Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Any Thoughts?...

OK everyone out there in Art Teacher Land...   This next school year (2012 - 2013) I am going to be getting Kindergarten classes for the very first time in 24 years!  I am getting five of them to be exact.  Our school district is going to a full day Kindergarten next year.  With that said, I am very excited to have them.  However, now I need to put together a file of ideas that I can use for lessons next year.  I was wondering...  If you have Kindergarten classes, what are some of your favorite lessons?  Are there things you have done but will never do again because it just went really bad (fast)?  Any Tips, Tricks, Thoughts and Helpful advice on this subject?  I have already started to collect ideas and pick the brains of our Kindergarten teachers, but would love to know what some of your favorites lessons are...  Please leave a comment and let me know...   :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Monochromatic Skies - 5th Grade

My 5th grade classes painted these monochromatic skies back in January.  I have seen many versions of this lesson on blogs and originally saw this lesson on Artsonia over the summer while planning lessons for this school year.  My 5th graders loved, loved, loved this lesson!!!  They got completely absorbed in the coloring mixing!

I recently sat down and started playing around with how to use Picasa to edit my photos.  Let me just ask you.  "Can you say FUN?"  This site is so much fun!  I was able to do a lot of different things with Picasa!  I labeled all my photos with my blog name, framed, cropped and made several versions of photo collages.  Yes, it is time consuming and is not something you can do on the spot but, it was well worth the time and effort to do it all!

Another photo collage
Here are the photos by themselves. I was also able to frame each one.
I had many different frame styles and color choices!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Getting Ready for the 2nd Grade Musical

Working on the ocean back drop for 2nd grades play in music
Every spring our second graders do a musical play with our music teacher.  This year the theme is the ocean.  We have started to get their props and backdrops ready to be used in their dress rehearsals.  Each class is helping to paint and create the back drop.  I had been thinking for a while how I wanted them to paint the ocean.  At first, I was going to have them each paint some wavy lines to represent the water.  However, after seeing Phyl's post about how her third graders painted in the style of Klee, I knew then it was the way I wanted to go with the water!  I began by creating a grid on pink bulletin board paper (it was the heaviest and better to paint on than the other colors).  By using the blocks each child had a defined space to paint in.  I sent the students back to paint in groups of about six to eight depending on the class size.  I let them choose any of the five colors to paint in their blocks and I encouraged them to blend the colors in their block.  Each student painted three blocks.  The photograph shows the work of three classes (I have seven second grades).  Once we get all the blocks painted I will then add a sandy bottom and have the students help make seaweed along with sea creatures in the ocean.  I will post the finished backdrop in a couple of weeks when it is complete.

Each student is creating their own sea creature that they will be holding as a prop during their play.  These just need the tongue depressor added so they can hold on to them.

Each child started by decorating a piece of oak tag using oil pastel and watercolors.

We let these dry and during the second class the students turned them over and began drawing their sea creature.  I gave them each a packet with directions of what they would need to draw for their sea creature. 

Each student started with the same size circle shape and then started creating by adding the necessary body parts to complete their chosen sea creature.  They then cut, glued and decorated!  Everyone loves their creations and can't wait to show them off at their play next month!

A few more of their sea creatures!

I will post more sea creatures as the students complete them! The students and I are  looking forward to seeing the completed mural!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Jim Rizzi inspired Cityscapes and Buildings - 3rd & 4th Graders

James Rizzi - (1950 - 2011)  

My third and fourth graders recently finished working on some pieces that were inspired by the art of Jim Rizzi.  Fourth graders created cityscapes that involved at least three buildings and the third graders designed their own individual building that we combined in a class mural to create a large cityscape.  These are still works in progress as classes are still adding individual details to them.  I had never developed a lesson around Jim Rizzi's artwork before, so I developed two separate lessons, two different ways to see which one was more successful.  Both my third and fourth graders loved the project.

I think next year I will only do this lesson with third graders and I will have them do the cityscape lesson, as the students enjoyed making several buildings as well as adding all the background details.  Each class spent time looking at and discussing the art work of Jim Rizzi before they got down to the work of designing their own buildings "with personality". Once the children finished sketching their picture they outlined them in black Sharpie marker and finished by painting their pieces in with watercolor.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Cubist Ocean Scenes - 3d Grade

Here are some watercolor paintings that my third graders did in September.  This is by far one of my favorite lessons that we did this year!  I found the idea on Artsonia in the lesson ideas section.  I don't remember the exact name of the lesson and couldn't find it again when I looked, so sorry , I couldn't link it to that exact lesson.  If it is your lesson, please let me know so I can give you credit!  If I remember correctly, I believe it was a lesson for middle school and I adapted it to fit the needs and objectives for my third graders.  The students loved the lesson and it was a great kick-off for the school year!  We studied several different cubist paintings and pictures of sea life before getting started.  I drew up drawing directions for making many different types of fish and sea life.  We also used the ocean drawing books in the art room for ideas.  Enjoy!

1 Point Perspective - 5th Grade

My 5th graders are starting to finish up their one-point perspective drawings.  The projects have taken about four weeks to work on, but now they are really starting to take shape!  I modified the objectives of the lesson as needed for my students.  These are just a few of the pictures.  I will post more as they complete them.  Thanks to the great directions from Smart Class!  I used them as a starting point to draw up my own instructions and make direction packets for the students to use as they were working.  This way they had the directions I demonstrated right in front of them and could look at them for help if they were waiting for me while I was busy with another student.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Dot

My two second grade classes on Friday are way ahead of my other second grade classes due to days off, programs etc...  I wanted a quick, but inspirational project to give them that would only take one of our 40 minute classes.

I began to peruse through a ton of  lesson ideas and came along a clipping I had saved about the book "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds.  The story is about a little girl named Vashti who doesn't believe that she is very creative.  Her teacher gets her to make "A Dot" on her paper and proceeds to have her sign it.  Her teacher frames it and hangs the dot over her desk for all to see.  Vashti in seeing it exclaims, "I can make a better dot than that!" and thus begins her journey of creating dots in many different ways, one more creative than the other. 

After reading the story to my classes (it's a quick read) the students were all given a square of paper and a set of watercolors (just like Vashti).  I told them it was up to them how they were going to create their "Dot" paintings. They could have one dot or many dots, single color dots or multi color dots.  Each child eagerly set to work on their dots and these are a few of their inspired pieces!  It became a great culminating art activity for our love of reading week!