January 30, 2013

Experimenting With New Projects: Teacher Examples

I love to try out new ideas...new projects!  I get bored doing the same ol' same ol' !!!!  Having student teachers allows me the chance to experiment....either because my student teacher is bringing new ideas that I'd like to try, during our time ideas get sparked for new projects or new ways to try old projects, or I see something on blogs/Pinterest that I want to see if they'd work in my room.  Here are my latest experiments in the laboratory of Mr. E!!

This was a Pinterest find.  I used acrylic..and then a tempera varnish over top of it to help the paint from getting scratched off.  I warn you...this project is extremely labor intensive!  If you were working with middle/high school...they could do the cutting, but I do not feel that the earlier elementary ages would do the best at cutting the milk jug down.  We're doing this with 2nd grade...and are excited about the end result.  Hopefully worth all the work. The students started this week...so pictures of their work coming soon.

My third graders are creating collagraphs.  As I was observing my student teacher...I started cutting some of the left over cereal boxes.  I thought..."Wonder what it would be like to paint it black(tempera) & then use oil pastels on top?!?!"  Here is the answer.  I really like the look.  We're going to try it...stay tuned.

Our 4th graders have been working on an architecture unit this nine weeks. We went from 2 point perspective...to the clay facades...and now this.  We used St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow as our inspiration.  This project has many components.  If you venture to try this...give yourself two class times.  (TIP: You'll need to have them start the class with their watercolor sky to allow it time to dry.)

In cutting the milk jugs for the mask project...I've been contemplating what I could use the rest of the jug for?!?!  After cutting the back half off...I threw it down on the table on top of a book I was looking at.  I noticed I could easily see through the milk jug , and thought..."hmm...monoprinting?"  I found a section that was flat and cut that out.  After drawing a Koi in Sharpie...I placed the milk jug on top & used water soluble oil pastels to color it..finishing it off with black to define the shape.  I sprayed the paper with water..and then pressed the milk jug onto the surface.   In the picture...bottom left is drawing in sharpie...top middle is the piece of milk jug with oil pastel ...bottom right is the monoprint.  
(TIP: Wash off the milk jug piece when you are finished & you can use it again and again!)

January 29, 2013

Clay Days: 4th Grade Facades

I have a love hate relationship with this project. . In every class I have several lovely facades...but it is the rectangles that are way too small...too thin...and have no defining characteristics that make me crazy.  How can you spend at least 40 min with the clay in your hands and end the class with something the size & appearance of a saltine?!?!  Demo-check...teacher examples-check...reinforcement throughout-check...self checking devices-check!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    ......Sigh......

(these are the ones that turned out pretty well)

January 25, 2013


Have you heard of SMART!  I hadn't either until I was contacted last week.  I received an e-mail from Kelli Monday, Project Manager.  She had been following Art With Mr. E & my Pinterest boards, and thought I might be interested in hearing more.  My student teacher & I were excited to hear the vision for SMART!...and to share ideas we had with her.  


It is a retail store for reused/recycled (scrap) art supplies created as a social enterprise under the umbrella of Progress Inc, a nonprofit organization that supports developmentally disabled adults.  The scrap items will be donated from our community (you, friends, neighbors, and businesses) and will be processed by individuals we support for resale.  


Their mission is simple.  They want to provide reused/recycled art supplies, at a low cost to the public while enriching the lives of the people we support at Progress Inc. with employment, learning job skills, and generating revenue to continue our mission of helping individuals to reach their full potential.  In addition, their goal is to also provide inexpensive art supplies to the community, teachers, artists, and craftspeople while helping our environment by eliminating excess waste into our landfills. 

PRETTY COOL, EH?!?!?!  I'm excited for them to be a part of our community.  Their goal is to open a place by March of this year!  If you are in the Metro Nashville area...contact Kelli if you'd like to be a part in some way...or find out how you can be a part!!!!  

January 24, 2013

Completed Flower Mixed Media/Recycled Project: K

I may add black glitter in the center of the flowers, but we're calling these done!  Cutting the butterfly from the diffuser paper was a challenge!  We ended up telling the students to cut out 4 circle/ovals & then gluing the pieces together.  The fabric was also a big challenging for some, but overall most student were able to do it unassisted.  

January 22, 2013

Struggling to Let Go of My OCD Ways!!!!

There is much going on in the art room!!!  I'm working on projects for my "recycled" art show, keeping up with the curriculum, and plugging in my student teacher as much as possible(it's only her second week).  I'm use to running a very tight ship...with much thanks to my OCD ways!!  However...it seems I'm slowly being broken of this issue!  It started when I got married to someone who is not OCD....then I had children....now it's all the above + a lot of new opportunities/responsibilities.   Something has to give.  I am not able to keep up the "perfect" art room...with "perfect" organization.  I'm not able to stay at school till 6pm every night.  At some point...ya gotta retrain-da-brain!  Life will continue if I have a pile of "stuff" in my art room.  Life will continue if I don't have all my supplies tucked away at the end of the day.  The result of the mess can be  glorious masterpieces!  

