Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Early Finishers

This is what it looks like this spring in my classroom with the early finishers.   We all are loving the new "Friendly Loom".

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Recycling for the Kids during Spring Break!

A few (82 to be exact) recycled marker caps, two markers and 12' of rope and I've got a great gift for the kids for use at recess.  This jump rope was created by stringing on the marker caps with the addition of two marker bodies to create handles.  Students have been tying together two smaller jump ropes for group jumping.   As I watched them jumping, I knew just what I would be doing during spring break.  I just wish I had brought home more dead markers so I could have strung together two.  I started by taping the caps side by side in a row using wide masking tape and then wedged them as a group into my clamp.  They drilled out fairly quickly and easily using a drill bit that was slightly larger than the nylon rope that I already had; left over from another project.  I could have taken the time to create a pattern but chose to just add the caps on in a random fashion.  By removing the end plug of the marker body, I was able to string one on each end and hide the knot inside of what would now become the handle.  I put the end plug back into place once the knot was securely tied.  Melting the end of the nylon rope insures that the knot will not become loosened.  I'm looking forward to having the 3rd graders give it a test run on Monday!

Fiesta Art Gallery

Every year I am ask to create decorations for the teacher managed Fiesta dance.  I personally don't like to have my students create "decorations".  For me, it diminishes the roll of art in education.  A few years back, I shifted the focus somewhat and began to create art projects that were then used to decorate the walls.  I attempted to make cultural connections and made sure that students viewed the work they were doing as art and not decorations.  This year, I approached those in charge and requested that I shift the focus a bit more.  As a result, we will be creating the Fiesta Art Gallery.  The dance will be an event for the gallery opening.  Now, yes, I know it is still the annual dance but I think my new approach with the students will create a new experience as well.  Here are a couple of the completed projects.  I will be grouping projects by subject matter complete with labels, artist statements and description plaques reflecting the purpose of the lesson and the Visual Arts standards that are in use.  I'll let you know how it all goes and promise to post more pictures as projects are completed.  Anyone have any suggestions as I try to make the gallery a reality?  Please share ideas!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Success with the Blick project from the AOE Conference

 If you participated in the Winter AOE conference, you will recognize this great project.  We received a  materials sample in the SWAG box.  I feel in love with it right away and knew it would be a way to use my stash of twistee wire and a new way to have students demonstrate movement in their art.  The challenge was to create movement and the work had to balance.  I have done a twistee wire project in the past but this one is a little simpler and a lot more interesting.  I had the black ovals stashed away from a donation from another teacher, they worked great for the bases.  As you can see, some students opted to decorate the bases as well as the cardboard pieces that make the bodies of their people.  I know my 4th graders struggled with this in the beginning but in the end, they loved their creations and were so excited to take them home!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Wacky Birds for ATC cards

First graders have been drawing Wacky Birds this week in the form of Artist Trading Cards.  I first wrote about this project here a few years ago.  That year we used the birds in a cooperative project that still hangs in the hallway in one of my schools.  The original worksheet came from Expressive Monkey.  I love this worksheet and have used it for years.  So back to this year, we have been making ATCs to trade with other first graders in another state.  They had approximately 100 students so I decided to have my group make at least two cards each.  Open the flood gates...some students made between 4 and 6!!!  I'm not certain yet how I will handle the extras but I do intend to send at least one down to New Jersey from each student.  As the numbers demonstrate, they had a blast and just wanted to make more and more.  Thanks to my donated stash of scraps of card stock, it was not a problem with the cost of pre-cut ATC.  If you haven't done one of these projects yet, you really should try them out with your students.  They are quite the hit!