Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art teacher. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

In the Art Room: A Colorful Village!

What's the worst thing about taking time off from school? Say it with me: SUB PLANS. Well, I thought I'd share a couple of sub plannin' tips with y'all today along with my most recent sub plan video! Let's kick it off with that, shall we?
My super fabulous sub will be hanging out with my artists for a couple of days. Most of my classes are just 30 minutes, for that reason, I've left my sub this video and some instructions: just have the kiddos create the houses and begin the coloring portion. I learned my lesson the hard way my very first year teaching: don't leave a sub anything complicated. Granted, my first year teaching, all I left out were markers (brand new ones, mind you) only to find them scattered about with their caps off when I returned. Needless to say, I'll be handling the painting side of this project when I return.

Speaking of, here's why I like having ALL of my grade levels work on the same project AND have them continue to create when I return. It means that, come Monday, I'm not running around, scratching my head wondering what we are working on. Instead, I can take it easy, set out one supply: watercolor, and know that it will be a calm way to return. Not only that, but we'll have a beautiful masterpiece to show for our efforts even if the art teacher had the day off. 

Before we continue chatting about this project, I thought I'd share some of my other fave sub plans that resulted in beautiful creations. Feel free to use these sub plans in your art room!
I have to say, whenever I can, I call upon the same subs. My subs LOVE these least that's what they tell me. It makes their life so much easier and the kids are actually creating! Not just watching a video (well, they ARE but you know what I mean) or doing busy work. The kids are engaged and that makes the subbie's job so much easier. Complete version of this sub plan can be found here. 
This sub plan was a fun one...I could tell the kids had a blast based on the monsters they created! Find the complete details of this sub plan right here. 
While prepping for the sub, I created an Art Teacherin' 101 all about planning for a sub. This is what I can accomplish in an ideal situation: when I know I'm going to be away and I have plenty of time to prepare. Not all of us have this luxury. But, when I do, this is what I do. 
Holy Moly, this has been one of THEE most popular lessons I've shared on my blog: The Wings Mural! I've seen so many versions of this lesson and I LOVE it! This all started out as a sub plan and grew much bigger than I ever imagined. I'm so thrilled so many of y'all have found it useful. Here's the link to the original blog post
My very first sub videos were created when I had to be gone for...jury duty. Boy, that was a good time. Let me tell you, nothing makes you happier for your chosen profession than...JURY.DUTY. Anyway! My sweet artists created these happy hearts while I was away jurying. 
Alrightie, now let's return to the sub lesson at hand, shall we?
 As I was sayin', with my sweet sub, my artists will be learning how to draw a 3-D house. I'm encouraging them, via video, to create a variety of houses embellished with patterns. As inspo, I'll be leaving my sub the book The Big Orange Splot to read to the kids if time allows.
If this book is not in your library, it totally should be. AND, if it is, can we PLEASE talk about what Mr. Plumbean is serving over at his house during those late night talks with the neighbors? I'm thinkin' it's pretty good stuff to inspire those wild houses created!
AND now let's talk oil pastels. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE ON THE PLANET! I keep referring to them as Galaxy in my IG feed because I'm completely ignorant. Sorry, my bad. They are GALLERY (I get points for staring with the same letter, don't I?!) and they are by Sargent. They are also sent from Art Teacherin' Heaven and I cannot recommend them enough. 
 When I return, the kiddos will add a splash of liquid water color paints and return to their usually scheduled program. I'll be happy they continued to learn and create in my absence and they'll be thrilled not to have watched a mindless vid and drawn all over a worksheet. Winner-winner, Chicken Dinner!
LOVE to hear your fave sub plans! AND, if you give this project a-go, I'd love to see the results. Be sure and tag me on Instagram, Facebook or where ever you get your social media on. 
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Monday, September 18, 2017

In the Art Room: Learning For All Collaborative

Those who are unfortunate enough to have to work with me know that I'm a bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew/start-now-figure-it-out-later/wild-and-crazy kind of gal. Thankfully, I work with The Best folks who not only tolerate my silliness but, I daresay, encourage and facilitate my weird ways. All that jib-jab to say this: look what the kiddos created for our 2017 collaborative! Learning for All with a contribution from each of my first through fourth grade artists and a whole lotta blood, sweat and (after misfires of the staple and hot glue gun) tears on behalf of me and my P.E. teacherin' buddy Ali Starkweather!
Ah! This 5' 6" mama weighs in at just over 15 lbs and is every bit of awesome, if I do say so. I've had the itch to create something in our foyer every since the kiddos created our Johnson Elementary sign a couple of years ago. And, with the successful creation of this massively heavy mosaic beast, I KNEW the custodians and maintenance dudes could make hang the monster...but how to create it? 
I originally got the idea this summer while I was at the hardware store and spotted paint stirring sticks. Before I knew what was happening, I was taking the folks at Home Depot into donating a ton of sticks to me for the cause. I was inspired by the Color Wheel Clock I created some years ago and just kind of went from there. 
With this inspo in mind, the first days of school, I had my first through third grade kiddos paint a stick with a color and white. This was easy: after going over the rules, routines and whut-nots of the first day, I was like, here, let's paint a stick, doesn't that sound fun?! After a resounding NO!, I chatted about creating a collaborative and a legacy piece to leave behind. That was a little more inspiring. With our leftover paint, we created painted papers for future projects.  
 My fourth grade kiddos were given the large paint stirring sticks. Those I did have to pay for as Home Depot decided they had to draw the line somewhere. I didn't mind. The kids were given baskets of analogous colors and requested to "leave their mark". They happily did so. After a wee sword fight with the sticks. 
Once all the sticks were complete, the MASSIVE assembling began. I'm not even gonna lie: I hardly snapped any photos as I wasn't sure if this was even going to be possible. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible had my buddy Ali not stepped in. She was determined this was gonna work. I'm so thankful she helped me...otherwise it would still be in bits in the art room!
 I just so happened to have the large round canvas at my house, sitting around, collecting dust. Ali and I began by laying out the colors of the shorter sticks and deciding how they would go together. When someone asked how it was assembled, I believe Ali put it best, "Lots of hot glue, gorilla glue, and a staple gun....and then LOTS of hot glue, gorilla glue and a staple gun!!! lol..." She says LOL but what that really means is for real tho. There's a reason we didn't snap any photos of the assembly.
Y'all better believe I wanted this bad boy up in time for Open House. And all y'all better also believe it was only finished the day of. In fact, these sweet fellas had to wait a pinch as the wording I had JUST painted needed to dry. 
And then, of course, the domino effect of disasters transpired: the lift stopped working; I didn't paint the wording to align with the hanger on the back (no surprise there)...but there was no need to worry. By some miracle of miracles, the lift was fixed the so was my hanger malfunction. And, viola! Masterpiece hung in time for Open House!
 High five to these handsome devils!
Every morning, when I do morning duty, I've been pleased as punch to see this happiness greeting our kiddos as they enter our school. This mantra is a portion of our school motto...and I believe everyone who loves to teach at Johnson Elementary agrees. 
 Even if some of 'em are a wee bit crazy. But I'm in such good company! 
Thanks for letting me share! This was a fun collaborative...and one that my wee artists and I (as well as all who were involved!) are mighty proud of!
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

