Monday, December 24, 2012

Marshmallows, Personified. (High School)

So, mad props to my art ed friend Kelly for this lesson.  My 3D art kids were in between projects and we were coming up to a break so we did this project.  I thought it would be a good, in-between thing that might soak up one or 2 days...and here...the kids LOVED it.  They took it to the next level!

We learned about anthropomorphism, and how it is used particularly by the artist Terry Border uses it to make humorous advertisements and photographs.  The challenge was to take marshmallows (I provided 3 sizes) and make an anthropomorphic scene... Here are some of the results.

(The marshmallows are in a deer blind, look, they are even wearing camo!)

A sweet fisherman, reeling in a little fish.  I love the detail with the little bushes and red flowers, the Popsicle stick bridge...amazing! 

Halloween-inspired Art

Hey everyone!  So, I am now in my 2nd year of teaching, but it feels like my 1st.  I am at a new school, where I am teaching 1st grade - 12th grade.


Anyway, with a TWO WEEK BREAK I am feeling like I have a moment to breathe, read, laze, to my blog!

So, get ready for a few different posts here that catch up on what I've been up to...

HALLOWEEN!  So, I have a hard time doing these kinds of lessons because I want them to be meaningful, tie into art history and big ideas...but sometimes...the PTO just needs some artwork to hang for the Halloween party...and you only have a week to do something Halloween-appropriate.  Haha!  God bless the  PTO though, and I will do whatever they request - so here ya go, some shamelessly holiday-themed art.

 3rd and 4th grade made Haunted Houses...we looked at images of the Crooked House in Poland, and other clip-arty images of haunted houses.  The steps were as followed:
1)  Trace and cut a large yellow circle, glue to square purple paper
2)  Draw and cut your haunted house using simple shapes stacked up
3)  Use left-overs from the yellow paper to cut out windows and doors
4) Draw and cut our ghosts (I used tracing paper, it gave them a nice transparent look)
Embellish with sharpie markers!

  1st and 2nd graders made ghosts popping out of pumpkins...these actually went really well with a song they were learning in their music class.

  I had an awkward class that was a day ahead of the others ones, so one of my 1st and 2nd grade classes learned about the Mona Lisa, and of Marcel Duchamp and his famous Dada artwork:  L.H.O.Q.Q.  So, we decided to get silly and meaningless like Ducamp and turn Mona Lisa into a Halloween character.  Pretty hysterical!  

  Now, this was not "Halloween" related, but I wanted to share...pumpkins provide such a great opportunity to teach secondary colors!  1st and 2nd graders learned about the primary colors and had to use only the primary colors to paint their pumpkins in a dark night.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Takin' Care of Business! Getting Rooms Ready - Sneak Peek!

So I've finally gotten into my new elementary room and for the first time got to assess what I was dealing with.  Thankfully, the last art teacher was pretty organized!  I just made some changes to make the room fit my needs more.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this room!!!  I have huge windows, lots of space, tons of storage, and even a bathroom attached!  Sweet.  I'm pumped.

I love seeing other peoples' art rooms so I thought I would share a few views of mine today!

One of the teachers that I shared a room with last year had the water buckets always ready to go - filled with clean water.  When kids were done they would dump, refill, and leave by the sink.  If you have the space I've found it to be a time-saver!

 Totally got this idea from pinterest.  I added "Inspiration" to it :)  I still need to get pencils (somehow this room is devoid of pencils?!) and put colored pencils.  I found that I enjoyed having many materials out for the kids to use when they were finished, and usually they put them all away properly.  

This board will be used (for the first couple months) to show who is in charge of what when it comes to  handing out supplies and cleaning up...
Ah, and the great clay restoration!  I can never seem to escape finding these hardened blocks of neglected clay!  Alas, I do enjoy bringing them back to life.  These guys are going to steep until ready :)

I am the consolidation queen!  Look at all of those empty containers and boxes that I was ably to empty through organization!  Now I just need more materials to fill them up with!

My attempt at making a fun entrance to the art room...though I don't think it looks complete yet.  Any suggestions?

 I reference this sign at the end of every class.  The class will answer if they met these expectations or not, and will earn one pebble per expectation met.  When they read 25 they get a "free-choice art day", where I let them explore different media and techniques!  I find it provides a good 'mental break' for them anyway.  

My lovely friend gave me this vinyl sticker a couple Christmas's ago, but since I was always moving I didn't want to sacrifice it to an apartment wall.  Now, I am so happy to see it on one of my glorious windows in the art room!  Inspiring and dreamy.

OH, and this here is my new cat, Chuff.  We rescued him from the Human Society, and he loves belly rubs and sleeping like this:

Are you freaking out yet?  Me too.  It's going to be okay though, it's going to be amazing!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Good News and Bad News, and a year in review...for a WAS first year teacher ;)

The bad news:  So, the district I was working at had to make cuts and, being the most recent hire, I was laid off.

The good news:  Almost seamlessly, a new job in a neighboring town opened up and I landed a K-12 art education job (and it looks to be almost full-time)!

