August 29, 2014

Kandinsky Inspired Mixed Media Still Life

My student teacher jumped into painting her first week of creating her own lessons!! Pretty proud of her for doing that.  So much time management goes into painting...but this project even more so!!  They looked at Kandinsky's Concentric Circles as their background inspiration.  We used black and white paint to create an interesting...but neutral background.  They then did a simple still life...colored with crayons..cut it out..and glued it down.  We later switched to a sunflower still life & found greater success.  Who knew coloring an apple CORRECTLY would be so challenging.  And while I'm speaking about challenging...THEY COULD NOT DO A SIMPLE FOUR LINE GRID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WOW!!!  She had to actually demo it...draw a line here...draw a line draw a line here...etc!  We learned from the first day's class not to take such things for granted!! ha ha  

August 27, 2014


When I set up GradeSpeed, I place an auto-fill grade in as a "placeholder".  I will go back in and update them to reflect your student's true grade.  Often we work multiple days on a project. Their final grade for the nine weeks will be determined after a portfolio review once they've had "Finish Up Day". Please feel free to email me if you have any questions in regards to grading.  THANK YOU!! 

August 22, 2014


NOT MY NORMAL POST...THINKING TOO MUCH I GUESS?!?! HA HA  This post was rattling around my head as my student teacher was instructing...and I kept hearing children say "I CAN'T"..."I DON'T KNOW HOW"..."IT'S TOO HARD"..."I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO"..."I DON'T HAVE ANY IDEAS".  The listen featured great questions...good images to jump start things...tied to personal experience...and yet this is what the students were muttering.  So below is what I wrote in the journal I keep for my student teachers of their experience.  

It's official...creativity is dead!  Video may have killed the radio star...but I feel video games, TV "babysitters", and the internet/social networking may be to blame for this atrocity. 
I guess it is also official...I'm an OLD FART!! ha ha  This sounds like something uttered in every generation by the generation before it.  Maybe they were right? 
 With every advancement....there are steps backwards.
In providing(indulging) our children in all that was not available to us...have we stripped them of their natural curiosity & creativity?

How do we as art educators (and all those amazing people out their who desire to grow their students & children in the arts) ignite the imaginations & creativity of this generation?  I'm not talking about "entertaining" them.  Entertaining them is partly to blame for getting us to this pickle in the first place!  I'm do we reach deep down into the pure heart of a child and remind them of the magical world they live in.....where anything is possible if they can just imagine it.  Is it building confidence? Teaching fearlessness?  


August 21, 2014

Funny Flamingo

This post started off being about the still life drawings my students are working on this week.  However, as I started photographing them...I noticed the faces of the flamingo were all so different! 
So here are the fabulous & funny flamingo faces!!! 
This is what Mr./Mrs. Flamingo actually looked like! 

When ya run out of gotta do what ya gotta do!
So this makes him look like Daffy Duck when he gets hit in the face with something!!

This is kind of scary when you are flipping through all the profile flamingos...
and then this dude is staring at you!

I don't know...maybe you all aren't as amused.  They made me smile/laugh...and I wanted to share it with you!!  The variety is crazy...which I'd really love...if it wasn't a still life & they were suppose to look like the original.  
Oh least my kids are all original!!!!!!! 

August 17, 2014

Amazing Teacher Store!

If you are in the Middle TN area, or are planning a trip this need to drop by The Learning Circle in Murfreesboro, TN (South of Nashville on 24...and the home of MTSU).  I think my teacher friends need to plan a field trip there next year before school starts.  IT IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I'm planning to go "AROUND THE WORLD" this year (2nd -4th 9 weeks)...and was looking for display items.  The staff was super helpful and gave me many suggestions. MNPS can use a purchase order!!  They are an approved vendor, and I believe will deliver for orders over $100.  

Not into premade borders so much...BUT LOVE THESE ARE RELATED ONES!!!!!



