Saturday, August 23, 2014

We Are Off to a Great Start

We just finished our 2nd full week of school! Things are going great so far :) Almost every class has had the opportunity to come to the Art Room, with the few who haven't coming in early next week.

Since I was unable to post last weekend (still trying to unpack everything in my new house), I thought I would begin this post by giving a little tour of the Art Room...

My school has a building-wide theme this year of "FINS" (Fabulous Instruction Nets Success). So naturally, we decided to decorate the school with fish and everything under the sea. Walking into my room, the first thing that you typically notice are the fish and bubbles hanging from my windows. It makes me feel like I am teaching in a little fish tank :)

I have two bulletin boards in my room. One displays the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. Students will be using these words throughout the school year both in analyzing artworks of others and by incorporating them into their own. The other bulletin board displays our Art Rules to help remind students of their behavior expectations.

I really enjoy my space! The kids have so much room to work, I have space to keep everything organized for students, and the large windows let in so much natural light.

Outside of my room, I have additional space for displaying students' works. For the first time ever, I have a display case for three-dimensional artworks!!! Sadly, we have not created anything for display yet, so instead of leaving it empty (and honestly sad looking), I decided to share some great books about Art with students.

I also have two huge bulletin boards outside of my room. To kick off the new year, I asked students to draw a sea creature or fish to display on one of the two boards. They were so excited to see their small drawings displayed and all of the drawings look so cool together. It makes me smile every time I pass them :)

I have much, much more to share about the Art Room, including some things I use for classroom management. Look for those displays and items in my post next week.

Before I hit the publish button today, I also wanted to share with you what each grade level has been working on. During the first week of school, each class participated in an introduction day. I explained what we were going to do this year, the rules, and goals for our projects. After finishing a small tour of the Art Room, students worked on drawing their fish or sea creature for the bulletin boards.

This week, students started their first projects. Students in kindergarten will be learning about the Elements of Art this year. Students in grades 1st-4th will be exploring Contemporary Art through learning about current working artists. Below is a small description of what each grade level worked on this week...

K: This was the first week for kindergarten students. We talked about the Art rules, created a self-portrait and used that drawing to play a get-to-know-you game. This coming week, students will be listening to the book "Mouse Paint" by Ellen Stoll Walsh. In this book, the mice learn about what happens when primary colors are mixed together. Students will be exploring color mixing through a small experiment and through using oil pastels. In the next couple of weeks, students will be creating their own "Mouse Paint" artworks.

1st: Students learned about collage artist Anthony Zinonos. After looking at a number of his artworks and gathering inspiration, students created sketches of their own self-portraits.

2nd: After discussing what they knew about cacti, students learned about Spanish artist Lina Cofan. Working with clay, Cofan creates life-sized cactus sculptures. After analyzing her works, students watched a small video to learn more about cacti and their habitat. With the conclusion of the video, students practiced drawing cacti in order to prepare for the still life they will be creating next week.

3rd: Students discussed still life and composition for their first practice day. After a thorough discussion and looking at many different examples, students created their own still life composition on their table and drew exactly what they saw in front on them using traditional still life techniques.

4th: To explore mark making, students looked at the glass sculptures and paintings of Seattle-based artist Dale Chihuly. After looking at a number of his artworks and learning about his life and career, students began planning their own artwork that will display a particular emotion. Students discussed their ideas with classmates and began developing drafts of their ideas.

Make sure to check back next week for pictures, pictures and more pictures! We have some really exciting things about to happen in the Art Room!!!!!

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