Showing posts with label back to school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label back to school. Show all posts

Sunday, August 13, 2017

In the Art Room: Best Back to School Projects, Part 2

Hey, friends! Tomorrow is my first day back to school where I'll have kiddos in the art room and I'm super excited. One thing I love about this time of the year is coming up with fun projects that kick the school year off right. Last week, I shared some of my favorite Dot Day projects which I occasionally use as a theme for my back to school art projects. Today I thought I'd share my favorite collaborative back to school art projects. There are a lot, so get ready! 
But before we get to that, I have some exciting news. Recently, on our Wednesday night Facebook LIVE chats (to join the fun, like/follow here), the one and only Barney Saltzberg joined us. We had an absolute blast chatting with him. You can still find our conversation archived here. He has a new book out, My Book of Beautiful Oops, and is GIVING ONE AWAY! Yay! To enter to win your FREE copy of My Book of Beautiful Oops simply do the following:

* Leave a comment below. Tell me what your plans are or what you are doing on these first days back to school. Inquiring minds wanna know!

* Leave your email address. This way I can let you know when you win, yay!

It's that easy, y'all. Big thanks to our buddy Barney for this wonderful book and fabulous giveaway. Now, let's talk Best Back to School Art Projects.
I love kicking off the school year with a good book. You Be You and Only One You by Linda Krantz are two fabulous books to bring to your art room. This is a project that can be done with all of your students...and will leave you with a beautiful work of art to showcase their efforts. More on this mural here
You can find out just how we created these fish here
Feel free to bring this how-to video to your art room!
I am in love with this wild, wacky and colorful mural that was created by my kindergarten through fourth grade kiddos. It's Okay to be Different is a favorite book of mine by Todd Parr. This mural has been up for a while now...and it still remains outside my art room door. I think it's a great message for all. You can find out about this mural here
Here's a short video to share the process!
You can read about our process of creating these funny faces right here
Monochromatic selfies are a super fun way to start the school year. I've done this a couple of different times and with a couple different themes. You can find out more about how these were created here
This video really helped my students during the creation of their selfies.
Last year, we used our selfies to create this large J.E.S. sign for our school. 
On year we even made our selfies into a world map! This one took some time to do...and wasn't easy but sure was pretty once it was complete. 
Our heart mural is now a couple of years old and still hangs proudly in our school office. I love it, it's really stood the test of time. And who doesn't love the message of LOVE? You can see more about the completion of this mural here
The details on how each heart was created and by what grade level can be found here
Speaking of love, this mural was created by all of my students...they actually made it one year while I was out on jury duty. It was so awesome to come back to some amazing art! Here's the complete blog post. 
Here's the video I created for my sub to share with my students.
And here's the second video in that series. 
Probably one of the more popular posts on this blog has been this wings mural project. It's a GREAT back to school project because it's low-mess and low-stress (until you get ready to assemble that is...and then it's HOLY COW, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!). But once it's up, you won't regret it! Deets here
Here's a video I created to share with my students...feel free to use in your art teacherin' world!
I hope y'all have gotten a couple ideas for your return to school...I'd love to know what you and your sweet kiddos are creating! Also, don't forget to enter to win Barney's new book. Just leave a comment about your first day and don't forget to include your email address. Have a great week!
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Sunday, September 25, 2016

In the Art Room: Kelsey Montague-Inspired Mural

Ohhhh, y'all. I'm so excited about this collaborative mural that started out as a sub plan. Allow me to share with you our What Lifts You mural! That sweet face above is my assistant principal's son, Carson. 
And here's his sweet mama! Her pose makes me so happy and excited about this project. Lemme tell you all about our inspiration. 
Street art is becoming very popular in the art world. What I love about it is that it is accessible to everyone. Kelsey Montague has taken her street art to the next level by making it interactive. She's also inspired folks to think about #whatliftsyou. I love everything about Kelsey's murals: the beauty, the message and the interaction. 
She recently created a street mural in Nashville! The most amazing thing is that her murals are created in paint pens. That's right. Tons of paint pens, y'all. Time to invest in some stock. 
I wanted each of my students to contribute to the mural. Knowing that I was going to be out for a couple of days, I created a simple sub video that introduced my kids to Kelsey, got them reviewing and applying the elements of art and kept them creating. I was THRILLED to come back to school to these beauties!

