Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Artsonia Artist of the Week!!!

One of my students is a finalist for the Artsonia Artist of the Week contest.  Please jump on over to Artsonia and cast a vote for her.  If she wins, she will receive a $50.00 gift card to Blick Art Supplies.
Here is the link:
You can vote everyday.  Thanks!!!

Here is her work.  It was a complete a composition assignment using some greeting cards donated to us by Crane paper company.   They will be donated by the school to local venues to be given to patients who are ill to offer them cheer during the fall season.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Rethinking Kindergarten

I took an AOE class this past summer to re access my approach to teaching Kindergarten.  I thought it would be chuck full of new project ideas and how to better meet the needs of my youngest students.  I was think curriculum, skills and lesson plans.  Well, I was a bit off track but not completely.  The course, Rethinking Kindergarten, introduced me to the Reggio Emilio style of teaching.  What it made me do was to take a step back and re evaluate everything I have been doing with my kinders.  I spent the rest of the summer trying to put together some materials for students to freely create with that would take them away from the ordinary crayons and paper approach I had been using.  I made a trip to the local dollar store where I picked up some pool noodles and bendable hair curlers which probably turned out to be my best investment.  Other finds came from the dollar bins at Target and cast aways from class room teachers.  I am in the process of putting together a DIY light box for next week using a plastic bin and Christmas lights.  Scored those today at the local big box store because of course they already had Christmas shelves stocked before October 1st!!!  My approach with the kids was to talk about cooperation and sharing and just being creative.  Their focus was to build sculptures.  We talked a bit about sculptures before I ever laid out the materials and then I allowed creativity to blossom.  After two different classes, I have to say, this has been terrific!!!  I love how they have really gotten into it and just enjoyed working together and letting their imaginations flow.  Some even explained the purpose of their sculptures and named them.  All the while, I have my iPad in hand and am recording for Artsonia as well as shooting pictures for this post.  Reggio is all about documentation and the kids loved that I was valuing their work by taking photos of it all.  So here are a few photos of the process.
This student told me this was his car

students loved these twisty hair rollers
A tower on it's side
A flower

Yummy ice cream

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Celebrating International Dot Day 2015

Student work with tint
It always seems like the first of the year crawls to a start.  First there are all the logistics to work out with classes.   Then you introduce and lesson and finally in week three, you might have a few students who are turning in completed projects.  I am so thankful to finally make it to week three and a few completed projects!  International Dot Day is always my go to for the first project of the year.  The timing is terrific and the possibility of multiple ideas across the grade levels is an easy.  This year 5th grade students reviewed and demonstrated an understanding of color mixing to create value.  Some chose to make tints and some chose shades, painting their dots in any pattern as long as value was evident.
Student work with shade

4th grade student's Elements Dot
 Fourth grade students reviewed an understanding of the Elements of Art.  Their challenge was a bit more creative in that they needed to apply their knowledge of the elements to their dot.  They could incorporate them into the design of their dot or they could simply illustrate evidence of knowledge of what they were.  The end results were a range of interpretations.  Here are a few of those:

3rd grade vanGogh
4th grade student's Elements Dot
3rd grade movement dot
3rd grade vanGogh
3rd grade vanGogh
Third grade students discovered the work of Vincent vanGogh as they developed work for International Dot Day.  Their challenge was to show movement in their work and illumination.  They could approach the subject either abstractly or realistically.  They quickly discovered that their use of line and the direction of line as well as color would assist them as they created their dots.

Second grade student explored symmetry for their dot projects.  Some students drew and colored for symmetry and other classes cut symmetry.  
2nd grade symmetry 

2nd grade cut symmetry
2nd grade symmetry

2nd grade symmetry
2nd grade drawing symmetry

traditional style color wheel
1st grade color wheel
1st grade color wheel
First grade students explored design possibilities using the color wheel.  They first explored the many color wheels evident in the art room and discussed the commonality among them answering the question "What makes it a color wheel?"  Once they had determined the order of the colors of the color wheel and why there was an order they set off to create their own interpretation of a color wheel.  Here are a few of their original color wheels.  

Each project was completed when it included an artist statement which was published with the work on Artsonia.  You can view our galleries here  and here. Now we are off and running in the art room and eager to create art in a variety of ways.  Hello new school  year!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Today was great!

I finished the AOE class on Classroom Management earlier in the week and put all the pieces into place for the beginning of school.  I quickly made some new posters to reflect all I had learned.  I even have a "Woo Hoo" letter, shared with a kids accompanied by a exuberant "woo hoo", to be sent home with outstanding students.  I modeled, they modeled and we all practiced.  I'm feeling really positive for a new school year and a great new direction.
my new set up for students for photograph art for artsonia

expectations and consequences

Job chart

Minion bulletin board that was a huge hit in the hallway.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Welcome back to the Art Studio!

Well I'm ready for a new year.  I had a terrific summer, I hope you all did as well.  I was able to work on my own creative endeavors, take a brief vacation, numerous stay-cation days, many opportunities for face painting and two graduate courses for + hours.  It sure went fast, didn't it???  Coming up as you all return to the Art Studio beginning Tuesday will be some new classroom procedures, a video recap of what I did this summer and some interesting and surprising items for still life drawing that I obtained in the past few weeks.  (That's a surprise so I won't let  you now what they are)  Immediately, we will be celebrating International Dot Day with Peter Reynolds and his books "The Dot" and "Ish".  Fifth grade students will be focusing on writing their illustrated children's books and revisiting one-point perspective. We will be doing a bit of review of the Elements of Art for all grades as we begin 1st project.  Most exciting for me....we will begin clay immediately after we return from Thanksgiving break!  If they haven't already done it, encourage your families to visit your Artsonia account or if you can't remember you information, just jump onto the school page to see what we did last year.  I hope everyone will approve their accounts this year so we can be 100% Artsonia.   I will be sending a letter home the first week of school that will give you more information about Artsonia and other changes in the Art Studio.  I hope you are all excited and ready to rejoin me in the Art Studios of Allendale and Capeless.  See you in a few hours!!!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Putting the pieces together for Back to School

Just finished reading two terrific post about first day activities for your classroom over on Art of Education and decided to give both a go this year.  One of the post was about sharing with your students what you had done over the summer and by doing it with a video.  I used Animoto to create mine as was suggested.  I painted all summer and really enjoyed the process.  Since I would like all my students to remain creative through the summer weeks, I thought this would be a good way to present my summer.  I also linked to the Elements of Art so this will be a small review for them to jump start our year.  My only wish, I could slow it down somehow.  
I also created a fun test for students with questions about me.  I think I will add a expectations video for students to view and I will be all set for day one in the Art Room!

Below is the revised edition.  I figured out how you control the speed!  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Have you tried Canva?

  I used Canva to make a new sign for the classroom.  All my students knew that to "look like a scientist" means to really look at what you are doing and not just draw what you think something looks like.  Often what we think is no where near what something really looks like.  Last year we practiced looking like a scientist all year.  That was the motivation for this new sign for the classroom this year.
I think I learned about Canva through AOE.  It is a very easy site to negotiate and I love the art they have available as well as the fact you can use your own.  I think I will be turning to Canva for a lot of new signs this year.