Friday, November 27, 2015

How Time Flies....

 It's been a while since I have posted, sorry but life has a way of happening and some things have to get put on the back burner and posting on here has been that thing... I've been around just busy with school and home and trying not to burn out, being very mindful of taking time out for myself to relax, reflect and create.  This little pic on top is a piece of scrap paper that had some paint splattered on it reminded me so much of the sunset we had here in NJ last weekend! It was the most incredible sunset! It started out as a beautiful, fantasy like blue, purple, pink in the Eastern part of the sky...

and as you looked to the West where the sun was setting it slowly turned into a fireball of glorious color! Mother Nature at her finest!

The whole state experienced it as there were posts all over social media of it that night! I hope everyone here in the US had a restful, happy Thanksgiving! No school today so I am going to be taking time to do some creating... I'm feeling the urge to make some decorations for the holidays from the nature in my woods... I'm thinking I might be foraging for some things I can turn into little wreaths for my Christmas tree and hang from my windows... it's going to a balmy 60 degrees F here today!(whoo hoo!!!) I'm loving this long warm Fall we are having and in no hurry for it to turn into a bitter, snowy NJ winter! It's been 30's at night and 40-50's during the day, I can deal with that!

 Well, finishing my coffee, getting dressed and a foraging in my woods I go! If you are off (from work,school) today here's hoping you take time to do something you enjoy...

                                                                             Mrs."C"  :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Best Pencil Sharpener You Will Ever Own!

Welcome the NEW Popular Purple Pencil Sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies

The NEW Popular Purple next to my tried and true Blue Classroom Friendly Sharpener!

I have been an owner of a Classroom Friendly Sharpener for several years now and it is hands down the best sharpener I have ever owned! See the following link for my past review of my first Classroom Friendly Sharpener!

Don't let the fact that it is a hand sharpener confuse you into thinking it's not a power horse of perfect sharpening!

The patented grip holds the pencil in place for a perfect point every time you sharpen it! Even those pencils that never seem to sharpen right or the ones that the point is constantly falling out! 

I can sharpen 25 pencils is about 6-8 minutes... well worth my time and effort since I will not have to sharpen them again usually for the rest of the day! 

For more information and to purchase one of these amazing sharpeners go to:

I'm thrilled that I now have one of these excellent, dependable sharpeners in both of my art rooms! 

                              Thank you Troy for creating a sharpener I can always depend on!  :)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Moving Along and a Creative Challenge...

Hi Everybody!  Hope you all had a creative and productive week! Art classes are up and running and it feels like we never left!

2nd grade is finishing up their Fall Warm/Cool Shape Flowers and have done their first self-reflection. They did a really good job with it! They answered some quick questions, What are the Warm colors? What are the Cool Colors? 2 things about your painting you are proud of and 1 thing about your painting you would change.

When their reflection was finished they moved on to creating a building or castle using only the four shapes, square, rectangle, triangle and semi-circle. Our next project is going to be a Klee inspired shape building in an oil pastel watercolor resist.  I've done a similar lesson several times with different grade levels and the pieces always come out beautiful! Working on how to creatively change it up from past lessons... this will finish up our shape review and we will move to our...

...tissue paper stained Jack-O-Lanterns! Second grade is eagerly waiting to create these! They remember seeing last year's and keep asking when we are going to make them! Hard to believe that when both these projects are complete we will be in November!

If you are a follower of Nic Hahn aka Mini Matisse,  she is going to be running a great creative challenge during the month of October! It's going to ton's of fun! I did several creative challenges on Twitter this summer with the #k12artchallenge  gang and it was awesome! Check this out if you are looking for a little creative spark in your world! It's open to anyone and everyone! There's no obligation to do a certain amount of participation, do what you can when you can, just jump in and give it a try!

I gathered up some old, (and I mean old, I found these old placemats when I cleaned out my paper shelf this summer, I save everything that I think may have a creative purpose one day people, simply I'm a packrat! ) scrap paper from watercolor placemats at school to glue onto some heavier paper for creating some ATC's for the #k12artchallenge ATC's . 

