Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art class. Show all posts

Sunday, February 19, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Buddies

Once a month, we have half days in my school district. You'd think a half day would be an easy day but it's actually more like a normal day condensed into half the amount of time. Read: it's crazy. On these days, I have four classes, four different grade levels for 30 minutes each back to back before we dismiss. Our half days are almost always on Fridays and the kindergarten classes I would normally see on that day miss art. If you do the math (which, gross, why would you) that means I end up missing my kindergarten classes seven times over the course of a school year. Yikes!

This time around, I decided to do something about it: invite my kindergarten classes in during the time scheduled for my third and fourth grade classes. See if you can follow me on this journey: when I see my third and fourth graders on their normal art day, the classes are doubled up (meaning I see two third/fourth grade classes at a time. This was the only way I was able to get an hour with these students). However, on half days, I only see one of those third/fourth grade classes. Which means that if we did our normal art lesson, when I saw the kids next, half of them would be ahead. So usually on those days, we do something completely different. That means more work and planning for me.

When I got the schedule for our half day, I approached the kindergarten teachers and asked if they'd be willing to give up some of their time to allow their students to have art. I let them know that they'd have Big Buddies to help them in art today. I let the third and fourth grade teachers know that their students would be giving up their art time to act as role models to the kindergarten kiddos. Here's a glimpse of how our very busy 30 minutes went!
I have to say, the Big Buddies ROCKED it and the Little Buddies were THRILLED to have them. I saw my older students step up, speak kindly, be gentle and guide their new friends. I saw my younger students tell them what they knew, sit up tall and follow directions to make their new friends proud. It was a big ego boost for both sides and a lot of fun to watch. 
How did this go down? I met both grade levels at the entrance of my room. I told the younger students to go in and take a seat on the floor in the first and second row. We were seated under the large television screen you can see in the video. I asked the older students to sit behind so that the younger kids could see. I explained to both parties that they'd have to play close attention to be a good student and a good teacher. I explained that were were creating paintings that would later act as a sky in a collage landscape. We learned about TEXTURE and TINTS with texture being our Word of the Day (whenever I say the WotD, the kids know to give me a WHOOP-WHOOP!). I let the younger friends know that TEXTURE is one of the elements of art. At that point, I had all of the kindergarten kids turn around and face the big kids as they did this little hand-jive to explain what the Elements of Art are...
I told the kids that they were to use white paint first and put big blobs of white onto their paper. I said to "scoop, plop, flip the brush over" at which point the kids repeated with me "scoop, plop, flip". I didn't want cups of water on the tables with this many kids and because it would put holes in the construction paper. So the kids were instructed to clean their brush either on their paper or on their messy mats. From there, they were to add "baby blobs of blue". Once complete, they were to use the texture tool of their choice to blend the colors together creating a TEXTURE TINTS of blue.
As a reminder of the directions for EVERYONE, we did a call and response...my favorite thing in the world. 
We got through all the directions, painted and even did a bit of book reading all in 30 minutes flat. With the help of the older students, I was able to have a much more relaxing teaching experience...and drink my coffee! 
I will admit, we were loud and proud! But with 35-ish big and littles in the room, I was willing to go with the flow. All kids were on task, all kids were having fun and all kids completed their painting. We did neglect to wash hands as I just couldn't see having that many friends at the sinks. Thankfully, I work with classroom teachers that totally understand and were fine with taking care of hand washing. 

I really cannot wait for another half day to do this again. I think this will be a fun new routine for my students. My favorite part was when a third grader, who was the last to walk out of my art room stop, lean against the wall and let out a big WHEW! When asked if she was alright, she said, "teaching kindergarteners is TOUGH! I'm exhausted!" Ha! 
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

In the Art Room: Box of Chocolates UPDATE!

Join us tonight right here at 8pm CST on Wednesday to chat about BURNOUT. We've all been there. Let's share our stories and talk about ways of lifting ourselves out of burnout and getting the fire back into our art teacherin'. See you real soon!

Hey, y'all! Just thought I'd do a wee update on this incredibly fun project my students just wrapped up. They learned all about contemporary artist Peter Anton, created a heart-shaped box armature, covered it in papier mache and made fun plaster-cast chocolates. We are finishing them off this week and I thought I'd share. 
Here's the lesson video I shared with my students. This project took us about three one-hour art classes. 
 Supplies:

