Showing posts with label kindergarten art lessons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten art lessons. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Painting

 Hello, friends! If you saw my post earlier this week, I said I'd be sharing a follow-up lesson to our Jasper Johns-inspired alphabet paintings. Here's a peak at that project:
 And the video lesson!
I see my kindergarteners for 40 minutes, once a week. I knew they'd zip through the alphabet I shared with them a super fun Chicka Chicka Boom Boom video from YouTube and challenged them to make a painting of upper and lower case letters. This resulted in beautiful black and white paintings of letters. We piled them on to the drying rack and were done for the day...two masterpieces complete!
 Once the ink is dry from the bingo daubers, my students are going to "hug" their letters with water soluble markers. Then they'll add just water right over their marker lines for this fabulous result!
 Another alternative to having them paint over their lines is simply spray them with water! Once class only had moments left so we did this trick and, while I like the other result better, these still look great. Just a tip: when spraying with water, less is best. The colors will bleed if given time.
And there you have it, two great literacy projects for kindergarten in one! 

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Buddies

Once a month, we have half days in my school district. You'd think a half day would be an easy day but it's actually more like a normal day condensed into half the amount of time. Read: it's crazy. On these days, I have four classes, four different grade levels for 30 minutes each back to back before we dismiss. Our half days are almost always on Fridays and the kindergarten classes I would normally see on that day miss art. If you do the math (which, gross, why would you) that means I end up missing my kindergarten classes seven times over the course of a school year. Yikes!

This time around, I decided to do something about it: invite my kindergarten classes in during the time scheduled for my third and fourth grade classes. See if you can follow me on this journey: when I see my third and fourth graders on their normal art day, the classes are doubled up (meaning I see two third/fourth grade classes at a time. This was the only way I was able to get an hour with these students). However, on half days, I only see one of those third/fourth grade classes. Which means that if we did our normal art lesson, when I saw the kids next, half of them would be ahead. So usually on those days, we do something completely different. That means more work and planning for me.

When I got the schedule for our half day, I approached the kindergarten teachers and asked if they'd be willing to give up some of their time to allow their students to have art. I let them know that they'd have Big Buddies to help them in art today. I let the third and fourth grade teachers know that their students would be giving up their art time to act as role models to the kindergarten kiddos. Here's a glimpse of how our very busy 30 minutes went!
I have to say, the Big Buddies ROCKED it and the Little Buddies were THRILLED to have them. I saw my older students step up, speak kindly, be gentle and guide their new friends. I saw my younger students tell them what they knew, sit up tall and follow directions to make their new friends proud. It was a big ego boost for both sides and a lot of fun to watch. 
How did this go down? I met both grade levels at the entrance of my room. I told the younger students to go in and take a seat on the floor in the first and second row. We were seated under the large television screen you can see in the video. I asked the older students to sit behind so that the younger kids could see. I explained to both parties that they'd have to play close attention to be a good student and a good teacher. I explained that were were creating paintings that would later act as a sky in a collage landscape. We learned about TEXTURE and TINTS with texture being our Word of the Day (whenever I say the WotD, the kids know to give me a WHOOP-WHOOP!). I let the younger friends know that TEXTURE is one of the elements of art. At that point, I had all of the kindergarten kids turn around and face the big kids as they did this little hand-jive to explain what the Elements of Art are...
I told the kids that they were to use white paint first and put big blobs of white onto their paper. I said to "scoop, plop, flip the brush over" at which point the kids repeated with me "scoop, plop, flip". I didn't want cups of water on the tables with this many kids and because it would put holes in the construction paper. So the kids were instructed to clean their brush either on their paper or on their messy mats. From there, they were to add "baby blobs of blue". Once complete, they were to use the texture tool of their choice to blend the colors together creating a TEXTURE TINTS of blue.
As a reminder of the directions for EVERYONE, we did a call and favorite thing in the world. 
We got through all the directions, painted and even did a bit of book reading all in 30 minutes flat. With the help of the older students, I was able to have a much more relaxing teaching experience...and drink my coffee! 
I will admit, we were loud and proud! But with 35-ish big and littles in the room, I was willing to go with the flow. All kids were on task, all kids were having fun and all kids completed their painting. We did neglect to wash hands as I just couldn't see having that many friends at the sinks. Thankfully, I work with classroom teachers that totally understand and were fine with taking care of hand washing. 

