November 7, 2015

Mouth of Babes-Student Reactions to a Pregnant Teacher

During the first week of school I announced my pregnancy to all 300 some of my kindergarten through 6th grade students. I was mentally prepared to combat the where do babies come from questions but not some of the others reactions I got. Here are a few gems...

"You must have swallowed a bean. My mom said she swallowed a bean and that's how I got her belly." ~Second Grader

"So what happens if you have the baby while you are teaching?" ~6th Grader 

"Did the baby come out?" ~2 kindergarteners asked after seeing me
in a different, more concealing outfit a few days after the announcement. 

"What happens if you have the baby while driving to the hospital?" ~6th Grader 

"How's the baby boy today?" ~Second Grader (she asks me every time she sees me how the baby is doing)

"You are going to get a lot bigger huh?" ~First Grader 

"That's a good idea, because if that pencil falls you won't be able to pick it up off the floor." ~Second Grader responding to my bathroom sign out pencil with a magnet on it. 

October 25, 2015

In the Art Room...#26-I'm back with Fall Projects!

It's been a few weeks and I broke my streak of Saturday posts but I'm alive and well in my lil corner over here!
I had a busy October with 2 art shows, a paint and sip and baby shower #1. So my weekends haven't been as relaxing as I would like! 
So into the art room...
Kindergartners had free reign of glue and scissors to decorate their pumpkins. I trace mouths for them to use, but the rest is up to them.

October 3, 2015

In the Art Room...#25-Glue Practice, Fall Pumpkins and Art Shows!

Keeping this short and sweet this week! I'm currently in beautiful Lake Placid selling my pottery at Whiteface's Octoberfest!
It's pretty chilly up here so I'm glad I opted for an inside booth! 
In the art room this week....
Some printmaking! 

September 26, 2015

In the Art Room...#24- Perspective Drawing, Fall Still Life and MorePainting!

All the fall projects are underway this week! 
Here's what was happening:
K-making secondary colors and a landscape 
1st-Glue practice and collage with their rainbow project 
2nd-Making stamps and printmaking!
3rd-drawing a fall still life and tracing with glue
4th-starting cake boss project (designing a birthday cake for a famous artist) by learning about Wayne Thiebaud and Buddy Valastros
5th-beginning one point perspective 
6th-beginning two point perspective 
And some pictures for the visual people out there! 
After drawing their fall still life, 3rd graders traced their lines with glue. Next up Chalk Pastels! 

September 19, 2015

In the Art Room...#23- Portrait Assessments and Fall Projects!

5 days, three fire drills and one open house later I have finished and survived the first full week of school =) 
We spent the first four days doing one day drawings, going over a few more rules, getting assigned mat seats, and probably having some part of that interrupted by a fire drill! I have been doing one day drawings since I started teaching elementary. Basically, students get a pen and paper and write  visual journal of something they did that summer. I encourage them to include themselves and background and the advice stops there. You can read more about the process on this post.  It's an excellent way to see what student interests are and assess their drawing skills. It also makes a great sub plan if you are in a bind! 

September 11, 2015

In the Art Room... #22-Back To School!!

I'm alive over here! I just  wrapped up the first 4 days of the school year. 
Here's a peek at what I've been up to and what my room looks like this year. I've been wearing dresses all week so I'm without pockets which means I'm without a camera. I will work on this next week!
Every teachers's thoughts on Labor Day! 
A shirt I made for our Superintendent's Day. I'm not a fan of hugs to begin with so belly rubs are definitely out. The message was well received and unwanted belly rubs were avoided. 
A few shots of the art room! It's huge, amazing and full of storage. 
We're continuing with the same job routine as last year. I reviewed jobs on the first day of art by making a rainbow kickoff project (pics coming soon!) 
Monthly jobs, printed, glued to construction paper and laminated. I use overhead markers to write the jobs on them. Dry erase are a huge pain to get off! You can get your own set of job charts, chair shapes and bin posters (below) over at my TeacherPayTeacher site
Supply bins are kept on the counter. No matter what I do and try these bins are distraction on the tables. Well, anything on the tables is a distraction really. 
Gave the bins another coat this summer. Spray painted pencils and a few scissors so everything coordinates now!
Front and backs of all the chairs are have a shape sticker. It's how I assign students to pick up and cleanup.

I moved my "I can" chart from the chalk board to a window. I can print statements or write with a dry erase marker now.
A sample of what we did this week. We are spending the first day of art making a piece for the school wide rainbow project. Every table is assigned a color, every grade a mini project. 4th graders worked collaboratively on a "pipe" project with table mates. I loved seeing them work together on this! And every student in grades 2-6 filled out a student info form on the iPads. This saves me countless hours of typing students names for my grade book and checklists (learn how to make your own form here).  I'll type the kindergarten and first grade names in. I use this kickoff project to review rules and jobs. You can get your own copy of my rules for free at!

