Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kindergarten Letter Owls

These letter owls were created over a two-week time period by my kindergartners. The key vocabulary terms were texture, shape, overlap, and collage. We practiced using paints, crayons, scissors and glue. The bodies are made from a letter U, the wings from D's and the eyes are B's with O's glued on top. Each one turned out successfully and they "owl" have their own personalities, just like the kids who made them!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Square1 Art Projects Underway.....

At the beginning of each school year, I complete a "fundraiser" project with each grade level in cooperation with Square1 Art. The kids love it because there are free stickers at the end of the "art making rainbow" and I like it too because it's an efficient, locally based program. Once I am back to teaching all 5 days of the week at my school, then I will venture out and incorporate the Art Show back into our yearly line-up. Everything is in the making right now, but here is what is happening.......pictures to come soon!

Kindergarten - Letter Owls: I can learn how lines and shapes can combine to make a collage that fills the space using a variety of media.
(all of the samples in this post, including the one above, are "teacher samples" just to give an idea where we are headed with our art making. I'm not a big fan of posting "teacher samples" in my classroom for the kids and try not to whenever possible - many times, I will take it down after the initial week of introduction. I find that posting them shuts my kids down when it comes to their own responses to art making. How do you feel about "teacher samples?")

1st grade -  Matisse Fishbowls: I can learn about the artist, Henri Matisse and make a piece of artwork that incorporates lines, shapes and patterns in the style of this famous artist.

2nd grade - Room with a View: I can learn about Henri Matisse's window view paintings and then apply that knowledge to my own window view drawing. I can visualize and depict what cannot by directly observed by using my imagination.

3rd grade - Puzzle Trees: I can show the different sections of a landscape in my art by using warm and cool color palettes in separate sections of my work. I will also emphasize positive and negative space in my work.

4th grade -Tropical Fish: I can create a representational artwork from direct observation. I can plan the design for my composition through several preliminary sketches. I can bring my artwork to life using watercolor techniques that will show that I am capable of making light and dark colors to model form.

5th grade - Illuminated Letters: I will create my own illuminated letter that has significant meaning to me inspired by a historical art technique that was popular during the Medieval Period. I will sketch out several ideas before choosing the final idea for my work as the result of conscious, thoughtful planning and choices.
(teacher samples to give an idea where we are headed)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sketchbooks, Portfolios and a Management System 2015

I am excited to implement artist portfolios this year with my 1st - 5th grade classes. Parents, you can expect to see your child's amazing collection of artwork at the culmination of the year! Keeping a portfolio is a perfect way to measure growth and accomplishment in art. The covers are fairly simple (a Xerox copy) with a place for name, teacher and grade. I added a box for reflection in the top right corner. We'll use that to write about our favorite piece of art at the end of the year. The bottom includes an image I borrowed that was made by Melissa Mercillott about many careers in art. This paper cover was glued down onto the back of a manila file folder using Elmer's glue (I did that after the kids left to make things easier). While we worked on the front of the folders during class, the paper covers were slid inside to keep them "marked."
First grade made a list of lines on one half of the folder front and a self portrait on the other.
Second grade made a list of lines on one half and a list of important color families on the other.

And third - fifth grade made a list of the elements and principles of art while I gave short explanations of each term. Using that information, we played a game in table groups. I gave each group a piece of art to observe and then the table worked together to talk about one element and one principle that really jumped out (even though there were many). The results were shared with the class while we took turns viewing each piece of art.

This year, I knew that I wanted to change up things in the art room and that I wanted to incorporate a sketchbook that could be kept all year long. I've never had much success with sketchbooks and did away with them for several years, however, this year I am excited to give them a try again - and I think the kids are excited about these special books as well! I am referring to them as Drawing Challenge Sketchbooks. Each grade level has a list of 10 topics to work on throughout the year. We will get these out and work on them when we have completed a project or a part of a project, when someone finishes their work early, or I have to be away from school. If you are interested in my lists of sketchbook challenge topics, send me an email and I would be glad to share. Of course, there are also directions for the kids to follow and all of that information is included on the topic sheets as well.

And here is my behavior management plan - Quietest Artists. It is based on a system that the kids are already familiar with and understand because I have been using it for the past 2 years - the "ART" letters. If the class is loud or not listening to directions, I begin by flipping the "A" for the first warning. If things don't calm down, I flip the "R" for a second warning. When the "T" turns over, we stop and clean up for the day. The class has to work as a team and they can earn letters back (except for "T"....there's no coming back from that!) if they work hard to turn down the volume and focus on art making. If the teacher arrives to pick up the class and the letters spell, "ART," then I give a sticker to the class on the chart. 10 stickers = free art day. I am working on compiling an awesome collection of free art activities for this special day and stacking my bookshelf full of games, puzzles, manipulative, etc.! I'm excited and the kids are too!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to School Bulletin Boards 2015-2016

The new school year is off to a start and as I have done in years past, I will share my back-to-school bulletin boards below. I never would have thought I'd be displaying a board about "the selfie" but it was really fun to put together. I saw a few ideas I liked on Pinterest, but settled for a simple word bubble with a question for the kids to think about as they pass by it each day. It was a lot of fun to find these artist self-portraits (mesmerizing, actually) and I may keep this going throughout the year and just swap them out from time to time. 
 I have a really large board directly outside my classroom door and always like to put up a simple statement. I was sorta going somewhere else with this initially, but I'm pleased with the way it turned out. It's simple and has a positive meaning. To give you a size reference, I cut all the letters from 18x24 paper.
I love using the yellow paper for my boards outside and inside my room - it's bright and cheery (I think I use it every year). I made these posters several years ago and the kids really like them. We refer to them constantly.
And then a few views around the room......
I like to keep the rules simple: 1. Do your personal best  2. Make good choices. The golden rule: Take care of yourself. 
I use the construction paper (with clothespins attached) to display the projects we are working on per grade level. Sometimes I'll just hang up words for our projects instead of samples. For instance, sculpture, weaving, clay. I'm leaning towards the latter (nine times out of ten) so as to keep the kiddos from getting stuck in the weeds thinking their work needs to mimic mine. 
I hope you have a great year at your school too! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

End of the year: 5th grade

And now, some of my 5th graders work from the end of the school year. These are simple 9x12 weavings embellished with hand-drawn hieroglyphics. The highlight are the Egyptian drawings - inspired by several color copy handouts I gave the kids to observe from. They really enjoyed the challenge of this figure drawing assignment as you can see in the examples. Pencil first, sharpie to make it all pop and then colored pencil. 

And to end out the year, we made some jewelry using the Kumihimo weaving technique. Kumihimo was invented by Japanese fishermen to braid rope. It means "gathered threads." The kids went cuckoo for this - I even did!! It's so fun and EASY! I have to say it was pretty magical. I taught myself how to do it from the Dabbles and Babbles blog before showing the kids. To make the loom, the kids cut out a circle from mat board, which can be a little heavy for them, so I was on guard to help. We traced around yogurt lids. After they drew and cut the dashed lines around the perimeter for the slits, I used a box cutter to draw an X in the center, then poked a very thick pencil through to form the hole. Sometimes the looms just get "tired" after making a bracelet or necklace (even when made from something thicker like the mat board), so have some extra board on hand because your kids will want to make more than one!