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!

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