DIY: An Art Teacherin' Pantsuit

Seeing as how the premise of this blog used to be all about what I wear as an art teacher, it should come as no surprise that I LOVE me a themed dress up day! It's spirit week and today was Career Day. I decided to go as myself: Artist/Art Teacher! They are one in the same, says me. 
In true procrastinator fashion, I started painting this pantsuit at, oh, about 9:30pm last night. I found it a couple of weeks ago at Goodwill and my mom-in-law was like, YOU GOTTA GET THIS. Well, she didn't say it like that, but she was pretty persuasive. It didn't take much arm twisting. Believe it or not, my first year teaching art, I LIVED in a pair of Oshkosh B'gosh forest green corduroy overalls that I found at the thrift. I wish I still had those suckers. I loved 'em. 
Anyway, when I spotted the 'suit, I knew I'd have to upgrade it somehow. I left is sitting in my closet until Career Day Eve when I decided to paint it...yay! I had so much fun wearing it today. It's a RARE occasion when I wear pants...and this pantsuit, with it's mom-jeans, extra-long front part, isn't exactly the most flattering of ensembles. But it was so super comfy! That is until I had to go to the bathroom. Then it was like wrestling myself outta a straight jacket while my bladder screamed bloody murder.
 By the way, the jacket was a purchase from Gap Kids a couple years back. I had the kids add more splatters to it when they splattered this skirt for me. 
 And the palette beret was felted many moons can find it here
 I love using Tulip Brand paint for my fabric paint because it really does keep it's vibrant color even after washing. Check out the dress I created with the Tulip paint here
My favorite part of the day was seeing all these sweet cuties dressed up as Artists/Art Teachers too!
Seriously, y'all. We have the best job, EVER! 
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Sunday, September 10, 2017

In the Art Room: Everyday Art Room, Episode 5

Can I go all Honest Abe on y'all for a moment? I've been hosting the podcast Everyday Art Room for the last month and, for the first handful of episodes, something felt off. Because I've been working with The Art of Ed on this venture, I felt like I should sound, for lack of a better word, "professional". So I donned my Speech Geek hat (I was a big time speech geek in high school...much love to my amazing English teacher/speech coach Mr. Dave McKenzie!) and used my "speeching" voice...and not my for realz voice. The content was all me but the tone All that to say, I've dropped the act. I'm not "professional" (just ask my teacherin' buddies), I'm not an expert in my field and I seriously have a lot to learn about this thing we call art teacherin'. Don't we all? 
So, what am I trying to say? Who knows...that's the point, I certainly don't know! What I do know is that I hope you'll take a listen to Everyday Art Room if you haven't already. I have LOVED working on this podcast...I hope you enjoy it just as much. In case you are interested, here is the transcript: 

