Thursday, September 15, 2016

Classroom Friendly Sharpeners has a new Yellow!

 Check out my new Yellow Classroom Friendly Sharpener.  If you haven't heard, it is the quietest sharpener on the market.  But my favorite thing about it is the ease of use and the great point it puts on my pencils.  Turn the crank just a couple of turns and you have a fabulously sharpened pencil.
I sharpen 36 pencils in my classroom at least twice each day.  With my new yellow sharpened it is a quick efficient job.

Below are photos from a first grader who figured out how to use the sharpener with no instructions.  That is how easy it is to use.  You can order a few for your classroom by clicking this link. and visiting the Classroom Friendly Supplies web page.
Squeeze the black handles and insert the pencil

Grab the handle and start to turn

Just a few turns and your pencil is sharpened!

Now to make some Art!

Oh, and did you know  you can replace the blades on your old sharpener?   I have a sharpener that is about 3 school years old.   I added a new blade when school started and it is just like new!  I love these sharpeners!  

September 15th - International Dot Day

Left on my desk at the end of the day

 Happy International Dot Day everyone!  My students have been working on projects for a couple of weeks.  Dot are decorating the halls as they begin to complete their projects.  I always plan a little something different for each class.  This year is no different.  I was especially pleased to receive this terrific little sign, to the left, on my desk at the end of the day.  One of my super duper students made it for me and left it as she was exiting school for the bus at the end of the day.  I was so thrilled that she remembered that today was the day because I hadn't even mentioned the date since last week.  See, they really do listen to us!!!  Love it!

Mandalla dots
Emoji Dots

Beautiful Mandalla
More Emoji Dots

Dots with Symmetry
Cassie Stephens Inspired Dots

More CS Dots

Cassie's Dots

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It was a big Woo Hoo!!!

Back to school Bulletin Board

I received the absolute best compliment ever this week.  Our Superintendent of schools stopped by school to do a walk through.  He shared many compliments about what he viewed while there, the student engagement, the positive comments he received from children and the great classroom management he observed. But then he added this to the bottom of his email:  I attached a couple of pictures that I had to take - a brilliant bulletin board mixing art history with pokemon go..."  Here is the only pic I have of the Bulletin Board, not the one he took but I had to share 'cause this made my whole day! 

Confession of a stubby penci hoarder

2003 Maestre Echinimunculus
Echinimunculus (2003) 
I have a problem, I admit it, I save stubby pencils.  I've been doing it for awhile.  I save them for the possibilities.  I know there is something there and one day my creativity will hop in with the solution.  So for now, I have contatiners, and contatiners, and more containers of stuibby pencils.  Recently there was a post on Facebook by a fellow stubby pencil collector wondering what could be done with her collection.  I am not alone in my obsession.  There were lots of post and photos for suggestions on how to renew the pencil collections of art teachers from all over the county.  One Art teacher posted this link and I quickly hopped over to check it out.  Thank you Shelly Sampley Dent .  There are five (5!) porfolios of pencil sculptures.  Most were very interesting, to say the least and I scroll thorugh each and every image.  But you know how you feel when a work suddenly speaks to you?  I felt that delight when I viewed this little gem   There ;is something pretty delightful about this sculpture.  I search for the definition of the word Echinimunculus quite unsuccessfully.  I'm sure it would add insight into the artist intent.  For now, I will just appreciation the pure delight I feel as I view this little gem. AND...I'll keep hoarding those pencils, cause , you never know, I might have a Echinimunculus in my future,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

What might your Emoji say?

super hero?
Fourth grade students are creating original Emoji for this year's Dot project.  They began by brainstorming ideas for something original.  What message would there Emoji represent and how could they come up with a new idea instead of something they had already seen?  This was the challenge.
Captions suggest what they might me, from my point of view and do not necessarily reflect the ideas of the artist.  You'll have to check Artsonia after they have titled them and written artist statements to determine the true meaning and purpose!

Especially happy
Happy in love?

Goofy happy


Monday, September 5, 2016

How I spent my three day weekend

Lego blocks, spiders, pumpkins, Dia de los Muertos, teeth, Lego men
are just a few of the 20 or so molds I have collected.
Why yes, it is Labor Day, the official end of the summer holiday.  Dreaded by kids, educators and anyone else who is reluctant to say a final good bye to those lazy days of summer.  We started back last week, the teachers on Monday and the students joined us on Wednesday.  All is off to a great start, we've done management details, expectations and designed the covers to our sketchbooks.  This week we are down to business with first projects celebrating International Dot Day.  I have spent my weekend tying up schedules, printing out class rosters and creating rewards. Rewards, already? you much be thinking.   Well, one of my classroom jobs is "Neat Freaks".  These fortunate students are responsible for making sure everything is where it belongs at the end of class.  Don't be confused, their job is not to put away supplies, it is so much more important than that!  Their job is to search for those missing items that just didn't seem to make it back to their assigned places during clean-up.  You know the crayon that rolled under the draw rack, the sketchbook that was piled on top of the shelf,  The marker lid that didn't find it's marker body or the cut paper scrap that missed the recycling bin.  When everyone thing is done at the end of the class, I locate one such item and it becomes the mystery item.   One child from each of the six class tables is designated the Neat Freak and they are task with finding my mystery item.  It is the favorite job of each class regardless of the grade because whomever finds the mystery item receives a prize.  When I first began this process, I thought I'd really set myself up for some major expense.  I began scouring the dollar store for inexpensive art related prizes and digging through my art stash for things I would part with.  As chance would have it, I stumbled on a very economical practice while in Michaels early last October that has almost eliminated my out of pocket expense and has the kids eager to locate the mystery item in each and every class.  Here is what I do, I recycle broken crayons and make new one.  It can't get any easier than that...well except for peeling old crayons and the time it takes to make the new ones.  But who is kidding who here, I am not, absolutely not complaining.  These are the best!!!  Over the past year I have been the first one to hit the store at the end of every holiday to pick up those little silicone baking molds on clearance and this summer I scouted all the discount stores for the new ones at cheapy cheapy prices.  Why yes, I tell you, jump on board, this is a behavioral bonanza.  My room has never been cleaner and my supplies have never been more well kept.  Some classes I even have to "plant" a mystery item because clean-up is so thorough.  They are easy peasy, really and at the end of the school year, everyone was donating broken crayons.  I literally have bags and boxes full in my basement to create new beautiful fun shaped crayons this school year.  I peel the paper or better yet, get the kids or my husband to do it.  Break them up as small as you can, sometimes I use a small paring knife if needed and then fill the forms.  I bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes and let them cool very well before popping them out of the molds.  If one breaks when you try to remove it, leave it in the mold for the next time you are making them and just remelt it up.  Try it, your students will think you are a super hero!   

Back to School....It's International Dot Day!

My sample to test the instructions
Back to school time and I am testing project ideas for International Dot Day.  For anyone who doesn't know what that is you can find the information HERE.  Dot Day is official September 15th but we celebrate Dot-ish day and recognize it all month.  My students always start out the year with a Dot Day project.  It's a great way to "get the ball rolling", or dot, so to speak.  I found this great idea on Cassie Stephen's blog.  You can find it HERE and knew it was something I wanted to try with my students.  Her video is pretty awesome as well.  I can't wait to play it for my students when we begin the project next week.  My focus will be on an Asymmetrical composition and we will talk about the texture.
Here is my Dot Day rundown by grade:
5th Mandalas
4th Emoji
3rd Symmetry
2nd Asymmetry
1st Color Wheel dots
I'll be sure to post the finished results for all!