Sunday, April 29, 2018

Practicing Cooperative Creativity

These girls were really funny; always talking about how they
were going to work together but not always achieving
success in those endeavors.
 First graders completed a Rizzi City project a few weeks ago.  Our next project was to further explore Rizzi by working collaboratively to create a mural of a city.   Students worked in groups of 4-5.  It's alway interesting to see what will happen with a collaborate project.  Some students do terrific with this style work; others struggle.  You quickly can identify those who will take on leadership and will moderate the group and those that will hang back and wait for instructions from the self appointed group leader.  You also will identify those that will attempt to engage as little as possible.  I always tells them that the purpose of the project is to
These guys are doing really well sharing the work load
Super group dynamic here and they  took turns being in charge

A closer look at the actual project
 work together and that I will be monitoring cooperation.  I am looking for them to gain communication skills and work things out amongst themselves.  I never intervene other than to tell them to go back to the group and work it out together.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

5th grade Bobble Heads

I was so pleased with the results of 5th grade clay bobble heads this year.  They were very creative with their various approaches to the assignments.  Here are a few photos and videos.
Student's wolf
Student's Elephant

Student's monkey with a banana
Puppy by student.  I was impressed by how she placed the
front feet on the bobble and the back feet on the base.

Love Birds 2003

1st grade student work
 This original work by James Rizzi was the inspiration for the following works by 1st grade students the past couple of weeks.  They had been exploring the many works by Rizzi and had already create smiling buildings in a Rizzi type city.  Students followed a directed draw to create the birds and then embellished their work based on "Love Birds.  They were completed with watercolor.  I am so in love with these sweet little paintings and the endearing way students created their interpretations.
student work

student work

student work
student work

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Kindergarten and Andy Warhol's Cats

This was a delightful read for my Kinders who speculated that the Warhol's must have had at least 1000 Sam's living in their home.  They were hysterical with the idea that Hester and Sam might have slept in Andy's wig drawer with all their offspring's and they were sure the wigs must have been an extremely comfortable place to sleep.

So began a Kindergarten lesson on Pop Art, no it's not like popping a balloon, and an introduction to Andy Warhol.

Students followed a directed draw to create this sweet little composition featuring a cat in a wig and sometimes with a smaller Sam (kitten) in the background.  Students were encouraged to practice skill and creative embellishment in their work.  Choices in color for the cats were left up to the student's discretion.  Here are a few of the finished projects, definitely worth sharing!!!

Jasper Johns interpretation by 5th grade

 "Alphabet" by Jasper Johns was the piece used for inspiration.  
At a recent professional day experience, our group shared ideas for printmaking.   One of my colleagues shared a variation of this project.  She had planned the project as a color mixing experience for Kinders.  With a twist, I introduced it to 5th grade students who totally enjoyed the color review and the opportunity to add individualized touches to their work. 

Week one student were given tempera colors in the primaries and instructed to paint all the colors of the color wheel.  They were further told they could not mix colors on their pallets but instead had to mix right on the painting surface.  There were not specific instructions as to how the finished work should appear, only that it should be non-representational.
Week two students used tempera in the fluorescent primary colors to mix secondary colors and print using bubble wrap.  They did the mixing right on the bubble wrap.  Very messy, but they all seems to really enjoy the bubble mixing process. (Paint one primary on each end of a strip of bubble, fold and rub the two ends together to mix.)  At this step, they reviewed show colors "work" off one another and were reminded that complementary colors seem to "pop" when used together.  Personal choices were made as to where to place the different color prints.  As they completed this step, drawing paper was used along with any left over paint to practice painting letters and numbers using a flat paint brush.
Week three began with additional practice with the paint brush if students felt it would be beneficial.  They moved on to adding letters and numbers to their paintings.  I was delighted with the variety and the enthusiasm as students moved through this project.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Covering for Common Planning Time

 This year's schedule looks a little different in my elementary art room.  Because we lost one class in our schedule; we now cover a class each week on a rotating basic.  This allows the classroom teachers a bit of common planning time.  We were given the freedom to handle this extra class time in any way we felt worked better for our curriculum.  After some thought, I knew I didn't want to just continue with the current lesson as that would put that class ahead of the others.  I stumble across a great idea on Art of Education and immediately implemented it for this one time a week space in my schedule.  Here is the link to the article on Art of Education.  Now students are given the opportunity to explore careers that are supported by the Arts.  My students love the freedom to explore on their own and it's a great way to not disrupt my curriculum and instead to enhance it.

Most classes have only visited one time so far this school year and at 
most I will probably see them only twice.  Each time they come, it is fresh and new as they experience a new station.  I have set up six stations.  I initially was afraid too many students might be drawn to the iPad station or the Architect station but have found they are eager to experience them all.  I am evolving with this as well as I think of new ways to build the stations through supplemental materials.  For instance, I just purchased a Sphero ball to attempt so coding and drawing.  I also have one of those cute little trucks that follows a drawn line.  I should mention that I only use the stations for 1st-5th grades,  for Kinders I pull out some manipulations for a bit of Reggio play.  You can see post about my use in the classroom in previous post on my blog like here and here.

 Take a look at the AOE article and explore how you might implement these stations into your art room as well. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Chameleons in mixed medium

Image resultI'm developing a love for bleeding tissue paper this year.  Seems like each year I get stuck on some medium and explore it unreasonably.  This year it seems to be becoming project with that tissue paper.  Here is the latest, done quite successfully with first grade students.   They drew with a black crayon and then watercolor for the background and the little chameleon was glued on top.  This was a two week lesson.  I was really please with the results.  We also paired this with some factual information about Chameleons found in the book.