Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh SNaP! LeTs DisPlay THis!

Here is my inspiration
    I saw this idea on Pinterest...haha I know right! I'm going to create a bulletin board that is an interactive art display and gets my kids snapping pics of their art using Instagram. 
Thanks to this post I found out that I can print my instagram pics through Walgreens and they are a really good price! So I think this is how it's going to go. I snapped some pics of some of my students artwork and I hash tagged them #sphsart. So now that I have the hash tag started I'm going to make up a flyer to pass out to my art classes and art club and tell them to take pics of their artwork and add the hash tag. I downloaded an app called Printicular that lets me search through my Instagram pics and then send them to Walgreens to be printed. So I pull up all of my students artwork, chose the ones to print and then display them on our board in the hallway at school. This has the students doing some of the work (I was staying after work and snapping ton of pics of all the art work) connects them with a fun social media that they all love and ALL use, and it creates a great visual art display that showcases my kids work and that we can easily add to! I'm super excited!

~Till Next Time

**Quick update to the above post**
Ok, so after really diving in and doing some research on the project above I have found a few hiccups...but I was not to be deterred and found a solution. I found that when I went to print the pictures the apps only let you print your Instagram pictures. So I can use the hashtags to search for my kids pictures that they post but I had to figure out a way to have access to them in my Instagram so I can print them. Well it seems theres an app for that! haha. I Googled it and found that there is an app called InstaRepost. This app lets you repost a picture that is posted by someone else on Instagram...geniuses! So that it doesn't appear that you're stealing someone's photo it even puts a small watermark of the original poster. So now I can search the hash tags, repost the pics, and then send them to be printed! Yes, it does add another step but I still get what I want and the kids will love seeing their artwork and pics posted. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Murphy's Law, Epic Fails, and Eye Patches

     Never fails...Say that you're going to have a good day and that you're looking forward to the week and what happens? Yep, you want to Ctrl+Alt+Del the day by 1st hour and your 2nd cup of coffee. Today was that day!!!! I was trying to be all positive and looking forward to the day and the week when all seem to fall apart. I posted yesterday all excited about the pumpkins that I had gotten donated, and that we were going to be paper macheing (not sure if thats a word but thats what I got when I googled it) mask in Fine Arts, and that it was supposed to be a fun week of projects. 

