August 28, 2008

Art Room Organization PART 2

Here are some more images of my room & my organizational efferts!! Comment if you have any questions!

Art Room Organization PART 1

I am a bit OCD. My friends find great joy in coming into my classroom and moving things to see how long it will take me to figure it out! Usually...NOT LONG! ha ha It seems that many art teachers have a reputation of being a bit messy/disorganized. I'm not sure how much of this is part of the artistic character.....or is it just a self fulfilling prophecy. Whatever the case may be, I'm here to tell you...ORGANIZATION IS YOUR FRIEND!! Every room has a different set of issues when it comes to organization. I have been in every type of room imaginable....and I'm here to tell you...IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE ORGANIZED NO MATTER WHAT!!! Now, you don't have to organize your still life objects based on colors, but making some simple changes in your room can allow you to be a more efficient & more affective teacher. Take a look & see if some of these ideas can work for you in your art room!!

August 27, 2008

Art Room Set Up/Bulletin Board (from a few years ago)

I pulled these images from my old website. This was the year I used primary colors as my "theme". As always, if you have any questions about anything you see....PLEASE ASK!(and don't forget to leave a way for me to get back to you) The turtle thing I can't really explain...I just like them!!!!! :) ha ha


Greetings to all you on the other side of the screen! I've really enjoyed blogging about all things art, and hope to continue for a long time to come! You may have noticed that I have a site meter on my site. Through this tool, I know that people from all over the USA & WORLD have stopped by for a visit at ART WITH MR. E. Many have been brought here through Googling an art related topic(like Art Room Bulletin Boards or Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists). If you would be so kind, leave a comment and let me know where you are, who you are, & what you do. If you have an art related website...leave the address!!! I'd love to know who stops by for a visit!! Also, if there are some topics you'd like me to cover on my blog...LET ME KNOW! Thank you for visiting!!! Artfully Yours, Mr. E BEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 26, 2008

Art Vocabulary

I THOUGHT I WOULD POST THE VOCABULARY SECTION FROM MY OLD WEB SITE. I KNOW THAT SOMETIMES IT'S GOOD TO LOOK THROUGH THE WORDS THAT OTHER TEACHERS ARE USING IN THEIR ROOMS. I DO NOT CONSIDER THIS LIST COMPLETE...BUT A WORKING LIST THAT I'LL CONTINUALLY ADD NEW WORDS. The following words are only a part of the vocabulary we use daily in the art room: Abstract, Architecture, Assemblage, Asmmetrical, Background, Birds Eye View, Cityscape, Clay, Collage, Cool Colors, Details, Environment, Expression, Exterior, Geometric, Hatching, Horizontal, Imagination, Interior, Landscape, Loom, Media, Mixed Media, Monument, Mosaic, Mural, Neutral Colors, Ornate, Organic, Overlapping, Palette, Perspective, Portrait, Primary Colors, Realistic, Relief, Repetition, Sculpture, Secondary Colors, Self Portrait, Simplistic, Still Life, Symmetrical, Texture, Warm Colors, Waterscape, Warp, Weaving, Weft, Worms Eye View These art words are grouped in a user friendly way: Land, City, Water Scapes- Foreground, Middleground, Background Cool Colors- Blue, Purple, Green Warm Colors- Red, Yellow, Orange, Peach Neutral Colors- Gray, Black, White, Brown Primary Colors- Red, Blue, Yellow Secondary Colors- Green, Purple, Orange Weaving- Loom, Warp, Weft THE FOLLOWING WORDS ARE FROM THE MNPS VOCABULARY LISTS. I PERSONALLY USE MORE VOCABULARY THAN ARE CONTAINED IN THESE LISTS, AND INTRODUCE SOME WORDS EARLIER ON THAN THE LISTS HAVE HERE. YOU KNOW YOUR STUDENTS & WHAT WOULD BE BEST FOR THEM. AS ALWAYS, USE YOUR DISCRETION. *************************************************************************** VISUAL ARTS ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Grade Kindergarten artist, background, coil, color, cool colors, craftsmanship, detail, draw,horizon line, illustrate, imagination, line, museum, pattern, primary colors, sculpture, self-portrait, shape, slab, space, texture, warm colors *************************************************************************** VISUAL ARTS ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Grade One abstract, architecture, balance, collage, composition, contour line drawing, contrast, culture, diagonal, genre painting, horizontal, medium/media, mood neutrals, original, outline, palette, portrait, realistic, secondary colors shade, tint, vertical *************************************************************************** VISUAL ARTS ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Grade Two asymmetry, cityscape, depth, emotion, environment, focal point, form geometric shape, gesture drawing, landscape, motif, movement, negative space, observation, organic shape, overlap, positive space, repetition, scale, sequence, sketch, still life,studio, subject, symmetry, tactile texture, three-dimensional, two-dimensional, unreal color, visual texture *************************************************************************** VISUAL ARTS ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Grade Three aerial view, artifact, creativity, critique, description, design, embroidery, emphasis, exhibit, foreground, frontal view, functional art, kinetic art, mask, middle ground, monoprint, perspective, portfolio, print, printmaking, proportion, radial symmetry, reflection, rhythm, style, unity, variety, viewpoint, weaving ************************************************************************** VISUAL ARTS ACADEMIC VOCABULARY Grade Four abstraction, additive sculpture, atmospheric perspective, brush strokes, coil, color wheel, complimentary colors, craftsmanship, embellishment, exterior, facial proportion, interior, intermediate colors, judgment, linear perspective, mixed media, monochromatic, neutrals, organic shape, perspective, portfolio, profile, relief print, shading, subtractive sculpture

