How to "Pin" it.

What better way to start Thanksgiving then by "pinning".
So I was "pinning" this morning when I kept stumbling upon a very erky situation that many of my fellow artsy pinners make. I saw a fabulous idea and clicked on the pin only to find myself on the correct blog or website, but not on the post or article I actually wanted… This really erks me. 

Here's how it's done:

"Wow, this is a fabulous idea. I must pin this."
DON'T hit that pin it button yet! 

First, take a look in the address bar. If it is just the website address with no extras then you will only pin the site and not the particular post or article.
 "What does that mean?"
It means that when someone clicks on this pin a month from now to pin it for themselves, it will only lead them to the website, which may have written newer posts or articles, and not the EXACT post or article you wanted. Leaving them helplessly searching to find that picture that we were inspired by. 

"So how do I pin the post or article?"
I'm glad you asked. First, click on the post or article title.
 Notice what happens in the address bar? You are now only on that post or article. 
 "Oh, I see. Now can I pin it?"
Yes, pin away! 
"So, how do I know that the pin I'm about to pin from pinterest is correct?"
Always check before you pin. Click on the pin and look for the things explained above. Unforuntaley, if the pinner didn't pin the exact post or article you may be left searching… Then have to follow those steps again. 

Following these simple steps will insure that not only will you be able to get back to that fabulous idea a month or two from now, but so will your followers. 
Happy Pinning!! 

A big and tall bird told me...

   A big and tall bird the other day told me I needed to get back to blogging. Thanks Mr. E, it was the kick in the tail I needed. 

   I've been reluctant to blog lately because of many things, but that is no excuse. Because there technically is so few resources out there for art educators, it's up to bloggers and pinners to spread the paint so to say. My friend Whitney Duncan (a fellow art eddie) told me just yesterday at our PD that it's unfortunate how few resources there are for middle and high school art teachers. Don't get me wrong, there are GREAT ones out there. Take Art of Apex High School  and Artful Artsy Amy for example, and don't get me started with pinterest. There still are not enough. 
   THough I am still saddened to be leaving my elementary followers, I hope you do still continue to follow my blog. Much of my management has not changed. It's just been modified. A lot has been happening this first semester so expect to see more posts over the holiday breaks. 

   I'd like to start off with an awesome moment from yesterday. I awoke so excited for our county's art teacher professional development. Why, you may ask? Because leading our PD was non-other then Ted Edinger. YES! Art With Mr. E and is awesome friendister Janet Malone! 

   We began by going over our state's new portfolio evaluation for fine arts teachers. I won't go into the details here, but you are more then welcome to read about them yourself… HERE. What I will say about it is that TN has woken up and realized that teachers from different subject areas need to be evaluated differently and we are so excited to be starting this process. 
   Then after many great examples and questions about the portfolio came the fun stuff!! We got to make a project with shrinky dink (aka Grafix Shrink Films). All you need is half a sheet or 1/4 sheet of the stuff, draw on it with permanent markers, color with wet chalk, punch a hole in it, cook in toaster oven, and Ta-Da!!! You have an ornament, pendant, earrings, whatever!! It is awesome and sadly the first time I'd ever used the stuff. 

   We then went to have a lovely lunch at the local favorite Mt. Pleasant Grille. If you ever come to the small town of Mt. Pleasant, TN you must go there. It was so packed that our whole 12 person party had to split up amongst booths. Not even a short power outage slowed this place down though. Their homemade ice cream is simply amazing as well. Wish you could have been there to hear the crazy animal tales we all shared...
Thanks @whitleah for letting me use your pic. 
   We ended the day with more amazing examples for the evaluation portfolio and a final project. Ugly Dolls which you can find on Mr. E's website. I unfortunately don't have any pictures of my ugly doll. 1. Because I was enjoying the process too much to take a picture and 2. Because when I sat my bag down in the floor when I got home, the little guy tumbled out, and my two puppies thought it was for them… It was quick and painless I dare say… 

   I want to finish up by saying a HUGE thank you to Mr. E and Janet for one of the best PD's we have had in a long time. I came away with a better since that I was on the right track for my evaluation. We really do hope you are able to come back again. Oh, and I promise to keep blogging. ;)


High School… The beginning

    As my loyal followers know, I have made the switch from elementary to high school. It has been quite a whirl wind. To begin, I was hired to teach high school visual arts I. Two weeks before school started the 2nd art teacher had taken a job closer to home. I was floored and saddened because she is such an awesome person and I couldn't wait to work with her. She was also part of the reason I wanted to work there, but I totally understand why she decided to leave. We're still tight and she's a great mentor. That being said, I made the decision to take on the advanced classes art II, III, and AP instead. 

