Image Map

Run, Run, as Fast as You Can to Try This Sweet Gingerbread Kid Directed Drawing With Your Class!

Yay!  My favorite time of month- directed drawing time!  I'm crazy in love with how cute they turned out and how much they all have their own unique little personalities!  Kindergarten art never ceases to amaze me. <3

They're not hanging up on our wall yet because of what's going to happen ... described by me in this video (skip to the 9 minute mark for the details... the kids are going to FREAK!!! :) Can't wait!!

The hunt is included with the directed drawing show and special papers so you have everything you need for all the fun and excitement!
Take a closer look at the drawing, hunt, and MUCH more to make your week memorable (& simple for YOU!) HERE!

Winter Art Project You'll Love

Check out the art project my kindies whipped up as part of their holiday gift to their families!  Aren't they pretty?!  I think these would be fun to do anytime during the Winter and they'd look beautiful hanging in the hall or in your classroom.  But if you're looking for a beautiful holiday gift, these are wonderful.  I've done this project many years with my classes and would definitely recommend it!  :)  Complete directions below...

So here's how it's done!  

Time:  It takes a few days to complete to allow time for the tissue paper to dry.

Materials needed:

  • Tissue paper squares and/or strips (I accidentally had a few strips in my bin and they ended up looking so pretty- I'm definitely going to do more strips next year!)
  • Bottles of glue
  • Fat paint brushes
  • Blue watercolor paint
  • White tempera paint
  • Q-tips
  • Two 9 x12 sheets of white construction paper per student
  • One 12 x 16 sheet of colored construction paper per student (12 x 18, trimmed a little to make a mat for the finished project.... I chose black)

Day 1: 

Squeeze glue onto the paper and brush it around.  Don't be afraid to be generous-- it feels weird to squirt out so much glue because we normally don't got crazy with it like that (Teacher Tip: Some years I've made a mix of glue and water for kids... which was extra work and kinda complicated to distribute so this year I tried just using straight glue and wah-la!  It worked perfectly fine and made my life easier.  Maybe the mix is a good option if you're low on glue, but otherwise I'd vote for keeping it simple.).  
Stick tissue paper squares onto the glue.  Teach kids to make the tissues overlap and touch... don't leave a lot of white spaces.  Then squirt more glue over the tissue and spread it around so there aren't any corners sticking up.  
Teacher Tip:  To make things easier, my class agreed to not put names on these and just work together for the class to be able to share the finished tissue art.  I'd definitely recommend this! 

Once the page is pretty covered, let it dry overnight.
I thought the brushes would be tough to wash out, but "painting" them onto the bottom of the sink under running water helped and it went pretty quickly. 

Day 2

Prep for you:  Cut the dried tissue paper pages into various sizes of triangles.   
Give kids a new piece of white construction paper and have them paint a wavy or straight (artist's choice) blue line around the middle of their page.  Paint half blue for the sky and leave the other half white for the snowy ground.  

Let these dry (watercolor doesn't take long).  Later that same day or the next day call kids over to the triangle pile (a few kids at a time) and have them pick three triangle "trees" they like.  
They could probably glue them themselves, but personally, I put the glue on, handed the triangles back to the kids and let them decide where them stick down.

The last step was letting them use a q-tip to add white tempera paint "snow" to the scene.  
Finally, I'll be gluing them onto the larger black rectangle to make a frame around the artwork.
We usually use butcher paper, glued together and made into big decorated paper "envelopes" to send these home as gifts.  Beautiful!  I think families will treasure these.
Here are a few more examples as well as a video I made a long time ago of another year's finished artwork.

Kids germs got you feeling run down? Two Tricks Worth Trying...

Oh, teacher friends.  Kid germs got you feeling run down?  Seriously.  We are on the front lines and get exposed to so much at school!  Just yesterday, my teacher-friend lost almost half her class to the "throw-ups" .... yikes!!!  I think that'd be enough to make me toss out all our community crayons and pencils and just start fresh. ;)  Anyway...
I wanted to share a couple new things I've learned this Fall that have really helped me stay well.  Like I've gone to bed with the WORST sore throat, feeling horrible, and/ or almost completely lost my voice, but time after time if I've pulled out this simple arsenal, I've ended up being fine.  It's like magic. So these are great tricks.  I just love to share things and try to help other teachers, so HERE:

1.  Massage:  At first glance, this video looks like it's going to be old and cheesy, but actually- it's AWESOME.  I don't know who this guy is, but I know he knows the lymphatic system.  Ha!  The vid is 8 minutes and he explains how/why things work for the first 4 min and actually models how to help things drain the last 4 minutes.  So I only watched the beginning once and now whenever I feel a sore throat coming on, I just fast forward to the 4 minute mark and follow along with his routine.  I've done it so many times now I can do it pretty well on my own.  It's super easy and friends, it's FOR REAL.  You can feel a difference right away!  Sometimes it does hurt if you rub over a swollen gland, but hey- it's better than getting sick.  And it's not anything weird so you can do it while you're sitting at your computer or the staff lounge or anywhere.  I seriously can't believe I got to be almost 40 years old and never knew to do this?!  Check out Dr. Mark's method for encouraging your lymph system and sinuses to drain...


2.  Elderberry Syrup:  Another sick-day-saver!  When you feel a cold, sore throat, or flu coming on, you take a tablespoon or 2 of this juice and it works wonders for boosting immunity!  It tastes surprisingly great and is safe/yummy enough for picky kids, too.  Some people say it's even more effective than a flu shot!  You can buy it for about $20 at Whole Foods or similar stores, but guess what- you can also buy the berries online and make your own for a fraction of the cost!  I've been using the recipe and instructions from Wellness Mama, here:
I bought these berries -- (aff link) and it was WAY easier than I thought it'd be to make... basically boil them, mash, strain, and add honey after it cools off.  Done!  Even my hubby is happy to whip up a batch of elderberry syrup when we're getting low.
BTW- I discovered there is some crazzzzy elderberry price hiking that happens in the winter, probably due to supply and demand and the berries not being in season (like it went up to $50/bag this year)... so I think it would be smart to stock up when the price is more like $20. You can keep the berries in the freezer for a long time and they'll be fine.  

The homemade syrup keeps in the fridge for about a month or two. You'll know when it's on it's way out if it starts to ferment.

I grabbed a fun glass bottle from Home Goods to keep mine in and when we know the icky sickies are going around or we've been exposed to something, my family all takes a shot a day. During less peak sickness times, we don't take it everyday- more like every other or a few times per week. 

These are both great tricks for preventing illness, stopping it in it's tracks (if you feel something coming on- do these and you might not actually get sick.  That's what I usually end up doing!), or easing symptoms and duration of illness if you actually DO get sick.  

If the germs win (booooo!) and you need to miss a day of school... be sure to check out these time-saving, stress-free sub plans designed to accompany popular books you probably have sitting in your classroom or school library (sets are available individually or you can grab the big bundle that includes an awesome binder, generic plans for any day, and over a week's worth of print and go academic activities).  Details here.  :)
sub plans sick teacher substitute emergency wellness
Hope these tricks help you hang onto your sick days and make it through the season feeling your best!

We made it!  My kids and I made it through the ENTIRE school year without getting anything worse than a little cold.  I have NEVER, in my history of being a mom, had a year where I haven't used ALL my sick days, plus some (which you may know, can be very $$$ once you start going "into the hole").  This was the first!  Yay!  Other mamas on my kid's sports teams kept asking me HOW ON EARTH my kids didn't get all the junk that swept through the teams on several occasions.  More than ever now, I think these tricks are the real deal and hope sharing them with you helps you save your precious sick days, $$$, and sanity!  Wishing you wellness!

Turkey Directed Drawing!!

"This was THE BEST directed drawing! My kinders loved it and they turned out awesome!"

You guys. I am SOOOO in love with how these turkeys look hanging in our hall this month!!! Most of these were actually done my my teacher-friend's K class... tiny 5 year olds created these! They're so precious! I just have to share how beautiful and unique they are (and also sharing so I have it easy for myself to find to show my next year's class as awesome examples!)!

 If you're doing the directed drawing with your class, these would be AWESOME to show your kids ahead of time so they know what the end goal is and how they can turn out. Hopefully they'll be inspired by some of these fancy feathers and careful coloring. :)

Pumpkin Directed Drawings!

Looking for a fabulous October art project to hang in your classroom?  These are seriously SO beautiful!  My entire team of six kindergarten teachers tried these out for the first time this year and we all fell in love... and now the artwork looks so gorgeous hanging in our classrooms and hallways.

I ADORE how directed drawings build kid's artistic confidence and listening / direction following skills at the same time.  It's so good for them (and always insightful for us teachers to see how well everyone follows along!).

My ultimate plan is to do a fun directed drawing project with my class each month, save them in page protectors and then put them all into an easy, affordable end-of-the-year gift for the kids (that they kinda made for themselves- lol- how sneaky of me)!  It's sure to be a "keeper" families will treasure.

 Here's how it works... I make it simple with:
✏️ Print & Go, "Perfect Start" Paper (has special starting points already lightly printed on it to ensure ALL artists get off to a perfect start!)

✏️ A gorgeous, full color show that guides everyone step-by-step through the pumpkin drawing process (pic below shows some drawing slides, but there are also a bunch of coloring directions included- not shown). You get detailed photos, clear explanations worded in ways that kids understand, tips and reassurance for artists, and loads of creative variations so all YOU have to do is flip through this show and read what it says aloud, one page at a time. Super simple to teach! Feel free to do it with OR without the heart in the middle. I think it looks fantastic either way.

You can find it HERE!  

And if you're interested in checking out the BUNDLE to have something beautiful to draw each month, you'll find that HERE!

11 drawings include: Self Portraits, Pumpkins, Turkeys, Gingerbread Kids, Penguins, Pop Art Hearts, Rainbows, Sunflowers, Mother's Day Portraits (a drawing of the student & one other person- could be dad, grandparents or anyone!), Superhero, and Butterflies.

You can also buy any of these individually HERE.
Have so much fun creating a BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL school year for yourself & your students!