Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to My Classroom (Again)

View from my desk

I went back up to my K-2 school again this morning and put up the front bulletin board (forgot to take a pic!) that I never got to on Friday.  It came out really cute.  Lots of smiling flowers, lots of color and the banner reads: "When We Learn We Grow".  Everyone walking by really liked it!  I'll take a picture when school starts.  Once school starts going and the first art projects are completed then it becomes art work display for the rest of the year.  I took a few more pictures of my room as I put up a few things this morning.  This is the view of my half of the room if you are sitting at my desk (which I barely do except to write plans).

This is a corner view from my desk area.  (really messy poster/examples shelf in corner!  I'll get to it...  eventually)

This is the view of the music room side.  It's not set up yet so the chairs are all stacked to the side.  They get set up in a semi-circle around the piano.  That's the floor area we work on to do large collaborative work.  That's the smart board in the middle. 

This is the computer I share with the music teacher.  I took the giant flower off the front bulletin board this morning and taped it up behind the computer stand.  I didn't have the heart to throw it on top of a shelf!

New sign I made for my paper cutter.  The other sign was looking pretty nasty!

Here's the sink area.  Notice how high the faucet is above the sink?  When the kids wash their hands water goes EVERYWHERE!.  Oh and a few have figured out that it will unscrew from the base if you keep twisting it around!  Soon the sink area will be filled with paint brushes, paints and water containers (aka. old Blue Bunny ice cream containers).  The kids always comment that I must eat a lot of ice cream to have so many of these buckets!  The paint trays are stacked and ready in the corner.  The smocks are hanging up and ready on the outside of the bathroom door.

New sign by the sink to remind the kids to wash their hands.  Made one for inside the bathroom as well.  That sign has a picture of hands with smiley faces painted on them and it says:  "Clean hands are happy hands.  Please remember to wash your hands with soap and water."  (Didn't think you needed to see a pic of the bathroom)  

This poster is hanging on the board near the drying racks.  The students always refer to this painting as "The creepy guy screaming!"

I got this idea from Mrs. Picasso's Art Room last January when I first started blogging.  This way the students can always see what we are doing now, what we did last and what we will be doing next.  I had to make new ones this year since I am now teaching Kindergarten too.  I like how they came out!  Now I will have to make new ones for 3d, 4th and 5th grades at the other school!

I cut up last years painting place mats and used them as the background borders!


Here they are on the board where I will post the essential questions that go with each lesson.  I'll hang the questions on the side of the board next to the shelf and change them out for each grade level so they can only view theirs.  Less confusing that way.

I also made up a poster of lines and poster of shapes that I can leave up in the room on display when we are done using them for the first few lessons.  This way the visual is always there for the students to refer to.  Right now they are on my white board for easy view for the next few weeks.  The painting place mat in the left corner will stay there for the entire year.  I will display examples of the projects we are working on there.  White paper on the white board never shows and I always have to put something behind my examples so they stand out from the white board.  I miss having a chalk board at this school.  I have one at my 3-5 school still.  Love that chalk board!  :)

That's all until school starts next Thursday.  I go back Tuesday and Wednesday for meetings and In-Service.  I stopped at my 3-5 school this afternoon with all intentions of laminating the class folders, hanging up the rest of the displays and taking some pictures for you but...  The laminater was broken AGAIN (second time in a week!), it was dreadful humid and when I walked down to my room the door was locked and I was too lazy to walk all the way back to the office for a key and back again (our keys and ID badges that open the outside doors are not given back until the first day of school).  In disgust, I said: "Forget it!" to myself and went home!
I can do the rest on the first day of school.  I will have time in the afternoon to work on my room.  Now all I have left to do is to finish some seating charts and some lesson plans and I'm all set!  Onward & Forward!  :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting My Classroom Back Together (sort of)


Well, I finally got up to my other classroom the past two days.  I almost finished up yesterday but I got kicked out at 3:00 pm as they were locking up for the day.  Back today for about three hours.

Boxes needed to be moved and unpacked.

Shelves needed to be straightened out and furniture moved back where it belongs.

My desk is under here somewhere!

This picture is for you Pat! :)  I commented to Pat at Sharpie Woman that her cutting board was so clean!  This one has been in the art room for over 25 years and still cuts awesomely! The ruler at the top is now missing so I have Sharpie marks all over the top so I know where to cut different sizes.

I seriously think that it's time for a new sign! What do you think?

It's looking better,  but I still have to work on straightening up the shelves.