     Well... following my 1st hour I had to go to what was supposed to be a "quick" faculty meeting during my planning I don't already have enough stuff to do during my planning time lets throw in a meeting! 
There's nothing wrong with a lil Red ink...
it helps to prepare them in case they
ever get a pink slip one day in life
Well, off I go to the meeting. As I'm listening to a newbie teacher ask about what color he could use instead of RED, and what could he use to let the kids know that they missed a question besides an X, I think to myself, "Really, this is what you have questions about that I need to sit in and listen to?? (I know, not a very nice thought). Well, I mentioned he may want to try orange or pink instead. All the while I'm offering alternatives to the use of the non abrasive red ink I'm thinking to myself, "But really are X's all that bad?? I mean they do use them to mark treasure on maps...just saying??" (I was very proud of myself that I didn't say that last part aloud) 
     So, anyway meeting took up ALL of my planning period! Then I was off to run back to my class, and I do mean running, feels like I ran all day and got NOWHERE!!! Well as I'm in full running mode back to the bat cave (yep, I think that's what I am not going to refer to my classroom from now on!) I was stopped by the disciplinarian to find out about a kid that I had written up on Fri. He informs me that they need my record book to refer to. So to the Bat Cave I go again and I'm in Speedy Syl mode. I get the record book and back to the front I go (which is like a 10 mile hike from my classroom). So while I'm up front I let the office staff know that I will be getting a delivery (The pallet of pumpkins!) and could they plaease let me know when they get here. So then I'm off again to the Bat Cave and here comes 3rd hour. Well, for the most part this is an upper class group of kids and one of my favorite classes. On Friday we had talked about, and brainstormed the paper mache mask project, with a few actually starting on it. So today was the big "Let's all start the mask" project day....Yeah, that was an EPIC FAIL!!!! 
     So, if you have taught or teach you know that moment I'm talking about. When good kids that usually don't have issues start to look like they are so frustrated that they want to hurt you haha!!! No, they wern't quite that bad but I could tell things were not going good when two of my students that usually get into all of the projects and do an awesome job were struggling. These are the teaching moments that all teacher's fear...when you realize that the project you thought was going to be so awesome and great is a complete flop and things need to change quick! So I stepped back, re-evaluated the situation, talked to my kids, and changed direction. I told them that this was not a complete flop and in art, and while creating, we sometimes figure out that something isn't working. And I told them that I was woman enough to tell them I thought we needed to change things. I told them it was never my intention to frustrate them with a project, yes I want to push them to be creative but there's a difference. So we talked about what we could do different, who was feeling like they needed to change their approach, and what other supplies could we use and still have the same outcome as the intended objective. I told them I was ok telling them that not everything that I think in my head actually works out the way I want (Boy, this could be the theme of my life haha!). 
They, being true teenagers, let me know that was cool. They tried to play off the fact that they were surprised by an adult admitting something like that, and we decided to roll with it and look at tomorrow as another day. One of my kids told me, "Hey, remember Ms. Latham, It's No Big Deal." hahaha!!!! 
     Following the "Epic Fail" of 3rd hour I trying to make calls about the pumpkins during lunch, shove some food down my throat, and down what is now my 5th cup of coffee. I find out that the pumpkins are being delivered during the end of 4th hour, hot pizza will mess up the roof of your mouth, and a 30 min lunch seems to pass like 30 sec. So... now here comes 4th hour!!!! Well, 4th hour is as my kids like to put it, "A Hot Mess!" I do a lot of praying in my head during 4th. It's my Extreme class, I have from one extreme to the other in that class. I have my highs, and my lows, my hypers and my slow as deathers. I have the ones that love art and want to take all of my classes, and those that don't want to be there and I'm still wondering if they even know that they're in art?? That class is all over the map! It seems no matter how much prep I do, all the organization,  and positive thinking I just can't get this class to flow. Me and Jesus have done some heavy talking thanks to this class! So of course I always HATE when they come in and I have my game face on and the ones that love me (and the ones I secretly thank God for letting them be in there with me) ask me if I'm having a rough day or if I'm mad. I don't want it to show!!! I never want it to show!!! But I guess it does sometime. So I try to put my smile on and deal with the issues as they come...and do they come in 4th! But I do have those in that class that still make it worth it. Today one of them was working on one of the sketchbook projects that required them to choose a quote and then illustrate it. This student tells me "I'm using my favorite quote from you Ms. Latham, "It's all fun and games till someones wearing an eye patch!" Well, you can imagine that it wasn't hard to put on a smile after something like that. I didn't realize that some of them paid that close attention to the random things I say (and you can just try to imagine what 4th hour must be like if thats what they recall as my most used quote haha!!) 

     My day might have seemed like a day of craziness, Epic Fails, running here and there and never really feeling like I was getting much done...Oh, and then after school I had to run to town (an hour drive!) and went to get something at Sam's (one of the real reasons I went) and yep, they didn't have them. Then it started to rain, I got stuck in traffic, and almost burst into tears when I got caught in yet another red light. But I didn't cry (didn't want the red light to think it won). So as I drove home me and Jesus had yet another long chat. I let Him know that I figured out that this was all a test (and that I got RED penned big time, X's and all) because I had said I was going to have a fun awesome week. But, I am going to chalk it up to being just a little quiz and not look at it as the test, and I will get up tomorrow and say, "It's No Big Deal." 

~Till Next Time
Oh, and you just know that it's going to be an interesting day when you go to work and bring a hand drill, and giant sawzall...yep that's my day tomorrow. I will let you know how it goes :)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

And The Surprise Is...

