What to do with Early Finishers

What to do with early finishers in the art room

It’s funny how questions come in waves. I just received this question from a reader and within a week, I had two similar questions in my inbox. I guess there are some antsy kiddo’s in the art room this time of year! Here’s the question: Does this sound familiar? I know it does because every teacher experiences this no matter what subject they teach. Children are different and they respond … Read More →

Watercolor Techniques: a 6th grade experiment

Children experiment with watercolor techniques. From DSS

Building up to my sixth grade student’s big unit on watercolors, I wanted to remind them of the various ways in which they can use watercolor paint.  Even though I use watercolors in every grade level and I have taught these children since first grade, it never hurts to remind the children, through their own experiments, of the unique qualities of watercolors. To begin, each student received a 12″ x … Read More →

Smart Classroom Management Interview


We all long for the ultimate art room experience: a classroom full of respectful students and hitting the sweet spot between artistic expression and a controlled environment. Can this happen on a regular basis? If you asked me on Monday, I would have said absolutely, but after a few high-energy classes yesterday that left me a bit drained, I’m here to say that classroom management is an on-going pursuit. But … Read More →

How I’m using my Curriculum Workbook

Art Teacher's curriculum workbook

After launching my Art Teacher’s Curriculum Workbook last July, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy the pages as you would; dreaming up my art curriculum, recording last year’s successful projects (and not-so-successful ones), drilling down on the projects I need to do and ones that I want to try. Some of those who have purchased the workbook like to keep the files on their computer and plan from there, but … Read More →

Creating a Rainbow-Video

How to mix paints for Kid's art projects

A reader asked me how to mix paints the way I do for my art lessons. She asked for a recipe, but I’m afraid to say there really isn’t one. This video shows how I mix paints for my art projects. Of course, not every project requires this amount of prep, and in many cases, its best to let kids mix their own paint colors. But sometimes it helps to … Read More →

Seeking PTA, Art Docent and Home-School Art Curriculum Advice


A while back, I had a request from a reader asking if I’d ever consider making a curriculum for a PTA art program. The kind when an art volunteer (AKA: parent) picks up a lesson plan, gathers a few supplies and delivers a lesson for her child’s class. I know exactly what she meant as this is what I did for many years before I began teaching art. The teacher … Read More →

Painting Tips for Kinders and PreK


I have three Kinder classes this year with one of the classes being considered a Transitional Kinder combo. What does this mean? In California, Transitional Kinders are children who are not yet 5 years old before September 1st. They may be enrolled in Kinder but it’s likely they will take another year of Kinder before enrolling in 1st grade. I think I have that right. Basically, it means I have … Read More →