Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3rd Grade - Collaborative Group Painting

Third grader: "Mrs.C , Why are we painting these?"
Mrs.C:  "Because it's fun.  Sometimes you need to do things just because it's fun!"  :)

My third grades have been finishing up their One Point Perspective pictures.  Some classes are done and some were trying to get finished up.  Instead of diving right into the next project before all the classes were done, I decided to have my third grades work on some collaborative  paintings.  As second graders these kids were great at working in small groups on large painting projects.  The first three classes last Thursday started by painting in four large panels of bulletin board paper.  One had circles, one had squares, one had ovals and the last had triangles.  I gave them blue, purple and white for the shapes in two of the panels and orange, red and white for the other two.

They painted in the shapes with one group of colors and switched the colors for the background.  At the end of the day we hung them up to dry and I contemplated what to do next with them.

This afternoon when my next group of thirds came in, I had them working on one project at their tables and called them back four at a time to paint if they wanted to.  Most of the kids helped with the paintings.  Maybe 5 or 6 students out of four classes opted not to paint and just worked on their drawings they were doing at their tables. 

I started them off outlining all the shapes in black, (still thinking about our next creative move) when one of the kids said; "Can I outline the outline?"  "Sure, why not!"  and so the design was born!  The kids continued to paint around the shapes, stopping and starting as the lines touched one another.

Some kids remarked that the paintings started to look like sound waves and water ripples! Yeah!  Creative thought and observation!

Some of the kids commented that the squares look as though they were stacks of squares and we were looking down on them!

Here are the panels drying at the end of the day clipped to my supply shelves.  The kids helped me carry them over before I ran to bus duty.  (One more day of outside bus duty in the frigid cold!)

Things kept piling up on my paper cutter table while we were working!  We were painting at the table I normally use for storing the supplies we are using during the day.

 Ignore the messy shelves!  I would love a day just to re-organize my shelves!

Close up views... 

I think the circles and the triangles are my favorites...  Thursday morning when I am back at the 3-5 school I will look at them again and decide how I am going to display them in the hallway.

Sometimes the best things happen when you are just doing it for the joy of doing it!  (not for a grade, state standards, the curriculum, etc...  etc...  You know what I mean?!  :)  

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Monochromatic Colors and 2nd grade

Before the Christmas break all my art classes were working with color.  Last year I taught this lesson with my 5th grades.  I wanted to try it with a different grade levels and compare results.  My 2nd grades were very excited when they saw my example and found out it was their next lesson!  We discussed Monochromatic Colors and showed them how to mix their colors with white a little bit at a time to gradually change their colors and let them loose to start mixing their own colors!

Each table got  some purple, blue and white paint to share.  I gave each student a quarter piece of a paper plate ( I sliced them up on the paper cutter into quarters) .  I showed the kids how to put some white onto their "palette" and slowly mix their colors as they go. After each color mix I had them paint a ring around their white moon.  (sorry I didn't take any pic's to show you how I organized the supplies, like I said it was before Christmas so things were a little hectic!)

Even though their color changes do not go from dark to light I think the lesson was very successful in the sense that they got the chance to experiment and discover with their colors.

During our second class the students created their winter silhouettes.  Since this was 2nd grade I changed how I would normally show the students how to draw and cut out a silhouette.   I presented them with some examples of a silhouette so they could get an idea of what they are and how they look in real life.

Each one of the kids got a strip of black paper that was the length of the painted background.  I also showed them how to cut the paper longways to create the strip for their ground.  Lastly, how to draw and cut out the other items they were going to place into their scene.  We drew the small details like our snow people's arms in black Sharpie since they were too tiny to cut without amputating them!

Once all the paintings were displayed on the display board in our front hallway, everyone expressed how stunning they were!


