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. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Miss posted on wrong it is now.

Back at it again!

A Shapescapes Stabile
We just completed week two in my district.  This year is a bit different in that I am seeing Kindergartners right away.  They usually don't attend specialist until they are settled into a school routine.  I saw my first Kinders about an hour after they began their first day of school.  I was really anxious; probably as much as they were about their first day of school.  Much to my surprise, and relief, it went great and I am really enjoying spending time with these littles.  I generally begin my Kinder classes in a Reggio Emilio style of learning for about the first month to six weeks.  Class time begins with a book and then several stations of manipulative are put out for students to use to create.  I stumbled on a post this summer on Facebook demonstrating the use of Shapescapes and I headed right over to Amazon to purchase a set with my kinders in mind.  I have to say, I love these things.  Yes, they were a bit pricey but let me tell you, I will be purchasing another set as soon as I can work it into my personal budget.   When they arrived in August, I immediately put my adult personality aside and jumped right into building some stabiles with the ShapeScapes..  I had a blast.  This week my kinders got a hold of them and I couldn't have been more pleased with the results and their enthusiasm.  I began the lesson by introducing Alexander "Sandy" Calder and reading the book "Sandy's Circus",  We examined a mobile and discovered the differences between mobiles and stabiles.  Then we set to work building.  Here are some of the terrific creations that came out of the lesson.  I promised to let them build again next week.  I'm thinking it might be a while before we tire of these terrific shapes!
Another Shapescapes creation

More Shapescapes

Building stabiles with Legos
More Lego stabiles

Tossed out from a Math program
Good for building in the Art Room!
A find in the bargain bin at Target
One child's building ideas

Same material as about right but a different idea on how to build.

Winter Cardinals

Sharing some watercolor painting done by 4th and 5th grade Art Club members over the past two weeks.  Working toward understanding transparency with watercolors to achieve varying hues from a singular color, watercolor wash, and managing brush use in a more professional way.  They used a tracer to place their bird but the rest of the composition is free hand.  I'm proud of these kids, they worked really hard!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Norman Rockwell Illustrated Narratives and QR codes

Fifth Grade students investigated the narrative style of the work of Norman Rockwell.  In small groups they worked to "read" select illustrations to determine the messages that were being portrayed.  They were particularly sensitive to details that help to establish time periods and lifestyle clues.  Individually they created their own narrative over the course of several class periods.  Once the illustration was completed, they took their work to the Language Arts teacher where they wrote an accompanying narrative for the illustration.
 As a part of a full school show off night, work was exhibited with QR codes to link the illustrations to the written work.  In the classroom, the written narratives also contained QR codes that linked back to the illustrations.  This was established as a cooperative work between the Art room and classroom teachers.
A previous post along with the lesson plan can be viewed here:

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Organizational Yarn 101?

Does your yarn stash resemble this....
 Chances are your yarn supplies mine when your students have been weaving for a week or two.  I'd roll everything up into nice little balls and have it stowed away and before I knew it, we had a twisted, knotted, woven mess.  I didn't want to single any of the culprits out, they were just doing what kids do in their desire to select the best color ball of yarn ever but the knots and disarray were making me nuts.  I chose to dive right in and attempt to create organization out of this total chaos.  So the great UNTANGLE began......
or this?????
Let's create

a solution 
or two.

First on my agenda was finding a new way to store the yarn.  Like all art teachers, I seem to always see possibilities in all those recyclables.  I don't always know what the possibility is but I stash it away and wait for the moment to arrive.  My daughter binged on those biscote for years and I never parted with one of the big square containers.   After a few holes punched in the lid for the yarn to thread through,  Wa La, yarn storage.  Tape on the lid because the kids think they are suppose to remove lids from things.  You gotta teach them how to use it correctly, don't assume.  Next shown are some artificial creamer containers that a fellow teacher passed on to me at least 7 or 8 years ago.  Yeah, they have been sitting in a bag waiting to be discovered for a looonnnnggg time.  They work great and the lids screw on so no take needed.  They also hold one skein of yarn each so no tangling allowed.  Finally, I have purchased a variety of things from the dollar store in those little mesh bags.  I think some held river rocks and others little trophies.  Pull the yarn through the mesh and then seal them back up again.  Individual ball storage.  I should have shot one more picture of the nice way they look stored in the messy bin above.  That photos is for another time.  For now I am totally yarn organized for the next weaving session!

Sorry I've been Neglectful and ARTOME'

I will start this post by apologizing.  I can't believe I have neglected this blog since April.   The last several months of school seemed to be only slightly manageable...too much to achieve with so little time.  I was busy but there is no excuse for neglect.  So this post is my first attempt at catching up a bit.

I brought in Artome' to put on an art show at one of my buildings this year.  Frankly, I was very skeptic about having an art show at all.  I was certain that no one would show up and I would devote a tremendous amount of my time to an event that would be an embarrassment.  We've all been there, send out the announcements, invites, etc and only a handful of people show up.  The response was always, they would have come if you put out snacks.  Really, that keeps the people from administration from showing up?  For years, my principal didn't even bother to show.  I think that was the hardest blow.  I really felt a general lack of appreciation for anything I was doing.

So, when my "new" principal put the idea of an art show out there I was more than reluctant.  I kept hoping the idea would dissipate in the hectic ebb and tide of the school year.  Maybe she wouldn't notice if I conveniently "forgot".   I began to see postings on Art Teacher-ing pages about Artome' and everyone appeared to truly be pleased with their outcomes.   The idea of now having to mat each and every piece of work and frantically hang them with high hopes they wouldn't fall off of the walls was very appealing so I decided to dig a little bit deeper and look into the possibility.  After all, it could be a win/win.   My principal okay-ed the idea and the parent's group agreed to take on the money making venture.  I signed on and the process began.

Let me say, it was not as easy as I thought.  I easily spent between 20 - 24 weekend hours over the span of three weeks preparing all the artwork, labeling, checking for correct spelling and categorizing the way I wanted the work to be exhibited.  It was not a complete win/win...I had to put some work in.  But, the day of the show was fabulous.  The crew of two young men came in and quickly set up the show, filled me in on information I might need and defined their roll for the evening.  I walked down the aisles making certain all the art was hanging correctly and that I hadn't grouped too many like pieces together.  It looked pretty good and I was nervous but ready.  I still feared we'd be a wash out with few attendees.  Boy was I incorrect!!  It was way beyond my wildest expectations and the parent/teacher organization made some money as well.  Best of all was the attendance by a school council member.  I'd say this was a BIG WIN/WIN for the art department and I own some of that myself.  Feeling great about Artome'!!
The 5th grade chorus provided
entertainment toward the end of the

The Orchestra provided a wonderful
backdrop to the show.

Buttons to identify student volunteers

Gallery information about the show
Welcome to our Art Show

Before the crowds arrived