Tag: TPT

The Halfway Restart, Art Teacher Style

Have Heart, a collage of text and magazines.
A snippet of a visual journal page created by one of my talented Painting class students, Fall 2020.

The day before school started, spring 2021, I laid in bed and felt something I had not felt in the last nine years. Dread.

Dread is a mental state and physical sensation of distinct weight that I often felt at my first art teacher job. Since moving schools and finding a supportive, happy place, I haven’t felt this in years. But, here it was again, reacquainting itself with me. And I hate it.

I love my job, I love my coworkers, I love my school. But, after a tough pandemic controlled first semester, it was hard to imagine going back. I felt more pessimistic about the start of this semester than I did the first semester because I knew what was coming. The combination of in-person, full virtual, hybrid feels like you are juggling and teaching three different classes in one. (Check out my survival tips here)

I hadn’t even closed my eyes and the exhaustion of what to come was already washing over me.

The next morning my husband asked how I was feeling and I was honest, I was unsure and wished I could just call it quits. He told me I couldn’t go in that way, I had to pull through because of my students.

He is so right.

We can’t let this get to us because we are responsible for so many others’ emotions. We provide care, support, and education to very malleable young minds. How we feel matters because it impacts how they feel.

I had to pull it together.

I would be lying if I didn’t admit I lamented with many others. That deep sighs hit me during my drive in and planning period. But, everyday, I will pull it together before my students step foot in my room. That is my goal, my motto for wrapping up this year. I plan to go out with just as much enthusiasm as I came in with nine years ago.

I’ve got this. We’ve got this. You’ve got this.

PREPPING FOR NEW CLASSES

The syllabus, contracts, and bathroom passes I use every year.

This semester, like many other middle and high school art teachers, I have three brand new classes. This means I get to hit the restart button (for better or worse).

Before I left last semester I printed and made copies of all my typical first day of school paperwork. Starting a new class with clear expectations, requiring parent signatures, and holding students accountable for turning them in is an important way to start the semester. (Check out my first day of school pack on my TPT and in my blog shop).

A few years ago I updated my get to know you sheets, creating a unique one for every class. I love using these as a time filler the first day, and I read every one to help me get to know my students from day one.

On the back of each get to know you sheet I always include a brief survey. I ask questions such as, what other art classes have you taken, what is your favorite art material, what is your least favorite project from another class? This helps me understand where each student may fall in terms of experience and gauge interest in different types of projects.

TIP: Include a favorite song or band question on your sheets. Use their responses to build a class playlist using Spotify or similar. Always check song ratings/warnings to make sure the music is appropriate before adding it!

ART KITS, TAKE 2

Art kits and brush tube sets to send home with students.

Before school started I once again prepped my art kits and brush tubes for my students to take home. Since we are starting the semester in hybrid mode, I need them to be able to make art at home. If we ever go full virtual, I know what is in each kit and what they are capable of creating.

All my art kits have paper sheets I have the students use as a check-off when they first go through their kit. If they are missing any supplies, they have to touch base with me to get them. This helps them see what they have in their kit and confirms they got everything (holding them accountable for it all at the end of the semester).

I have been using the brush tubes for years and swear by them. Each student gets their own set of 5 brushes that must be turned in, well cared for or replaced, at the end of the semester.

How to you keep the kids accountable? Give them a grade for turning everything back in. This won’t work in every circumstance but it is the best solution I found.

I am sending as many good vibes and happy thoughts to all you art teachers, general teachers, administrators, and more out there. If we can survive this year, we can survive anything.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog. You can read more art teacher related posts here, visual journal posts here, and check out my teaching resources on my TPT and in my blog shop. Thanks for stopping by!

Back to School Sale 8/4 through 8/5/20

25% TPT Sale 8/4 and 8/5

This is the strangest back to school I have ever experienced, but through it all you can always rely on the Teachers Pay Teachers back to school sale.

STOP! Before you read through this book of a post, help me prioritize your resource needs by sharing your opinion on what I should work on next in this survey and subscribe here to stay updated on your requests.

On Tuesday, August 4th and Wednesday, August 5th (2020) my entire shop will be marked down by 20% with an additional 5% off at checkout using the code, BTS20. As usual, I have spent my summer rearing children and TPTing. Read below for all the updates I have in my shop plus projects specifically designed for distance learning.

My blog shop will also be marked 25% off using the code BTS20 at check out. Shop here!

Principle of design handouts

This year marks the beginning of a career shift for me. I am moving from teaching three classes a semester and acting as the fine arts administrative assistant for our K-12 school to teaching 5 classes a semester. After an eight year break I am returning to teaching full time.