I really cannot wait for another half day to do this again. I think this will be a fun new routine for my students. My favorite part was when a third grader, who was the last to walk out of my art room stop, lean against the wall and let out a big WHEW! When asked if she was alright, she said, "teaching kindergarteners is TOUGH! I'm exhausted!" Ha! 
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Sunday, August 23, 2015

In the Art Room: Teaching Line with Larry the Line!

Hi, friends! Well, it's been one of those Wild -n- Crazy art teacherin' weeks and I didn't manage to snap a single What the Art Teacher Wore photo (tho, if you follow me here, you'll see what I'm wearin', what I'm making and what's goin' down in the art room, daily). However, if YOU did, please be sure to send it my way at for the What the Art Teacher Wore/Back to Art Teacherin' Contest! You're good-looking face will not only be featured here but, if chosen, also in School Arts Magazine. AND the winner-winner-chicken-dinner will get a free subscription to School Arts. So get dressed, snap a pic and send it to moi, s'il vous plait. Gracias! 

In other news, if you are an art teacher with other art teacherin' buds on Facebook, then I bet your feed is just blowing up with photos of back-to-school/freshly-deocrated art rooms. I absolutely love it because it is art teacherin' eye candy! I've shared several snaps of my art room (with a blog post about my first days here) and was asked about my Line poster. If you've been around this blog for a pinch then you know that I use this poster with my kindergarten friends in my unit on line. I created this and accompanying poem years ago. It's been a great tool for me to teach line with a bit of rhyme and a whole lotta fun. So, without further ado, here's the Larry the Line poem! 
So that you don't have to watch this video a million times, here's the Larry the Line poem in it's entirety. 

NOTE: This poster and poem were both created by me. Please feel free to share this with your students and colleagues (credit thrown my way would be greatly appreciated). This may not be reproduced by you for profit. I feel sad that I have to add this disclaimer...but I do. 

Larry the Line
Is a friend of mine
(creating a snake by opening the fingers of your hand, puppet style and there's your snake!)
He can make three
(hold up a three with your fingers)
Straight lines for me!
(create a vertical line with your forearm)
Diagonal and horizontal!
(pantomime each)
Any curve, he can learn
With a twist and a turn.
When he's out of his tangle
he makes a great...angle.
(created by placing your hand on your hip and pointing to your elbow)
Any line, he can make
After all, he's a snake!
And here's how I go about teaching the creation of line sculpture to the kids! 
From there, my kindergarten friends create line sculptures like this. I have a super silly way of teaching this which I will share on my youtube channel this week. By the way, if you subscribe to my channel, you'll see my videos before I share them here!
I'm not gonna lie, sometimes after the whole Larry thing, the kids are bananas. To bring them back down, I'll often do this activity called palming. It works magically! 
I love this unit on line and it's made so much more fun with this goofy poem and carnival snake! What poems and songs do you use when teaching? I'd love to have a whole collection! Too bad my songwriting skillz are seriously lacking. 
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Monday, December 15, 2014

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Reindeer!

This giveaway is now closed. Kindly click on my name at the top for the latest post and giveaway. Thank you!

Alrightie friends, as promised, today begins my lil 10 Days Til Christmas Giveaway madness (and I say "madness" because me attempting to stay on top of blogging each day AND giving y'all stuff is going to be nothing short of a Christmas miracle). As I blabbered about yesterday, each day I'll share with y'all a post (I'm super behind on sharing what's been happening in the art room and some DIY's, so brace yourself for the barrage) AND giving away some giveaways (oooooh, so that's why they call 'em "giveaways"! I always wondered). So, without further ado, here's what's up for grabs today...(no, not a brand new car, silly. I ain't Oprah).
Daw, some super cuteness Christmas fabric, yay! Each piece is about 1/2 of a yard so they would be perfect for small DIY projects (totes adorbs stocking, anyone?) or, if sewing ain't your thang, use it in collage projects (how cute would a Christmas cookie recipe book covered in this fabric be?!). I'm currently using that top fabric for a dress and the middle fabric was used in the creation of this Christmas light-up number. The bottom fabric was thrown into the mix for the fun of it. 

So just how do you go about scoring this goodness? Kindly do the following: 

1. Please follow this here blog. You can do so by clicking on the "Join this site" button on the right of your computer screen. Already a follower? Thank you so much!

2. Leave a comment below about your thoughts on directed drawing projects (which is what this here post is all about. That and giveaways, of course). Or, for my non-art-teacherin friends, what you'd do with this fab fabric!

