Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's the Big Idea?

So here is my latest activity to have students explore artworks.  I display an artwork on the Smart Board and they get a post-it.  After observing the work for several minutes they speculate what the Big Idea is.  This may be as simple as the subject for younger students or theories about meaning for older students.  It is a quick snapshot of their overall thinking and observation skills. After they stick their post-it to the light bulb we discuss the results for a few minutes.  These discussions always link to the project at hand.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Textured Multi Media Scarecrows

I found this cute scarecrow on Pinterest (For the Fun of Art Blog) and thought it was cute, but it needed a few more of my curriculum objectives. So, along with my student teacher we created a 6 station rotation to create parts of the scarecrow with a variety of materials and textures. We started by reading The Little Scarecrow Boy by Margret Wise Brown.

Since I now have a Smart board, we created mini videos to explain each station. I wanted to post them, but I have been having lots of problems getting them to fully load.  So here are the basics...
Station 1- Moon print- make a circle stencil with tag board and use white paint and sponges to fill it in.
Station 2- Hat print- print the edge of a piece of matt board in vertical and horizontal patterns in yellow paint over brown paper.
Station 3- Curled paper hands and folded hair (for time we took out folding the hair)- cut and curl/fold 2 rectangles of butterscotch paper.
Station 4- Crumple head- trace and cut out a circle of brown bag paper and crumple.
Station 5- Crayon rubbed sleeves- crayon rubbings over texture plates on 2 white rectangles
Station 6- Fabric patches- cut 3-4 fabric shapes

For the next class we read The Scarecrow's Hat by Ken Brown, then assembled the sleeves, head and hat.  We focused a lot of proper use of glue and scissors.


For the last class, made the hat, assembled the parts and added details.  The final step was making the crow for his head.  They turned out great!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Teaching value

I saw a great picture on Pinterest which inspired me to try something this week with my second grade classes.  It worked amazingly well.  We learned about the concept of value.  We talked about how colors can have lighter and darker versions.  I asked them what one item everyone in the room had that was the same color, but each of us had a different value of.  Within a few guesses, someone always says, "Our Skin."  So we made a human value scale.  I had the kids do all of the problem solving themselves, trying to line up the class from dark to light.  We used their arms as the location to compare.  It was great seeing them test arms and them decide whether each person was in the right place of needed to move left of right to be in value order.  When it was all in order I photographed each class. Since the students took ownership of creating the scale and since they can remember this activity just by looking at their arms, they have retained the information so much better than activities I have done in the past.

The NEW old room!

The new (back in after being on a cart and stage for 2 years) art room is a work in progress.  But I wanted to post a few picks so everyone could see my vision. With the new common core we are trying to incorporate a lot more literacy, so I have a fair amount of vocabulary around the room, with lots more at the laminator on the way.

I themed my room for the book, The Dot.  So I have dots on the walls, for curtains and table signs. I used dots on the front boards (wrapping paper).  The table signs are the dots "framed in swirly gold" frames.  All of my chairs have colored electrical tape spirals on them, 4 colors per table.  These help me to select helpers during class, and a happy bonus, they don't come off or get picked at by little fingers.

I decide to keep my desk this year in the storage room to give me more space to move around.  Especially, since I have a SMARTBoard!!! I am using the row of milk crates under the board as step stools for the smaller folks to reach the top of the board. 

The valance over the window are paper covered cardboard pizza rounds from our local Imo's Pizza.  Parents can be a great source of materials, especially recycled items.  The lamp are IKEA, they are a great light source when I shut down the overheads for working at the SMARTBoard.

The back my room had a full wall bulletin board, until they turned the room into a 4th grade.  Then they put a coat rack in the middle of my board.  So to disguise it and stop head injuries from students running into it, I made a faux shelf from pink construction foam and covered it in butcher paper.  It is light weight, cheap and looks good.  The green tape seen on the floor is tape I get from the PE teacher for marking floors.  I use it to set up no go areas for students.  In this case we create a "pond" around the demo table, to stop crowding around the table.  This inevitably ends up as a shoving match and students shaking my table.  I create a line they cannot pass, which spreads them out and keeps them off my table.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Time to get to this

Well I have totally ignored this blog for some time, but I want to set a goal to post something at least once a week this school year. So a few of the things I want to tell you about in the weeks to come are...
     -my new classroom
     -my new ideas about teaching activities to enhance the art experience
     -fun project I have tried
I really need to do this, this year as a cathartic was to express my ideas, whether anyone likes them or agrees with them.  I think if I can get some of them out of my head and on the page, I may be able to focus better on the best ones.