Some of you guys might know that I have a gong in my art room. That’s gong with a G, thank you very much. It’s our cleanup gong. It is a massive gong, 24-inch, and it is probably the coolest thing in my room, according to my students. I’ve been asked, “How did you get a gong in your art room?”
Well, it was a 10-year wedding anniversary gift, my present. What? You guys didn’t get one of those? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s not the standard 10-year wedding anniversary gift, but it is if you are in my household. Anyway, I digress. It is obviously the coolest thing in my room, and we use it as a signal for cleanup.
As you know, cleanup can be a little bit hairy, so imagine, if you will, this scenario. I’ve got a room full of 25 first graders. We’re late, as usual. We’ve been painting, and cleanup has become pandemonium. I have a student. She’s standing at the gong. Her one and only job is to hit the gong, to signal to everybody else to stop and clean up, but for some reason, she’s frozen. She’s holding the mallet. She’s standing at the gong, and she’s not hitting the gong. It’s just then, that the classroom teacher walks in, and my administrator, to see, number one, why am I running late, as usual, and two, what’s all the chaos about?
That’s when, from across the room, a little girl shouts, “Hit the bong! It’s time to hit the bong!” to the frozen little girl at the gong with a G. It’s then, my admin turns to me and says, “Really, Stephens? Really?” This is Everyday Art Room, and I’m Cassie Stephens.
Today, we’re going to talk about all things cleanup. Cleanup, as you know, is a really important part of your art class, for a couple of reasons. It can salvage your sanity, your art supplies, and it’s how you end your art class. You always want to end your art class on a positive and upbeat note, not one where kids are yelling about hitting a bong and not cleaning your room up to your expectations.
Today, I’m going to share with you the Four F’s of Cleanup: How to Make Sure that Your Cleanup is Fun, Fast, Chaos Free, and has a Flow. I’m going to share those four tips with you today and hope that it’s something that you can take back to your art room and ensure that your cleanup is fun, fast, chaos free–there’s my F; that’s why I keep emphasizing free–and has a flow. Let’s start at the beginning.
Before you can think about how you’re going to introduce cleanup to your students, you need to put yourself in your students’ shoes. Go sit at one of their tables, get a paper, get some paint, have a little fun and create a painting, just relax. As you’re sitting there working, think about how the art room looks, through your students’ eyes. Then think about cleanup. Where will your students put their dirty brushes? Where will your students put their painting? Do you have one drying rack or multiple ones, like I do? Where will you position that drying rack, so that it’s easy for your students to get to, so there’s not a bottleneck of children? How will they clean their hands–oh, my goodness!–the bane of our existence? Once you’ve really sat down and thought those things through, then you’ll be much better prepared to introduce a cleanup routine that’s fun, fast–say it with me–chaos free, and has a flow. Let me share with you how my cleanup looks.
First of all, before my students even gather up their supplies to start their project, I do call and response. Call and response, if you’re not familiar, is when your students repeat after you. Believe it or not, I do this for every class, kindergarten through fourth grade, done it for years, so the kids know what to expect. In order for me to get their attention, to remind them that they’re about to repeat after me, I simply clear my throat–ahem–and they know that whatever I’m about to say, they are going to repeat.
I usually go through what our directions are for the day, what supplies they will be using, and I also cover cleanup. It might sound a little like this: “When I’m finished,” and then I pause for them to repeat, “I will take my paintbrush to the paintbrush hot tub.” That’s right. We have a can full of water that we refer to as the paintbrush hot tub. I have found that the sillier you make things, the more they stick. Silly sticks, so give that paintbrush hot tub a fancy name, and they’ll remember it.
Call and response really works for me in my art room, because it gets all of the children repeating with me and doing hand jives and hand motions where they will be cleaning up. That’s one way to make your cleanup a little faster. If your students know in advance what they are to do when they finish–and this really helps those early finishers–they don’t have to come up to you and ask you, “Hey, where do I put my painting?” because they already know. If you can get a call and response going, or if you can instill in your students where everything goes, before they even start working, that will make your cleanup a lot faster.
Now, let’s talk about chaos free. Whew! Last year, I had doubled up third and fourth grade classes. That means I was maxing out around 35 kids in my room, big kids, not the littles, and it could get really chaotic during cleanup. I mean, I literally would jut stand back and watch the chaos. I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s fine. It’s because there’s 35 of them. It’s supposed to look like this.” No, y’all. It doesn’t have to look that way. Let’s talk about how to make your cleanup chaos free.
I have a time timer in my room, and I set it so that it goes off about seven minutes before we are to leave, and that’s our two-minute warning. About two minutes before cleanup, in an effort to try to make cleanup chaos free, when the timer goes off, all of my students are to go to level zero–that means they are silent–and I just cover where everything goes, one more time, with them, and I make them help me with this. I’ll say, “Please point to where dirty paintbrushes go,” and all arms swing toward the paintbrush hot tub. “Please point to which drying rack you will be using. Please point to where aprons go. Please point to where baby wipes can be found,” if we’re using them that day. That way, one more time, in just a matter of seconds, all of my students understand where everything is going to go, so there’s no confusion and hopefully a little less chaos during cleanup.
Now, let’s talk about flow. Remember when I mentioned that you should sit and create a painting? When you’re done with that painting, make sure, when you’re putting things away, that there’s a flow, a flow of traffic. Think about yourself being like a crossing guard or a person directing traffic. You want the traffic of your room to have a flow, to make sense. Last year, I had all of my drying racks–they’re small and moveable–all in one place, and it created a huge bottleneck of children getting to the drying rack. Somebody always ended up dropping a painting or getting paint on them.
This year, I moved my drying racks in such a way that they are at the ends of every long table where children sit, so when they stand up, they’re automatically in line to put their artwork on the correct drying rack. It only took me 19 years to figure that one out, so I’m sharing it with you. I hope that little nugget helps you out. Think about how you could have more of a flow, so it’s not children going every which way. I even recently picked up, from the Dollar Tree, some of these reusable arrows that stick to the floor. That’s been a great way for me to visually share with my students my flow of traffic.
Now, last but not least is how to make cleanup fun. Okay, brace yourselves. I’m going to tell you about the best thing ever! It is called the cleanup contest. Dum-dum-dah! Oh, my goodness! This is a hit. Let me tell you how this goes down. I always pick one student, who’s working extremely hard, to play the cleanup gong. The gong is played five minutes prior to cleanup. When the kids hear the cleanup gong, this is how the contest works. They are to clean up at level zero. That’s right, silent cleanup. The reason we do this is because it really cuts down on the chaos.
I noticed a lot of times when we were cleaning, there were a lot of conversations going on that didn’t entail creating art and definitely didn’t have anything to do with cleanup, so forget about it. Go to silent cleanup. As the students are cleaning up, they are responsible for their own area.
I have yet to master the table jobs, so all of my students are responsible for cleaning after themselves. However, if they are finished cleaning up, and they have friends at their table who need help, they are to step up and help them out, so all of the tables are working together. They’re a team to get their tables tidy. The way the kids show me that they are completely finished cleaning up is they are to stand behind their pushed in chair, with a zero in the air, meaning they have their hand up, and they’re creating a zero with their fingers. This is how their table shows me they are ready. Usually, I try to emphasize that the best table gets all sorts of privileges. We don’t know what they are, but they just get a lot of praise from me. Isn’t that a privilege in itself?
Then I will usually choose one student, who’s standing exceptionally well, to be the cleanup contest judge. I’ll call that child to stand right next to me, and I have all of the kids–this is where the fun part comes in–do a drum roll on the back of their chair. It’s like a thunder in my room, a roar of thunder, and the kids stop when the judge makes the stop motion with their arm. One way to really ensure that they stop is to tell them that the judge is basing their choice upon who stops the fastest.
When the judge makes that motion with their arm, I make a big announcement, like this, “And the winner of the cleanup contest is …” I pass it over to the judge. They announce the table, and then there’s an eruption of an applause, and that table gets to line up, at level zero. Ah, and that’s how we do cleanup. It’s fun. It’s fast. It’s chaos free, as much as cleanup in the art room can be, and there’s a flow.
I hope that those tips have helped you. I hope that you can add them to your already awesome cleanup routine to make it even more awesomer. Thanks for letting me share that with you guys. It was fun.
Now it’s time to take a little dip into the mailbag. This question comes from Robin. Robin asks, “Do you have any wise words of advice to share about student teaching or teaching in general?”
Whew! That’s a big one, Robin. I think I can help you out in a couple of short tips, but that actually sounds like an episode of Everyday Art Room, if I’m going to be honest, but let me see if I can help you out. I just jotted down a couple of my tips, words of advice that I would give somebody, who’s venturing into their first year of teaching or student teaching. Boy, that question brought back a lot of memories.
First of all, biggest and most important, is please be on time or, better yet, be early. I remember when I was student teaching, I always made sure to get there before my cooperating teacher. I was overwhelmed, anxious, had a lot of things that I felt like I needed to do, and just getting there early and actually having a little bit of time to myself was wonderful. I have had cooperating teachers in my room, not my student teachers but visitors to my art room, who’ve been late before, who’ve been no-call no-shows, and I can tell you, before I even met that person, I had already formed an opinion of them. Leave your house early. Give yourself plenty of time. Make sure everything’s ready to go, so you’re not feeling scattered and rushed and flustered, and quite possibly could get into a car accident on your way. That is my biggest, number one tip: Be on time.
Of course, another tip I would offer is to get out and meet the other teachers. Believe it or not, I’m actually kind of shy. I don’t enjoy meeting people that I don’t know. It kind of freaks me out. It’s something that I work on all the time. My advice would be that you need to do that, though. You need to get out of your art room and meet other people. Introduce yourself, share ideas, collaborate. That being said, don’t be a doormat, meaning don’t open up your art room to art supply giveaway. Remember, you are not a craft store, and teachers need to know that, as well, and you don’t want to be taken advantage of. Next thing you know, you’re making posters for everybody on the planet. You need to make sure that, despite getting out and making new friends, you aren’t taken advantage of, and neither is your art room.
That was a great question, Robin, and, like I said, one that I think I need to explore more in an upcoming podcast. Do you have a question for the mailbag? Please feel free to email me at I would love to hear from you.
It’s been a blast sharing with you guys cleanup. Who knew cleanup could be a blast, but why not make it that way? Remember, by a blast, I don’t mean that it needs to be chaotic. Let’s talk about it. Remember, you can make your cleanup fast by doing a call and response at the beginning of class. That way all of the kids understand all of your expectations for cleanup.
You can also make it chaos free. Two minutes before cleanup, have your students point out where they’re going to place everything. That way, when it’s time for cleanup, nobody’s asking questions. Everybody knows what to do.
Also, think about your traffic flow. You want to make sure that your cleanup makes sense, so all of your kids are moving in a rhythm and not scattered all over the place, walking from one end of your room to the other. Think about your flow.
Then, last but not least, make it fun. Why not? Give my cleanup contest game a try. I would love to hear from you if you do. Remember, it’s easy, but to win, they have to clean up at level zero. Everybody is responsible for their own area, and, when they’re finished, they help buddies tidy their table, standing behind their pushed in chair with a zero in the air, and then pick a person to decide who the winners of the cleanup contest are. Of course, tie in what already works for you. Don’t throw that out the window. You guys, have an awesome time teaching art. This is Cassie Stephens, and this is Everyday Art Room.