3. Do leave your email address so I can let you know that you're the Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon along with tomorrow's giveaway item (it's another good one!). International friends, you are welcome to play along! Tomorrow, not only will the new item be up for grabs but I'll have slightly different requirements for y'all. I hope you'll pop back in to see if you won and what I'm giving away!

Until then, let's chat about these here Kindergarten Reindeer, ermkay?
I had my lovely kindergarten kids for the last time before break recently. They had just completed their Winter Collage Landscapes so I was in need of a one-class project that would hold their attention and teach 'em some new skillz with an art supply that is new to them: oil pastels!
To begin, I greeted the kids in the hallway and told them that they'd be going shopping for one clipboard and one sheet of paper, their choice of color. After the kids reported to the floor, they were to place their paper and clipboards in front of them to give me the Super Duper Special Signal that they were ready to learn. At this point, I projected a photo of a giant buck that my husband had caught a photo of on his deer camera. The kids loved seeing the deer and talking about all the parts of his body and face. My hubs loves to hike in the woods near our house and has found a couple of deer antlers there. I allowed the kids to touch the antlers and we talked about texture. I also told them how deer lose their antlers in the spring but grow new ones later. One smartie said, "Oh, like us! We lose our teeth but a new one grows back!"
After that chat, the kids were excited and ready to draw a deer of their own. I told them that'd we be using a lot of round shapes and rounded lines for this drawing. Step by step, I walked them threw the directions you see above. Once the deer was drawn (with the option of making Rudolph or not), the kids were sent back to their seats to do three things: draw snowflakes, add a black line for (optional) Christmas lights, use red and green tempra cakes to add finger printed lights. 
Of course, this guy's name came up a lot (painted my lil ole me a while back). Our word of the week was "nonconformity" (which is a lot for a 5 year old to comprehend). I explained how different Rudolph was and how that made him special. When doing guided drawing, I always emphasis how unique each of our drawings should be. Even though we are following the same steps, we are all different (like Ruddie!) and thus should have reindeer as unique as us. This takes the pressure off the children who are concerned that their drawing doesn't look just like mine or their friends. I always remind them that if I had wanted all their drawings to be alike, I would have simply given them a coloring sheet. And what's the fun in that?!
By the way, this isn't my first time down Reindeer Lane with the kindergarten set. These guys were created a couple years back. You can read all about 'em here
I'm curious to know where y'all stand on guided drawing. I'll usually do one (occasionally 2) with kindergarten and first grade during the school year but for the older kids, not so much. One of the reasons I enjoy teaching it is that it helps reinforce that everyone is an artist and everyone is unique. I had one special needs student who was so thrilled with herself that I got permission from her teacher to walk her around after art and share her drawing with anyone she could find. She stopped nearly everyone in the hallway with, "Do you like my drawing? I'm an artist!" It was simply the best.
However, I know there are some that are strongly opposed to directed or guided drawing. Perhaps it's too much instruction. Maybe it's restricting creativity. I know for my TAB friends, this is nails-on-a-chalkboard worthy. I hosted a wee bit of a debate on my blog last winter about this very topic and touched on it again in this post about craftsmanship
I wonder, why is this topic so polarizing amongst art teachers? I think, when taught right, directed drawing can simply introduce children to one way of drawing something (in this case, a reindeer) while reminding them that there are many ways to go about it. 
So just how did we end the lesson? With kindergarten, I love to take them on end-of-the-class gallery walks where we look at everyone's work, give e'm a complement and a round of applause. In this case, I borrowed a sleigh bell from my neighbor and we went on a sleigh ride around the room cheering on all of our friends. 

Looking forward to hearing from you, friends. And, good luck!

