Saturday, December 9, 2017

How to Engage Students the Weeks Before the Holidays

In the Weeks Before the Holidays

Let me tell you what I do so you can implement this in your classroom with your students for high engagement the weeks before the holiday breaks.

In the two weeks before winter break, I like to pause the serious art projects and do something lighter.  The students have holiday fever and are busy taking serious tests in their other classes. So, I like to give them something really fun. I think it cuts down on misbehavior which is a big deal in the weeks before the break. 

Offer a Choice

I talk to the students about how we are still doing art before we begin. I tell them they will use visual discrimination, drawing, and creative decision making skills. I model how to play the game and how to add my own ideas to the work. Then, I offer them a choice of which Art & Roll game they complete. 

I gave my students four choices, but the two you see in the following pics were the most popular. I made sure to offer at least one choice that wasn't holiday-specific. The snowman is more winter-theme. I want to make sure there is something for everyone.


I let the students use pencils, black Sharpies, crayons, regular watercolors, and pearlescent watercolors.

I love how they all turn out differently. This is great for an art classroom, but is also great for a regular classroom.

art game for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

snowman art for kids

holiday art for kids

holiday art for kids

holiday art for kids

holiday art for kids

elf on a shelf

christmas art project  for kids

christmas art project  for kids

christmas art project  for kids

christmas art project  for kids

Friday, December 8, 2017

Teach Your Students Math Vocabulary with This Flower Art Lesson

flower art math lesson art vocabulary arts integration

Quick Lesson

This was a quick two-part lesson that I used to teach my students some math vocabulary. They were having difficulty remembering vertical and horizontal, as in vertical and horizontal lines. So, I grabbed some black construction paper and acrylic paint. 

Here's What We Did

First, they used white acrylic to paint the lines of the vase. The sides of the vase are vertical lines. The stripes are horizontal. They didn't draw the lines with a pencil first. I just had them go right in with a brush and the paint. 

math vocabulary and flower art

After the vase was painted, they use pink, orange, and white acrylic to paint circles. They double dipped their brush into all of the colors without washing it. That technique helps students blend interesting colors right on the paper. Finally, they washed their brush and painted leaves by double dipping in green, yellow, and white.

math vocabulary and flower art

math vocabulary and flower art

Then, we let it dry overnight.

You'll Love These Oil Pastels

When the acrylic was dry, we used florescent oil pastels to draw spirals in the flowers. These are the ones we used:

Flower Art for Kids

math vocabulary and flower art

math vocabulary and flower art

math vocabulary and flower art

flower art project for kids

flower art project for kids

math vocabulary and flower art for kids

I taught this to a group of English Language Learners. They were having trouble remembering those vocabulary words. It was a very quick lesson that helped them solidify the concept I was trying to teach. Plus, it looks really beautiful. They were each very excited and proud of their work.

Another Quick Lesson

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

See the Art of Europe with Me

Have you ever dreamt of visiting the Van Gogh Museum? Here’s your chance!

I am super excited to announce that Cindy Ingram (the Art Class Curator herself) and I are co-leading a trip to Europe for art teachers (and other art lovers) this summer!!

art teacher travel

Have you been dreaming of going to Europe but haven’t found the right opportunity? Well, this is it, my friends! What could be better than experiencing some of the world’s most amazing works of art with a bunch of art teachers from around the country (world)?

Seriously, the only thing I can think of that would be better than viewing these works of art for myself is viewing them with other true art lovers, especially the art-lovin’ teacher types!

teacher trips

Art Teacher Travel Trip Details

When: June 21 - July 1, 2018 (plus optional, 3-night extension to Berlin!)
Where: London, Paris, and Amsterdam + an optional Berlin extension.
Details: Here is a PDF with the Tour Overview.

teacher travel opportunities

Who: Anyone can sign up! Teachers, bloggers, homeschoolers, etc. (+plus your friends and family of course).

art teacher trips

The trip is led by Go Ahead Tours. (They are a sister company to EF Tours, the popular tour program for students.) They provide transportation, airport pick up, expert tour guides, fun excursion opportunities, nice hand-picked hotels, breakfasts, some dinners, private transportation, and much more.