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In the Art Room: Collaged and Printed Landscapes

I'm launching a ton of landscape projects with my students this fall. I shared the Claire West inspired landscape project my fourth grade is working on here. This week, I'll be rolling out my third graders' landscape lesson. Today I thought I'd share with y'all the Elouise Renouf-inspired landscape collage that my first graders will be doing! Here's the video'ed lesson that you are more than welcome to use in your art teacherin' world:
I was recently asked how I share these videos with my students: do I show the video in it's entirety or just in bite sized bits. Definitely the latter: I share what we will be working on that day. I share the opening, of course, as an intro to the artist...and we dig deeper into the work of the artist in LIVE format (meaning sans vid). The first day I taught this lesson, I didn't have my video ready for one class so I did it LIVE. I managed to get some footage of me teaching and thought I'd share:
Once again, what's my take-away? I TALK TOO MUCH! Seriously, filming myself teaching has really helped me grow as a teacher. I know what it is I'm doing wrong (so many things!) and what I need to improve upon. I also see what I am doing right and what the kids are responding too. It's painful to watch but super enlightening.
If you've not explored the work of Elouise Renouf, you really should. I love everything she creates and found so much inspiration. 
I will definitely share the progress my first graders make on this landscape adventure. Until then, have a great week, y'all!
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Monday, September 4, 2017

Everyday Art Room, Episode 4

Are y'all listening to my podcast Everyday Art Room? I am loving sharing with you! Any excuse to talk at length about art teacherin' is a good time, says me. If you are listening, thank you! You can find it on iTunes or right here. New episodes drop every Thursday...which I failed to mention to y'all on Thursday. Oops, my bad.

By the way, in case you didn't know, I host a Facebook LIVE every Wednesday at 8pm'll need to like/follow me here to stay tuned. We have a great community of (mostly) art teachers that join our chat (nearly 200 every week!). We share our art room happenings, seek advice, offer kind words and join forces to make art teacherin' so much better, easier and funner. YES, that's a word. If you've not joined the fun, please do. If you are more of an IG person, I go live there as well. Frightening, I know. 