When it comes down to it, what I always want my students to get from a lesson more than anything else, is that feeling of Creative Pride.  There was a lot of creative pride with this lesson!  :)

I'm procrastinating, avoiding having to do grades...  700+ and comments for my modified students  due on-line Wednesday by 12AM.  I don't have to give grades to my Kinders, thank God!  I'll get to it before the end of the weekend.  My deadline for myself is to have it done before I sit down to watch Downton Abbey tomorrow night.  I'm obssessd with that show!  Anyone else?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Outer Space 1 Pt Perspective - 3d Grade


A couple of my 3rd grades finished their One Point Perspective pictures on Thursday.  After playing around with how to finish them up I decided that I would have them do some Salt Water Color for their outer space backgrounds.  I introduced the students to this technique in 2nd grade and they were thrilled when they saw they were going to be doing it again!

The students spent one 30 minute class coloring in their perspective designs using construction paper crayons.

I gave each table white oil pastels, and two trays of blue, black and purple liquid watercolor.  They also got a couple of cups of salt.

After demonstrating and reviewing how to sprinkle their salt onto their wet watercolor, I let them get started.

I really like how this technique worked with the liquid watercolors!

I REALLY stress to the kids that less is more with this technique!  Some of the kids put way too much salt on and they don't get cool effects like in this close-up!  I have them use a small pinch at a time.

The students also used white oil pastel to draw some space details in the background before they painted if they wanted to.

I have four more classes to finish up next week.  My 4th and 5th graders are finishing up their perspective pieces as well.  Next week as they finish up, I will be grading, grading, and more grading until I see rubrics in my sleep as our marking quarter is coming to and end.  

Enjoy your long weekend if you have Martin Luther King Day off still!  Some districts in New Jersey lost it to make-up days for the days lost from Hurricane Sandy.  For the past two years the teachers in my district have also had the day off.  It used to be an in-service day for the teachers and we would be at school for professional development. 

Yeah!  Three day weekend!  :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Heart Prints - K, 1st and 2nd Grades

My K-2 art room has been printing up a storm this week in anticipation of our school's yearly celebration of Kindness and Justice Week!  Every January during the week of Martin Luther King's birthday our school has what is called our "Kindness and Justice Week Celebration".

Each year a different book is chosen that shares a lesson in kindness and all of the school's activities during the week center around the book and it's message of kindness. This years book is...

 It was the perfect time to try out this idea for making heart stamps out of recycled cardboard I found on Pinterest.  

All of the classes started by painting a colorful background using watercolors.  

I spent an entire PLC meeting (multi-tasking people!) and evening rolling, folding and taping over 30 cardboard hearts!  I found that if you rolled the cardboard around a large glue stick or a marker it was much easier on your hands!  Although, I do think that if I had octopus arms it would have come in handy a few times when I was holding and taping! 


I made the hearts in various sizes and designs.  I made sure that on one side of the stamp all of the edges were as close to flush as possible so the kids could get a good print.  Even if it was slightly off, after they started stamping with the paint the edges mushed down slightly and they were all getting good print images.


Each stamp was 3-4 inches tall so they were chunky and easy to hold and stamp with.

Before the children made their prints, I gave them some materials (tissue paper circles I cut and cut up pieces of last years painting place mats) to cut into shapes and add a little bit of collage to their paintings first.

I poured purple and blue paint onto paper plates that our PTO donated to me last spring.  They were leftover from our school's Senior brunch.  It made for a very easy clean up when we were done stamping at the end of the day!  If the plate got a little soggy, I just put another one underneath it.  I started with two plates together for stability.  They actually held up really well.  I think they were more of a heavy weight plate, not the cheapo kind.

I demonstrated to the children how to stamp with our cool heart stamps to create their prints before I let them use them. 

Let the stamping begin!

The kids loved using the heart stamps!

They thought it was a very creative idea for recycling cardboard.

 Some said, "You come up with the coolest ideas Mrs.C!"
I told them "I found the idea on the computer."

When the kids were done printing, they carried their masterpieces to the drying rack. 

Next week I will be hanging them up around school and on our front hallway bulletin board.
I will post some of the finished pieces next week.  I meant to take some pictures before I left school today but I was busy looking for my desk...

It was buried under many projects I had taken off the drying rack and I spent some time organizing and putting them away after school!

Thus, I forgot that I wanted to photo some things...

There's always next week! 

