Thursday, October 31, 2013

3 Steps to Guaranteed FUN

Its always fun to be with Kinders.....everything is fascinating and fun to them.  This project is a real winner when it comes to a guaranteed good time. I like to do this in conjunction with Halloween since it has a creepy feel but is not necessarily Halloween.

1. During our last class, Kinders made crayons by peeling and breaking them to fit into pumpkin shaped baking forms. To conclude the crayon making class, I read Scaredy Cat Splat (this prepared them for our upcoming class) For our next class, we talked about Texture and how to create crayon rubbings using a glue line spider web (I created these for them).....thinking about that spider in last weeks story :)

2. Following the spider web rubbings, Kinders used model magic and learned to mix 2 primaries to make the secondary colors. We made a large purple ball, a medium orange ball and a small green ball.

3. Lastly, they constructed their spooky spider completed with 8 hairy legs!

A super fun, super easy and engaging lesson. I concluded class with a reading of Dem Bones....a fun filled 55 minute class!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 5 Favorite Art Projects

Variety is the spice of life.......and the art room! I love to provide my students with the opportunity to experience various materials and to see the many different ways there are to create. In this age of technology, its real work to capture the attention of students and to show them everything worth doing doesn't always involve a computer or some sort of screen to sit in front of.

Here are my top 5 projects:

5. Newspaper straw sculptures. I have used this activity for years during Family Art Nights, Parent Art Days and at art day camps with students in grades 2nd through 5th and it is always a success. A great collaborative project!

4. Painting on Canvas. Students love to use canvas. It gives them a professional feeling and work just looks amazing done on this support. I've used canvases on many projects where the culminating activity was to hold an evening event. Love, love, love canvas.

3. Felting. I've done felting with all age levels including kindergarten and they all enjoy working with this material. I like to do this activity in the spring to coincide with spring sheep sheering. They learn how wool is gathered, different ways to dye the wool and all the various ways people use wool. Our projects involve natural and kool aid dying and a collaborative "story quilt"

2. Chalk Pastels. The vibrant colors of chalk pastels make it a favorite with students. I use chalk pastels with 2nd through 5th grade and each level does an impressive job. Chalk pastels are a hit with families too. I find that these are some of the most "framable" of all projects probably due to the awesome color.

1. Paper Mache! Most art teachers I know steer clear of paper mache because of the mess and space required for sculptures to dry. Its true. Its a big mess but if you love it like I do, you will just go with the flow and enjoy the crazy ride. Students LOVE paper mache even when they moan about the gooey, stickiness of it!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

You've got 3 Minutes- No Talent Required

Get your pencils and paper....put your creativity hat on...
Turn the timer and GO!

Thats how you "play" Whatchamadrawit! Want to give it a try? Well, here is the card I pulled for you:

Draw a person with super long legs, super short arms and a super big mouth.

I just received this in the mail on Friday and will add it to my growing list of prompts to use with students once they have completed a project. 

Super fun. Very silly.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Pledge to the 3 R's

After the pledge each morning, students also recite a pledge to be respectful, responsible and ready to learn. They may not follow this pledge everyday but I do think that speaking to this does sink it.

During the first weeks of school I had the 2-5th graders think about what these 3 R's mean when they come to the art room. Of course there is some overlap of classroom and art room behavior but there were a few things that were different.

I took their lists and then created these to post in our art room.

These posters haven't yet made it to the wall yet since I'm working on moving things around to fit them in. I have limited wall space and want them to be visible so we can refer back to them as needed.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Who knew Carrots were Creepy?!

I love a good book! I find it challenging to introduce students to books they have not yet heard over and over again so I am constantly searching. Some turn out to be great while others are just okay. But, I think I discovered a great new book to read to my young students in celebration of Halloween.

Its not a Halloween book really. But anything orange and has the word creepy in it works!

Great illustrations of carrots with Jack-o-lantern like faces. 

Be sure to check this book out! 
I'm thinking of doing onomatopoeia drawings with my second graders either quickly in our sketchbooks or if time permits, as a quick project. Great to connect CC with art.

Fall Still Life

Fourth and fifth graders are beginning to finish their fall still life project they are doing for Art to Remember! We have a 5 day rotation and it seems like things take forever for them to finish.

They have all done a great job on these mixed media still life's.

To begin, students sketched various fall objects in their sketchbooks. 

When they finished, students did a self assessment called 2 stars and a wish. They wrote 2 things they really did well and one thing they wished they had done.

Since there were many students at various levels of completion, I then had a Art Vocabulary match for them to complete. Once finished, they self scored which made this assessment very easy....all I do now is enter their scores :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Art To Remember

At the start of the year I always begin with our Fall fundraiser, Art To Remember. Its rather challenging to determine a start of the school year project that needs to move along rather quickly to meet the ATR deadlines and engage the students for quality work.

Fourth and fifth graders created a fall still life. They studied & sketched pumpkins, indian corn, acorns, leaves and gourds before starting.

They used their sketchbook studies to help them draw their "masterpiece". After their drawing was finished, they moved to outlining and coloring. I gave a demonstration on both drawing and coloring so they understood what they should be working on.

Second and third graders drew owls. They planned their picture in their sketchbook before working on good paper. Our focus was line, pattern and symmetry.

Our projects are wrapping up this week and then we will be onto something new :)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

APPR and Pre-Post Assessments

Last year was our first year as a district working with the APPR and pre-post assessments. Most of the art teachers were not happy with the pre/post we had to give so I have really been researching and learning what I can do. Meaning, what can I do in my art room and share with my colleagues in hopes the higher powers will listen.  I have been busy creating a kindergarten pre-post assessment that I can give at the beginning and end of year but will also work on pre-post assessments to give before and after projects for all grade levels k-5.

Today I'll share my kindergarten pre-post assessment since its almost complete. I devised rubrics for cutting, gluing, and coloring, 3 areas I typically assess while moving thru the room. I'm just finishing up these rubrics so I will post them later.

The assessment will be in book form and will focus on the Elements of Art that kindergartners are expected to know at years end. On our first day of art, students will work on their cover, a picture of how they came to school today. Did they ride the bus? Get dropped off by a parent? What did they bring and wear....all this will be directed to them to do without a demonstration.

Another pre/post assessment I've created for kindergarten is based on a lesson I typically do at the start of the year, Patterned Fish........I will share my documents later this week or early next since I'm just so tired after my first day of school. Kids don't come until Thursday but I'm tired already!

Friday, August 9, 2013

A New Year Ahead, A New Blog....

The summer is in the home stretch and the school year will begin in just a few short weeks. My summer  has been filled with lots of professional development (more on that later) and in many ways I'm excited to start the year. But really, who doesn't love free time, no scheduled events, and relaxation?! Thats why the end of summer/ beginning of the school year is bittersweet.

I have been very bad at keeping up my artroom blog in the past and that is why I've created this new one. My thought is that I will start fresh! I will reach out to my 7 followers from my past blog and invite them here.... I need to really try hard at keeping this thing going!

One of my problems I think was that I wasn't clear to myself as to who I was gearing this blog for. Was it fellow art teachers or was it for my school families? I am clear now!  This space is really for me to share with fellow art teachers! I would like to share what I'm doing at each grade level, I teach k-5th, my management style, assessments I'm using, technology I'm trying, and how I'm linking to the common core. To begin, I will most likely post once a week. If I give myself a schedule, I think that might help.

Please join me here as I share with all of you what the heck goes on in my art room :)