March 31, 2014

Visiting Artist! Face Painting and Folklore with Christopher Agostino!

This past Friday we had an amazing visiting artist to our school, Christopher Agostino from Agostino Arts
Telling a story about the sun, moon and ocean. 
Christopher is storyteller and face painter. He tells amazing folklore and life stories all while painting the faces of volunteers (who turn in a permission slip). The experience is absolutely amazing and completely captures the students' imaginations. I was able to attend both performances- Pre-K through 2nd  and 3rd-6th. 
His visit was funded through our Arts In Education program that brings artists, performers and authors to our school. We chose the Storyteller program for our students. Our students were so entranced by his stories and waiting to see what the students faces turned in to. Christopher also has a great repertoire with students, he handles behaviors well and gently reminds students to sit on their bottoms, look at him when he picks volunteers and when to bring the noise level back down. The students would get very excited when he came off the stage to pick volunteers.
A simple set-up with outstanding results! 
All in all it was an amazing performance and I would highly recommend him as a visiting artist. I had several teachers complementing me on my arts-in-ed pick this year! 
Christopher has a variety of programs including classroom presentations. He is located in NYC and will visit the tri-state area. He had a 5-6 hour drive to visit our school and he performed at another elementary school in our district the day before. Check out more at Agostino Arts  and his book Transformations! I have about 100+ photos of day- I will share more soon! 

A few of our students-a fish and octopus! 
Have you had an amazing Arts-in-Ed performer? Please share!

March 28, 2014

NAEA Conference at Home!

Fellow blogger Heidi, from Tales of the Traveling Art Teacher has a compiled an amazing list of ways to stay in touch and updated on NAEA conference!

Check out her post here to see how to keep up !
Follow NAEA Conference From Home! 
Thanks +Heidi O'Hanley

March 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday! Portrait Flashback

Each year I hang up my 6th graders past portraits for their moving up ceremony. I collect their portraits every year for this retrospective show. I decided to ease myself into the process this year and begin doing Throwback Thursdays. Each Thursday I will hang up some pieces from the 6th graders portrait portfolios around the building. Here is the latest. It is their 1st grade life size portraits. I don't have the actual portraits as they were sent home, but I printed off photos from @Artsonia ! Gotta love that!
My 6th graders got a kick out this blast from past! We have had several students move away since first grade these were the pictures of the students who are still here!

March 16, 2014

Top 10 List of Art Room Supplies

Recently  fellow art ed blogger, Mr. E, posted about his frustrations with several art materials. We have all been there-bought a name brand product, lots of them, only to be disappointed in a change in quality, size, or cost.
If you know me I am a deal getting gal. I like getting a good deal. However a deal is only a deal if you will use it. Having poor quality items or supplies you won't use lying around isn't a good use of your budget. Despite being a penny pincher with my budget, I don't always jump on the cheapest product, I seek out quality materials with my supplies. I have stumbled upon most of my product discoveries while visiting vendor booths at conferences. I am extremely lucky when it comes to conference raffles and always bring an extra suitcase for my swag! Here is my list, hope this helps Mr. E!

1. Pencils-If money was limitless I would order Dixon Ticonderoga pencils for my students. My runner up are Staples Brand pencils. They don't break, sharpen easily, and the erasers don't leave marks behind. Oh, and they go on sale for a penny each summer. 10 pencils, 1 penny, no guilt. Check out my Pencil Solutions for more!
2. Colored Pencils- Even though I am elementary I invest in PrismaColors colored pencils. I had a stock pile when I came to my room and now just refresh the colors individually instead of buying sets. They blend and mix beautifully, especially for my intermediate students who are learning to make gradients. I am also a HUGE fan of Crayola ColorSticks. These are essentially woodless colored pencils that don't need to be sharpened! Repeat-they don't need to be sharpened! I bought 12 pack and 24 packs that include skin tones for portrait projects. They are wider and difficult to get details with, but if I don't have to sharpen pencils it is worth it!

March 8, 2014

Time to Celebrate Youth Art Month!

It's that time of year-Youth Art Month!! Every March since 1961 art teachers have been celebrating and advocating for young artists! There are tons of ways you can promote Youth Art Month in your school and district. Put your program out there and spread the word about all the awesome things you do! Contact you school's PR person, local newspaper and even tv station to share what you do! Head over to the NAEA website for more ideas and information. If you currently don't have anything to share during the month of March start planning for next year and check out my ideas here! You can even head to my TeachersPayTeachers page and get all the activities and handouts!

I spent last weekend decorating my room and hallway for our celebration. After this long winter some bright colors is what everyone needed, teachers and students are loving the makeover! 
Photos of students with their work and visiting bakers. 
Have you heard of SmartFab? I came across this product at the NAEA National Conference, fell in love and ordered big bright rolls of it this year. It's a lightweight fabric that is easy to cut and won't fade. It is so much easier to use than large paper. I was able to decorate by myself and not worrying about ripping or crinkling because this fabric is flexible. I am figuring out the best way to hang and make it stay put and have found duct tape works pretty well. I put it everywhere! I wrapped my big pole in it, put it around the tables and bookshelves, and made my own 'bulletin boards' (there is not board underneath it, just looks nicer than that green tile!). You can buy it in rolls or sheets from your favorite art supplier. I bought the 48x40 foot rolls in about 8 different colors. Not only can you decorate with this fabric, but you can use it for projects with your students because it is so easy to cut!

March 3, 2014

Dealing with the Snow-Giant Snowman Making!

Just a 30 foot snowman...
For the past 6 years or so my father has spent a day each winter dealing with the snow the best way he knows how...get creative with it and building a HUGE snowman! Our snowman lives in Champion, NY which is known to get a bit of lake effect each winter. Every year my father waits for a giant snow storm to drop a foot or two of snow in the area. He gathers his friends together, lots of heavy machinery and builds a 30 foot plus snowman in less than 24 hours! I have participated in the action and it is quite the undertaking. There are people hauling snow from fields, loaders and snow blowers pushing the snow in the elevators to the people who pack the snow in the snow man. There are people in the shop making the hat and snowman accessories. My dad uses old racing tires, traffic cones and the wall of an above ground pool for the hat and to help make the snowman. We call him B.A. Snowman and you can check out his Facebook page for more info. B.A.'s Facebook
My father also puts his spectacle to good use. People who stop by can donate canned goods in the bottom tire and they will be donated to local food pantries. He is currently up to 200 pounds of food this year!

Snowman in the making -2013
B.A. was also on TLC's Extreme Christmas this year! 
B.A. Captured by SnowCamTV
My students always look forward to seeing the videos and pictures of B.A.! I show them a bunch of ways to make snow art and encourage them to get outside and play!  I show them clips and pictures of Simon Beck's gorgeous snow art and the Saranac Lake Ice Castle time-lapse video along with my dad's snowman.

If you live in Northern NY consider making a trip to see it!
How have you been dealing with the snow? (Seriously, this is the longest winter ever...) 

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