Everyday Art Room

By Cassie Stephens

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Category: K-12

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Everyday Art Room, with Cassie Stephens, is a look into the world of elementary art, offering advice, stories, and ideas to improve your teaching.

Episode Date
Ep. 054 - The First Days of School

It is back to school time, and after 20 years, Cassie might finally have all the answers. Okay, probably not. But she does share some of her best practices for the beginning of the year, the first routines she teaches (4:45), why she uses video to reinforce some of the most important ideas (9:15), and how she establishes a collaborative culture in her art room (15:00). 


Resources and Links

Aug 16, 2018
Ep. 053 - Leading Schoolwide Art PD for Your Colleagues

It's back to school time, which means it's time for PD as well. But what if you are the one in charge of your school's PD? Cassie has some advice and some plans for you, including why it can be intimidating presenting in front of your colleagues (7:00), how to find and focus on your 'why' (10:45), and how to deal with the pushback that you might get when you guide people out of their comfort zones (16:30).


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Aug 09, 2018
Ep. 052 - Teacher Evaluations

Cassie is not a fan of evaluations, and she is ready to tell you all the reasons why. Listen to her experiences and opinions as she talks about the cyclical nature of teacher evaluations over the years (7:45), how she handles evaluation scores and discussions with her administration (11:30), and then gives some suggestions as to better ways to improve yourself as a teacher (14:00).


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Aug 02, 2018
Ep. 051 - Finding Your Place in the Teaching World

One of the toughest things to do as an art teacher is to find exactly where you belong and discover how to make meaningful connections with your colleagues. In this episode, Cassie discusses her own story and her own feelings of isolation (5:15), the importance of connecting with other teachers (7:30), and suggestions for stepping out of your room and making time for other people in your building (12:00).


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Jul 26, 2018
Ep. 050 - Carving Out Your Creative Space

It can be difficult to find the time to be creative and make your own art. But if you can develop your own creative space, it makes it so much easier when it comes time for your studio practice. Cassie tells the story of her own studio today, including why it took her so long to set up her own creative area (3:30), the inspiration she drew on to plan her own space (6:15), and why pegboard is slowly taking over her house (10:15).


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Jul 19, 2018
Ep. 049 - A Better System for Managing Your Time

Cassie has been receiving a lot of questions lately on how she makes everything run with such limited time. So today, she's diving in to exactly how she spends her time both inside and outside of school. Listen as she talks about how she handles classes with no time in between (5:15), how effective routines can eliminate wasted time (10:45), and why call and response is one of your most effective tools (15:45).


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Jul 12, 2018
Ep. 048 - Teaching Art as an Introvert

Some people believe that you always need to be energetic and "on" in order to be a successful teacher, but that's just not the case. Often the most introverted teachers are the most successful. Join Cassie as she explores the topic, including her takes on the difference between being an introvert and being insecure (5:30), why we underestimate people who are introverted (9:15), and strategies to support the introverted students in your room (11:00).


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Jul 05, 2018
Ep. 047 - The Best Places to Sell Your Own Art

As an art teacher, it can be hard to find the time to create. But what if you were making art and extra money? You can do it by selling your work! Cassie discusses the three things she learned selling her art (4:15), why craft shows are perfect for extroverts (12:30), and why you need confidence to get your work into boutiques (15:45).


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Jun 28, 2018
Ep. 046 - Finding the Confidence to Be Yourself

Developing the confidence to be who you are can be a difficult process. In this episode, Cassie discusses some of the ways you can follow your passions and meet your own goals. Listen as she talks about why you should spend some time listening to your own feelings (8:00), how to set goals that truly work for you (10:45), and why you need to consider your own needs against the expectations of everyone around you (14:00).


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Jun 21, 2018
Ep. 045 - The Instagram Mailbag

Every once in a while, Cassie's mailbag overflows and it's time for a full episode of listener questions! Today, she takes on a huge variety of topics. Listen as she discusses how to create more time for yourself (6:45), how to embrace your own originality and creativity (13:15), and getting more parent involvement in your art room (16:30).


Resources and Links

Cassie's List of Listeners:
@mullinsmeans: https://www.instagram.com/mullinsmeans/
@agape_fibers: https://www.instagram.com/agape_fibers/
@mrsnicholsartroom: https://www.instagram.com/mrsnicholsartroom/
@artiselementary: https://www.instagram.com/artiselementary/
@art_with_mia: https://www.instagram.com/art_with_mia/

Jun 14, 2018
Ep. 044 - The Best Beach Reads for Art Teachers

Like most teachers, Cassie can't quit learning, even during the summer. This episode is all about the books that keep you inspired throughout the summer months and help you generate ideas for the coming school year. Listen to Cassie share her favorite reads and what those books have taught her, including drawing instruction (3:00), how to set up and introduce painting (9:00), and the personal takeaways that the best books have (11:15). 