Me in my first official CHS faculty shirt.
   I know… wow! I have to admit that I panicked inside. My husband and I both knew that there would be tears and panic attacks. Yep, there were plenty. I'm not ashamed. "My name is Becca Ruth and I have panic attacks." Why was I panicking? Well, it's my alma matter and I am following in the footsteps of some pretty amazing art educators. Plus, I was coming from elementary to high school. I had student taught HS and it was amazing, but still. 
   My husband has been so supportive. He kept telling me that the reason I was panicking was because I wanted to do my best. I was working and pushing myself so hard to create a good classroom design, management plan, and lessons. "You're gonna kill it." he said. "You always do." I am not a perfectionist, but I research and plan my booty off to give my students the best. Well, that and I had a huge research paper due for one of my grad classes the first week of school. I also saw flashbacks of my first year of teaching. You know, "that year". The year we grow into our aprons. The year that we cried every day on the drive home. The year we lost or gained some weight through the process. I did not want to relive that year.
   Then an amazing thing happened. After my first full day with my classes it was like a weight had been lifted. My lessons went well, the students were exceptional, and nothing went wrong. It was like that the whole first week, and the week after that, and the week after that. I started to remember why I wanted to teach high school to begin with. I love the advanced classes. They want to be there, to be challenged, and learn. They work so hard. I could not have asked for a better first semester. So far so good. 
   I promise to blog more, but until then here are some snap shots of my first month at Columbia Central High School. 

Candy and Composition
Prisma Colored Pencils

Cube Yo' Face
oil pastel
 Analogous Still Life
Oil Pastel
Art II


To open a new door, you must close another.

As my followers may recall, two years ago my husband and I packed up and moved back home. I had to leave my first teaching job and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do
That door closed and a new one opened
I loved my second school at Mt. Pleasant Elementary. The staff is made up of some of the finest people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. We were a family and worked as a team. Being a Title one school never let us down. Our family art nights are so much fun and the parents and students rally around the art program. The administrators are two of the most understanding people and have been a pleasure to work for. The faculty was there for me when my father battled and survived cancer and their prayers were there again when my uncle started his treatment. If you ever needed anything, they were there. They even awarded me "New Teacher of the Year" (with 5 years or less experience) for our school. I went on to be awarded "New Teacher of the Year" for the county. 
So when the art position at my alma mater Columbia Central High School opened up, a lump caught in my throat. Why the lump? Well, it all started 12 years ago when I walked into Bettye Kinser's art room. I loved art and Mrs. Kinser made it so much fun. My love of art grew as I moved on to art two with Mrs. Carrie Lancaster, and flourished with Mrs. Kinser again in advanced art three and four. I even got to leave my mark on CHS as did all senior artists by painting a brick on the wall.
CHS is where I decided what my career path would be. As I began my student teaching I hoped that I could teach at CHS with Mrs. Lancaster and Mrs. Kinser, but they would not allow you to student teach where you were taught. 
I had the rare opportunity to student teach at two high schools. Santa Fe Unit School (Pre-K - 12) and Spring Hill High School. 

By the end of student teaching I was hungry for a job teaching high school, but God had other plans. So, when the job posting went up in May, I just had to try. I talked with my principal who had nothing but kind words and understanding for my decision to apply at CHS. 
After interviewing, I got the call a week later and was asked if I would like to accept the art position at CHS. I did. After I hung up the phone I cried tears of joy and tears of sadness. You see, it was a win win for me either way. If I hadn't gotten the job I would have continued to be That Little Art Teacher that teaches elementary art at one of the best schools. If I did I would be teaching where my love of art began. So I cried that I would now be teaching at the place that fostered my love of art and I cried because I would be leaving MPES.  
So, I close this elementary door, and I walk through the doors of high school art. 
I have now packed up "my stuff" and said my goodbyes. Am I excited? Yes! Am I nervous? Oh yes, but I know I can do it. It will be challenging, but that's what makes life fun. Change is hard but it is also good. 
Don't worry loyal followers, I will take you on this transitional journey with me. I will still make elementary posts here and there, but until next time please enjoy some of my highlights from my last two years of elementary. 

Goodbye room :(


Elementary Art Sub Plans

I hate being gone because you feel there is 10x more to do when you get back. I hate that feeling of "Oh no! I need to call so and so to have them set stuff out for my sub!" if you weren't prepared to be out. I hate keeping track of what plan this or that class did and making sure not to do the same activity twice. I hate searching for handouts and making copies for sub plans. I hate the "sub tub" because half the time even when I sat it out in my chair the sub never looked at it. I hate, I hate, I HATE!!!

So I made an easy "leave it on the desk" sub plan.
All you need is a folder, page dividers, your plans printed out, and a routine already established.
Before I begin, let me say some of you are not going to want to try this plan. As I stated above, you need a routine already established with your classes. My plan is simple and it is a routine that my Pre-K and Kindergarten classes already do and what my 1st - 4th grade classes do each time they finish a project. 

I bought a plastic folder that I hope will last FOREVER and I have it clearly labeled. I sits under my plan book on my desk at all times. When I pack up my plan book at the end of the day the sub book is sitting on my desk ready to go if need be.
My dividers are set up in the following order:
Procedures and Rules
Pre-K and K
1st - 4th 

Below is a link to my EXACT plans. Feel free to use them and change them up to your liking. 

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