Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Clay Coil Hearts! and Reconstituting Clay!

Here's a clay lesson I recently created for my second graders! I created a video to share the process with them and thought I'd share it with you too. Here you go:
I did change things up from the video after working with the kids...we made the heart all in one sitting. That's right, 30 minutes! We hustled! Mostly because when I did try to have them wrap the clay coils up in a plate, they were dried and too brittle the next time. The key is that the clay needs to be super soft for the kids to work with. So passing that along to you!
This lesson could easily be done with both air dry and kiln fire clay. We used kiln fire. Once fired, I will dip all of the pieces in diluted India ink, covering the piece entirely. The ink dries quickly. Then I'll pass the piece back to my students and they will use craft store metallic acrylic paints to add the color. I added holes at the top so we could hang these. I may even have them add beads to the hanger. 
And in case your clay dried out before you could use it last year, I created a video on how to reconstitute that old clay. I did this process with clay that was two years old! Not fun at all...but it can be done and it's good to know when you are in need. I hope it helps!

photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Sunday, January 24, 2021

What a Wonderful World Mural

Well, this blog post has been a long time coming, as we've been working on this What a Wonderful World mural since the start of the school year! I'm excited to say that it's complete and it's up (when it wants to stay up, sigh). You can take a tour of the mural and learn all about who made what and what lessons were involved in this video right here! 
We've done SO MANY school-wide collaboratives at my school. I absolutely love them. They are also my favorite way to start the school year. I'm working on creating another blog post of all our collaboratives compiled in one post...but until then, check out the video for details and THIS podcast episode on how you can use song as a collaborative inspiration!
This mural makes me so happy and I thought it was such an appropriate song for this school year. I've gotten so much of a wonderful response from the faculty and staff (and kids!) that I'm thrilled. I mean, doing a collab like this is so much work. Especially when it comes time to assemble and hang the beast!
In the podcast episode, I mentioned the painted party my students did to create the background papers. Here is the blog post all about that! 
And here's the video if you'd like to see us in action:

One of the many reasons I like to start my school year with a collaborative is because it means we are all pretty much working with the same art supplies. In this case, we were working with bingo daubers and tempera paint...a lot!
Some of the lessons were tired and true like the first grade flowers you see at the start of this blog post. Some were new like the funny face clouds by kindergarten!
Our next mural is going to be based on our school song! I'm so glad we have a school song, it's so sweet and our students love to sing it. I think it will be perfect and hope to create a permanent display. 
I got many requests from teachers for future songs....but next time I think I'd like to go with a song that the kids really know and love. 
Adding the component of also learning the song in sign language was very fun and a great way to connect with our deaf friends. We have fabulous ASL teachers in our school who helped us learn the song. 
Of course learning a song in a different language would be amazing too! The kids loved creating these painted plates with greetings in different languages for the mural. This was an easy early finisher activity for my students as they worked thru their paintings. 
I know I'm totally oversharing in this post but I just love this mural so much! Funny face raindrops by second grade. 
Collage and stitched houses by first!
Second grade read It's Okay to be Different by Todd Parr as their inspiration for their contribution to the mural. 
Third grade created these warm color flowers!
And I got to put it all together. Lucky me! It's okay, I love it so much and can't wait to create another! You'll have to let me know if you tackle a project like this and how it goes.

photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Monday, January 18, 2021

Favorite Clay Lessons for Kindergarten!

I just uploaded a new clay video to my YouTube channel for my kindergarten students that I thought I'd share with you all. I also thought I'd pile all of my favorite kindergarten clay projects right here in one blog post in case you are interested! I'll be adding a lot of clay videos to my YouTube channel this week so you may want to subscribe! 

If you are new to working with clay and kids or feeling like you need a crash course, you may want to start with a couple of videos I created just for you! Here's one on how I set up for clay:

Here's a video all about glaze! 

Okay, now that that's outta the way, let's talk about sharing our love for clay with out students! 

Let's start with the video I created and shared with all of my students before embarking on our clay adventure!
This video made a world of a difference! Suddenly my students understood clay and the process of creating with clay so much more. After this video, all of my classes spent the rest of their 30 minute art class creating and exploring with clay. The following day, my kindergarten viewed this video:

Then we created our clay plaques! This year, we made ours using heart-shaped cookie cutters but really any could be used. In the past, we have glazed these or painted them with acrylics. Not sure how we will finish them off but we will definitely be using wire and beads to create a fun hanger!

Here are some of my other favorite kindergarten clay lessons!

Clay turtles! If you'd like to see the kids in action creating these, check this out:

Need a lesson that is ALWAYS a hit and each kiddo is successful? Try this Texture Taco lesson on for size! Roll the clip:

You might have noticed that I have a thing for texture and clay! Kindergarten created these texture butterflies and we had a blast. In fact, I just might have to do this one again this year! All the lesson details here. 
These clay fish are also a kid fave! And check out that alternative to glazing. You can find out how these were created right here. 
These kindergarten clay birds always turn out so cute. Here's a video!
Kindergarten has also had a blast making clay pups and clay cats! Really, we just love creating in clay so much in kindergarten (and all classes!). I can't wait to share with you what else we are making out of clay. 


Monday, January 11, 2021

Art Teacherin' 101: New Seat Spots and Dance Party Color Wheels!

I've been in school since August and since that time, my room has changed more than it ever has over the course of my 21 years teaching! First I was told I'd be on a cart...then that I would have to have my students hear instructions from their tables (which I hate as I find it's just too distracting for them) and THEN I was told that I could have my students sit on the floor as long as they are spread apart and all wearing their masks. We never take off our masks in art so this was like a gift sent from heaven. I'm lucky in that my room is very big...but it did mean that I totally had to revamp my instructional area, even getting my T.V. and document camera moved, to accommodate all of these changes. At the start of the new school year, my instructional area looked like this:
To keep on top of contact tracing, all of my students in every class have a number order. They line up this way, sit next to the same friends this way, grab supplies this way...you get the idea. I numbered my line up spots both in the hallway and in my room as well as our instructional area (seen here) and tables and chairs! It has helped tremendously. BUT...these floor spots were simply numbered paper circles taped to the floor. Their life didn't outlast the determination that is small humans picking at things. So this weekend, I thought I'd trade them out for dry erase cirles! I ordered some, they arrived with lightening speed and today I was blessed with a ...
SNOW DAY! I didn't find out about it until I arrived at school to find the parking lot deserted. No worries! It gave me plenty of time to create my dream floor! I created a video to walk you through it, if you are interested.
Oh, y'all! I'm so excited!
If I could dry erase the art room from floor to ceiling I would...oh, wait. I think I pretty much have! 
Like I said, not sure how this is gonna work, if it is gonna work. BUT I am forever switching the script to find something that just might. It keeps me and my students on my toes. Here's a pic of my toes for emphasis. Also, pleas ignore my pale and hairy legs!
If anything, at least it's colorful! I'm hoping the kids are as excited as I am when they see it tomorrow. In the meantime, I will ALWAYS be checking for a snow day from now on!

photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

What is Clay? An Introduction to Clay and Ceramics for Elementary Age Children

Every year, I give the same spiel to my classes about clay and ceramics: what clay is made from, how it is fired, what glaze is, the difference between hand built versus wheel thrown and more. It's exhausting! So this year, I put it into a video, added some visuals and used it today. It worked great, even my kindergarten understood what I was yammering about. It's a little long and it's definitely not perfect but...you are more than welcome to use it in your art teacherin' world. Here you go:

Stay tuned for a lot of clay videos coming your way! 

photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Sunday, January 3, 2021

DIY Earrings: Embroidered Color Wheel Earrings for the Beginner!

I just stitched up another pair of embroidered earrings, y'all! This time the theme was color wheel. I used a different stitch in each of the triangles and shared the process in this video! I hope you'll stitch along with me:

This has been a lot of fun for me...while I love embroidery, I don't love long projects. These are short and simple. Not only that but these earrings are so lightweight! In the past, I've made earrings of other things and they've always weighted a ton. These I don't even think about once I have them on! 
More plans for more earrings are in the works! I'll keep creating the videos...if anything, it might introduce you to some new stitches! Have fun!

photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png