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Jun 07, 2018
Ep. 043 - 5 Things to Know About Your New Art Room

Cassie shares her own stories about moving into her new art room, and gives some tips as to how you can look at your old art room with new eyes and a fresh start. Listen as she discusses how to assess your art room (5:00), why you need quality supplies (7:45), and why organization and flow are far more important than decoration (12:00).


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May 31, 2018
Ep. 042 - Schoolwide Collaboration

Schoolwide collaborative art projects are a great way to promote community in your art room and throughout the school. Cassie tells the story of her field day project she undertook this week (7:00), why collaborative projects are great for the beginning of the year (9:00), and the projects her students work on to build positivity and community in her building (11:45).


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May 24, 2018
Ep. 041 - 10 Tips to Land the Job of Your Dreams

Whether you are looking for your first job or trying to find something new, you will undoubtedly go through the interview process. This can be nerve-wracking, but Cassie is here with her best advice on how to nail that interview! Listen as she shares why you need to edit your social media presence (11:30), how you can dress to impress (12:45), and why you need to send a thank you note once you're done with the interview (19:30).


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May 17, 2018
Ep. 040 - Keeping Kids Going Strong at the End of the Year

As we move through the last weeks of schoo, it can be tricky to make sure your kids are still learning and progressing. The weather is getting nicer, spring events mess with the schedule, and we need ideas for finishing the year strong. Join Cassie as she talks about her best end-of-the-year strategies, including her Maker Kits (3:45), strategies for free choice centers (7:30), and how to find opportunities to those kids who just love to clean (12:15). 


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May 10, 2018
Ep. 039 - Making the Most of Your Summer

Summer break actually isn't that far away for a lot of us. So it's time to start thinking about how to make the most of that precious vacation time. Whatever your goals for the summer months, Cassie has some strategies to help you make the most of them. Listen as she discusses making her summertime list (2:30), who can help push you and keep you accountable for your goals (6:45), and her secrets of time management (11:00).


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May 03, 2018
Ep. 038 - Supplies for Special Projects

Last week, Cassie talked about all of her tips and tricks for basic supplies, along with a few recommendations. This week, she takes the discussion into what you need for more special projects. Listen as she discusses her favorite materials to order when teaching ceramics (3:00), clay alternatives like modeling clay and celluclay (6:00), and ideas for sewing and weaving (13:00).


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Apr 26, 2018
Ep. 037 - Taking the Struggle Out of Supply Orders

In this episode, Cassie talks about the basic supplies everyone needs for their art room, and some of her best tips for finding quality supplies for your kids--without spending too much money. Listen as she discusses her favorite paper (3:00), paint (9:30), brushes (14:00), and some other additional supplies (15:00).


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Apr 19, 2018
Ep. 036 - 10 Things Art Teachers Can't Live Without

When you start teaching, the list of things you don't know is expansive. It's important to talk about the routines, supplies, and essential strategies to help you be successful as a teacher. Listen as Cassie goes through the 10 things art teachers can't live without, including a great greeting for primary students (4:30), her word of the day (8:15), and her perfect attention-getting tool (13:30). 


Resources and Links

Apr 12, 2018
Ep. 035 - Pack Your Bags! Travel for Teachers

The magic of travel and overseas experiences is something that often escapes teachers. This episode is all about why you should pursue those opportunities and how your travel experiences benefit both you and your students. Cassie talks about why preservice teachers should look at overseas options for student teaching (4:00), travel programs for experienced teachers (7:15), and why a plethora of travel experiences might be better than a Master's degree (12:30).


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Apr 05, 2018

Each and every one of us has a different style of teaching. And no matter the pedagogy, we need to support each other as art teachers. In this episode, Cassie unpacks DBAE and talks about what it means for her teaching (6:00), why we need to support each other as teachers (10:00), and the best ways to share what is working in our art room (13:15). 


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Mar 29, 2018
Ep. 033 - Can You Really Teach Art in 30 Minutes?

