Small scraps and weekend links
Small Scraps

Small Scraps & Weekend Links

Totally Off-Topic

Guys. I am fearful for the future of our country. What. Is. Going. On. Here? I’m scared. I have so many thoughts and feelings about our Presidential candidates, I just, can’t. I can’t. And the thing that really gets me, is listening to my students talk about the candidates. Clearly they are repeating their parents opinions, I mean, what 1st grader is well versed in politics, but it is still sad. I have students who are afraid of having to leave the country if someone gets elected. It’s sad to think about how unwanted they must be feeling right now. How unwanted their parents are feeling. I’m sad, guys. I’m sad.

Small Scraps & Weekend Links

Photo-A-Day Challenge

I’m hosting a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram. Please join me. You can find the details here.

Art Teachers Hate Glitter Photo A Day

This Week’s High & Lows

      • We’re working on a school-wide art-based fundraiser right now, and while I have mixed feelings about it, it certainly does make planning and prepping SO easy. Which may explain this moment:

      • Another one of my students lost a parent this week. My heart breaks for these students who have to experience tragedy at such a young age.
      • I’m at that point in the school year when you start running out of basic supplies, like pencils and erasers, and you threaten your students and their first born child if they don’t respect the materials.

Weekend Links

Hope you have a great weekend! Don’t forget to follow Art Teachers Hate Glitter on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more behind the scenes photos, anecdotes and lesson ideas.

Product Reviews

Games in the Art Room: TAG the Art Game

I’m always looking for fun and engaging games to bring into my art room. I am a firm believer that art games can and should be used in the classroom. I think games are a great way to reinforce content and assess students on knowledge retention. Plus, they’re fun, and kids like playing games.

Let me start off by saying, I totally received this game courtesy of the inventor, Mollie Thonneson. I’m not in the least bit ashamed of this, because if people want to send me free stuff to try, then yes, sign me up! I mean, make it relevant. Don’t offer to send me graphing calculators in exchange for an honest product review, because that ain’t happening. Are graphing calculators still a thing? Mollie’s game, TAG the Art Game, on the other hand, totally relevant.

Games in the art room TAG review

I use a few games in my art room, some with more success than others. Remember that time I allowed my students to draw adult content pictures and nearly got fired? Okay, so it didn’t quite go down like that, but I’ll tell you what, I haven’t played that game since.

When Mollie contacted me about trying out her game, I welcomed the opportunity. I’ve been meaning to bring another art game into my classroom, and I had some Free Choice Art Days coming up on my calendar, the timing was perfect.

What is TAG the Art Game?

From the website, “TAG is a collaborative art game where players take turns painting, drawing, and collaging while they create an original piece of abstract art. TAG is played with cards, dice, art supplies and a color wheel. Plays are made by following a series of card prompts. The game ends when a ‘finished?’ card is drawn and all players agree the artwork is done.”

TAG the art game review

What’s in the box?

Glad you asked, Brad (I’m not the only one, right?). I received the TAG the Art Game without supplies version of the game. The box included instructions, a color wheel spinner, a die, and game cards. More on those later. You can also purchase this game with supplies, but since I have plenty of supplies on hand, I opted to receive just the game.

How do you play?

I’m not going to bore you with my half-assed attempt of an explanation. Watch the video. Understand? Okay, yeah, I’m not gonna lie, it seems a little, cumbersome, but trust me, it’s not as complicated as it initially seems. I tried the game with 4th and 6th graders, and they picked it up fairly quickly.

TAG the Art Game Review

How’d it go?

Really well. One student exclaimed, after a couple of turns had passed, “I have to get this game!” Overall, the students loved it, and said they would definitely play it again. From a curriculum point of view, I like that it meets some standards I have a difficult time covering in my classroom, including working collaboratively to make a piece of art and experimenting with materials. While the students and I enjoyed many aspects of the game, we did notice a few downsides.

The pros and cons

TAG the Art Game Review

Obviously there was a problem with the speed of the game. I noticed that students were often sitting and waiting while others were taking their turn, and as any teacher knows, downtime is never a good thing. Students tried to speed the game along by rushing each other or telling each other what they should be doing. It did require some intervention on my part, which I prefer not to do. That being said, when I test ran the game with my 6th graders, we solved the problem by allowing students to take their turns simultaneously. We also reduced the wait time by limiting the number of players to 3-4.

