Showing posts with label summer art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label summer art. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

In the Art Room: I Scream, You Scream

Ima gonna tell you a dirty lil secret of mine: during the summer months, I seek out and devour ice cream on a daily basis. I mean, I'm like some sort of rabid dog. Think Cujo but with eyeliner and a sailor's mouth if anyone should cross my whipped-cream-cherry-on-top path. There is no screaming for ice cream with me cuz that would be too easy. Oh no. If I'm refused my daily dip, I can be reduced to ugly-crying like that time at the McDonald's drive-thru when I was nightmarishly informed that their soft-serve machine was down. Hot, grimy, ugly tears.
Tell me, what kids don't love the ice creams as well? During our annual art show (deets here and here, ya'll), we also host an Ice Cream Social. So, the day before the art show, with all artwork complete and hung in the halls, I got the crazy notion that we should do one more masterpiece in honor of our said social. And, in 30 minutes or less, my 3rd and 4th grade kiddos busted out these bad boys. They really were the cherry on top of our art show.
So just how did the kids create these super delish paintings in 30 minutes? Well, Ima bout to tell ya. Let's start with my sad list of end-of-the-school-year/we've-just-about-used-everything-up supplies:

*  Rectangular white paper. I had actually run out of normal sized white paper and was reduced to using rando odd sizes found in my storage closet. These were about 5" X 9".

*  Broken crayons. I never buy crayons because we rarely use them and I'm always donated bags of 'em at the end of the school year by classroom teachers. Although, this upcoming school year, I think I'll invest in some construction paper crayons.

*  Watercolor paint. What's left of it, anyway. At the end of the school year, my trays were empty. So I busted out these odd bottles of watercolor I'd found at the back of my closet and they worked great. The kids knew they were working with a limited palette and to make the best of it.

*  Paint brushes. Duh.
For directions, I chatted with the kids for a hot minute on the whole crayon resist thing (they've been down that road before so they knew the routine) and how a whole lotta pressure was going to be needed to "put a raincoat on your paper" to help it repell the paint. Then we chatted about ice cream flavors and background designs. I really kept the chat short as they only had 30 minutes to create these 'creams.
I suppose a good art teacher woulda chatted about Wayne Thiebaud but I've never claimed to be a good art teacher. 
The kids spent a lot of time in watercolor land this school year. I loved seeing them using all the skills they had learned like this wet-on-wet background.
And this splatter-painted one.
Once complete, I mounted the kids' work on whatever construction paper I had left before hanging up this display outside the cafeteria where the ice cream social was hosted. 
Dude, this painting reminds me of the time my mom bought me an ice cream cone at Orange Julius ('member them?) at the mall after relentless begging. The moment she handed it to me, I took one lick and shoved all those neat spheres of ice cream to the floor (notice I said "spheres" instead of "balls". Who else has learned the hard way never to use the word "balls" around 10 year old boys?). My mom just gave me a "Really?" while the angst-ridden dressed-like-Madonna (it was the 80's, ya'll. Girls were either on Team Madonna or Team Lauper) rolled her eyes and yelled: I NEED ANOTHER ICE CREAM CONE! to her cohorts. To this very day, I prefer non-tongue-push-over-soft-serve for that very reason.

Wait, where was I again? Geesh, sounds like someone needs therapy (who am I kidding, sounds like someone needs more therapy). Back to the paintings: there you have it! A super easy and quick painting that's just as delightfully fun to create as it looks. Happy Ice Scream Painting, ya'll!

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Monday, May 26, 2014

In the Art Room: The Art Show, Part 1

 It's official, ya'll: School's Out for the Summer! And it really truly couldn't have come at a better time. Our school wide art show was a week before the last days of school which was a good thing since I was basically a useless puddle of exhaustion after the fact. I'm just glad that my Stress-Related Art-Show Eyebrow-Twitch finally stopped as I was tired of the dude at Starbucks thinking I was hitting on him.

Before I share with ya'll the amazing artwork of my kindergarten through 2nd grade students (3rd and 4th grade kiddos and clay projects to be shared in another photo-laden post), I have just gotta give a great big 
Thank You! 
to the dozens of parent volunteers that popped in everyday for two weeks leading up to the art show to hang the artwork. That's right, they hung everything that the kids created all year (my rough estimate was about 2300 masterpieces). I'm super lucky to have such amazing support from the parents of my young artists. Ya'll are the bestest!