August 13, 2014

Books in the Art Room

In the matter of 3 days...I received two comments on my blog & two e-mails asking about the books I use in the art room!  So I took that as a sign for what I should blog about! ha ha  

I always start every lesson for Kindergarten with a book.  I have a large I can match just about any lesson I'm teaching to a story.  I've grown my library through several means. I have written grants.  I have bought them using my personal money.  I've had family members buy me books for Christmas or my Birthday.  Discarded books from the library.  School book fairs(they gave all the profits to the teacher to buy books for their classroom!!!!).  Wish Lists.  School funds earmarked for classroom needs.  

And if you don't have extra funds...personal or school...there is always your school & local library!  

Below is a link to our district curriculum's BOOK LIST.  It is by no means exhaustive.  There are new books I'm finding ALL THE TIME!!!

Also take a look on my Pinterest page.  I have a board marked BOOKS I USE IN THE ART ROOM.  They are linked to AMAZON if you want to buy it...just click.  
I think my pinterest page is  

If you are just getting started...look for books that are around 32 pages.  Image rich are also important for young learners.  Think in books, fall books, winter books, dino books..etc.  They will be the most useful connecting lessons.  



August 09, 2014

Tour of My Art Room

    Cassie Stephens inspired me to do a video tour of my classroom after seeing hers!! 
 Just in case it doesn't work on your computer, I'll throw in the pictures as well!! 
Basically the same layout I've used the past few years.  My room is about twice the size as a normal classroom.  It was designed as an art room when the school opened in 1989.  I'm thankful for the space!!!

This year I'm really going to push geography/social studies...each nine weeks we'll go to two continents and visit a bunch of countries!!  Stay tuned for our adventure!!!

I have a box for each class.  Makes storing things so much easier!!


I have A LOT of books!!  I read to Kindergarten every time they come, 
and sometimes to the older students as well.

This is supply central!

Each table has a number(which I match to my color theme every year), an eraser, and two sharpeners(in the plastic container).  I sometimes have problems with students stabbing the erasers...but other than that...this has worked for me.  I'd rather them have it at their table then getting up to sharpen a pencil and get an eraser.  I know some of you fear the students taking the sharpeners or erasers...but I've never had that problem.  Sometimes things end up in the crayon/marker/color pencil box...but they are always found.  

August 07, 2014


                                         Responsible. On Task. Appropriate. Respectful.
ROAR is part of our school wide positive behavior plan.  When my principal asked if I would do a team building time during the first day of inservice....I knew I wanted to cover an old mural I had done 11 yrs ago.  I originally was going to use large foam sheets, but they broke into a million pieces as  I walked  out of Home Depot on a windy day( no joke! ). I remembered I had a large amount of canvas type fabric in my room.  I cut it into four panels....about 6 foot tall by 3 foot wide each. I drew out the letters on each(while watching Sharknado 2), and broke them into sections.  During the inservice I taught the teachers about Zentangles....and they used Sharpies to create their tangles. They loved it!!!  My student teacher outlined the letters with black paint.  I used red glitter ribbon to outline the top and bottom of the banners.  I love that this was created by faculty....and that they are so proud!!!



Student Teacher #12

This is Emily Sanford, my awesome new student teacher!  This is also the earliest I've ever had a student teacher. I think it is great she's getting to see how it all begins. I've had the privilege of working with her during some practicum experiences as well...and am excited to have her here back at TGE!!!!!  She is a student at Belmont University.   They are pumpin' up their art ed program....and she'll be the first one I've had from there!! (I usually have student teachers from MTSU, but have worked with Lipscomb, TSU, and Travecca as well).  Justin is the name of her prof....and we decided this could count as his unannounced visit!!!! ha ha  

August 02, 2014

My Dirty Little Secret!

My dirty little secret!  My supply closet looks like a Sharknado hit it!  I usually try to show you my classroom when it is all nicey nice....but this is reality right now.  I stuff my closet with everything going into summer....because I hate having everything placed out in the hall when they strip and wax the floor!  Well...some how several things got overturned.  It is a hot mess.  I hope to get to it Monday. I am going to have my student teacher attack some other things....and I'll start on this!! If Sharknado has taught me anything.....make sure you have a chainsaw with you!!!