While observing the students play, I noticed that they were confused about how the Location cards worked. I had to explain to them a few times how they were to be used. I expected the students to have difficulty allowing others to mark up their work, but that wasn’t the case. They seemed to enjoy overlapping the different elements.

TAG the Art Game Review

I also expected the students to have difficulties being restricted to a limited color palette, but for the most part, they didn’t. I think some students actually need guidelines or boundaries and work more comfortably within them. We all enjoyed that you could use a variety of materials to play the game, which allowed students some choice in the materials they used. For example, they could choose watercolor paints or Tempera paints. Of course, this all depends on the materials you have on hand or that are provided with the game.

TAG the Art Game Review

Final Thoughts

We all enjoyed this game, and the students who played it were eager to play again. The students who opted out of initially participating in the game were later bugging me for a chance to play. Ideally, I would have a few sets in my room so that more students can play at a time. In a classroom setting, with time really being an issue, I would recommend limiting the number of players to 3-4. Younger students might need more guidance or supervision. I actually want to take this home and try it out with my four year old to see what we can make (I think the recommend age is 7+, but whatev’).

If you’re interested in purchasing this game for your art room, or home, it’s available from the TAG the Art Game website, limited brick and mortar stores, and from (affiliate) Amazon, Tag the Art Game (art supplies NOT included).

What are your favorite games for the art room? Let me know in the comments!

Small scraps and weekend links
Small Scraps

Small Scraps & Weekend Links

free choice art day

This Week’s Highs

  • I have been having “Free Choice Art Day” in my art room this week (and last). I have these days at the end of every quarter. I love these days, even though they tend to be a bit chaotic, but the students get so creative and they have a blast. I wish every day could be free choice day.
  • I had a parent of a 4th grade student tell me that her son is loving art for the first time. I have never had him in art before, and I am told he is expressing interest in drawing and other activities when he previously thought art was no fun. I do not have to tell you how great this made me feel.
  • Due to snow days and early release days, it has been quite awhile since I have seen my Kinders. When I saw them this week, they told me that they wish every day was art day. Love them!
  • I had my mid-year evaluation meeting with my principal and assistant principal. It went wonderfully. They were very complimentary and rated me “highly effective” in more than one area. They praised me on my handling of a challenging class and my rapport with students. Although I have been teaching for quite some time, it is hard for me to really know how I am doing, so it feels good to hear this feedback. And while I was flattered, I was also slightly insulted for our profession, when the comment was made that they wish they could take me out of the art room and put me into a general classroom. As if the art room does not deserve good teachers too. But I tried not to take it that way since I know they had the best intentions when they made the remark. But still, you know?

Free choice art day

This Week’s Lows

  • It seems like everything was due this week, SMARTR goal updates, grades, mid-year evaluations and self-reflections… it has been very draining.
  • I was hoping to have my classes back into the swing of things after our BIG blizzard, but we continue to be interrupted by assemblies, fire drills, fundraisers and assessments.
  • I had a sub in my room for 30 minutes while I was at my mid-year evaluation meeting, and I returned to a scene that can only be described as disastrous and chaotic. My room had not been that trashed since… ever.

warm hearts student work

Weekend Links

  • This interesting article discusses whether or not creativity is really as welcomed in the real world as we are led to believe. It’s a good read.
  • How many times have we seen this? Happens all the time. So annoying, but can anyone really explain why it bugs us so much? I can’t.
  • Someone transformed Van Gogh’s The Bedroom painting into a real room, now available on Airbnb.
  • Totally crushing on these shoes.
  • I love the use of color in this living room.
  • I did a variation of this lesson by Painted Paper with my Kinders this week, and the results were so adorable.
  • I made these warm hearts, seen on Art Projects for Kids, with my 1st graders. They were fun and very successful.
  • My recent attempt at controlling yarn tangles. It was very successful, until the sub fiasco I mentioned above.

Hope you have a great weekend! Don’t forget to follow Art Teachers Hate Glitter on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more behind the scenes photos, anecdotes and lesson ideas.