The change that pushed me to that point was the addition of a new class, Introduction to Design. My fine arts department chair approached me with the idea and I loved it. Our program is very traditional art focused and lacked digital or design based classes. This also provided me with the opportunity to design the curriculum from the ground up, which based on my TPT products, you know I love.

I had hoped to complete my curriculum this summer, but life sometimes gets in the way, but I have the first 1/3 of the semester complete. The rest will come together in the coming months, mostly because it has to! I will have to create the resources for me to teach the class.

The first pieces I created for this class are my elements of design and principles of design worksheets. They introduce students to the building blocks of design and they have digital fill in options through Adobe Acrobat Pro, Indesign, and Google Slides.

Shoe design project using Illustrator.

The first official project my students will work on is a design their own shoe assignment. They learn the basics of using Adobe Illustrator and are introduced to using color, shape, form, line, and pattern in design.

Next, students are introduced to the program Adobe Photoshop by redesigning a book or album cover. With this assignment they have to think more about designing for a client and how to best reflect their client through their product design.

After the first two intro projects they shift into a focus specifically on graphic design and what that looks like as a profession. Branding and marketing is discussed and students are tasked with developing a brand for themselves. Through this project they learn the basics of working in Adobe InDesign. Check this project out here.

Up next, I am working on a graphic design project that focuses on rebranding a corporation of the student’s choice. This will bring together their understanding of Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign into one project. All my Intro to Design assignments will be posted here as they are finished.

DISTANCE LEARNING PROJECTS

Cell phone photography semester curriculum.

With the ongoing pandemic and so many districts shifting to distance learning for the first semester of school, I decided to put together a semester long photography curriculum that can be completed using a cell phone camera.

This is compiled from both my Introduction to Photography and Photography II curriculums. Rather than learning a DSLR camera and how to set up successful photographs, students learn about composition, subject matter, and lighting to create a successful photo.

K-5 distance learning project pack

My mom and I have been working incredibly hard to put together two kindergarten through 5th grade project packs that work great in a traditional classroom or from home. In addition to all the typical things you find in my project packs (lesson plan, handouts, presentations, rubrics) I also include parent distance learning instructions, teacher distance learning instructions, and demo videos students can watch at home or at school.

Check out distance learning art products below:

DISTANCE LEARNING TEACHER RESOURCES

Printable Supply labels.

With so many teachers having to shift to individually bundled supplies or sending supplies home with students, I knew check out labels and editable supply labels where going to be key to keeping teachers’ sanity. (Also check out my brush tube labels for even more organization).

I have four different styles of editable “property of” labels. This way every supply can be labeled with your name and classroom number so wandering supplies can find their way home. In addition, there are multiple versions of supply check out sheets. These can be used to track what is handed to individual students, classes, or for checking out individual supplies.

Everything in this pack is printable and editable to align with your needs.

ART CURRICULUMS

If you are worried about your school year, don’t stress yourself out! Hit the easy button and grab one of my curriculum during the sale. These are easy to transition to distance learning because you already have instructions typed out, handouts made, presentations put together that you can send to students to look through and fill out. Check them out below:

This year will be unprecedented in so many ways. I am sending all our essential workers out there, especially teachers at this time, the warm fuzzies, happy thoughts, and hopes that you all stay safe. Thanks for checking out my blog post and my new products! Want info about my new products delivered to your inbox? Subscribe here. Thanks for stopping by.

Distance Learning – Visual Journals

A visual journal page of a sign that says "don't stop art."

I recently got word from my school that we wouldn’t be back before April 13th. I have doubts that we will even return the 14th, but only time will tell. This means no students, no hands on learning, no art show, so many other cancellations of events and what we all consider the norm, gone.

Just two weeks ago I walked the line between is this really serious? and will we actually have school cancellations due to an illness? It only took until the end of that week to realize the severity of the situation we are in. I immediately began planning how I could continue to push art into the lives of my students during this, because at a time like this an outlet for our feelings is as important as hand washing (although wash your hands FIRST then start the creative outlet for your mental health).

What is most important to me is that we don’t stop art. That my students continue to flex their creative muscles in this time of isolation. So what do I do? What do educators do? How do we continue to provide for our students without having a face to face with them? These questions are what pushed me into the next phase of dealing with COVID-19, I was long out of denial, it was time to take action.

