Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Blogs that inspire me....as an art teacher!

As an art teacher, I am constantly on the lookout for new projects to do with my students. Teaching ages 5-12, I have to have access to a variety of ideas for all ability and age groups. What works or 10-year-olds might just be disasterous with a class of 24 kinders!

In addition to the magazines that I read at school, I also follow lots of gifted and talented art teachers who supply tons of great resources that they use in their art room. Even if you aren't working with classes of kids in a traditional sense, you might be in need of ideas for a girl scout group, Sunday school class, VBS, or for your own children. 

BEWARE: each of these blogs have a side bar filled with additional art teacher blogs and it can be a little overwhelming...sometimes I get really distracted and overwhelmed myself when I have 17 windows open because I clicked every single one of their links (sometimes to find the source of one picture in my inspiration file....oy...) I just go off on a browsing 'tangent' and never really accomplish anything since I am just looking, looking, looking. It can be addicting!

A gorgeous source of inspiration for painting projects. Laura has been an art teacher for 14 years and paints with her students way more than I do!! She has so many great ideas and she always brings the projects together at the end in some sort of amazing bulletin board display that looks like an art installation.

Sometimes all it takes is one picture of a child's drawing to spark an idea for an entire unit of lessons. Mary is so creative and infuses childrens literature into her classroom. I often use books as sources of inspiration so I have many works of art from her blog in my inspiration file.  Recently she posted a link list to her favorite blogs and I have been clicking on each one, reading the previous entries, searching for interesting posts, and inspiring artwork!

Deep Space Sparkle
This site always has so many great ideas for young students. The majority of mine are in kindergarten so this is a great source of inspiration for my lessons. She also has some wonderful and cheap books available for download. I have purchased several of them!

The Crafty Crow
One of my favorite resources for crafts. This is the best site if you are looking for crafts with kids or groups of kids. It doesn't focus too heavily on fine arts, but it has so many links to great projects, it is an awesome site.

Art Projects for Kids
This is hands down the best spot for ideas. Kathy Barbaro is one of the best art teacher bloggers I have found. Her instructions are simple, the images she shares are useful, sometimes even with a step-by-step drawing guide. The blog is simple and easy to navigate and also has class printable murals, practice sheets and templates for sale at around $5 each. 

I sincerely appreciate all of the art teacher blogs out there that make my life easier.  

When I was in college, I thought that I knew so much about 'FINE' art that I would never, never, never do 'babyish' stuff with my kids. Macaroni...hahaha....glitter...bleh....yarn and popsicle sticks??? I thought I could seriously teach elementary art for 20 years and never drag that stuff into the ART of artmaking. I had a very snooty opinion about cheesy materials.

Then I did my student teaching.

My mentor used colored sand.

Colored macaroni.

Woven yarn bowls.

Popcicle stick puppets.

It was my job to implement her curriculum so I HAD to use that stuff.  I thought the kids might think it was babyish too. But they didn't. They LOVED it! I have been incorporating those 'familiar' kid craft items in my art lessons since day one. And I haven't looked back. Of course I still set up still lifes, self-portrait projects and other 'traditional fine art' subjects....but I ALWAYS have more fun when we get to throw some glitter on something!

This post is for Whitney!! ;-) Good luck with homeschooling!


Hearthandmade said...

brilliant!! Thank you for sharing :) I shall email your link over to my friends mum who looks after kids all day..shes bound to find some great activities here!

Kate said...

I can't wait to look through these! I love blog-surfing, and while I don't do a ton of art in my classroom since we have a dedicated art teacher, I get so much inspiration from what other teachers are doing.

Nicole Ioma said...

Thank you so much for this post!! As an aspiring art teacher (I do my student teaching in the spring... oh geez!) I know that these resources will be helpful... I've bookmarked it so I can go through all the links.

Thanks! =)

Maria Ontiveros said...

Fabulous post!