Feb 12, 2015

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Read Books to Your Students in Half the Time!

Read Books to Your  Students in Half the Time!

When teaching about Egypt, I always enjoyed reading the book Into the Mummy’s Tomb to my fourth graders. With two, 45-minute class periods each week, it was easy to find the time. Then, our time got slashed in half! No time for reading. Must. Make. Art. So, I got tricky and paraphrased the entire book into a series of notes.    This was actually a blessing in...

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Feb 11, 2015

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How an Artist-in-Residence Can Send Student Confid...

How an Artist-in-Residence Can Send Student Confidence Through the Roof

Having an artist-in-residence can be an incredibly rewarding experience for students as well as participating staff members. Artwork created under the hand of a practicing artist can lead to a collaborative culture that fosters art appreciation and increased student confidence through art making. There is always something magical about experiencing the creation of an artwork when...

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Feb 11, 2015

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Spreading Positivity, One Sticky Note at a Time

Spreading Positivity, One Sticky Note at a Time

I suppose the best description of this would be a guerilla art project, but however you might describe it, it started with a goal to spread positivity throughout our school. The original idea came from one of my students who had spent some time writing various positive messages on sticky notes.     We decided to take that idea and run with it. Everyone in class who...

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Feb 10, 2015

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Great Advice for Helping Students Deal with Bullie...

Great Advice for Helping Students Deal with Bullies and Meanies

    A few years ago, our district keynote was Rosalind Wiseman. She is the author of the extremely successful (and useful!) books Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen. These books serve as a guide and a look into the complicated social world of boys and girls and the roles they play within groups and cliques. During our conversations about these books,...

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Feb 10, 2015

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Empowered Self-Portraits: Free Lesson Plan Downloa...

Empowered Self-Portraits: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: Middle School Art Education Lesson Plan Art Elements: Line, Shape, Color Art Skills: Drawing, Portraiture, Lettering Making Connections: Self-Esteem, Bullying * Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page Discovering who we are and becoming unique individuals is one of the most interesting and hardest parts of being human. Our students can have a difficult time...

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Feb 9, 2015

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The Time I Quit Teaching

The Time I Quit Teaching

Editor’s Note: This week, we’re taking a few days to talk about the power art has to influence students’ self-image and self-esteem. From encouraging students to take leadership roles in the art room to “love bombing” your school with sticky notes, we’ll bring you unique ways to use art to show you care.      I was in the...

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Feb 6, 2015

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33 Fiber Art Ideas For Your Classroom

33 Fiber Art Ideas For Your Classroom

    We often ask questions on our Facebook page that generate amazing lists of ideas. After a few days, however, those lists get buried in the feed and are often never seen again. We’d like to change that! Today we’re bringing you an extensive list of fiber art ideas for your classroom because, let’s face it, although weaving is awesome, it can wear out its welcome...

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Feb 5, 2015

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Conquering Hot Spots in your Art Room

Conquering Hot Spots in your Art Room

    What is a hot spot, you ask? It’s a place in your room that quickly fills with clutter throughout the day. Come 3pm, it’s jam packed with overflowing items begging to be put back where they belong. Maybe your hotspot is the end of your desk; by day’s end it’s filled with lesson samples and extra supplies. Perhaps it’s your document camera cart that feels...

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Feb 5, 2015

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A List of Simple Ways to Teach More Mindfully

A List of Simple Ways to Teach More Mindfully

    The idea of mindfulness may not be new to you, but thinking about it in regards to your fast-paced teaching job might be. It might be easy to practice mindfulness at home, soaking in a hot tub or stretching into a downward facing dog, but in the middle of a high-stress day at work? That’s much harder. So, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness means maintaining a...

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Feb 5, 2015

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Chinese Dragons: Free Lesson Plan Download

Chinese Dragons: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: 3-5 Art Education Lesson Plan Art Elements: Shape, Color Art Skills: Drawing, Painting, Cutting Making Connections: Chinese New Year * Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page This lesson is always popular with students. It may be the fact that they get to use metallic colored pencils and gold paint, or it may be the fact that dragons are just so fun to draw,...

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Feb 4, 2015

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Keep Up with Hundreds of Blogs the Easy Way!

Keep Up with Hundreds of Blogs the Easy Way!

At AOE, we just wrapped up our 2014 Art Ed Blog of the Year Contest, and if you’re like me, there are some new blogs on your “must read” list. A few years ago, that would have meant adding new tabs to my bookmark list so that, when I had time, I could easily find them. Back then, I would waste time checking blogs that hadn’t updated, I missed some really great...

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Feb 3, 2015

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Rule Breaker or Creative Genius? The Talented (yet...

Rule Breaker or Creative Genius? The Talented (yet Terrible) Art Student

There is an image making the virtual rounds of a group of children having just finished an art class. In the photo, each student is proudly displaying a painting depicting an image of the snowman Olaf from the movie Frozen. Each student except for one little boy in the front row. Instead of Olaf, his canvas is a wash of muddy grays. The caption beneath reads, “Nailed...

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