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

Monday, May 28, 2018

In the Art Room: A Collaborative Painting for Field Day!

Disclaimer: Since discovering Instagram and my love for it, I've gotten super bad about snapping photos with my camera and simply using my phone. So what you have in this blog post are phone photos and for that, I apologize. If you'd like to see me overshare my art room happenings (as well as just my hot mess of a life), you can find me here

In my last post, I shared what we did for the art station portion of Field Day...when I thought it was going to be rained out. The night before Field Day, while I was head scratching what we could do, I thought creating a collaborative canvas painting would be fun (this is what happens when your brain is fried, y'all). So I pulled this giant canvas out of my closet and went to town. 
 I've had this canvas for years. I had started a painting on it years ago and never did anything with it. So I simply painted over it with a cream color paint (cuz that's all I had on hand) and used watered down black acrylic paint to create this. Why watered down acrylic? Because it has better viscosity that way. I began by sketching out four wavy lines across the canvas. Then I wrote out the letters of our school. Once I was happy with the placement, I painted it with a flat brush and called it a night. 
 Along with our other painting station, I let the kids go to town on this. My only "rule" was that one color go in one space...and TRY to stay within the lines. As you can see above, that was a struggle. But it was field day, we were wound up and I knew I could lean up the lines by simply going back over them. So no worries. 
 This was after the first day. I was tempted to leave it this way...and then I added the little pattern on the top and thought it would be fun for the kids to add patterns the following day. 
 Again, so sorry for the grainy photo. My only rule for the patterns was that the kids had to pick one pattern and color and stick with it. For the dots, they used wine corks dipped in paint (fave part of the day? A kid saying, "oh my mom has TONS of these!" Ha!) and thin brushes for the designs. Again, other than that, little direction was given. This was on the last day of school where I had free choice centers set up around the room. This just happened to be one of them. 
 Once dry, I went back over the black to once again clean up the edges. Then I thought it might be fun to add some white highlights to make the letters pop. Look, even the edge got painted!
The admin had no idea we were creating this painting. When I was sharing it with them, our school librarian saw it and LOVED IT. It was decided that this painting would go in the library for everyone to see. AND I'm really excited to share that now the librarian and I are collaborating to create an entire ALPHABET WALL in this style! The kids will kick off the new school year painting a canvas for each letter in the alphabet to showcase in the library. Y'all I'm so stoked! This project was so easy, colorful, happy and fun. I'm looking forward to making more. LOVE to hear if you give this a go! 
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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, 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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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 13

What's the fastest way to inspire white hot panic in any art teacher? Tell 'em that it's the start of a new school year and they've gotta dream up lesson plans for all their countless classes. Pile that on top of the fact that you gotta prep your art room, teach the rules -n- routines all while making sure the kids have fun and you've got a whole lotta freak out goin' on. Well, in this episode of Art Teacherin' 101, I thought I'd share with you how I start my school year in an easy and stress-free way with an impactful project. How? Just think:

Theme, collaboration or both? 

Here, lemme 'splain it to you...
Here's how I approach it: What do I want my beginning of the school year theme to be? An artist? A culture? An art movement? Or, as is the case this year, a big idea like kindness? Start there. Once you've got that nailed down, think: do you want your students work together to create one collaborative piece? Or do you want them to each create individual works of art that are based around your theme. Like I mentioned I've done a bit of both with success. I'll share 'em with you here in a sec but lemme tell you why I love working this way so stinkin' much:

* It's IMPACTFUL. Getting art on the walls as soon as school starts is a great way to promote your program; instill pride in the students as EVERY ONE of their works of art are on display; beautify the school environment. You need money for supplies? You need parent volunteers? You want kids to have a great self-confidence? Say it with artwork, y'all. Immediate art can garner immediate results.

* It's EASY. Think about it: sticking with the same theme means one prezi/powerpoint/bulletinboard for all. It gets even better when all students are using the same art supplies as that cuts down on prep. Everyone is creating a selfie with markers and colored pencil on the same size piece of paper? Wowza! You might actually be able to spend your lunch hour EATING LUNCH and not scrambling around like a crazy person. 

So, without further ado, lemme share with you some of my fave collaborative projects that added a powerful punch to those otherwise dull brick walls:
Collaborative Grid Masterpieces: If you settle on an artist as your theme, you might want to consider having your students create a grid mural. You can purchase grid murals online or create one of your own. I always liked having my students draw out the mural themselves as you can see in this lesson here. However, Art with Jenny K sells some great pre-drawn grid murals too! 
Teamwork Collaboratives: My students and I really loved this project last year. It involved team building and was super colorful! Now I'm thinking this project could go even bigger. What if you did this with an ENTIRE class? Maybe each class creating a series of art supplies in this manner? Golly, how awesome would that be outside of an art room!? 
School Wide Collaboratives with a Theme: I know I've shared this collaborative a number of times but that's because it was so simple and successful! If your theme is love or kindness, I would strongly recommend this project. Ours hangs as a permanent piece and still gets plenty of attention and compliments. 
Super Simple Collaborative: You want something super easy but stunning? Might I recommend this coffee filter Dot Day inspired project that would be a collaborative for all students. 
Dot Day Collaboratives: Right after we complete our kindness piece, my students will be diving into all things Dot Day. I've shared all of my past Dot Day collaboratives. They make such and impression and teach a great lesson! 
Grade Level Collaborative: Like the Dot Day Tree Mural above, this jungle-themed collaborative was created by my first graders at the start of the school year. For this style of theming, my students all created unique jungle-themed projects based on a different lesson but learning the same artist, art history and overarching idea. 
For example, here is an example of one of the relief sculpture pieces my fourth graders created
School Pride Collaborative: This beaut is over 3 years old now and still hangs proudly in our lobby. The kids love it, it adds a splash of fun and happy to our entrance way and it was simple to create. All the deets can be found here
Setting the Tone Collaboratives: I recently shared with y'all the kindness collaboratives my students have created in the past. They are a wonderful way to set the tone with your lesson and visually in the school. A list of kindness collaboratives here
Selfies: Self-portraits all over the school at the start of the school year is very empowering for students. It gives them a sense of belonging and ownership to the school. This fun selfie lesson can be found here
Super Duper Kids: This lesson was a wonderful way to explore what makes each one of my students a super hero. Follow this linky-loo for a complete lesson video

For even more selfie lessons, take a peak at My Fave Self-Portrait Lessons
Remember, the start of the school year is already a stressful time for both you and your students (as they anticipate a new school experience). Cut down on your stress level by thinking of a simple, impactful project with an overarching theme, media or collaboration. Trust me, you'll have something beautiful to add to your school walls and one less gray hair on your pretty lil head! 
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