Sharpie Wielding Six-Year-Olds

I really believe students will live up to your expectations – if you expect great things, they will show you that. If you expect a room full of chaos – they will show you that too.

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A kindergartener using a sharpie

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A sharpie wielding kindergarten artist

With this in mind, I took a chance and used permanent markers with kindergarten and first grade. And they rocked it!

We read the book, Look! Look! Look! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. After showing students step by step how to draw a cartoon mouse (and explaining it was ok if their mouse looked different from their neighbors) in pencil, they outlined them in sharpie and finally added watercolor. I dread the cookie-cutter, pinterest-y perfect art project. To avoid this I let students add any accessories – clothes, glasses, fur, food, etc. to their mouse. They also chose their own colors.

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Superhero Mouse

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Yay watercolors!

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Students painting their mice.

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Exploring with watercolors

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This mouse had bat wings

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Ok, ok, there was ONE class that just wasn’t ready for sharpies or paint – no matter how great my expectations were.

Check out my responsible artists!

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Maternity Leave in the Art Room

A short seven weeks ago, I was running around my classroom finishing up prepping for maternity leave. Frantically photocopying, finishing power points and furiously organizing supplies. This is partly because I am a notorious procrastinator and partly because I wanted everything to be perfect. I left that evening with the cleaning crew – pretty satisfied my kids (and classroom) would survive twelve weeks without me.

A few days later my daughter Maya was born.

I made this!

Mommy and Maya

It was an emotional whirlwind of exhaustion and joy. As each of my friends asked how motherhood was all I could come up with was a lame, “everything is different”. Trying to describe the first few weeks of parenthood is like trying to describe the color blue to a person with no sight. I recently read a quote by the artist Sarah Walker in an article about motherhood changing your brain that came kind of close. She said, “becoming a mother is like discovering the existence of a strange new room in a house where you already live”. So, it’s kind of like that. And like being in love while severely sleep deprived.

So for the next few weeks, this love-struck, bleary eyed parent will be sharing fabulous art projects we did in the classroom  but that I never got around to posting.