Without further ado, here's the transcript from Everyday Art Room, Episode 4!
I’m curious to know if you’ve had one yet. I have had several and each one has been more terrifying than the last. They cause me to wake up with night sweats and I’m deathly afraid to try to fall back asleep for fear I have another one. Can you guess what I’m talking about? The back to school nightmare. Is this something that all of us experience? Please tell me I am not alone. My hands are actually sweating just talking to you about my back to school nightmares. They look almost exactly the same every single time. If they made a horror movie based on my back to school nightmare, it would probably outdo Saw as far as scariness goes. In fact, that’s pretty much where it looks like my nightmare plays out. Imagine this, yes, I’m going to talk to you about my dreams.
Let’s hold hands and soul gaze, shall we? It goes a little like this. I’m in what looks like an abandoned auditorium with about 40 to 50, maybe 60 kids. I don’t know where the teachers are. It also appears there’s no heat and maybe a flickering of the lights. You know, true horror movie style. I’m standing there and I cannot get their attention, their focus or their respect to save my life. It usually is me saying, “Hey, guys. Hey, guys. Hey, guys,” getting progressively louder and more anxious without a single child even putting their eyes my way. It’s usually about that time when the zombie administrator starts to lurk in, getting ready to do their observations of course. Not just any observation, but the one that’s going to set the tone for the rest of your art teaching life.
It’s usually then that I wake up from the nightmare. I know. It only happens at that certain time of year, late July, early August when I’ve got teaching on the brain. I think you guys can all relate to my back to school nightmare. This is Everyday Art Room and I’m Cassie Stephens. What is the one thing that we all have in that back to school nightmare or I should say what is the one thing we don’t have in those back to school nightmares? Classroom management. Every time I have one of those nightmares it’s always because I have zero control and classroom management. I think that kind of nightmare speaks volumes because without classroom management and without control, you cannot teach. You most definitely cannot enjoy teaching.
Even though it might appear as though you’re out of control, students are having the very best time of their lives, they’re not. They’re getting gipped out of a quality art education. Today we are going to address classroom management. Now in the last couple of episodes we’ve chatted about routines and rules and consequences. You’ve heard me say over and over again that you need to think about the three S’s, your set up, your situation, and your students before you start thinking about your approach to teaching art in your art room. I’m going to throw another S your way and I feel like this S is super important, self.
You need to think before establishing anything in your room about yourself and what your new established routines, rules and consequences will look like coming from you. For example, I think it’s important to know yourself. I know myself well enough as a teacher after almost 20 years of teaching art to know that I am not consistent. That is something that I struggle with in my everyday life, but especially in my art room. I also know that being consistent is vital in an art room and it’s something that your students need and crave.
Knowing that I’m not consistent means that when I’m establishing routines, rules, consequences and my classroom management plan, I can’t have a lot of things happening, meaning I can’t designate certain jobs to certain students or certain tables because I know that I’m not consistent enough to stick with that and to continuously remind students to do those jobs. I think that whenever you are listening to another art teacher speak like me or you visit another teacher or art teacher’s room, you might see some fabulous things happening, but also take it with that S grain of salt of self, will this work for you? Yourself? That being said, let’s talk about classroom management and today I thought I would share with you my three C’s of classroom management.
These three C’s are important no matter what your set up, your situation, your students and yourself. Here it goes. Calm, consistent and chaos free. Those are my three C’s of classroom management. Let’s talk about those three C’s. Let’s start off with calm because that is something that sometimes I struggle with. When you consume as much coffee as I do, calm is not something that comes easily, but it’s very important to your classroom management. We were talking in the last podcast about when you’re delivering your consequences to always do so in a consistent way, meaning using the same verbiage, and in a calm voice. Never raising your voice, never let your irritation at a behavior show is vital to having your students respond positively to you.
Now I know what you’re thinking. We want art class to be fun and exciting and joyous. Calm sometimes gets a bad rap for being the opposite of that. Take it from me. I can be pretty silly and pretty animated, but it surprises folks I think sometimes when they come to visit my art room, they’ll pull me aside and say, “You’re so calm.” It’s really amazing considering the amount of coffee that I take in, but here’s the reason why. Your students when they’re sitting in front of you or creating with you, imagine them being like little mirrors. They’re reflecting you. They’re reflecting your behavior. If you’re silly, they’re silly, which is great if they’re a good group of students that understand when to turn the silly off, which as you know is a little bit sometimes of a struggle.
If you’re calm and consistent, you might find that your students are the same. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Not always, Cassie. I mean sometimes my students come to my art room and they are a wild bunch.” Oh you all, trust me. Mine too. My students come to me from PE where they’ve just had a lot of fun and great activity. Sometimes no matter how calm I am, my little mirrors are broken and I need to fix them. There are some ways that you can bring a lot of calmness and soothing to your students, which will make your classroom management a lot easier and a lot more smooth for you to teach. Let me share my favorite one. This is called palming.
Imagine you have your students seated with you in your room whether that be at their tables or if you’re like me, they come in and they sit on the floor. If I notice that my little mirrors are not being as calm as I’m trying to be, then I know that I need to bring them to an activity called palming. Why don’t you do it with me right now and I’ll help you walk through palming. Take both of your hands and put them thumbs together so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. Now, and I’m doing this with my students as well, what I’m describing to you is exactly how I would say this to my students. Now bring both of your hands together slowly and calmly as if you are clapping, but do not clap. Now slowly start to rub your hands up and down.
They should start to feel a little bit warm because of friction. When I say two, rub your hands together just a little bit faster so that that friction creates more heat. When I say three, stop rubbing your hands together and place the palms of your hands that are now nice and warm over your eyes and keep them there until you hear me say three again. Three. It’s at this point where your students are sitting with our little warm hands on their eyes. While they’re sitting this way, I deliver my message to them. I say to them the behavior that I’m going to expect when they take their hands off their eyes, what we’re going to be talking about when they take their hands off their eyes and how I want them to take their hands off their eyes.
I simply say, “When I say three, please put your hands calmly in your lap. Three.” When my students are finished calming, there is a huge difference in their behavior. It’s like they just finished meditating. They’re a lot more calm and it’s a lot easier for you to progress with your lesson. Another thing you can try instead of calming, which would be the opposite. Sometimes I’ve noticed that if my students are really a ball of energy, it’s difficult to do palming with them. They’re a little bit too hyped up. For that reason, well, sometimes I say, “You just got to ride that wave.” I’ll have them walk in and we’ll do a little controlled dance activity shall we say. I have them repeat after me. I always have my students repeat after me.
