Friday, February 24, 2012

2nd Grade - Water Lily Ponds - Claude Monet

My second graders have started to finish up their water lily ponds.  Here are a few of the paintings from the front hallway display.  The students had so much fun making these and really put a lot of effort into how they mixed their colors!  We spent time looking at Monet's water lily paintings and studied many photos online of what Monet's house and gardens look like today.  My students were entranced by the photos from the web site and all kept asking if we could go on a field trip there!  I found the link on Pinterest and pinned it to my board on Monet.

In week one they got to paint their backgrounds with blues and purples.  They used large flat brushes, sponge brushes and sponge rollers.  The second week they got two greens, yellow and white. I showed them how they could mix and blend their colors for different effects.  They used ovals and squiggly lines for their lily pads and grasses. Week three they got magenta, yellow and white. I showed them several different ways they could make their lilies and how to mix the paints to get several different colors.  The students  absolutely love how they came out and are getting rave reviews from everyone that passes them in the hall!  Thanks to Laura from Painted Paper for inspiring me with her students renditions of Monet's waterlilies!  Seeing those made me decide to change up how we normally created our ponds.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kandisky Inspired Abstracts

These are some Kandinsky inspired abstracts.  After looking at and discussing some abstracts created by Kandinsky each student got a piece of purple paper (purple because due to budget cuts I chose from what I had enough of and purple was it!).  Each table got a basket of construction paper crayons (love these crayons!  They color so nicely on colored paper!)  They were instructed to use at least 6 lines.  (lines were discussed and drawn on the white board.  I left the lines on the white board so the students could refer back to them if they wanted).  Once they had their lines drawn they added color to different sections of their design.  Blending colors was encouraged for more interesting color effects. 

Tree Reflections - 2nd Grade

My second graders created these tree reflections before the holidays.  I found the idea for the project on Artsonia during last summer while browsing through the lesson plan ideas.  In the first class they drew out their trees and the reflections.  I demonstrated how to draw the trees with the oil pastel different ways.  Then I demonstrated how to create the reflection by using a scribbly motion to create a copy of their trees but upside down.  They then used white oil pastel and colored over the tree reflections to give them a watery look.  In the second class the students used watercolor to paint their skies and the water.  I showed them many different color combinations that they could use.  In the third class they used white paint to create a subtle snow fall.  They had the option of painting the dots of snow using their brush gently or using the end of the brush to create their dots.  Most of them used the end of the brush since they could control the size of the dots better.  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

1st Grade Cityscapes


My first grades created cityscapes at night to go along with their unit on communities that they have been studying in their homerooms.  We started with oil pastel to create the sky design.  They then painted them with watered down blue tempera I mixed.  In the second class I demonstrated how to "build" their cities using geometric shapes they cut from either purple, gray or black paper.  They used painted paper scraps for windows and doors.  Any finishing details were added with oil pastel.  They did a great job!


Sunday, February 19, 2012

I must say I have become quite obsessed with Pinterest!  Here is a link to my page.  There is such an enormous collection of inspirational ideas and cool stuff!  I love that I can collect all the things I like, love, want to make, can use for school, etc...  Save them to my virtual bulletin boards and be able to go back and get them when ever I need them!  I have been telling everyone I know that they have to go on and see what it is about!  Are any of you loving it too?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Aftermath of Valentines Day


What was I thinking?  We started painting the backgrounds for our Waterlily Ponds for our Monet study in second grade today.  I think they all left their ears home and had candy overload from yesterday!  A few left with their hands still looking a little Smurf blue (they got a little too involved in the paint) but they got it done.  I found a great website that I was able to use in our discussion about Monet. It shows you pictures of what Monet's house and garden look like today and when he was alive.  The students were glued to the pictures and loved seeing actual photos of places in his garden he painted.  I'll post the finished paintings when they are done.  Now I need to roll up my sleeves and go scrub brushes, the sink, the floor.....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Surviving Art on a Cart

This post is for all of my fellow art educators who are teaching your program off a cart.  As I wander the many art blogs out there I often see some very nice art rooms.  Beautiful storage units, cabinets, tables and chairs (that match!) some very nice rooms indeed.  I look at them and think how nice they all look and feel a bit of envy.  But then I remember how lucky I am to have a room in both schools this year (mismatched furniture and all).  Over the years (24 of them) I have been on and off a cart in both of my schools many times.  Most recently I was on a cart for two years in my 3d-5th grade school.  I found out this summer (while cleaning Barbies and My Little Ponies out of my daughters closet) that my principal had gotten a room for me for the 2011-2012 school year!  I whooped and hollered at the top of my lungs!  For two years I was dragging three carts packed with supplies and projects around the building.  Two years ago there was a need for another 4th grade and my room was the last to be had.  (I share with the music teacher as we alternate days between two elementary schools).  So the art /music room became a fourth grade.  I knew before school was out so I had that summer to gather my wits and put a plan into action.  So here is my advice to make life a little easier for you:

1.  Be as organized as you possibly can!  This was for me, a Herculean task.  Even on days when I felt like collapsing and just running out the door at the end of the day I made sure everything was where it belonged and got things ready for the next day.  Now mind you my kids are old enough to take care of themselves now so that helped a lot.  But there was a time I could not stay later and had to get home to them.  I also bought a gardening apron to wear that had many pockets and would use it to carry things I always needed at hand.  (tape,pencils,markers,stapler,etc..)