Luckily, I have a project that fits well into distance learning, visual journals. Before my students left I had them take their visual journals home. If you have not started this project, all your students need is a used hardback book that they (and their family members) no longer want. If paperback is all they have, use it! If a sketchbook or notebook is all they have, give it a go! If they have no bound book option, use a piece of paper. That most important part is getting started and making something.

MY DISTANCE LEARNING PLAN

For the next two weeks I have a solid distance learning plan that focuses on visual journals. Luckily, if we continue to teach and learn from home, this project can be extended. You can find all my resources, including a presentation, handouts, and more, on my TPT here for free. I also have many how to worksheets on visual journaling you can check out here. You can also continue reading below for the general outline of my plan.

TOPIC: VISUAL JOURNALS & COVID-19

For the first week of distance learning my students are focusing on what this current crisis looks like, by reading information on reputable websites such as the CDC. They then reflect on how this crisis is impacting them, their friends and family. Next, they begin planning out a spread (two facing pages) in their visual journal that sums up their coronavirus experience in one image.

My school is using technology already put in place to support us through distance learning. All assignments are posted to our class Blackbaud page. Completed assignments can be uploaded through the same system. This organizes who submitted which assignment when, without me doing the heavy lifting. In addition, we are using Microsoft Teams as a discussion board and file holder to organize all our documents into one place and as a secondary option for students to access what they need for their assignment.

If you don’t have technology in place to support you, it will take extra work, but it can be done. Google classroom is free and an amazing way to connect with your students in one place. E-mail is another option to at least get assignment sheets and information into your student’s hands (or inbox). They can e-mail you pictures of their visual journal pages that you post to a Flickr or similar page where students can check out each other’s work and comment on them. If you haven’t started a class Instagram yet, now is the time! This could be your online gallery of work and community space. Worse case scenario, you could mail packets out, although not ideal, it is an option if it’s feasible for you (heaven knows we need to be taken care of too. Make sure you take care of you!)

At the end of the first week my students only have to submit their reflection sheet and start brainstorming designs for their visual journal spread. I want us all to take baby steps at the beginning so we don’t burn out by the end. I am taking the less is more approach, while still giving my students the opportunity to express themselves.

At the end of the second week they will submit a photograph of their completed visual journal page to me. My students will be graded on all submitted work, not every school is, but grades are great motivation to work, so I am thankful for that.

VISUAL JOURNAL SUPPLIES & HOW TO

To complete this project students can use materials typically found at home to create beautiful works of art. Included in my free packet is a list of supplies they can creatively use they may not think of as art supplies. Below is a basic list to get you started:

  • Used hardback book
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sharpies
  • Tape
  • Paperclips
  • A computer to find images and a printer to print images
  • Foil
  • Paper bags
  • Wrapping paper

Because my students are already a couple of months into our visual journal project, we work on them every Friday at school, they have already been introduced to collaging, mixed media, and examples of visual journals and techniques. If you are starting from scratch, send them here to read through how tos or have them Google visual journal or altered books for ideas. Send the visual journal presentation in my free pack. Have the students take the reigns in their art making and find inspiration on their own. The internet provides almost limitless access to tutorials, information, and tips, encourage them to use it.

As your students work on their spreads don’t be afraid to create your own. Video your process, share what your reaction to coronavirus is. Be vulnerable with your students because we are all vulnerable right now. Although my school has prohibited video conferencing of any kind with students, due to the inability to oversee actions and to be free of liability of any inappropriate or poor conduct, I can share videos of me working. Although we aren’t in the classroom together, I believe hearing my voice my instill a sense of regularity into this process.

As we navigate through this unprecedented time, if we continue to be out of school I plan to post a list of visual journal prompts students can select from and create visual journal pages about. I will check in with their progress at least once a week, and have new spreads due every two weeks.

Your distance learning may look completely different from mine, but I hope this at least provides ideas to get you started. It’s overwhelming to change everything we have been trained to do, but we can do it and we can do it together.

OTHER DISTANCE LEARNING IDEAS

If you teach elementary school, middle school, or photography classes I have been working overtime to get distance learning packs put together for you! Read below for more information.

My retired art teacher mom and I created a distance learning pack for K-5 with projects designed specifically with the abilities and needs of each individual grade level in mind. Each lesson pack includes presentations, assignment sheets to help the parents and students, and step by step instructions through demonstration videos and handouts.

I have adapted my traditional artist trading card project into a distance learning focused one that includes a mail trading session between students. I know students miss each other and writing letters, creating art, and keeping in touch with something they can physically touch can make a huge difference. Check this lesson out here.

