Students’ Art Gallery Showcase

The 1st annual Art Gallery Showcase was a success! Haha. At least, I made it through it! Took me forever to put together and hang everything up and within 15 minutes of it starting, students and parents had dismantled my hard work and taken kids’ artwork home. (Which is great!) One student even gave me flowers- (Brought a tear to my eye, I have to admit!) I got some really great feedback from parents and students which is always nice to hear so hopefully I will be getting to do the same thing next year!

fun and easy art activity for kids

I love melted rocks. Melted rocks rock. I did this art activity with two 6 and 7 year old boys and I think I enjoyed it more than they did (probably because I wouldn’t let them touch the hot rocks…and you know how boys are…they only want to do what they aren’t allowed to do:) ).  Something about the simplicity of the activity and watching the crayon melt and mix and swirl with the other colors is so relaxing.

You will need:

  • smooth rocks- pick out some rocks from your garden (preferably smooth rocks with flattened tops) or you can buy a bag of river rocks from a craft supply store for fairly cheap. 
  • crayons- The Crayola brand work perfectly fine…I had some oil pastels I also tried using…a few of them worked, the more thicker and more expensive they were, the LESS they worked because they didn’t melt as easy and didn’t mix with the other crayons. ALTHOUGH, saying that, one gold oil pastel I had from Blicks art store turned out to be the best. So, try a few different types and experiment. 
  • an oven- or access to one. 
  • An oven mitts (those babies come out of the oven hot) 
  • Foil paper
  • a large (and preferably old and well used) baking tray
Instructions: 
  •  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit 
  • Wash off and dry the rocks if you grabbed them from the garden
  • Peel the paper off the crayons you want to use 
  • Put foil paper on the oven tray (to keep any melted crayons from getting on the tray)
  • Place the rocks on the tray and put them in the oven for at least 15 minutes (the hotter they are the better) 
  • Take the rocks out using the oven mitt (if you are doing this with children make sure to warn them NOT to place their hands directly onto the rock because they will born themselves) and place them on paper plates or foil sheets
  • Put the crayon onto the surface of the rock and push down firmly for a few moments. Use several different colors to get a colorful effect. 
  • Let them cool. 

and WHALAAA! Glorious- beautimus rocks!

A Student’s Artwork: Our Classroom Tree House

I was so touched by this 2nd grader’s drawing that I scanned it into my computer and want to get a professional copy of it framed….

At the beginning of the year, the students wrote about their “Ideal Tree houses” for a creative writing lesson. They all really loved writing about their dream tree houses and included some pretty cool stuff (lots of slides, elevators, swimming pools, hidden rooms, ect) and one student took it a step further and drew a tree house that had a room for every student and teacher in it!

When I saw it, I almost teared up (I’m a big softie), because I figured, being a teacher, my room would be extra small and tucked away in a corner, far from all the fun stuff. BUT, lo and behold, ole’ Mrs. Sheffy had not one but TWO of her own rooms….one was for living in and the second (the one that really got me) was my own art studio!
My living room is the first room to the right of the ladder, as you are climbing from the bottom up..titled “Mrs. S.” (I love it, I’m Mrs. S!) and then my art gallery is on the same level but all the way to the right..titled “Mrs. S art gallery” in smooshed letters…its kind of small, but thats okay, art galleries don’t have to be big! Here is a close up shot…

 I love working with this age of kids because they are such big dreamers and (most) see the best in each other still and I thought it was so wonderful, I wanted to get a group hug and stand in a circle holding hands singing the Barney song or something… (okay, no not really, but still)….just wanted to share.

Also, I am thinking of adapting her artwork into an art lesson, I think it would be really cool. So creative and sweet.

where have i been??

okay, laugh if you want…but this weekend I found out about A.T.C’s for the first time ever! I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get it in on this wondrous artistic movement. Maybe this is old news to you but A.T.C’s (or Artist’s Trading Cards) are these lovely little baseball card sized pieces of artwork that artists then trade with friends, family and artists around the globe!

Here are just a few of some the amazing cards I found and love:

an incredible way to organize cards via http://ramblingrose.typepad.com/journal/sprapodex/

The only rule to A.T.C’s are that they must be 2 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ in size. But that’s it. I stumbled upon ATCs while I was looking for some good art lessons for an after school art club curriculum I am putting together for 2nd through 4th graders. I found an art lesson on the subject of ATC’s on Dick Blick’s website: http://www.dickblick.com/lesson-plans/atc-artist-trading-cards/ (They have so many amazing art lessons).  After looking over the lesson and getting excited about the idea….I then googled ATCs and it was like a hidden (or I guess not so hidden) world of ATC artists, galleries, international swaps, ideas, ect. Needless to say, I spent about 6 hours glued to my laptop (nothing new there I guess) and then another 6 hours trying to make some samples…and I am hooked. HOOKED!

And of course, you didn’t think I could spend so much time falling in love with these things without trying some out for myself…so here are my first attempts at ATC cards:

So…if you are interested here are some websites that I found along the way…..


Also, if you are interested in a swap or know of any swaps I would LOVE to be apart of that. Also, probably in the spring of 2012, I will have a group of elementary aged kids who would love to swap with other kids (preferabbly not in Illinois).