Picture from
     So in my last post I talked about a surprise project that I would be doing with my kids this week, well the surprise is that we will be carving pumpkins!!!! I am so super excited about this and can't wait to tell them. You see one of my kids last week asked my if we could carve a pumpkin and I was like, "What?? You guys do that type of stuff at home right? Plus, we have projects that we have to do." The whole time I'm saying this to the couple of students I'm thinking to myself, "I have no clue how we would afford to get everyone a pumpkin, how in the world would I do this with 45 kids, and there is so much prep work that would need to go into something like this." Then I got to talking to my classes and asked how many of them had ever carved a pumpkin...Can you believe that over half of my 45 kids have NEVER carved a pumpkin!!! 

So I kind-of got busy and forgot about the whole "Pumpkin Carving" conversation...that is until I was reading some of the blogs I follow and I saw Brooke's post on Allthingsthrifty. She has a great blog with all kinds of great DIY projects. But her and her family are also known for their awesome pumpkin carving tradition. They carve like a ton of pumpkins, I think one year it was 88 or more...Go check out her and her family's pumpkin carving skills out Here. Anyway, so I was readying her blog and I was thinking about how many of my kids have never experienced this fun holiday tradition and I thought, "Why not?" So after reading all of Brook's tips on the best and fastest way to clean, core, and carve a pumpkin I decided it would be a great project to do before my kids start using the x acto knife for a project that is apart of my curriculum, so I sat down and came up with a lesson. The next part that I thought would be the biggest challenge would be to figure out how I was going to get 45 pumpkins. Supplies for the art room are purchased with supply fee money, and trying to get ever student to pay is not always easy. Then there are the tons of other items that have to be bought, so pumpkins were really not in my budget. Well, I posted on Facebook about how I wanted to do this project, about how most of my kids had never carved a pumpkin, and if anyone had any suggestions or knew of a local business that may want to get involved. Got a message from a friend who said she had told her Dad about it and that his company wanted to donate some money for it. 

I then got on the phone and called our local grocery story Fremin's. They are a great local family run company that is always helping out the schools. I explained what I was doing and how many pumpkins I needed and they said they could get me the pumpkins at an AMAZING price and would deliver them to me at school. I was so excited!!!
 So this week we, all 45 of my students, will be carving pumpkins!!! My kids will get to experience something that every kids should be able to say they have done once in their lifetime, I will get to teach a lesson on pattern transferring, working with sharp art tools and art tool safety, and I will also talk to the kids about sculpture and what is Form (one of The Elements of Art that is in my curriculum). Plus, this is all a surprise so I can't wait to tell the kids! I of course will be taking lots of pictures and will post  with all of the great carving fun I'm sure we will have. 
So thanks to Brook over at All Things Thrifty for helping me to realize that this could happen in my art class and for my local business Armstrong Airboats that stepped up to make this happen.
Here's to SPHS Art room starting their own Carving Extravaganza Tradition. 

~Till Next Time :)

Paper Mache, Color Theory, and Pumpkin Carving...Bring on the Work Week!!!

     So I'm usually the person that starts counting down the days till the Weekend come Sunday night. I love my job but sometimes it's a challenge and I feel that Saturday is my only time to really relax. Most Saturdays are spent doing all of the things I haven't gotten to the rest of the week. It's when I wash, pay bills, clean the house, or go to town to run errands (where I live the nearest Wal-Mart is an hour away). But I also have those awesome Sat. mornings that I sleep in and then get to enjoy drinking my coffee and painting, blogging, reading, journaling and hanging out with Mr. Bingley. This is what he was doing this morning while I enjoyed my awesome cup of coffee. Saturday's cup of coffee comes with lots of whip cream in my house :)
Just like a kid... buy them all kinds of toys and what do they end up playing with, the box!
So as much as I really REALLY enjoy my weekends I have to say that I'm looking forward to this upcoming work week!! I'm super excited about some of the projects that we are doing, how my classes have been behaving, and to tell my class about the Awesome Surprise project that we are going to be starting on Wed. On top of all of this we also have a 10:30 dismissal on Wed. due to professional development and will run a Pep Rally schedule on Fri. So a fun week for sure! I will post what my surprise project is in my next blog and tell you all about how it came about (it's a great story and just another God wink haha) but its late and I'm tired of typing. 
~Till Next Time

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Weird & A Little Ugly...