January 18, 2013

Postive/Negative Space - 2nd Grade

Our curriculum had a still life lesson to start the nine weeks....but I wanted to introduce some other things into lesson lesson.  If you've ever done positive/negative space with your students...you know that it can be challenging.  However, I feel it is really important to get them to consider the space around the main objects in their work.  I'm pretty proud of my kiddos!  I also allowed them to use watercolor pencils for the first time.....THEY LOVED THEM!!! 

January 17, 2013

Step 2: Kindergarten

So here is the second step in the kindergarten project from my last post!  We have one more day of work till the final reveal! This was not as easy as it seems?!?!?! OH MY GOODNESS!!  Monday I felt like I was banging my head on the wall!!!!  I had to rethink the lesson...and Tues/Wed went so much better!  I took all the students painted paper and cut it up on my paper cutter.....then gave each table a pile of paper to use.  I also used the pre-cut tissue paper circles.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story...umm.....project!

January 13, 2013

The Start of Something: Kindergarten

I gave my kindergarten classes blue, yellow, and white last week...and we talked about creating greens.
They painted newspaper...which will be used this week to create their art work.  

January 11, 2013

Clay & Glass Experiment

My friend Janet ( msmalonesartroom.blogspot.com ) & I were discussing if we could use glass marbles/beads/etc with our clay lessons.  I don't tend to glaze because of the time/cost of it with the number of children I see.  Sometimes I'll use underglaze and did projects, but usually I just use acrylic with the kids.  Anyways, I made a bunch of little pieces over break so I could give it a try.  Some pieces I did not do a glaze on....some I glazed and laid the glass on top...others I glazed & then put the glaze on top of the glass pieces as well.  
Here are the results:
 The melting of the glass is very irregular.  
The color burned out of some...and the orangish colored ones were red glass. 
 The ones I did not glaze at all...some of the glass popped out.  
The ones I placed glaze over top of the glass....have a film over them.

Janet is going to try some other things...and will post her results as well (right Janet?).  I'm not saying I won't try this with the kids, but I'm not sold on it either.  WORTH A TRY!!! Had fun doing it.  

January 09, 2013

Pout-Pout Pinch Pots

If you've been following my blog for a year or two...you'll know how much I love The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen!  If you don't have it...here is the Amazon link  BUY IT ...YOU'LL LOVE IT!!!

In our curriculum for 1st grade we have pinch pots starting off the nine weeks.  Pinch pots are great & all...but a little boring in & of themselves.   You've probably seen a number of other ideas on Pinterest or your fav. art blog of how you can jazz up the lesson.  I love doing fish & underwater units, and this fits in perfectly. 



The Pout-Pouts gathering place!

January 07, 2013

An NAEA Blessing!

Most of you know that I'll be doing a session at this years NAEA in Fort Worth (If you will be there...come visit me...my session is Blogging & Other Shameless Self Promotion! Also I'll be heading a table up at the round table discussions for elementary).  Money to get there has been a great concern...since I'm the only income for my family.  Before we had Eli...we knew we wanted my wife to be able to stay home with our children, and we did everything we could to set ourselves up for that to happen.  Now almost 2 yrs into it...we have seen God provide for us over and over.  We've not struggled or wanted for anything.  We are careful with our money...and make wise choices, but to say we've gone without....I can not!  This trip is going to be a big expense that is well over what we're use to since going to only my income.  However, we felt it was important for me to continue to pursue the doors that have opened up over the past few years professionally.  Sunday...a man that use to be in the adult Sunday school class I teach came up to me. He proceeded to share that God had put it on his heart to pay for the hotel room we'll be staying in while in Fort Worth.  He is going to cash in all his "points" and put us up near the conference.  WHAT?!?!?!  I was blown away.  I had talked to him a bit the past Wed. about a grant I was writing to help pay for the trip, but never thought anything of our conversation.  Here is the kicker...he sent the link to where he was going to get our hotel room...it was the exact hotel my wife was going to book for us(has a great indoor pool for the kids!!).  

AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  & PTL!

Not art related...but a GREAT story!

I'm a sucker for a great story!  Soldier stories really get me!!!! 

January 04, 2013

..a little humor...

My aunt posted this on my facebook today....made me chuckle! 
Have a great day friends....will be back to school on Monday, January 7th.

January 02, 2013

Getting Organized In The New Year

A new year is a great time for fresh starts!  Many an art teacher has promised themselves to be more organized in the new year(sometimes with the calender new year..sometimes with the start of a new school year).  Organization can't happen if you are a hoarder!!!  You have to be willing to get rid of "stuff".  If you don't use something...get rid of it!  If it doesn't work as it should...get rid of it!  If you haven't figure out what to do with it....get rid of it!  I know...I KNOW...our treasures are hard to part with.  We might use it some day...it is a perfectly good (insert odd item we'd never buy ourselves)...someone gave it to me.  Your room needs to function as a well oiled machine....and all the "stuff" gunks things up.  Just because you are an art teacher doesn't make your classroom the junk yard.  YOU CAN DO IT!  Start small...clean out a cabinet or drawer!  Throw out those dried up glue sticks/bottles.  

January 01, 2013

On An Artistic Note...

This year I've created very little art of my own.  However...as the ball was dropping at midnight...I was adding the last snowflake to my painting!! I did this all in one night.  My wife was working an artsy project..and told me to get my paint & canvas out.  A family that creates together...stays together!!!