Okay, without further ado, I present to you the masterpieces outta Kindergartenland!
 In kindergarten, I like to start the school year with a great big fat unit on line. We sculpt with lines, paint a pattern of lines and create an abstraction of lines. These bright and happy paintings are always a favorite of mine.
Another fave this year was clay butterfly sculptures. I really love that crayon/watercolor technique for the little ones. It seemed to add more depth to their texture than glaze would. That painting on the right is another project from our line unit.
For Read Across America week, I wore my Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus dress and we created these cuties. This was a big hit with the kids and parents alike. We had a lot of fun trying out our wet-on-wet watercolor skills with this project. Look below and you'll see how they did that in the background of their work.

 One thing I love about having the parents hang the artwork is that each hangs the pieces a little differently. I find that this makes for more dynamic displays from class to class. Foxy lesson here and Starry Night Collages here.

 This year, I made signs for the art show that were inspired by that AMAZING art teacher over at Painted Paper. When I saw her post on art show signs, I knew I had to use our stash of leftover painted papers to make my own.

 Onto the 1st grade artwork. The little ones were so busy this year! One of our most recent masterpieces were these koinobori that we were able to hang in a large bank of windows. Details on that fun and quick lesson here.
 My 1st grade started the year creating those hilarious Viking Self Portrait collages with Rebecca, my former student teacher (who is RIGHT NOW interviewing for her own art teacher gig, wish her lucky, ya'll!). Details on those Starry Night Collages here and Party Pandas here
 Our second round of self-portraits were of a Japanese theme with ourselves dolled up in kimonos. Details on that lesson here
 When I was absent for a couple of days attending the NAEA conference in San Diego, I left my "But I'm Not an Artist!" sub directions on teaching the kids to draw these pandas. And, much to her surprise, her drawings, as well as the kids, turned out great! This also meant that I could come back to work with a lesson already started and simply bust out the watercolor paints for the kids to finish them. Details on those ceramic stars to come.
One final look at 1st grade before we move onto the...
 Again, the idea for these signs came from Painted Paper. Each set of signs was hung right above the hallways leading to that grade level. 
I really loved the work that my 2nd graders created this year. Some of my favorites were their circle loom weavings and their cherry blossom paintings. 

 Every year, I have my 1st through 4th grade students right an autobiography to hang with their artwork. This also proved to be a great sub lesson when I was out for a different occasion. Can't remember what. Booze Cruise, maybe? Wishful thinking. My 2nd grade also took part in the Viking and Kimono fun. 
 We hang ALL the artwork that the kids have created ALL year. Which means that one class can take up a whole lotta wall space. I have yet to find what sticks the best to cinderblocks in the muggy pre-summer heat of our halls. We've tried every kind of tape, that blue sticky stuff by Dapp, double-sided tape by 3M and hot glue. While hot glue works great, it's a headache trying to get it off the walls. Next school year, I'm begging and pleading for more cork strips.
 Paper marbling was a fast and fun project to teach about the Japanese art of Suminagashi
 I liked this lesson so much, I blogged about it twice. 
 I've always struggled with a circle loom weaving lesson where I loved the results as much as the kids did the process. In the past, we wove on CD's and unpainted white plates. The results were fine...but when we painted the plates this year, it seemed to take the weaving to a whole new level. 
And there you have it, ya'll! The 2-dimentional masterpieces by kindergarten through 2nd grade. Stay tuned in the next coupla weeks as I share the rest of the art show as well as lessons with ya. 

Until then, how do you know it's officially summer? Well, it's 1pm and I'm still in my pajamas! May your days be filled with pjs and craft projects, teachery folk! For the rest of ya, take a day or three off, you've earned it. Tell your boss a crazy art teacher said so!
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Monday, July 9, 2012

