Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kindergarten Assessment

I was browsing on Pinterest some time ago and found a great shapes game handout that I thought would be a lot of fun for my younger students.  I pinned it and moved on until recently.  I needed a baseline assessment for my Kindergartners to see what they had learned thus far in the school year.  I remembered the game and decided to try to alter the game a bit and turn it into a formative assessment.  Here is my adaptation.  Thanks to whomever initially created the game.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

In the house and watching it snow

Haven't had much to post lately.  We were on February vacation, it snowed way too often and I've been busy working on my readings for an online course through AOE.  I'm enrolled in Assessments in Art Education.  If you haven't checked out AOE classes you truly should.   They will work for Professional Development or can be taken for Graduate Credit.  I am feeling just as challenged with this course as I did while working on  a previously completed Master's degree and am particularly appreciating the opportunity to dialogue with other Art Teachers.  Too many of us work in a bubble, this is a terrific way to poke a hole into that bubble.  With that said, I promise to work on posting students projects again really soon but for now, just have patience with me and stay warm!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lines, Patterns and Emphasis

I recently introduced my students to Zentangles.  Although I have an instructional poster which I shared with you previously here, I encouraged my students to be totally original with their doodle designs.  I introduced the lesson by having them practice on another piece of paper.  Then they created the box and divided it with a string.  The focus then went to our vocabulary wall where we reviewed basic lines and talked about pattern.  They were then encouraged to create patterns using line and repetition.  The last step was to add a shape or three with a fine sharpie as an overlay on their work.  Colored pencils were added to highlight the shape for an emphasis in their work.  This is the first completed project.  I will post more as they are finished.  This lesson was from 3rd grade and it seemed to be a perfect age.  They really jumped into this project with enthusiasm.  I think I may have started something, hopefully it won't interfere with their other classroom work.  These will definitely be frame-able!

Friday, February 14, 2014

A little like Jasper Johns

 First graders learned a little about the style of Jasper Johns this past couple of weeks and learned a little about folding as well.  Each student had 1/2 of a 9 x 11 piece o f paper.  They had to fold it in half making certain to line up the edges for a nice clean fold.  Then they folder the outsides to the center to end up with four rectangles.  I had used the school die cut machine to cut several of each of the letters of the alphabet and they were allowed to trace
 letters of choice.  Students were very clever
with their choices.  One selected letters to represent the first names of their family members.  Another chose letters to represent a favorite phrase and CONN was short for Conner.  Next they were introduced to complementary colors.  They were instructed to color three letters of their choice using the complementary combinations and once they were finished, I would share with them the

 instructions for the final letter.  For this one, they were given creative choice.  They were also encourage to trace their letters with creative choice for placement as well.  Those crooked and backwards letter were a choice. Jasper John did not make his numbers and letters align perfectly and we were not going to be encumbered by that strictness as well.  This really seemed to work with enforcing the complements as students performed well on a 2nd quarter assessment with questions about complementary colors.

It's another manic snow day!

Anybody up for some deck time?
An hour and a half to clear the driveway and sidewalk this morning.  That's after going through the same routine yesterday in the late afternoon.  Don't get me wrong, I love all this beautiful, clean white stuff.  Especially once it is cleared away and the sun comes out to melt all the walking and driving surfaces back down.  I can't think of a more beautiful place to live.  The temperatures are really nice today and the sun is thinking about making an appearance.  Since the weather man is forecasting a gradual warm up to the low 40s later in the week,  I'm not too worried about where to pile another downfall. I bet  you southerners never think about those sort of things.  We really do get to the point sometime where you run out of places to pile the new snow.  As I clear the driveway I have to consider placement so we have visibility to back out of the driveway.  If you can imagine, the literal mountains of snow in the outer edges of all the public parking areas.  Resourceful kids can be seen sledding down those as well as the hills of the local parks.   It's pristine, it's beautiful, and it's fun if you are a snow person.  Having actually grown up in Arkansas where a couple of inches mixed with ice was a big storm,  I think I've adjusted fairly well to living in Western Massachusetts. I'm handy with a snow blower and have learned how to direct the snow to keep it from landing back down on the drive or sidewalk. I like to think I've been New England-ized! So as I'm lounging here enjoying the warmth of the house and the beautiful view outside my window, I am thankful this Valentine's Day for even the snow!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Just let them paint

Third grade students have also been working on a unit about native Americans.  For their project, I had the paint a pattern on one piece of  paper to create a warp and then a second sheet of paper to be cut into strips for weaving.  For the second paper, I told them they could paint what ever they would like.    I'm now sad we will be cutting up these wonderfully spontaneous paintings.   I think I'd like to give my students more opportunities to freely paint.  I think I see a future abstract artist in these!    

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Native American Totems

Fourth grade students have recently been learning about the local Native American tribe from our area.  As part of the process, they also talked about totems, their meanings and representations.  Students chose an animal totem they thought would best represent them and drew what they would want their totem medallion to look like.  Using air draw clay, students then sculpted the totem.  Week two these were painted with watercolor.  They were reminded to paint dry so as to not get the dry clay too wet.  When completed, I sprayed all totems with a gloss sealant and students hung them on a beaded cord.  They were very excited to wear their totems home.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yep, Six more weeks of winter

Today is officially a snow day....thanks Mr. Groundhog.  It's been coming down since the wee hours of the morning and I just came in from clearing the driveways and sidewalk.  I think that will probably round one of at least a two part job.  The snow is suppose to continue until about 6pm.  We already have at least 8 or so inches.   Here we go!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Six more weeks of winter

The first thing my Kindergarten students said when they entered the art room was "Six more weeks of winter, Oh No!"  They were quoting a little poem we had used as inspiration for a drawing of the groundhog leaving his burrow.  They had begun the drawing last week and today added color to the composition.  I initially read them the book Go to Sleep Groundhog by Judy Cox.  A quick overview of the book:   Groundhog goes to sleep just as he always does on Columbus Day but can't get to sleep.  He tosses and turns and finally gets up out of bed to go for a walk.  This happens repeatedly through the story and the groundhog "sees things he has never seen before" on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Each time he is assisted back to bed by a character who would be found out and about on those days.  After Santa escorts him to bed, tucks him in, reads him a bedtime story with a cookie and milk, he finally settles down and falls to sleep.  Alarmingly, time speeds by and it's time for him to wake up for February 2nd.  Lots of opportunities to have students make predictions while reading.  Good use of repetitions and a fun catchy story.  After the reading, I have students brainstorm other holidays or events that the groundhog might not normally be involved in.  They discuss what he might see on those days such as Birthday, cake, hats, streamers, and presents or Fourth of July....Uncle Sam, a parade, bands and fireworks.  With a directed draw, shapes are used to draw the groundhog just peeking up out of his burrow.  I then go into horizon line, background, and foreground with the students to clarify understanding.  Together we add a horizon line making certain to "jump over" the groundhog and not draw through him.  For here they are on their own to complete their composition allowing groundhog to discover whatever they want.  Here are a few of the completed works: