Saturday, March 30, 2013

Idea and a Break

Thursday officially started our Easter Break. It is weird to think that I will not be back in my art room until April 11th! I have got plenty to do to fill the time though. I only have 5 more weeks and I will graduate will my master's degree. While that is terribly exciting I have 3 assignments, a final paper and two presentations to make before then.

On a much more pleasant note, this past week was my friend's daughter's 8th birthday. My husband and I decided to get her a doll house for her My Little Ponies to live in. Loving art as much as I do, I could not let those ponies live in an artless house. Hobby Lobby has some awesome miniature canvases right now with mini easels. I decided to get four of them. I painted two, one in the style of Piet Mondrian and the other in the style of Wayne Thiebaud, and gave her two as well.

The point of this story is, I am in love with these mini canvases! Next year, I am planning on teaching a variety of lessons on different artists. I am thinking that it may be cool to start the year off with the 4th, 5th and 6th grades by doing a masters study lesson. Each student would be picking a work of art they find interesting, studying and researching the artwork, and then finishing the lesson by creating a miniature work of art inspired by the original. I think it has potential :)

Since we are on Easter Break next week, I may not be posting until after we return from break. Hopefully I will be able to take a day next weekend to play as well. Hope everyone has a good break and I will be posting when we return! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Art Updates!

I am happy to report that we were in the art room this week! We were all so happy to be back. These last few weeks have been horrible for me. I love teaching and I hate when we have to miss. Anyway, as promised, this week I have a lot of updates to share with you!

The K4 and K5 students are still working on their texture pizzas. I love how these are looking! This week, students used wrapping paper, craft foam, and ribbon to create peppers, mushrooms, and onions. When we come back from spring break, students will be decorating pizza boxes!

The 1st grade finished up their leaf observation drawings this week and are beginning to create the border around their artworks. Since their practice drawings looked so good, I decided to give them the option of including them in their final artwork.

The 2nd grade has completely finished their fictional animal sculptures and their habitat paintings. I will hopefully be taking pictures of them this week to show you. If not, I will have them for you after spring break.

The 3rd grade started not only the sketches for their Chinese Zodiac puppets, but they also started creating the head of their animal. Out of all the projects we have done this year, and frankly out of all the projects last year too, I think the 3rd grade has been the most excited about this one :) Their enthusiasm has really shown in the work they have done so far.

The 4th grade finished up their felt food sculptures a couple of weeks ago. Students are now working on advertisements for their food. This week, students took pictures of their food sculpture and created sketches of their future advertisement.

Half of the 5th grade finished their paleoart artworks this week. The other half just needs to complete the printmaking portion of the project and they will be done too. Below, is a mixture of the finished and unfinished artworks. I will have pictures of all the completed artworks after spring break.

The 6th grade did not have class this week. I am okay with that because they were in Washington D.C. :) I can't wait to ask them about their experiences!

The Art Club Bigs students are starting to cut out all of the square pieces for their 8-bit inspired quilts. Students were surprised by how much work actually goes into making a quilt. Considering this is the first time that they have worked on something like this, I think they are doing great!

Lastly, the Art Club Littles started working on their molas this week. I am so excited about this project! My grandma created a mola when I was young and I have always wanted to work on a mola project with my students. This week, students worked on creating their animal as well as the white detail. Students will be adding all of the color and details when we return from spring break.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Comprehensive Exams and the Beach

Yet again, I was not in my art room this week. The past seven days have been incredibly busy for me!!! Since I will graduating in seven weeks with my master's degree, this week I had to take my comprehensive exams. My exams consisted of two papers. I started last Saturday morning (March 9) and finished Friday night (March 15). One paper ended up being ten pages and the other was twenty five.

After a full week of nonstop working, I needed a break. My husband and I decided to take a trip to one of my favorite places...Folly Beach! We both love to go to the beach to hunt for shells. Although it was a warm 78 degrees yesterday, the beach felt like it was about 50. The wind was howling and by the time we left, our hands were numb and our ears hurt. Even though the weather did not cooperate as much as we had hoped for, we still had a great time and found some great shells. I took some pictures to share with you.

I cannot wait to get back into the art room! I will have a lot of updates to share with you, so make sure to check back with me next Saturday!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Really Mrs. Chance???

As you saw from last week's post, we did not have art classes due to the conference. Well, this week we did have art classes, but I had to inform students that we will not have classes next week because I will be working on my comprehensive exams for my master's degree. I hated to tell them because we have been missing so many classes lately and because many of the grades started new projects this week. I miss being in my room teaching. C'est la vie. Hopefully our schedule will return to normal after spring break in a couple of weeks.

I mentioned last week that the 1st graders began a new project on plant observation. I was so impressed with their work last week, especially because this was the first time that many of the students had drawn from observation instead of imagination or memory. I brought several different kinds of leaves out of my yard to school and students chose one that they found interesting. They then carefully studied the leaf looking at its texture, shape, and color. Students started drawing their leaf this week and I am just as impressed as last week :)

I am happy to announce that the 2nd grade is almost finished with their fictional animal sculptures and painted habitats. Here are a few examples of the finished artworks.

The 3rd grade this week began a project they are super excited about! Students learned about Chinese New Year, in particular the animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Students learned that the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac, represent a year in a 12 year time cycle. This year is the year of the snake. In this project, students are exploring the relationship between art and literature. Among the many stories of the origins of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac, one of the most popular tales is of a Great Race. The story says that the Jade Emperor called a meeting and as the animals arrived they earned a place in the Chinese Zodiac calendar. For this project, students will be choosing one of the animals of the Chinese Zodiac and will create a puppet of that animal. After the completion of their puppet, students will act out the story of the Great Race.

The 5th grade is still hard at work on their paleoart collage/prints. Most students have completed their collage and began printing their stamp design this week.

Lastly, the Art Club Littles started a new project this week. They learned about molas. Molas are fabric panels that are created traditionally by the Kuna women of Panama and Columbia in South America. These artworks can of course be used for decoration, but are also used for clothing and furniture. Students will be creating the own molas from felt in the coming weeks. This week, students chose their animal and began planning their design.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Conference Time!

It seems lately that we have been out of school a lot. That's just how it goes sometimes I guess. This week, although I missed being in my art room, I did have a really good time at a conference I attended. It was really nice being able to talk to other art teachers in my state, as well as to hear and see a lot of new and different ideas.

During my first session, we talked about the book "Beautiful Oops" by Barney Saltzberg. I already own this book. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Its all about taking mistakes and making them into something great. My students, especially the smaller ones, love this book. I think I have read it to them no less than 10 times this year :) Anyway, the presenter for this session showed us a couple of different projects to go along with the story; one being creating an image from a spill of paint and the other was to create an image from a torn piece of paper. Here are my creations...

In my second session, the presenter showed us a variety of projects that were created using recycled materials. After looking at all of them, I decided to create a bracelet using strips of tee shirt and the tabs off of a soda can.

I actually got the chance to present during the third session. Since most of the teachers in my session were not art teachers, I discussed with them the importance of art integration, or including art in all of the subjects they teach. I also shared with the both the art teachers that were present, as well as the other participants what we have been working on in my art room this year. Additionally, I gave them a variety of examples of projects they could work on in their own room. After my presentation, I had the teachers create the Mondrian Shape Banjos that I created with the K4/K5 about a month ago. I chose this lesson to share with them because there are so many things that you can discuss with your students. Here some of the examples of their work...

During the last session of the day, all of the art teachers gathered again to discuss lesson ideas and best practices. It gave me some really good ideas of things I will be trying out next year. I can't wait!