In the Art Room: Weaving, The Final Chapter

When weaving with children, you might be surprised to find that the boys enjoy this activity the long as you don't call the completed weaving a purse, that is. 
 As I wrap up this weaving mini-series, I thought I'd leave you with the following: a little bibliography, weaving finishing touches and my secret to getting these pouches completed without taking half of the school year. In case you missed, here is Weaving, Part 1: Getting Started; Part 2: Learning to Weave; Part 3: Removing the Weaving and Part 4: Weaving the Cord.
My Weaving Bible: You Can Weave! By the amazing Kathleen Monaghan.
 This week, I'm currently at the world's best arts professional development: Tennessee Arts Academy. Several years ago, the author of You Can Weave!, Kathleen Monaghan, was a presenter and she was incredible. Her book is full of clearly written and photographed projects, tips and tricks. I can't recommend it enough.
The ole standby: Goat in a Rug
 I don't just weave with fourth grade, I begin weaving with first grade. You can see their completed weavings here. And the book I use to introduce them to the world of weaving is this one, Goat in a Rug. It's told from the perspective of the goat whose mohair is used by the Native American, Glenmae, to create a rug. It's the perfect balance of factual and funny.
Sometimes the best books are the ones found in the dollar bin, like this one, Grandmother's Dreamcatcher.
 With my second grade, we create quasi dream catchers. The kids love this book as they sympathize with with the main character who is cursed with bad dreams. The author does an excellent job of explaining the origin of the dreamcather and it's believed powers.
This is like the older kids' version of The Goat in the Rug: Weaving a Rainbow.
 This book is an excellent one in that it re-explains to the kids the process of creating wool yarn. This year, we had fun reading this book and dying our own wool yarn with Kool-Aid ice cubes during our science experiment time.
 Now, let's talk weaving finishing touches: Getting rid of that pesky warp tail. To do this, the kids will need a needle (I don't recommend this kind but it's all I had on hand. My kids use 3" plastic or metal needles) and a small folded piece of paper for a needle threader.
 We call the small folded paper the "hot dog bun" and the thread the "hot dog". Put the hot dog in the bun and slide the bun into the eye of the needle.
 Now pull the hot dog bun off of the hot dog thread and, viola!, you have just threaded a needle. No wetting the end of the thread and spreading nasty germs required.
 Now weave your needle in and out of your woven pouch until you run out of warp thread. Pull needle off and you're done. No knotting needed.
 For button sewing, I usually have a sewing circle. The kids pull their chairs up and we sew the buttons on step by step. We begin by threading and knotting our needle. Find a good place on the pouch to pull the needle through like you see in the above photo.
 Slide your button down the needle and thread. Sew a couple of stitches to secure the button. By the way, you'll notice that in the photos of the kids pouches, we use pony beads instead of buttons.
 Now sew a double knot in the back. To create a button hole, just separate the weft threads on the flap and force the button through.
 You can have the kids go about sewing the cord two ways, on the side, like I have done, or across. I began by threading and knotting my needle and pulling the needle through the cord, as shown above.
 Secure the cord onto the pouch with a couple of stitches. If you are sewing the cord across, you'll have a little more sewing to do.

 I will say that the end of this year sneaked up on me and I was in a real bind. The kids did not have time to do the sewing themselves as they had done in the past. Thankfully, I had some very kind parents that took the sewing task on themselves. If you don't have a Mom Army, you need to get one. They have been an incredible source of support in my art room.

Now, just how do we manage to get these pouches woven in 30 minute art classes? After I am confident that the kids understand how to weave, I let them take their weavings home. That's right, they leave my room with a giant zip lock bag with their loom, needle, twenty strands of yarn and a note home that reads something along these lines:

Dear Fourth Grade Students and Guardians, I would not be sending this weaving kit home with you if I did not believe you were mature enough to handle the responsibility. This weaving is not homework so work on it when you have the time. You are to bring this weaving with you each time you have art class. If you forget your weaving, you will receive one reminder before a phone call will be placed. If you lose your weaving, your needle or any part of your weaving kit, it will not be replaced. Have fun and weave!
I know what you are thinking: that would never work for me! doesn't always work for me either. There's always the kid whose dog devours their weaving, whose kid brother flushes it down the toilet, whose mom accidentally throws it away. So, you make exceptions. You quietly slip those kids a new loom or needle and tell 'em not to spread the word to their buddies that you are actually a softie.

I also promise a grand reward to those that remember to bring their weaving back the following art class (a blow pop is the preferred dangling carrot of choice). But I only do that once. After that, the kids become very competitive. "I have four inches woven, how many do you have?!" Which morphs into, "I finished my flap, what about you?!" This positive peer pressure pushes the kids toward finishing their weavings. 

