Please Don't Eat the Artwork


Leave a comment

Some Happy News and Spring Break 2019 Recap

Greetings, readers!

I wanted to share my fabulous Southwest vacation with you. As you may know, I love to travel! I have been to Japan, Ireland, Italy & Greece, San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, and Israel. (Not to mention my undocumented yearly trips to Asheville and Savannah). I am so grateful to be in a profession in which I can travel and enjoy this wonderful wide world.

I am especially thankful for all of the adventures I have been able to go on right now because for the next couple of years my wanderlust will be put on hold. As much as I will miss spontaneous trips I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the reason for the hiatus is that I am going to be a mom!

We are expecting a little boy in August, 2019!

To celebrate our good news, my husband and I went on a ‘babymoon’ during spring break. We knew we wanted to go somewhere warm and in the U.S. and somewhere neither of us had even been so we decided on a Southwest road trip.

We flew into Las Vegas early on the first day. Once we picked up our rental car, we headed over to the Seven Magic Mountains art installation. Being in Las Vegas early paid off, there were only a few other folks around so we were able to really enjoy the artwork and get great pictures!

From there we headed over to Zion National Park in Utah. The massive rock formations were magnificent! We enjoyed a day of mild hiking and exploration of the park and stayed in the town nearby.

The next day we drove to Page, Arizona. I really enjoyed each of the drives during this trip. The scenery was so gorgeous.

We arrived in Page and went to Lake Powell for a canyon boat tour. We learned all about the geography of Glenn Canyon as well as the history involving the Navajo people. It was a fascinating tour on a beautiful day.

From Lake Powell we headed over to Horseshoe Bend. I was astounded by the beauty of this majestic place.

The next day, we drove to the Grand Canyon. I didn’t really know what to expect other than that it would be grand. I cannot even properly describe how magnificent the Grand Canyon is. The closest I can get is to say that looking into the Grand Canyon feels about the same as looking up at the stars. It fills you with gratitude for being a human being and having the power to enjoy such splendor.

Pictures truly cannot capture the glory of the landscape, you really have to go for yourself and see what all of the fuss is about – I am telling you, it is WORTH IT!

We decided to do one of the “easier” hikes called Bright Angel which is basically a 4 mile decline down into the canyon. Spoiler alert – it was not easy! Especially for two Atlanta hikers who are not used to the dry climate and insane inclines. We descended about a mile down before turning around and making the steep incline back up to the top. The view was spectacular!

We made it back up to the top just in the nick of time, I was craving an ice cream cone and got one right before the closed! It was the perfect sweet treat after hiking πŸ™‚

We randomly walked into a lodge and heard a last call for the sunset tour. We hurried to buy tickets and made it just in time onto the bus. The tour took us to several overlooks. Our tour guide showed us an ammonite fossil on one of the overlooks. It is 270 million years old! I found this completely mind-blowing – the fact that there is a fossil of an ancient sea creature at the top of the Grand Canyon.

The sunset was unimaginably beautiful, the way the the changing light dances over the rocky canyon cliffs and made the landscape subtly change was magical.

As much as I love my job, I am super envious of the park rangers who get to spend every day in a beautiful place like this. I hope to return one day and adventure further into the canyon, perhaps even camp and backpack through.

The next day, we drove to Sedona. We began our day with a walk around
The Amitabha Stupa and Peace Park. It was a serene place filled with a deep sense of peace that permeated through the air.

From there we went to do a hike that was recommended to us as “easy.” Spoiler alert again – it was not easy! But it was super fun and unlike any hike I have ever done before. The trail is called Soldier’s Pass and it takes you through a lush valley up into a cliff overlook. We enjoyed the plants and scenery which was so foreign. Living in Atlanta, we are used to southern, humidity-loving plants and in Arizona there were all kinds of Dr.-Seuss-looking weirdo plants. The trek was filled with great scenery of plants as well as the buttes and mesas that seemed to accompany us on our hike.

The next morning, we drove to Phoenix to hop on a flight home. We arrived in the city a bit early and a quick Google search of things to do pointed us in the direction of the botanical garden. I was so excited to see such a variety of cactus plants and southwestern species!

