Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back to School

Trying to get mentally ready to head back to school tomorrow. I had a great 5 day break and did a lot of crocheting and crafting inspired by my Pinterest boards (more on that later).
I was just cleaning off my camera and remembered that I took some shots of my room before I left on Tuesday - this is what I have to look forward to tomorrow...
My drying racks were full to the brim and overflowing onto the counters.

I love to clear the drying racks and revisit the great work my students produce! Here is a little peak at what everyone is doing.
Kindergarten is working on Cardinals in the Snow.
4th Grade is printmaking with Collographs inspired by music.
1st Grade is finishing up their Aboriginal Dot Paintings.

2nd grade is working on Chinese Brush Painting.
I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving break with friends and family! Back to School tomorrow - 3 weeks and 2 days until winter break (but who is counting :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

VAEA Presentation: The Artful Power of Children's Books

As promised here is my VAEA Presentation
The Artful Power of Children's Books
Thanks so much for the wonderful feedback I got on this presentation. Going to conferences is always such a great motivator! Virginia is for Art Educators!

Here is the link to the Audio for There Was an Old Monster.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Student Designed Yearbook Covers

For the first time Greenville will have a student designed yearbook cover. All four of my 5th grade classes talked about being a graphic designer and designing a cover for our client, Greenville Elementary. We talked about what needed to be on the cover and looked at our previous 3 yearbooks.
I had the difficult job of narrowing down the final 10 best and then they all got hung in the hallway for a vote - it was supposed to be for faculty and staff but I think some students snuck a few votes in too. So the winner got the cover and the other 9 will be on the back with their names...
the winner...

the back cover...

They all did a great job - I think I have a few future graphic designers. This is a great way to show students some real world application of art related careers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Project Complete and Displayed!

We have finished our first two weeks of school here in Fauquier County, Virginia. Our first week was interrupted by a little 5.8 earthquake and our first weekend was filled with wind and rain from Hurricane Irene! I borrowed a great first day project from Natalie at smART Class.
Every student created a monochromatic self portrait on a 4x6 index card. Students received thick markers, thin markers, colored pencils, regular crayons, and construction paper crayons all in different shades of the color of their tables.
I usually do not have any artwork ready to hang in time for back-to-school night because first we decorate our portfolios and next we create artwork for the Original Works fundraiser. Who says the portfolio has to be the first thing we do??
Here is is in the hallway - I made sure it was done before I left on Friday and luckily as each panel went up there was a helper walking by!

I think the green section is my favorite!

The border is 4 inch pieces of construction paper to reinforce the color shift and brings it all together. I look forward to seeing students finding themselves and showing their parents. Hopefully it will live through bus call though!

I put all the cards on butcher paper - I used up about 3 rolls of double stick tape using on e of my favorite tools in the art room - the Scotch ATG 700. I purchased mine through our school's Kurtz Bros account. It is awesome for mounting anything! I use it when getting ready for our yearly county art show.
Adhesive Transfer Tape Applicator

Monday, August 29, 2011

Highlights from Summer Art Camps

A little behind on this but still wanted to share. It made me chuckle when I read Jessica's back in June post on Art of Education called "Why I Don't Teach Kids in the Summer" and I had just agreed to do 4!

Since I started in the County I have taught our GT summer camp. See a post about that here. It is a four day camp which includes a field trip. It is for students who are gifted in art and have been recommended by their art teachers.

I also sought out another opportunity at a local store that offers kids birthday parties and art classes. I contacted the owner and she basically said - whatever, whenever I will market it!

So I agreed to 3 camps that were 3 hours a day M-F. The camps I offered were called Doodlemania, Dive Into Art and Passport to the World of Art. The majority of the attendees were my students but I also had some out of town kids visiting Grandma and students from other schools in the county. It was a lot of fun and I got to do some fun - more crafty than I would do int he classroom - no pressure lessons.

Here are some highlights:
We made paste paper and drug texture combs through it:

 We made an accordion book to hold our work:

 We made lots of Zentangles:

We even tie dyed a tshirt and then zentangled on it too!
We made self portraits with goggles on!
We used fun fishy foam stickers and made paint chip matchbook notepads:
(found on Pink and Green Mama)
 We made tunnel books using index cards:

We made fish using model magic:
 And surf boards out of poster board:
Several of these ideas came from Pink and Green Mama Ocean Fun Art Camp Booklet.

Each day of camp we went to a different country!
Henna Hands:

Indian Elephants:

Chinese Dragon Puppets:

Chinese Panda Brush Paintings:
Ridgid Wrap masks - inspired by Day of Dead Skulls but they turned out more like Mardi Gras masks!
WOW! that was a lot for one post. Oh well I got it out of my system. Will I teach that much next summer - probably not but I did make some nice extra money for our vacation, got to meet some new kids, and teach in a nice small setting!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New School Year!

Fauquier County started school this past Monday. I wanted to share some pics of my new room set up. I am starting year four so I plan on mixing things up a bit this year. You can see how it was last year from this post.
I also borrowed the Wild About Art Theme from Phyl over at There's a Dragon in my Art Room.
Here is the sign outside my door:

I put my tables in a new configuration and labeled them differently:

Here is the view from the front - Tables are angled and seat labels are on the side corner. I also added a set up table behind my AV cart.
Here is a view of the front - my cool four paneled white board. I added the vines and stuffed animals. And I cheated and purchased the monkey themed cut outs. I always feel pressured to create all my posters by hand - but I decided to spend my time on other things! Mostly because I won't ever get to them on my to-do list!

Here is what the students see when in line to leave:

The chart is where I record what each classes' score was for art - 1-5. All of the specials use this - the class is expected to get a 3 they earn a 4 or 5or they lose points for a 2 or a 1.
The big pencil says Always write your name and code. The schedule is posted next to the clock - not sure how I never thought of this before. I needed something where I could glance and see how much time we had til cleanup - this is working well.
Here is my color board - it is actually the same as last year - I just added the Wild for Color sign:

I divided this board in half - still not sure what it will be. I am thinking a Featured Artists board and a critiquing wall where students can put their work in the middle and it will have questions in bubbles all around it to help them decide if they are done or not. 

Today we had off for some Earthquake damage assessment. Yes I am in Northern Virginia and we definitely felt the quake. I had third grade at the time and they all stopped and said - what is that? It was my first earthquake so I didn't really know! I said oh must be a big truck or a helicopter going by! And I just kept on teaching until the principal came on the announcements. Very strange!! Nice to have a little breather to ease back into the school week!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Classroom Management Tip: Assigning Seats

How do you assign seats for the new year? Here is how I do it...

My tables are all different colors and each seat has a number. As the students enter my room on the first week of school I hand them a little 'ticket' as they enter. The color of the ticket is the table they go to - the number is the seat.
The trick is - know the colors that are right in front of you to give to your students that may need you more often for one reason or another. Also have the tickets marked with male or female - this way you can create a boy/girl seating arrangement that can limit visiting.
This set up also makes it seem random to the kids - so it doesn't look like you are separating or placing anyone - even if you are.
I usually look over my class list, determine how many tables this class needs and make sure students are distributed evenly. I try not to have any student sitting alone - and I try to keep the back tables clear for supplies - or for a student who may need to sit or work alone.
Then I will take roll (which I only do on the first day just to make sure I have a correct list, correct name pronunciation or nicknames). As I take roll I enter the names on a seating chart that I use all year - always available for me to learn names and for subs to call names.
I was thinking of getting away from using the palettes attached with contact paper on the table this year because:
1. I am getting tired of looking at them after using them for 3 years.
2. The students mindlessly pick them off - no matter how many times I tell them not to!
3. They get ratty looking so quickly - I usually repalce them each quarter.
I love the idea of hanging table IDs from the ceiling but I don't think our fire marshall will allow it!

How do you do it?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Gearing Up for Next Year! IDEA: Art Club

I have so many ideas floating around!! A lot of great info from taking The Art of Education's Assessment in Art Education with Jessica Balsley which I highly recommend!
I would like to fish for some ideas from the blogging world. I have requested that in my schedule for next year I am free when the upper level students have lunch/recess so I can offer an Art Club.

Have you done one before?
Are you doing an Art Club?
How often do you meet?
Do students have to apply or are they invited?
What kinds of projects do you do?
Do you have a post about it?

Would love to hear everyone's ideas on what has worked!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Art Camp ~ SPLAT!

Once again I taught our county's summer art program. We offer this program as a way to serve our gifted population. Teachers have to submit their recommendations to our county office and these students will get an invite to register for summer art camp.
We get together with our lead art teacher and the other teachers that will be teaching the camp to create the curriculum. This year our theme was "Splat!" We focused a lot on Dale Chihuly's work thanks to all the great ideas from Mr. E and his district after they had a large Chihuly show in Nashville.
On Day one we had fun decorating lots of paper. We marbleized with shaving cream, made paste papers and added texture with combs, and made bubble prints. Then we learned how to zentangle and added designs to some of our papers we made. We tie dyed shirts and zentangles on them too!!
We watched a YouTube video about Chihuly and we painted with ice cubes and powdered tempera and we also added chalk pastels. This is a great video showing him painting we only watched 5:06 until he end. The best quote "If it starts to feel like work then I will stop."
Here are the ice cube tempra/chalk  paintings:

We made Chihuly inspired sculptures using coffee filters and water bottles.

We used left over tie dye to get these great saturated colors!

We zentangled all week and introduced Lichtenstein for a portrait painting.

The students enjoyed doing a 'blind' zentangle with a white crayon and then used watercolor to make it show up.

Students mounted their favorite ones:

Students had a great time! I also used several of the ideas we did for this camp in another camp I did at a private art camp studio called Tagaloo. My first camp was called Doodlemania 8 of the 10 campers were my students. I start another one tomorrow called Dive into Art with an underwater theme! I have 13 campers at least half are my students!! Great extra money and keeping me busy!!