Jan 6, 2015

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How to Pare Down Your Paintbrushes

How to Pare Down Your Paintbrushes

Because minimalism means ‘paring down to the essentials’ let’s ask ourselves, “What is essential when it comes to the supplies we keep on hand?” One area that can easily get out of control is paint brushes. When you inherit something that looks like this – it can be hard to know where to start.     After trying to sort this mess, I finally gave up. The...

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Jan 5, 2015

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3 Meaningful Activities for Wrapping Up Semester C...

3 Meaningful Activities for Wrapping Up Semester Courses

As each of my classes come to an end at the quarter or semester mark, there are a few activities with which I like to close. Although the details of these activities do change depending on what age of students I am finishing up with, I find it beneficial to end with authentic reflection and growth documentation not only for the students but for myself as well. Here are 3 simple...

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Jan 2, 2015

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Teach Your Students Chinese Calligraphy

Teach Your Students Chinese Calligraphy

The winter months are a great time to try out some Chinese calligraphy in your classroom. (This year, the celebration falls in late February.) However, getting started with a project like this can be daunting, especially if you don’t have much experience with the art of calligraphy in the first place. If you’re thinking Chinese calligraphy is something you might want to try...

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Jan 1, 2015

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Shhh…The Secret to an Awesome Art Show

Shhh…The Secret to an Awesome Art Show

I have a confession to make. A secret really. I love putting on my annual art show! Yes, some of you just went back and reread that sentence to make sure you read it correctly. Now, you might be scrolling as quickly as you can down to the comments section to tell me how crazy I am and that putting on an art show is really stressful, and hard, and overwhelming, and the bane of your...

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Dec 31, 2014

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Help Your ELL Students in Art Class with These Sim...

Help Your ELL Students in Art Class with These Simple Steps

I will never forget one of my sweetest 1st grade students. Picture this: It was my first year of teaching art, and my student’s fourth day in the United States. He had art on his very first day at our school. He had cried all day in his classroom because (of course) he hadn’t understood anything. Then, he came into art, and the tears stopped. It was the first day...

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Dec 30, 2014

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How to Make Printmaking Easy for Even Your Most Ra...

How to Make Printmaking Easy for Even Your Most Rambunctious Class

Mr. Stoller’s printmaking presentation at the AOE Online Conference this summer inspired me to pursue printmaking with my younger grades…even my rowdy classes.   After some trial and error, I developed a printmaking process that is efficient and engaging. It keeps students busy printing without a lot of wait time, which really cuts down on behavior issues. Best of all,...

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Dec 30, 2014

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Rainforest Painting: Free Lesson Plan Download

Rainforest Painting: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: K-2 Art Education Lesson Plan Art Elements: Space Art Skills: Painting, Drawing, Collage Making Connections: Rainforest Study   * Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page This lesson works especially well with Kindergarten and 1st Grade. I find teaching space with students this young can get boring and dry. Using rainforest animals helps bring the...

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Dec 29, 2014

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Show and Tell: Why Students Should Design Infograp...

Show and Tell: Why Students Should Design Infographics

Our students’ brains are bombarded by thousands of images each day. From social media, to advertisements, to online games, middle school students are subjected to visual communication during most of their waking hours. As art teachers, we are aware that the human brain processes and responds to an image faster than to words, yet so much of a student’s school day is...

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Dec 28, 2014

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How to Survive a Day in the Classroom While Sick

How to Survive a Day in the Classroom While Sick

First of all, if you are sick, you should probably stay home! There is no badge of honor for having the most banked sick days in history (my mother is a prime example of this) :). But, we all know it’s not always possible to be gone from the clasroom. Perhaps you are getting over a sickness, coming down with something, or live with a chronic illness. You still must somehow get...

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Dec 26, 2014

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5 Tips to Stretch Your Art Room Budget

5 Tips to Stretch Your Art Room Budget

I get an average of $1.67 per student per year for my art budget. That isn’t much money when you figure it needs to cover all the projects for the whole year. In 14 years of teaching, I have discovered a few ways to make my $1.67 go a long, long way.   Here are 5 tips to stretch your art room budget.     1: Use technology when possible. At my school, I have...

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Dec 25, 2014

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How Teaching Art is Like a Candy Cane

How Teaching Art is Like a Candy Cane

Happy Holidays from all of us here at AOE! We’ll be continuing our regular publishing schedule right through winter break and into the new year, so make sure to stop by for some fantastic articles. Today, Jessica takes a fun look at how teaching art is like a candy cane.     The Wrapper: Planning Before you get to the good stuff, you have to deal with the...

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Dec 24, 2014

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Clay Face Mugs: Free Lesson Plan Download

Clay Face Mugs: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: Middle School Art Education Lesson Plan Art Elements: Form Art Skills: Basic Clay Construction Art History: Civil War Face Jugs * Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page     Face Jugs, or as they are fondly referred to in my art room “Ugly Jugs,” are a student favorite. Students apply their knowledge of coiling and proper attachment methods...

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