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

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

3rd grade Bedroom Sculptures a la Vincent van Gogh

These sensational pieces were inspired by a project I read about at Mrs. Allen's Art Room!! She was so kind to collaborate through email with me and share some tips for teaching this lesson. I have been so anxious to share some results....and the pictures below are only one class! High success rate for each kiddo and they were *VERY* enthralled....
The bedrooms were made using 12x12 art paper and students worked as interior designers - designing two walls and a floor. They had to make sure to include at least one window. We talked about ideas extensively to get the creative juices flowing and boy, oh boy, did they come up with the most terrific ideas! On the last day, the dioramas were cut and glued into place and the beds were built from construction paper and fabric.

Monday, January 12, 2015

2nd grade Wolf Kahn Landscapes

Ohhhhhh, how I love Wolf Kahn's ethereal landscapes - the beautiful color combinations just pull me right into his work. I want to live in them! This is a great art lesson I enjoy doing each year with my 2nd graders. First, we look at Kahn's artwork in depth and then create a landscape in his style using lots of texture, bold colors and washes of watercolor paints!