After a lovely stroll around the garden, we headed to the airport and back to Atlanta. I loved every second of this vacation and cannot wait for my next great adventure in August – being a mom πŸ™‚

❀ Mrs. K


Leave a comment

Warm & Cool Abstract Name Designs

I have a seen a bunch of versions of this on Instagram and Pinterest lately with all different variations in materials and style. I wanted to try it out with my 4th graders in between our clay unit and our stitching unit as a easy drawing and painting project. It was a huge hit!

Teacher Samples by Me πŸ™‚

The first day, we began by measuring the paper into sections and creating horizontal lines. Then students wrote their names in a way that filled up the space and traced over the lines with sharpie.

On the second day, we reviewed warm and cool colors. Students used Crayola Twistables to color in some of their shapes with either warm or cool colors. On the third day, they painted the remaining empty shapes with the opposite color scheme.

Nice work 4th graders!

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Geometric Quilts

Thank you ArtWithMrsNguyen for the fabulous project idea and step-by-step guide!

As soon as I saw this great project on Melinda’s website, I knew it would be perfect for my 2nd graders. On the first day, we followed the step-by-step guide to fold the paper. We used white oil pastels to create squares and triangles. Students discussed the concepts of “unity” and “variety” by comparing and contrasting a few project examples.

They could choose if they wanted to create a pattern to make artwork with unity or do random symbols and designs to create artwork with variety. Using oil pastels, students created designs in their triangles.

The next week, they used watercolors to carefully paint their designs.

The result is a charming geometric quilt design!

Fabulous work 2nd graders!

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Pop Up Houses

These fantastic little pop-up houses were inspired by We followed their tutorial but due to time only did one story instead of 2 for our houses.

Teacher Sample by MK

On the first day, students measured and cut to make the paper pop-up for the house. They draw a triangle or a trapezoid onto a separate piece of construction paper for the roof as well as a rectangle for the door.

On the second day, students designed the background, house, and yard with fluorescent oil pastels. We read the story “Home” and students were inspired by the different textures and details from the homes in the book. They were encouraged to think about the yard with a bird’s eye view (what would it look like if a bird was flying over and looking down at the house?) We added a path, plants, windows, trees, and a sky.

On the third day, students painted over their designs with tempera cakes. They were encouraged to use colors that contrast to really make their artwork pop.

Great job 3rd graders!

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Paintbrush Power

Fourth graders just finished up their sculpture collages. They look fabulous displayed in the hallway!

On the first day, I read “What If” to the kids. This story is all about different ways to be creative. We had a nice little discussion about how creativity isnt just drawing and painting, it can be dancing or cooking or building. Students were inspired by the illustrations to design a colorful background with a variety of lines and colors.

We used fluorescent oil pastels to draw lines and shapes and painted over it with tempera cakes. The kids declared that it looked like an art party!

The next day, we talked about sculpture. Students were reminded that sculpture is artwork that is 3D or pop-up. Students identified and described different sculptures that they have seen. Then, each kid got a neutral piece of construction paper that best matched their skin tone. They traced their hand and cut it out.

The paintbrush was super tricky to construct. I find that many of my students are lacking fine motor skills, even in 4th grade. I believe this is because they spend so much time looking at screens that they do not get to practice making things with their hands very often. The struggle was real but we got through it with a little perseverance and try-your-best attitude.

To make the paintbrush, students carefully rolled a piece of black construction paper into a cylinder. Then they added a little glue and had to hold it until it dried a bit. The paper kept wanting to pop apart so this was also an exercise in patience. Next, students cut fringe into a small brown piece of paper and wrapped it around the black tube, gluing it carefully. The last step was to wrap and glue a small bit of aluminum foil.

The hand and paintbrush were glued to the background on the 2nd day. On the 3rd day, students used a variety of colored construction paper to create more fun pop-ups in their design.

I love project and how is celebrates the power to creativity πŸ™‚

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Earth Weaving

3rd graders are finishing up their earth weavings. This project was inspired by @Mizzlee_art on Instagram.

