Comment Giveaway Contest for May...

The monthly comment contest (leave a comment and your email address for a chance to win. Winners will be announced the first day of each new month)
---Click HERE for the September Comment Contest!
---Click HERE to see previous winners and prizes!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September Comment Contest

Leave a comment for a chance to win a $50 Michaels gift card!

This months comment contest question is....

What does your classroom look like? Are you all set up and ready to go for this school year? Did you do anything different this year from last? Tell us about your art room. Bonus  Send in a photo of your art room and your entry will count 5 times!

If you are not a classroom teacher tell us about your studio or the space you create in. Send in a photo and your entry will count 5 times. 

Send classroom photos  to

*Each comment is one entry and you may enter as often as you like!
*Make sure you leave a good contact email--if you do not wish to leave your email publicly you may email me your email at:

*If you win you will be contacted by email, you have 30 days to claim your prize.

Today's Art Room Report...

Day 12...
Is it wrong to be missing the beach after the very first day of school? I love teaching and I love the first days of school but the beach is calling me. The older I get the more I miss it. 

I had a very uneventful day. I was not even sure what to write about. That is very strange for a first day? Car rider line went smooth, classes went smooth.....everything was great! Not sure if it's my new and improved attitude or everything just went really well? 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Diva Challenge 232....

Verne Foster's Diva Challenge 232....
I am so amazed by 
the colors! Great job Verne.

Today's Art Room Report...

Day 11...
Time flies when you are creating art.

I know this is blatant commercialism but the kids love it and it gets them talking about art. It is Visual Culture so it is part of our state standards. Yeah!

As the art teacher you have to get use to no one actually caring about what you are doing in your room, leaving you off the list when dividing up the other classroom teachers into groups, or voicing your thoughts at meetings. I mean, what we do is not tested or measured so we don't count---right? 

But when it comes to doing what is right by the kids and giving each and everyone of them a fair and equal art education you would think my voice mattered. It did not, and it was very painful. To be brushed off so callously by peers and administrators is harsh and hurtful and really not fair to the kids. Even if they did not agree with me they could have listened to my thoughts with an open mind.  

But I guess I should be use to it. I am a little more jaded by it now but I am not sure if I will ever get use to it. It's very had not to take it personally, I mean is it me they don't want to hear from or the "art" teacher. But it is the reality of most art teachers, especially at the elementary level so it is worth mentioning. 

On a positive note, my room is ready for the 1st day and I am so excited to see all the kids on Monday morning. I was not assigned a morning duty this was a strange feeling so I volunteered to do my old duty of car rider when the assistant principal said they were short one person. I should get brownie points for that right?  No points were used at the aforementioned meeting however.

Click on the Alligator Boat for more of Today's Art Room Report...

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today's Art Room Report...

Day 10...  

Today was Back to School/Meet the Teacher day. I love this day so much, it's not until May that I start to question my profession choice!  We have a lot of returning students and a few new faces this year. I get to hear "art is my favorite subject" a lot and that makes me very happy. I met a new 5th grader who said all his clay projects have been food each year. I let him know we are making clay masks. He seemed to be okay with that.  

I had another new student tell me "it's not much of an art room if it's this organized"!  Fortunately for me one of my art club kids was also in the room at the time and quickly let the new person know that "Mrs. Darter does not keep it this way very long"! Thank you...I think?

This is the Southwest quadrant of my room. So clean, and yes new student it will not stay this way very long. Give it a month and it will look like a real art room to you.

We got to go to lunch today as a team, so much fun. I would be a better teacher  if we could have hour and a half lunches with friends and then a 30 min nap before the second part of the day. I would also be a better teacher if I could wear yoga pants to school every day. And while I am on the subject we would all be better teachers if we only had 15 kids in a class. Just think of the learning possibilities.  However I am quite sure I will be able to wear yoga pants long before we ever have only 15 kids in a classroom. But would'nt that change the world?  Less kids in a classroom, less adults in jail. More kids going to college, more adults with careers.  


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Today's Art Room Blog...

Day 9...

Finished one of my 3 hallway bulletin boards today. I painted the abstract work on a different sheet of paper so I can remove it easily when the kids start putting up their work.  Everyone seems to like it so far or maybe they are just trying to spare my feelings?  I will have to finish the other two in the morning before open house. We only have 2 more days to do work in our rooms before the kids come back. I am so excited. This is the most clean and organized my room has ever been to start a new school year! And it only took 10 years to get here! OMG where did the years go? It absolutely does not seem like 10 years since I started teaching. Time truly does fly when you are having fun.

