Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In the Art Room: School-Wide Collaborative Series, Our School has Heart, Part II and A Giveaway!

 Hi, kidz! Welcome to the second installment of postings from my school-wide collaborative series (btw, I've decided "school-wide collaborative" is just too much work for my mouth. Hence forth, it will go by it's abbreviated and funner name: scollab. Pronounced skoal-lab, not school-lab. Cuz art class in a school lab is just bound to end in 'splosions and flames. Which actually sounds super funner-er.) In this here post, Ima share with you one of the happiest scollabs we did this year: Our School has Heart Mural!
If this looks vaguely familiar to you, that's because I blerged about the first phase of this project here. This lovely scollab masterpiece hangs happily in the front office of my school. Previously, the front office was referred to as the DMV for it's warm and welcoming wall color (what is that, Sherwin William's "Institution White"? "Padded Room Gray"? "The Last Color I See Before My Date with the Principal Blue"?). It was mentioned that some art might cheer the place up and that's all it took for my ears to prick up. ART?! Did somebody say...art?!
We started this project way back at the start of February so love was in the air. Which explains the smell. I decided that each kiddo was gonna contribute and each grade level would do a little something different. I'll give you the quickie version here but you can visit this post for the full story

The kindergarteners were given a paper heart template to trace in black oil pastel. Then they doodled in warm or cool colors and then proceeded to water color the daylights outta that thing in either warm or cool. 
The first graders were given 3" square pieces of felt in whatever color they liked. Then they traced that same hear template in chalk and painted with tempera. Painting on felt is really rad cuz it gives the piece this almost oil painted appearance. If the kids painted the hear with warm colors, they were to reverse that color scheme for the background. Puffy paint was added because why not?! Puffy paint is the jam.
Second grade town created these pipe cleaner hearts that they yarn bombed and bead attacked. I had the pleasure of hot gluing them to the felt of their choosing. 
Third grade thought that Christmas came early when I showed them how to embroider. Every last one of them enjoyed this so much and was able to complete their stitching (and button sewing!) in one hour long class. 
 Needle felting was introduced to my fourth grade students. We really enjoyed this and only had one bleeder (those needle felting tools are both sharp and serrated, y'all. They ain't for sissies). 
As the students completed their work, I started to lay them out on two pieces of foam core. I happened to have two 3' X 6' pieces of foam core to my name because, well, why not? I originally thought of doing a value gradation but rainbow order ended up looking the best. 
Hot gluing over 400 hearts wasn't exactly my idea of a good time. The upside is I no longer have finger prints and the cops will never find me! Take that, coppers! 
Once all the gluing was complete, I took the two boards to the office and my super awesome bookkeeper buddy and my radical rockstar custodian friend hung them up for all to see. 

Don't miss! I'll be presenting on school-wide collaboratives at the AOE conference this summer
And now, let's talk GIVEAWAY! Last week's winner is Lil! When asked what her fave collaborative project was, she wrote:

This year my third grader class created large, beautiful, textured and patterned frogs. Then each table created their own scene on huge mural paper. There was an outdoor birthday party, with an airplane toting a birthday wish sign. One group made a water theme park setting with a lazy river - one frog was definitely relaxin' on his tube!! Another group made a nail salon - now who doesn't like a good froggie pedi??! Oh my gosh, the kids absolutely loved working together on such a huge creation. Do you think it was because they got to spread out on the floor to paint and cut and create??!!!!

Congrats, Lil! I hope you enjoy the artsy t-shirts!

Now, I know most of y'all are enjoying your summer days. How 'bout you spend some time creating with a good book? To enter this giveaway, just do the following:

* Tell me what dream scollab you would create with your students. A permanent mural? A tile project? I'd love to hear! Maybe if we start dreaming big now, we'll have the energy to make it happen come this fall!

* Leave your email address in your comments so I can contact you.
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  1. Anonymous6/10/2015

    Oh my gosh...I won??!!! Wow...I am so excited, you have just made my day! Thanks. My email is angellover33@comcast.net. I cannot wait to hear from you :)

    1. YES!! Congrats, friend! I'll pop your goodies in the mail tomorrow :)

  2. Hello, I have my very first elementary art teachering job this year. I would love to know more about your classroom management style/techniques. Also, I will be seeing the students once every two weeks, how often do you see yours? Thanks! Any tips are welcome!

    1. Hi Sarah! Congrats on you new teaching job, how exciting!! I still remember my first year (that very first day, in particular) like it was yesterday. I do have a couple of posts about how I instruct on the first days of school. You can read more here: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2013/08/in-art-room-first-days-of-art-class.html, here: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2014/10/in-art-room-awesomely-candid-interview.html, here: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2014/09/in-art-room-those-first-days-of-art.html; http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2014/08/what-art-teacher-wore-110-and-first.html. I've not written a post about management but that sounds like a great idea!! I'll definitely do that before the school year begins. Have fun!!

  3. I would LOVE to make a quilt where each of my spec. needs students makes one block and then we sew it all together. I would include felting and embroidery and tie dye too! My e-mail is carleeandrea (dot) smith (at) gmail (dot) com.

    1. I've been wanting to make a school quilt with the kids for years! You do that and tell me your secrets, okay?! :)

  4. Anonymous6/16/2015

    I would love to create a fiber art based project using crochet or cross stitch. I'm a high school science teacher and love to incorporate art in my curriculum wherever I can. This year a few students worked to create a climate change themed art project. For this next school year, I would like for all of my students to create a beautiful coral reef made from crochet, cross stitch, mosaics, etc. We live in Florida and year after year the coral reefs are something my students are very interested in. I envision the reef mural will also include others mediums to go along with the students choice in the piece he or she makes. The overall theme will be to show the beauty of our reefs, but to also show the ugly side of the negative impacts humans bring to the oceans with trash. Our school has a recycling program so we could use some of the recycled trash to include in the mural. I hope I'll be able to pull this off. I'm super excited about it and can't wait to get my students excited about it when school starts!

    Thank you so much Cassie!

    Chrissy R

    1. A science teacher that loves to incorporate art into her lessons?! HIGH FIVE, SISTER! Your project sounds amazing and I'm sure with your enthusiasm it will go off without a hitch! Sounds amazing, your students are lucky to have YOU!

  5. Hi Cassie,
    I love your blog and have used your many tricks (the "hot dog bun" trick for threading needles was a life changing experience for myself and my 4th graders)
    I was thinking of felting with 5th grade and have 20 students per class. Do you give the kids individual needles or a needle pen? I use a pen at home but can't buy 20 at $14 each. I appreciate your advice.


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

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