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Mar 22, 2018
Ep. 032 - The Science Behind a Quite Kindergarten Room

Kindergarten is always an adventure in the art room, but can you actually get them to work quietly? Cassie is pretty sure you can, and she's going to tell you how to do it! Listen to today's episode as she talks about the quiet critters strategy (3:30), why it is so motivation (6:00), and opportunities for tying in art history with the strategy (10:45).


Resources and Links


Mar 15, 2018
Ep. 031 - 3 Tips for Your Art Room Spring Cleaning

Spring is around the corner, and you know what that means! It's time to organize your life, and unfortunately, your art room closet as well. In the middle of her annual cleaning party, Cassie talks all about organization, including why you need to empty everything out (8:15), the random oddities you're going to find when you're organizing (11:45), and the supplies you need at both home and school (16:00).


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Mar 08, 2018
Ep. 030 - Planning the Perfect Art Show

March is Youth Art Month, and it's the perfect time to start talking about art shows. In this episode, Cassie gives her very best tips for putting together the perfect art show. Listen as she talks about how to keep your work from falling off the walls (7:00), why you need parent volunteers (11:45), and how a few treats can really help bring in the crowd (18:00). 


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Mar 01, 2018
Ep. 029 - Art Teacher Hacks

We all know that the life of an art teacher is difficult. We have to know so much and do so many things on an everyday basis, it can get overwhelming very quickly. Cassie uses this episode to share some of her favorite hacks for the art room–each of which can help make life easier in your classroom. Listen as she discusses why you need a class set of dry erase boards (3:45), the versatility of dog dishes (11:00), and why she is over the idea of glue bottles (20:00).


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Feb 22, 2018
Ep. 028 - 10 Things I Wish I Had Known My First Year

No matter how long you have been in the classroom, there are still times when you feel like a first year teacher. In this episode, Cassie talks about what she wishes she had known during her first year, and how that advice can help you at every point in your teaching career. Listen as she covers what you absolutely can't do (7:00), how to respond to the overwhelming number of requests (11:30), and why you need to find a teaching ally (17:45). 

Resources and Links


Feb 15, 2018
Ep. 027 - The Comparison Trap

Art teaching is difficult enough as it is, so why make it more difficult by constantly comparing yourself to other teachers. It's fair to compare, but make sure that you are doing it in order to inspire! In this episode, Cassie talks about how stressful it can be--for everyone--to put their best foot forward (5:30), tips to avoid falling to the comparison trap (7:30), and how you can get your mind right to celebrate others' successes (12:00).



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Feb 08, 2018
Ep. 026 - Snow Days

Not everyone can be lucky enough to have 7 days off of school in a row like Cassie just did. But you can make plans to make the most of your time off! Listen to Cassie's best advice on sparking the creative process (4:00), why you should take the time to connect with friends and colleagues (8:30), and why you need to appreciate your time off (10:15).


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Feb 01, 2018
Ep. 025 - Needle Felting Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of the Needle Felting introduction! Last week, in Part 1, Cassie covered everything you need to get started with needle felting on your own. This week, she tackles the topic of how to bring the craft into your classroom. She starts the episode with an awkward experience that taught her you can felt with cat hair (3:00). She then talks about the supplies you need for the classroom (5:00) and how you can make magic with wet felting at any level (11:00).


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Jan 25, 2018
Ep. 024 - Needle Felting

It's time to learn something new! Needle felting gives you the opportunity to create in different ways and with some different materials. In this episode, Cassie gives you an overview of her favorite--and most dangerous!--tools (6:00), all of the different surfaces you can use for needle felting (10:00), and processes and techniques that will work for you (14:30). 


Resources and Links

Jan 18, 2018
Ep. 023 - Ceramics Part 2: Teaching Clay Without a Kiln

Not everyone has a kiln--but that doesn't mean you can't teach clay! And even if you do have a kiln, there are a lot of additional options out there for other types of clay that your kids will love. In this episode, Cassie shares some of her favorite clay bodies and some great ways to teach with those types of clay. Listen as she shares how she gained expertise with air-dry clay (3:45), some of her favorite techniques and supplies (7:30), and the pros and cons of polymer clays (14:00).


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Jan 11, 2018
Ep. 022 - Ceramics Part 1: Kiln-Fired Clay

Ceramics is an incredible experience for our kids, but it can be overwhelming if you don't know what you are doing. Whether you are just starting out teaching clay, or are looking for new and better ideas, this episode has it all! Join Cassie as she discusses all the supplies she uses when teaching her clay units (4:00), avoiding explosions in the kiln (12:00), and making sure your glazes look good (15:30). 