 We are not allowed to have curtains since they are a fire hazard.
I would really like curtains.

I found my desk!

I got a white-board to leave myself daily/weekly notes.
It makes me look so organized!  NOT!!!

New rules sign I made this summer.


My other bulletin board.
I share the room with the music teacher (we alternate days)
I have the back of the room by the sink (for obvious reasons!).

The new job chart I made this summer.  Four jobs for four tables.  Each table is a color, I can move the miniature versions of my table signs from pocket to pocket each week to change the jobs around.  (Thanks to my husband for scanning and shrinking them!)

There's Mona!
She is the best art room cue for attention I have found!
The idea for this amazing cue belongs to Mr.Russell.
It works like a charm!

I love my bright red drying racks!  I was able to purchase these through donations on Donors Choose.  You can see my post about it here.  I also had another project funded this summer.  Our PTO is purchasing the art room two more for this school year! Thank you PTO!

 My white board is looking REALLY clean!  That won't last long! :)

I got this rack from the same Donors Choose project as my drying racks.

This is the front of it.
I use it to store all the art work the classes are working on.
All my new class folders are laminated, organized by day and ready for a new school year!

This is what the table signs look like taped down. I found this tie-dye packaging tape at Wal-Mart.  It worked great.  Let's see how long it takes for the little fingers to start picking at it!

Well, that's all I've got for now.  More about my other room when school starts.  Friday I go up to put up the front hallway bulletin board up at my K-2.  Let the countdown start! :)

Friday, August 17, 2012

What's in Your School Bag?

I finally cleaned out my school bag this morning!  The last day of school I came in and dropped it in the corner of my room and that's where it stayed until now.  I usually go through it when school gets out, but the last day of school was nuts!  I got a phone call at work from the nurse at my son's school saying she thought he fractured his arm in gym! Really?!  After waiting Three hours in the ER, we found out it was not fractured (Thank God!) It was just a severe sprain.  So, needless to say I was not worrying about cleaning out my school bag that day!   (or any other day)  So here's what I found...

•  Two small packs of Sticky Notes
•  One box of Erasers (I must have ran out at one school and
    was bringing them to the other school)
•  One bottle of White Out
•  Two Cold Brew Tea Bags
•  One bag of Hall's Defense Vitamin C Drops
•  Two Bull Dog Clips.

•  My Artsonia folder for both of my schools
•  A folder with curriculum stuff

We re-wrote the Visual Arts curriculum this past year.  Didn't even know I was still carting that around!  No wonder the bag was so heavy!

•  Two planners and numerous folders that should have
    been filed in my file cabinet before I left.

•  The book, Pete the Cat – I Love My White Shoes
    Bought at the book fair the end of this year for K next year
    Should have been dropped off at my K-2 school
•  Two School Arts magazines
•  One Glue Stick
•  One Raspberry Crayola marker
•  One Black Sharpie
•  A Calculator along with various papers
   That again, should have been filed before I left!

And The List Continues:
•  One Purple Extra Fine Sharpie
•  Numerous Batteries, from or for my camera
   Not sure if they are good or bad!
•  A pretty card from a Colleague
   Congratulating me for being chosen Teacher of the Year!
•  One change purse
   With tons of pennies!
   Used all the good change for the soda machine at school!
•  I also found random Garbage
•  Assorted papers
•  Homemade Thank You's from Students
•  One half empty Water Bottle – Or half full :)
•  One bag of Peanuts
•  One very squished Granola Bar. Yum!


This would be the bag it was all in.  You can't really tell from the photo but this bag is HUGE!  You could fit a small child in it!  I made it during last Christmas break.  It's an Amy Butler pattern from her book entitled, "Style Stitches".  It's called the "Cosmo Bag".


The inside has tons of pockets.  I added more than the directions called for and I use each and every one of them!

This is another bag I use for school from time to time.  It's inspired by this bag from Attic 24.  I lined it and got the handles from a cheap purse I bought at Wal-Mart and stripped for all the purse hardware.

I used this one a lot in the beginning of the school year, but it kept slipping off my shoulder while carrying everything and it drove me crazy!  I still love it though!  It's kind of a hippy bag.

This one I use when I have an in-service. It's a flat magazine style bag, good for carrying folders, books, etc...  I really love the fabric on the upper half of the bag! Sadly, I only had a fat quarter of it.