August 25, 2008

Art with Special Needs/Life Skills

By any other name they are still the same....our special little kids that we love, but aren't always sure how to meet their needs the best. Many art teachers are given little to no training in working with special needs children. Yet...from day one we find them in our classroom(often mainstreamed in with another class). How can you provide a meaningful experience for these precious children?
Know your audience!! When you step foot into a school, you need to find out what special programs are offered & who participate in them. Usually the teachers that work with these students will be more than happy to share with you the needs/abilities & special "tricks" of their students. They will be happy that you have shown a personal interest in their kids!!!! Plus, it will let you know what kind of modifications need to be made for each child.
Know how they will be coming to you. Will they have an assistant? What class will they come with? Will they come in one large group without any other classes? This will help you plan. There are many children who are classified as special needs, but are extremely high functioning. They can set with the other students & be expected to perform almost like any other child. This allows them to interact with others...and rise up to the expectations placed on the "average" student. WIN WIN situation. I have found that the students from the "regular" class will kind of adopt the child with special needs. Now you will need to address your "regular" ed students about what is and is not appropriate if they are going to be helping your special needs student.
Provide alternate activities for your children with special needs. I have created an area where the assistant can obtain materials for her students to work on once they have finished the project I introduced to the class as a whole(SIDE NOTE: not all of my special needs kids come with an assistant...and not all of them need alternate activities). I like my special needs kids to at least try the project that the other kids are working on. Some of them truly surprise/amaze me with what they are able to do. However, some of my special kids can not work for an hour on a project. They work for awhile, and once I see they are beginning to "overwork" their paper, I then provide the alternate activity. You should never have to "search" for something for your students to do....having these materials on hand also allows me to keep my attention on the 23 other students in my room.
Please feel free to leave comments if you have questions or thoughts to share about working with special needs kids!!!

August 22, 2008

My Buzzing Little Kinderbabies!!

Kindergarten is an amazing grade to teach! Of course I can say this because I only see them for one hour a day!! ha ha At the beginning of each school year, I always forget how tiring they are though!! A million questions(most having nothing to do what you are teaching or doing at the time!!), not knowing how to get along with a classroom of other children, not having much experience drawing, coloring, or painting(and being asked to do it every time they come to my room!!!), not knowing the rules that they now must follow, and not realizing that they aren't the center of the universe anymore...but a planet in the midst of other planets...all equally important! They come to us babies....and we see them grow so much over the coarse of the year! The transformation is unreal & so exciting as a teacher. I wanted to show you some of the work I'm seeing so far this year...PRETTY AMAZING!!!!!!

August 20, 2008


The Dropping In On series of art books & DVD's(author Pam Stephens/Illustrator Jim McNeill) are wonderful. If you haven't had a chance to see them, you can find out more information at Crystal Productions ( You can also find out more about the author, Pam Stephens, at If you want to learn more about the illustrator, Jim McNeill, check out .
The story line of Dropping In On is Puffer the art interviewer( he's a Puffin)....falling out of the sky into the world of an artist. He interviews them...and interacts with them in their time & environment. The author, artist, and voice actors have done an amazing job capturing some of the interesting nuances of each of the focus artists. My favorite is Dropping In On Andy Warhol. I had a few of my art friends watch it with me, and I must say, we laughed ourselves silly!!! It was dead on Warhol!!!! They also place actual art images from that artist into the book/dvd. This is worth your time & money to get for your students. The books are more toward mid/upper elementary I feel, but the DVD's are from K- on up!! The only one out of this series that I wasn't real excited about was Dropping In On Matisse. It had nothing to do with the content. No disrespect to the illustrator(who only did this one book in the series), but I do enjoy the illustrations of Jim McNeill a great deal more. I just found out that they now have Dropping In On Grandma Moses! I will be using some of my classroom funds to purchase it this year(yes..that is how much I love this series!!!!!).
So..check it out...DROPPING IN ON...

