Author Archives: tinyartroom

About tinyartroom

Art teacher sharing her students' beautiful artwork and the adventures of life as an art teacher!

Collaboration + Black History Month

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We got a jump on February and celebrating Black History Month with this collaborative project. Students looked at this article on Beanz (a magazine for kids, code, and computer science) about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson the ladies also known as The Hidden Figures. They are all mathmeticians, engineers, and pioneers who worked for NASA and helped pave the way for other women in math and science, especially women of color. We also watched this great video from Flocabulary and the kids loved it and even requested to hear it again before class was over.

The project is a two class project and each student will be making a piece of a large poster that features the three Hidden Figures along with a quote from Katherine Johnson. I found this poster on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Can’t wait to share the finished poster hanging proudly in the halls of our school!

Chinese New Year Collaborative Dragon

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I came across this super cool project for Chinese New Year at arteascuola.com. Miriam shared some of the process and the end product was so cool! I wanted to share my step by step process here to use with my students as well as with you all! Once we get the final dragon complete, I will share more photos. Until then, please check out Miriam’s page here: Arteascuola

Im going to be honest, I’m doing this with first grade so I’m anxious to see the results of this color wheel. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈLet’s do this!!

It went so well!!! They were excited and everybody’s turned out great. Next, we will add the petals, symbols for scholarship, friendship, and sportsmanship (my school’s motto). We will then put them all together to create the dragon!

I tried to photograph the steps of making the head but I’m not sure how clear this is. I had to pretty much figure it out on my own just looking at the finished example on Arteascuola.

Snowy Silhouettes

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Snowy Silhouettes

Fourth grade is making these snowy nighttime scenes using value and blending with paint. Before we started in on the real deal, we practiced first with color pencils then with paint. Sharing our steps here!

I’ll share the students’ work when we are finished!

Here’s some of the student work. They were still so creative with the limited use of only silhouettes.

Andy Warhol Hand”Prints”

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Andy Warhol Hand”Prints”

I first came across these brightly colored handprints on Instagram. @summitartists posted her results and they were just so eye-catching, I had to try them!

My first graders loved the little video I found on YouTube about Andy Warhol and Pop Art. Click here to see!

We also used the neon tempera paints and I turned on our black lights while they painted the back ground. They were completely amazed.

The day we added the black handprints, I had a hand painting and printing table set up for four people. They took turns at that table and when they finished, they had some Lego centers, plus plus blocks centers, and a pop art color sheet option. Everyone remained engaged and worked cooperatively. I was super impressed to say the least.

Summertime Catch-up

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Man, blogging has become so cumbersome and time-consuming compared to using Instagram to flash-blog (did i just make up a new phrase?!) about an art project or summer camp or the amazing things we find in Bullseye’s Playground at Target (because, let’s be real, it’s not the dollar spot anymore).

I feel I have gotten so behind this year on blogging but really, with moving to part time, I didn’t feel like I had as much to blog about. But then as I reflect on the last school year, I accomplished a ton of stuff with my kids.

Many of our projects were much more involved and in-depth than projects I was used to doing on a See-150-kids-a-day schedule. I really enjoyed this focused energy and the freedom to not rush. It’s always been more self-imposed in the art room, I think, but you definitely feel the pressure to crank out some masterpieces. The kids feel it too and often want to rush through and move to the next thing. I know I’m not alone in this.

But next school year, I do solemnly swear to blog more consistently instead of only sharing and flash-bogging (ha!) on IG. ✌🏻

Oh, and to catch you up on last year…

Summer Art Camp!

5th grade’s Thiebaud-inspired 2D pieces turned into 3D sculptures!

6th grader’s Blind-contour portraits ❀️

I got to go to DC with my 8th graders and see beautiful art!

My 5th graders rocked it with their Alma Woodsey Thomas paintings and we put them all together for an art show installation.

We sailed away for spring break…

We made Frida Kahlo memory boxes in our Dia de los Muertos after school class.

And so much more. …Next year!

Monster on the Loose!

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My 6th graders have been working so hard on perfecting these two point perspective cities. When they were finished, they had to write a 6 word story to accompany their artwork. It was great to see some kids really flourish with the technical side of it.

