Monday, December 15, 2014

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Reindeer!

This giveaway is now closed. Kindly click on my name at the top for the latest post and giveaway. Thank you!

Alrightie friends, as promised, today begins my lil 10 Days Til Christmas Giveaway madness (and I say "madness" because me attempting to stay on top of blogging each day AND giving y'all stuff is going to be nothing short of a Christmas miracle). As I blabbered about yesterday, each day I'll share with y'all a post (I'm super behind on sharing what's been happening in the art room and some DIY's, so brace yourself for the barrage) AND giving away some giveaways (oooooh, so that's why they call 'em "giveaways"! I always wondered). So, without further ado, here's what's up for grabs today...(no, not a brand new car, silly. I ain't Oprah).
Daw, some super cuteness Christmas fabric, yay! Each piece is about 1/2 of a yard so they would be perfect for small DIY projects (totes adorbs stocking, anyone?) or, if sewing ain't your thang, use it in collage projects (how cute would a Christmas cookie recipe book covered in this fabric be?!). I'm currently using that top fabric for a dress and the middle fabric was used in the creation of this Christmas light-up number. The bottom fabric was thrown into the mix for the fun of it. 

So just how do you go about scoring this goodness? Kindly do the following: 

1. Please follow this here blog. You can do so by clicking on the "Join this site" button on the right of your computer screen. Already a follower? Thank you so much!

2. Leave a comment below about your thoughts on directed drawing projects (which is what this here post is all about. That and giveaways, of course). Or, for my non-art-teacherin friends, what you'd do with this fab fabric!

3. Do leave your email address so I can let you know that you're the Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon along with tomorrow's giveaway item (it's another good one!). International friends, you are welcome to play along! Tomorrow, not only will the new item be up for grabs but I'll have slightly different requirements for y'all. I hope you'll pop back in to see if you won and what I'm giving away!

Until then, let's chat about these here Kindergarten Reindeer, ermkay?
I had my lovely kindergarten kids for the last time before break recently. They had just completed their Winter Collage Landscapes so I was in need of a one-class project that would hold their attention and teach 'em some new skillz with an art supply that is new to them: oil pastels!
To begin, I greeted the kids in the hallway and told them that they'd be going shopping for one clipboard and one sheet of paper, their choice of color. After the kids reported to the floor, they were to place their paper and clipboards in front of them to give me the Super Duper Special Signal that they were ready to learn. At this point, I projected a photo of a giant buck that my husband had caught a photo of on his deer camera. The kids loved seeing the deer and talking about all the parts of his body and face. My hubs loves to hike in the woods near our house and has found a couple of deer antlers there. I allowed the kids to touch the antlers and we talked about texture. I also told them how deer lose their antlers in the spring but grow new ones later. One smartie said, "Oh, like us! We lose our teeth but a new one grows back!"
After that chat, the kids were excited and ready to draw a deer of their own. I told them that'd we be using a lot of round shapes and rounded lines for this drawing. Step by step, I walked them threw the directions you see above. Once the deer was drawn (with the option of making Rudolph or not), the kids were sent back to their seats to do three things: draw snowflakes, add a black line for (optional) Christmas lights, use red and green tempra cakes to add finger printed lights. 
Of course, this guy's name came up a lot (painted my lil ole me a while back). Our word of the week was "nonconformity" (which is a lot for a 5 year old to comprehend). I explained how different Rudolph was and how that made him special. When doing guided drawing, I always emphasis how unique each of our drawings should be. Even though we are following the same steps, we are all different (like Ruddie!) and thus should have reindeer as unique as us. This takes the pressure off the children who are concerned that their drawing doesn't look just like mine or their friends. I always remind them that if I had wanted all their drawings to be alike, I would have simply given them a coloring sheet. And what's the fun in that?!
By the way, this isn't my first time down Reindeer Lane with the kindergarten set. These guys were created a couple years back. You can read all about 'em here
I'm curious to know where y'all stand on guided drawing. I'll usually do one (occasionally 2) with kindergarten and first grade during the school year but for the older kids, not so much. One of the reasons I enjoy teaching it is that it helps reinforce that everyone is an artist and everyone is unique. I had one special needs student who was so thrilled with herself that I got permission from her teacher to walk her around after art and share her drawing with anyone she could find. She stopped nearly everyone in the hallway with, "Do you like my drawing? I'm an artist!" It was simply the best.
However, I know there are some that are strongly opposed to directed or guided drawing. Perhaps it's too much instruction. Maybe it's restricting creativity. I know for my TAB friends, this is nails-on-a-chalkboard worthy. I hosted a wee bit of a debate on my blog last winter about this very topic and touched on it again in this post about craftsmanship
I wonder, why is this topic so polarizing amongst art teachers? I think, when taught right, directed drawing can simply introduce children to one way of drawing something (in this case, a reindeer) while reminding them that there are many ways to go about it. 
So just how did we end the lesson? With kindergarten, I love to take them on end-of-the-class gallery walks where we look at everyone's work, give e'm a complement and a round of applause. In this case, I borrowed a sleigh bell from my neighbor and we went on a sleigh ride around the room cheering on all of our friends. 

Looking forward to hearing from you, friends. And, good luck!

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41 comments:

  1. I would make either a table runner or place mats......

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  2. I follow you on Bloglovin! I'm taking a sewing class in February, so I'm not sure yet what I'd do, but for now, I'd admire it and wish I had a snowman to dance with, too! You can find me at dramanpr at aol dot com. Thanks so much for the giveaways; I'm super excited to see what's ahead!

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  3. Wow! Great art projects! I'm trying to find ways to incorporate fun artsy projects into my classroom in the spring (I'm a newly hired writing teacher) and am finding lots of inspiration on your blog! If I was to acquire the lovely fabric you've got up for grabs, I would make big, tacky bows to wear in my hair while teaching. If you're interested in some of the wacky-tacky things I wear, come check out my blog :) http://wackytackyteacher.blogspot.com/ BTW I love your blog, and I'm so excited that we get ten posts from you in a row! *does a crazy happy dance*
    charlottevhbooks@gmail.com

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  4. I never drew that great in kindergarten, wow! I would use the fabric to make a few lil people aprons for my granddaughter who will get a kitchen set for Christmas. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  5. Absolutely love the art work!!!!! I miss that with my kids being almost all grown and moved out:-(. sonjasmith76@yahoo.com

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  6. I love the artwork!!!!!! Miss it since my kids have grown up!!!!! sonjasmith76@yahoo.com

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  7. I do them with my K & 1s every couple of months. It helps me keep tabs on their developing motor skills and is a great boost to their confidence. Parents love the results. I balance step by steps with art center days.

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  8. I do them with my K&1 kids as well, about the same amount as you do. I think the kids love the success they feel when the drawing is complete. I understand the other view of it being a bit stifling but for kids this young a couple directed drawings is totally appropriate. Love seeing all the amazingly crazy outfits you create, you must never sleep! mfitzgerald@sd44.org

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  9. I believe that guided line drawings allows our kinderbabies to grow that self confidence that is so important for young artists. I want to make my 1.5 year old his very own stocking to go along with ours, what perfect fabric!

    aaroy85@gmail.com

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  10. I think a Christmas wall hanging would be lovely with those fabrics. Congrats on the great work with the littlies (pronounced litt-l-eze)
    judybarr at iearn dot org dot au

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  11. I find nothing wrong with the occasional guided drawing project. It can still be done creatively while celebrating unique abilities and representations.

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  12. I use them a little with my K's and 1' to help them boost confidence. Also to help teach kids that shapes and lines get used for everything! When the kids don't need the guided drawing practice anymore I take the training wheels off (so to speak) and let the creativity run wild!

    I would use them to make pillow gifts for people!

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  13. I would use those there fabrics to sew up some cute gift bags!
    As for the directed drawing - I like it and can see its value. I run a modified TAB classroom, where I find that I end up doing mini-drawing lessons for students everyday. I show them how to use basic shapes to draw. In a way, we're doing direct draw. I show them how to draw it... step-by-step, and then they try it. In a way, you're just streamlining the process and doing it more efficiently. My email is jbailey@nhsd.k12.wi.us (Jill Bailey)

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  14. Woops! My email is liveartlovelife@gmail.com

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  15. I don't see mucin ment above, so I'll do a shortened version, I love guided drawings. I do them frequently. It gives young students confidence and the basic steps to learn how to draw. They all come out so unique anyways! So fun. Liveartlovelife@gmail.com is my email.

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  16. Guided drawing can help the little ones to feel successful! Even we big, bad art teachers have to break things down into basic lines and shapes! Sometimes looking at the whole picture can be overwhelming! If you break down a reindeer into shapes, all of a sudden it is doable! Kudos to you for keeping it real!

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  17. I think it gives students confidence. Especially K-1. Great job!!! Chark127@aol.com

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  18. I think guided drawing is great! I like to use it in between projects. The kids get super geeked out when their drawing looks rad! I usually give them a little time to make the drawing their own.
    mrs.fouts@yahoo.com

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  19. My iPad ate my comment.

    Wait for it ... I'm an art teacher that doesn't like to draw. I work mainly 3d and I only do rough sketches. I initially started teaching myself (way before I was an art ed major) how to draw with guided sheets. I teach my middles to look for shapes and basic forms when we do still life's. I don't normally do guided draw as an assignment but I will allow students to work from sheets after they have finished their assignments and scored at least a B+ by the rubric ( so they don't rush through for free draw).

