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Origami crane ornament

Christmas in July! Origami Crane Ornaments

Stu­dents love to bring home these exquis­ite origami cranes to hang on their Christ­mas tree! I make these with my 5th & 6th graders, and even though this is not a begin­ner level project, every year I have at least one stu­dent with a pas­sion for origami who already knows how to make them! While these cranes are chal­leng­ing, they’re […]

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Love and Logic Teacher-isms

Teaching with Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom” by Jim Fay and David Funk

If you’ve ever felt stressed by class­room man­age­ment, you need this book… Teach­ing with Love and Logic: Tak­ing Con­trol of the Class­room by Jim Fay and David Funk. It may sound corny to say that this book could change your life, but it very well might! When I first started out as a new teacher, I felt woefully […]

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Berry Thumbprint People Cartoon

How Full Is Your Bucket?

The books that inspired this les­son have noth­ing to do with art, and the illus­tra­tions were not what attracted me! What I LOVE about these books is their mes­sage. And what bet­ter way to drive home a great mes­sage than with a fun art les­son??! Inspired by a bul­ly­ing episode at my school, I saw […]

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6th Grade Portfolio Project — Follow Your Star!

I’m espe­cially excited about my 6th grade port­fo­lio project! This project is inspired by an amaz­ing book by author/illustrator Peter Reynolds, who cre­ated the clas­sic children’s books “The Dot” and “Ish”. This poten­tially life-changing book, “The North Star”, is so spe­cial, it even has it’s own web­site! (Check out this site for fun activ­i­ties for […]

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Grade 5 Portfolios — Collecting Words

 I LOVE kids’ books!!! I just dis­cov­ered a great new book, titled “Max’s Words” by Kate Banks. While this book doesn’t have a spe­cific art theme, it inspired me to cre­ate a port­fo­lio project for my 5th graders based on WORDS. Kids LOVE to col­lect things. I learned this from per­sonal expe­ri­ence, with a daugh­ter who collected […]

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Grade 4 Portfolios — “Ish” Drawings

There are lots of won­der­ful children’s books avail­able today, but “Ish” by Peter Reynolds stands out as one of my all-time favorites. This is a story that every­one (kids and adults!) can relate to.… in fact, it’s so influ­en­tial that I can lit­er­ally see a “before and after” effect each time I read it to […]

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Grade 3 Portfolios — The Shapes and Colors of Joy

Matthew’s Dream”, by Leo Lionni, is my inspi­ra­tion for our third grade port­fo­lio project. In this charm­ing fable, a boy named Matthew vis­its the museum with his class­mates and is entranced by the paint­ings he sees there. That night Matthew has a mag­i­cal dream which helps him to see the world around him in a […]

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