Saturday, November 15, 2014

Free Art

What type of behavior management program do you incorporate in your classroom?  Both of my schools incorporate a Positive Behavior System and I tie my management to that program.  In both schools, PBS is based on three focus points.  In my classroom, students are expected to observed the points and as a group can earn three squares on a behavior chart each week.  If all three squares are filled; they earn a free art class in 7 weeks.  My first classes achieved free art this week.  I have several art games, drawing books and old favorite creative toys such as blocks, spiral graph, a felt board, Wild Wooly, and etch-a-sketch for students to use freely during this class period.  I love watching the choices they make when given the opportunity to freely explore.  Here are a few photos from yesterday's creativity.  Regardless of age, the boys are always drawn to the blocks.  Future architects in the making, I predict!

See like a Scientist

If you follow EC Learning Studios you probably saw this on their facebook page.  An area of focus for my students this year is to "see like a scientist".  This is perfect.  I can't wait to share it with all my students.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pout Pout Fish

I won the books over on Mr. E's web site.
I'm really excited to use these with my students.  I especially love the one where Pout Pout fish goes to school.  Thank you Mr. E. for a terrific contest and this great trilogy of books.

Printing and Poppy Flowers

November is printmaking month in the art room.  With the younger grades the projects are usually mono-prints with collographs and relief prints for the older grades.  I am a person that requires experiment and change and am bored teaching the same lesson over and over.  This year was time for change so I began perusing the internet and pinterest for new ideas and ways to teach printmaking.  I found a really cute monster project here that used a marker and coffee filter print.  I like the method but didn't want to do monsters.  With Veteran's Day coming up, I thought of poppy flowers.  In my research, I discovered that poppy flowers are only associated with Memorial Day not Veteran's Day but the project was born regardless.  Here are some visual steps to creating the finished printing and collage project.

Begin by ironing the filters to flatten, then have students add color with yellow and red to the filter.
Spray the filter with water which has been placed on a sheet of white paper.  Place a 2nd paper on top and rub to transfer the inks to the papers.  This is the printing process.  You can iron them to rush the drying process or leave them to dry on your dry rack for week two.  Next the students used some scrap greeting cards to create organic shapes to trace to create the petals of the poppy flowers.  These were traced on the filter and printed papers.
I had students to draw grass and stems on a dampened sheet of 9x12 paper to create a field for the flowers.  I chose to dampen the paper so the watercolors would run to mimic the color patterns of the prints.  Poppy flowers  have 4-6 petals; shapes were chosen to create each flower.  Once flowers were in place, a black water based marker was used to dot in the centers of the flowers, accentuate some of the grass and stems and outline the flower petals.

Color pencils in shades of green can be used to add in a few buds.  This was a very successful and fun-filled lesson!

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Okay, let me begin by sharing, this was not my project idea.  I needed one more quick project for October and a fellow art teacher friend shared this one with me.  First, I presented a brief history on the life of Picasso where we focused on the development of cubism.  The lesson was presented in a directed drawing format.  I always like to keep them guessing when I present a lesson this way.  Instead of revealing what we are drawing, I focus on shapes and lines and how they are combined to create form.  It doesn't take too many steps until students begin to guess what they are creating.  This one took awhile but they did quickly catch on to the fact we were creating like Picasso.  They are drawn on construction paper and colored with construction paper crayons and texture plates.  Texture had to be added in at least one area but could be utilized as much as the student wanted.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Fall Harvest Observational Drawings

Fourth grade students have been working on developing their ability to see "like a scientist" this past month by observing and drawing a harvest still life.  After drawing the still life the first time, they partner critiqued and drew it again based on the feedback they received.  The 2nd attempt was then colored using oil pastels.  Again, students focused on adding color as they saw it not as they thought it should be; no coloring book colors from this group!  Here are some of their beautiful results.