We started by tracing a circle and painting the earth. Students used blue and green tempera cakes to paint the oceans and continents. They also painted a rainbow onto a separate piece of paper.

The next week, students cut out their earth circles and folded them in half. They used a ruler to make a mark every 2 inches. I went around and made the lines longer.

The unfolded paper creates a loom in which the rainbow lines can be woven. Students carefully made their lines go over-under-over-under to create a beautiful earth with a rainbow.

With a few minutes left at the end of class, students used their own bodies to weave! Some kids held strings while others went over-under-over-under.

This was a fun way to reinforce learning and get some wiggles out!

❀ Mrs. Katzin

Leave a comment

Rocket Ship Sculptures

Kindergarten kiddos are wrapping up their rocket ship sculptures. They were super fun to make!

I found a tutorial video and handy printout on This website has AWESOME resources!

We read the book Tiny Little Rocket and talked all about outer space. Then, each student received a black piece of construction paper and metallic colored pencils. Students created a shiny starry galaxy background.

I had copied the handout onto several colors of bright, neon card stock. Each student got a piece and used colored pencils to add little patterns and designs in each shape.

The next art class, we cut, glued, and assembled the rockets. Students were so excited to make them pop up by carefully folding or bending the paper. But the ultimate best part of this project was that students got to trade pieces with their classmates. This allowed them to create a rocket with a variety of colors. They loved this collaborative aspect!

Way to go kindergartners!

❀ Mrs. K

1 Comment

The Day You Begin

Grade 2 did a fab job withe these little portrait paintings!

On the first day, I read the book The Day You Begin. I got this story from the book fair earlier this year because the illustrations are gorgeous and the story is wonderful. It is about how everyone is different and when we listen to each other we can understand one another and even make a new friend! I knew right away that I wanted to create an art lesson to go with this book.

This illustration was the particular inspiration for this project:

After reading the story and discussing the ways in which each of us are different, I took a pic of each student holding a big book.

The next week, students cut and glued their picture to a piece of paper and used fluorescent oil pastels to create flowing lines of movement coming out of the book. Then, they used tempera cakes to paint right over the oil pastels. This made the artwork so vibrant!

These little portraits are so sweet, they are going to look wonderful displayed in the hallway!

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Fluorescent Cacti with Pom-Poms

This fun and fabulous project was inspired by @art_with_mia. This step-by-step project was pretty simple but it has a big wow factor.

We started off with a step-by-step drawing on 12×18 paper. Students drew the cactus shapes and added a horizon line and a sun or moon. They were careful to only draw a few detail lines so the next step would be easier.

After drawing with pencil, students traced over their lines with black tempera paint. They used their paintbrush to add spikes and prickles. The next week, students used fluorescent tempera paint to bring their compositions to life. After painting they glued on soft pom-poms. This lead to a great conversation about texture and contrast.

❀ Mrs. K

Leave a comment

Ceramic Cups

Spring Art Club kicked off with ceramic cups. This project was super fun and engaging. Students started off with a slab of clay. I am so grateful for my North Star Table Top Slab RollerΒ which I purchased with SPLOST funds last year. It makes rolling slabs a breeze! I rolled the slabs in the morning so they had some time to firm up before afternoon art club.

When the kids arrived, they wrapped a plastic grocery bag around a standard sized can. Wrapping the can keeps the wet clay from sticking. They carefully wrapped their slab around the bagged can and scratch-&_attached a slab bottom.

Next it was time to decorate the cups. The kids used coils, slabs, and pinching methods to design a creative, one-of-a-kind ceramic cup.

Usually I would let a large and dense clay project like this dry out for at least a week but we were kind of in a time crunch. Luckily, there was a nice sunny day the next day and I set the cups outside to dry. (pictured below with some second grade sundials)

I fired them veeeerrrrry slowly in the kiln and luckily there were no explosions. The kids were so excited to paint the next week!

These turned out super fantastic, they will be perfect for holding pens & pencils or other trinkets!

❀ Mrs. K