My signal to them when I want them to repeat after me is me to simply clear my throat like this, ahem. They all do the same and then they also know that anything I say or do as far as what action I do they will do the same. It’s at that point that I will say, “Let’s dance,” and they all say, “Let’s dance,” and I’ll show them a short movement of my body like let’s do the twist and I do the twist and they’ll follow suit. We do this for maybe two minutes where I’m doing just silly little dance moves or hand jives or anything I can think of just to help them get the giggles and the wiggles out. When we do the last one, we sit down. It’s usually at that point that they’re pretty calm.
They’ve worked those wiggles out, but if you noticed that they haven’t and they’re still a little giggly and wiggly, then you might want to try palming, but all that to say keeping your room calm will really help with your classroom management. I have noticed that if I start out on a calm note at the beginning of the school year and even at the beginning of the class period, I can still switch to silly, but I can bring it back down to calm a lot easier if that kind of tone has been established during the first few weeks and months of the school year. Now the second thing we talked about which I admitted I’m pretty miserable at is consistency.
Consistency is definitely not my strong suit, but it is vital to teaching and knowing that I keep such things as class jobs and rewards systems super duper simple. I cannot stick with sticker charts or having designated seats, be for designated jobs. That’s just not my bag, especially when I have 30-minute art classes. Those kind of things are very difficult for me to be consistent with. However, consistency is extremely vital and I build it into my routines. In the very first podcast, I chatted with you about my eight routines that I establish at the beginning of the school year. I am very consistent with those routines and my students know that. Being calm and consistent is extremely important with your classroom management.
What those two things will do is they will keep your art work chaos free. Now I know sometimes when I hear myself say these things, I sound like I’m sucking all of the fun and life out of my art room, but the flip side of that which I have lived is a cluttery and disastrous mess of an art room. I have noticed that if I’m not consistent and I’m not calm, then my room erupts into chaos and nobody enjoys that. It’s difficult to reign your room back in and make it a fun joyous creative space when there’s clutter everywhere. When there’s clutter everywhere, suddenly the students start appreciating and taking care of the art room and the art supplies.
Keeping your art room chaos free by being consistent and calm is very important to creating that wonderful environment where your students can really flourish and explore. It’s a struggle. I’m not going to lie. Like I said, I’ve been teaching for 20 years and I still have those nightmares that are all based on classroom management. The good and the bad thing about teaching is that you’re always learning. It’s the good because it keeps us constantly growing and engaged in bettering ourselves. The bad is that it feels like we are always learning and always growing and we’re never going to get to that point where we are the master teacher and that’s okay. Think of your art teaching as creating a work of art.
A masterpiece is never finished and trust me, my art room is far from a masterpiece, but with calmness, consistency, hopefully I can keep it chaos free and create a fun environment for my student’s art education.
Tim Bogatz: Hello. This is Tim Bogatz from Art Ed Radio. Thank you for tuning in to the podcast. We appreciate everyone that has listened, left positive comments and left reviews on iTunes. All of those things help us build momentum and build an audience for this great show. Also, check out the podcast on and get signed up for the Everyday Art Room weekly mailing list. Last week I talked to you about Art Ed PRO, the subscription service that provides on demand professional development for art teachers. You can check it out at the However, I want to tell you that a lot of administrators are supporting the service and a lot of schools have funds to pay for your professional development.
Just ask. You can send your administrator to where they can click on a PRO for Schools to see if it’ll work for your school. It doesn’t hurt to try and who doesn’t want to have control of their own PD? That’s your job in the next week. Make sure your admin checks out Pro for Schools at Before you do that, let’s go ahead and finish the rest of the show.
Cassie Stephens: Now it’s time to take a little dip into the mailbag. This first question is one I actually get quite a bit. It goes like it is, “Cassie, you make a lot of videos that you share with your students. How do you make your videos? What programs do you use?” I get this question quite a bit. In fact, on my YouTube channel, I even created a video on how to make videos that you can still find, but let me see if I can break it down for you. First of all, I think the misconception is that you need to immediately go out and buy expensive equipment. I’m here to tell you that the phone you have will work just fine to create video lessons for your students. All you have to do, especially if it’s an iPhone, is put the iMovie app on your phone.
If you have an Android phone, I do not have, you’ll have to look into what free app you could put on your phone. Trust me. They’re out there. Put that app on your phone and just film short clips of yourself demonstrating whatever lesson you’re teaching to your students. In iMovie, it’s very easy to edit those clips. I would recommend if you’re really interested to just watch a couple of YouTube videos that will simply show you how to make an iMovie for your students. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be something that will be engaging for your students and easy for them to see and hear. Trust me. Once you’ve done one, you’ll be excited to do more. Your students will absolutely love what a lot of people refer to flipped or filmed lesson.
Here’s another question, “Cassie, I noticed that you wear high heels a lot. How are you able to teach in those all day?” Oh boy. I don’t wear high heels anymore because I got some common sense up in my head. Who wears heels when teaching? I used to and my feet were never happy with me. To be honest, I now wear a lot of Chucks or Converse because they’re flat and I feel like I can actually move a lot more in my art room. I always keep a pair of back up shoes in my room, a pair of little comfy shoes, just in case I am crazy one day and decide to bust out the heels. I know I’ve got my backup shoes on hand. I know that seems so silly, but you know shoes are vital to teaching.
Finding a pair that are going to be comfortable is really important to your lifelong health, not just your day to day. I would say definitely go for comfort and not fashion unlike me. If you have a question for me, please feel free to send it my way. You can email it to I have had so much fun chatting with you guys today about classroom management. Here’s hoping we get a little bit more of a handle on classroom management, so we in the very least stop having those horrible back to school nightmares.
We chatted about the three C’s that I think are vital to classroom management, calm, which I know you’re probably surprised to hear that from me since I’m not usually very calm, but I do try especially at the beginning of the year to be that calmness in the art room. Consistency, which I admitted I’m not super great at. Think really hard about what works for you. Knowing that consistency is not my strong suit, I know there are certain routines that other art teachers have success with that I would not and that’s okay. The last one is chaos free.
It’s important to keep your art room clutter free and therefore chaos free and create a beautiful, calm and consistent environment for your students to really flourish as these creative little beings that they are and not turn into the crazy creepy zombie land nightmare that you might have during those summer months. It’s been awesome chatting with you guys. This is Everyday Art Room and I’m Cassie Stephens.
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Everyday Art Room, Episode 3