My coworker and I have put together four photography focused distance learning packs for you. One is a free pack that includes prompts for students to explore while at home. Two lesson packs focus on setting up and taking pictures at home through constructed landscapes indoors and a social commentary on the COVID-19 crisis. The fourth lesson takes an art historical approach looking at photographs that have changed the world. These packs could cover your class for the rest of the semester if needed.

In addition, I have two art history lessons up on prehistoric art. One is designed for upper elementary and young middle schoolers, while the other is designed for late middle and high schoolers. Art history is just as important to art making and could be a good solution to art distance learning for you.

Check my distance learning category on TPT and follow me to stay up to date with new products I get posted!

Ya’ll I miss my classroom, my students, my routine. Before this all I wanted was one snow day, now I would give anything to be back in my room looking at my kiddo’s facing and talking about art, or whatever topic was important in the teenage world that day.

Good luck to you as you go through this journey. Please reach out with questions, comments, or concerns. Click my social media buttons in the right menu bar to keep in touch.

A week ago I was at the beach (practicing social distancing but in a much more beautiful place) and now am I here. I am here and I am going to do this and soon this will be behind us. Thanks for stopping by!

Check out my most recent visual journal post that explains how to create a tape transfer in a visual journal using packaging tape and printing pictures.

New Teaching Resources + TPT Winter Sale

I can’t believe it is already the second month of 2020… But here we are with the first TPT sale of the new year, starting February 4th and running through February 5th. My entire store will be 25 % off; this is the lowest my products are ever marked down.

My product development always slows down as school starts to ramp up. But, I have still managed to get a number of new lessons put together between the last sale day and now. Continue reading to learn about all my new items or stop here and start shopping. Don’t forget to use the code FEBSALE at checkout for the full 25% off!

PHOTOGRAPHY RESEARCH PROJECT

After months of work I finally wrapped up the last of my photography projects to complete my second photo bundle. This assignment is second to last in the curriculum and challenges students to find and research modern photographers who inspire them. They are then tasked with capturing a photograph in the style of the photographer and pushed to test their Photoshop abilities by editing one of the photographer’s original images. Check it out here.

IMAGE TRANSFER HOW TO

The final project of the semester for photography is creating an image transfer of a photograph captured by the students. The base material can vary from wood to canvas, and it can have a huge impact on the overall feel of the final product. This project walks teachers and students through the process of successfully transferring a printed photograph to a different surface. Complete with handouts, PowerPoint, critique, and more. Check it out here.

PHOTO CURRICULUM – EVERYTHING YOU NEED

It felt amazing to wrap up my second photography curriculum. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire semester. Every handout, critique sheet, rubric, lesson plan, PowerPoint is included so you don’t have to plan a single day, other than pushing print on your computer. This includes 12 photography based projects, 11 critiques, 11 artist research assignments, a photographer research assignment, semester timeline, how to set up a Google Classroom and using Adobe Spark for assignment submission, and more. Check it out here.

TWO CURRICULUMS IN ONE

With the completion of my Photo II curriculum came the bundling of my Intro to Photography and Photo II curriculums. Now you can get both semester long curriculums for a discounted price. This includes everything you need to teach for an entire year of DSLR photography. There are 30 photography projects included in this curriculum pack. Check it out here.

BOOKBINDING PROJECT

I tested out a new bookbinding process, perfect bound sketchbook, to create an easy and beautiful sketchbook. The materials are cheap and the end product looks like a book you could purchase from a store. The project can be found here and this has also been added to my bookbinding bundle, if you want a variety of techniques to teach in your classes. The bookbinding bundle includes 7 different sketchbook projects.

BRANDING YOURSELF AND SHARING YOUR WORK

I am thrilled to finally share my Free Art Friday project with the art teaching community. I have been obsessed with the Free Art Friday movement for years; and I began incorporating free art based projects in my classroom last year. It has been a huge hit with my students and is a great way to put a spotlight on all the things we do in the art room. This is perfect for advanced level high school students or it can be adapted for middle school students. Read more about it here.

ARTIST INSPIRED PRINTABLE POSTERS

I am finally wrapping up my most recent project, an artist inspired alphabet. Each letter includes a different artist, who shares the letter in their first or last name. The posters come in two different styles and three different sizes, 26 different artists are included. You can easily print these out and display them for littles in an elementary setting or use them to spell out words in your secondary art room. Check out my first pack here.

ARTIST ALPHABET PACK #2

I just posted my second alphabet artist pack, with 26 more artists included. It was too difficult to select just 26, so it inspired me to create three different versions of my alphabet posters. The third version will be posted tonight and the three packs will be bundled soon at a discounted price. Be sure to follow my TPT store to receive updates when new products hit my shop.

