Showing posts with label chalk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chalk. Show all posts

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Fifth Annual Chalked Ceiling Tile Event!

This year marks our fifth to do the chalked ceiling tiles with second grade. I can't believe it's been five years...and I'm happy to say that this year's was by far the easiest and least stressful. I guess I've finally learn a thing or two after all these years! 

In case you aren't familiar with this project that we do, it's a legacy piece that my second grade students create on the back side of a ceiling tile. We use chalk and have a different theme each year. This year, we created tigers because we are the Johnson Tigers!

I always get a ton of questions when I share this project on my social media platforms. I thought I'd try and answer them here and also share the last four legacy projects we've created. Be sure and click on the link as many have instructional videos!
Why do you use chalk and not paint? We use chalk because of the history of how we came to doing these tiles. You see, this was an accidental project. Initially, we were going to do a sidewalk chalk project with a visiting artist (more here). But on the day of the event, thunderstorms were predicted. I was at a loss of what we would do until I remembered that my principal had been asking me to have our students decorate ceiling tiles. So I got one and drew on it with the chalk...we had all the chalk prepped and ready for the sidewalk chalk event, so I was determined to use it. The problem was, the chalk didn't work well on the front of the tile. So I flipped it over and, what do you know, it worked perfectly...just like a sidewalk. And that's how the whole thing got started. 
Why do you use the back and not the front? I found the front didn't take to the chalk as well...but the back is perfect. There are numbers on the back but the chalk covers it up.
What brand of chalk do you use? Doesn't it get everywhere? I really like Faber-Castell chalk and Sargent chalk. We do a lot of coloring with the side of the chalk, not holding it like a crayon. This helps fill in large spaces. These two brands make very vibrant chalk colors. Yes, it's super messy...especially since we work on the floor. I tell the kids to wear their play clothes and come ready to make a mess. But, honestly, look at that floor! It's not even that bad. Having a paper banner under their work really helps.
So...how does this work? How do you teach this? On the day of the event, I have all of my second grade classes come to the multipurpose room. I lead all of then in this activity. I don't ask for additional help or teachers to be in the room...I'm kind of a solo act. This year, I did things in a way that I think worked the best: I had my classes all in rows, by class. Each had an assigned spot to cut down on any behavioral issues. Then I lead them, guided drawing style, in the creation of their own unique tiger. It took us an hour and a half. I happened to have a plan period so this worked out well and my other classes still had their art time.
How do you seal the chalked piece when it's finished? I just use hairspray. Yes, some of the chalk smears when it's placed in the ceiling...but not enough to tell. 
Do you do a different theme for the chalked drawing every year? If so, how do you decide what to do? Yes, I do a different theme. It's sometimes based on what the kids are learning about (butterflies) or I also take requests. For example, the cafeteria manager wanted healthy foods, so last year we created fruit tiles. This year, we did tigers as that's our mascot. 
What will you do when you run out of ceiling space? Retire.

Below is a sampling of what the kids have created over the last 5 years...the links have videos too, including clips of the set up and kids working if you are interested.
But first, I thought I'd take you down memory lane so you can see all the tiles my students have created over the years. Let's start with the very first one, which you can read all about here
The second year, we created these flowers. For this demo, I created a video. You can see how I went about doing this lesson with four classes in previous years here. 
Our third year, we created these geometric patterned fish! Prior to this, we did a lesson inspired by Sandra Silberzweig and created these fun black glue and chalk fish
Last year, we did fruit! These are in our cafeteria and I just love them. More details here!
Let me tell you this: it's a bit of prep, a lot of chalk dust, a crazy mob of children...BUT WORTH IT! The big undertakings always are, right? 

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Monday, November 26, 2018

In the Art Room: Fourth Grade Fauves!

I just wrapped up a super fun and VERY COLORFUL Fauve-inspired self-portrait lesson with my fourth grade kiddos. This lesson included so many things: drawing a cartoon or caricature version of ourselves, using chalk pastel in an unusual way, creating pattern and design with oil pastel for a watercolor resist. It was mixed-media to the max with beautiful results. Here's a quickie lesson I put together just for you and your kiddos:
Lemme just say this: I DO NOT enjoy teaching self-portrait drawing to my older kids. They are so stinkin' hard on them selves that it is painful to watch. We will do a more in depth selfie drawing later this year (if time allows) but for now, this was a fun way to ease in to it. These works of art will be featured in our Artome Art Show and therefore have to be 9" X 12"...I really think this would be a great lesson on a bigger scale as the kids could achieve more detail. 
 Normally, my lesson for fourth grade and Artome is this Romero Britto one. While I love that lesson, it does take forever. Also...I have a group of kiddos this year that would just be frustrated with that lesson. I decided to create a lesson based around their interests (working big and bold!) and their attention span (I know my people, what can I say) and this proved to be it. Each kiddo was super proud and successful. 
 Day One: Each kiddo had a bingo dauber filled with slightly diluted India ink. After doing some quiet sketching for the first five minutes, we gathered and chatted about creating simple selfies on our paper. Because of the large line of the dauber and the small size of the paper, the kids learned quickly that they had to work big and without tiny details. They also were not to use pencil first but to just GO FOR IT. I only had one rule: YOU CAN MAKE AS MANY AS YOU LIKE...but if you start a selfie, even if you think it is a "mess up", you must finish it. Each kid ended up with between 3- 5 to choose from for the next class. Extras will be used in upcoming projects. 
The following art class, we started using chalk and "elephant snot" or liquid starch. I get my Sta-Flo liquid starch from Walmart. The best chalk pastels I have found are made by Faber-Castell. The colors are just so bright!
Day Two: Chalk and starch those bad boys! If they finished one, many kids asked to work on their other drawings. I was totes cool with that!
Day Three: Create a background! Using our Sargent bright oil pastels, we drew patterns all over the background of our selfies. Then we used liquid watercolor over that. Each is just as beautiful as the next! I cannot wait to see these at our art show. Will keep you posted on what the other kiddos are creating!
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In the Art Room: Fourth Annual Chalked Ceiling Tile Event!

