As the new co-chairs of Youth Art Month, we are ready for a year full of exciting experiences! Sarah Klein is a PreK-8th Grade Art Teacher at Fontana School and Tasha Newton is a K-6th Grade Art Teacher at Fall Creek School. We have done some brainstorming about 3 favorites that we have used in our art classrooms this past year.
Crayola’s Construction Paper Crayons win by far! This simple product has bold and funky colors of these crayons look amazingly eye-catching over colored paper! I even use these in conjunction with classic crayons to add variety and a bigger array of colors. You will definitely get many “Ooh’s and Ahh’s” when you pull out this box of colored awesomeness!
This website has fun tech tools for many subjects! You can start by clicking on the “Art” tab and selecting which level you’d like to work with. Some of my favorite Elementary Tools include http://www.picassohead.com/create.html, where students can use shapes and colors to create portraits in the style of Picasso, and http://buildyourwildself.com/, where students use their imagination to piece together silly animal features to create creatures!
Favorite Unexpected Art Tool-
It is fun to find new ways to use little tools that other people often discard. This is an old favorite but the things it creates, are too cool to pass by! My favorite unexpected art tool would have to be a plain old plastic straw. It can be used to blow paint around, blow bubbles to print with, stamp with the ends, and much more that I have not even thought of yet!
I love love love Crayola’s Twistable Slick Sticks! They are very easy for the little ones to use; they go on smooth with really bold colors. My students also like how you can blend the colors. They also can be used on top of pretty much anything. When my students come into the classroom and see the Slick Sticks on the tables they are already motivated and willing to work hard! It is definitely a special treat for them.
This is a must have in your favorites! This website was created by Patty an elementary art teacher from California. If you are having one of those weeks where you don’t like any of your lessons or you just want some new ideas or inspirations you have to check out her website! Patty has tones of lesson plans organized by age group, medium, and theme. Some of here lessons you have to purchase but you can still see pictures. Other lessons come with a step-by-step blog. She also has some great organizational hints. It was definitely helpful during my first year of teaching.
I know there is an abundance of art teaching blogs out there. But, I have been following Paintedpaper for a couple years now and I am never disappointed. Paintedpaper is an elementary art teacher from Ohio. Her blog covers all the lessons she teachers with great step-by-step visuals. She also has some great ideas for art shows and classroom organization.
Kerpoof is one of my favorite websites for my students. Kerpoof is a website created by Disney that has a ton of creative outlets from animation, painting programs, to illustration. I use this program for my 1st -6th graders, and they love it, and even use it at home. Another great thing about this website is that it offers you lesson plans, some involving artists such as Dali and M.C. Escher. The lesson plans come with handouts and power points. These are great for sub plans.
Favorite Unexpected Art Tool-
My ultimate favorite unexpected art tool would have to be toilet paper rolls. My wonderful custodian saves all the toilet paper rolls from our school for me! I use them all the time by cutting the ends of them into different shapes to use as stamps. I also have used them from 3D sculptures. I am still exploring all the possibilities with this art tool! Let me know if you have any other ideas.
YAM will be holding a session at the Wisconsin Art Education Association Conference this October in Sheboygan. Just by attending the conference, you will receive information about how to become involved with YAM or how to continue using YAM as an important way to advocate!
If you love engaging exhibits that take place at the Children’s museum in Madison, or just would like an opportunity for you or your students to go, you are in luck! The Madison Children’s Museum will again be including free admission for all participants of the YAM Capital Show. Be prepared to take advantage of this perk as you and your students participate in Youth Art Month this year!
YAM will also be utilizing Artsonia to display all of the students work from the Capital as well as flag designs. You can find links to this page on the YAM page or search NAEA Wisconsin in Artsonia. Through this students are able to purchase items with their artwork on it! This is another great way we get to show case your student’s talents and work. Please check it out when you get a chance. It would also be a great way to find a small gift for students that get into the Capital Art show!
Please feel free to contact Sarah or Tasha with any questions or ideas to make Youth Art Month and the Capital show more beneficial and user friendly for you. We are very excited for the 2013 YAM show and we would love for everyone to get involved. Hope to see you all at the Fall Conference in Sheboygan.
by: Sarah Klein, YAM Co-Chair
Creativity. We teach kids to think about it every day. But, we can easily find ourselves getting too lost attempting to fix stubborn glue bottles to think about our own creativity. There are many things you can do to keep your creativity alive when you’re on and off the job.
At school, your positivity and ability to refresh your soul are up to you. Here are a few ideas that will help you stay inspired when you’re in the classroom.
1. Use your talent! Instead of printing out a banner from Microsoft Publisher to hang above your student artwork display, use a long sheet of paper and write the title and description yourself. It’s your chance to invent a fun new font, get some doodles out on the paper, or play with those new art supplies from your order! Plus, students will love to see your artistic ability when you create a rockin’ banner for their completed artwork!
2. Get outside! Whether you are taking your students on a nature walk or collecting materials to do observational drawing, it is always refreshing and inspiring for students and teachers to get outside into a different environment. Try teaching your students a few Yoga poses as a way to relax and center themselves as they try to balance in tree pose.
3. It’s the little things! Write down the funny comments your students say in your lesson planner so you can look back on all the silly things that happened that day. Remember that art is beautiful, inspirational and all around us. Look for it in strange places like watching the colorful paint swirls that are created when washing out paint trays or noticing a box elder bug that has decided to do some swimming in your splatter paint bowls!
At home, we are often just happy that we didn’t end up with Modpodge in our hair or India ink staining our shirts from the day of art-making. Thinking about creativity at home after a long day can be overwhelming, but totally necessary. Here are some ideas about staying inspired when you are in the comfort of your home:
1. Use resources! Give yourself time to get lost in all the wonderful sources for project ideas. This can include blogs, Artsonia, Pinterest, or even just the view outside your window. Constantly searching for new ideas means that you will always teach with gusto!
2. Just relax! Give yourself 7 minutes to just sit and veg. Leave your phone, TV, and any other object with a screen, in the other room and just sit. Our greatest ideas for creativity often come when we are least distracted.
3. Do something completely different! Trying something seemingly unrelated to art can give us new insight and inspiration. Make granola bars from scratch, Jog around the block in funky socks, or air drum to a super fast song. Sometimes the most unexpected connections can be made back to art when we are able to free ourselves with different outlets.
Getting and staying inspired is an important part of our artistic lives. Remember that you are in charge of your own creativity. Don’t be afraid to explore and discover what works for you…so you can be inspired times two!