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!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Late Winter-Themed Post

I had meant to post this back in March but never got around to it.  Better late then never, right?  This project was inspired by a book called Heart of a Snowman.  I could only find a used copy of it on Amazon but it still arrived in great shape.  The story is a little strange, even for me, but the kids seemed to enjoy it.  I liked the Point of View in the illustrations.  We worked on recreating that same POV (looking up at the snowman from below), as well as cropping to make our snowman look bigger and shading the spheres of the snowman to make him look round.  These were drawn with pencil and then painted with tempera cakes.  Sorry I don't have any individual shots!  I only got one class group shot as they were drying.  Since we used 18 x 24 paper they wouldn't fit on my drying racks and had to live on the floor overnight!

 



Monday, May 25, 2015

Geometric Forms for 3rd Grade

Our second marking period is devoted to Form in 3rd grade.  

I introduce the subject by showing them how to create the 3D form out of the 2D shape using just pencil.  We talk about light sources and shadow directions also at this time.   It's generally the first time we've used pencil shading to really make something look three dimensional, so the kids are usually very impressed and anxious to start this project.  We just use pencil on copier paper (cheep and easy to replace if they make a mistake) and these become our first drafts. They have to try one of each form: cylinder, cube, rectangular prism, sphere, cone, and pyramid.  Most of them already know their form names because it is also a topic in their math curriculum.







After experimenting with pencil, these drafts become our models for our "big" form project.  Using oil crayon on black paper we recreate the same forms, this time adding a table.  

My third grade came up with some fabulous art this year.  The classroom teachers even decided to hang it as their bulletin boards.  I love it when that happens!




Some close ups:

      

Monday, May 18, 2015

Snow Bunnies

             
This project was inspired by the book:


This is a great way to sneak some science into your art projects.  The book features the different ways that animals deal with winter.  Some like the rabbit change color for camouflage, others migrate, and some hibernate.  It was quite impressive to see how much about animals my kindergarteners already knew and could add other details about the animals in the book or others that weren't!

This is a two part project - Part one was completed in winter.  Part two we are about to start now that it is spring.  

For our Winter Snow Bunnies we painted with tempera paint on sky blue paper using simple shapes to make the rabbit bodies.  The second day once the paint was dry we went back with oil crayons and added the faces, snowflakes and the snow covered ground.  











                  

We will be repeating the lesson with brown paint to make a spring version of our bunny.  This will be an interesting before and after to see the progress that they have made.  Spring Bunnies will be posted soon!