November 28, 2014

Are You Following Me??

Hey friends! Do you follow me on Pinterest?  I am 29 people away from having 7000 followers!!  So if you aren't following me..pop on over!!  My boards are almost all art eduction related ( though I do have a turtle board...and a superhero board!! Haha ).  Come on over and check it out today!  

November 26, 2014

Painting Pumkins: Kindergarten

Over all, my kindergarten classes did very well with painting their pumpkins & mixing orange.  Every year is so different...sometimes every class is so different!! ha ha  The image is 12in x 18in....I like kindergarten to have a large space to paint on.  Painting has enough issues for really don't want them to work in small spaces!! ha ha  I use the biggy paints...4 colors.  They did great keeping the colors clean as well.  May need to paint a bit more since I feel pretty confident with their skills!!!

November 24, 2014

Maury County Visual Art PD: AKA Ted & Janet's Excellent Adventure

On Nov. 21st....Janet & I set out on a most excellent adventure!!  We drove to Maury County TN to lead a professional development for their visual art teachers!  This all came about because one of their art teachers and I hung out over fall break so I could help her with the new state portfolio growth assessment that their county just adopted(and we adopted last year). 
Here is the post about that meeting!! ---  (THE STORY STARTS HERE)

Janet & I usually present together in our district.  Scary to say..we share at least part of a brain!! ha ha
So I was glad to have her along for this adventure!  I had never been to Maury County before!  They only have about 16 art teachers total K-12.  That is very different from Nashville(90+ elementary!!..150 total K-12)....but a good different in many ways!  We were greeted with smiling faces...and many THANK YOU FOR COMING!!!  They don't have a lot of professional development...and it is usually one of them leading it.  So they were excited to be able to just enjoy the day and be a part of the adventure!!!  

The main reason for us being there was to train the teachers on the new teacher assessment portfolio.  This is a good allows us to be "judged" & evaluated on what we actually do in the art room.  It removes the math/reading type standardized test score from our overall evaluation(which is 50%). Anyways...they were excited to learn more about it...and asked AMAZING questions!!  They were really a wonderful group of teachers to work with!!  
?!?!me talking with my hands!??!

HOWEVER...Janet and I didn't want to just do the training for the portfolio...we wanted to have FUN too!!!  So we had to art making sessions added into the day!!!  Janet taught them the joy & application of Shrinky Dinks!! They really are awesome!!! Great for jewelry making lessons!!

I taught them how I do ugly dolls in my classroom...and introduced them to SMART FAB.  Some of them were able to finish, but many took them home so they could spend more time on them.  

I truly loved being able to meet these amazing art educators...and hopefully share some new information with them that they can apply!!!  They said they want us to come back!  I hope we spending time with my peeps!!

Just a side note...if you ever get to Maury County a town called Mt. Pleasant....YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE MT.PLEASANT GRILL!!!!!!!!!  I had a fried green tomato & bacon sandwich...and homemade blackberry milkshake!! WOW.  Gonna take my wife down that way sometime...she'd love it!!

November 19, 2014

Turtley Goodness

Here is what my practicum students came up with for their bulletin board requirement!!  I love I appreciated this bit of turtley goodness!!  Hahaha!!  Before I had posters from our textbook company I love the personal touch and amazing color these provide! Going to miss my practicum students...they were great!!!


November 18, 2014

Crayon Man!


Many of you saw my post on the Art Teacher Facebook page about my new "uniform"!  I couldn't stop myself...had to wear it at school today.  I only had it on during hall duty.  The kids LOVED it!! Haha  I walked past the YMCA Fun Company and heard the kids go crazy!! One student said, "Why does Mr. E have a crayon box on?"  Another student speaks up..."Duh?!?!! He's an art teacher?!!!"  Haha!! 

TAEA TUESDAY: $MONEY$- 4 - sUpPLiEs?!?!?

How you get  your supplies...or your money for supplies is always a hot topic when art teachers get together for any length of time!  There are many blessed in our area (Middle TN) with great budgets for art supplies.  This is not the case EVERYWHERE...and it varies greatly even within Middle TN.  Actually, it varies greatly within our district! (which is a topic for another post?!?!)

