Showing posts with label how to teach art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label how to teach art. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2018

In the Art Room: Guided Drawing, Part 2

In light of yesterday's post, I thought I'd share a follow-up blog post. One reason I find most folks argue against guided drawing is the following:

It is too restrictive.
It leads kids to believe that there is only one way to draw.
It puts too much pressure on the kids.

AND I AGREE...if guided drawing is a tool used incorrectly in the art room, it can be all of those things. So I thought I'd share some tips and tricks that I use in my art room that eliminates the pressure, the restrictiveness and the notion that there is only one way to create.

I tell the kids that we are all unique and our artwork should reflect that. 
We have a little pep talk before drawing: each of us is unique and that's a wonderful thing. We are all going to hear the same directions...and each of our artist's brains are going to hear and translate those directions differently...and our artwork will reflect that. 

I tell the kids that if I had wanted copies of artwork, I would have just MADE copies. But I want to see their artistry, their work of unique art. 

I call our Guided Drawings, Practice Drawings. 

I tell the kids that this drawing that we are doing together is just practice, not perfect. If they aren't happy with their drawing, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, IT'S JUST PRACTICE...and you can do another one next art class. This eliminates the pressure of trying to be perfect (and how is?!).

I also tell the kids that they are not to throw away that drawing. If they do decide to redo their drawing the following art class, they are to use their initial drawing as their guide...and keep it. Take it home, color it, give it to mama, give it to me. But the trashcan is NOT an option. 

I've also noticed that by the time the second art class rolls around, most kids have forgotten what little thing bothered them and are happy with their drawings.

ALSO...having kids practice on dry erase boards as they draw along with you makes a big difference. Then they can take that drawing to their seat and copy from that onto a piece of paper. 

When we draw on the floor, we either use pencils with no erasers or Sharpies. I don't want the kiddos to use their art time erasing holes in their paper. 

We talk about Beautiful Oops! 
What a great time to talk about all the endless options you can do if you draw something unexpected. It's a happy accident. Let's see where it takes you!

WE KEEP IT SUPER SILLY...
And that really helps release the pressure the kids may feel. I recently recorded myself teaching my kindergarten how to draw Roy G. Biv. If you are interested, you can see how I try to keep it silly, fun and light for the kids. 



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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Art Teacherin' 101: Thoughts on Guided Drawing

 I often times feel like there are these notions in art education that you have to pick a side. TAB vs. not TAB. Project-Based vs. Non-Project Based. Guided Drawing vs. Guided-Drawing-is-the-Devil.

Here's why I HATE when I'm forced to feel like I have to pick a side. 

1. It pits art teachers against one another. 

Look, everyone's end goal as an art teacher (at least I hope) is for our children to realize the power of their imagination and creativity. It can boost their self-confidence, give them mental strength and allow them to see all of their creative potential! How we, as teachers, get our students to that point, varies. We are all in different situations, with different schedules and different standards and curriculum. What might work swimmingly for me and my diverse students, may not work well for another in their setting. Does that make them wrong? Does that mean they are doing their students a disservice? Something tells me that if an art teacher is giving it their very best...not their most perfect because that's just unattainable, but THEIR very best...than isn't that enough? Should we really beat them up if their best looks different than ours?

2. It paints a black and white picture of art education...in our beautifully colorful world. 

How we teach art is not black and white. You don't have to pick a team or a side. I like to think of all the wonderful ideas on art education as tools in my toolbox. When I use a variety of tools: guided drawing, open studio, center time, project-based, etc., I notice that I'm able to reach ALL of my learners. If I only used one tool in my toolbox, like guided drawing, for example, then my students would only become good at following by example. There's only value in that type of learning if we combine it with other types. This allows our students to see the importance of what they are learning and how they can apply it to their creative life inside and out of the art room. 

