#DSESRocks Family Art Night



My College buddy Ali runs a Children’s Art Foundation in the Central Valley. A few months ago, she posted an art project she was doing in her area #805Rocks. I knew it would be really fun for our Family Art Night.


I started looking in my yard for rocks but realized that it would be a huge task to dig up and wash a hundred rocks. I do have a rocky yard but whew digging and washing and sorting rocks AND planning for art night was just a little too big of a job! I opted for buying a bag of white rocks for about $13 from Home Depot.


I already had acrylic paint, a few paints pens, and some sharpies from past projects so I just had to buy some inexpensive paint brushes.


It was a lot of fun. We ended up having such a huge turn out that we ran out of rocks. A couple of teachers, the principal and I all looked around the school yard but there were few to be had. I suppose it might be a good idea in the future if I ask our PTA to do an interest survey to make sure we have enough supplies.


I look forward to seeing the posts with the hashtag on social media. I also hope the families paint and plant their own rocks in  our community.


Sock Puppets



Over the summer, one of my Boy Scouts built a really cool puppet theater (and a bookcase) for a kindergarten teacher at my school for his Eagle Project.


After talking to the classroom teacher, we decided to do a puppet making workshop. I brought out all my scraps of fabric and felt, buttons, bows, etc. and so did the classroom teacher. She asked students to bring in clean socks. They did not need to be new.


The 5th graders arrived first and I gave them the basic details of what we were doing. I showed them how the sock fit on their hands and told them to think about characters. I also asked them to help their kinder buddy be creative and reminded them that it was a project for the kinders.


It was great. We had a few parents on glue gun duty for kids that wanted immediate adhesion and had fabric tac and tacky glue  bottles on the tables.





Girl Scout Volunteer Conference


20170826_104247I’ve been a Girl Scout since I was 8. I loved it as a girl and when I had girls of my own, I became a leader and loved it just as much through two troops and at least 40 girls. My youngest daughter’s troop just graduated in June and we had a great 13 year run.


I LOVED this S.W.A.P. though I wish it said, “S.T.E.A.M.” instead of STEM 

I was asked if  I would do a workshop at the volunteer conference and I, of course, said yes. How could I not? Girl Scouts means a lot to me and for me it was a way to give back to a great organization. I packed up my rolling cart and was on my way!


For this workshop, I made a couple of gelatin plates and I brought some that were older.

I brought the supplies for the attendees to make paper bag books and do print making and collage. I also brought samples of all kinds of projects like letterboxes, carved stamps, weaving disks and plaster sculptures. I tried to think of things that that they could adapt for use in their troops when working on badges and service projects.


The conference was really informative with lots of excellent speakers and tables of information. Here are a few images. Of course, it would not be a Girl Scout function without the cookies! My favorites were the mandala with flower petals and found objects from nature and the painted rocks. The flubber station was good also.


Super Hero Day Camp


20170814_092310 (1)Last Spring, our librarian asked if I wanted to help her with Super Hero Camp. She has done the camp with different helpers for a couple of years. I of course agreed. What a treat to spend a week with some of my smARTest artists!


I primarily did crafts and she did reading and language arts activities. With her, they made accordion alphabet books, did crossword puzzles, described the inside characteristics and outside characteristics of superheroes and much more.

With me, they made parts for their costumes: cape, shield, gauntlets & masks.

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They drew themselves and split it in half to add their super hero side.


They made marshmallow launchers with plastic cups and balloons which we launched in a variety of ways. We talked about the science of launching the object and what happens when we pulled hard or gently. What happens when there is more than one marshmallow, which team could launch the most into a target, etc.


We blew bubbles on the playground so they could practice their superhero breath. Bubble and kids-whats not to love? They even got rid of kryptonite-using ping pong balls and spoons, with relay races to move the balls from one end of the team to the other.

I taught them camp songs which I changed the words to so they were superhero themed. They were split into two group for rotations so each team created a cheer with motions. They made superheroes and side kicks out of clothespins and vehicles from recyclables.

