Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Countdown Begins!






Billy is coming to Hassan as a Visiting Artist very soon! This count down is to pump up the students and families of Hassan!  This is going to be so much fun people! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Rainbow Weaving


As many of you know, I have been home for medical leave. I have been using Art as therapy and really excited to discover some new methods of weaving.  One of the lessons I experimented with was this Rainbow Weaving. (click here to go to TPT store) I thought it would really fit in nicely for a middle school.  I couldn't wait to share it with you.

If this lesson looks interesting to you, be sure to watch this video first to make sure you have what you need or are willing to get what you need to create the Rainbow Weaving.




I would also like to mention that this is NOT a beginner project. This project is perfect for an Artist who has a basic understanding of weaving. Fine motor skills and patients will make this lesson more successful. I would suggest this for grades 5th and up. It would be perfect for small group activity like an Art Club, Homeschoolers, or Scout Groups.


In this lesson, I have 3 videos explaining the whole process of this weaving. This allows the viewer to break down the steps, watch it over and over as needed, and pause to create a self-guided lesson that fits them well. The slideshow can be placed on Schoology or shared with students, or it can be presented in group format under the teachers' instruction using projection in the classroom.


There are also step by step images of the project in process. So this lesson has both video and image to support the weaving process.

If you are interested in looking at this weaving for your classroom. I encourage you to visit my Teacher Pay Teacher website

Friday, February 1, 2019

Unicorn Valentines

It's Feb. 1st and that means is time to make sweet treats for our friends and family! Unicorns are hot right now so I thought I would make some Unicorns to send to my nieces and nephews. Here's how I did it! 



You will need... 
  • 6X6 inch sheet of tag board.
  • A black marker
  • Pink Inkpad (optional)
  • Additional Paper for Details (optional) 
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Tin Foil
  • Hot Glue
  • Sucker ( I'm using dumb dumbs ) 
This video shows the step-by-step of how to make this sweet treat



Fold your 6X6 inch sheet of paper in half diagonally. Place the nose of the horse on the fold and draw both the ear and the mouth/neck as shown.  I made a tracer to use, but you can also freehand it. 



I wanted mine to look super cute, so a sweet closed eye with lashes, a smile, and a rosy cheek did the trick for me.  I used my finger pressed into the ink pad to make the cheek.



Open up the head and add glue to one side of the mane. place the strings of yarn onto the glue. Then add the glue on the opposite side including the ear. Press the two sides together before the glue cools. 


Place the sucker 'stick-side' up into the bottom of the horses head. Add glue to the bottom and seal the head. 





Use tinfoil to wrap around the stick to make the horn look more interesting and shiny (come on now... it is a unicorn after all).



Add any final details you would like such as a tag I added on this cute little Valentine. Enjoy and share your creations by tagging me on Instagram @MiniMatisseArt.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

February is the Month of HEARTS!!

February is the month of love, and sweet treats, and of course HEARTS!! For our youngest Artists drawing and cutting hearts is not an easy task and it needs to be broken down for our little guys.  I like to start in January with these skills.  Here is the video that I typically play for the kiddos.


I teach the drawing of a heart to reinforce the type of writing lessons we use in our district. They talk about rainbow curves, it's a bit of letter identification as well. I always say, 'You might know another way to do hearts and that's OK too!". I have found that if we use something they are learning like how to make letters to draw, it seems to stick in those brains just a little tighter. 

Typically, I would show how to draw a heart first. I then use whiteboards to draw hearts right there after instruction while on the carpet.  I might give a challenge like, "See how many hearts you can draw?" or "Can you draw hearts inside of hearts?" maybe, "Can you make your heart into something else?" or even, "Can you make a pattern using hearts and some of our other shapes?" By doing the little challenges, you are allowing your beginning Artist to practice this new skill, yet allowing your more advanced Artist the prompts to advance their skills.  In whole, the heart drawing lesson is about 20 minutes long.


Then I play the heart cutting portion of the video. I always pause the video where I ask what I did wrong with the cutting. We have a rich discussion and almost everytime someone thinks I ripped the heart apart because I opened it up too fast. See... This is why we need to take a moment to let these new humans to this world infer... guess... investigate. Cutting a heart is not just that... It can be a wonderful lesson of discovery. I not only show the video but then I have them tell me how to cut a heart after the video. They walk me through it and I play forgetful and try to make mistakes so they can all say, "NOOOOOOOO, that's not how you do it?" I do have a lot of fun teaching new skills to the little's. For this portion, they have already put away their whiteboards for a movement break before the video about cutting the hearts, and now they have to get three supplies. They need scissors, a pencil, and paper (I use recycled copy paper so they have an endless supply). For the first heart, I walk them through it; fold your paper... start on the fold... draw the curved line... now the diagonal back to the fold... OK, now let's see what we get, go ahead and cut. Most students will be successful, one or two will not. You tell the students they can use all the paper they want (but only one paper at a time, this allows students to move throughout the class and keep their bodies active) For those kids that didn't get it, tell them to give it another try. Once you have identified the few that need that extra help, gather them by you and walk them through it. They need to have one good heart to feel successful. I start suggesting challenges again as well, "How many hearts can you cut out of one paper?", "Who can make the biggest/smallest heart", "Can you cut a heart inside of a heart?"... Working on challenging those more advanced students keeps them interested. I will say clean up needs about 3 more minutes than usual on a cutting day like this. I tell the kids they can pocket all the hearts they have made and EVERY scrap left needs to make it into the trash.  This finishes up my hour of teaching about hearts.