...but that's what makes them cute. What am I talking about?  Catus and Succulents.  I've been a envious of some of the succulent and catus gardens that I've been seeing on Pinterest and some of the blogs I read. Been wanting to put one together but just haven't got around to it and didn't want to spend a lot of money doing it. Well today I went to Lowes and they happened to have all of their catus and succulentson sale.... like super cheap!!! So now to figure out what type of container to put them in??

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What??...But You're A Teacher

     "What?... But You're a teacher." I have heard this said to me a few times in the past few weeks haha and it cracks me up!!!  I love all of the things that kids say and the things that I can make them believe LOL!!  So the recent episode that brought on the title of my blog was when me and some of my kids were chatting while they worked on their OP art project. I have a pretty good little collection of gnomes and a kid asked me if I believed in gnomes and unicorns. Now let me just confess and tell you that I love to tell my kids "stories" and I can do this and be very convincing, plus for some reason they just believe me. Anyway, they asked me if I believed in gnomes and I of course replied with "Of course, you don't??" To which they replied, "Really Ms. Latham?? Come on, Gnomes and Unicorns??? But you're a teacher??" LOL!!! Here are some others things that get this statement:

The fact that I have them believing that I really believe that Mr. Bingley can paint! 

That I have things like Instagram and Facebook

That I believe in magical creatures. 

When they found out that I was taking a painting class...LOL "But Ms. Latham why are you taking a class when you teach one?? 

The fact that I'm counting down to Thanksgiving Break right along with them...33 days to go!

     There are many crazy other little things that get said that crack me up. Like today at the end of 4th hour when I was acting like I had T-Rex arms and was showing the kids how it would look in art class if T-Rex has to clean up. One of my little class clowns turns and looks at me in all seriousness and says, "Man you look like you are having fun...I think I will join you!" I about peed on myself (I think some of the almost peeing on myself had some to do with the laughing and waving around of my lil T-Rex arms but a whole lot to do with the fact that I had consumed a whole pot of coffee today and since bathroom breaks are few and far between...well I seem to spend my life feeling like I'm going to pee on myself LOL...teacher probs!) (I know, that was the longest run on sentence EVER! Please forgive me all of my English teacher out there!)

Ok, well this teacher needs to get her butt to bed. I have Mid-Terms this week in my painting class that I am taking (I know right...But you're a teacher??) and its also 9 weeks exams starting tomorrow. 
Oh, and its HUMP Day tomorrow. I love to play the Hump Day commercial with the camel during Homeroom to wake the kiddos 
up :)

~Till Next Time
Stay Awesome!

Inspired By A 9 Year Old.

      Just spent the last 30 min. bawling my eyes out and being inspired by a 9 year old with some cardboard boxes and an amazing imagination!!  I read a blog titled Ohboy4thgrade and in this particular post she was writing about a project that her kids just finished inspired by a project called Cain's Arcade. Here is the video, you have to watch this it is just simply amazing!!! Go, watch it now!!! Oh and watch the next one that comes on right after.

     So I watched this story about this kid with this amazing creativity and I am so inspired!!! Not only is this kid creative, he displays such great examples of good work ethic, ingenuity, determination, entrepreneurship, and just plain child like fun. He doesn't stop with one game, no he dives in and goes for more. He takes what others have to say and makes changes  based on feedback (Loved when he said that he made changes when someone said the game was too easy). He was not limited by his resources, location, or start up capital. No, this kid took what was readily available, added some hard work, and built his dreams from some boxes! I'm telling you I'm tearing up even now as I type this. 