Make sure you visit a Teachers Pay Teachers store between February 4th and 5th to get amazing products at a discounted price and help support other educators. Use the code FEBSALE at checkout!

Don’t forget to also check out my blog shop here. I will also be running a 25% off sale this week, use the code FEBSALE, it expires on Friday. If you want a product that you don’t see on my blog shop but is on my TPT, please reach out and I will set you up whitneywpanetta@gmail.com. Happy shopping!

Until next time I will be dreaming of my recent trip to the Bahamas to celebrate dear friends who will be tying the knot in April. Follow me on TPT, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for updates on all my art and art teacherin’. Thanks for stopping by!

Portrait Colored Pencil + The Memory Project

I have spent much of my life creating art. Growing up with an art teacher mom greatly widened my creative boundaries. She always had art supplies, new ideas, and fun projects for us to work on.

However, while my art making career does reach far back, for as long as I can remember I have also struggled with and have tried to avoid portraiture. In contrast, my art teacher mama spent much of her free time creating beautiful watercolor portraits, and even attempted to teach me her tricks a time or two, but the process never clicked for me.

My aversion to portraiture was tested in college, but for the most part I was able to skirt around assignments. However, my career choice of art education forced me to come face to face with my greatest art aversion, you guessed it, portraits.

I knew that in order to create a well rounded curriculum I would have to teach my students portraiture, and myself along with them. It took years of practice, learning new techniques, and teaching it to others for things to start to sink in. While it still doesn’t come naturally, it comes more easily, and I have added more and more portrait based assignments to my classes over the years.

One new addition last year was The Memory Project. We worked with The Memory Project organization to create portraits of children in areas of need. Once the portraits are completed we send the originals to the organization, who in turn sends them with representatives to hand deliver the works of art to the children portrayed.

Everything about this project touches me to the core. It incorporates my love for art, sharing that love with others, and it teaches students how they can use their talents for good. They have to take time to create a work of art that they will have to give away.

My students and I had such a good experience last year I decided to make it an annual project. Last year we focused on acrylic paintings, you can find the lesson plan for that here, but this year I opted to make myself even more uncomfortable by throwing in another material I don’t naturally get a long with, colored pencil.

THE SUPPLIES

  • 9″x12″ or smaller sheets of quality drawing paper
  • Memory portrait pictures (multiple copies, the same size as the paper)
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers

THE TECHNIQUE

My students start by selecting the child they are interested in recreating. I then make copies of their pictures for them to reference. Before jumping right in I have them create thumbnail sketches of different facial features and practice blending various colored pencils colors to get the right skin color. You can find a worksheet to help guide that process here.

After they have some practice under their belt, we get started on the base sketch. Because we are sending these portraits out to the children they portray, I allow my students to choose multiple options to get started. They can use the grid method to create an accurate base drawing, they can punch holes through the picture and make dots to follow on their paper, or they can free hand. You can learn more about these options in my Memory Project painting pack here.

Once they are confident in their drawing and have all the correct information, they get started with the layers. I tell them to start light and slowly build layers up. They block out shadows and mid-tones first, working towards the highlights. I recommend coloring in a circular motion to mimic the soft, even look of skin. They should aim to color along the contour, or outline, of their shapes to give it a three dimensional quality.

I recommend starting with the skin tone first before jumping into the hair because the hair overlaps the skin. I also think it’s important to work on every part equally, rather than 100% completing the lips before moving to the nose (for example). Instead, build your piece up as a whole.

After creating a base layer start adding darker and darker colors, build in the hair, clothing, and other details.

Consider what to do in the background. Did their subject note their favorite color? Is there an interesting background in the photograph they want to recreate? What would enhance, not distract from their portrait?

Similar to coloring in the subject, the layers should slowly be built up. If too much pigment is put down at one time the surface will become burnished and look shiny. It’s hard for more pigment to stick to this burnished surface and often layers need to be removed with an eraser in order to add more color.

While portraits still aren’t my favorite subject to create, I am glad I have developed the skill set and some confidence in introducing the concept to my students. It’s important to offer them a well rounded art education and portraits are a part of that!

Check out a time lapse video of my piece below!

Read about some of my other portrait projects here.

Check out portrait resources on my blog shop (grid lesson here) and my TPT (acrylic portrait project here, portrait with words here, charcoal self portraits here, altered self portraits here).

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about one of my recent projects! Share the post on your social media outlet of choice and help me spread the word about all things art making. Thanks for stopping by!