Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ready Leaders; Take Over!

Aren't their smocks cute too?
I have to thank a fifth grade teacher for inspiring me into having leaders in my art room! The kids get so excited to get their chance to wear their leader tag, and I make sure every child gets a turn throughout the year.

I know many of you have systems of giving clean up jobs to your kids and other various classroom responsibility jobs are handed out on top of that in some fashion.  I also have special systems in place for clean up and odd jobs. This leader tag system was my way of managing everything that happens in my room on top of the clean up system.

Every time the class arrives for art

Encouraging Self Reflecting Artists

Remember those days when children would walk up to you, poke your shoulder, and ask if they were done? I'm proud to say I have nearly eliminated that, just by posting these signs!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

What Elementary Art Teachers are REALLY Thankful for...

With Thanksgiving dinner just around the bend, I thought about what art teachers like myself might be really thankful for if we had a perfect day:
  1. All the brushes in the classroom were mysteriously cleaned and stored handle down on their own
  2. The hand print on the back butt-pocket of your pants actually came out in the wash this time
  3. The art room's slop sink which was dubbed the "classroom bath" for never draining properly is now a whirlpool of perfect drain suction
  4. The principal decided art was so important that

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jasper Johns Fabulous!

Don't you just love it when their eyes light up when they have discovered a new magical art material!  Here's a new take on a scratch art extension lesson that just gives them that "aha!" feeling.  

Right before this lesson we worked with our traditional scratch art boards and tools enjoying the gold paper that shines through when scratching away the black surface. Now they learned how to make their own scratch art surface, while I snuck in some art history on Jasper Johns and little color theory! Sneaky, sneaky art teacher! 

It really is a very simple project, but with a very beautiful final product. I love fourth grade! 

An Ode to Warhol

They Got Creative!
If you walked into my room when I was working on these with the kids, you would think I robbed the "Can Can" sale at ShopRite. Spread out all around our classroom tables we had various canned veggies, fruits, and other foods with all their fun colorful labels cheerfully gazing up at my kiddies while learned a little about advertising. They described the uniqueness of the cans, the fun lettering for the names, how the labels are organized to catch the consumers attention, and the graphic images they spotted along the way. My favorite can was Popeye's Spinach! 

After learning a little through observing real world cans, we turned our attention to Andy Warhol's soup cans! We discussed all that encompasses his artwork, and went through with our opinions of it. 

By then they had so many ideas of their own they were bursting at the seams! We drew cylinders, with the option to have the lids opened or closed like Warhol did. They came up with their own soup names, but used font graphics to make it look appetizing! We had to come up with a "slogan" for their label, a design or image on the label, and simple colors to make their soup can look appealing to the consumers. 

Finally, we shaded, some added shadows, and elaborated on the white space around the cans. They were very, very creative with it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lovely Little Story Pots

Admit it, we all love a good story, especially when it comes from that adorable little one in your class that is missing their front teeth and is jumping up and down talking a mile a minute! Here is your perfect opportunity to channel that creative energy into something productive that also ties in with cross curricular requirements. Native American Story Pots! 

Third grade begins their journey in writing creative stories, as well as some history on Native Americans. I combined these two elements to have

Saturday, November 19, 2011

For the Love of Hands

My fifth graders never cease to amaze me! I decided to attempt this project on a whim- and they excelled my expectations.  Don't underestimate the ability level of your kids! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's going on with me?

I'm totally going nuts! So many things are going on in my room! I just switched over bulletin boards to comply with my Principals "Once a Month" policy. So I finally hung up the Line art Landscapes, Spooky Silhouettes, and Day of the Dead art. My third graders are now working on a drawing of Plains Indians Pots, making a fun story out of the typical symbols found in Plains Indian art. I have some fifth grade classes starting a observational drawing of their hands with abstracted backgrounds, and some fourth grade classes working on scratch art boards drawing a still life. 

What I am finding frustrating now though, is the lack of time I have seen my beginning of the week classes! We have had so many days off for holidays and teacher training, and now a random blizzard that my poor kiddies in my Monday and Tuesday classes are about 5 art days behind the other kids! That's an entire project behind! Well, I hope soon that things will balance out, this way I don't have to choose a project to cut. I'm already adapting one to make it shorter and take out some skills- hopefully that will help.  Oh well!

I'm looking forward to posting pictures of the new projects soon!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How about that snowstorm?!

There's nothing like a state of emergency to really bring family and neighbors together!

I live in New Jersey- and just this past Saturday we were hit big with a sudden blizzard. The only problem with this blizzard was that the trees had not lost all their leaves- leaving us with tree branches breaking under the weight of the snow & leaves and falling on electrical lines.  There were streets in my neighborhood with trees that fell from the weight of the snow blocking roads and knocking over poles.  This left us with no power for three days (although I know families who are going on five days and still waiting).  My school district closed Monday-Wednesday and is now opening with a two hour delay tomorrow. Some towns canceled Halloween and rescheduled it for Friday due to the hazards! Insanity! October with a blizzard that shuts the state down!

Well- at least I was able to work on my own painting for once. When I got power back ( and with that running water & heat!) I celebrated by taking out a canvas. Finally- some "me" time!