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Jan 04, 2018
Ep. 021 - Rekindling Your Creativity

We are so incredibly busy as teachers. it is difficult to find the time to make your own art, and it is difficult to keep our creativity going. But how do we solve those problems? And how do we find the time to create our own work? Cassie has some ideas she wants to share--join her as she discusses how it's tough to get your creativity in motion (4:00), why creativity is easier--and more fun--than you think (8:00), and gives everyone a challenge to get back to your love of creating (16:45).


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Dec 28, 2017
Ep. 020 - It's Time to Press the Reset Button

You're on break now--or at least really close to it! So what do you need to do now that you have a couple weeks off? Relax, reflect, and reset. Join Cassie as she talks about the 3 R's and how you can take care of yourself with this time off. Listen for stories on how she relaxes over break (5:00), what ideas she has come up with in the process of reflecting (9:30), and how she will reset her classroom management when returning to school (11:15).  

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Dec 21, 2017
Ep. 019 - How to Take the Stress Out of Teacher Evaluations

Teacher evaluations can be frightening! But they don't have to be, especially if you have the confidence to show off and promote what you are doing in your classroom. In this episode, Cassie talks about some of her favorite strategies to develop that confidence you need, including how to put together lessons for your evaluation (5:45), why you shouldn't go in without some experience (11:15), and how to make assessments work for your students (17:30).

Dec 14, 2017
Ep. 018 - The Best Alternatives to Holiday Lessons

How big of a role do holiday projects play in your classroom? And if you choose not to teach them, what other options do you have? In today's episode, Cassie talks about those ideas and more. Join her as she discusses why she doesn't teach holiday projects (4:15), some of her favorite alternatives to teach instead (12:00), and why guided drawing always has a place in her classroom (24:00).


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Dec 07, 2017
Ep. 017 - Finding a Management System that Works for You

If you’re looking for more stress in your life, the fastest way there is to let your classroom management go downhill. But if you want to make your life a lot easier, the management system Cassie shares in this episode is a great place to start. Join her as she talks about controlling the noise level in her class (6:00), helping kids take more responsibility (14:45), and rewards for good behavior (20:00). 

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Nov 30, 2017
Ep. 016 - Foolproof Strategies for Teaching with Chalk Pastels

Cassie absolutely loves chalk pastels, and today's episode is a deep dive into everything you need to know about how to teach them. Join her as she discusses how to 'address the mess' of rainbow chalk dust that always arises (9:15), tips for finishing chalk projects (11:45), and some of her (and her students') favorite chalk pastel lessons (16:45).


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Nov 23, 2017
Ep. 015 - What Do We Do with Those Early Finishers

Those comments like "I'm finished" and "What do I do now?" are enough to drive any teacher crazy? But what do we do with those kids who are done early? Listen to some of Cassie's ideas as she shares specific suggestions for early finishers (7:30), what her early finisher early project list looks like (10:15), and why you should probably invest in some dry erase boards (15:30).


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Nov 16, 2017
Ep. 014 - Dealing with Adult Bullies

We talk to our students all the time about how to deal with bullies. But do we ever think about how to deal with them as adults? Bullying never really goes away when you get older, and you need strategies on how to deal with it. Join Cassie as she talks about how to reclaim your time, your talents, and your art supplies (8:00), how to stand up for yourself when you are in a bullying situation (13:15), and why you should picture bullies as annoying little yappy dogs (15:45). 

Nov 09, 2017
Ep. 013 - Strategies to Save Your Supplies

How do we get your students to treat supplies well? How do we keep our nice things actually nice, so kids have the tools they need to create their masterpieces. Join Cassie as she talks about why your kids need to be using "the good stuff" when it comes to supplies (3:45), why you need to hold your kids accountable (8:30), and the various reasons you may need a backup set of supplies (14:45).


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Nov 02, 2017
Ep. 012 - The Wonderful World of Watercolor

Watercolor painting isn't always the easiest thing to pull off with elementary kiddos, but they love the experience so much that it's almost always worth it. In this episode, Cassie talks you through the ins and outs of what watercolor painting looks like in her classroom. She also shares some tips about how you can make it work for you and your students. Listen as she talks about budget and supplies (4:45), what she calls "The Danger Zone" (10:45), and how to establish a successful cleanup routine (15:00). 


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Oct 26, 2017
Ep. 011 - The Biggest Lie I Was Ever Told

Were you ever forced to choose? Were you ever told that you had to decide between teaching and being a working artist? It's possible to do both, and more likely, doing both will make you an even better teacher. Cassie will telly you how and why that can work as she shares her own artistic journey (2:00), talks about the undergrad experience that every art teacher has been through (8:30), and discusses how your two paths can come together so you can do it all (13:15).


