Monday, February 9, 2015

5th grade PHiZZ Sculptures

These sculptures are the latest phenomena created by my 5th grade students. Wow! My kids are pretty comfortable with origami, so I thought this would be a win-win project and I was right!! However, I won't say it's been easy, but with a bit of teamwork, we are doing great. I was worried for a minute that we had bitten off more than we could chew, but the kids really stepped up to the challenge. Now a few of them are PHiZZ junkies and I can't get them to stop :) The sculpture consists of 30 pieces of folded paper units. I bought 5 reams of colored copy paper and we've gone through almost every piece. Prior to folding, I cut the paper down into 8x8 pieces. Yes, my shoulder is experiencing paper cutter syndrome from all the chopping. It took us about 2 class periods to get through all the necessary folding. Students stored their pieces in a large mailing envelope during the course of the project. Building the sculpture was the second hurdle of the assignment and that took about 2 class periods as well. Click here for the link that will take you to the directions as well as a video from the creator of the PHiZZ unit, Tom Hull 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Kindergarten Nevelson Sculptures

Kindergarten experienced the art of sculpture making a la Louise Nevelson this year. What a great artist! The kids really enjoyed themselves and so did I. On day one, they glued an assortment of cardboard shapes, wood and other found objects (clothespins, paper clips, wood shapes, popsicle sticks, paper straws) to a piece of board measuring roughly 7x10. I gave them guidelines as we worked (start by gluing 3 cardboard shapes, now find 5 pieces made of wood, add 8 more pieces of your choice). It was awesome to see them arranging, stacking and balancing for the perfect composition. We used lots of white Elmer's glue-all straight from the bottles and totally went against the "dot, not a lot" rule :) On day two, we wiggled, glided and sneaked our brushes through all the nooks and crannies of the sculptures. Each class used a different secondary color - blue-green, yellow-green, red-violet and violet-blue. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Art Center ideas

On many days, my students might have 10 minutes or so at the end of the class period when they may have free time if they have completed all of their art making for the day. This usually means they will Free Draw using one of the drawing books we have. I have worked really hard this year to build a collection of drawing books (parents have been making donations) and they even have their own book storage shelf in my room that I acquired through a mini-grant.

But I have decided that now is a good time to begin adding some more center options. I am doing my very best to come up enticing activities that cover a range of student interests. Here are two new ones that I am happy to offer along with tangram sets, Play-Doh, art related word searches and dry-erase boards with markers. To the right, you can see color matching games that I made using construction paper and paint samples! Each game consists of 10 matches (20 cards total) and the paint chips are mounted onto 3x4 paper and then laminated. To keep the matching games from getting mixed up with one another (I made 6 games total), I made sure to mount each set on a different color of construction paper (there is a light blue set, a green set, a peach set a red set, etc.). The kids always surprise me and invent their own games with these too! Fun!

Below is a cursive writing center with a handout for kids who would like to practice and teach themselves this old-school skill. Lined paper is available in the bottom part of the tray. 
What centers do you have in your art room? How do you feel about free draw? 

Friday, January 16, 2015

1st grade Sunflower Pots

Sunflowers  - Vincent van GoghVincent van Gogh's sunflowers were the inspiration for this awesome twist on the usual pinch pot project. The pieces were glazed for the finishing touch and I will continue this great tradition - the brilliant inspiration came from my colleague at Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists!!

Here is a group all bagged up and ready to go home.....I secretly love this part even though it takes about 20 minutes of my time during the art class to prepare. After each kiddo decorates a bag with line patterns using construction paper crayons, I scrunch a piece of tissue paper into the bottom and then pop in the sunflower pot with an art statement about the project for parents to read. The bags are tied with yarn. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2nd grade Clay Fish......blub....blub...

The magic of clay -  brought to you by my 2nd graders. Last year, we made clay cats and the year before that little slab houses, but the fish, by far have been my favorite! The kids learned about clay processing techniques (a fancy word for scratch and attach) to make the eyes and fins stay put. The final touch was the glazed surface design. Next year, I will definitely incorporate some Paul Klee!!!! 

Paul Klee