Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mr. Sketch Markers and keeping them organized....

I recently invested in a class pack of Mr. Sketch markers. I sure do love them and the kids do too. In the future, I will buy the unscented ones just because the kids are sooooooo super excited about smelling them during free time, that we get these unbridled surges of loud excitement - it's a bit like thunder in my room :)

I am a bit of an organizational nerd as well, so I thought up what I thought to be an easy method of coding to keep the sets intact. I picked different colors of Sharpies and used them to add a color code on the bottom of the markers. These colors correspond with a tag on the baskets that I made from a small piece of  masking tape. I have seen teachers use dot stickers before, but I thought I'd try this method out and see if the color lasts on the bottom so I could save a few bucks. So far, so good!
P.S. Have you ever tried printing with plastic bags before?? Super cool!! We are going to use our papers for backgrounds for our Greek column drawings!

Kindergarten Bubblegum Machines & Seascapes

I have an affinity for teaching Kindergarten. I remember a time when I panicked at the thought of teaching 5 year olds.....but that has changed. At this point, after nine years of teaching art, I can truly say I am addicted to teaching Art to Kindergartners. It is so magical to me! Of course, there are always challenges, but I enjoy coming up with fun ideas for them! Here are two projects we tried out recently, both measuring in at 12x18 (yes, I like working BIG with them ).

The collage method has really worked out well this year with this group of Kinders, so I have been incorporating a lot of paper and paint into our projects! Please feel free to ask specifics about these assignments.
Oh, and I found that a 1.5" circle punch from Michael's comes in super handy for making lots of gumballs - I double up 2" wide paper strips and cut as many as I can across the paper strip (about 6 or 7 for a total of 12 or 14)......

Coming up next: Japanese Koi fish ponds and vegetable garden collages........

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2nd grade Sculpture Faces....inspired by GA artist, Jim Shores

Our exciting sculptures - inspired by the Georgia folk artist, Jim Shores were made over a 3 week time period. This was a ton of fun for the kids and I sure enjoyed watching them build! Each student started with a piece of cardboard approximately 7x10. We took some time to round off edges or cut angles to get the face into just the right configuration. Then they selected 5 pre-cut pieces of cardboard from a box and spent some time arranging. Of course, they were able to come to the box and swap out shapes or get more as needed. They also received a piece of craft foam to work with to cut facial features. Students had to try overlapping at least once and the assignment allowed them to build any kind of face.
On day two, I gave students an egg carton filled with tempera paints and they applied the paint any way they wanted. While they worked, we reviewed color theory. At the end of the day, I hot glued a large craft stick to the back and placed the sculpture in a lump of air dry clay.
On day three, I asked the kids to add patterns to at least three areas of their sculpture to create some excitement. Then they painted the stick and the clay! They were very proud of their work! Thank you Bow Elementary School for the inspiration!!


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Make a Flowerball Sculpture

Are you beginning to feel a bit of spring fever? Maybe you want to put together something bright and cheery for your room at school or home. I think I have a d.i.y. sculpture project that you'll enjoy making. All it takes to build one is a glue stick, a pair of scissors, a plastic lid, a pencil and 5 pieces (or more depending on how many colors you want) of colored copy paper. I found the project at Bloesomkids blog and after some trial and error, I was able to put one together. Through the pictures below, I will explain it to you as simply as possible. 

Step one: Fold each piece of copy paper in half the long way. You'll need 20 circles total to build your flowerball, so this takes some of the cutting work out of it for you. Take a lid, like one from a peanut butter jar or use a clean yogurt cup, and trace the circle twice on each piece of paper. You can use whatever size circles you want, but I suggest keeping it small the first time around. Keeping the paper folded, cut out each circle so you get two for every one you cut :) 
Step two: Now you need to work on the folds and make each circle into these cute little triangles.....
Fold in half lengthwise to make a taco, then again so you have a 1/4 piece of pie. This will make intersecting lines or creases. These creases are now your guidelines and you will see them once you open the circle back up for the next set of folds.
Now you will begin making the circles into those cute little triangles and you will use the creased guidelines to help you get everything just right. To begin, fold your paper as I have done above, bringing the edge of the circle up to the horizontal guideline and keeping the creases on top of one another.
The second fold is the trickiest in my opinion - you want really crisp corners all the way around. This fold should begin at the corner of that first fold and end at the next guideline that you run into. 
Finish out the equilateral triangle by folding the last edge of the circle. Watch the corners and again, get them as crisp as possible.
Step three: Arrange the triangles into three "pods" as above. The two circular sections are comprised of 5 triangles each with the corners facing in and the long row has 10 triangles with the "top" corners going up, down, up, down, etc. Use a glue stick to put them together and rub the edges together really well so they are "tight." 
Sorry about the change in colors.....
Step four: Take the long row of 10 triangles that are glued together and form them into a ring so that all of the flaps are on the outside of your ring and glue the two ends together.
Work on gluing the two "pods" of 5 together - this will form the top and bottom of the flowerball. The sections will rise up slightly as you glue them - don't worry, that's natural. Make sure the flaps stay on the outside.
Step five: Arrange one of the circular pods on top of the ring as you like and glue the flaps together - a flap from the ring and a flap from each circle will join up for a total of 5 times. Do the same for the remaining pod and the empty side of the ring and voila, you are done!! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

4th grade Surreal Rooms

Fourth graders began this assignment by learning about 1-point perspective - a trick artists use to make the viewer feel as though they could walk into the space. After forming a simple room using a vanishing point, the creativity was unleashed!! The kids had a great time coming up with the details of their room. The final step was learning about and adding a bit of surrealim to the mix - students cut pictures from magazines to add to their compositions as they saw fit. I really like the juxtaposition of the technical perspective drawing with the dreamy surrealism in this assignment.....and the kids feel very accomplished with this one!