Because of my 30 minute class time for my younger students, many did not finish in one class. So our first order of business when I returned was for the feathers to get finished and cut out. My early finishers then began working on the patterned papers that would also contribute to the wings. 
I love having the kids create giant sheets of patterned papers. I just throw a huge piece of bulletin board paper onto the table. Sometimes, I'll ask the kids to tell me a pattern or shape they'd like to repeat...and then tell them to go for it. Other times, I'll have a pattern started for them. You can see examples of murals with patterned papers here in our Dot Day project, in this winter collaborative, in this Village of Kindness project and in this Rousseau-inspired tiger mural
The left over papers are going to come in handy this week as we also complete our You Be You mural.
I really wanted the mural up by Monday because we are starting our Growth Mindsets in the art room then. More on that soon (including a book club, stay tuned!). That being said, I did have to hustle to get it complete. I stayed after school on Thursday taping four 12' sheets of bulletin board paper together for the black background. Then, in chalk, I lightly drew the general shape of the tip of the wing. 
Then I just started playing. I knew that I wanted their wings to be broken up a bit by the patterned papers but I wasn't sure how. Once I got a general idea, I started to hot glue things in place. 
I arrived at school at 6am on Friday morning because I was so excited to get it complete and up on the wall! I tacked down just the top of the papers so that I could lift the paper and slide the feathers underneath. I have about 400 students. Not all feathers are complete and up...but most are. I left room on the left side of the wing to add the final feathers. Once everything was glued, I outlined the top of the wing in white paint. I also added white outlines to the patterned papers. 
Back to that book I mentioned. The premise of the book is getting the kids to think beyond their "fixed" mindset that they can't do something...and change that thought into believing that they can.  Such a powerful message, don't you think? To kick things off, during art class, each of my students (as well as faculty and staff, I hope!) will get their photo taken in front of the mural. They will also write about what lifts them as that's the big idea behind Kelsey's murals. Keeping that positivity in mind, we will focus on our growth mindset. I will be sharing more on that lesson VERY soon! 
 But for now, let's get closer to these wings. 
 I only glued the "quill" of the feather down so that the feathers would have a ruffly texture to them. 
When I snap the photos next week, my husband suggested taping an X on the floor so the kids would know where to stand. Such a smart dude. 
 I'm super stoked! This was finally hung in the afternoon on Friday when my specials team buddies were free to help me hold it up and glue it to the wall. 
 To give you an idea on size. The photos I take of the kids will be hung along the wall beside the wings. 
 As soon as the wings were up, folks were ready to have their photos taken! Here is my friend Kiera who you might know as Cleopatra
My principal's sweet son, Ashton! 
 One of our P.E. teachers who you might know as King Tut (as well as Frida and Grant Wood, ha!). 
 My awesome principal and her sweet kiddos. I am super lucky to have the most supportive admins in the land. 
 Dawww, that face!
Our super enrichment teacher who is always kind enough to let me use this wall outside of her room...thank you, Ashley!
Y'all know I had to join in on the fun. BIG shout out to Kelsey Montague for the inspiration and my special area friends for helping me hang this beast. All y'all are what lifts me!
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

In the Art Room: Clean Up, the Movie!

 
Hey, guys, Box o' Crayons here! I'm so excited to share with y'all a little something I've been referring to as Clean Up, The Movie. It has been brought to my attention that my wee artists have kinda forgotten our clean up routine (cuz their art teacher foolishly assumed that they'd remember it as we were only out of school for two months and they are under the age of 10 [I know, I know. When will I learn]). Because I covered it quickly at the start of the year, I failed to really drive home the important parts of our routine. So I recruited my awesome buddies Kiera Crite, our music teacher, Ali Starkweather, our P.E. teacher and Bethany Kokoski, our P.E. teacher, to help a crazy art teacher out. 

Grab your popcorn, folks! And enjoy Clean Up, The Movie
I got the idea to create the movie earlier this week, wrote out the "script" (if that's what you wanna call it...been over-sharing all the deets here) Thursday night and we filmed on Friday after school. I strongly encouraged the ladies to do a little improv because they are so funny, I knew they would come up with some great stuff. And I know that the kids are going to LOVE seeing some of their favorite teachers ham it up in this video! Be sure to watch to the end where I threw in our outrageous outtakes.
Here's what I decided to cover in the art room:

* Clean Up Signal I once casually mentioned that I thought it would be cool to have a gong in my art room after seeing one at a music shop. My hubs works for a musical instrument company and, well, I magically received one for our 10 year wedding anniversary. The kids love the Clean Up Gong (tho it has been accidentally referred to as the Clean Up Bong and the Clean Up Dong...oh boy). Before I had the gong, I used this chime from my husbands company. I love using this inexpensive chime as an attention getter. 