Have a great weekend!
Mrs.C :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Working on Perspective in the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome back to school!  This is what the chalk board at my 3rd-5th school looks like at the moment.  I have my 3rd-5th grades starting out the New Year with Perspective/3D lessons.  After teaching these lessons for two days now, I must say that the students are doing really well and they are very impressed with themselves.

My 5th grades are working on these One Point Perspective scenes that I found on Pinterest originally, but found that the lesson links back to our blogging friend Phyl!  I changed it up a bit.  They are only making the floor and ceiling blocks and the walls are stripes.  Time wise this will work better for us since we have 30 minute classes and I want this project to move along and not drag out.  When it drags out they lose interest, fast!

This project will serve several purposes, not only will they be working on One Point Perspective, but this will help them reinforce their ruler skills (which I'm sorry to say, for many of them is atrocious!)  I find that its not that they can't use the ruler correctly, they just can't be bothered!  The students are in a rush and are looking for a quicker way.  Well folks, we are not rushing through this one!  I am determined that by the time we are done my 5th grades will understand the need to use their ruler to draw their lines for this project and not rush through it!

These pictures are all my teacher examples since we are just starting them.  The kids love the floating action people!  I usually do a Keith Haring project with my 5ths to work on action people but I am going to forgo that project this year since I can get the action figure element in this project. 

First two steps for the One Point Perspective hallways

I taught this lesson step-by-step with my 5th grades.  I drew up these two big step-by-step tutorials and hung them up on my Smartboard so the kids could see them as we work.  It gave me the opportunity to go back to a step and point things out if necessary.

Steps 3 and 4 of the One Point Perspective hallways

The example has been hanging up on my chalk board since before Christmas break and the students have been excited to start working on it.  I expressed to them that their success with this piece has nothing to do with how well they can draw and everything to do with how well they listen, follow directions and use the tools I give them!  (I think that speech worked because they were all so on task during each step you could hear a pin drop!)

Our tools for this lesson. Simple but very important.

18" mat board strips, 12" rulers and 3" squares

Since our rulers were not long enough to be able to draw a continuous line from corner to corner, I cut up some mat board into 18" strips.  The kids found it interesting that even though the paper is a 12" square it was not in fact 12" from corner to corner.

– "Why is that Mrs.C?"

– "I do not know boys and girls because as I have told you many times before, I am mathematically challenged.  Maybe one of you can research this and let us know next week"

This is how math seems to me! Ha!

I ended up cutting up some 3" squares for the center square after trying to get one class to measure it out in the center.  After explaining and demonstrating and showing them in small groups how to measure this 3" square this is how I felt...

...And that was my gifted and talented class!  Mind you, some had no problem with it but enough did that it sent me into a silent panic that if this class had trouble measuring a 3" square to fit inside the center I was doomed trying to explain it to my other 5th grade classes!  So, I cut up a bunch of 3" squares and simply showed them how to wiggle and fit the piece until it matched up to their lines as close as possible.  It worked!  I did show them how to measure it with the ruler also and gave them the option of doing it either way.  Some measured and some traced the square.

So far all the classes are pretty pleased with the results and they are ready to start coloring them next week in class!

My 4th grades have started working on these 3-D cities. I had pinned this idea, I think last year, and decided to give it a try.  When I checked my pin to see where the original link came from, lo and behold I found that the original source was again, Phyl, from There's a Dragon in my Art Room!  (Ok, so now I am starting to think we could start playing 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon but with Phyl and art lessons! All lessons will somehow link back to Phyl! Ha! Ha!)

The 4th graders are doing really well with the lesson and are loving their results so far!  The kids didn't think they could do it, but when I broke it down step-by-step they saw that it was possible.  I told them that yes, some of it might be a challenge but that I would not have them do it if I didn't think they could succeed.  Again, I made a couple of really big charts with the steps so they were on display during the lesson.

Third grade is working on these simple One Point Perspective shape designs.  I do these every year with my 3rd grades and the kids love them!  This year we are going to give them an outer space theme.

So that's what going on in my 3rd-5th grade art room right now!  I will show you some of the finished pieces when they are complete! 

I'm off to do some crocheting! (It was either that or cleaning and crocheting won hands down!)  Happy Weekend eveyrbody!  :)