     Isn't that one of the sad things we lose along the way as we grow up, the joys of being a kid and the endless possibilities that our dreams have?  The thinking that we can make things happen if we just try hard enough and add some creativity to it. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes 
"Every Child is an Artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."    

     Watching this not only inspired me to be creative and to look at what is around me to do it. It reminded me of the belief in kindness, humanity, and how much one act of kindness can do so much in a life. And it's not only that one life that was touched, but the guy who teamed up with Caine is now helping to touch other's lives through a nine year old he took a moment to really see, to appreciate his creativity, and to believe in enough to buy a "Fun Pass" from. He sparked a flame with his belief in this kid, and that flame took off to start ablaze of inspiration and creativity in so many others.

     Man I want to do that... I want to be such an inspiration to others, I want to help my kids to see that inner creativity that is just waiting to be tapped into. I want to inspire others with what I create, and I always want to be aware of those "Caine Arcade" moments. Those moments that can so easily pass us by if we don't take the time to stop and see what others around us are doing. To recognize the many different displays of creativity by others, and to take time out of our busy lives to invest in a "Fun Pass." 

     So I'm not just going to blog about it! I'm going to do something with this. I'm going to aspire to be like Caine and make something creative out of what is around me...and yep, I'm going to do this with my kids. So I'm looking at building a unit that will be focused on them creating something out of a cardboard box and things that they find around them. I'm going to push them to "Think outside the box" (All Pun intended!!!!). We just finished moving our whole school and you know me....I have a hard time parting with a good box. So I have a TON of boxes that I've been stashing (Shh...don't tell my janitor haha). So we will begin the Creative Box Challenge. I'm excited and I think I will start it off by showing my kids this video clip (Man I hope I don't tear up in class...that could really ruin my "Hardcore Teacher" rep haha!!!!). 

~Till Next Time

Saturday, October 5, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

  So just like Dorothy, I feel we were swept up in a crazy whirlwind with all that was involved in the moving of our school. But thankfully we are finally HOME! 
My last post was a little over a month ago and WOW how have things changed and been one crazy wild ride! It is so awesome to finally be in a real school with hallways, and all the amazing bells and whistles that make up our new home. I feel so blessed to be able to call this new school home. 

It's been a dream to finally have the space and all of the resources that I now have in my new room and I won't lie...I'm having a ball making it feel like home! I've been pinning ideas on Pinterest for when this day would come and now that I have the room from heaven it's been so much fun getting to do all the things that I've always wanted to do in a classroom. The organization possibilities and fun decor possibilities that I can put into place have been endless. It's been fun to make all of these things happen. My kids mess with me because they say that its become their thing to seek and find the new added things to the classroom everyday. I told them it's the gnomes that come at night and make little changes haha!!! So after a lot of work, lots of pinterest time, many late afternoons, a lot of laminating, tons of really good mounting tape, a zillion labels, and a lot of moving around here is finally a tour and highlight of my classroom. (You don't know how excited I am to be able to post this!!)

Welcome to Room #197!
 Love that I have double doors!
 My wreath my lil Sister made me!
 Can't cover the door window all the way so window markers it is.
 My sign I made for Oct.
 When you first walk in my room. 
Phil the fabulous turtle watches the Tardy Sign in sheets. Love this! Students who come in late sign in their class period section and circle if its excused or unexcused and clip their office note to the paper and that way they don't have to wait on me if I'm with another student and I don't have to stop if I'm teaching. I then collect the paper at the end of the day and make changes to my attendance book as needed. 
 This is one part of my classroom that is not done. These boards will be moved and a full wall tack board with track lighting will be put in for art display. But this is working for right now since it may be a few weeks before the wall is installed. Love my Welcome Pennants my Mom made me! 
 Found these Awesome GIANT goggly eyes at Michael's. Love the first time a student noticed them LOL!!!! My kids named him Bob 
 A view of the front. Door on the left leads to my balcony. Can't wait till it cools off some and we can go draw out there.
 The left side of my classroom. Make-up work crate, Bellwork sheets, mixed sketching paper, group supply buckets, and mixed class supplies.
 My craft storage cabinet, canvas cabinet (yeah, using some of it for textbook storage haha!)
Love that I can now display my students work like the Keith Haring and Blue Dog paintings.
 Love all of the organization and that everything is labeled. Love this construction paper organizer and the paper scraps are all organized by colors on the right.
 Love that the items are all clearly marked and easy for the kids to find. Love my Chevron labels!!
Pencils and etc. Haha Labels say, top to bottom: Ready to use Pencils, Strugglin Pencils, Erasers.
I have a student that has the job of sharpening the "Strugglin" Pencils. (Yes, the students helped my come up with labels)