Now you have laid the basis for so many lessons and you've given a skill to the kids to work on. This might allow them to share a heARTfelt message to a loved one for the month of February. 

Here are some other ways that you can use HEARTS in your lessons... 

Create Heart Stations: 

I have two ways that I have done this in the past. First is when I created stations for K-2nd grade so I would have some upper-level challenges and some beginning options. I worked this by createing 6 stations and allowing choice at each station. (see previous post) The other is geared towards the littles. After I had the group lesson of how they can create hearts, the next week they got to choose stations to go to for more discovery (see previous post).


Reflect and Share:

Once I have taught students a simple skill, I like to have them share it with their parents on an app we use in our district called Seesaw. Check out this post to learn more and see examples. 



Family Portraits: 

Here is another way that I have used the skills of teaching how to create a heart. The following week we start by making a family portrait using the hearts. This is honestly one of my fav projects with the littles. In my previous post, I have more examples, tips and tricks, and even a video tutorial. And here is a little different take on this lesson (click here)


Clay Mosaic Hearts:

If you are up for a clay day, A great 'Day Two' lesson for the skill of making hearts is this clay... or maybe adapting this lesson for paper. Either way, it's awesome! Click here for the mosaic clay hearts.


Decorating for the upcoming holiday:

These hearts were done by my students a long time ago for a very good reason. I have the steps of how to create them on this previous post


Valentine's Day Party Activities: 

This idea was offered as a station idea above, but I think it's a great party lesson. Once kids know how to make hearts, let them take it to another level by adding in glue, staples, or tape to create heart sculptures (or hats). 


Wax Crayon Hearts:

Someone recently commented on this old video of mine and mentioned that it reminded her of the 1980's and her childhood. I responded, "what was good for us, is good for them..." This video featured my now Middle School kids, This is yet another fun way to create hearts for decoration. (Gosh, they were cute :) ) 



Update: So I go to post this and share it on FB to our Art Teaching Tribe and I see Cassie Stephens has also done an amazing post on the same thing... Be sure to check out her AMAZING posts about heart-related projects that tie into Art History! 

Friday, January 11, 2019

Art Therapy heals the heart, soul, and back


For those of you who have known me for a while, there is a good chance that you know I have a 'bad back'.  I love working out and pushing my body to its top capacity... and I think I've just pushed it too far too many times. Last fall my back went out and I did Physical Therapy over the summer. In the fall this year, I felt it kind of going out again so I thought I just need to work out a little bit more. I pushed myself too far and around Thanksgiving, my back went out so bad that I was walking with a really bad limp... if I was able to walk at all. I couldn't sleep because of the pain. I was now attempting another course of action... chiropractic, traction, and massage (but not the nice massage). I gave this method a try for 5 weeks but did not see improvement. So I got an MRI which told us that I had an extruded disk and that the 'jelly doughnut filling' in my spine was sitting on a nerve. By this time I had no feeling into my leg and foot. I was just kind of dragging my leg along. So I tried an injection... and waited the 10 days that they suggested to wait to 'see if it was working'. It did not. Finally, before Holiday Break, I gave up and was no longer able to go to work.  I met with a neurosurgeon who was able to get me in last Monday, by some miracle. They removed the section laying on my nerve and I woke up to the most relief I have had in two months. 

I stayed the night in the hospital where I learned how to care for myself and how to gain strength again.  I am required to take leave for 4-6 weeks.  I have never really considered that I might someday be hurt and not able to work. I now have a new appreciation for people with chronic pain, and lack of sleep due to pain.  I know I have friends that will take care of me when I'm not doing well and family that can make life happen without me being the 'Mom and Wife' that I typically have been. I have discovered so much in this adventure off the course of my projected life plan. 


So how does an Art Teacher attempt to get through the next 4 weeks of life restricted in activities? With a LOT of ART THERAPY!  On January 1st I received an email from the Sketchbook Skool. I have taken classes through them on a regular basis. The email I received was a year worth of prompts. I can do a sketch every day with these prompts. For this month, I'm choosing to use the medium iPad and explore more ways to create digital Art. 


Then I received another email, this time from JoAnne Fabric telling me about a deal where I can pay $1 for the courses they call CreativeBug. YES!! In a heartbeat, I paid my $1 and I have been consuming the videos and participating in drawing and sewing skills thus far. 

Plus, I have trusted teachers coming in to work in my classroom. In fact, the current sub has experience with clay and she knows I'm allergic to clay... she offered to teach and then fire the clay for me. WHAT?? YES!! That is a win/win because my students are very motivated by clay and I'm sure she is having very little behavioural issues with students while using clay.  

Knowing I have support at school, and from friends and family has made this experience doable. I know that I will heal over time and in the meanwhile, get to create to help my heart and soul heal at the same time as my back. 

Here's to the New Year and a New back!