Cost: Starting at $2,699 plus flights, Berlin extension, optional excursions, etc. Visit our tour planning site to calculate the cost based on from where you are flying. (You also can book your own flights.) The deposit is only $300 due when you reserve, and you have until April 12, 2018 to pay the full balance.

teacher travel

How to Reserve: You can register your spot by calling 1-800-438-7672 and referencing number 65331846. You can also visit our personalized website to reserve and to learn of all the amazing excursion options.

teacher travel opportunities summer

What art might you see on the trip?

In the coming months, Cindy will be featuring art from London, Paris, and Amsterdam to get you excited about this experience.  You can follow along with her over at Art Class Curator. Plus, I will also be sharing my own excitement with you through Party in the Art Room. Make sure you follow Party in the Art Room on Facebook AND Instagram to stay up-to-date.


We hope to see you in Europe!!!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

10 Arts & Arts Integrated Lessons: Holiday Resource Roundup (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of a two-part post about holiday resources and lessons. This post includes the top half of my Top Ten Arts and Arts-Integrated Lessons: Resource Round Up. These aren't ranked in any kind of order. I just chose ten, some of them my own, to share.

I know teachers want to incorporate the holidays without losing rigor or deviating from required standards. So, I found some things that I think will help.

Make sure to check out the first post with numbers 6-10!

Here are numbers 1-5. Hope this is helpful.

Holiday Arts Lessons


Easy Ripped Paper Tree 

I love this because tearing paper is hard for kids. I know it seems like they should just be able to do it, and they can as long as there is no objective. It gets hard when they have to intentionally tear paper for a purpose. It requires fine motor skills combined with visual discrimination. So, I love a project where kids have to purposefully tear paper. This project would be a great math lesson for measurement. The kids could measure their strips of paper. Since they are organizing the strips of paper in order of length, they could easily order the measurements as well. This would help the really get a better understanding of comparing numbers. What an awesome visual representation!



Cubist Christmas Tree

This lesson gets students to draw Cubist-style tree. It is a great drawing lesson by itself. However, there are some great connections for measurement and geometry. I love this one because students always find success with the drawing part. It is simple to draw but the math connections are deep. When they can meet a high level of success with the visual aspect of a project, their confidence in the math can easily be increased simultaneously. 

Holiday Arts Lessons
This lesson also has an accompanying resource listed on Teachers Pay Teachers. 


Alpine Trees

These are just lovely. JUST absolutely lovely. I think these are worthy of standing on their own as a lesson, BUT if you need to integrate another subject, why not let the students write a fairy tale about a forest? That sounds like an amazing time to me!

From Painted Paper Art


Salt Dough Ornaments

Everyone loves a keepsake ornament that their child made. This is such a classic. Lots and lots of people are posting about salt dough ornaments, but you can add cinnamon to the recipe for a holiday aroma. Also, did you know there is some science behind this dough? Teach your students about physical reactions with this lesson.
Here's a little on the science aspect from Sublime Science. 

This is from Growing a Jeweled Rose and will walk you through how to make the dough.


Snowy Day

I love Snowy Day lessons. This one is my favorite because I've taught this what feels like a million times and have only good things to say about it. Kids love it. I love it. It is fun and includes writing. Kids love making fake snow for their art. This is another one of those projects that almost always turns out lovely. It is a confidence builder for kids for sure!

Holiday Arts Integrated Lessons
This post has an accompanying TpT resource available. Check it out.

That's all for this top ten list folks. I hope you can use some of these in your classrooms. Let me know if you do. I'd love to see pics!

Featured Post

See the Art of Europe with Me

Have you ever dreamt of visiting the Van Gogh Museum? Here’s your chance! I am super excited to announce that Cindy Ingram (the Art C...