My hand washing station. Love it!!

 Student computer area and my awesome windows. 
The back of the school is still under construction but when its done we will have an awesome view of the football field.
Doorway in the back is to my wonderful Kiln room where I have two kilns and moist and dry clay storage.
 My paint dispensing area. Love the paint bottles!!! No more unclogging pumps YAY!!! Paint brushes right above and sink to the left.
Artwork displayed above the paint dispensing area

Paint cabinet. More student artwork at the top and  Love the map of the Louvre, postcards, and my pic with Mona that I got last summer!

 Door on the left leads to the Wood shop class (Very convenient!) and door on the right leads to my awesome storage room. Love my mask collection from all of my travels. I told the kids when they go in the storage room they are watching haha!!
 Amazing storage room with some much awesome locking storage! These drawers are so stinking big and hold soooo much!
More storage. Got most of it organized but there's more I want to do in here.

How awesome is that!!!! One whole cabinet for paper and canvases...Ahhhh :)

Other side of the storage room.
Student lockers for art supplies. 
(This was an old pic. Since this was taken I have labeled each locker with a cute chevron patten label)

 The pottery side of the classroom. (Fine Art Survey had their projects dying on the pottery tables.)
Both of those large tables will be covered with canvas for wedging and hand building. There are 4 pottery wheels as well.

 One of the posters I made to remind my kids to draw light!

 Saw this idea on Pinterest and LOVED it! 
My kids are always saying that Art class goes by faster than any of their other classes. Love how it turned out!
 This is kind-of like Grand Central. The Agenda boards, Calendar with due dates, and my "I Can's" (objectives)
 Again, another thing I stole from Pinterest. Andy Warhol inspired "I Can". Love how the giant Pop Art can turned out. The kids thought I was so clever...I told them, "Of course I got it from Pinterest. Teachers motto is, "Beg, Borrow, and Steal and if you're stealing, steal from the best!"

My Dale Chihuly inspired chandelier made from water bottles and sharpie
 My desk area, smart board, Elmo camera, and grades work storage for each class period.
 Love the quote above the smart board. "It's Called ARTWORK because it's WORK! 
 The back of my desk. 
Some of my artwork displayed and items given to me by past students. File cabinet for projects, worksheets, and Scholastic Art class sets. Behavior charts for each class on clip boards in easy reach.

My plant terrarium...the fairies and the gnomes are more than Welcome :) 

So as you can see it's come a long way since it looked like this
How it looked after the movers got done moving all of my stuff from my old room

Thank God for some of my Awesome students who came and worked hours with me and helped unbox over 600 boxes of new supplies on top of all of the old stuff that was moved. It was a mess and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed but these guys were Amazing!!! Love my kids!!!!

So now that we are moved in and settling in I'm working on somethings.

We got our "Before I Die" wall moved to the new school and working on finding it a place.

I have also started Art Club back up and we are working on making some public art for around the school. Here is one of the projects we are working on now

And then the Social Studies dept. asked if we would help create this large flag with the whole school for our Veterans Day celebration

And then we are also planning to start on a large Andy Warhol mural for the cafeteria 

So a lot of fun things going on! 
Love that SPHS now has a permanent home. I love that I get to teach in what I like to call Art Heaven and it really does feel like...
There's No Place Like Home :)

~Till Next Time