* Tag board for heart: one 8" square
* Tag board for sides of heart: 1" X 24" 
* Stapler
* Tape
* Newspaper cut into strips on the paper cutter
* Papier mache paste. We used wheat paste after checking for gluten allergies.
* Paint for the heart
* Plaster. We used Art Plaster by Activa Products
* Containers to make the "chocolate". We used ice cube trays and egg cartons
* PUFFY PAINT!
 Day One: We made the armature. We were in the middle of wrapping up another project so we did the armature in one class and early finishers completed their previous project.
 Day Two: We did our papier mache! It was good messy fun. Then we did an insanely fun clean up...
I hosed the tables down with shaving cream and let the kids spread it out and draw and play in it for a good five minutes. Then we had a Clean Up Game. Here's how it worked: I placed a tub of water and sponges on each table. I told the kids that WITHOUT TALKING, they were to wipe down their tables and get their table the cleanest in the room. I even provided old hotel key cards for the kids to scrape off the glue. You have never seen kids work so hard! If you go here, and scroll down a pinch, you can catch a couple short clips of my kids in action. 
Day Three: We picked out three to four plaster cast chocolates and painted them in a couple different shades of brown. While those dried, we painted our heart-shaped boxes. With about 10 minutes left of class, I busted out the puffy paint...and the crowd went wild! The boxes will be sealed with sparkle puffy paint before being placed on display.

This project was definitely a kid fave. Love to hear if you've given this lesson a go in your art room! 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

In the Art Room: Experiments in Color Mixing

If you need a quick color theory activity, have I got the thing for you! My first grade is in the middle of a folk art-inspired landscape project (details to come) and they are currently learning about pattern, creating tints, the parts of a landscape, y'all know the drill. Today I wanted them to create some beautiful papers for the details of their landscape. But how? Painting with marbles, that's how!
Using the same trays that second grade used for floating chalk prints and shaving cream marbling, I just dropped two primary colors and white at one end of the tray before the kids arrived. They were to pick any color of paper they liked, write their name and teacher code on the back and place the paper with the name down into their tray. Each tray got a large marble and they just started rolling. 
 I have a ton of these trays so each student was able to have their own. After they thought their paper was covered to their liking, they could get another paper, swap trays with a buddy who might have different primary colors and start rolling. 
This was a huge hit, y'all. The boys were super into it. I heard them excitedly talking about what colors they were creating and the different types of lines their marble made. I was asked if we could do it every art class. 
 Not gonna lie, rinsing out all of those trays was the most taxing part. Other than that, it was the perfect on-the-fly activity with a super powerful impact. 
I can't wait to share with you what they create with these beauties. And I now know what my kindergarten friends will be doing this week as well.
Have fun, y'all! 
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Monday, February 13, 2017

In the Art Room: Chalk Prints and Shaving Cream Marbling

In second grade we are working like crazy with our short 30 minute art classes to try our hands at two different paper treatments: floating chalk prints and shaving cream marbling. My goal has been for all of my students to attempt both processes twice before the end of class. It's a go-go-go kind of class but it's a lot of fun. When I shared a couple short videos of my students working on these papers, I got a lot of questions about the process. So I created a video that will walk you through each. I'll also go through the supplies needed in this here post. Here's the how-to video:
Supplies for floating chalk prints:

* Paper. I used 6" X 9" papers. These will be used for the covers of their Rainbow Book. I only order between 80- 90 lbs paper for the art room. 
* Chalk. We used Freart Chalk by Prang. I like this chalk because it's high in pigment and thick like sidewalk chalk.
* Tongue depressors. We used the big ones which you can get cheap at the Dollar Tree.
* Tub of water. I made it so each my students had their own tub to save on time. I see my second graders at the end of the day so this meant I didn't have to hustle to move the tubs for my next class. 
If you watch the video, you'll see just how easy this process is...and how beautiful the results are. 
I have a feeling the kids are going to have a hard time deciding which beautiful papers to use for the covers of their Rainbow Book!
When doing these chalk prints, you can even use stencils to create a really cool look. Check out this blog post where we used star stencils
The best part is, you don't have to "set" these creations as you would normal chalk pieces!
 For shaving cream marbling, you'll need the following:

* Shaving cream. We used cheap dollar store stuff.
* Liquid watercolor.
* Paint brushes.
* Tongue depressors.
* Paper. 
This process required more steps so some of my students would get excited and forget those steps. I made sure to appoint my Art Teachers in Training who did a wonderful job reminding kids of the steps. Yay! 
I did not change out the bins of shaving cream or water. For the floating chalk prints, it was not necessary. For the shaving cream, it just meant that the following prints had more color. 
 Again, so pretty! I can't wait to see these on the covers of their books. Here are the books they are creating:
I have done shaving cream prints before...but never in a closed container. I am never going back, y'all! The mess is contained...like, literally.
Have y'all done these kind of prints before? I'd love to hear about it! I'm also curious to know what you did with your beautiful papers. 
I'll be sure and update you with our completed Rainbow Books!
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Field Trip! Sawtooth Print Shop