 If y'all happened to read my last blog post, then you know that Monday was our fourth annual chalked ceiling tile event with second grade. Each year in the spring, second grade creates a legacy piece that gets a permanent spot in our school ceiling. This year, our amazing cafeteria manager, Ms Rebecca, requested healthy foods for the ceiling in the cafeteria. So we went with fruit. We created them Monday afternoon. By 8am on Tuesday, THE AMAZING MR. SCRUGGS had them all up in the ceiling. He loves this event as much as I do and always does an amazing job of placing them in the ceiling. I love his makeshift poncho from a garbage bag, don't you? GENIUS. 
 Here's how the event goes down: I borrow the multipurpose room from our P.E. teachers and cover the floors with bulletin board paper, unused ceiling tiles, chalk and foam brushes. It takes me about an 45 minutes to set up (if that, I've got it down) for my four 2nd grade classes. My Monday's are my lightest, schedule-wise, so I penciled them in to come in during my plan time and second grade block. That gave us an hour and a half to work. But these kids were FANTASTIC and finished their work in an hour! Here's a time-lapse of the event:
Now I have created a how-to video for the last couple years also and that really helps too. If you are interested, here is the video I created for my kiddos. We worked on the back of the tiles with chalk:
This would be a fun lesson on construction paper too! Definitely a lesson you could do in an art room, sans tiles. 
 My kids looked like they'd just finished working a shift in the coal mines when they were done but they were SO EXCITED with their work. 
 Initially, we gathered in the same area, all four classes, talked about what a legacy piece was and chatted about the others hanging up in the ceiling of our school. I let them know that a special request had been put in for healthy food for the cafeteria from our very own Ms Rebecca. The kids were thrilled that their art would have a permanent placement in the cafe!
 Once the first steps were given, the kids partnered up and found a place to work. When they finished the first phase, they could sit and chat with their partner. I encouraged them to work together and help their partner if needed and requested. I had my art class playlist going...I let them know that when the music stopped, I needed their eyes for the next steps. 
 I did provide templates for my students for the watermelon and the citrus. Teaching a large group solo can be difficult. I wanted all of my students to start with confidence and create something they were proud of in the time that they were given. 
 Our final phase was adding the black outlines. 
 I didn't even put black in their trays...I wanted them to use that last as I know how much it can spread EVERY.WHERE.
 The last step was for them to sign their name and MASTERPIECE COMPLETE! 
 With the help of my music teacher buddy (thank you, Kiera!) it took me about an hour to hose these down with fixative and clean up. 
 Once sprayed, I stacked them all on the dolly that my custodian buddy had placed them on and wheeled them down to the art room. 
 I left them outside the art room. I was tired and I was thinking, "eh, I'll take care of it in the morning."
 Come Tuesday Morning, Mr. Scruggs already had them up in the cafeteria ceiling BEFORE 8am!
 Y'all, the kids were so proud. I told them, "now you'll have THREE places to find artwork at the art show: outside your classroom, the art room and THE CAFETERIA!"
 We always host an Ice Cream Social during the art show which takes place in the cafeteria. So they'll be able to show their artwork then. 
 BIG SHOUT OUT to my admin for the support, my specials team for lending me their kiddos and their space, the second grade team for JUST.BEING.AWESOME. And, of course, MR. SCRUGGS!
AND, last but not least, the hardest working second grade artists I know. Love all y'all! 

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

In the Art Room: Sandra Silberzweig Chalk Selfies!

This is my second year to do this lesson with my third grade students and, even still, I'm amazed by the stunning results. And the kids are so super proud!
I created this lesson last year inspired by the artist Sandra Silberzweig. I LOVE her work and I know you will too. Here's the lesson video I created and used once again this year.
I'm not gonna lie: the devil is in the chalk brand details. The reason these colors are so vibrant is because I SWEAR by Faber-Castell's chalk. I stayed far away from chalk for many years because the colors were so stinkin' dull. But not these, they go on vibrant and stay that way. I cannot recommend them enough!
Also having that color wheel on hand helps tremendously. I found mine online after a quick google of "color wheels" and laminated one for each two kiddos. Our key word is analogous. They can't pronounce it but, by golly, they know what it means!
To seal, I'll hit these with a mist of hair spray. I like the dollar store variety...but do be careful. Sometimes it comes out in speckles and can leave that look on the kids' work. Nothing another thin layer of chalk wouldn't hide. 
We created these on 9" X 12" sheets of paper as that's the size of the frame for the Artome art show. I don't think I'd do this project much bigger...making black glue is not my favorite thing in the world. By the way, this year, I made mine with India ink instead of tempera paint. It seemed to work just as well and came out of the nozzle a lot easier.
I will say, I do believe my Rainbow Tree is starting to influence my artists! 
We most def won't be forgetting rainbow order any time soon!
And now for a ridiculous amount of colorful portraits! Sorry, I love each and every one, they are so stunning.
One thing I liked about this project is that even if the kids "mess up" during the black glue stage, it doesn't matter. I told them to keep going. If they finished one and were still unhappy with the glue, I allowed to do another. Then, on chalk days, they just picked their favorite and used the extra one as their back up paper.
We all have those perfectionists...I get it. But I'm not a fan of starting over 23 times...so I always require them to finish it out before starting again.

So looking forward to our art show! I'll keep you posted!
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