Hey there, friends! Today I'm linking you to the third installment of Everyday Art Room, my podcast. You can subscribe wherever you listen to your fave 'casts or simply take a listen right here. I LOVE sharing with y'all in these podcasts...but I also love to hear from you! We have a special feature called Mail Bag where you can send me your questions and I'll answer them in the podcast. You can message me at Looking forward to chatting with you. Now, here's the transcript:
A lot of times when I am thinking about my art room and myself as an art teacher, I often think of myself as a student and I go back in time and I just remember what really stood out to me. Either my favorite classroom experiences or my least, my favorite teachers, and how I interacted with them or, better yet, how they interacted with me. Then I also think of my least favorite teachers, because I think there’s a lot of learning that we can as teachers by thinking of those non-example, those teachers who we don’t want to follow in their footsteps. I think it’s important to think of things that maybe we feel they did wrong, how that made us feel, so that we can ensure we don’t have that same experience with the students we teach today.
Today we’re going to talk about consequences and I immediately thought of my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly. Now, Mrs. Kelly was a nice teacher, I guess, but all I remember really about Mrs. Kelly is that I tormented this poor woman. You have to understand that prior to sixth grade, I was a pretty good student. I did what I was told, I did pretty well in school, I was, I guess what you say, your average kind of kid. I never spoke back, wouldn’t even dream of it. Never took a trip to the office, I would have been flabbergasted. But all of that changed in sixth grade.
I have a teacher friend. She likes to refer to it as kids smelling themselves, meaning they’re getting a little bit full of themselves, feeling a little bit more confident, and testing the waters. Boy, was I smelling myself in Ms. Kelly’s class in sixth grade.
Here’s why. I sensed a weak teacher. When she would come in, she was very scattered, her lessons were all over the place, and she just looked like she was just one step away from completely falling apart. I was like this little animal that sniffed out her weakness and I took complete advantage. It was in sixth grade that I decided to become a standup comedian and I took the stage the moment that she walked in the door, hamming it up for my classmates.
Now, she didn’t have established consequences. Not that I recall. So, her knee-jerk go-to reaction was to put me in timeout. Now, if you teach sixth graders, which I never have, and I don’t plan on it anytime soon, I can only imagine that putting a sixth grader in timeout is just going to backfire in your face. Those middle schoolers are a little bit too wise for that kind of behavior. Now, her idea of a perfect timeout spot was a really bad choice. I was to stand just out of her eyesight behind her in a corner, which meant that when she taught, she couldn’t see me standing in timeout, and you better believe that was the perfect stage for my antics.
I feel really bad for my behavior, but I also know that establishing consequences that, A, fit the crime, B, fit the students and their age and mentality and, C, make sense, meaning don’t put the kids in timeout behind you, I mean, come on, those are some of the things you really have to consider when you’re establishing your consequences.
We chatted about rules last week, today let’s cover those consequences. This is Everyday Art Room and I’m Cassie Stephens.
Today we’re going to talk about the three consequences that I would encourage you to use to enforce your rules in the art room. But, like always with my podcast, before we can address that, we have a couple of other things we’re going to talk about.
The first thing is this. If you have students misbehaving, you have to ask yourself why. To answer that, you need to reflect on your own experiences as a student, just like I did. If you were a cut up, if you misbehaved, you know there were certain teachers that you misbehaved for, whereas there were others who you wouldn’t even dare. Why was that? I think it’s important to think on your experiences as a student because that helps you get into the shoes of your students today.
Before we can talk about those top three consequences that I would recommend that you use in the art room, let’s address some other things first. For example, why do students misbehave? You teach the most exciting class in the school. I mean, come on. It’s art. Everybody loves art. But sometimes every one of us has had to ask these questions. Why are they not following my rules? Why are the students not responding to my directions? And why are they mistreating my art supplies? [Y’all 00:05:55], what did that poor paintbrush ever do to be ground into that painting like that?
I’ve come up with what I believe to be the four main reasons that students misbehave and I think that once you understand why your students are misbehaving, you’ll better be able to craft consequences for your art room. The first thing is this. This is one reason your students might be misbehaving. There’s a lack of a connection with you. Another one is there’s a lack of engagement with the lessons that you’re presenting. Here’s another, and I’m using the word lack again. A lack of having a voice in your art room. Not you, your students. And, last one, there might be a lack of boundaries.
Let’s focus on this before we think about the rules and consequences. Let’s go back to that lack of a connection with you. Your goal in your art room is to build strong relationships with your students. But that’s such a tall order. I mean, some of us are teaching up to 800 kids. We might only see our students on a six-day rotation. It’s hard for us to even learn their names, let alone find out their interests and build a relationship with them. It’s so much easier for a classroom teacher to do this because they see their students every day. So, how can we, as art teachers, build a strong and relasting – Relasting. Listen to me. Lasting relationship. There we go. It’s a relasting relationship with our students.
Here’s what I would recommend in the short amount of time that we have, and in the large amount of students that we also have. Number one, learn their names. I know. I know. You might have a ton of students. But trust me. Knowing your students’ names is the first step in building a relationship and a connection between you and your students. Another one is this. Give your students that positive, happy feeling. It can be any way that makes you and your students comfortable. I’m not really a high five giver. It feels awkward to me, even though I am extraordinarily awkward. But I am a big-time smiler and a winker, and I also love a good old pat on the back. We also do a little sign language of I love you, which also builds a connection between me and my students, but that’s what works for, I always go back to those three S’s, my situation, my students, and my setup. Find what works for you. Lastly, it’s important to really put value in your student’s effort and not value in the talent that they had when they came to your room. That’s really going to help you build a strong connection with your students.
What I mean is this. When you see a student doing a really great job on their piece of art, it’s important for you to praise their progress, praise what they are working on, but don’t let that praise be confused with them as a person. Meaning, “Oh, you’re such a good artist,” can be a little bit damaging, not just to the student you’re saying it to, but also to all the other ears who happen to hear that comment. However, something like, “Wow, you’re really putting so much effort into developing that line for that drawing,” is a lot more specific and encouraging to other students, and this is going to help you build that connection and relationship with your students.
Another thing that might spike misbehavior is a lack of engagement in your lessons. Oh man. We spend so much time coming up with what we believe to be fabulous lessons, or at least we should be spending time to do that. But you have to stop and think when you’re presenting your lessons or when you’re creating them, is this something that’s going to be engaging for my students? Are my lessons exciting and out of the normal routine of my students’ day? For me, for example, I’m just going to say it, I’m not a big fan of crayons and markers in my art room. It is a rare occasion that we use those two supplies, and here’s why. They can use those supplies in their classroom. They can use those art supplies at home. I know you’re thinking, “But Cassie, you need to each them how to use these supplies properly.” Okay. But that doesn’t mean every project needs to based with those same supplies. It needs to be an out of the ordinary and unusual experience when your students come to the art room. Not every time, that’s exhausting, let’s be honest, but keep those lessons exciting, and that will keep your students engaged.
The other one that I was chatting about earlier was a lack of voice in the art room. I often feel like with projects that we sometimes dream up or pin on Pinterest, they look so beautiful, so we have in our mind what we expect the end result to look like, knowing what that end result is going to look like and providing teacher examples that are hung up on the board, which, hey, I’m guilty of. I use those to build excitement for lessons. But keeping up all of the time and having them on display deletes the voice that your students might have when approaching that project. Because what they see is, “Oh, this is my end goal,” not, “Oh, I have a choice with this project.”
The last one is a lack of boundaries. This is the flip side of what I just said. Sometimes if you build up too many boundaries and make a lesson too constraining, you’re not offering choice. Then on the flip side of that, if it’s too wide open, then there are no boundaries. Not having boundaries established in your art room, and in your lessons, and in your day-to-day routines can really set you up for art room disaster.
Now that we’ve established why students might misbehave, a lack of boundaries, a lack of choice and voice in the art room, a lack of engagement and a connection with you, now let’s address consequences. Consequences are the result of a rule being broken. That’s what a consequence is and that’s what you need to tell your students. Keep it short, simple, and sweet. Guys, consequences are the result of a rule being broken.