I'm excited to share with my students and y'all another installment in that series of videos that I'm calling Field Trip!  I got the idea to visit contemporary artists and film them in action to share with my students. The goal is for them to see living artists creating and know that creating art takes many forms from mural painting to folk art to...printmaking. Which brings me to these two good lookin' folks, Chris Cheney and Nieves Uhl of Sawtooth Print Shop.
They are seriously so much fun!
I met Chris and Nieves at a workshop hosted by The Frist Center for Visual Arts. We had so much fun that when I was dreaming up artists to visit, their studio immediately came to mind. Not surprisingly, they were totally open to the idea and were gracious enough to carve time (see what I did there? "Carve"...get it?!) out of their busy schedule to show me just how they create their prints. They were so thorough in their explanations that I believe kids will understand their process. 
Personally, I just loved exploring their space and snapping photos for their vintage typeface. I was told most are purchased from former printmakers who no longer have a means to print or a desire to do so. 

 I loved how clearly they explained the reasoning behind carving backwards. I know I would mess that up ALL.THE.TIME. I don't know how they do it.
Both artists did their internship at Hatch Show Print which must-see if you are ever visiting beautiful downtown Nashville. 
I felt like I learned so much from this field trip as well! Seeing the process of how their posters are creating was like taking a step back in time. I think that showing this Field Trip! video will be a great introduction to any printmaking unit. 
Since we're talking about printmaking, I thought I'd add some of my favorite printmaking projects and videos to this post. 
You don't need fancy printmaking supplies to create great prints with your students. In a pinch, you can use styrofoam sheets, markers, paper and a damp sponge. If you've never tried marker prints, they are a game changer! First grade created these lovely prints with that method. More details here

Last year, third grade tried their hand at printmaking with these beautiful cityscape prints

For that, we did use ink but markers could have been used as well. 
Gelli Plates make a great printmaking surface as well, which is what we used for this Andy Warhol-inspired lesson. I've created my own gelatin plates and had the kids use those as well. 
Earlier this year, my third graders created these marker prints and used them in a fall collage
Fourth grade created these radial prints for Dot Day and had a ton of fun. 
Seriously, y'all. This poster created by Sawtooth is a kid-fave in my room.  

Special thanks to Chris and Nieves for the fun visit. Y'all are the best! 
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Street Art Hearts

Ah...gotta love those early finishers and those pokey little puppies all mixed up in one big ole art class. I have just that currently with my fourth graders finishing their Candy Heart Sculptures (they are SO AMAZING, y'all! I'll share soon) and third graders wrapping up their Heart Shaped Box of Chocolates. What to do? I needed a lesson that would be a one-day event, engaging, reteach the principles of art and introduce the kids to a contemporary artist. So I created this fast and fun lesson on street artist, photographer and fashion designer J Goldcrown
When the kids walked in the room, I began the video. While it was playing, I pulled those kids who still needed to work aside, reviewed directions, passed out their supplies and got them settled in and working. By the time I was done, the video was in a great place for me to stop it and review the directions with the kids. Here's the video:
This lesson is so simple and effective that it can be used with students as young as kindergarten on up to middle. I gave my students the chance to use either white or black paper. Some kids enjoyed it so much, they made a masterpiece on both white and black paper. 
I love the work of J Goldcrown. It's been fun to introduce the kids to him and Chris Uphues. I love their heart-filled works! And these look so great hanging in the halls. 
I often get asked what brand of chalk my students use...we love KOSS brand chalk
 I don't use expensive fixatives to set the kid's artwork. Instead I use cheapo cans of Aqua Net from the dollar store. Work just as well. 
Each kiddo was super engaged in this lesson which was fab as it allowed me to help those kids painting their hearts.
You'll have to let me know if you give this lesson a go in your art teacherin' world! 
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 30

Don't forget to join the chat tonight, Wednesday, at 8pm CST over on my official Facebook page. We'll be talking about the Art Teacher in Training badges: how we are using them, how they've been working and the rest. We're also sharing our favorite art supplies. AND, lastly, let's chat about that dreaded thing called CLEAN UP. See you then!

Today I thought I'd share with you how I've been using the Art Teacher in Training badges in my art room and how they've been working for me. I LOVE THEM! Check out this episode of Art Teacherin' 101 to find out more. 
I often times will talk myself out of introducing new things to the kids with the mindset that "I'll do it at the beginning of next year". But now my motto is: Why wait?! I actually think it's the perfect time when the kids are starting to get that spring fever. Anytime I introduce something new and present it in an exciting way, the kids are always game. Here's the video that I've been showing them to explain the badges. Feel free to use it in your art room. 
Be sure and check out these other badges created by art teachers and how they are using them too. See y'all tonight! 
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