Thursday, October 22, 2015

Twenty years from now

Sailboats Under A Tree $185

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

This quote is most often attributed to Mark Twain, but he didn't say it!  We don't know who did, but it is really good.

What will you be disappointed you didn't do?

Go do it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Tis the Season

It's that time of year when teachers need lots of little gifts for hostess gifts, coworkers, parent volunteers, stocking stuffers, and the list just keeps going.

Never fear!  You can take care of all of the needs with my handy little creations.  I have an assortment of goodies that are available for between $5 and $25.

I have my new hand sewn mini journals:  Write your own story mini journals are HERE

I still have many of the Summer of Inspiration Original and Affordable watercolors HERE.  {These guys start at $20, and they become less expensive the more you buy!}

Brave Inspiration Card Decks--54 of my favorites from Summer of Inspiration.  They are perfect for a desk or computer keyboard!  Available HERE

I even have original acrylic paintings in 4x4 canvases for only $20.  You will find them in the Brave Art Gallery and Shop HERE.  {I will continue to add images of more inspiring mini canvases, so check back!}

The Brave Art Gallery and Shop offers convenient online shopping HERE.
If you are in my area you can arrange to visit my studio and see all the pieces that are available and save on shipping.

A huge THANK YOU and deep gratitude for support this teacher artist and other artists!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Seasonal art

Even if you can't find much time for art at least once a quarter make some seasonal art.  Fall is a great time to start because pumpkins and gourds make wonderful still life.  You can see some drawings that some kids started one year here.

I love art as a process so I would do several quick 15 minute sessions.  Here is what I would do:

Plan to model each of these for one or two minutes.
1.  Sketch the still life with pencil
2.  Trace around the objects with crayons.
3.  Add color with watercolor paints.  {If you don't have paints, crayons or color pencils will work nicely.  This would be a lovely way to teach kids to use several colors together, working lightest to darkest.}

Need a reason to justify season art?  Write poetry or seasonal narratives, and display them together.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

NEOEA Play Day

If you're in my local area then you may have this Friday off of school for Professional Development.  If you don't already know what you're going to do, I am delighted to invite you to spend your morning with me creating.

We will meet at the intersection of Personal Development and Professional Development

October 16, 2015 {Have fun and play all morning!}
9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. {Mind/Body/Spirit}
Art Center on Tusc  {571 W. Tuscarawas Ave.,  Barberton}

Planned activities I look forward to sharing {Yoga, Intuitive Painting, Nature Walk, More Painting, Inspiring Projects for yourself or your classroom}

Wear comfy clothes
$40/ includes yoga class and all creative project supplies and materials--pay at the door, but RSVP HERE now
{I must have at least 5 participants so bring all your teacher friends!}

I'm looking forward to sharing a great day filled with courage and creativity!

Brave Teacher Mim

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

28 Uses for a Single Sheet Eight Page Booklet

I love having kids create their own learning.  It takes much more time, but it's so worth it.  One of my favorite little tools is a little booklet made from a single sheet of paper.  These are probably too small for students under third grade, but from there on up the uses are limitless.

Here is a little video to show you how to make two different styles of the little book:

And I came up with 28 ways that popped into my head for using this book.  I bet you can think of tons more.  If anything comes to mind, please add it in the comments.

How many uses can you think of for a little 1 sheet eight page booklet?

  1.  Record daily temperature or weather
  2. Answer a daily word problem/number story
  3. Write a story using spelling words
  4. Make a comic book using spelling words
  5. Write spelling words in different fancy fonts
  6. Use spelling words in sentences
  7. Word of the day--each booklet could contain 7 words with a “chapter” title page for the theme of those 7 words
  8. Create “How to” process books ie How to make chocolate chip cookies
  9. Use to record steps of scientific method for a science experiment or demonstration
  10.   Record ways to make the number for that day of the school year.  If it’s the 25th day, use 25 tally marks, a quarter, 5 x 5, 20 + 5, twenty-five, etc.
  11.   Make a comic book or what you are studying in any subject
  12.   Retell a story
  13.   Make a timeline
  14.   Make a little magazine collage on each page
  15. Use to show examples of a grammar concept--Write sentences and highlight all the nouns or all the adjectives
  16.   Make lists of words that can be used instead of overused words
  17.   Make a book on a topic of study for a younger student
  18.   Record growth over time--i.e. from egg to butterfly
  19.   Examples of good study habits
  20.   Examples of kind behavior at recess
  21.   Write a story on any topic
  22.   Record favorite quotes
  23.   Write a recipe
  24.   Record definitions for vocabulary words
  25.   Illustrate vocabulary words
  26.   Make a multi-page card filled with good wishes (ie what you wish for mom on Mother’s Day)
  27.  Use the booklet as a final assessment at the end of a science or social studies unit.
  28. Incorporate into science notebooking

Monday, October 5, 2015

I totally love story stones

Material:  Sticker and gems or rocks

Two little sets:  Woodland plants and animals and meadow life

I totally love story stones!  I think they are a great way to incorporate more creativity into the common core classroom.

You can go to pintrest of just search "story stones" to find many more beautiful and creative pieces than those that I have made!  One blog post I particularly like is HERE.

I want for simple--down and dirty.  I just use stickers on glass gems or rocks.  My classroom students and kids yoga students have both enjoyed using them.  They can be used whole class, in partnerships, at table teams, or as a learning center alone.  They can be used to strengthen certain skills (ie. describing words or beginning/middle/end).  They can be used for differentiation, too.  They are fun, and so you know kids will like them.

With 4th graders it might be fun to try putting vocabulary or specific words on story rocks instead of pictures or stickers.  If you try this, let me know how it works!


a variety of small stickers
rocks or glass gems
modge podge + brush
box or bag for storage

1.  Choose stickers that will work well for the size of rocks or gems you have.  {Small round stickers are great on small glass gems.}  Consider if you want some stickers that seem like they fit together for a particular topic--woodland animals and plants or all insects or jungle animals.
2.  Add stickers to rocks
3.  Modge podge over the tops of the stickers and allow them to sit out and dry overnight
4.  Store story stones in a bag or box.  {You might want to store each set in its own little pouch.}

What about the common core standards?  Where does this fit in?

I'm just highlighting the anchor standards that apply to every grade:

Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Writing:  Text Type and Purpose:
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

Writing:  Production and Distribution of Writing:

  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. 
Have you used story stones?  How?

Best wishes with bringing more beauty and creativity into your classroom.  Let us know how it works!