With that in mind, I really feel like Guided Drawing gets a bad wrap. I use guided drawing as a tool in my toolbox with MANY other tools. Here's why I value guided drawing and how my students enjoy it with success, confidence and happiness.
So, what are your thoughts on guided drawing? Or any other method of art teacherin'? I've been teaching art for 20 years. For new teachers, I can only imagine how confusing and difficult it must be to hear all of this art edu-jargon. Just know that if you feel you are trying your hardest and your students are responding, you are doing alright. Trust me...your students aren't going to remember some fancy edu-jargon...they are going to remember that you loved on them, created with them and encouraged them every step of the way. And, fingers crossed and knock on wood, that will be enough to have them realize the power of their own creative potential. 
If you are interested in seeing more of my guided drawing lessons, you can use the search bar on this blog...or you can check them out below!
Heather Galler Flowers!
Many of my guided drawing lessons are VERY open ended so the kids can really explore with confidence.
There are MANY MORE lessons on my YouTube channel if you'd like to check them out! 
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

What the Art Teacher Wore #208

 This past week was our book fair and to celebrate, we had dress up days! The theme of the book fair was Enchanted Forrest and our first day was to dress in red and white for a mushroom theme. Y'all know I totally had a dress for that, right? I cannot believe I stitched it up way back in 2012! It was the one and only keyhole dress I've made. That Michael Miller gnome fabric is still my fave. Details here. 
Just a little clip of me turning my kindergarten into color mixing wizards. No bid deal.
Do y'all remember that PD I lead at the start of the school year for the faculty and staff at my school? We created a piece that stated our "why we are here". Well, my FAVORITE FUNDRAISER Artome Art Shows was kind enough to donate frames for each one of these WHY's. They now hang outside of each teacher's classroom and look simply stunning. 
 Aside from dress up days, we had a full week of art making AND open house. Which meant we had to make stuff and keep the art room on the tidy side which is a stretch. I'm super good at making messes (and I believe that's rubbed off on my kiddos) but not great at keeping the space clean. So I tidied like crazy on Monday afternoon and we had a stern "don't even think about messing this up!" chat on Tuesday before the night's events. 
Oh, and speaking of Artome Art Shows, we are having ours this December. Which means most of my classes are rockin' on their projects. We always do self portraits of some kind for Artome and this one is my favorite. We start with black glue...and you can find the complete lesson (with video!) here
 Tuesday's dress up theme was fairy or gnome...so I decided to go as Roy G. Biv and surprise the kids. When not wearing a beard and a rainbow hat, I was super comfy in my overalls. I THINK I'M ADDICTED TO OVERALLS. These bad boys are from Forever 21. 
Just a lil Roy action here. 
 Of course, when Roy G. Biv visits, we draw his likeness! Kindergarten did a super job of following along with Roy...
And coloring these cuties in.
 Wednesday was Wacky Sock day. I scored these from a shop in the mall that only sells socks...and they have the best selection. I don't own too many fun socks (surprising, I know) but when I spotted these, I had to have them. 
 My Unicorns are Real top is from Five Below...which is my guilty pleasure. Well, that and Dollar Tree. And in my neck of the woods, they are next to each other which means they are SUPER DANGEROUS. 
 For this year's open house, I made sure to hang two pieces of art for every kiddo. It was a lot of work and I'm excited to see it decorating the halls. I brought back my tree weaving lesson this year with third grade and I'm so glad I did. More details on this project soon. 
Usually my fourth graders do this project for the Artome Art Show but this year, I'm changing it up a bit. For our first day, we sketched thumbnail self portraits and then began creating these with bingo daubers on 9 X 12 paper. I'm so excited to see this project progress. 
 Words on a shirt day was the dress up theme for Thursday. I also had Round 2 of dressing up as Roy G. Biv for my classes that had missed out...so that meant pants again. TWICE IN ONE WEEK! Kinda crazy, I know. 
 My first graders are the kings and queens of cute with the start of their self portraits. You can check out lesson details here
 Friday was a half day but I had a stacked morning with five classes, kindergarten through fourth. I know my paint trays have just about run their course but were still pretty full of paint. So we did a collaborative circle painting and had a blast. All classes painted on the paper on their tables. They could only build upon the paintings that were there, not paint over them. It was a great way to spend our last day before break.
 And now it's fall break time! 
We have a lovely week off...it's glorious! I'll be home most of the week but on Thursday, I'm off to Florida for their art teacher convention...and I'm so excited. See y'all soon!
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