August 18, 2008


Did someone say ART SUPPLIES?!?!?! Dr. Ed & those at Total Body Health Care who participated in the Annual Art Supply Drive AMAZE US!!!!! Julie(aka Ms. O'Brien) & I(aka Mr. E) feel so fortunate to receive this out pouring of support in the form of supplies for our students! Do you realize that because of these donations...I have not had to buy crayons or glue in the past three years!! I've been able to replace my old, dull, & rusting scissors!! As well, the construction paper, colored pencils, tempera paint, paper plates, markers, and other craft supplies that have come in allow me to spend less of my limited budget on the basics! I(well really..we..I think I can speak for Ms. O'Brien) can not begin to say THANK YOU enough for your generosity. Dr. Ed, THANK YOU for CARING about our KIDS, THE ARTS...and US!!! To all of you who brought in supplies....THANK YOU FOR CARING...THANK YOU FOR SHARING! Know that you have made a difference.

August 15, 2008

Art Room Bulletin Boards & Displays '08

I have A LOT of bulletin board space in my room! Some are I break them down into smaller spaces. I've created 11 seperate bulletin boards this year....and they are motivational, behavior, silly, informative, and practical! Some boards are pretty much the same as in years past. I will often reuse "pieces" of previous boards, but change them to fit the color theme for the year. Oh, did I mention....I have fabric for my boards in a five year rotation. This way none of my students will see the same exact board twice unless they fail(and even then..the boards won't be exactly the same). I use color themes: primary, secondary, warm, cool, green(I love green). The fabric is not that expensive($1 a yard table at Wal-Mart), and it can be reused for a LONG time. I handmake most of the other things for my boards. I love cutting out letters(it's relaxing to me). Check out the pictures above!! These are only some of my bulletin boards for this school year(sorry, the photo's aren't the best). If you have any questions..just leave a comment!!!

August 14, 2008


Welcome to my classroom for the 2008-2009 school year! I am always striving to create the best environment for my students. I want my room to be a special place that transports kids out of any worries, concerns, stresses in their life...and places them in a safe, vibrant, joyful environment that encourages creativity, dialog, and development artistically, emotionally, & intellectually. You may think I just teach art, but I believe my mission is much bigger!

August 07, 2008

Art Teacher Inservice '08

Ok, so Janet & I (Julie too, but I didn't get a picture of her) decided to wear funny hats to the Visual & Performing Arts Inservice this morning. We were asked to help with registration & pass out packets as teachers arrived. Sometimes the start of a school year is a bit tough on teachers, and coming to an inservice is the last thing on their mind when they'd rather be working on their classrooms or planning for the first week of school! So we(affectionately called...The Art Gang) decided silly hats might help lighten the mood! I didn't take a survey or anything, but it seemed that we were successful! ha ha The three of us are very serious about what we do, but we do not take ourselves too seriously(most of the time)!

I wanted to include this picture of Janet to let you know that we didn't clown around the whole day! It has been years since we have been able to meet as "special area" teachers. It was so nice to see old friends & meet new ones!! Being able to connect, share ideas, and be with people who "get" what we do was refreshing!!!

If there are some art teachers out there reading this...please find a way to connect with other art teachers!! YOU NEED IT! Even if you don't think you do...YOU DO! Find others in your district, reconnect with old college friends in your program, join on-line art ed. groups.......JUST DO IT!!!! And if nothing else....leave me a comment with your contact information. I never meet a stranger.....and love to talk shop!!!

August 01, 2008

Dr. Ed's Annual Art Supplies Drive

It's that time again!!! Dr. Ed Thomas(chiropractor extraordinaire) is getting ready to have his Annual Art Supplies Drive. My friend Julie(pictured left) & I are the recipients of this gracious gesture.

For the past several years, Total Body Healthcare, Inc has had an Annual Art Supplies Drive, and it has truly made an amazing impact on our art programs. The supplies that come in(markers, crayons, scissors, glue..etc) mean that we can use our limited funds to purchase other important/necessary items to create a rich & meaningful art experience for our students. I've taken a section of Dr. Ed's flier and placed below so you can see what he is offering on his end of the deal! Julie & I both go to Dr. Ed(and this was before he started giving us stuff!! ha ha), and will sing his praises as a chiropractor. So if you are in need of some chiropractic attention....this is the time to go!!! Help yourself & help the art programs at Tulip Grove Elementary & Hermitage Elementary.

Our C-Savers will be August 14th. Please bring in $15 worth of art supplies in
exchange for your adjustment. Also, when you refer in your friends and family, they
can bring in $15 of art supplies to begin their care. This new patient special runs for
the entire month of August.

• Did you know that Metro Art teachers receive about $3.00 per child to buy
supplies that have to last all year?!?
• These supplies will be donated to Tulip Grove Elementary and Hermitage
Elementary schools.
• Help us make this year a year to remember for these students!

Total Body Healthcare, Inc
August 1-29, 2008
Phone: (615) 885-7300
252 Jackson Meadows Dr. Hermitage

(here are some of the supplies that were brought to last years supply drive)