Tag Archives: STEAM

Colonial Whirlygigs


Grade 5 learns about the Colonial Period and I like to link my art lessons to classroom curriculum when I can. This lesson brings together several areas of learning into one lesson. It is a great STEAM lesson as well because of the motion and the math of a measuring a circle.


In years past, I have used donated cardboard and we had parent helpers cut the discs.


This year, I had some funds in my Artsonia account and used those to purchase round cardboard from Amazon.


Students decorated both sides of the disc. Then punched 2 holes 1-2 finger widths apart in the center of the discs. I had them measure the center and we talked about how we measure circles which tied in to their recent math lesson where they measured the tether ball courts on the playground and learned about pi.


The hammer and nail punching was not necessary with this year’s soft corrugated cardboard but last year, we used donated ram board and that stuff is hard so hammer and nails were a necessity. The kids love trying new tools so this was a way to teach them about and to use a hammer and nails.


I showed them how to string a piece of thread through the discs and tie them off. Then I show them how to make them spin. The students had to do something colorful on one side and the other side could be their choice.


If you make these, be sure to leave time to play at the end of class. My students really enjoyed playing after creating.





NAEA Spark Convention 2014



This was a favorite poster at the NAEA Convention. It was from the Art of Education booth.

I have only been to one local art teacher’s convention so NAEA Spark 2014  was a first for me. At this convention, there were so many sessions to choose from that it was overwhelming. I went to several that had lots of good information. I enjoyed meeting other teachers and trying out the new products from the different vendors.

I met a wonderful teacher who did a session on Augmented Reality. She uses an app called Aurasma which I can’t wait to try. She brought samples of student work and was so nice. She even offered to meet with me but I was not able to stay for Monday’s events.

I learned that California  Arts Educators have an event coming up in the fall in Irvine.


Faber Castell had a make and take mask with a photo booth. I used a product called a Gelato. It is an amazing pigment stick. They are so smooth and the colors are really bright.


Copic had  samples there and told us that their markers are refillable! I have a small set that I use for my personal art but they would not be a budget friendly item for elementary art.


Dick Blick had a gigantic display with a feather project and a glow in the dark paint project. Both were nice projects.


The pens were really fun.


They also had lots of art lesson samples.


Michael’s had a super fun community canvas painting project using their acrylic paint pens.  The completed paintings were pretty.


Hiep Nguyen and his circle painting session was good. I have admired his work for several years. His course would be a good one to add to an art teacher’s toolkit:  “Art for All, All for Art”

The last session I attended was about turning STEM into STEAM. It was great and had lots of good information on how to bring technology into the art classroom.