I spent a little time glueing them down and measuring out some cards. This is also great practice for me as I am going to have my 4th grades participate in the student ATC swap this November that Nic is hosting! My students are super excited about it! 

( floating spheres project idea from Fine Lines, Fancy Pants from Shine Brite Zamorano )

This week marked the end of my last chalk board... I loved my chalk board... all the chalk boards in the building were re-surfaced with a white board laminate this past week. Tuesday I was drawing on a chalk board, Wednesday it was white board... even the beautiful, original slate boards in the original part of the building(our school was built in the 1930's) were covered and modernized... do you sense my sadness? If you have never draw/written on a slate board... let me just say they were my favorite! I guess times are a changin'... I have a white board in my other art room and I have never been a white board fan but I will make the best of it... got any ideas for the chalk and masking tape I can no longer use on my white board?  I'm now using low tac painter's tape to hang my examples and papers that I demonstrate on... no harm to the white board surface and it holds my papers well! I also covered the magnets on my "clippy men" so they don't scratch the surface and I can still use them, I can't be with out my "clippy men" magnets! 

... considering that I have neglected my domestic duties since school has started and I have been lesson planning, SGO writing and assessing and in general collapsing after work I need to get off this computer and clean today, desperately, before we become an episode of Hoarders... 
Hope you all enjoy your first weekend of Fall! 
Have a creative and happy week all!
Mrs."C"  :)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Creating and Content ...

                                          .......And we're back!  We finished our first full week of school and it feels like we never left! ( lol )   Projects are in full swing, SGO assessments are happening through preliminary steps for project beginnings...

Fall Shape Flowers using Warm colors, Cool colors will fill in the backgrounds, several classes have begun to finish and they look awesome!

                         I have been super busy keeping everything( paper work) up to date...

... but it's paying off and I am feeling no stress about any of my paper work ( so far...) and I find myself all caught up today and I am taking advantage of it and plan on playing with watercolors while the laundry runs, some baking bakes and we watch The Nightmare Before Christmas... head colds have begun to rear their ugly head and my daughter is feeling under the weather today... so the windows are all open and the wind is gloriously blowing so it feels like the indoors is the outdoors today!

...I'm off to change laundry and play! Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday and a creative, happy healthy week!
                                                   "Mrs."C"  :)

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Creative Team Work

I'm sitting here this Saturday morning, sipping my coffee and trying to get a handle on all of the ideas that are spinning around in my head of things I want to do, get accomplished, in my art rooms this year!
So many inspirations from this summer that I just want to do it all... at the same time.... ( I know, not possible...)   I am starting with small baby steps and working towards my final results....

This is one of my first baby steps...  having a task that my students can start as soon as they sit down and work together as a creative team at their group to problem solve it.  This is the creative task I gave 2nd grade on Friday.  I explained to the class before they entered the art room that there was a large piece of paper on their table and oil pastels, they were to work as a team to come up with and draw as many  different types of lines as they could, together, as a team. This activity had a dual purpose because it got them working in creative collaborative teams but it also kept the students engaged while I was telling the kids what tables they would be sitting at this year.

The groups used their ideas for examples to refer to for the creative task we worked on.  This is the beginning of my students taking more ownership for their own learning and not just staring at me drawing examples on the board for them! It was a positive experience for all! I was also able to get a handle on how the classes worked together with each other. Some I had to gently nudge to get started and some started right away without any nudging at all! I also used this activity as a quick Formative Assessment to see where they all were with their knowledge of Line! I think we are off to a strong start!

One of my colleagues shares a "Happy Friday" quote, picture with all of us every week... this was the first one for this school year and it made me laugh out loud when I saw it! I made a copy to hang by my desks! I just had to share it with all of you. The week actually was not that rough but I am sure there will be some that will apply to this picture in the weeks to come!!!

                                                      Happy Back to School!

                                                              Mrs."C"  :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

It's Back to School Time!

It's that time of year again people! School starts for me on Tuesday and all the kids come back on Thursday!  Both my art rooms are unpacked and basically back together... few finishing touches here and there, but seriously I could probably organize from now until the cows come home and still have more I could do so... lets just call them a work in continual progress!

It's been a busy, busy summer! I took an a amazing on-line PD class from The Art of Ed on Assessment in Art. I learned soooo much! Looking forward to implementing some of my new found info on assessment in my art room! Great ways to collect the growth data I am looking for without the "testing". 

Spent a lot of time journalling, and reading. My favorite teacher read from this summer is, Learn Like a Pirate, by Paul Solarz! So many great take aways to implement in your classroom right now! Easy to read, interesting to read, I ended up tabbing the pages so I can find my favorite parts fast and easy! 

I "attended" The Art of Education's Summer on-line conference in July! Check out the pic of all the great swag they sent attendees! It was the first time I signed up but it was well worth it! There was so much information from all the sessions I am still using the "After Pass" to go back and re-watch sessions!

I went to Philadelphia with my mother and daughter to meet up with my sister who I just don't get see enough since she lives in Illinois. We had an amazing time! 

We saw an amazing show at the Philedelphia Art Museum called, Discovering the Impressonists: Paul Durand-Ruel and the New Painting. Be still my heart! It was incredible! One whole gallery was just Monet's Poplar paintings! I was in awe! After sitting in the Monet Poplar gallery for what I guess was a while( 'cuz hey, I lost track of time staring at all the Monet beauty... ) my daughter asked me," How long do you plan on sitting here?" Seriously? Basically forever! :)


We also went to Storm King Art Center ! If you are anywhere near this amazing place you need to hop in your car and get there! It is huge! Spacious lawns, forests filled with sculptures! The main building on the hill houses beautiful pieces! I loved the Louise Nevelson pieces! I am not a huge Modern Art/sculpture fan but I loved it! The place is so big we are going back this Fall to explore an entire section of fields we never got to! I wish I lived closer, I would go often just to sit and relax there! It's about an hour and 15 min drive from my house. We took the scenic route so it didn't seem that long at all, it was a nice drive up through Greenwood Lake area.

I've been journalling and doodling all summer and playing with photo apps!


I also bought a Zutter Bind-It-All so I can make my own journals! So much fun! 

I've been busy the past couple of weeks getting my art rooms unpacked and getting all my teacher paperwork together...

Yesterday was spent typing up all my class lists ( all 36 plus 24 SGO data sheets) while binging on The Walking Dead Season 5  :)   I got it all done! All my documents are digital now so if I need to make any changes to my class lists ( which I know is inevitable ) I can just copy and paste my changes, easy peasy!

Today I am working on seating charts... I want to get at least the first two days of classes done today... we'll see how far I get before my brain starts to feel like it's going to explode...

I found a great PLN on Twitter, #K12ArtChat, #K12ArtChallenge, #Terpart, #Reflect31, #jfjfor15 and have been inspired by all the great educators out there on Twitter! I created a Growth Mindset bulletin board for the hallway of my 3-5 school inspired by other growth mindset articles, posts I have read on Twitter. 

I think this is a keeper! The other teacher I share the bulletin board duty with agreed that this one can stay up for a while! :)

I started this Summer Shawl last month and have not gotten very far but hope to have it done for the start of school! I ordered the book, Puur Haken this summer after debating about it for the past year!

It's written in Dutch but has graphs for all the patterns so I can follow the patterns! Google translate on my IPhone has come in handy also! Hey, I love a good creative challenge! I figure all the translating has made me grow new brain cells! 

And lastly for today I drew out some of the many flowers I have been doodling all summer onto a piece of canvas that I eco-printed with red and yellow onion skins this Spring! 

I sewed it into a great tote bag for school! I really love how it turned out! I'm curious to see how the drawing stands up to my using it everyday... I can always touch it up if I need to... :)

I hope everyone has had a great summer and is looking forward to Fall! I know I am, I love Fall...

Mrs."C"  :)