Blog Archives

Hiking the Appalachian Trail!


Ah, the “fun summer job” got much harder this past week when we took a group of kids on the Appalachian Trail. We hiked the 36 miles from Massie Gap to Damascus, VA. It was SO HARD. But it was beautiful and I am glad I completed this item on my bucket list.

Pictures are coming…


Sunset/moonrise on top of Whitetop Mtn in VA. So beautiful.


A Father’s Day Feast


I love to bake. Really I could stop there but I will be nice and share with you a very easy recipe that sounds fancy but is super easy.
My chocolate raspberry torte.


**I wait until right before I serve it to put the chocolate and raspberries on top!

1-1/2pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, divided
3/4cup butter or margarine
1pkg. (3 oz.) JELL-O Raspberry Flavor Gelatin
1/2cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3cup flour
1tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed
1/2cup fresh raspberries

HEAT oven to 350°F.

SPRAY 9-inch round pan with cooking spray; cover bottom with waxed paper. Microwave 4 chocolate squares and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 min. or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 min. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in dry gelatin mix and sugar until well blended. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in flour until well blended. Pour into prepared pan.

BAKE 40 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan 5 min. Run small knife around side of pan to loosen edge. Invert onto wire rack; remove waxed paper. Cool cake completely.

MEANWHILE, melt 4 of the remaining chocolate squares as directed on package; spread onto waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Refrigerate 30 min.

MICROWAVE remaining chocolate squares in large microwaveable bowl as directed on package. Whisk in COOL WHIP until well blended. Transfer cake to plate; frost with COOL WHIP mixture.

USE sharp knife to cut chocolate on baking sheet into 1-1/2- to 2-inch irregular-shaped pieces. Arrange on cake. Top with raspberries.

Beautiful Butterflies!


My last kinder project for the year coincided perfectly with their learning about the life cycle of a butterfly. They had the nets and caterpillars and were able to watch them make the cocoons (or raccoon as one kinder insisted), and then finally the butterflies! This took only two classes. The first day, we painted our butterfly pieces and then cut out the black part of the butterfly. The second class, we cut out the painted pieces and glued them in like a puzzle. The kids loved them and gushed about how beautiful they were. I hate that it’s the end of the year and I won’t get to hang them up – though I probably would’ve had to pry them out of the kids’ hands as they enjoy taking their artwork home to show it off. 🙂






Folk Art Farm Quilt


First grade has been working on some farm pictures and they turned out beautifully! We drew the horizon line and then added the barn. Then we drew the “quilt”, remembering not to get carried away and draw TOO many lines or we would be coloring the squares forever. Then we colored everything with markers except the sky (we used a crayon for that.) Last, we used a black marker to add the lines and patterns to represent the crops. Fantastic job, kiddos!



Color coordinate with Kandinsky


This is the last project of the year for my second graders. They are loving it and therefore doing a fantastic job. We discussed Mr. Kandinsky and abstract art and talked a little about color theory.
I really wanted the kids to enjoy themselves with mixing and painting colors without getting caught up in creating a specific object.
I started with a white piece of paper with a 4×3 block grid printed on it. I’m going to try black paper with my other school and see how it turns out.

Then we passed out the paint. I gave them 6 colors and bit of white to mix in egg cartons. I’ve never used egg cartons but it worked perfectly for this.

I’m planning on making this project last for two weeks so I told them that they could paint six full squares OR work on all of them but not completely finish any of them on the first day. The second day is spent finishing and discussing. I played music for them to listen to while painting but the first day we were interrupted by the fire drill!!! :/
My example! Can’t wait to see some finished products!






Recent bulletin boards


Here are some recent boards I’ve put up. Most are not anything amazing, but it’s that time of year…




The Jimmy buffet board is done at my other school! Check it out!



More painted paper…


My 3rd graders loved making the painted paper birdhouses so much that I decided to find another painted paper project for them to do. I saw it first at (guess where!) Painted Paper, who gives credit to It’s an HSES Arty Party! I actually did my lesson a little closer to the original.
Now, I’m going to make a confession: I have never used coffee filters in an art project. Never! How have I made it this long as an elementary art teacher, without using one of these beloved pieces of round paper?!?!? Mostly because I can never remember to buy some at the store. This year I was lucky enough to inherit a pack when I was moved to a new school.
Our first step was to paint the coffee filters with watercolors. And not just any watercolors but homemade watercolors. I saw this excellent recycling tip somewhere and I can NOT remember where! You just take your old, dried up markers and put them in cups of water and let them sit awhile! They worked perfectly and the kids loved the recycling aspect as much as I did!
Then we painted our paper for our petals. Next week we will cut out the petals and glue everything together!
These area shots of our progress thus far…




I love my job!


Elegant Elephants


My 6th graders saw my 3rd graders’ painted paper birdhouses and loved them and DEMANDED to do something similar! 🙂
So I rummaged around on Painted Paper’s page and found some 6th grade appropriate lessons. One of the kids said they loved elephants so when I came across the elephant project, I knew that’s the one we would do.
We started this week with painting the paper for the elephants and then starting on the background. We layered a 6×9 on a 12×9 and then added the little strips around the edges of the 6×9, to make the frame.
Next week, we will draw the elephants, cut them out and decorate them before gluing them into the background. We will also add to the black part of the frame with gold and silver oil pastels and Indian-inspired designs.
A few pictures of the work…




Finished work and they look so good!




Handprint painted paper flowers


Kindergarten started working on some painted paper handprint flowers today. We painted the yellow paper with neon yellow, white, and orange paint and then traced our hand 6 times on two different colors of paper (3 hands on each color). They did so good and worked SO hard that they were all able to get all of their hands cut out. Next week we will put the flowers together and add some *sparkle*! 🙂
Here’s a pic of our painted centers…


All done and ready to be presented to all the mommies!


Painted paper birdhouses


I saw a post over at Painted Paper and fell in love. Birdhouses can be so boring but using the painted paper gives them a new dimension and I think her’s turned out so pretty.
My 3rd graders started painting paper this week and have absolutely loved it. I also used PP’s post about about “how I paint paper” when I introduced this technique. Lots of good suggestions she has!
Below is my example and I can’t wait to see how my kiddos’ turn out!

And here are A few of the kids’: