Monday, September 27, 2010

A Carpet, Finally!

So in my mind having a carpet was going to solve all my group discussion problems and students would sit like angels in their own little circle ~ yeah right! So I finally got my long awaited carpet which my principal helped pay for (even better).
It doesn't solve the ants in the pants on a rainy day but it does help get students in quickly and they know where to sit. It also helps when dismissing them to their seats - I can say if you are on a red circle take your seats, and so on.
Excited about starting the next round of lessons and preparing the first one to get sent off to Original Works to start my fundraiser.
I can't believe it is almost report card time already!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Art Teacher Workshop Revitalizes!

I must say I have had a very blah week and have been just trudging through ~ you know you have them once in a while! Today I went to a Teacher workshop on simple book making and it was great. Being in a room with other teachers learning and creating!
Here is what I made in just 2 hours:
Here is the star book ~ Which I already knew how to make and posted a how to on it here.

Then we used a few techniques of using one page and cutting in a select spot then folding to make a book. This one is made out of a wallpaper sample:

This one is also a single piece of paper - with a cover and ribbon ties:



Next was a hole punched book with a simple stitched binding with buttons and beads added.
TGIF ~ I have a fairly easy schedule on Fridays (shh don't tell anyone.) And I get to teach my Art Photo Elective! Will share more about the book making later ~ wanted to show off my productivity before going to bed!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Everyday Silliness

Last week I started Carla Sonheim's Online class: The Art Of Silliness 2.
What fun! Each morning I check in to the blog, download my silly worksheet for the day and leave it on my desk. Then I can think about the topic and daydream about what I am going to do for the assignment throughout my day. Gives me a little mental silly break, silly mental break, mental break down...

Here are a few of the things I have created as a result of the assignments so far.

My fave:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday Electives ~ off and running!

Friday Electives started yesterday. I managed to get 225 students scheduled into 4 classes, 1 for each quarter, with minimal mistakes. I even only had 3 parent complaints concerns.
I ended up with 18 students in my Art Photography class. I think there was a lot of confusion as to what the class was - most kids said I signed up for Digital Photo not Art Photo! We had fun so I think everyone is happy!
Students had to work in pairs - we have 9 school digital cameras for them to use. I told them and showed examples of using an interesting point of view (from above or from below) and the rule of thirds. The cameras actually have a rule of thirds grid you can turn on and off on the screen - I am so glad I found it too because I was going to make the grids out of transparency and tape them to the back.
I had to run out after school and only took 3 cameras with me to download but here are a few good ones. I love it when their work shows evidence that they actually heard me!! I am still debating where I want to go with this class. We are limited in terms of editing software - so I may have them make a nice portfolio in Power Point with their images as a final project.
I can't wait to download the rest...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Friday Electives

What are Friday Electives?? They are another one of my bright ideas that puts a ton of work in my lap, but other wise I would be bored. I have a knack for coming up with ways to stay busier. Last year I started an elective program for the 4th and 5th graders. My principal supported and participated in it all the way and has made it possible to offer again this year. Here is how it works...

BlackJack & Gromit, my four legged sons got
to be guests in the Animal Science class.
We combine the 4th and 5th graders and they get to select options from a list. They get 4 choices and get to change each quarter. Each session lasts for about 6 classes and they attend the class only on Fridays of a full week. Last year the class was an hour long. This year we had to stick to the encore (that's what we call Art, Music, PE, Computer) block of 40 minutes but it is the last block on Fridays so I think it will work out ok.
We already had art, music and PE on board but we needed enough classes going on to disperse 8 classes worth of students at one time. This year that is 225 students!! Enter parent/teacher volunteers. We put the word out and got parents and classroom teachers giving up their planning time to run several sessions such as: chess, a newspaper, graphic design, Spanish, book club, gardening, animal science to name a few.
5th Grade Still Life from 2D elective Session
I have been working on the packet and hope to get it out to students this week. My plan is to start the electives on Sept 17th. Then each of the four quarters works out to 6 Fridays and I think they fall pretty close to when report cards come out.
Some grade levels are on a four day rotation and some are on a five day. PK/K and 3rd are on a five day rotation so we see one of the five classes on the same day every week. Then 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th are on a four day rotation. So with 4th and 5th having electives on Friday we needed to do something with the 1st and 2nd graders. They will take turns coming to each of the four encores at their normal time. So for the first quarter I will see my Monday 1st and 2nd graders on Friday, for the 2nd quarter I will see my Tuesday 1st and 2nd and so on. So for those 'extra' 6 days we see 1st and 2nd I usually do something special with them that the other classes are not doing. Of course they will do it eventually but I like making it like it is a special extra lesson! Last year I did Deep Space Sparkle's Royal Pooches lesson with the 1st graders. Here is a link to my students' puppies on Artsonia. It is a great forum to try out new lessons since I am only doing it with one class at a time and can edit and change it with each class. I think I will do Chinese Brush painting with 2nd (last year they had 5 classes so did not get the extra Fidays)
5th Grade Faerie House from 3D Elective
So now that all that is worked out I was trying to decide what classes I wanted to offer. Last year was 2 sessions of 2D and 2 sessions of 3D. This year I would really like to add a technology component. I want to teach an art photography course. Last year the computer lab teacher offered photo but I never saw anything that was produced. I think it was more informational - here is how to use the camera hers is how to upload it kind of thing. I want to do more of a point of view, composition, rule of thirds kind of class.
Does anyone have any good basic photography lessons or resources for 9-10 year olds ??
Thanks for any ideas on technology and/or photo...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Portfolios ~ 2nd Grade

I was inspired by the portfolios on Teach Kids Art this year. For 2nd grade we read Matthew's Dream by Leo Lionni. We looked at the paintings that Matthew did and discussed the difference between geometric and organic shapes. After students wrote their name and code in the right corner, they were to draw a large rectangle right inside the edges of the portfolio. This was their frame and they decorated it to look like a gold frame you'd find in a museum. Then they made a few swirly lines going through the frame. This made lots of organic shapes which they filled in with crayon. We talked about different ways to use the crayon to get textures and other effects. Using pressure to get light and dark colors, using the non point side of the crayon to rock back and forth and make circles, using the side of a crayon with no paper. They were to try using the crayons in a new way.

I likes the ones that used a darker color for the outlines, they remind me of stained glass.

Portfolios ~ 3rd Grade

I was inspired by the portfolios on Teach Kids Art this year. For 3rd grade we read Ish by Peter Reynolds. His books are SOOO great!  

After students wrote their name and code in the right corner, they were to create 6 drawings on the front of their portfolio. Four of the drawings had to be nouns (we talked about what a noun was). And the other two had to be feelings or emotions. We talked about how to make the drawings look 3D by shading on two sides of each drawing.

I love how they turned out - I will have to get some more photos as more classes finish.