Tuesday, July 14, 2015

In the Art Room: School-Wide Collaboratives!

Hey, kids! I'm comin' atcha with a mere two and some change weeks o' summer vacay left before The Return. Which means, if you are anything like me (and, Lordie help you if you are), you are dreaming up ideas for the new school year. One of my fave things to do to kick off the beginning of the year is have a big ole school-wide collaborative (or "scollab" as I like to call 'em). And lemme tell you why:

1. It gets the kids creating right at the start of the school year! If your kids are anything like mine, they spend their first full week learning rules -n- routines everywhere they go. The cafeteria. The classroom. The playground. The bus. WHICH I know is important BUT I'm dealing with the under-10 set. When they come to the art room they are soooo over that mess. Not only that, but I've had most of my students since kindergartenland. If they don't know my R-n-R's by now, well, when they see that we're gonna create on the first day o' art, they learn 'em real fast. Nothing like a big ole fun and messy carrot to get 'em behaved and ready to create, amirate?!

2. It makes the school look lovely! At the start of the school year, our school halls are empty and nuthin but wall to wall BLAH-eige (my friend Debbie coined this term: blah + beige = BLAH-eige). What better way to spice 'em up than with some kid-created masterpieces?!

3. It shines a spotlight on your art program! Let's face it, you ARE the Donna Summer of your school:
Sing it with me, "I work hard for the money. So hard for it, honey! I work hard for the money so you better treat me right!" However, you just can't run around tellin' folk how hard you and your young artists are working. You gotta show them. Put up a show stopper at the start of the year and you'll have everyone talkin' about your art program. 
Now, I know y'all are thinking, "That's all well -n- swell but what scollabs should I dooooo?!" Well, I'm here today to share with y'all some of my very faves with linky-loos to the blog posts that will walk you thru all of the steppies. Let's start with this fourth grade legacy mural! And, good news, if you are attending this Thursday's AOE conference...
You can hear me chat at length about each of these projects! As well as me questions live at the conference. AND take a tour of my school and get an even better view of these masterpieces. However, if you can't attend, don't you sweat it. I've got ya covered in this here blog post!
The mural is proudly displayed in the front lobby of our school and give a fair amount of fun -n- funk to our entrance way, doncha think?
Another fun scollab we did this year was our Village of Kindness mural/installation. 
Our theme for the school year was Be Nice and what better way to do so than with a village full of houses with kind messages to greet the viewer.
This also incorporated a fun backdrop that was painted by my rockin' second grade artists! More on that process here
This scollab is prolly one of my all time faves and it was purely by accident. Our school hosted a "street painter" or sidewalk chalk artist who introduced the kids to her trade. The kids were then supposed to try their hand at chalk art outside on our sidewalks but the weather decided against it. So we used the flip side of ceiling tiles instead! Full details here
Now we're thinking of doing this project every year because my administration loved it so much!
 If you want a scollab that will have EVERYONE feeling all warm and fuzzy at the start of the school year, have I got the one for you. The Gallery of Gratitude is an idea I played with forever...and I totes wish I had done it sooner. It meant so much to the faculty and staff to see their portraits and words of kindness written about them. 
Who doesn't love to feel appreciated?! This project def did the trick.
And, last but not least, the final scollab I've got for you here in this post is the Johnson Elementary has Heart mural! If you need a heart stopping show stopper (sorry, had to), this is it, kids!

So, what do you think? Are you ready to tackle a scollab to kick off the start of your school year? If so, what do you have in mind? I'd love to know. Leave me a lil sumpin sumpin in the comments, would ya? Til then...

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