In the Art Room: Sketchbook Covers

Well, better late than never ever, amirite? My students are just now getting rolling on their sketchbooks tho that's no fault of their own. I've been doing sketchbooks with my kids for years now ... and had a pretty fool proof way that worked for me and the kids. But there was always one thing kind of bothering me...that I never had a way for them to add informational pages to their sketchbooks. You know, like an Elements of Art reference sheet or, what I'm really excited about, some Art History Rocks sheets. So this year, instead of using manilla folders with pages stapled inside, my kids are using pronged folders that we can add pages to!
Because my students are working on their weaving and sewing projects right now, they are all finishing their work at different speeds. While allowing time for the kids to finish AND providing my early finishers with a quality drawing lesson, I created this sheet. It worked GREAT! My students drew lightly with pencil first on their folders then showed me their drawing before going over their lines in pencil. If you'd like this sheet, you can download it here. 
 This is the work of a couple third graders after they finished their weavings. They were so stinkin' proud of their work! The ABC sheet is one I found online. You can find it here along with a great video. 
For the background, we looked at the work of Jen Stark and talked about creating a repeating line pattern. The kids chose a line and simply repeated it in any way they liked. Again, they were working independently so lots of options were open to them. color was added with markers. 

The kids are so proud of their covers so far. They'll continue adding to these as an early finisher project. I CANNOT WAIT to introduce them to our first Art Rocks theme and get them rockin' in these books. Stay tuned!
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Monday, August 20, 2018

In the Art Room: A Glimpse Inside my First Day with 1st and 2nd

Ohhhh-whey! Don't mind me, it's just the second Monday of the new school year and I've already got my feet up and I'm surrounded by Getting to Know You Sculptures. Last week, I shared with you a video where I talked you thru what I do my first day with my 1st and 2nd graders for their first 30 minutes. Today I thought I'd share with you a video of myself with my kiddos to give you more of a visual. So, here you go! My very first art class with some of my very favorite people:
Now, if you need more explaining about my very first 30 minutes and why I do what I do, you can check out this lil clip:
I love seeing how other art teachers teach. I am loud, annoying and definitely not for everyone...but that's me. That's who I am and that's how I teach. I really think finding your voice in your classroom is the best way to be your best teacher. So while I like to share what works for me, it's by no means me saying that you should do it too. It's just an offering of ideas and a little peak inside. Y'all are always welcome to my art room! So pull up a chair, roll up your sleeves and...GO CLEAN SOMETHING for heaven's sake. This place is a PIT!

All kidding aside...stay tuned...I've got more videos coming your way this week and a follow up to our sculpture lesson. Love y'all!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 34

Today was my last day of school for the year...and it totally didn't feel like it. The weather is wet and cold and I still have packing up aplenty to do. Not to mention, I have new ideas for the next school year that I'm excited to start plotting and planning. However, there is a high percentage that I will end up spending my days in my sewing room and totally neglecting that last thing. I mean, really, who am I even kidding? 

I know that many of y'all are still in the throes of art teacherin' land and for that reason, I thought this episode of Art Teacherin' 101 could feature my fave things to do with the kiddos at the end of the school year. Weaving, origami, drawing, blocks, dry erase boards, draw-alongs with this channel are just a few of my favorite engaging end of the school year activities. In the past, I've had my older kids do surveys of their fave projects and fave aspects of my class. That was always fun to read and enlightening. We also drew portraits of our classroom teacher and wrote about them which was given to them as a sweet gift from their class. There are really so many ways to keep the kids active and engaged...I'd love to hear your ideas!

Until then, you'll find me sleeping in, sewing up a storm and spending time with the hubs, our cat and my sweet friends. 

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Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 33

If you are anything like me (and bless, as we say in the South, if you are), then you prolly got that art ed degree of yours without being a total pro in all forms of media. I didn't take a single printmaking or ceramics class in college and I got a C in textiles (which is a fave but at the time, I was huffing too many paint fumes, er, REALLY into my painting class, to be bothered with warping that freakin' floor loom). What I did get is a two year degree in oil painting because...you know, that's something we teach to the 10 and under set. Ahem. All that to say, we are expected to be at least somewhat knowledgable about the media we share with our students. But, let's be honest, a lot of times, we are learning right along with the kids. 

Now, I've been at this art teacherin' game for sometime now (18 years but who's countin'?) and I have learned a thing or two along the way. One thing is for certain: kids LOVE clay. However, it can be frustrating to teach if you lack experience. Since I've been around the art teacherin' block a time or two (wink-wink, nudgenudge), I thought I'd share some of my fave art teacherin' clay hacks with you. Here you go:
 Let's talk about some of the things I've shared and just where you can find them. 

* Clay mats. I mentioned The Clay Lady and her clay mats. I seriously have had mine FOR YEARS. They are worth the cost of $2 each. 