It's not a perfect system. There are some kids that don't have time or care to weave at home. And that's fine. They can work on their weavings during in-between-project time in art class. As for the early finishers, the kids get to keep their looms and needles, so they can rewarp their looms and begin a second weaving. This year, I had one student that wove five pouches (with cord handles!) in her spare time.

I have been doing this weaving project with my fourth grade students for many years. This is a project they look forward to since the first grade. I believe that excitement is what makes this weaving unit so successful. 

I do hope you've found this weaving series helpful. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I look forward to hearing more from you!
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In the Art Room: Walk Like an Egyptian

Our amazing second grade singing and dancing to a rewrite of the Bangles hit "Walk Like an Egyptian."
 Well, here it is, folks, the final installment of The Art Show. It seems like a million years ago that I shared  Part 1 and Part 2 of our school wide art show with you. I decided to save my favorite part of the art show for last: the second grade production "Walk Like an Egyptian."

This year, in the art room, our theme was Ancient Egypt. I chose that theme because of an amazing exhibit at The Frist Center for Visual Arts. Not only did my second through fourth grade students visit this exhibit, but the entire school studied Egypt throughout the year. My first graders created Egyptian Landscapes and Nile Crocodile puppets. The third graders created a life-sized sarcophagus. Egyptian god portraits were created by my fourth grade students. And the second grade created Egyptian collar necklaces and gave this magical performance.
 I wrote this short and silly play set up just like the game show "Jeopardy". The program began with the two hosts (shown on the left) kicking off with the song "Walk like an Egyptian" Our fabulous music teacher rewrote the lyrics to The Bangles song (you know, because that little bit about "smoking on a hookah pipe" just might not go over well) and taught the kids the lyrics. One of our incredible second grade teachers taught the kids some sweet dance moves.

After that intro, King Tut (our friend in the middle) comes out as the Alex Trebek of the show. He lobbed questions, as well as some jokes, at the contestants: Cleopatra, a Mummy and Queen Nefertiti. The kids sang a rewrite of Steve Martin's "King Tut" ("he's my favorite honkey" didn't seem like the best thing for the kids to be singing, 'specially since dude was Egyptian). The show ended with the mummy busting free of her bandage strips (er, toilet paper) and stealing the show as well as winning the prize of 100 shabti (shown on the right).
After the production, the kids were all smiles, even the toothless variety.
 The play was a ton of fun and a huge hit, especially with the performers. They lit up the stage with their excitement and enthusiasm. It was such a delight to work with the incredible music, P.E., second grade and many other teachers in the school to make this play possible.
Egyptian collar necklaces are now the latest in second grade fashion.
 My part in preparing the kids for the program was the costuming. I knew I wanted to keep it simple for the parents, so I asked the kids wear over sized t-shirts, shorts and sandals on the day of the performance. During art class, we studied the history of Egyptian jewelry with a focus on Egyptian collar necklaces and scarab beetle jewelry.
Okay, I'm not a macaroni-art kind of teacher but I will admit, this was kind of fun. If you do this, do not use the textured pasta as it cracks when it dries.
 One group of kids was given a wide variety of colorful pasta that they glued onto their gold-painted cardboard collars. We chatted about patterning and design.
 Once the glue dried, we added designs to our necklaces by printing. The kids used cardboard, q-tips and marker caps dipped in gold paint to create their unique designs.
 Knowing that they were going to be wearing their creations in their performance, the kids really worked hard on crafting beautiful necklaces.
The little actor that played King Tut is the son of one sweet mama. She came up with the pipe cleaner idea as a way to hold the necklaces on. She simply hole punched, fed the pipe cleaner through one side and twisted to keep it in place. The other side she left like a hook. This way the kids could take their necklaces on and off on their own.
 Some of my other classes created these scarab beetle necklaces. For these, the kids used cardboard to cut out the shape of wings. These cardboard shapes were then wrapped in tin foil and then colored with sharpie. Can you guess what the beetle's body is...? One of the many uses for bottle caps in the art room!
Two proud Egyptians showing off their necklaces.
I love the anch design, don't you?
 This program was such fun and a great way to kick off the art show. However, having an art show AND a performance on the same day most certainly gave me some new gray hairs. So, while I'd love to work with these amazing kids and teacher on another production again...let's just say I might pick a less insanely busy day. Thanks for dropping by.

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