Just love the little jewelry detail I added!  I saved the swirly silver piece from a beaded lanyard that I broke (never give an art teacher a fancy lanyard!).  It swung under a table when I bent down to work with a student, got caught and beads went flying everywhere!

This is an older patchwork bag I used for a very long time.  I stopped using it when I realized the weight of all the crap I carry back and forth to school was ripping one of the handles!

This is the newest edition to my many school bags.  I blogged about making it in an earlier post.  I finally got around to making it the other day when my car was in the garage for repairs.  It's an Amy Butler bag.  This one is called, "The Beautiful Belle Handbag".  It's way too big for a handbag and more like a large tote.  It has an open top and I extended the handles because they were just too short for me.  It has four huge pockets inside like my Cosmo bag.  I'll use it to carry school stuff on days I don't need my big bag chock-full-of everything.  It will be good for the first couple of In-Service days at school.

It was kinda plain so I stuck my grasshopper pin on it! I love the greens in the batik fabric.  Green can be very calming, don't you think?  Maybe it will keep me chilled out during the two days of meetings and information overload!  Well, now that my main bag is cleaned out I can fill it up again with stuff for a new school year!  Have a great school year everybody!  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A New School Year...

I'm getting ready for a new school year!  I have been working on signs, displays, assessment and paper work all summer and it's time to start putting it into my art rooms! (and get the piles of stuff out of my house!)

I decided to go with colors for my tables this year instead of numbers.  These are the table markers I made.  I found the crayon box line drawing on Pinterest.  You can find the printable on my Stuff For Art Lessons board on my Pinterest Page.  It took forever to color each one but I love how they came out!  My husband scanned them onto the computer in case I need to replace any during the school year.  (Thanks Hon!)  I just need to laminate them and attach them all onto my tables at school.

This is one of two job charts I made for my art rooms.  I have clear pockets that attach to each job line when I get them laminated at school.  My husband took the scans of my table color sheets and shrunk them to fit into the pockets.  Each week a different table will have a different responsibility.  I will just move the colored cards from pocket to pocket.  This school has only four tables (K-2).  My other art room has six tables (3-5) so that chart will include "Pass Out Supplies" and "Collect Supplies".  I found this great tie-dye oak tag at Wal-Mart this summer.  It came in two color combinations so I got a couple for each school.  The other one will become my display board for my "Essential Questions" for each lesson.  I still have those charts to put together yet. 

At my 3rd - 5th grade school, I have to give letter grades to my students.  How their art work is graded is confusing to them even with using rubrics (Me too! Personally, I don't feel we should be letter grading a child's artwork but that's a subject for another day!).  So this year I created display boards for each letter grade so they can visualize what each grade looks like!  I saw this idea several places on the web.  I think the visual will also help parents who have questions about grading.

This is what an "A" looks like

This is what a "B" looks like

This is what a "C" looks like

This is what a "D" looks like

These are young kids.  I have never had to give less than a "C-" and that student's effort improved the following marking period.

These are sayings, quotes I found on Pinterest.  You can find them all on my Pinterest Page
on my Wise Words board.  I printed them out and embellished them for dislpay.

I love how these came out!  I especially love the potato shaped creature in the above photo!

Remember a couple of posts ago I mentioned that we were doing DIY in the back of our house?  Well...  We finished!  For this year any way.  There is more that we want to do but that won't be until next summer.  We are planning on adding large pieces of field stone to the new patio area and extending the deck out.  What used to be here was a muddy area that never grew grass and was always a mess!  Adding the pea gravel cleaned it up and makes it a very enjoyable place to sit and hang out now!

These are the great new steps I asked my husband to build.  Didn't he do a great job?!  The other staircase is still on the other side of the deck.  We decided to leave them there as we want to create a lower deck on that side next summer. 

See the large sticks in the back?  They are from birch trees that I trimmed out of the tiers up above.  I am going to make them into a coffee table for the patio.

This is where I trimmed out all those trees.  This lower level looked like the top there until I cleaned out all the brush.  I found all my Hosta and Birds Nest Spruce existing among the weeds!  Now I can actually see them again! 

I whipped up these pillows for the outside chairs from fabric and pieced panels I had in my creative stash.  It only took one evening to put them all together.  I was looking for pillows in the stores and refused to pay $10.00+ a cushion for something that was just two pieces of printed fabric sewn together!  ("Seriously?!")  The pillow with the crocheted mandala will go with me to one of my schools for my desk chair.  Well, that's everything I have to share for today...  Now to try and drag the teenagers out of bed!  :)