* How to Clean Up Essentially, the kids need to know that they are to make the room as tidy as they found it (or better!). My older students totally get it, they are actually really great at straightening and tidying up. I have noticed that my younger kids don't even seem to see that they left scissors out or their chair not pushed in. I don't know if it's because they are young and mama picks up after them or what. But the words, "I am not your mama!" may have come outta my mouth a time or two.

* Standing like a Statue Their signal to me that they are ready to roll is that they are standing silently behind their pushed in chair at a tidy table. To encourage them to work together and clean up, the "best" table gets to line up first. Which is really bogus as they all have their certain spots in line. 

* Alphabetical Order Okay, you might think this one is crazy but it's the best thing ever. My students either leave my room and go to P.E. or vice versa as they have P.E. every day at my school. For our total Special Area sanity, we have the kids line up in designated spots so we don't have to deal with "But I'm the Line Leader!" "I'm the Door Holder!" "I'm the Caboose!" We ain't got time for that. Our fabulous P.E. teachers teach them how to line up in alphabetical order so when they come to me, they already know their spot!
* Painting Clean Up I must get asked a bazillion times, "where do I put my painting?" My response is usually "really?!" Or, even better, when they bring the painting to ME and I'm all, "do I look like a drying rack?" I totally forgot to put in the video where to put the paint brushes but the kids are really good at remembering where to put those (in a large plastic coffee can filled with warm soapy water by the sink). 
Weren't the actors hilarious?! We were DYING in between takes, y'all. I'm so lucky I work with folks who are willing to join me in my crazy ideas. BIG THANK YOU, Kiera, Ali and Bethany! I can't wait for our next movie making adventure. 
In case y'all are interested in how I created and edited the video (and did the voice over on the prezi), you might want to watch the above video. I'm SUPER low-tech...so if I can do it, you can!
While the making of the movie didn't take us long, the editing was a bit of a beast. Splicing all of those clips, trimming them down, creating the Prezi at the end and doing that voice over...it was a labor of love. I think I'll be able to use it for several classes and years. And I can always edit it some more in iMovie if needed. 
I'll keep you posted on the kids' reaction to Clean Up, The Movie!
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Monday, September 5, 2016

In the Art Room: Monochromatic Selfie Mural

Oh, y'all. Murals. Every time I have the kids create the pieces for one I think to myself: THIS HAS GOT TO END. The crawling on the floor, the hot glue burns, the accidental stapling of flesh (in my thigh? For real tho?). Then I hang it up and immediately forget the pain and suffering. I just stand back and absorb the awesomeness that is the work of my wee artists. 
Like awww, y'all. These selfies created by my first through fourth grade students (with about a dozen missing as they still have some finishing up to do) are just about the best thing ever. And it already has me plotting and planning our next collaborative project. Because I'm a glutton for punishment. 
In case you missed it, we started our school year with a monochromatic self-portrait project. You can see the finer details here. The above is the video that I shared with the kids. 
And here is a look-see as to my set up. The covered tables signify the colors available at that table. The kids could use any ONE color they wanted (which meant for that first day, they sat where they liked) but if a table was filled up, then move along, Little Doggie. On the tables there were two bins filled with markers and colored pencils of one color in a range of values. There were also mirrors on each table. 
At the end of the first week, I had a stockpile of these lovelies that I organized by color. Initially I was going to do something COMPLETELY different with these selfies. However, tried as I might to make the idea work (I was going to make a big ole peace sign), it just wasn't coming together. So I shelved the idea, allowed myself to let it go and I flipped my flop... 
And went with this idea instead: The Many Faces of J.E.S. 
Our students have a STONG sense of school pride. They are happy kids who truly love their school. Our school colors are yellow and blue. I think they are gonna totally dig this mural when they see it tomorrow!
But, like I said, the gluing, mounting, plotting and planning is what completely wears me out. I did this on a Sunday just so I could knock it out with plenty of uninterrupted time. And so no child could witness giant extension cords and hot glue guns on the ground. Is it any wonder why I am so accident prone? I set myself up for disaster. I truly am my own biggest enemy!
Next up: kindergarten still needs to create selfies. AND I had the posters that the kids created in this post laminated. I can't wait to hang them up alongside this mammoth masterpiece. 
I'm also stoked that this is up two whole weeks before Open House! Now I just gotta get three grade levels of Dot Day artwork up...whew. That outta be a good time. 
In the meantime, I'll just be hanging out with some colorful kids.
Who are so uniquely different. I love seeing the variety of creativity!
By the way...I may be a little spotty this week as I'm having a ROOT CANAL tomorrow. Be thinkin' of me y'all. And floss. A lot.
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