Now that summer is beginning to wind down (my driveway is full of leaves, which does seem a little too early for that nonsense) and the "back-to-school" ads are popping up on the screen, I am finding myself in need of recording down my overall feelings/revelations about this past year, and the years ahead of me as an art educator.

Last year was my first year out of college and my first year stepping into the role of an elementary art teacher.  I worked at 4 different elementary schools, teaching K-6.  When I think back to the "Me" that was hired five days before school started last year, I smile a very wise smile.  Oh, year-ago-me, you had no idea WHAT you were doing!  But despite that...I do feel incredibly proud of my first year.  Sure, I made mistakes, but overall I (warning, tooting of own horn) really really rocked at being an art teacher.  I received a lot of unsolicited positive feedback throughout the year from parents, teachers and students.  The relationships I made with parents, teachers, students and the community were just fantastic.  I know there is a lot for me to still learn, but I feel that I am developing into a positive, unabashedly clumsy, encouraging and fun teacher.  Words seem to escape me now that I am sitting down at the keyboard, but basically what I've gleaned from this past year is that I am definitely doing the right thing with my life, and I am really good at it :)

So now I am gearing up for my second year of teaching, and it will be a little different this time around.  I am going to be teaching K-12, which means a lot of prep, and a lot of new ground to tread with the secondary students.

I can say that I truly love working with every age, but I do think I will really like teaching at the secondary level.  It will be exciting to have more time to spend on having kids research artists, learn more in depth about art history, and create artwork that has much deeper levels of meaning.  And as much anxiety I may have about all of this, it is certainly matched with a lot of giddy art-teachery-excitement!  You know the kind - when you see a photo of some new artist's work and you think...I COULD TOTALLY MAKE A LESSON FROM THAT AND IT WOULD BE MEANINGFUL, ENLIGHTENING AND FUN!  My pinterest account is exploding with different artist/inspirations/ideas....

Speaking of which, I think Pinterest is the greatest thing for art educators since the invention of the color projector.  My boards can be seen here:   If you want to follow my education pins, I will want to follow yours!

So, cheers fellow art teachers, and best of luck as you too make the mental and physical switch from summer to school life.  I hope you are just as excited as I am!  <3

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2nd grade Summer Celebration Masks (Silly Sunglasses)

It is nearly the end of the year, and I wanted to do something extra fun with one of my 2nd grade classes.  I got to school early and traced/cut out 2 different styles of "sunglasses".  (By the way, I got this lesson from:  Click here to see the original lesson and how these masks look on!)

I asked kids why we wear masks and when we wear masks.  We talked about how sometimes people wear masks for celebrations - and we are going to celebrate summer vacation!  So, I pre-cut the body, and they first colored them carefully with construction paper crayons.  Then I busted out the "goody bins" and they arranged and glued.  I should mention that I stressed to the kids that just because there are a lot of things in the goody bins does NOT mean they should try to glue one of everything onto their mask, but rather think like an artist and only use what you need to accomplish your goal.

Well, here ya go!  They are SO CUTE on the kids faces, and well worth the extra time I put in to cut them out.

GENIUS!  I love how she put a feathery hat on this one!  I couldn't stress enough to her how amazing it is!!!

Alien eyes!  

Nice symmetry

1st Grade Jim Dine Tool Paintings with Math Connection

My 1st graders learned about the pop artist Jim Dine and especially his paintings/prints of tools.  We talked about how he used contour lines (outlines) and often shaded around his tools for a shadowy effect.  

We looked at REAL tools and then they had the option to draw freely or trace the tools.  We outlined them with black crayon and then shaded around them.  Finally, students painted their backgrounds with colors of their own choosing.  

I just love how this one below used only black watercolor and added grungy lines/splatters.  I can tell he really observed Jim Dine's work and got inspiration from it!  I also love that he restricted his palette all on his own - 1st graders don't often naturally do this!

Oh!  And an unexpected tie into their math curriculum!  Their teacher told me it went perfectly as they were currently tracing objects in math and calculating the area!  Brilliant! 

And another limited palette painting below:

Friday, May 18, 2012

Clay Robots 4th/5th Grade

We looked at artwork from many contemporary artists that specialize in recycled robot sculpture (Gordon Bennett, Jason Lane, Ann P. Smith)!  We talked about how much our culture and life style has changed in the past 30, 50, 100 years - especially in terms of technology!

I asked them why I hadn't showed them any "famous" or "old" robot art - and we discovered that robots are a fairly new idea for humans!  I also talked with them a little about the Industrial Revolution and how it's becoming more popular to use "waste" or "recyclables" to make artwork - another relatively new phenomenon.

So, we busted out the slab rolled (I busted it out at 7pm at night, is what I mean) and I pre-rolled a cylinder shape for them.  They COULD do this, but we are getting down to the wire and I promised them another fun 3D project so I did this step for them to save time.

They then added features of their robot with extra clay.  Many opted to make theirs into a "jar"  

( I should mention here that I saw this idea on pinterest here:  

I fired them, and today many got painted!!!  Here are some of them: