Showing posts with label art projects for the first day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art projects for the first day. Show all posts

Saturday, July 27, 2019

In the Art Room: First Day of Art Projects!

BIG NEWS! My podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts! I'm so excited. If you want to keep up with me, be sure and subscribe. Also, a rating and a review would be super duper. Thank you, friends!

I have been talking A LOT here lately, both here and on my podcast, about heading back to school. It's right around the corner for me (next week, ACK!) so it's all I've been thinking (and nightmaring) about. In case you've missed it, I've been sharing about my rules and routines for my art room. Next week, I'll be talking about the three consequences I use in my art room, why students might misbehave in our room and the one classroom management tool I use like crazy. But today...I thought I'd share my very favorite art projects to do on the very first day (follow this link for videos and more)!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I try VERY HARD on those first days to do the SAME project with ALL of my grade level kids. Why? For my sanity, y'all! I gotta work up that stamina again. AND because my focus is rules and routines. Doing the same and simple lesson with my students allows me to focus on the rules and routines...while they are creating. So what I'm sharing with you here today are projects that can be done with 1st-4th (and sometimes kindergarten too but I usually start here for them). The exception to this is when I've done Dot Day projects at the start of the year, where each grade does something different. You can find my fave Dot Day lessons below.
Last year, this lesson I created was a HUGE hit, both with my students and fellow art teachers. I know the link for the sheets has been broken forever but GUESS WHO FIXED IT! That's right...finally. Follow this link for both FREE downloadable PDFs. You and your kids will love this first day activity!
While storage was a little tricky, once these guys were finished and up they made for quite the beautiful display. You can see how we displayed them here. 
Who's to say kids can't paint in art class on the very first day?! I created these Welcome Back banners for my students to paint at the END of last I could hang next week. But you could make them now, let the kids paint them and hang them up for Open House or just to brighten the halls. More details on how these were created here and here (with video!). 
I'm a big fan of having my students create collaborative pieces at the start of the school year. Why? Because they can help establish a culture of community! And they are so pretty. We created this piece a couple of years ago and it was so well received that we have since painted a bunch more for our school library. More details here and here!
Of course, you cannot go wrong starting off your school year with The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. I have done a BAZILLION different Dot Day projects, many complete with instructional video. I put 'em all into one big blog post right here. So, need some Dot Day? I got you covered!
This here is an oldie that I've brought back a couple of times now...three times to be exact! I've created a popular video that you are welcome to share in your art room. You can find the lesson details and video here. 
Having done this lesson a couple of times, I've found different ways to display them. Here's one and then here's one where we took our faces and created a world!
This lesson has been a HUGE hit on my blog with so many folks bringing wings into their school. It's a super way to start the year. I've got a video just for you (that's free!) right here. 
Big ole collaborative murals are my fave thing for my kids to create! This one really sends home a message that I want my kids to receive.
And this big ole beast, inspired by the author Todd Parr, makes me so happy that I've yet to take it down!
There are truly so many ways to start your school year...but I would encourage you to START SIMPLE. I know these projects may not seem to be simple. That's because you are just seeing the final results. On that first day, it should be RULES AND ROUTINE city, okay? With some creating mixed in. If you do the same lesson with everyone, then you are making your life a little easier. And when your life is a little easier, then you can focus on rules, routines and getting to know your kiddos (my favorite part). So find what works, have fun, enjoy those first few days by keeping your life easy. Remember, a happy person makes for a happy art teacher. Go easy on yourself and have a wonderful start to your school year. 

More details on these trees here!

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Sunday, August 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Best Back to School Projects, Part 1

Oh boy. We're back! In my district, we returned to school last (officially) last Thursday and it's been nonstop action since: professional development, back to school night, room prep, you name it. The one thing, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING, that I'm currently consumed with is our first art project of the school year. I love to hit the ground running to build excitement and fun in the art room with a big, fat, hairy paint-y, sticky and colorful project. While I wrack my brain over this year's projects, I thought I'd do a lil series on this here blog titled Best Back to School Projects. These aren't the Best Ever, mind you, these are just the best that can be found here. So take that with a grain o' salt.

That being said, I LOVE to start my school year reading The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. It's got such a great that speaks to children of all ages. In this post, I'm going to share my very favorite Dot Day projects that I've done over the years with my kindergarten through fourth grade kiddos. I'm including links to blog posts with lesson details and videos. I really started to use videos in my art room last that's why not every project has a vid. By the way, feel free to subscribe here to view newly loaded videos. 

So, without further jibber-jabber, let's get started!
One year, my first grade students created this dot-inspired mural...with a heavy influence by the folk artist Heather Galler. They not only painted the plates but created the painted papers used as the flower petals and the papers used in the background landscape. This one is definitely one of my faves. You can find the lesson details here and here
This fun and quick project can be found in more detail here. This was one of those quickie projects where everyone in the school created the same thing: a marker design on a coffee filter. Once each design was complete, the filters were sprayed with water and allowed to dry on plastic. Each was hung by paperclips. This was a show stopper at our Open House...and so stinkin' easy!
My second graders created these reversible dot paintings one year on pizza rounds I purchased via Amazon. This was a fun project and another were I could display the work mobile style. You can find out more info here
Can you tell I have a thing for hanging things in front of our window? Before you ask: yes, the kids DO touch them and we have had a few fall down. The teachers and I stay on top of reminding them that most art is for looking and not touching but, you know. They are curious kiddos!
Last year, second grade created these fun textured dots! I love this project as it really teaches children so much about texture. I've done various takes on this project. More details here
You are more than welcome to use my videos in your art teacherin' world!

A couple years ago, my third graders created these dotted relief sculptures with Styrofoam plates and aluminum foil. I love shiny and reflective surfaces for the kid's creations. And they do to. The Sharpies used really take on a new life. 
Last year my third grade created these amazing dots! This project was a huge hit with the kids. It also sparked a lot of conversation in the halls that started with, "How did they make this?!" Third grade project can be found here
Using pre-cut tissue paper found at The Dollar Tree REALLY saved on prep time!
I've been a big fan of string art since 5th grade when my teacher introduced me to it. I still have my string art example that I share with the kids. This project is a FAVORITE of theirs, it's so much fun. You can find lesson details here
Having a video really helps with a project like this!
Radial printing project with fourth grade can be found here. Again, we used pizza rounds for this project and it was a great way to kick off the school year. The kids really enjoyed working with the foam stickers to create their designs. 
I did question my sanity doing printmaking with 35 fourth graders during the first month of school but they really loved it. 
Printmaking is always action-packed tho, am I right? 
Once printmaking was complete, we covered the boards in aluminum foil (again, see a pattern here?).
This was a fun way to allow those early finishers to continue creating while my other students were still printing. Full lesson here. 
 I don't usually repeat projects but when I do, it's projects I've done with kindergarten that I know are successful. One project I ALWAYS do on that very first day in kindergarten is have them create line sculptures. 
I begin by introducing them to line with his poem.
And then we dive in. This is one of my favorite days of the school year! I promise you, the kinder kiddies will love this project. You can check out more dot stuff here but you might enjoy this unit I created about LINE for kindergarten
I promise you, y'all will have the best time with this project! 
I'd love to hear your fave Dot Day projects. International Dot Day is on September 15-ish and you can read all about it here. Last year, to celebrate, some of my classes made Shrinkie Dink Dots! More details here
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