Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer is only a few days away

Okay, I have made a commitment to my students to post this summer on my student summer blog, here.  I intend to have weekly ideas for my students to complete during the weeks of summer.  They are also challenged to complete any of the assignments for their sketchbooks with completed sketchbooks fetching a "prize" when school starts back up.  So, I'm putting this in writing to keep me true to my word.

Jump on over and join us this summer if you'd like.  As for me, I'll be doing some creating of my own cause for me that's what summer is all about!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Did you know? Are you even interested????


A while back a co-worker handed me one of those plastic shoe box containers full of old crayons and other miscellaneous trinkets that her grown children had left behind in her basement years ago.  She knew I melted down broken crayons to use as prizes in the art room.  I was thankful to receive them but didn't get to the box right away.  My colleagues are great about sharing broken crayons with me so I had a fairly large stockpile.  A few weeks ago, I started peeling the crayons in the box to begin the crayon making process and came across some labels I had never seen before.  I retained one determined to learn more about what it was.

I didn't have to do much research to discover this terrific site that enlightened me as to the contest that occurred back in 1993 for students to name a crayon.  I know I have seen the crayon, Macaroni & Cheese in newer boxes for crayons since that day.  The site was truly fascinating with a complete history of crayola.  If you're into this type stuff, just over and check it out.  It was interesting to discover the visual changes that have occurred to this common everyday material in the Elementary Art Room.  

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Mastering the Straight Edge

Student Work
I generally introduce fourth grade students to 1 point perspective and properly using rulers as a straight edge.  As a part of that lesson, we first practice using the ruler as a straight edge.  I am always surprised that 4th graders struggle with this mastery but have learned that using rulers has pretty much been dropped from their math curriculum.  A conversation on Facebook recently encouraged me to attempt the ruler process with my Kindergarten students instead.  I started by telling them that the 4th graders struggled with this skill and I knew they would really show them up with their successes.  Needless to add, they jumped at the opportunity to demonstrate a still that the older students had difficulty with.  The kinders did not disappoint.  After drawing lines with their rulers, I used 6" rulers, students then searched for any shapes they had created in the line work and colored them in.  This created a nice non-objective work of art that measures up really nicely.  I'd frame some of these!!!

Student Work

Student Work

Metal Tooling - two different ways to managed the medium

3rd grade Worked, textured and inked
If you don't follow There' a Dragon in my Art Room you really need to.  Phyl is a retired Art teacher from upstate New York.  Lots of experience shows in every one of her post and even an old timer like me can learn from her.  I saw her recent post on Metal tooling and knew I had something to learn.  Now I have done tooling with my elementary students for years but Phyl's ideas encouraged me to take my lesson in a new way.  Here are some images of my student's work this year and I've also added some from the way I have utilized the material in the past.  Both ways work well and I encourage you to investigate both if you haven't already added this medium to your art room.

3rd grade: Worked, textured and inked

3rd Grade: Worked, textured and inked

3rd grade: worked , textured and inked
4th grade: worked and colored with Sharpies
4th grade: worked and colored with Sharpies
4th grade: Metal worked and colored with Sharpies
4th grade: worked and colored with Sharpies





Recycled Robots

3rd grade creation
So I took on a 2nd grade/3rd grade Art Club for the month of May.  Not a lot can be accomplished in four short sessions so I focused on something I could not do in a regular classroom setting without a great deal of planning and hoarding.  I decided to turn to recycled materials.   For weeks I searched and hoarded things from home and the art room in preparation for the project.  Old glue stick containers - check, paint brush handles with no brush - check, pencil nubs - check, mint containers saved and begged - check.  The list could go on.  I made a quick trip to the Dollar Tree for some unusual miscellaneous things to add to the growing pile and then allowed the group to pick, chose and create.  I was excited to find small bottles of Tacky glue at the Dollar Tree as well that were used to assemble everything.   One can of silver spray paint was purchased to applied once the bot was created.  (20 robots - one can of spray paint)  Finally the feathers, googly eyes, buttons, and chenille sticks came out to add embellishments.  And yes, this is not my original idea...I saw it somewhere and just ran with the idea.  So here are a few of the finished masterpieces.  Really proud of these kiddos and so thankful to the staff that they pitched in to find the recycled materials!


3rd grade

very creative 2nd grader

3rd grader

3rd grader

3rd grader

2nd grade

2nd grade
2nd grade

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Practicing Cooperative Creativity

A little interactive fun with some of our group collaborative work using technology!
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.