Saturday, May 31, 2014

It Has Arrived

Summer is here! Well, almost... Although we still technically have one more week of school, summer break has arrived in the Art Room. All of the art has been returned, sketchbooks have been taken home, and our current projects have all come to a close. Even Art Club has finished up for the year. What are we doing next week then? Well, two classes are going to be having a "Points Party" (I will explain with pictures next week!), while the rest of us will be cleaning up.

I can't believe how well things have worked out over the last few weeks. I am always worried at the end of the year that students will not be able to finish their projects and they will have to take incomplete artworks home. Somehow though, every single student finished their projects up this week. Our schedule could not have worked out better! Below this post, I have posted finished projects from the K5, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and Art Club. For this update, I will be sharing what everyone else has been up to this week...

K4: We finished our Pool Noodle Monsters. This has been, by far, my favorite project I have done with the K4 this year. These monsters turned out soooo well and the students were so proud of their finished creations. Instead of photographing them individually, I decided to take a group picture :)

K5-3rd: See posts below...

4th: After finishing up our Op Art Cubes last week, many students spent Tuesday finishing up our "All About Me" hands. Here are a few that I did not share with you last week...

5th: See post below...

6th: Students spent their last day of Art with me celebrating. For their "Points Party" reward (again, I will explain next week), students and I played a game that I created. We have all created art, probably during our kindergarten years, where we place paper and paint in a small box and then roll a marble around inside to create a cool painting powered by motion. Well, that is what we did, but on a larger scale....with a kiddie pool and golf balls. Students took turns rolling a dice telling them what direction to turn the pool and working together, students twisted and turned the pool, allowing the golf balls to roll on the paper and paint to create awesome artworks. It wasn't until I arrived home last night that I realized that I did not take any pictures...way to go Mrs. Chance! I do have an example that Mr. Chance and I created, which I will post next week.

Art Club: As per tradition, the last day of Art Club each year is when we hold our annual party. The last few years, we have ate pizza and watched a movie. Instead of sticking to tradition, I decided to do something that I have been waiting a couple of years to try...Glow in the Dark Painting!!!! After eating our pizza, the lights were turned out, the black lights were turned on and students created some really cool paintings! It was an awesome experience...just something that you don't get to do every day! The kids had a blast and all agreed that it was way better than just watching a movie.

Now before I show you the pictures, a little disclaimer. The paint we used was not really glow in the was fluorescent. Sargent Art has a 6-pack of fluorescent tempera paint and it worked beautifully! Very bright colors, even with the lights on, it worked great under the black light and was totally easy to clean up. SUPER happy with it!!! You can find it here.

So as you have read, I definitely have things to share with you next week. I will also be sharing some sneak peeks of my plans for next year, as well as some of the things that I will be up to this summer! 

K5 Chickens

1st Best Artists in the Ocean

2nd Fancy Fish

3rd Ugly Dolls

5th Quilt Squares

Art Club Ice Cream

Saturday, May 24, 2014

A Short yet Busy Week

Although I only taught 4 classes and Art Club this week, this was probably one of the busiest weeks we have had all year. After starting out the week somewhat normally, Wednesday all of my classes were cancelled because of our school-wide music practice for the Spring Music Program. After another all day practice on Thursday, the music program was held at 7 that evening. I am always impressed by the work students do! Not only do students sing, but they play instruments and create rhythm through using movement and their body. Lastly, Friday was probably the busiest day this week...Field Day. Things went wonderfully again this year. Students were able to participate in 10 different events and had a fabulous time despite it being sooooooo HOT!!! I think it was around 95 degrees yesterday :(

Things are slowly starting to wrap up in the Art Room. Many students are starting to finish their final project of the year. In fact, next week is our final studio day and the last chance for students to finish things up before our last class of the year, which we will use to clean things up. I am hoping that I get the chance to take pictures of everything that the students are working on before they take it home! Everything is looking so good and their art really reflects how excited they are about the upcoming summer break :) Anyway, here's what we were up to this week....

K4: No class this week due to music practice

K5: No class this week due to music practice

1st: With our ocean backgrounds completed, students began drawing and coloring their "Best Artist in the Ocean" animal using oil pastel. We will be adding our animals to our backgrounds next week.

