Sunday, February 19, 2017

Jackson Pollock and the Smartboard

Wow!  I have seriously neglected this blog.  So much has been happening personally and professionally I honestly did not have the time to give this site the time it deserved.  I cannot promise that I will update on a regular schedule again as things are still a bit chaotic but I will make the effort to keep this blog from dying entirely.  

Today's post is all about the smartboard.  If you are lucky enough to have one of these in your room they are the BEST!  In the photos below I was using my smartboard as a giant canvas to let the kids play at being Jackson Pollock.  I pulled up the website and let the kids come up and take turns dragging their hands across the screen to capture their own movement, tapping the screen to change colors and seeing just what kind of a virtual mess they could make!  I split the class into three groups and they all took turns creating.  I snapped the photos after each group was done.  Unfortunately, we no longer have color printers in our school system as the town as deemed them too expensive so I couldn't do a screen capture and print the images from a graphic program. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Welcome Back!

My apologies for the late welcome back to school!  I realize that the school year started a while ago but I have only just had time to update (3rd grade went on a field trip!).    This summer I spent my August moving into my new classroom, unpacking my supplies (special thanks to my husband for taking a day off to help me with my 54 boxes), and deciding how to arrange my new space. 
One weird thing about the new school is that there is only one small bulletin board inside my classroom.  One.  Small.  Bulletin Board.  And because the building is new, our town's administration was freaking out about the walls getting ruined with tape or poster tack or whatever.    We had to use specially approved items to hang anything anywhere.  It was a bit ridiculous.  Still, I got it done. 

I have never before been so organized:
My Vocab Wall is divided into three sections.

Shapes and Forms Word Wall.

Color Family Word Wall

Line Type Word Wall

My lonely little bulletin board.

Only one tiny whiteboard to write on.  My Art Essential Questions as written by the district curriculum above.

Elements of Art

Look! Two Sinks!

I love these containers.  LOVE them.  Everything stacks and fits so nicely.

I can't believe I actually have extra space in some cabinets.

My counters haven't been this un-cluttered in years.

Marker Storage, including extra caps for when someone looses one.

Extra crayons and refills. 

Oil crayons, chalks, and inks.

I have to admit though, there's not a lot of stuff on the top shelf because I have trouble reaching it.

Two sinks, but only one paper towel dispenser.  That was a swing and a miss.

Is there anything prettier then organized paint?

Finger paints, stampers, texture tools, and palettes all have homes now!

Room to grow!

My paper has never looked so pretty!

Even my drawing papers look great now.

Happiness is organized prints.  Landscapes, Animals, Portraits, Still Lives and Abstract/Non-objectives all have the own shelves now.

I even scored a bonus closet for my books.

I can't remember the last time everything fit so nicely.

Under sink storage too.

Have I mentioned the storage?

New giant drying rack with shelves that open and lock in place.

A smart board!  And it works!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Summer Vacation!

Hi all! 

Our school year actually ended on June 19th!  This coming school year will be my 16th year of teaching elementary art.  It's hard to believe sometimes that so many years have gone by or that there are still so many before retirement! 

In case I don't get back to the computer to post during the summer I just wanted to wish everyone a great vacation!  Enjoy your time off and make sure to rest, relax, and restore yourself because the new year will be here before you know it!

Monday, June 22, 2015

New Room, Under Construction!

One of my schools will be closing at the end of this school year due to issues with the age of the building.  A brand new state-of-the-art school has been built for us.  It comes complete with a brand new art room!  It will be the first time I do not have to share a room with the music teacher in 15 years.  This time we each have our own space!  The best part - I have a smartboard and storage space.  So, so much storage space.  I almost don't know how I want to set the room up or decorate because I have so many options now.  Anyone have any suggestions?  Post pics or links to the favorite aspect of your own rooms to give me ideas!

New Cabinets

New places for my supplies!

Drawers deep enough to hold paint gallons!

And an extra closet just because!

Look at those windows!  All that open space!

A smartboard!  Do you have any idea how long I have wanted a smartboard?

TWO SINKS!  And they're not in a corner where the kids will bunch up and fight about the line!

Power strips where the computer station will be.

And did I mention the storage? 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Making Music in Art!

How to Make Maracas

Step one: Put beads, or rice, or popcorn kernels inside an Easter egg.

Step Two: Tape the egg shut and tape a spoon to either side to make the handle.
 Step 3: Cover the entire structure with plaster wrap while making a gigantic mess in the art room.

Step 4: Paint!  Cover the whole thing in a base coat

Step 5:  Paint some more!  Add designs and decorations!

Step 6: Bring to music class to play!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Three Hens and a Peacock

 Look at our Peacock display!  Gorgeous, right?  It was all inspired by an adorable book I found at our school book fair called "Three Hens and a Peacock."

Image result for three hens and a peacock

 The kids loved the story and the silly illustrations.  They were even able to apply some things they were learning in their own classroom literacy centers to the story.  I was told by an authoritative first grader that the moral was to be happy with what you have, because things aren't always better even if they look that way.  I was certainly impressed by them when they came up with that bit of sage wisdom!

I'm fortunate enough to have in-laws that live on a farm and actually have a peacock and a few hens.  Petey the Peacock even kindly donated some of his feathers to us so I could pass them around the class and let them feel and observe them up close.  They loved hearing stories about Petey too.  For instance, it's a male peacock's job to perch somewhere up high and keep an eye out for predators.  Petey likes to sit on top of my in-laws' garage while his hens search for food below.  If he sees a hawk or fox or coyote, Petey will give an alarm call and all the hens take cover until he sounds an all clear.  My first graders were very impressed with how responsible Petey is with keeping his family safe.

We used oil crayons, blending and mixing our blues and greens to make that special "peacock turquoise", added feather textures and created that special "eye" pattern on the tail feathers.  It took about two classes of 40 minutes, although some of my slowpokes needed an extra half a class after that.

Looks just like him, right?
Petey seems to be camera shy.  He fled any time I got close!