So as my first pic of the year I wanted to post one of my 1st grade projects from last May.  This totally describes the feeling about my day, AAARRRGGGGHHHH!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

American Gothic Redo

I really like how these came out, but wish I could have given them a few more class times to work. They could have done some really cool things with a little more time.  The idea was to create a 3D version of American Gothic with a twist.  The twist is they are the designer and a new client has come to you.  The task is the client has purchased the small home featured in the American Gothic painting near Stone City, Iowa and they want it remodelled to better match their taste.  Students had to decide, who the client was, what their style would be and who would stand with them in front of the house.  We used a basic pop up card design to get the basic house and then used marker and paper construction techniques to remodel the house.  Students were required to build at least one 3D item from paper. Finally they had to pose the client and one other character with them, holding something, similar to the American Gothic characters in front of the home.  Some are quite clever and others are just cute.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Square 1 Art Projects

I participate in the Square 1 Art program each year to raise money.  This year I have made almost $1800! I have tried to pick dynamic projects that not only fit my curriculum, but are big sellers for parents.  Here are some student samples of this years projects.
4th grade Loup Garou Paintings in tempera based on the Blue Dog series by George Rodrigue.

3rd grade cityscapes with intermediate colors in tempera.

5th grade- Background watercolor based on color field painters with a styrofoam print over the top made to appear to be Op art, printed in rotation.
1st grade owl drawings with simple patterns to create texture with construction paper crayons and marker.

Kindergarten tissue flowers painted on with watered down glue, outlined in permanent marker and finished with liquid watercolor.
2nd grade cats in permanent marker based on a study of ancient Egyptian cat art.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My MAEA Presentation and new adventure

The MAEA Spring Conference was held in St. Charles Missouri this weekend, and I presented for the first time.  I was talked into the presentation by a wonderful professor at UMSL.  So what was the presentation about, well art on a cart, of course.  I shared all of my tips and tricks for making art on cart successful.  My philosophy... master the cart so it doesn't master you.  In other words get organized, plan for pitfalls and get control of the situation or else the cart will drag you down and leave tracks on your back. I really enjoyed the presentation, talked to some very nice teachers, got a few new ideas myself and hopefully inspired someone else to try a new technique to make their cart experience more pleasant. If you would like to see my presentation just follow this link:

On another note, I was recently elected (uncontested) as the District 8 representative on the MAEA Council.  I attended my first meeting this week and ran my first district meeting today.  Hopefully the deer in the headlights look I walk around with most of the day didn't leave the wrong impression with my fellow council members.  This looks to be an exciting venture with lots of rewards and plenty of work.  Once I gain my bearings, I hope to do some fun things with my fellow District 8 art teachers!  More to come later...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Zentangle like boxes

My 3rd graders love the idea of Zentangle.  We watched a few videos on Youtube and they were hooked.  now they add hints of Zentangle in all sorts of places.  We used our pictures to make origami boxes.The results were great.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Coil Clay Faces

This is a neat project I did with 5th grade to cover coil building with clay.  Next time I would make the coils thicker to avoid so much breakage.  Those that are about the thickness of an index finger were the best.  We used Picasso as inspiration and emhasized organic shapes.  I like them unpainted, but you could probably add color if you wanted.  Here they are displayed on top of the original sketches.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Central Office Display

I finally have a chance to display artwork at our Central Office.  We only get this opportunity once every other year.  So I brought some of my best work to show.
This is Mouse Paint by Kindergarten, I have about 4 versions of this and do it differently each year.
I love these collage snowmen with radial symmetry snowflakes by Kindergarten.
This Mondrian inspired artwork was inspired by one of my fellow teachers, Andy Rohde.  Kindergartener's loved making the faces.
These 1st grade snowmen are actually relief sculptures.  The shadows are cool colored chalk.
My first graders printed these robots with mat board scraps and tissue tubes, then colored them in with metalic crayon. 
My second graders made these great Scream pics with oil pastel and model magic for the screaming guy.
3rd grade created these porthole pics with oil pastel and tempra.  These used techniques for creating space. 
This was a quick 3rd grade filler.  We printed asymmetrical tree with mat board and added the thumbprint owl.  The whole lesson helped students understand how artists works as illustrators, having to think obout where text will fit with their pictures.  We used the Robert Frost poem, Stopping by the Woods on Snowy Evening.
These 4th grade masks inspired by Native American masks, cover up some fabulous student self portraits.
These other 4th grade projects are sandwiches made in relief with paper and center of interest snowmen done quilt style.
My 5th grade has really knocked it out of the park this year.  These pop out chairs in a room are inspired by Van Gogh's paintings of his room and the Renaissance artists.  They learned about basic 1 pt. perspective and really got it!

And these are the Monet oil pastel and baby oil pics I posted last week.  Again, pictures just don't do these justice.