Saturday, October 22, 2016

Working on ATC in 4th grade

4th grade ATC
Students in both of my buildings are participating in the ATC exchange with  Mini Matisse over on blogspot.  I decided to structure the cards around particular lessons so that students would be exposed to artist or concepts by grade level and then able to prepare their card with some specific parameters.  Fourth graders investigated the artistic style of Laurel Burch, folk artist, who was propular within the last 40 years or so for her whimsical jewelry designs and other commercial items.  Students were drawn to the colors and patterns and jumped right in to develope their own individual ideas for their subject matter.  Burch is most well known for her cats but has also included other animals in her work.  Students choose cats, horses, dogs, unicorns from stencils I had prepared ahead of time.  A few creative individuals dabbled with their own personal ideas.  The backgrounds were created using coffee filters.  Students drew a variety of geometric shapes.  These were squirted with water.  Students watched in amazement as they discovered the shapes were morphing into organic shapes.  Finally, a way to truly demonstrate the differences in geometric and organic shapes.  The results were breathtakingly beautiful.  We have stashed away the left over scraps for future projects, these were too beautful to throw away!
White Fang by Analeah

Dragon by Hope

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Build and Draw - Observational drawing with Kindergarten

Build & Draw
I took my first Studio class with AOE this past summer, Studio Drawing.  If nothing else, the course gave me the "courage" to try a few new techniques with my students.  I also re-evaluated some of the ways I presented a few of my lessons for Kindergarten.  After taking the Reggio Emilo class a year ago, I have been beginning the year with my Kinders doing creative play activities using a variety of manipulative and not jumping into the year with projects.  After four weeks of creative play, I introduced my students to a draw and build.  They used three children's blocks to build something and then drew the shapes using a whiteboard.  For an entire class, they built, drew, rebuilt, drew, etc.  This week, five weeks into the year, I handed them pencil and paper for the first time.  They repeated the build and draw on one piece of paper, three times, then were given colors to practice their coloring skills.  This was a terrific way for me to establish a baseline for observational skills, shape identification and reproduction and coloring.  I am so happy with the results!
Kinders are standing to do art this year

Progressing with their drawing

Ready to build again


Great Concentration


Let's get started!

Trading blocks to build again.

Lots of building imagination
Starting to add color

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Classroom Friendly Sharpeners has a new Yellow!

 Check out my new Yellow Classroom Friendly Sharpener.  If you haven't heard, it is the quietest sharpener on the market.  But my favorite thing about it is the ease of use and the great point it puts on my pencils.  Turn the crank just a couple of turns and you have a fabulously sharpened pencil.
I sharpen 36 pencils in my classroom at least twice each day.  With my new yellow sharpened it is a quick efficient job.

Below are photos from a first grader who figured out how to use the sharpener with no instructions.  That is how easy it is to use.  You can order a few for your classroom by clicking this link. and visiting the Classroom Friendly Supplies web page.
Squeeze the black handles and insert the pencil

Grab the handle and start to turn

Just a few turns and your pencil is sharpened!

Now to make some Art!

Oh, and did you know  you can replace the blades on your old sharpener?   I have a sharpener that is about 3 school years old.   I added a new blade when school started and it is just like new!  I love these sharpeners!  

September 15th - International Dot Day

Left on my desk at the end of the day

 Happy International Dot Day everyone!  My students have been working on projects for a couple of weeks.  Dot are decorating the halls as they begin to complete their projects.  I always plan a little something different for each class.  This year is no different.  I was especially pleased to receive this terrific little sign, to the left, on my desk at the end of the day.  One of my super duper students made it for me and left it as she was exiting school for the bus at the end of the day.  I was so thrilled that she remembered that today was the day because I hadn't even mentioned the date since last week.  See, they really do listen to us!!!  Love it!

Mandalla dots
Emoji Dots

Beautiful Mandalla
More Emoji Dots

Dots with Symmetry
Cassie Stephens Inspired Dots

More CS Dots

Cassie's Dots

Sunday, September 11, 2016

It was a big Woo Hoo!!!

Back to school Bulletin Board

I received the absolute best compliment ever this week.  Our Superintendent of schools stopped by school to do a walk through.  He shared many compliments about what he viewed while there, the student engagement, the positive comments he received from children and the great classroom management he observed. But then he added this to the bottom of his email:  I attached a couple of pictures that I had to take - a brilliant bulletin board mixing art history with pokemon go..."  Here is the only pic I have of the Bulletin Board, not the one he took but I had to share 'cause this made my whole day! 

Confession of a stubby penci hoarder

2003 Maestre Echinimunculus
Echinimunculus (2003) 
I have a problem, I admit it, I save stubby pencils.  I've been doing it for awhile.  I save them for the possibilities.  I know there is something there and one day my creativity will hop in with the solution.  So for now, I have contatiners, and contatiners, and more containers of stuibby pencils.  Recently there was a post on Facebook by a fellow stubby pencil collector wondering what could be done with her collection.  I am not alone in my obsession.  There were lots of post and photos for suggestions on how to renew the pencil collections of art teachers from all over the county.  One Art teacher posted this link and I quickly hopped over to check it out.  Thank you Shelly Sampley Dent .  There are five (5!) porfolios of pencil sculptures.  Most were very interesting, to say the least and I scroll thorugh each and every image.  But you know how you feel when a work suddenly speaks to you?  I felt that delight when I viewed this little gem   There ;is something pretty delightful about this sculpture.  I search for the definition of the word Echinimunculus quite unsuccessfully.  I'm sure it would add insight into the artist intent.  For now, I will just appreciation the pure delight I feel as I view this little gem. AND...I'll keep hoarding those pencils, cause , you never know, I might have a Echinimunculus in my future,

Saturday, September 10, 2016

What might your Emoji say?

super hero?
Fourth grade students are creating original Emoji for this year's Dot project.  They began by brainstorming ideas for something original.  What message would there Emoji represent and how could they come up with a new idea instead of something they had already seen?  This was the challenge.
Captions suggest what they might me, from my point of view and do not necessarily reflect the ideas of the artist.  You'll have to check Artsonia after they have titled them and written artist statements to determine the true meaning and purpose!

Especially happy
Happy in love?

Goofy happy