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

In the Art Room: Winter Wonderland

A grouping of kindergarten landscapes.
For the last three years, when my kindergarteners painted these snowy scenes, the following day was a snow day. I kid you not. This year was no different. Despite the fact that snow wasn't even in the forecast, it fell steadily from midnight on to the following day. The kindergarteners are convinced they made this happen. I'm beginning to believe them and I'm plotting more snowy projects for the very near future.
I love that this tree has outgrown the frame.
I don't usually repeat projects from year to year cuz I get bored easily. But I often struggle with kindergarten project ideas. This is one of my ole standbys because it's got it all: a little painting, a little collaging and a whole lotta landscaping all in one.
After looking at several landscapes (with a big focus on Grandma Moses because she's awesome and so kid-friendly), we began our own paintings. During our first half an hour together, the students were given the following directions:
  • Paint any kind of line that would be good for a hill. Paint that in blue from one side of your paper to another.
  • Blend white paint into the blue line to create light blue or a tint of blue. 
  • Repeat the first two steps with a hilly line below the first.
  • Put that masterpiece on the drying rack, paint brush in the sink, clean that table and you're done for the day!
  • The following day we chatted all about shades. We were creating an evening sky so we used black and blue this time. Some students chose to use the back of their paint brush to draw wind and stars into the sky (Vincent van Gogh much?) while other dabbed on snow or just left it black.
  • On this day we looked at Grandma Moses' landscapes again and chatted about the three parts to a landscape: fore, middle and background. After eyeing her work, we noticed she showed space my painting her trees, houses, people, everything smaller in the background. 
  • Each artist chose their own house from a stash of die cuts. Snow and icicles were added with white oil pastels. We learned how to cut out triangles and rectangles for our trees. 
  • As you can see above, most of the wee ones understood that to create space in their landscape, their trees needed to decrease in size. Just don't ask them what "decrease" means. We're not there yet.
  • Students were given metallic gold and silver oil pastels to add wind and stars to their evening skies. Looks like this artist opted to just stick with white snow and asteroids.
  • Finally, we chatted snowflakes, added them in white oil pastel to our frames along with our signatures.
In all, I'd say these turned out pretty stinkin' cute. Even if some of us still refer to them as our "landscrapes." Call it what you wanna, if it brings us a Snow Day, I'll take it!
On a super happy side note, I came home from school today to find my art room in the back of SchoolArts magazine! I'm so excited. I hardly recognize that super clean room as it currently looks like someone turned it upside down, gave it a couple hard shakes, squirted same paint and threw some glitter inside before slamming it back down again. Small correction: my school is Johnson Elementary. Gotta give the best school to work at props!

Until we chitty-chat again, enjoy the rest of your week!
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Saturday, May 12, 2012

In the Art Room: Mother's Day Flower Pots

Our kindergarten students have changed so much this year that their growth reminds me of their blooming flower collages.
There are some folks that just don't get paid enough. These people include egg-inspection factory workers (speaking from experience, thank you very much), corn-detasselers (another item on my resume) and kindergarten teachers. Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy teaching the littles but I only see them in half an hour intervals. And, sometimes, in that half an hour, I can have one empty his bladder, one start to cry for her mama, one step in said bladder-empty-outter's puddle and one decide to smack me on the tooshie on his way out the door with a "bye-bye, Mrs. Stephens!"
Overheard kindergarten convo: "I got a man's haircut yesterday but I'm still a little boy." Such sweetness, sigh.
Despite all of that, I can see why the kindergarten teachers keep coming back for more. No other group of kids is as enthusiastic about everything under the sun as kindergarten. Every new skill taught is met with an "ohhhh" and an "ahhhh" and often awarded an applause.
Take this Flowery Collage, for instance. We used the left over scraps of textured paper we had created for our Mammoth Monet Mural. For the background, we learned all about creating a tint with primary blue and white when sponge printing. Once that was dry, we chatted about our French friends Claude Monet and Henri Matisse and their love of nature and collage, respectively. And their flowers are simply tres magnifique, no?
Pretty as a petunia.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. You see, the wee ones actually painted these here flower pots before creating their collages. Every year our awesome kindergarten teachers help their students celebrate Mother's Day with a Mother's Day Tea. At the tea, each mom is presented with a handpainted terracotta with a lovely little flower inside.
We only used one 1/2 hour class to complete these. It was a whirlwind of painting fun but next year I think two art classes would be better.
I offered to help the kids paint their pots in the art room this year. I demonstrated on a couple of broken pots how to paint the middle of the flower, or stigma. We chatted about pollen (which is why we are all so sneezy) and nectar. I then showed the kids how to add the petals, stem and leaves and grass. We topped it off with some line designs around the rim.
Remember these? I guess you can see where my idea of having them paint flowers on their flower pots came from...
"My mama is going to love my pot. She's gonna say 'Did you really make it?' " ...adorable
Once the pots were painted, the kids had a big time with the collages because they could see the connection. And because we learned the word "collage" and said it in our funniest French accents complete with a "viola!" after every simple task completed. You see, I told you, it's the little things when it comes to the little ones. As long as we're not peein', cryin' or nose-a-pickin', it's a pretty fun group to hang with.

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