Category Archives: classroom

Tinker Boxes to blow off STEAM!

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Tinker Boxes to blow off STEAM!

Oh man, I have been so excited to share these little boxes of fun with my students and with you all. I love hearing all about STEAM and how other regular classroom teachers are integrating art into their classes. I’m all like, “Welcome to my world. I told y’all it was fun over here!” 

So anyway, I wanted to create some projects and lessons where the ultimate goal wasn’t to take a perfect little picture home to mom and dad to hang on the fridge. I wanted the goal to be one of social interaction and creative design. Teamwork and imagination.  It’s all about the process, baby! 

The thing that finally got me moving on my idea about this was our school’s family engagement coordinator brought me some empty sight word flash card boxes. They were pretty small but they were brightly colored and had a cute little yellow handle. There were only 10. What can a teacher of 650+\- do with 10 little boxes? 

💡 

I started by finding that bag of random stuff that people give you… you know the one. It’s filled with bits and pieces of scrapbook stuff, toys from kids meals, lost puzzle pieces, marbles, dominoes, etc. Yeah, that one. I divided it up between 6 of the boxes (I have 6 tables in my room) and then set to making some prompts. I know I could throw caution to the wind and let the kids just have a go with no prompts but I want to keep a loose grip on the reins.  I think it would be best to have a common goal at each table so we don’t bicker about step 1. 

There are so many great places to find prompts, resources, and ideas for materials for this sort of thing. Here are a few of my sources: 

A Wrinkle in Tech
Stem of the Month (TPT)
Left Brain Craft Brain
Education Closet
So I put this all together, made my prompts, laminated them, and got ready to try it out…

They LOVED it. Of course they did. I say this not because of my amazing boxes of random crap, but because kids love to tinker and play with little things, and use their imaginations. After they completed the tasks, we cleaned up the boxes and then traded for a new box. We only traded once in the 45 minutes of class. 

I shall not lie to you – there were arguments in some of the groups. Kids have strong opinions about stuff, especially what the propeller of an airplane should be made from. But it was opportunity to work on social skills and learning to talk through problems instead of yelling, whining, and fussing. But that’s what’s so great about STEAM and art class in general: it’s applicable to real life. Problem solving (with people and machines), designing, creating, sharing, giving, taking, directing, leading, choosing a good leader, being a great team player, and the list goes on. 

This was a wordy, lengthy post and I apologize. Here’s some pictures: 

A mini rocket and a big rocket

A large house

A robot 

An airplane! 

A glimpse of the action

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Here’s a few shots of some of our first projects. Reviewing elements with fourth and fifth, learning more about the color wheel and practicing zentangles with third, and using warm and cool colors, shapes, and lines with second. The year is off to great start! 

Tinyartroom is on Instagram!

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After years of bombarding my friends and family on Instagram with tons of photos of my students’ artwork , I finally decided to create an account just for the Tinyartroom. If you are also on Instagram, please follow me at @tinyartroom! (So thankful that name was available. : ) 

  
  

Boards Galore…

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Nope. Just four. Man, bulletin boards take forever and mine aren’t even elaborate!
This one has some precious kinder snowmen on it with a few snowman ice cream cones as well. This board is in my classroom which is why it’s so tiny.

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This board is showcasing some awesome one point perspective drawings by 5th grade. I was so impressed with some of their themes and their execution of said theme.

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This board is another snowman board and this one is in the entry of our school – or as our database manager once called it, the loading dock. Haha!

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And one more board of scoops…

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In progress…

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This is my board right now and we have lots of new projects happening but they are all “in progress” so I promise I will post about each one when we are finished! 🙂

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Last day before winter break

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What we are up to today…

Learning to draw an Elf on the Shelf! Every class I’ve done this with has loved it.

This is the awesome site where we watch the video to draw along with Rob. Art for Kids Hub

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We made Christmas trees out of the scrap box! So much fun!

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More elves!

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Finishing up reindeer paintings – they look awesome!

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Some of this…
I love the thoughtfulness of the gifts I receive!

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Oh, and PS – it was Polar Express/pajama day! Love my team!

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What a fun, crazy, and exhausting day. I’m going to finish it off with candlelight yoga at one of my student’s mother’s yoga studio and then a big bowl of pho from my favorite Thai restaurant.
Cheers to Winter break and a Merry Christmas to you all!

First Projects of the Year

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We’ve already been hard at work, learning about the elements of art and principles of design, reviewing art tools, writing, and creating. Can’t wait to start hanging up some of these beautiful pictures!

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Something new I am doing is the Instagram inspired Insta-Art board. A place for me to display the artwork that kids create outside of art class. They make up their own username and they are loving it! These have all been brought in in just the last week!

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