Do not ever go into the teaching profession if you plan to loose any weight! Between meetings with  food, kids giving your holiday sweet treats and eating your lunch in under 25 mins. flat (if you want to also get your mail and use the bathroom make it 20 mins flat) you will always be tempted to eat in a rather unhealthy fashion.  Right down to Fat Friday Breakfasts.

This morning it was Duck Donuts. I have never heard of this company before but everyone said it is  great. Since flour is one of the many things on an ever growing list I can no longer eat, I will have to take their word on it. However I was inspired to make clay donuts with the art club this year!

I finished the north west corner of my room. I seems like I am getter more done if I break it down into quadrants.  This is a photo of my art library, journal station and behind that is my paint station. Each table gets a colored box that corresponds with the table color. Inside, the box is filled with everything one needs to create a masterful art journal. Students are allowed to get their boxes when they complete their assignments.

I have discovered I am vitamin D deficient. The Dr. told me this and  that is how I discovered it actually.  This information has little to do with art but everything to do with being an art teacher. Because of the deficiency I can hardly hold my eyes open, I actually feel asleep at a red light the other day on the way home. My energy level is very, very low and my bones and joints hurt...all the time.  It is hard to be an elementary art teacher when your energy is low! The doctor has me on 50,000 units of Vitamin D and some calcium so hopefully this will help. However it seems like 50,000 units of anything is a very large amount to take of anything all at once! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Today's Art Room Report

Day 7...

Spent an amazing day with the elementary art teachers in Prince William County, Virginia.  We had our annual first of the year get together. I love being able to get together with everyone and catching up. Other than conference and the County show this is one of the only times we are all together. This year we have a new Director of Fine Arts and a new Visual Arts Coordinator. And both did just an awesome job today. One of our activities, after wading through all the important paper work and lesson planning review was to focus on how and were we come up with our lesson plan ideas. I get my ideas from everywhere. Sometimes it's the way a shadow falls on the floor or the colors in the carpet of a restaurant from a pattern or from famous works of art. 

Next we were given an envelope full of office supplies and asked to build the highest structure possible with only these materials. We could also not tape it to the table or the ceiling. But most importantly we could not talk to each other, we could communicate but we could not talk.

This is me putting the final touches on our tower

Ta Da!

I think they had more paper than we did....or they just used what that had better. Wow that is tall!

Team work in action here.

Love it but is that taped to the table? 

Love the loops at the end of this one.

This looks to me like an abstract giraffe and giraffes are very tall. 

This one was not so tall but very creative. Sometimes it's good to not follow the rules

The shape arrangement is great, I love that they went for form over height. 

Look how calm they are! They have the confidence in knowing it was well constructed, followed the rules and reached great heights. Nice job.

Aesthetic value is sometimes more important...

Next we were asked to restructure the tower, still only using the materials  in the bag but this time we could talk to each other.

But still could not tape it to the ceiling,

or the table, but wow that is tall!

They swear it was the tallest one. Maybe an earthquake disrupted it.

Fantastic strength and construction.

Very Creative.

Very tall!

Everyone deserves a second try...thanks for that one Jasmine!

We all need a little extra support sometimes!

Our little masterpiece! At first we were inspired by Banksy's Dismaland Park but then I just kept adding stuff on. It is for it's looks and not it's ability to be tall. That's the story we are going with anyway!

The art people received aprons and the music people received book bags. We all drew on them during the mornings meeting. We can't help it it's just the way our brains are designed!
A beautiful Zentangled Apron!!!

So lovely!

This is my work in progress...After cleaning out my studio this weekend I seem to have a lot of "works in progress"!

Then if all that was not enough, we got to work with clay! Diana Farris from Amaco clay instructed us to create 3 cups.

This project was based on the work  Three Cups 
Click HERE for the Amaco clay link for this project.
One is Save, one is Spent and one is Give

This is my Spending and my Savings cups. You will notice that both have great big gaps, which significantly limits their ability to hold any thing....I mean at all!

This is the Gifted and Talented table!

After the county art meeting, my school had Kindergarten night for the Suzanne Reading room. This is a time when the cute little K kids may come to school and meet their teachers and the Encore team.

In art we made squish bugs with googly eyes of course!

There was a fire truck the kids got to climb on and wear the fireman's hat. It was also blocking my way when I tried to leave. But a very nice fireman helped me back out and safely get on my way home. Where I fell asleep the second I walked in the door! Awesome day!