Thursday, April 10, 2014

Stamped/Painted Patterns

I gave the K's each a small piece of cardboard which they dipped in black paint, and we talked about finding the side with the bumps (the corrugation).  They were to fill their entire paper with patterns. (The previous day, we had drawn patterns both on the smartboard and on their papers, in order to check for understanding).  After stamping their patterns, and letting them dry, they used tempera cakes to fill in the spaces.  We did talk about color as a pattern, but they were so excited to paint, that they didn't all remember, or have the control to do that.  I think the results were great. And, the kiddos got some really rich colors out of the cakes.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

School Wide Art Show-2014

Here are the pics from our school art show.  I managed not only to get one piece of artwork up for each student, but in most cases, 2! 
Fish Prints

Bird Prints

Cat Collages
Kindergarten Robot Collage

Olympic Artwork
Pattern Lizards
Lizard Display

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Clay Facades

It's my favorite 4th grade project.  I think I anticipate it more than the kids- the houses.  I categorize this as a "Momma project"- those projects that Momma's going to keep, and 15 years later, when you come home with your wife/husband/kids, it'll still be on the mantle to greet you. They are "Facades"- front only, flat, and adorable as a wall hanging.  Some, no matter what, will always be so-so, but I get a lot of good results.  It is one of the few projects that I break out the glaze for.  I use "Mayco Stroke N Coats", which are similar if not the same to the ones used in the "paint your own pottery" places.  The colors are great, they are similar enough before firing to after firing that the kids can tell what they are using, and the clear coat is in the color mix already.  As long as the kids use 2-3 coats,  we get great results.  I have a small kiln, but if I am good about controlling the size, I can get a class of 20-25 in one glaze firing. I give each student a piece of paper about the size I want their houses to be, and they use a day to draw their house.  I have all sorts of reference pictures.  I run them through the copy machine before the next art day, and the kids cut them, and use them as stencils.  This cuts down on the square house/triangle roof/tilty chimney/combo that we see too often in the art room. So, with all that said, here are some of the many cool clay houses to come! 
Sometimes, you just are going to get an average result, no matter how you try to help.

Nice combo of textures and attached pieces- nice glaze too.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Olympic Action Prints

It's a messy time in the art room- one of my favorite things is printmaking!  The kids love it, and with an organized set up and routine, it does not have to be a crazy mess.  Since we've been using The Olympics as a theme in 3rd grade art, after the kids made their statues, I had them make an incised plate on a piece of Styrofoam.  I go ahead and buy the trays through the art catalog.  They can be pricy, but they work.  And to save a bit, I chop 'em in half.  When I'm feeling really cheap, I save them after the projects to use as paint trays and such.  That aside- each student drew one person, in an olympic pose.  Then, we broke out the red, white and blue- except I didn't have as much white as I thought, so we ended up using white paper for those that wanted the Americana effect.  Curriculum states in MNPS that the 3rd graders will do a collograph print.  And, this is incised.  I intend to have them collograph a background image- I've never done a double print project, and I'm not sure how it will turn out, but ya never know until you give it a go.  So, here's step one.  And, hopefully, the next thing you'll see is a double print posting.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Olympic Athletes

I LOVE using the Olympics as a theme in the art room. There are so many connections, the most logical for me being the action- the kids love sports, and it's a great chance to work on those people.  The 3rd graders explored the Olympic Website with me, chose a sport, and filled out a think sheet about their choices.  Then, I taught them to make "pipe cleaner people".  These served as our armature.  We covered them in old tape, and put paper mache' on top of that.  It was a sticky mess, and some of our athletes needed to be propped up with wooden blocks.  But, despite the awkward phase, the paint day today really made them come alive.  I had the students attach their athlete sculptures to a wooden  block (I have an old bunch of wood building blocks in the art room that I've been itching to recycle) and this allowed all athletes to stand proud. We will transition to printmaking after this- using the students' chosen sport as the subject.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Love/Hate relationship

I am in a love hate relationship with 2 pt perspective- I LOVE that with a certain few rules, any student can find success- that it isn't about the talent, but the willingness to follow a set of directions.  I HATE the ongoing fussing at my students over the use/misuse of their rulers/partner-pokers.  It's a skill that we are required to teach in 4th grade as part of our MNPS standards, and, over the years, I've learned a few tricks.  First, on the opening lesson day, I hand papers and rulers, and we just make cubes-no worrying about it having to look like anything- just practicing.  I send the paper home with them that day- no grading/not a test/no pressure.  I also send them a xerox copy of one of my drawings so they have all the answers, and I send home a cartoon tutoring sheet.  When they come back, we worry about making a city.  And, I start off with them, gradually making them do more on their own.  I find that there is usually one person at every table who "gets" it quick (usually the math/science student).  And, I have learned to relax- not worry as much about perfect and approach this with a sense of humor.  Soooo- this year, I required 3 buildings, a few doors/windows, and the sidewalk and street.  After that, they could add whatever- some added signs and words, others made ghosts and aliens. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

More Singers

I am in love with this project- it was a great chance to review some concepts, and the little singers are so sweet looking.  A definite keeper.

If you only knew the boy who made this-  it is sooooo him.