Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mrs. "C" are you wearing your pajamas?


1st Grader:  "Mrs."C".  Are you wearing your pajamas?"
Mrs."C":  "No sweetie, but I wish I was!"
"Because, that would mean I am home in the air conditioning!"

It has been Un-Godly HOT & HUMID here for the last five days.  Most of them (Thank God!!!) have been vacation days, but the last two have been here at school in rooms with no AC, no air flow and many sweaty, hot children generating even more heat!  We had a new dress policy go into effect this year, and I must say for the most part I have been very good about adhering to it with out complaining. (we can only wear jeans on Fridays and I normally LIVE in jeans).  Today though I said "Forget it!" and put on shorts and a T-Shirt knowing full well I was going to be sweating my brains out while organizing my room for the summer.

Another change was that we could no longer wear backless shoes!  Well, 90% of my shoes do not have backs on them!  I refuse to replace my hoard of very comfy Birkenstocks, so being the creative soul that I am, I crocheted back-straps for all my Birkenstock sandals! "TAH - DAH!!!"  They now have backs for school and I can easily take them off when I don't want them on!  Hoping you are all staying cool and comfortable! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Collaborative Abstract Murals - 4th Grade

In April while our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students were testing, I was out of my room in the mornings while they used it for small group testing.  The first Tuesday I was out of my room, I had only 15 minutes to prep before my first class...  What was I going to do?  There wasn't enough time to get everything together that I needed for the 4th graders new lesson....  I remembered seeing a blog post by Organized Chaos for some great collaborative murals she had just completed with her classes.  She saw the idea on Pinterest and mentioned that the lesson originated from a post on Experiments in Art.

So...  I grabbed 5 large table size pieces of bulletin board paper and started filling 12 cups with black paint.  I then laid each piece on top of the art tables and explained to the students that they were to start by painting circles or squares.  Once they had begun to fill the paper up I stopped them and had them connect all the shapes with any kind of line, straight, zig-zag, wavy, etc...  We let them dry over night.

The following day of classes I had each mural laid out on a table.  Pouring and mixing 40 different colors, each student chose one color which became their color for the whole class. They began painting in the shapes and spaces.  After 5-7 minutes, I had them switch tables until everyone painted on each mural with their chosen color.  We continued to do this for each fourth grade class (I have 6 classes of them) until the murals were completely painted. One day we worked on them in the hallway, as I didn't have room on the tables (we were finishing up another project) and everyone who walked by commented on how stunning they looked!  The kids are really proud of their group effort!  I am saving them to hang up at the beginning of the new school year.

I had them drying in the room clipped to the front of my shelves at the end of the day.

Close-ups of some of the murals.

This one is hanging outside the art room door.
 Another one is outside the school office.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Just a Thought...

(hallway display outside the art room 3d - 5th grade school)

As we wind down the school year....

(flower and dragonfly the students help me create)

Let's remember to ...



Our students to the very end!!!

To those of you who are already out of school...
Enjoy, and think of the rest of us STILL here for 2 1/2 more weeks!  :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ladybugs & Vines - 1st Grade

I was going through some artwork while I'm trying to get all of my end of the year "stuff" done.  I came across a couple of my first grade's lady bug and vine pictures that had not been handed back yet.  My first grader's had a lot of fun creating these!  We created them back in March when we were all anticipating Spring to start!  They started by painting a vine and leaves across their paper.  They had the most fun printing the flowers!

Can you guess what we used to create these pieces of art?!  The bottoms of empty soda and water bottles!  Yes, empty bottles!  I saw the idea on Pinterest from Alphamom and thought, "How great is that!"  The inspiration for flower vines came from a post I saw on Painted Paper.  Her students painted beautiful morning glory vines!  I made sure to only save the bottles that looked like flower shapes on the bottom.  We used blue and purple for the flowers.  I poured a small amount of tempera paint into some wax coated paper take-out containers (clean and never used!) that I have in my collection of "Anything & Everything" that I save (because you never know when you are going to need it).