Now, last time we chatted about the rules for the art room and I explained that my rules for my art room are based on the word art. Just to review, the A in art stands for aim, the R stands for respect, and the T is for trust. In aim, I want my students to aim to do their best and aim to do the right thing. The R, respect, is respect yourself, respect your classmates, respect the art room. Then the T for trust is trust in yourself and, here’s another one that’s really important to me, trust in your ability to learn. Now, these rules of mine are very broad. They’re also a little conceptual, which can be tough for students to comprehend. Because they are vague and because they might be difficult for students to understand, it’s so important to review the rules a lot that first month and more of school, and to explain, offer role playing. What I plan to do is craft videos that will better help my students understand my rules. But they also have to know that when a rule is broken, there are consequences.
What do my three consequences look and sound like? Let’s talk about it. Let’s start with the warning. What’s a warning? A warning for me in my art room is a gentle reminder to my students that a rule or a routine has been broken. What does that sound like in my art room? I try really, really hard to use the same tone of voice, the same phrase, and the same approach every time I deliver a warning, and here’s why. I’m trying very hard not to waste my students’ time and I’m trying very hard to be consistent, which I struggle with, so I try very hard to use that same tone and verbiage when I’m delivering my warning. It sounds like this, “You have a warning because” and then I tell them what rule or routine they have broken. I leave it just like that. I deliver the message, I look them in the eye, I offer my “You have a warning because”, and I leave it at that.
Now, like I said, the beginning of the school year and with my younger students, I usually will deliver two warnings before I move on to timeout. I don’t tell them that. I just deliver that warning. It’s not a conversation. It ends when I stop talking, meaning I do not expect a response from my students. If they give me a response, then I will issue that very same sentence again. If an argument on their end starts to develop, then we will move on to the second consequence. One thing you need to make sure to do when you’re delivering your consequences is never lose your cool. Remember that ’80s commercial, never let them see you sweat. Never lose your cool. Be completely consistent delivering the same sentence in the same tone of voice, in the same calm manner every single time. After a while, they’re going to realize, “Oh my gosh, she is just going to keep repeating this same sentence over and over again in the same manner and in that same creepy, calm voice, so I might as well get my act together.” That’s consequence number one, the warning.
Let’s talk about consequence number two, timeout. I have used timeout in my room since the beginning of art teachering time, and it’s changed over the course of my teaching. Here’s why. I used to have my students move to a different spot in the room. Remove them from where the activity is. I will be honest, usually my students need to take a timeout break during our beginning of the art class circle time. It usually happens because I have a student who’s very excited or distracted by their neighbor and cannot seem to focus, so I need to remove them from the group. And I used to do that. I used to have a small desk and it was on the other side of the room. I could see this child clearly but they were removed from the situation. I have long since stopped doing that and here’s the number one reason why. When that student would come back and join the group, they often had missed a large part of an instructional time, which meant that I then had to go back and reteach them, neglecting the other kids in the room.
I no longer have a timeout place that’s far away from instruction. Instead, here’s where my timeout is. Imagine this in your mind. My students, when they come to art, they join me on the floor. Like I said, if I have to put a student in timeout, it usually happens during this time, this instructional time, which really isn’t saying much about my instruction by the way. Maybe that’s something I need to think about. Regardless, I have two little taped X’s on the floor in my art room, right behind where my students are seated to listen. If I have a student that needs to take a timeout break, I simply say, “You need to take a timeout because,” I tell them the routine or rule they broke, they know to go and stand on that X.
Here’s why I do this. Number one, they stand because I do not want them to be comfortable. You’re not in timeout because I’m really thrilled with what you’ve been doing. You are in timeout to stand up properly, give me your full attention, and show me you want to come back to the group. All of that is explained and demonstrated on those first couple of days of school.
Another reason I keep my students close when they are in timeout is so they can continue to get all of the information that their students … I’m sorry. That their peers are also getting. That way, they don’t miss out on any instructional time.
I don’t have a set time. I don’t set a timer. I don’t say to my students, “You’re going to be in timeout for five minutes.” I simply tell them to go to timeout. When I’m establishing my rules and routine, I let them know that in order for them to come out of timeout, they need to demonstrate with their body and their listening skills that they are ready to join the group. Usually, so that I don’t call attention to them, I can tell by their body language and the fact that their eyes are on me, that they’re ready to join us, and I simply wiggle my fingers a little bit to let them know it’s okay for them to return to the floor. They almost always do so very quietly. That’s how I operate timeout.
Now, let’s talk about the third one. You’ve gone through warning after warning, you’ve sent your sweet friend to timeout numerous times, and now it’s time to really go to number three. For me, the third consequence, to send students to the office, is what works best for me, my situation, my setup, and my students. I have a very supportive principal and administration and I know that if I send a child to the office, which happens once a year maybe, so this is a very rare occurrence, I know that if I send a student to the office, they’re going to take it very seriously. That might be different for your situation. It might be better for you to reach out to a parent or to talk to the child’s teacher. So really think hard about what will give you the best results when you have a student that’s very difficult to manage their behavior in your art room. Again, think about your setup, situation, and students. We all are different art teachers, so we really need to think about what’s going to work best for us.
That’s how I handle consequences in my art room. Like I said, that’s something that I start teaching about from day one, demonstrating what I’m expecting, and what can happen if my students don’t give me what I’m expecting in my art room. If a rule is broken, there are consequences. Remember to always deliver them calmly and consistently, and you’ll be extremely happy with the results.
Tim Bogatz: Tim Bogatz here from Art Ed Radio. A quick reminder that you can find resources, links, and a full transcript of each show on the AOE website. Just click on the podcasts tab and select Everyday Art Room. If you’re loving Cassie’s podcast, please submit a rating and a review on iTunes. This helps other art teachers discover this amazing show. I also want to tell you about Art Ed PRO, the essential subscription for professional art teachers. It is on demand professional development with video tutorials, downloadable handouts, and all kinds of other resources that will help take your teaching to the next level. The PRO library has over 40 topics, with three new topics released every month, from assessment and curriculum, down to teaching your teens, and firing your kiln. It is the professional development you need, when you need it. Make sure you check it out at the Now let’s get back to the show.
Cassie: Now it’s time to take a little dip into the mailbag. This question I know lots of you guys can relate to. “Cassie, what do I say or do when all these classroom teachers come to me for art supplies?”
Oh, that’s a big one because I know all of us have been in that kind of situation. Let me tell you how to kind of think about it before you answer that question. First of all, think about it this way. Your art supplies are for the art education of your students. Your art supplies are not for the general education of your students. When you think about it that way, it might better help you say no to those requests for paint, or glue, or paintbrushes, or scissors. When you start donating those things out as if your art room were a craft supply store, you are neglecting the art education of your students.
When you have a teacher asking for, oh, just a little bit of paint, and you know it’s always like two minutes before they need it, right when you’re in the middle of teaching a lesson, I mean, let’s be honest, it’s okay for you to say no. “I am so sorry. I would love to help you with that, but these art supplies have been purchased for the art education of my students. And with my budget, I don’t have any to spare.” It’s okay for you to say no. You are the voice for your students’ art education. Perhaps thinking about it that way will help you better say no.
If you guys have any questions for the mailbag, please feel free to send them our way at
Wow. This episode on consequences really was a meaty one, but you can tell that consequences are just as important as the rules you establish for your art room. Remember, before you think of the consequences for your art room, remember to think about your situation, your setup, and your students. Also, think about why your students might be misbehaving and that might inspire you to do some reflection of yourself as a student. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember, it might be because there’s a lack of a connection with you, which your students crave, a lack of engagement or excitement in your lessons, perhaps there’s a lack of voice on your students’ behalf in your art room, or, on the flip side, maybe there’s a lack of boundaries.
Once you’ve kind of sifted through those thoughts, then you can establish your consequences. They might be different than mine but mine are as simple as this. Number one, a warning. Two, timeout. Three, a visit to the office, which, like I said, is an extraordinarily rare occurrence. Remember, when you are delivering your consequences, do so in a consistent, using the same phrase and sentence every time, and in a very calm manner. Consistency and calmness are key to establishing those consequences in your art room.

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