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  20. Email is vks 84@aol.com

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  21. I direct when I am looking for a little bit of recognition. Otherwise, I love to see all the differences that result without direction

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  22. I am a mom, not an art teacher. What I've found with my own kids is that guided drawing gives confidence, if used in small doses. Mostly, though, I'm all for them just going for whatever they want to draw. I love seeing the differences in each child's drawing style. sarah@forrussia.org

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  23. I follow you on Bloglovin.

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  24. I am not an artist but I am a quilter and a baker. I turned my kids, my neighbors kids lose in my kitchen and with pieces of fabric to create but I gave them an idea. A card, a flower, a picture something to go from. I always saw it as better then the question what do you want for dinner? That never works. If you give 2 choices now you are talking.

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  25. Also my email is kimmie.jones@gmail.com . I found you through some other sassy Nashville blogger friends. I write over at www.thatgirlinthewheelchair.com

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  26. I think directed art projects are a good confidence booster. As a non-art teacher, but mother of a son who often gets dejected because his art isn't good, really appreciates the directed art project. His art teacher in kindergarten and first grade did directed projects using oil paint (I know crazy!), but the three paintings that came out of it are prominently displayed in the house because they look good. My email is nicoleatobin (a) gmail.com.

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  27. Anonymous12/16/2014

    I would make covered journals with pencil pockets for various projects for Xmas 2015 for myself and my sewing friends. The fabric is so cute. Love the vintage vibe. And i would frame some of it using thrift store frames redone with Xmas colors or maybe just embroidery hooped. FUN FUN FUN. Karem from Visalia. Minet1215@att.net. any more thoughts on the alpacas? Merry Christmas to you.

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  28. First, you are amazeaballs! So as far as guided lessons I love them. Not only is it helping the kiddos build skills such as following step by step, listening, patience, reading(smartboard directions) but kick starts their confidence and no 2 ever ever turn out the same! Hey, ya know sometimes I need a wee bit of a kick start too:) !!

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  29. Anonymous12/16/2014

    Guided drawing gives students a feeling of power and control and accomplishment. It definitely should not be the main course in the art curriculum, but as an occasional side dish? Of course!! claracrosby@sbcglobal.net

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  30. I think the occasional guided drawing is a great way for kids to connect how they can use the elements and principles of art that they are learning (line, shape, color, etc...) to create more complex images!
    emily.gau@gmail.com

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  31. Guided drawing can be great, especially if confidence is low or varied and the classroom needs a little bit of a push. As long as after the basic drawing there can be flexibility and creativity with the finishing touches - the positive association with completing something (even with 3d "crafts") is what gets people hooked on art and those successes encourage students to try new things and grow!
    I have used guided drawing as a silent "game" like charades, where with exaggerated and spaced out motions I would guide students through making something without using words - no one could talk and the project would unfold as we added each step!
    Loving the blog. art.chelsearose@gmail.com

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  32. I like doing guided drawing with the littles, it's a good thing to do . It teaches them how to listen and follow directions. And let's be honest they need all the help they can get... especially this time of year. I enjoy your blog very much and wish you a very mErRy cHrIsTmAs CaSsIe!

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    1. Doh, forgot my email! kerrdawn@gmail.com

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  33. I do guided drawings sometimes, too. Children often say, "teach me how to draw a ...." and they love drawing how-to books. It is a natural desire for them, and guided drawing, or copying the masters, has a long history in art instruction from around the world. So it's legit! As long as we emphasize that each one will be unique and there is no ONE right way to draw something, then it leaves the door open for individuality and self-expression, while giving children the specific instruction they crave.

    I have a fabric question: can you tell the name/maker and/or where you bought the top fabric with the candy canes? I'd love to get a few yards for myself. It's adorable!!! Thanks!

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    1. Hey Lucy! It's from Joann's ... I'll look to see what the salvage edge says this evening so you'll know the name of the maker :)

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    3. Oh, thanks! And I will Google it too, now that I know who sold it...

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  34. My thoughts on guided drawing are that if you use it in moderation it can be a positive method in your teaching. I can teach valuable tools to students learning how to draw. I would not use it for every single lesson I teach but every now and then it can be very helpful to students. One concept that it delves into is spacial relationships/placement of lines and shapes. I like what you said about if you wanted everyone's art work to look the same you would have handed out coloring sheets. You gave them some choices within the lesson which promotes student individuality.

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  35. Awesome fabric! I am a music teacher, and while I don't know the ins and outs of guided drawing, I consider similar things when I work composing and improvisation into my lessons. Sometimes some guidance is good. I like seeing how creative students can be within parameters. I am excited to have found your blog!

    jackiethompson323(at)gmail.com

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  36. Following you on google+
    mumbird3(at)gmial(dotcom

    I think a little direction, guidance is good but should not be overpowering creativity!

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)