Each table got two blue and two purple.  I placed a bottle in each one.  When they were ready to stamp their flowers they took turns sharing the bottles.  For the centers I put a small amount of bright pink into the lids that go with the containers.  They then stamped the centers with the bottle caps.  When they were done we let them dry.  Each student got a piece of red construction paper and drew a lady bug from the drawing directions I had posted on my white board.  They colored, cut and put their names on the back and tucked them away in an envelope for the next class!  During the second class I put out oil pastels and let the students add details to their pictures.  Bright, cheery and very cute! 

We talked about using dark and light green on the vines and leaves to highlight and shade.

The painted sections on the side are not part of their picture. They are the place mats we paint on.

This is one of my favorites. Love the shape of the ladybug and how they detailed the flowers!

Love the flowers! They look like Fourth of July fireworks!

The painted sides on these are paper towels that the kids would wipe their brushes on. I save the ones that have great color combos! Again, not part of the original picture, just needed some color on the sides for the photo!

This student took the time to color the whole sky in blue. He said leaving it white made the sky look cloudy! I love how kids "see" the world around them!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Klee Inspired Abstracts - 3d Grade

I love how this lesson turned out!  My third graders just finished working on these Paul Klee inspired abstracts.  I got the inspiration for project from a lesson I saw on Arteascuola.  It was from her April 4, 2012 blog post (I couldn't get it to link directly to the exact page.  
The link is located on her side bar in popular posts.)


First I had the students watch this short three minute video (above) of Paul Klee artwork.  The video is one I found on Pinterest.  It is on my "Videos for the Art Room" board on my Pinterest page.  I also printed out several of Klees paintings and created posters about his life and work that are laminated and placed on each one art table.  We discussed the paintings on the table posters as well as a few they viewed on the video.  We also discussed what an abstract piece of art looks like, and how Klee used abstract elements in his art work.

The Rules Were Simple:

First:  They had to use simple shapes, circles, squares ,triangles, etc. as well as lines.

Second:  They couldn't use detail to help describe the subject of their picture, only shapes and lines.

Third:  They had to draw on the paper I gave them and could not flip it over to the blank side.

The paper I gave them to draw on had writing all over it. It is text from the fairytale Thumbelina.

I then copied several passages from the fairytale "Thumbelina" and pieced them together randomly to fit an 8.5x11 piece of paper.  Then made copies of the page for the classes to use as their drawing paper.  The concept of drawing on a piece of paper that had print all over it was exciting to some of the students and frightening to others!  I told them they could not use the plain side of the paper as the words were going to become part of their background design.  They drew their pictures in pencil first.  Then they were allowed to choose any subject matter they wished.  Some chose buildings and castles after seeing my examples but others chose to draw animals, landscapes and people.  When the drawing was complete they outlined it with a black Sharpie marker so that the sketch stood out from the print on the paper.  I had them color them in with construction paper crayons.  These took about two 30 minute classes to complete and the kids enjoyed making them.  Some even asked for extra sheets of the printed paper to draw on when they were done!

Below are some of the finished pieces.  I love how they came out!  I hope you enjoy them! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

4th Grade - Flower Watercolors

Things are crazy around here lately!  Third, fourth and fifth grades are testing for the next several weeks and we are trying to wrap up projects that started before vacation.  Due to the Spring Break, class trips and assemblies...  We are very behind in getting our art work done!  We only have five more weeks of school left until summer break and I have to squeeze in a few more projects!

I was looking in my archives of art work from this school year and found these watercolors my fourth grades created back in September.  It was a great starter project.  We looked at Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings and talked about how they could create their own flowers using simple shapes.  We also discussed ways they could draw their vases and reviewed using pattern to highlight parts of their picture.  The students began by drawing with pencil. When they finished their sketches, we outlined everything in oil pastel.  To finish up, they painted the everything else in watercolor.  This project covered a lot of the basics to get us out of our summer mode and back into thinking creatively.  We covered shapes, lines, pattern, drawing with basic watercolor technique and painting procedure.