Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to School with International Dot Day Projects

We just completed our first week of school, 2 1/2 days with the students and we are off and running with projects for International Dot Day.  My teaching focus for this year will be writing artist statements using great artistic vocabulary and connecting and understanding the Elements of Art.  My older classes experienced a few AHa moments as we reviewed the elements of art and reflected on how our art making projects had incorporated multiple elements throughout their years. The students caught on as they began to remind me of their favorite projects and what they had done to represent the various elements.  The big one was Form and the realization their clay projects from previous years were classified as forms. I planned to have each grade connect to the elements in a conscience way with their "Dot" compositions.  The one on the left is from a fourth grade student.  The assignment was to demonstrate space in their composition.  We review past concepts of placement on the page, overlap and size to show space.  The small works (4" x 4 1/2) were then framed in a swirly frame as in the book "The Dot" by by Peter H. Reynolds.
I will share other projects as they are completed.  Fifth grade students are being challenged to create a composition that will reflect three of the Elements.  They will then write an artist statement defending their choices and explaining why they chose the Elements.  Third grade students are creating a dot based on something they might have experienced during the summer based on the dot shape.  I was particularly amused by some of the ideas they came up with for their dot.  I will share when they are completed, you must see the ferris wheel!  Second graders have turned their dot into a symmetrical image reflecting positive and negative spaces as they practiced effective use of scissors.  First grade classes have analyzed color mixing, some by creating a dot only colored with the primary colors and others by designing an original color wheel.  They used the primary colors to mix the secondary colors on the wheel.  I am hoping to have bulletin boards full of dots by September 15th for International Dot Day and prior to Meet the Teacher night.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Fall Bulletin Boards

Kaileigh set to work yesterday to hang two new bulletin boards to welcome my students back into the art room for a new year.  Hard to believe we are back at work on Monday.  The summer sure flew by!

This first one features a hedgehog with a fist full of crayons ready to demonstrate his creativity.  Kaileigh has a pet hedgehog that has visited my classroom in the past so many of the students have "met" it.  I cover all the bulletin boards with a heavy plastic sheeting purchased at the fabric store so that 3D items won't be knocked off of the bulletin board by students walking down the hallway.

Here she made fake candy by rolling up paper inside of colored papers and tying them with twistees.  Inexpensive sheets are used for the backgrounds and are reusable year after year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Two new signs

Thanks Ms P from Create Art with Me! for directing me to this terrific new site for making signs for your classroom.  You type in the quote and then select the template you want to use to print out a classroom sign.  This is terrific.  All those things you want to say in a professional looking format that is super quick and easy.  I had these typed up and printed out in minutes.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crayola Ultra-Clean

I recently purchased a box of the new Crayola Ultra-clean Washable crayons and Washable Markers at the local big box store.  I immediately opened them both and tried them out for coverage and color value.  I was happy with the product.  I colored my skin and just like in the promotional advertisements, it washed right off.  I didn't want to try the wash ability on clothing; wasn't brave enough.  What if the advertisement was hyped a bit and I ruined my clothing.  Then it occurred to me to pull out my swag apron from the spring AOE conference.  I had used it for printing earlier in the week, note the post prior to this one.
coloring the bird with washable crayons

adding a zentangle and flower with the markers
After rinsing out the marker and crayons with running cold water

Conclusion:  They work great!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Printmaking Unleased

I jumped on board to follow the latest readings with the Artsy Book Club.  I have spent the last couple of days pulling together some materials for a few of the projects from "Printmaking Unleashed"  For starter, the projects are a lot of fun...for me.  I think I would be reluctant to try many of the procedures with my elementary students.  I started by creating some stencils using a hot glue gun.  I grabbed an old Teflon pan from the kitchen and my glue gun and started drawing.  It was a blast however,  the stencils wouldn't lift off of the old pan.  I went in search of a Teflon sheet and was not successful so purchased another Teflon baking pan and created some new stencils.  This time it worked like a breeze and the stencils were a snap to create.  Very successful procedure but I would not place hot glue guns, even the low temp ones in the hands of a classroom full of students.  I might consider it in a well supervised environment and small group for an after school program or club.  Most of the experimentation I have done, I feel the same way about.  Not for a classroom full of elementary students but manageable for a smaller group when well supervised.  I  am not finished yet and will experiment more.  I also intend to take all the methods and combine them in some way for a completed project.
 To the right you see me showing off my hot glue gun stenciled apron.  This was from the Swag of the AOE Convention back in the spring.  I used the painted paper towel method with the stencils.  I can see this being a colorful hit in the art room.  I'll try it this method again and see if I can get it to look a bit more refined and with cleaner lines.