So where does money come from?!?  Oh how I wish it grew on trees!!!  The first place to look is from your school administration.  If they hold the purse strings..they are the ones to ask.  It might be good to ask around to find out how money is dispensed & the history of funding for classroom teachers & special area teachers before speaking to your principal.  You need to make sure you don't have unrealistic expectations for your school...and possibly offend those who control the $$!  
The hope would be that the school will give you a per-pupil amount that could fund your program for the year.  When I first started teaching in Nashville, we were given $3 a child.  That was 18 yrs ago, and was a pretty nice amount.  However, the past few years I've received less than $3 a child.  That is hard when you think a ream of paper use to cost $9...but now is $14.  

Some schools will give their art teacher a lump amount.  If the lump amount is large...AWESOME!  However, many times that is not the case.  Teachers need to pursue other avenues of funding if little or no money is given them.  Crowd sourcing sites are abundant.  Some are better than others...and you'll need to do some investigating if that is the direction you want to go.  You need to find out how your school district handles such things also...because that could come back to bite ya in the butt!!  So talk with your school book keeper/secretary.  They should be able to tell you the district policies on such things.    If website fund raising isn't for may want to go a more traditional!  There are many are related school fund raisers out there.  Once need to to check with your book keeper...or principal about the ability to do such a thing.  I am not allowed to do such fund raising.  We have 2 main fund raisers in our school a year...and they are done by the PTO.  

Asking parents & community members for supplies...both new or recycled materials is also a way to accumulate things!  The problem with this is it is inconsistent. However, if you are in a situation where no money is being given could probably make it work!!  If you are working with a limited budget...think of what items you'll be able to receive for little to no cost.....and what items are a must purchase.  You have to have the priority items to make your art curriculum work....and hopefully if your school is giving you any will be enough to cover those (at least!!!).  

Get involved in your community!!  I've had businesses, individuals, and churches "adopt" me...and they've collected supplies for my program.  They might not always be what I'd buy, but something is better than nothing...and I'm always appreciative of people wanting to be a part!!

Grants are few and far between, but possible!! Keep and eye out...and it never hurts to try!

Honestly though...I don't want to have to raise funds for art supplies if possible.  I think that a school should want to fund the arts!! If I start raising money for the basic needs...then they will not see a need to support me & what I'm doing with my students!! (I know..ideal thinking!!) 

November 17, 2014

Ya Think You're Funny..

I think I'm funny.  I've been told I'm funny.  My students laugh a lot!  something happened when I was trying to be funny, but I wasn't!!!
It got REAL up in here!!! 

So my 4th graders were doing an amazing job working on their narrative drawings!  I decided since they were doing so well...and were being so good...I'd set at the front of the room and refill my glue bottles(in horrible need of refilling & de-boogered).  Some of the kids were fixating on me pouring glue from the gallon bottle to the small bottles....which...I must say is an interesting process.  Well, the gallon bottle was empty and I decided I'd mess with the kids who were watching me instead of working.  So I hold the gallon bottle above my mouth acting like I was going to drink it.  However...there was one last blob of glue that decided to release as it was perfectly positioned over my mouth.  YEP...a big blob of glue fell to the back of my tongue with nothing to do but swallow it.  THE KIDS WENT CRAZY!!!!  "OH NO..MR. E IS GOING TO DIE...HE ATE GLUE!!!"  "WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?"  "WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU?"  " DO WE NEED TO CALL A DOCTOR?"  

More art...less comedy!! :) hee hee

November 13, 2014

Paper Weavings With Patterns: 2nd Grade

So were weaving in 2nd grade.  I like to start with paper weaving to make sure students understand the pattern of weaving strips(before moving onto fabric strips/ribbon).  However, they were so plain...I just wasn't happy with them & felt they didn't look like 2nd grade work.  So this week, we once again looked at African fabrics...pointing out colors, patterns, designs, and such.  The students used construction paper crayons to go back on top of their weavings and make them more interesting.  I LOVE THE RESULT! 

November 12, 2014

Pout-Pout Fish Winner!!

      Kim was the winner of the Pout-Pout Fish Collection from Deborah Diesen(author). Thanks to all who participated!! Hopefully we'll have more contests like this in the future!! Love a good book...and sharing it even more!!

November 11, 2014

TAEA TUESDAY: TN History In The Art Room

How many of you have been asked to include TN History into your curriculum?  I'd say a few of you have (or those from others states have been asked the same thing about your state).  At first you might have a gut reaction of disdain & annoyance.  But wait....can we do some awesome projects off of this request?  You don't need to create a book of state symbols or coloring pages of state symbols!!!  The classroom teachers already to such projects.  We can reinforce our state history/facts using the skills we're already teaching the students!  State flowers make AMAZING watercolor/painting projects!  You can look at Van Gogh...and then bring in the state flower..BAM!!! GREAT LESSON!  State can talk about symmetry/asymmetry, design, symbolism...look at the state flag...and then have them create their own personal flag that represents them or their family...BAM!!!! GREAT LESSON!  I'm personally thinking about using our state reptile, the Box Turtle, and creating a zentangle inspired lesson for the shell!!!! BAM!!! GREAT LESSON! ha ha  

Don't get your undies in a bunch too quickly when administration or classroom teachers ask you such things.....think creatively how you can be a part of a global process of learning.  Being able to work with students prior knowledge is in everyone's best interest for success!  

Now...if they are asking you to do things that detract from your program...then you need to have that discussion with the person asking.  You can not forsake your students art education to teach another subject area's content.  Just see if it is possible before you say no though...we are part of a TEAM!!!  

November 10, 2014

Faculty Bonding

We have a new assistant principal this year....and at her old school many participated in the Mayor's 5K Challenge.  So she challenged us to join in! ( It is a free 5K to encourage activity, health, and involvement in our city!)  We had probably close to 20 adults (admin, teachers, assistants, and subs) from our school participate!!!  I designed the shirts(big surprise?!?).  

It was a run/walk...bring your babies...bring your pets kind of 5K.  SO MUCH FUN!
I recommend something like this for you and your faculty!! It was so nice to get together on a beautiful day...and just enjoy being together doing an activity!!!  No real school talk or anything.  It is something that bonds a group...and most schools need more of that!!

I did start!!

Ms. student teacher from the beginning of the year joined in too!  She took the PRAXIS at 8 in the morning....went to church...and then came and did the 5K!!! She's pretty awesome.  

I did finish!!!


November 07, 2014

African Masks Painted: 4th Grade

If you've been trekkin' with me on the Found Object African Inspired are the results of painting.  Part of me would love to give them one more day to "refine" them...but I'm not sure I really have time to do so this nine weeks.  They are fun though...and the kids have REALLY enjoyed them.  Their classroom teachers have been telling me that the kids couldn't wait to get to art this week!!  I love that I've been able to provide a project they are that excited about.  


November 06, 2014


We're working on our landscape skills in 1st grade.  With my African theme right now, I thought it would be fun to have a lion as the center piece of the landscape.  Even though I showed the students how to draw a lion...I loved how diverse they came out!  Love my creative kiddos!!!!


November 04, 2014

TAEA TUESDAY: Learning A New Skill

TAEA TUESDAY-  This is a feature I'm adding to my blog to address questions/concerns/situations from my TAEA Elementary Division Peeps!  HOWEVER....EVERYONE CAN READ ON!  It is just good teaching info funness(not a word..I know).  

This is in regards to taking on Practicum & Student Teachers.  In TN we have a TON of universities.  There are many opportunities to mentor if you make the connections to do so.       


I think most of us can say that "ON THE JOB TRAINING" has taught us a great deal!  I know that even though my training at Bowling Green State University was AMAZING....there were still some holes in my knowledge base.  Come on...we teach in a HUGE field.  ART!  How can you know it all...EVER?!?!? :) ha ha  So my first year of teaching...I learned circle weaving.  It was in the curriculum...and had to be taught.  Lets just was a rough go!!!  However, over the years I've grown to love this project....and it is one of my favorite times of the year.  So I was talking to my practicum students from MTSU...they told me they had never done circle weaving before!  Well...I didn't want them to have to learn the way I during planning...I taught them a new skill!! If you take on practicum students or student teachers...try to find a media or project they may not know how to do & teach them!!!  Think back to your first year or two...and pull from the many things you didn't know how to do!

November 03, 2014

Kandinsky Collaborations: K-4

Here are my collaborative pieces for ARTOBER NASHVILLE: Kandinsky Inspired!
I've never done something like this before...but am thrilled with the results.  I had purchased foam core board from Dollar Tree to assemble the students work on.  They did bow a good bit..which surprised me(they kind of have almost a plastic coat on them).  I wasn't able to do EVERY class I have, but got enough done to really show off what the kids have been learning over the past month!  Hope you enjoy!