Sunday, September 22, 2013

In the Art Room: The Dot

Hey there, long lost friends! I've finally recovered from what I dubbed The Longest Week of the Year and I'm ready to share just a bit of it with you. I'll spare you the passing-out-at-7:45pm-after-an-insane-Open-House//waking-up-in-full-makeup-and-school-clothes-at-5am-the-next-morn//consideration-of-simply-putting-on-shoes-and-going-to-school-in-aforementioned-slept-in-attire. Because that would just make me sound pathetic. 

What I've got for you today is just one of the three displays Rebecca, some super sweet volunteer moms and I prepared for Open House. This here is our The Dot display created for International Dot Day which I blerged about here, in case you need a refresher. For our contribution, we hung all of the coffee filter dots the children created (details on that shortly), hung the collaborative oil pastel dot designs created by the fourth grade and wrote out an abbreviated version of Peter H. Reynolds' story. I was so thrilled with how this all came together, I just had to show you!

This here is the long slide of a hallway to the art room. Dude, you don't even know how badly I wanna get my mitts on some skates and disco boogie down those ramps. On the right is my art room door (you might remember The Great Wave painting I created from this post). As you can see, I've got a ton of display space outside my room. Sadly, I'm kinda sucktastic when it comes to putting up art work. I tend to hoard it all until the end-of-the-year art show. This time, we took full advantage of our space.
Here you can see the backgrounds our 4th grade created. Each of the six tables in my room was covered in black bulletin board paper and prepped with a tray of oil pastels. The kids were already using the oil pastels to finish off a separate mural project (which I cannot wait to show you this upcoming week!) so this was a good transitional project. After reading The Dot, we chatted about the variety of dots Vashti created and set to creating our own unique versions.
I have two 1/2 hour 4th grade classes back to back. So when the next group of kids were seated, they were looking at the previous class' dots...which stumped them a bit. They seemed to only want to create their own dots so a chat about enhancing the dots and working collaboratively was muy importante.
This palette was a different collaborative project from last year that we had in the front lobby for the art show. Because the kids have created a new display for the lobby (soon to make an appearance on el bloggo), I moved the palette to outside my door.
By writing out the story, I thought visitors would have a better understanding of our display. I did notice several families reading the story at Open House which made me pretty happy. I've also noticed some big time hallway loiterers reading the story as well. And I just don't have the heart to holler at 'em to get to class.
I used the kids' "messy mats" as the storybook paper. At first I thought I could write out the entire story...but the cramping of my hand told me otherwise. So, sorry, Peter H. Reynolds! I did what my wimpy ole painting hand would allow.
When I was reading this story to one 4th grade class and we got to the very last page where is says, "Vashti stared at the boy's squiggle. And then she said..." one of the kids ventured a guess and said, "IT'S TERRIBLE!" Which, I ain't gonna lie, I kinda thought was funny. BUT I didn't tell him that.

In case you are wondering how these coffee filters were hung, it took some thinking. Yes, seriously. Originally, I thought we could simply just paper clip them together without putting holes in the filters. However, the weight of the chain of filters prevented that from being an option. So we resorted to puncturing them with one clip, connecting the second and puncturing that through the second filter. Easy.
If you've never done the painting-coffee-filters thing, it's simple. Because the kids are eventually going to be using these as kimonos in an upcoming project, they were using colors that reminded them of their favorite seasons. We left the center blank so we could see their name. Once colored in with water soluble markers, the students placed their filter on a styrofoam plate and painted it entirely with water. From there, they brought them to Rebecca who removed them from the plate and placed them on sheets of plastic.

Once on the plastic, the filters were sprinkled with coarse salt to give it that groovy speckled look.
Our largest display is in front of a bank of windows.
And there you have it, our Dot-tastic display!


  1. Anonymous9/22/2013

    So. Much. Fun! Can I come to your art class? Please???

    1. YES! Come on over...but, just so's ya know, I'll put ya to work ;)

  2. fabulous filters! :D

  3. Anonymous8/11/2016

    How did you keep them from flopping over/being flimsy?

    1. They seem to hang okay without being too flimsy!

  4. Spray starch would be good, if they aren't stiff enough! Love your displays! I have soooo many ideas and not enough time!!!

  5. Anonymous9/13/2017

    I am not an art teacher, but I love this book and International Dot Day. I also enjoy infusing art into my teaching. Last year we used watercolors and painted dots but we will be trying the coffee filters this year. I am so inspired by looking at your blog. I love the way you displayed them on the windows. I think I will do that in my classroom. Thank you for your idea!


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