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My favorite was their creations out of recyclables. They made super hero vehicles. SO creative!

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This team made space for their clothespin character.

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Loved the flames and the ball turret underneath this one.


Our Friday finale was a parade to the preschool classroom. They put on all their gear and we walked over to the preschool and through the preschool class. So much fun.

I was so busy that I forgot to take my usual pile of photos. What a fun week. I hope to do it again next year.

Technology Goddesses


As you know if you have been reading my blog, I volunteer at Technology Goddesses Day Camp. It is held at a Girl Scout location here in my area. I started as Unit Leader working with a group of girls but found my niche working with Crafts.

This year we did some great mosaics


Painted with marbles-no tech


Painted with Sphero Robots-tech


Did some Tie Dye


Made things with circuits and LEDs  (this is last year’s bag but I LOVE that it says “maker camp”)


And even did some kumihimo weaving


I did not take as many pictures as I usually do. It was super hot and muggy all week at camp which always makes crafts a little more interesting. We’ve learned over the years that when the weather is really hot, elaborate crafts are not as appealing. Sometimes, it is just nice to be sitting in the shade of the porch with the fans on. Even with the heat, it was another great year of camp and crafts!

Kumeyaay Ollas



The third grade learns about the history of our community. Part of that history includes the Native American tribes that lived here before anyone else.


They often take a field trip to the Kumeyaay Interpretive center and see a replica of an Ewaa, grind acorns, paint rocks and learn about the tools, food, lifestyle and culture of these people.


To complement the study of the Kumeyaay, students created these paper pots. We looked at images of Kumeyaay pottery, learned how it was made and then cut out our ollas from paper. I do not have a kiln, so we cannot easily do clay lessons.


We also looked at images of petroglyphs and petrographs from our county. We learned that most of the Kumeyaay pottery was not decorated but did have fire clouds from the Raku firing process they used. We also learned that Kumeyaay pottery is still being made today.


I allowed the students to use images from pictographs and petroglyphs to add more color to their pottery if they chose to. They glued their finished pots onto simple backgrounds when complete.

Collaged Cupcakes



I met the other elementary art teacher from our district at the San Diego Museum of Art. Four of her students had this cupcake lesson chosen for the Young Art 2017: Beyond the Ordinary Exhibition. She mounted them on colored paper squares and grouped them together.


I think her students were grade three, I did this with my First Graders.



I thought it was a great way to use up some of the magazine donations and scrap paper we have accumulated.


I had my students color the background with oil pastel. I don’t typically use colored paper because it is difficult to estimate how much I need from year to year.






Oil Pastel Flowers



My Grade Two classes did these. They have a play that they do every year called “Going Buggy” This seemed like a good lesson to add to the bug lessons we have done in the past-bugs like plants after all.


I take out all the black pans from our watercolors to keep kids from painting every thing black because I do that, I try to find fun projects to do to use up the black paint.


Students were instructed to create either warm or cool colored flowers and then the centers were to be the opposite.


When finished, they painted black around the flowers.


Sailboat Silhouette



My students and parents LOVE this lesson. I do this one with First Grade. This year, I did the lesson with Grade 1 and the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Combo classes.


I think it always turns out great. The nice thing about this is if they make a mark they do not like, they can just color over it and it becomes a bigger boat or another sail. It also reinforces how to draw basic shapes.


This year, I had extra wide sharpies which made it easier for my students to color in large sails or large boats.



I think one key to success is to make sure the students go slowly around the outside and then they can move quickly when they are in the middle of the image.


Collage Bees


The kindergarten students study insects and they often have a beekeeper come and share what it is like to be a beekeeper and how we get honey. 55282272

He brings in the clothes, tools, pictures, empty hives, and honey. It really is fun for the students.


I did a project last year on black paper. This year, we did it on white.


They had a lot of fun collaging their bees and creating a background. As always, we did this in 30 minutes!


I think they are just so cute and have loads of personality.