14yrs, have never had to be split between schools, have a budget to buy supplies(though I've still yet to see it this year), and have never been art on a cart!  These educators that have & are dealing with such things have my respect! Some of the stories shared are common amoung so many of us....and it was wonderful to be with people that understood all the ins, outs, ups, and downs of our field.   We shared lessons that we loved, products that worked & didn't work, stories of students that tried us & inspired us, and names that just couldn't be made up!  We also decided somewhere in the midst of it all...that we needed to be connected to each other. This was just another reason why our "little" blogs carry amazing impact!  We need to be connected.  We need to have people that challenge & inspire us with what's going on in their art world!! 
On our own we just aren't as successful! 

Well, I hope you enjoyed my little recap of my ETS experience.

November 07, 2010


When we were out on the town in Princeton...we went into a paper store that had these too cute/fun paper bag crafts!  I think this is going to be a project at some point in my classroom. 

November 04, 2010

ETS/PRAXIS in Princeton, NJ

I'm here!!!  I got in last night & had a blast hanging out with a couple teachers from Wisconsin & Maine!!!  It was so interesting talking "shop" with people from very different parts of the country.  I look forward to sharing some of the things I learn from our can you not learn when you are surrounded by quality art educators. This morning starts our meetings.  Should be interesting!!

November 01, 2010


Thanks to Kathy Sims & her web site "teacher salary info" for selecting Art With Mr. E as one of
the top art blogs in the South Region!  I appreciate that!  Here is the link...check
out the other top blogs in the south region.
 Many are friends I already have on my blog roll!!!  I keep good company..what can I say!! 

Teacher Salary Info