Saturday, 7 April 2018

Do What Makes You Happy

Today I am sharing an artwork that I have created that is an art lesson for my Year Three students. We followed the two tutorials demonstrated by Dina Wakely which look at how to sketch a face followed by how to paint it. Dina is a designer with Ranger who creates artworks that use mixed media techniques.

The challenge for the children is that they find it difficult to 'let go'. Mixed media and creative representations are a new direction for them as they like to create things that aesthetically look like the subject. By having a finished artwork, I am hoping that my sample will assist in overcoming this and allow them to become creative and enjoy the process.

Here are some close ups.....

After I had sketched and painted by face I added some mixed media touches using stamps and stencils.

Dina suggests to write a word that describes 'your girl.' I stamped a sentiment to capture a feeling instead.

I used Distress oxide inks and stencils by Tim Holtz plus stamps by Kaisercraft to complete my background.

This lesson was really fun to complete. My recommendation is to use a manageable size piece of paper and enjoy the process!


Paper: Neenah White 80ib cardstock
Paint: Kaisercraft white, dusty pink, red, turqoise, pale beige and Monte Arte raw umber
Paint brushes Kaisercraft
Ink: Ranger Archival Jet Black Ink, Distress Oxides twisted citron and walnut stain
Tim Holtz Stencil Clockwork and Latticework
Derwent Academy watercolour pencils
Stamps: Kaisercraft Miss Betty and Butterflies

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Free PYP Learner Attribute Stickers

It's the holidays! While I am enjoying a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, I have been busy creating a freebie to share. I bought a Silhouette Cameo 3 for my crafting and have used it for several projects and organisational needs but now that I have some time I have made some stickers for school.

Included are all of the ten learner attributes all on one A4 sheet. This can be printed onto a sheet of white sticker paper to be punched out with a round punch, cut out by hand OR cut with a Silhouette Cameo. I have provided links for both options below.

This is a printable file intended for personal use only.

Download PDF file here.

Download Silhouette file here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 30 September 2017

City Skyline Watercolour Silhouette

Hello everyone! I hope you are having a great day. Today I would like to share a watercolour background technique that I saw Jennifer McGuire share. It's easy to create and the effects are really spectacular.

This technique/project is a lesson that will be shared with my Year Three class as part of our unit of inquiry. The central idea is:
Structures are influenced by design and purpose.

This activity will create a great link to the children's understanding of the central idea.

Before I created the project, I had a go at the technique. 

I left the papers to dry overnight (it was late when I did this so they dried for approx six hours). The cling wrap detached from the background and the effect was amazing! The verdict is you need a lot of water initially so that the cling wrap can create the lines on the watercolour paper.

I have a video tutorial below, showing how to create the silhouette and also demonstrating the technique.


Faber Castell watercolour paints, Tim Holtz Cityscape Skyline, Monte Marte watercolour paper pad A5, Cling Wrap.

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Calming Corner

Hello everyone. It's been a while since I have shared a post. I have a few things that I want to share and I will do very soon. This is part one of two blog posts that I am going to share about a space that I have created in my classroom. It is a combined area for my students to use. It is a reading area and also a calming corner. It is a space designated for students to go where they can calm themselves when they are stressed, angry etc before they resume and rejoin the class. It is not a big area but large enough for up to four students to use.

I used an Ikea hack as part of my design plan. For any Australian teachers reading my post, the cubes are from Target. They come is sets of two which gives you flexibility in moving them around the room or to another classroom should I change rooms next year. The cushions and the rug are from Kmart. I wanted a homey feel and soft furnishings create that.

The first cube is designated as the calming cube. Inside are the strategies and tools the children can access. The other three are designated for books.

Each time a student uses the calming corner, they record their name and the date inside this book. This is inside the cube. It helps me keep track of the students who use it and also for me to collect data that may assist me in  planning any social skills that the children may need.

Inside the cube I have an egg timer to time the amount of time they should stay in the calming corner, laminated social stories on a ring and also some calming strategies also laminated and on a ring. I also have two kaleidoscopes as well.

I have had these books for a very long time. These books are also available in the cube for the children to read while they are calming down. Sometimes I read them to the whole class.

As the term has progressed and the students have used this space, I have updated and changed how the space is used. I will share this in my next blog post very soon.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Setting Up Spelling City For the First Time

This video will assist you in setting up your Spelling City activities. Things explored include:
  • adding students
  • creating groups
  • adding lists
  • types of activities
  • tracking student progress
Once again, I apologise for the sound quality.

Thanks for stopping by!

Spelling City Overview

I have a short video that outlines a program that I have found useful in my class for assisting students with spelling. Spelling City is a program that enables teachers to personalise spelling lists for students as well as group students and track their progress. This program is available on a few platforms including PC, Mac, iphone, iPad and andriod. My next post will have more details in how to set up students and create groups.

My apologies for the sound quality. This is the first time that I have filmed a screen recording and I will need to purchase a more suitable microphone!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Gift of Giving

In term two the weather becomes colder and I like to teach the children a new craft, one that has always been popular - French Knitting. I have two types of looms, handmade and store bought. I find out out if any of the children have any experience so that they can help me train up a few children at a time. It's a bit rocky at first but after a few days, the ball get rolling and the wool gets moving! The longest part is casting the children on as they are all eager to start knitting and make something.

The reason why French knitting is so popular is that it is portable, repetitive and simple once you get the hang of it. You can have conversations and it is very relaxing. The children can also make their own looms and knit at home. While the children were knitting one morning I overheard some of their conversations:

"I want to make a necklace....."
"I want to make a new headband...."

It got me thinking...could we make something for someone else for a change? Could we use our new skills to create for someone in need?

I raised this question with the children and they agreed. We would combine our French Knitting to make a blanket and give it to a someone who needed it...give it to the night patrol and allow them to hand it over to someone who is homeless. This act of kindness reinforces our College values and at the time supported the acts of kindness/justice our campus was promoting at the time. This activitiy also implements PYP action.

We quickly worked out some dimensions for our rug and decided that one metre lengths would be required. Using masking tape, we created a square metre on the floor of the classroom to define the finished size of the rug. Once the children started to knit, they could measure their knitting alongside the mock rug before having their work cast off. Once a few children completed their knitting, we measured again to calculate how many strands we would need and how many each child would need to make. We had a plan and now we just had to knit away!

To finish of the blanket, I crocheted some granny squares and crocheted a border around the outside.

We certainly hope that the blanket brings comfort to someone. It took a long time make, but it was certainly worth it.

Below are the links for my French Knitting Tutorials

Thanks for stopping by!