2nd: Students began drawing and coloring their "fancy fish" this week. After drawing them lightly with a pencil, students added color using colored pencils. Students were given four goals for this project...
a. To create a fish with fancy details/accessories
b. To use pattern somewhere on their artwork
c. To layer their colors in at least one area
d. To create a neat artwork that clearly reflects planning and good craftsmanship
I think things are looking good so far! Many students had just began coloring last week when it was time to clean up. As I stated above, students will have time next week to finish these artworks up before taking them home.

3rd: No class due to music practice

4th: With only two students needing to finish up their Op Art Cubes, most students spent Tuesday working on their "All About Me" hands. A few students were able to finish, but much like other classes, they will need another class period to complete their creations.

5th: I am happy to report that every student finished their design for their quilt square. They were able to not only draw it, but get it all colored in a class and a half. This took a lot of focus and determination on their part! With them putting in so much hard work, they will have an entire class period next week to work on sewing and embroidering techniques. 

6th: No class due to music practice

Art Club: With our party coming next week, this week was our last opportunity to work. The older students, just coming in from field day, spent their Art Club meeting this week relaxing and drawing summer inspired pictures that will be in the office during our break. The younger students finished up their ice cream sculptures by adding their toppings and "sauces" created from slightly watered-down acrylic paint. I LOVE how these have turned out! They are so cool and even somewhat realistic. I had several students ask me yesterday why I didn't have them in the freezer!

Only two more weeks to go until summer break, but still lots to do!  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May is Crazy

What a month this has been already and we are only half way through it! I am sorry that I have been terrible lately about not posting on Saturdays and I am afraid that it may not get any better with the way my schedule is looking. However, I do want to assure everyone that follows this blog that I do fully intend on posting at some point EACH weekend to give you updates all the way until the end of the school year on June 6th.

Speaking of June 6th...that is just a few weeks away! I am hoping that we can finish up everything that we are working on in the next couple of weeks. Things are already starting to enter the summer preparation stages in the Art Room. Thursday, I sent all of the students' projects that I had been saving all year home. It is always sad to see projects leave the room. I am thankful that I have pictures of everything, but I wish they could stay with me forever :)

Anyway, as I stated in last week's post, almost every class has started a new project recently. These projects are shorter than ones I traditionally teach (with many of them taking up to 10 weeks to complete), but do not lack on the fun factor! Here is the update for this week...

K4: Looking around on the Internet several weeks ago, I stumbled upon some ideas about using pool noodles as a crafting product. They were used as garland and other decorations mainly, but I noticed that it was incredibly easy to stick things into them. I have been wanting to do another 3-D project with the K4, so we are creating pool noodle monsters! I got one pool noodle from the Dollar Store and using a bread knife, cut it into 16 even pieces. BTW, the cutting step was super easy!!! It was like cutting in to butter and best of all it did not leave little flakes and crumbs of pool noodle everywhere :) After prepping the noodle base, I cut different types of chenille sticks (or pipe cleaners as I call them) with scissors into different lengths for students to use as hair, arms, or other details of their monster. I have to say, out of all the projects that I have done with students this year, this was by far their favorite! They had soooo much fun!!! After they created their monster, many of the students began playing and pretending with their creation. They gave them names, decided where they lived and began developing their personalities. It was wonderful to see!
 You may notice that something is missing from our monsters...the eyes. I wanted students to concentrate on the building of their monster and not when it was going to be their turn to add the eyes (which will need to be done with a hot glue gun). When Art class starts for them next week, students will be working with me on adding the eyes and a few other details to complete their monster sculpture.

K5: After gathering materials last week for our Chicken Man inspired artworks, students finally constructed them this week. As I was planning for this project, I struggled to decide on what to do for a background. Construction paper seemed too boring and many of the other options for students were going to take too long for our short end-of-the-year schedule. So I decide, in order to save some time and to allow students the most amount of studio time as possible to work, to create a background at home. Using an old spray bottle and a mixture of black acrylic paint and water, I sprayed scrap pieces of mat board to create a speckled look, similar to what some types of chicken eggs look like. Each student received a piece and applied the different parts of their chicken together. I love the results!!!! I love the combinations of patterns and textures that students choose and how each chicken is completely different!