Spent Labor Day upgrading seating charts and checking out my class lists. I use the Staples brand flags. They are super sticky and last from year to year. Plus they are colorful. It makes seating charts a little more exciting. Read more on why seating charts work and how to make your own here.
First day of school and there was NEW construction happening! Traffic was backed up quite a bit. Ugh. 
This book was in a giveaway pile for students. I couldn't help but laugh, email our faculty and contemplate a book study. 
Even though we had insane humidity I managed to walk the dog and squeeze in a run/walk (at 22 weeks pregnant) on Wednesday! My feet were killing me afterwards but I slept like a log. Hoping to get a run/walk in a few days a week for as long as I can. 
So there it is! The start to my tenth year of teaching!!! How did your week go?

August 8, 2015

Summer Vacation? Online classes and dumpster diving!

This has been one busy summer! I feel like I haven't stopped to enjoy break yet! My summer has been spent working in my studio, going to three shows and working on three online classes from Learner's Edge. The classes are quite challenging but you can go at your own pace and complete the work as you want. The summer classes do end August 15th so there is a light at the end of the tunnel! 
Spent some time reading my book in the hammock, so at least I get outside! 

August 6, 2015

Cortland Wine and Arts Fest 2015

I cannot say enough good things about this festival! This past weekend I was in Cortland for their annual Wine and Arts Festival. This event keeps getting bigger and better each year! 
I have been doing this show for several years and back in the day it was my first outdoor show. The size and quality of vendors improve each year. This year there were a few awesome food trucks, free iced coffee from Tim Horton's, a giant tent for wine tastings from local wineries, two music tents for local talent and several artisans. This is also a juried show with several prizes for vendors! 

July 22, 2015

Mid July Update!

Well July is almost over and I feel like it has been a whirlwind of a month. Vacation is not so much a vacation as it is a time to catch up and get ahead. I have really been trying to get on here and post some project overviews but I have been bogged down with a million things. Let me explain.

In case you missed it....
We are expecting our first in the middle of January. Today marks what could possibly be my 3rd day in a row without morning sickness. It has been a long and trying first trimester. I am 15 weeks and 2 days today. We have our 16 week appointment next Monday to see Baby G again. So on top of all that excitement we are working on our baby registry and feeling completely overwhelmed by all the options out there.  I am also cleaning out a room/closet a day to prepare for a yard sale this weekend. Nesting anyone? 

If you follow me on Instagram  you may have seen my wet art shows I did earlier this month. I did two day shows at  Varick Winery and the Skaneateles Antiques and Art Show and the rain joined us.  
It was pretty cold sitting in my tent. It got so bad the coordinator at the winery that the coordinator said we could pack up two hours early.
Everything was wet. My tablecloths were soaked. Fortunately my work is waterproof.
While it didn't rain at Skaneateles, it poured the day before the show began. I had the luck of being next to a tree, which provided additional shade but didn't help my booth dry out. I resorted to breaking down boxes to make a cardboard rug. 
After all of that, my husband and I ventured to Taughannock Falls for an anniversary hike and dinner.
I found my vegetables in my garden after some intense weeding. I grow more weeds than veggies. I view this approach to gardening as organic gardening. 
I multitasked and spent some time in the studio and attended 6 hours of the Art of Ed Summer Online Conference last Thursday. Lots of amazing presentations and information. Perfect timing for back to school plans. 
Yesterday I finished up my first of three online classes I am taking from Learner's Edge. The course work is at your own pace and pretty rigorous. If you are looking for some PD on your time, check out Learner's Edge. The prices are very reasonable and they have quite a selection of courses! 
Up Next...I am teaching my second paint and sip night!! 

So there you have it. My first 3.5 weeks of summer vacation. Whew. I'm tired just recapping it.

July 9, 2015

Exciting News From Creative Corner!!

It's been a long (almost) 14 weeks but I can finally spill the beans!! 
Creative Corner is expecting! 
Baby Gorham is expected to arrive in the middle of January and hopefully not in the middle of  a snowstorm! 
This is our first baby and we shared the news with some of my custom ceramic mugs. 
We told all our families on July 4th, and then revealed to the world that night! It was such a huge relief! Hopefully this explains the sporadic posts on my end! 

July 8, 2015

In the Art Room...#21 - Final Days!

So I had this post already to go and never published it! Bah! End of the year brain. 
Let me try again! 
I had my final full day with kids on Friday. I had this countdown on my desk since May to keep track of how many days I had left with my kids. We all know that the end of the year assemblies, ceremonies, picnics and field trips and mess with our anticipated days we have left. 

July 7, 2015

50 Boredom Busters for Kids!

We are few weeks into summer vacation here and if you have kids you may already be running out of entertainment ideas or patience. Have no fear-50 Boredom Busters for Kids are Here! I bringing  back this post for last summer for parents who may be losing their mind already! 

