Thursday, September 12, 2019

Everyday Art Room: Take Chances

Today on Everyday Art Room I'm talking to a risk-taker... Catie Nasser. When you think risk-taker, you might not have a picture in mind of a person covered with tattoos, an alternative haircut, maybe bold clothes that are hand made rather than off the rack... Catie is not that person. Ms. Nasser might not look the part of a risk-taker, but she sure is!!

Nasser tells us how any why she steps outside of the box when she teaches. She also shares who she is inspired by, Mrs. Fizzel from the magic school bus being one of them (image above). After listening to her podcast you might be wondering how to learn more about this lady, how to follow the 'great' that is happening in her classroom every day. 

Catie Nasser is quite social. She has a blog that she explains and celebrates the kids work and activities, Ms. Nasser's Art Studio. Her blog might give a more written explanation of her work, but her Instagram gives you 'the quick and dirty' in a visual way. Catie has also been known to jump on the #k12ArtChat on Thursdays nights to chat with the Art Teacher #PLN. Catie uses Twitter to tweet the projects in her room, celebrate other educators, and have a professional conversation to learn from her peers. Be sure to connect with Catie Nasser beyond this podcast. I guarantee you'll learn from her.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Everyday Art Room- #WelcomeWall

The story of the #WelcomeWall started in 2016 with this video.  I talk about it a lot more on my latest Everyday Art Room podcast. This video prompted me to start collecting Art from friends and Artist I admire. 

In the podcast, I talk about the many ways I have gone about collecting, the request I have made of the Artist, and finally the Artist themselves. I know I have an audience of Visual people so here are the welcome wall pieces in no particular order. 

The work above is by Shannon Dickie.  Again, listen to the podcast to hear exactly how I acquired these works of art, but here is her professional website with a lot more examples of her work, Shannon Dickie Website. Here's a link to her classroom as well, @rubieartstudio. The commission she made for me is an image of my son.

Bill Hammer is my kids Elementary Art Teacher. This flower will for sure be treasured (and perhaps fought over in the future) because of the love my kids have for this man. If you love his image as much as we do, feel free to contact him via email:

Don Masse is one of my best buddies. You know him as Shine Brite Zamorano.  He's an amazing Art Teacher, collaborator, Husband, Dad, and Human. He also is known for this style of art in huge murals and out of chalk on the road. He also has an amazing new line of T-Shirts with his Art featured! 

The mixer above is done by the beautiful Katrina Berg... Mom of many and talented Artist. This Utah based painter has a very professional Instagram and Website. I feel like her subjects have changed but her pallet and style is strong. Again, this is a piece that I allowed my kids to have a say in. My son requested the mixer because our family cooks and bakes together.

A local Artist to Minnesota is Lisa Arnold. Lisa and I first met when I brought her into my school as a visiting Artist. She did an amazing mosaic with my students over 10 years ago. I asked her to create a mosaic for my house. She flipped the uniformed frame to the back and used the recessed area to create a bead mosaic. Lisa has an active Instagram page with some really fun new sculptures that she has been working on. 

Steph Brooks is a twitter friend and now an Instagram friend as well. Ms. Brooks is a watercolor artist and Waldorf Art Teacher. She practices her craft and the act of creating often and celebrates by posting images.  I love her organic shapes in this image. She was one of the first for in this collection! 

Miriam Paternoster is a long-time Art Teaching friend from Italy. Although we have never met in person, Miriam and I have worked together a lot. She has done the Artist Trading Cards with my school every year and perhaps even before. She has a beautiful blog and an active Instagram as well. Miriam created this special for me but currently has a love for ceramics. Her work is stunning! 

As I looked up Kara Aina's IG account, I lost 10 minutes. There is something about this womans work that draws me in.  I scrolled down and even if I have already seen the work, I looked at it again. This woman is so gifted! 

I also snagged a work of Art from Tim Needles. This man has such a creative brain! I can't get over it. We connected on Twitter and have had the pleasure to meet him on several occasions through NAEA conventions. In true Tim Needle style... he not only created this fun and energetic work but he also recorded the process! I got to see how it was created in GIF form.