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Oct 19, 2017
Ep. 010 - Using Social Media to Help Your Program Shine

Social media is so incredibly prevalent in today’s world, and it is a great tool to advocate for your teaching and your art program. This episode is a long list of incredible ways that you can use social media to your advantage. Cassie talks about her love of Instagram (4:00), why social media can inspire both teachers and students (9:00), and the reason she doesn’t worry about her number of followers (15:45).


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Oct 12, 2017
Ep. 009 - How to Move on From Burnout

Every teacher faces feelings of burnout in their teaching career. You get stuck in a rut where you are just going through the motions, without passion or inspiration. In this episode, Cassie gives her best advice on how you can break free from these feelings and keep your teaching creative and vibrant. She shares her personal journey on how she dealt with burnout (2:30), her favorite ways to take a break and treat herself (8:15), and why it might be worthwhile to step away from social media for a bit (12:15). 


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Oct 05, 2017
Ep. 008 - Art Teachers in Training: A Management Tool

Cassie starts the show with some of her biggest pet peeves, but quickly turns the show around by introducing your new favorite classroom management tool--the concept of art teachers in training. She explains the responsibilities that those trainees take on (2:00), why she puts them in charge (6:00), and dishes on her best tips for hanging student work (9:15). 

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Sep 28, 2017
Ep. 007 - The 3 Most Effective Ways to Help Students Retain Information

How do we get kids to really retain information? How do we make sure they understand what you are presenting and teaching? It isn't always easy. In this episode, Cassie shares her 3 most effective strategies to help kids retain what they need to know. She also talks about why she loves to use call and response (5:15), tells an awkward Starbucks story (9:00), and describes how you can use your voice as a teaching tool (10:30).


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Sep 21, 2017
Ep. 006 - Learning to Love Kindergarten

Our best teaching, and our best stories, often come from the times when kindergarteners are in the art room. But there is no doubt that those classes are a unique challenge. Listen as Cassie shares her best advice on why you need to start class with a little bit of craziness (3:30), why you shouldn't fight their energy (6:45), and ways to calm your kids if that's what they need (11:00).


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Sep 14, 2017
Ep. 005 - Cleaning Up Your Cleanup Routine

Today's episode is all about making cleanup work in your classroom. Is it really possible to make it enjoyable, easy and effective? Cassie definitely says yes, and she talks about how to use call and response to speed up cleanup (4:30), how to make your cleanup chaos free (7:00), and end class on a fun note (11:00). Cassie then dips into the mailbag to cover student teaching and closes the show with her best tips on expectations and routines for cleanup.


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Sep 07, 2017
Ep. 004 - Art Room Management 101

Classroom management is never easy, but it is a vital part of what you do as a teacher. Without a well-run classroom, your kids will miss out on far too many opportunities in art. In this episode, Cassie addresses the most important aspects of her classroom management system. Listen as she talks about her struggles with consistency (4:30), how to bring calm to your classroom (8:45), and why she keeps her rewards and consequences as simple as possible (13:00).


Aug 31, 2017
Ep. 003 - The When, How and Why of Art Room Consequences

Following last week's episode on rules, it is time to talk about consequences. A lack of consequences can cause all kinds of issues, and it's important to not let student behavior stand in the way of what you want to teach. Listen as Cassie talks about the 4 reasons students misbehave (6:00), the right kinds of consequences (13:30), and a specific plan for delivering those consequences (17:15).



Aug 24, 2017
Ep. 002 - The Only 3 Rules You'll Ever Need

Everyday Art Room is back for episode two, and Cassie tackles the topic of art room rules. Whether you just need a quick refresh on simple rules or a guide to dealing with chaotic students, this episode covers it all! Listen as she talks about what students need from you when you start the year (3:30), the only 3 rules needed in the art room (11:30), and the best way to handle disruptions and interruptions from your kids (17:00).


Aug 17, 2017
Ep. 001 - 8 Routines for a Successful School Year

Everyday Art Room debuts with host Cassie Stephens welcoming you into the world of elementary art teaching. She tackles the topic of establishing routines, and why they are so important for a successful school year. Listen as she talks about why you need to pay attention to your own setup, situation and students (3:30), and the magic that happens when your routines are running well (13:30). Cassie opens up the mailbag for listener questions (15:45) and closes the show with some great advice for the beginning of the school year.

Aug 07, 2017