June 13, 2015

In the Art Room..#20-A Mad Dash To Finish

There will be no cruising in to summer vacation in the art room this year. Most of my students are working to the very last class to get projects done. 
5th graders are finishing their prints. This was the last printing class for all of them. Once they finished their prints, they will mount the best and worst one and give me reasons for both. 

June 6, 2015

In the Art Room..#19-Are We There Yet?

*note* this was ready to go last Saturday. Apparently it didn't finish publishing. 😣

June is crawling. We have 12 more days of school left and they are going to be a long, slooooow 12 days. On a good note, the weather was 70-ish all week and I didn't pass out from heat exhaustion this week  (we don't have AC). 
We are finishing a few more projects this week. Another first grade class finished their Henri Rousseau animals and jungles. One first grade class is  way ahead of the other two, they did the bonus project so I pulled out my trusty backup. Collage! Give kids glue, fancy scissors and scrap paper and let them have fun. 
This was 3 minutes into the class. Before we got to work we watched a brainpopjr video on collage. 

May 30, 2015

In the Art Room...#18-Ice Cream Rainbows & Printmaking

Good news is this short week is over and June is here! The bad news is it's dress season for me and I don't carry my phone on me as much. This means less photos😞. Since we are visual people this can be a slight problem. I'm going to try harder next week...I promise. 
Kindergartners painted their ice cream cones this week. I had my first class put black around them and it wasn't so successful. The black was uneven and needs to be touched up. The other two classes will not paint their backgrounds. 
5th graders started printing this week. We are using foam instead of rubber stamps this year. I taught them how to make reduction prints and they thought that was pretty cool. Reduction printing wouldn't have been possible with rubber stamps. Note: techincally it would be but the point of a rubber stamp is permanence. That is lost when you do reduction prints, a one time printmaking process. 
And that's it for photos! Other art room events include 
1-Getting kicked out of the art room for NYS science test on Tuesday & Wednesday. 
2-4th graders are making their looms for wampum belts and designing a high contrast pattern for them. 
3-1st grade finishing Rousseau jungles and a class falling behind because of a field trip. 
4-2nd grade writing and typing their royalty stories. 
5-My week long practicum student got to witness the entire crazy week. I think he has seen the gamut! 

So next week I will take more photos or wear my dresses with pockets or get a fanny pack. 

May 23, 2015

In The Art Room #17...Ice Cream Cones and Jungle Animals!

Let's just say this was a verrrrry long week. I am going to sum this week up really fast because we have a 3 day weekend and I need to turn my brain off! 
We worked on cutting and gluing with my pre-k kiddos. We made these cute lil flags using 9x12 white, 6x9 red (they cut their own strips) and 4.5x6 blue. So there is no waste when prepping this one. 
Field trips began this week so I worked my way through some piles of projects that needed to be graded. 
It was soooo humid Monday! I spent my planning taking down all non essential artwork because they were falling off the walls. They even felt damp. Then I recruited some 6th grade helpers to help me sort and organize it. 😄

Trying a new color wheel project with kindergarten. I've done birds in the past but that is usually around the spring. Since it's the end of the year I decided to go with ice cream. So far so good, next week we will paint!
5th graders started their typography prints!
One class has squeaked ahead on the Henri Rousseau Animal project. This group made leaves and tissue paper backgrounds on Monday. Friday we collaged all the parts together! 

Whew! So there is my super quick recap! Happy Memorial Day! 

May 16, 2015

In the Art Room...#16-Final Countdown!!

The end is near! We have 6 art classes left, we are finishing up are last project and beginning our final projects of the year. 
4th graders are on the final day of their recycled crayon project. I have the good fortune of having a stove in my room. It's basically a giant crayon maker. I have collected several shaped tins over the years and students melt crayons in those. We come up with a company name and work in some color theory so our crayons don't color brown. 
The rest of the students are finishing up projects and starting their last ones. I try to save the best for last so students remain engaged in the projects until the end! 
3rd graders are adding the finishing touches to their portraits. We used iPads to search a background. Students could put themselves anywhere as long as it had a horizon line. The are getting so creative with these. This student is using oil pastels and and then watercolors to create outerspace.
During the half days I had students make mandalas and watch a time lapse video of Buddhists monks making one. 5th graders were really into this and wanted to make them out of sand. I had colored sand so we spent another day making them out of sand and glue. 

4th graders are on the final day of their recycled crayon project. I have the fortune of having a stove in my room. It's basically a giant crayon maker. I have collected several shaped tins over the years 
Once the 5th graders were done with mandalas we started designing our stamps. 5th graders use safety cut linoleum to create a letter stamp (first initial of their first name). We learn about printmaking and fonts & typefaces. 
This first grader thought his scrap paper was hilarious. So did I. 
Kindergarteners are finishing up their life size portraits. I love how they transform themselves with the Playcolor Tempera Sticks. The colors are so rich and bright, they look amazing! 
Whew! So there it is, a week in the life of an art teacher (who forgets to photograph most of our projects.) 
How many more weeks do you have? Have you started the final countdown? 

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