2.  Befriend the custodians!  You are going to need their help and support for many things.

3.  Think on your feet.  There is always the opportunity for something to go wrong even with all your planning.  I would sometimes forget a supply I would need and have work around it. I was at the mercy of the classroom teachers for the use of the smart board or the computer.  I was lucky enough though to have their support and they would always ask me if I wanted to use it or would offer any help.  I would always ask ahead if I was planning a lesson that was going to need it.  This way they had a heads up before I got there.  My class time was their planning time and they would often be working in their room.

4.  I had three carts. One for 3d and 4th grade(they are both on the same floor) One for 5th grade (their rooms are upstairs and I use the elevator as little as possible-all of us that would use it(music,health,spanish)would joke it was like being in a bad 80's horror flick ! It makes weird noises, its ice cold, the lights flash and it would often go to floors you did not request to go to) The third cart was the painting cart. It was loaded with everything I needed to paint with my classes including a drying rack that was perched on top. It was a low standing wide cart so it worked well for it.

5.  Each cart (except the painting cart) had three shelves.  They were big AV carts.  The top shelf was my desk top.  Students projects,plan book (actually a clipboard with my plans for the day since my book itself would not fit.  That stayed in my office which was the side closet area off the stage I shared with the health teacher — When you opened the door it would hit the back of my desk chair!)  Paper I needed for projects, all my pens, pencils, erasers etc... and a box of tissues and band-aids.  The second shelf had a large classpack of markers, any supplies I needed that fit on top of it and a box lid filled with extra paper and imagination sheets for free time.  The bottom shelf also had supplies I needed for the day as well as a bin filled with drawing books, rubbing plates, symmetry shapes, tessellation shapes and crazy shape stencils. These were all things the students could use if they had free time.

6.  When we painted I had newspaper that was already folded to fit perfectly on top of their desks.  I would put tempera paint for projects into disposable plastic paint cups (I would buy from Sax in my school order) I would cut holes into the center of the lids which kept the paint from spilling directly out if they tipped on their desk tops.  I would stack them in storage carry all that I used to use for table supplies when I had a room.  I saved every plastic container that had a lid!  I used them for many, many things.  I have round quart size ones that I would fill with water for painting at their desks.  They also had lids that I would cut holes into the center of.  I still use those today.  I had a dirty water bucket and a clean water bucket and a container of water to put dirty brushes in.

7.  Keep a big roll of paper towels on every cart!  I would wet paper towels in the clean water for hands since this school has no running water in the rooms.  If I needed clean water in an emergency we would get it from a water fountain in the hallway!  They had to be pretty messy for me to send them to the bathroom.

8.  There was often projects drying in the hallway along the wall of the classrooms when I would run out of room on the drying rack. (more than once I forgot projects that were laying in the 3d grade alcove to dry!)

9.  SMILE!  I know it is not always easy but I always find you are better off in the end.  I would often be late to a class.  I had no travel time built into my schedule and at times would have to go from across the building to get to a class.  I would always come in with a smile (sweaty, but with a smile).  I never wanted the kids to see me aggravated.  No one likes a miserable art teacher!

10.  Enlist helpers to move things from room to room.  I would always pick students to help me push a cart or carry a box or help collect dry pictures from the hall.  The students are always eager to help.  Their help is huge when your time is limited.
Just writing this down and thinking about it I'm exhausted!  Mind you, I did all this in 30 minute classes!  Yes, 30 minutes.  That is all the time I have once a week with my 3d-5th grades.  1st and 2nd have 40 minutes in a different school.  So as I look at photos of other classrooms when I feel a little jealous of your space I remember how blessed I am to have a room in both of my schools this year.  They even put an huge slop sink in my room (3d-5th grade school) this year!  I told my principal should he move me again the sink is coming with me!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Just Getting Started

Yeah to for being the first follower of my blog!  I am just starting out as a blogger and have so much to learn and soo much I want to do with my site!  Now I just need to find the time!  I am really quite inept when it comes to technology but I am learning (21st century skills, I'm working on it)  My students can trouble shoot my technology issues better than I.  I keep reminding them that there was no such thing as a personal computer when I was growing up!  We had encyclopedias and typewriters.  I am trying to add something at least once or twice a week.  Bear with me it will get better!  (I hope!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Chinese New Year Dragons - 1st Grade

Happy Chinese New Year! Yes, I know it was several weeks ago, but when you only have Art once a week for 40 minutes it takes a while to finish a project.  My first graders dove right in with this project as soon as they saw it was a dragon!  We talked about symmetry ( they have been talking about symmetry in math also so it worked out great!)  They did an awesome job! They are so proud of them!

Friday, February 3, 2012

5th grades finished 3D Line Designs(tornados)

Here are some of the finished 3D line designs (tornado's) from 5th grade.  (see post from 1/24/12)  They came out AWESOME!!!  The students are really proud of them!  They were definitely a lesson in patience but the outcome was worth it!  Some were done in black Sharpie marker and some were done in pencil.