Picasso Relief Portraits

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Picasso Relief Portraits

When I went to my state’s art education conference this fall, I saw a really cool project idea at the United Art booth. It was bright, colorful, and a relief sculpture! You can find it here. They gave me the lesson plan for it and I have been working on the sample for my students. I’ve taken pictures of most of my steps so that I can share with my students when they are ready to make it. Feel free to use it. πŸ™‚ I started with painting the background piece of cardboard (8×10″).

Then I drew out my main head shape, painted it white, and cut it out.

Glue some smaller pieces of cardboard to the back and then glue it down to your background.

Create a profile view of just the head – not the nose, eyes, etc.

I painted another piece of cardboard white and then drew out the rest of my main pieces – eyes, lips, nose, forehead. I also added cheeks, eyebrows, and lids. The more pieces you add, the more interesting it can be.

I used my scraps from cutting all my other pieces to create the hair and neck. Now it’s ready to paint!

I painted with tempera and let it dry before using some black lines to add some depth and really make it pop!

I love this project and can’t wait to try it with my 6th graders!

UPDATE! We completed this assignment and the results are awesome! Check ’em out:

So proud of these!!

On “The Block” with Romare Bearden

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Ahhhh, my first post as a middle school teacher! Pretty exciting. 

My 6th graders are currently working on a collage project with me. We are looking at the master of collage, Romare Bearden and his piece, “The Block.” Their goal was to create their own block out of their everyday experiences and places they go. We don’t live in a huge city so they had to be creative and “collect” the places that are important to them. 

We first did an artist study to learn about Bearden and what influenced him. Then they looked closely at “The Block” on The Met’s website to see all of the amazing details and interactions that Bearden observed and was intrigued with. After inspecting his work, they created sketches of what they wanted to include in their own block. 

We are creating our collages using a 28″X11″ piece of poster board and magazines. I can’t wait to see and share what my talented 6th graders create!

A Change is Gonna Come…

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Summer break is drawing to a close and there are big changes on the horizon for my family. I’ll get back to that. 

I have had such a fantastic summer that’s also been a bit of a roller coaster. This year, I decided not to return to my summer job that I’ve had for 7 years. I loved the job and it provided me with extra “summer fun” money but it also required a lot of time away from my family and a lot of time spent with kids, some of who were also my students at school. After 12 years of teaching and 7 years of this summer job, I decided I wanted (needed) a break from everything and took the summer to spend how I wanted. My daughter and I went on several trips, we did a big family vacay, and I got lots accomplished around the house that I had been avoiding. 

We went to Beaufort, NC for a long weekend to explore the sights and the food of the coast. It was beautiful and I can’t wait to go back! 


Then we spent a week driving to art camp and exploring a cool city! Art camp at the Greenhill Center was great and she enjoyed her time there – I enjoyed a new coffee shop each day! 


Our family vacation was so much fun and I loved spending time with my sister and her babies and my mom and dad all under one roof. 


We also went to see The Little Mermaid live and it was awesome! I would have stayed for another showing right then. 


For the first time, I feel like we were able to really make the most of every day of summer break!

Now, getting back to that whole, a change is gonna come thing…

My husband has been working for a company an hour and a half away from home for a year and a half. He loves his job so much and it really shines through in the other parts of his life. We had discussed moving closer but it was not in the immediate plans. But we all know how the best laid plans go. An opportunity was placed in my lap that I could not pass up. An art teaching job at one of the best schools in the state! And it just happens to be in the city he works. It was still a difficult decision and one not made lightly. I have chosen to leave my current school system and my family and I are moving and embarking on this new adventure together. We are excited but also very sad to leave such a great life of having amazing friends and family so close by. Luckily it’s still only an hour away so we will get to visit and hopefully we will get to share our new city with them. 

I think about my students I’m leaving behind and I get so anxious about their future. I hope my quiet, shy students who tear up at a strong “teacher look” continue to gain confidence in themselves with the help of compassionate teaching. I think about the babies who I snuck pencils and crayons and markers and paper to and pray they will continue to get supplies that help them create outside the classroom. I think about the kids that search me out in a crowd for a hug or a high five and they will think I left them without a backwards glance. But then I remember that I work(ed) at the best school ever with the most caring teachers ever and they will get the hugs they want and the supplies they need and the gentle looks and the guiding hand. It’s so hard to say goodbye when you’re leaving something you loved. 


In the words of Sam Cooke:

“There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long

But now I think I’m able to carry on

It’s been a long, a long time coming

But I know a change is gonna come, oh yes it will…”

Cheers to a new year, new students, new adventures, and an old love for all things ART.