Friday, March 29, 2013

April is National Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month...  I work with and have worked with many Autistic children over my 25 years teaching art.   They range from kindergarten to 5th grade and are on the Autistic Spectrum in many varying degrees. 

Last week one of my 5th grades was away on a trip, so I made sure to tell the Autism teacher in our 3-5 school to send down the two boys who are mainstreamed into the class for art, even though the rest of the class was away.  I told her the whole class was welcome to come down if she wanted!  Five of my favorite kids showed up for art with their Para-Professionals!  We only had a short time and a couple of the kids were upset because we had changed their routine...

Change is very difficult for an Autistic child and the littlest thing can upset them.  One was upset because they passed the door for the lunch room and he thought it was time to eat! Sorry no food!  Just extra art!  :)

I pulled out my painted paper scrap box and had the kids create these beautiful painted paper flowers!  The ladies that work with them drew out the petal shapes and had the kids cut them out and glue them onto their flowers center how ever the child wanted.  They came out beautiful and the teacher hung them in the hallway outside their classroom!  Sometimes the project that is last minute and off the cuff comes out great and these did! 

Do the flower's centers look familiar?  We have started to recycle these into other projects!  I love when I can get these guys together for a group lesson!  Each child in the group verbalizes in a different way so there was a lot of chatter and happy working noises in the room!  :)

We are finally on Spring Break!  Yeah!!!  I will be back after vacation with more lessons from my room.  I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter/Passover! 

Mrs.C  :)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Images from the Art Room

One of my favorite posters

Recycled bottles ready to print flowers!

Coloring mixing time

Remind myself this many, many times...

Always smile!

Busy Kindergarten hands

Chalk anyone?

Always a painting drying in the art room

Third grade creativity

Messy art teacher hands (always!)

So much fun printing our fish!

Loved this collaborative piece from last year! Will do it again!

Busy week, trying to get all the classes caught up before the end of the marking period.  Spring officially came to my part of the woods on Wednesday but it doesn't feel like it yet! Temps in the 30's!  Seems like someone forgot to tell Mother Nature!

Next week is going to be busy again!  Grades to get done, 2nd grade is starting their props and mural for their play in music...  This years theme is outer space!  Monday — Thursday and then...  SPRING BREAK!!!  I don't know who needs it more, the kids or the teachers!  :)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tranquil Landscapes - Watercolor - 4th Grade


Peaceful...  Calm...  Tranquil...  That's how each and every one of these watercolor landscapes appear.  Fourth grade is finishing up their icy landscapes.  I was inspired by these beautiful pieces from Arteascuola and Color, Collage and Much More.  

We started the first class by creating the backgrounds.  The students used liquid watercolor and salt to get their gorgeous skies!  I had the kids paint them about 3/4's of the way down the paper since we were going to be covering some of it.  We used blues and purples and black.

I then had them paint a piece with only green, blue and black.  The students created a watercolor wash for this section that would be cut into the mountains, glaciers or some said they looked like a forest of pines. 

For the ice, I demonstrated how to use plastic wrap to create this very cool, crackled look.

I had never done this technique with my students so I played around with before instructing them how to do it.  We used the liquid watercolors in blues and purples (the green is only in this example for all of you).  I told them they must work quickly because if the paint dries or absorbs into the paper this technique will not be very effective. 

I ripped off enough pieces of plastic wrap ahead of time and had it on their tables and ready so they could use it as soon as they were ready.  As soon as they laid the plastic wrap on I had them scrunch it around for a few seconds.  I stressed that they were not to take the wrap off!  Some still did and had to re-start! 

As soon as the pieces began to dry the plastic wrap fell away from the paper. I saved them and had other classes re-use them.

The final item was to choose an animal, sketch it and add it to their landscape.  

Can you tell that penguins were popular?! 
There were also polar bears, caribou and white seals.  

I love how the pieces turned out!
I am grading them quickly as the kids are dying to take them home!

Have a great weekend and look out for those Leprechauns on Sunday! 

Mrs.C  :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Gyotaku and 3d Grade - Science and Multi-Cultural Connections

Happy Friday everyone!  It is snowing here again! (we have about 6.5 inches already and its still coming down!)  Originally I had a delayed opening and busted my butt to shovel out the driveway before we all had to leave for work and school.  As soon as I finished shoveling, I got a call saying school was now closed!  Well, at least its done!

My third grades have been working on some Gyotaku pieces.  The kids LOVED this!  In fact I am going to develop a Gyotaku lesson for 4th and 5th grade also.  They saw the ones 3d grade was working on and begged to do it as well!  This is the first time I have done this lesson.  I just purchased my rubber fishies this school year.  I also picked up a set of leaves and moths/butterflies.  We will use them also before the school year is out.

This is another STEAM piece as it has a science connection.  It also has a multi-cultural connection.  So to start I showed the students this short video clip...


The video clip shows the students how the artist, Naoki, uses Gyotaku as his art form.  I found this clip a while back when I knew i wanted to do a Gyotaku lesson.  I have also have seen links to it on other blogs. What a great little clip!  I also showed the kids some of the art work Naoki has on his web gallery.

There are many lesson ideas out there in blog land for doing Gyotaku with kids.  These are a few that I found:  Fine LinesDali's Moustache and Art Project Girl.  I'm sure that there are more out there just Google Gyotaku lessons with kids.

I had the students start working by drawing some seaweed, lakeweed onto a piece of 12x15 white sulphite drawing paper with oil pastel.  I gave them light, dark green and yellow.

When they were done drawing, I had them paint their water using only the greens and the blues in our water color sets.  I told them to stay away from using the warm colors since it would muddy the colors and we didn't want our water to look polluted!

While the kids worked on their backgrounds independently at their tables, I called them to the back of the classroom two at a time to print their fish. (one of the classes named them Bob and Gertrude!  They name everything Bob!)  They got to choose whether they wanted to print the fat fish or the skinny fish.  I had both fish pre-printed and on the front board so they could see what each looked like.  We used tempera paint cakes to paint the fish.  This kept the amount of paint at the perfect level for getting a successful print.  I didn't have rice paper, so I cut up some Dippety-Dye paper I had to print the fish on.  It was perfect since it has a soft, flexible quality!

Close-ups of our rubber fishy friends

I placed them in the fiber board trays.  

It was crazy busy to get everyones fish printed but the kids were great following directions and we got it all done in one 30 minute class!

We let our fish prints and backgrounds dry.

This week when the students came in for art they found these supplies on their tables...  Glue sticks, scissors, pencils, painted paper scraps and a tray with black, yellow and orange paint on it.

All the painted paper scraps are leftover from an arctic landscape 4th grade is working on. More on that next week. 

In the second class the students cut out their fish and chose where they wanted to glue them in place.  They used the painted paper scraps to cut out fishy friends, shells, etc...  we used the eraser end of pencils to dot in fish bubbles, gravel, sand, what ever they wanted it to be.  a couple of the kids made the orange and yellow dots into fish eggs! I love it! :)  

These are just a few of the finished pieces from my Tuesday classes.  Everyone was thrilled with their end result!

Well, I am off to enjoy my unexpected day off from school!  The temperature is supposed to be in the high 50's this weekend and next week!  I can't wait for Spring!  Have a great weekend!  

Mrs.C  :)