* Toothbrushes and doggie bowls. Seriously, what would we art teachers do without places like The Dollar Tree?! Toothbrushes are perfect for teaching scoring and doggie bowls are awesome for holding slip while preventing spills. 

* Texture! A visit to your thrift store will provide you with a good stockpile of texture for your clay adventures. Placemats, cable knit sweaters, burlap, stamps, you name it. If it has a texture, your clay will capture it.

* Skewer sticks. Perfect for cutting, drawing and carving into clay.
Something I failed to mention: what to do with those projects that kids work on for more than one class? To store these effectively, I have a stockpile of old and large zip lock baggies. The kids write their names on the bags in Sharpie, wrap their project in a damp paper towel and place gently inside the back. I tell the kids not to zip their bags shut as that usually traps air inside. Instead, I tell them to push the air out and tuck the opening of the bag under their project. This will keep their clay workable for about a week. 

If you would like to continue this clay chat, you are in luck. All throughout the month of May, I'll be hosting clay chats (and craft nights, so come armed with clay!) right here, every Wednesday at 8pm CST. You can work with any ole clay you like...however, I'll be using the clays made available in this kit which you can purchase here. For more info on what we'll be up to, check here

And now, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave clay projects over the years (many with video links!) for you to take back to your own Art Teacherin' Town. LOOOOOVE to hear your fave clay projects and words of wisdom. Please feel free to leave in el commentos below. 
This clay project was one that I did with my second graders FOR YEARS. They love it, it's a great way to introduce texture, slab, coil and glaze. It's also a quickie and with my short art classes, it worked very well. 
This was a fun project my third graders did one year. If you've taught clay before, then you've probably done the coils-in-a-styrofoam-bowl project (I know I have!) a different spin on that is having the kids use slabs of clay to create flowers. We had a spring theme one art show and these fit in beautifully. 
I almost always do a clay project that emphasizes texture with my kindergarteners. I'll share all of those projects...but this one is always a fave: texture butterflies
This is another kindergarten clay project with an emphasis on texture. This project is also shared in my clay book...but with homemade clay! 
These clay fish by my first graders always crack me up! They had so much fun creating the silly expressions on these a couple years ago. If every glaze is not an option, here is a fun alternative: florescent oil pastels and watered down black paint! 
Inspired by the painted elephants in India, my fourth graders created these fun guys one year. 
Funky frogs were created by my fourth graders one year. They had so much personality! This was a project we worked on over the course of a couple of art classes...which really allowed the kids to get creative. 
One year, to go along with our Asian theme, my fourth graders created these fun pandas. Each had their own wild and wacky personaltiy. 
To go along with that theme of Asia, my third grade kiddos created these Chinese dragons which they had a great time doing.
So I might have a thing for animals and clay...what do you think? My kindergarten and first graders created these pinch pot pets a couple of years back when our art show theme was to raise money for a local animal shelter. And, what do you know, animals are our theme again this year! 
That year, my second graders created this version of pinch pot pets: two pinch pots put together to create the body of their animal. 
And my fourth graders created these! Definitely a favorite by both me and the kiddos. 
Yet another spin on pinch pots and animals: using the pinch pot as a container. Our school mascot is the tiger and this particular year, second graders created tiger pinch pot containers
 Now last year, I decided to go for a food theme and create the art room into a 1950's style diner. These projects were not shared in detail like my others because...I was in the middle of writing my clay book and these projects are all featured in that book! The book is written to be used with no kiln fire clay...but, as you can see, you can use kiln fire clay as well. You can scoop up your book here
 My first graders served up these coffee and donut delights. 
 Second grade backed up cupcakes. Y'all better believe the retro lover in my totally enjoyed decorating for this art show!
 Third graders made hamburgers and fries...complete with all the fixin's. 
While others made pancake containers with hand painted paper plates. 
A kid and crowd favorite were the pie containers. The kids had so much fun googling pies and sculpting their favorite. 
While other classes did pizza containers. I reached out to a local pizza place for the boxes to display the pizza in. 
This year, we are back at it with an animal theme! We are transforming the art room into a pet shop. Third grade is in charge of the reptiles
Fourth grade had a blast creating these bobble head pets
But a crowd favorite so far are these fun and funky birds by second grade. They crack me up! 

Many more clay projects are coming up so stay tuned. However, if you just can't wait, you can see a handful of clay projects that have not been shared here but are on my YouTube channel. I always upload there first...so if you'd like to stay up to date, you might consider hitting subscribe. 
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