1st: After sketching their "Best Artist in the Ocean" last week, students created their background this week. We created your standard white crayon resist, but painted it in a way to resemble the ocean. Students began by using a white crayon to draw organic shapes all over their sheet of construction paper. After they had completed this step, students used blue and green watercolor to paint their background.

2nd: This week, students had to redo their last self-critique for me. They will be continuing to work on their "Fancy Fish" this upcoming week.

3rd: Several months ago, I came across a lesson on "Ugly Dolls" on Art Projects for Kids. I liked this lesson a lot, especially because it was a drawing lesson. I have seen many examples of Ugly Dolls being created using felt and sewing techniques, but with only 2 more classes until the end of the year, this would not be a realistic possibility. I had decided long ago that if I were to ever teach this project that it would lend itself wonderfully to learning about balance. I asked students to first create a symmetrical monster/critter using cardstock. After cutting it out and drawing asymmetrical details with a pencil, students began coloring it with oil pastels. Can't wait to share them next week!

4th: Many students are beginning to finish their Op Art Cubes (pictures coming soon). Because several students who finished early have been working on journal entries and free draw for the past couple of classes, I decided to start another mini project for everyone to enjoy. In this project, students begin by tracing their hand. After designing a background, students filled the inside area of their hand with items that represent their interests and likes. Students will be continuing to work on this project for the next couple of weeks.

5th: Students began their narrative "quilt squares" this past Tuesday. Each of their squares represents a favorite school moment. Students had the option of using crayons, markers, colored pencils and Sharpies to draw and color their square. During class this upcoming week, I will be punching holes around the edges of their square for us to add a stitching detail.

6th: One of my favorite projects to do with students each year is to tie-dye our PE tee shirts. This is a special project for only the 6th grade students. Their finished tie-dyed shirts will be worn on Field Day this coming Friday! Each student began by using rubber bands to tie their shirt into different formations. Each design requires the shirt to be tied differently. Once they were finished, their shirts were placed under running water for a few seconds to dampen them. Then it was on to applying the dye!! For anyone wondering what we used, Tulip has an awesome kit out right now that includes 12 bottles of dye (Find it here)! I love using the bottles with students instead of the tradition dipping method that I have done several times. The bottles are a lot less messy and it allows students to put the dye exactly where they want it to go. For the last three years, I have used this kit, but was pleasantly surprised this year to see that the kit included more color choices! We were able to dye all 10 of the students shirts and a shirt for me and still had a lot left over. Their shirts were bagged up in plastic and taken home to be washed. I cannot wait to see how they turned out on Friday!!!

Art Club: The older group of Art Club members finished their tapestries up this week. I will be posting all of their finished creations tomorrow!

I shared with you last week an activity that students participated in to practice for an assemblage that we were going to create. After pondering on it for several days, I decided that it was possible for some students to finish their project, but probably not all...which is not fair to those students. Again, with only two days left of studio time before our party week, it does not leave a lot of wiggle room. After some extensive research through several of my inspiration folders, I came across something that I have wanted to try for a couple of years now...Ice Cream Sculptures! We are creating ours out of Model Magic. Students, this week, sculpted their ice cream scoops, as well as the toppings for their sundae. After the clay dries, we will be adding "chocolate" and "caramel" sauce and other final yummy details :)

It looks soooo good! I am very proud of all the hard work that students put into this project. I also want to thank...
1. Mrs. Allen: without her help this project would have not been possible!
2. Mrs. P: for helping with scheduling and being the #1 cheerleader for the mosaic
3. Dcn R : for helping with the installation
4. Teachers: for taking time out of their busy schedules for students to come and work on the mosaic outside of Art class
5. Parents and members of the community: for all of your support!

The mosaic can be found right in front of the 1st grade classroom on the first floor of the school. Please come and see the newest addition to our school!

Next week will be a shorter update. I will be missing some of my classes due to rehearsal for our Spring Music Program. Hopefully, I will be able to post like normal on Saturday :) If not, please look for it on Sunday!