I have had the honor of calling Susan Davies a co-worker (Art Teacher) in my district for many years. Susan is enjoying her first year of retirement... well... from teaching. Davies is an active Artist. She is so fluid and process-based. Her work is unique and energetic. Check out her website and this video made for her by her kiddo.  Both will help you understand why I'm proud to have a work of art by Susan Davies on my Welcome Wall. 

I have always wanted to own a Bridget Bruneau and now I do. Bridget and I went to our undergrad together at UW-Stout. She did these amazing paintings of swimmers underwater. In the past 20 years, I have thought about getting an art piece from her to hang in my collection and here it is. Check out her Facebook page to see more. 

I'm a huge fan of the work of Yvonne Arpino! I love that she creates for her soul and I can see it in this blue beauty! She has such a distinct style.  She has been posting about her art on @redeemingart on IG. Take a look at the many different takes she has created based on this style. 

The playful work of Clare Youngs was a pick from my daughter Matisse! I adore all things Clare Youngs and have used her for inspiration for a past post about 'Artist That Inspire Us'. I have also done collage lessons inspired by this amazing Artist too. Here's is another IG account that I can lose myself in. 

And now for the fabulous Jessi EttaVee. What?? You think her work looks familiar?? Well, maybe you've seen her work recently in TAGET with collaboration with @Cambridge. This lady is the real deal!! Her bright and beautiful color creates joy. You will love her IG Feed as well!!

Many years ago I saw the work of Tery Castrogiovanni on Twitter, but better known on IG as @RainbowskiesandDragonflies. Tery was painting her wall and I loved the style so much I asked her to make me a work of Art. I continue to follow her on IG as she shares both her love for the classroom as well as making Art. 

And now for the three that are about to make it on the wall. This bee painting is by Casey Kemper. I met Casey in Wisconsin and loved his energy. I soon after started following him on IG and found out about his love for bees. He was exploring processes and when I saw the style that you see above, I knew I needed to add it to my collection. He agreed and now I have a honeybee on my wall! 

Sarah Krajewski is another Wisconsin Art Educator! She created this abstract work above. You know her on IG as @artroomglitterfairy. I'm not going to get too much into this lovely lady because she will be very focused on in upcoming weeks as she is interviewed on Everyday Art Room. She is going to talk about her 'why' of creating Art... It's going to be another good one :) 

An another future guest is my new soul sister... Yaz Gaté. I knew I was going to visit Australia and New Zealand this summer so I started looking at some Artist from the area. I ran into the @tiny_cupboards_creative came into my feed... she just appeared. I inquired about a commission and she agreed... We made plans to meet while I was visiting Melbourne. Our husbands humored us and came along. I'm not joking when I say the universe connected us. This group of people, all born in 1979 connected immediately. I'm going to share the joy that this lady has given to me in an upcoming podcast so I will not get too far into it now... just hey, look at her work, check out her site... and give her alike. 

I wanted to share all the artist that I have collected art from so far. I have about 15 more frames already made up, so there will be more. This wall brings me joy, I'm proud to have it in my house, people ask about it who know me, and I'm the proud owner of some original works of art. That is something to smile about. I'm supporting creative people! Boom!

If you have not already listened... check out Everyday Art Room to learn more about the path I took to 'Collecting Art in my Personal Life'. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Games for Assessment- Guest Blog Emily Compton

Games for Assessment- Emily Compton

Doing my podcast announcement a little different today. I'm sharing a post featuring a guest blogger, Emily Compton. Emily was so kind to chat with me on The Everyday Art Room and as she was talking all I could think is... wow, we need to have visuals as well. So, here are the visuals and more to Emily's Story. 

I met Emily Compton at the NAEA convention 2019 in Boston. We were both presenting a carousel presentation on Games for Assessment set up by Jennifer Dahl. Our presentation was packed... so much so that people lined the walls, they were sitting on the floor and they were spilling out the door. That meant that we could not go from group to group talking about our subject. Instead, we presented the whole group. That was a benefit to me because that meant that I got to hear what the other presenters had to say. Emily Compton had some amazing ideas and I was thrilled when she agreed to do a podcast with me. 

First, let's give you a little insight into Emily Compton.

What is your background?
I finished my 10th year of teaching elementary art in Indiana at Pleasant Crossing Elementary in May. But due to my husband's job, we just relocated to Pennsylvania this summer.  I just started at a new position teaching elementary art in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania! I am both incredibly nervous for such a big change and really excited to get to bring my assessment games to a new group of students.

Who has inspired you?
I’ve worked with some amazing art educators that have helped me hone this curriculum and these art assessments over the years. The team of art teachers in Clark Pleasant Community School Corporation in Indiana has collaborated with me on a lot of these assessments. 

Danielle Keough (left) is a huge inspiration in all things art education (she even made this amazing cake!) and is an amazing curriculum writer. These assessments are strong because they are based on a really strong, scaffolded art curriculum.

Beth Smith (right) really encouraged me to start presenting these assessments and actually did the first few presentations with me. I would have never been able to get up in front of other teachers without her encouragement.

OK... Tell us about Assessment in Art:

I’ve been exclusively using games and manipulatives to assess my elementary students in Art for over four years. In this structure of assessment, students complete a game-like task that practices an art skill, like using primary colors to show how to make secondary colors for example, with me one on one. While a student plays the game I am able to observe and interview the student about their knowledge. This practice feels like a game to the student while allowing me to use a really strong research-based method of assessment that allows students to showcase their knowledge of a topic through logical and coherent conversation and activities. This kind of assessment is actually used frequently in kindergarten classrooms with pre-readers. With a few adaptations for older learners, this method of assessment is the perfect complement to a visual subject and has transformed my art classroom into a more fun, positive place that builds strong student/teacher relationships, is efficient, authentic, growth-based, and accessible for students with special needs.

I have three different styles of games. Many of my games are magnetic manipulatives used on metal cookie sheets. These are great because the pieces all stay with the game when stored.

I also have some games that use a magnetic spinner and a pizza pan with a game mat on it. These games usually have a worksheet that goes with it where students record the information they receive from spinning.

Finally, many of my games have Velcro-backed pieces manipulated inside a file folder. 

When assessing a skill in art I used to create a lot of worksheets like this.

But if you think through it, I was actually assessing many more skills than sorting colors. In filling out this worksheet my students had to be able to find the correct crayon which required some persistence with my crayon buckets (if I’m honest). This was difficult for my students with ADHD or other special needs. Then, once a crayon was selected, students had to be able to locate the correct section to color with the crayon which requires some reading. This was difficult for my low readers. Holding the crayon and coloring required some fine motor skills, also difficult for my students with special needs. Attention to the task and willingness to complete the entire worksheet also required attention to detail and, unfortunately, for all of my learners also took significant time out of their art-making. This worksheet created a lot of barriers for my students that didn’t involve the necessary knowledge being assessed.  Once I acknowledged these shortfalls, my first assessment game looked like this.

While simple in design, it overcame many barriers for my students and focused their energy on the desired content for assessment. Because it involved sorting pieces, my students automatically assumed it was a game. I watched them play with the pieces, read the categories to them and assessed their understanding while they played. It was simple to put together and simple to execute. This was a game-changer in my classroom! From there, I started brainstorming ways to make every worksheet into a manipulative. Over time, my assessment games became more intricate, with magnets and mats for students to put their pieces on instead of handwritten labels, but the concept remains: Get students to manipulate and sort visuals instead of writing, coloring, or answering quiz questions.

What Materials do you use for your assessment? 

I make most of my games and game pieces on Microsoft Word and print/laminate/cut them out. I have a few of the game pieces I’ve made available on TPT.  I either assemble my games as file folders or as magnetic pieces to be used on metal cookie sheets. Generally, I make six copies of each assessment. I love, love, love Dollar Tree. I absolutely cannot live without the cookie sheets and pizza pans from that store. They are cheap which means they are smaller and more lightweight than traditional bakeware. They stack really nicely and all fit on one bookshelf in my classroom so my students have easy access to all of my games at any time. I bought a few pans at a time as I needed them, but I’m probably up to about 60 pans from Dollar Tree at this point! The other two items I always keep on hand for making new assessments or repairing damaged pieces are adhesive Velcro dots and a roll of adhesive, flexible magnetic strips. Finally, a nice game addition is a magnetic spinner. I lucked out and found them at the dollar store years ago. I haven’t been able to find them since. These, from Amazon, are similar to the ones I use. They are the priciest of the materials I have listed, but I think they are worth the investment. I have 6 spinners I use interchangeably for multiple assessment games in multiple grade levels. I have had them for 5 years and they are still going strong! Finally, I recommend considering game storage for easy access. I store all of my games on one bookcase in my classroom so they are out and always accessible for my students. My students enjoy these games so much that they frequently will play with the assessment games as their free time in the art room.

What are the big concepts covered when using these assessments?

These assessment games cover the elements of art for grades K-4 and move into some deeper critical thinking including art history and art criticism skills for 5th grade. Each assessment is linked a scaffolded learning target. I have free downloads to the learning targets I use for each grade level on my website. Students are able to track their progress on the learning target throughout the year and show growth in art skills. The games partnered with the learning target yield the student’s art grade for the year. As a result, I no longer have to put grades on the backs of artworks or require a specific skill show up in a student’s finished piece.  I used to have mixed emotions about the elements of art because artists usually don’t stop to think through which elements they plan to use to make a piece. Art making is a much more organic process, but the elements of art allow students to build a foundational knowledge of the choices artists make. It allows them to know why their choices work/don’t work in the artwork so they can grow as creators. I used to require my students to use a specific element in their work so I could assess their understanding. Now, my students don’t have to use an element of art we’ve been studying in their artwork at all. However, they can show me they understand foundational art skills with these games.  My students are building art knowledge and skills that help support the art-making process, but don’t have to follow strict “rules” in their work. By the end of their elementary art career, my students have a strong knowledge of the elements of art and a strong track record of making art as creative thinkers and makers.

OK... you want to know more about this lady... right? Well here are the ways you can. 1st you can check out her website, Let's Play a Game. Then, you can check out her Teachers Pay Teachers page... you guys, why reinvent the wheel? Use what she has already created and tested. Then, check this girls IG account out. She just started it so be sure to follow! Finally, if you want to connect Emily directly, she invites an email to, and checkout our podcast on Everyday Art Room.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

5th Annual, MiniMatisse Global Artist Trading Card Swap Sing up today!


There is was... a total of 12 hours and our 100+ schools have signed up.
I'm sorry... the 5th Annual ATCswap for 2020 is now closed.

Today is the day!

First, check out my previous post about ATC's and the 5th annual swap. Then if you want to join in, jump on over to my TPT page and if you are one of the first 100 schools to sign up, you are in for 2020.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Everyday Art Room- Flipped the Classroom

Flipping the classroom is a practice that I have been actively doing for over 10 years for sure! My methods have changed throughout the years with new tools and devices. There have also been major advances in technology that has allowed me to move into a more streamlined creation of my flipped videos. Also... the many years under my belt have allowed me to be practiced which always makes it easier. 

When someone asks me about flipping the classroom... kind of the how-to and so forth, I always give the same advice. Take the one thing you are so sick of saying.  The one thing that you have to remind kids to do over and over... That is the video you want to make. Then record your hands explaining the process or the kids doing the task. Finally, bring it into iMovie and voice over, don't try to speak and act AND record at once when you are getting started. It's not worth it.

Here are the don't's. Don't record a lesson the first time you do it or before you teach your students. We all know that students will show us how best to teach students. How often do you do a lesson that you show the kids an then they say to you... oh... you mean like this. Then they give you the language that works for a 1st-grade brain or they show the method that is going to work for the kindergarten hand. That is gold. Record that lesson after you have taught it to 5 sections... just teach it one more time, record it, and put it on YouTube instead of placing the written version in an old filing cabinet.

Plus, if you share it, you have this document to share with families, students, and even other peers and art teachers (if you so choose). I think this is an amazing way to share with your global Art Education Tribe... so let me share my YouTube Channel.  One of my goals this summer was to organize the YouTube Channel... but I have not. Maybe in the next couple of months. I'm always forgiving of myself when it comes to goals... get them met if you can but if you can't, put it on the list for the new deadline. Life comes first. Long way to say, please feel free to explore this HUGE list of flipped videos on my Youtube Channel

Also, Be sure to check out my podcast about flipping the classroom on Everyday Art Room.