Monday, November 28, 2011

Calling for Comments

Here at my school we are collecting for the 4th baby shower of the year. We've also had 2 weddings so far...

Since we have a young staff, it seems every time we turn around someone is getting married with the baby train following in a few years.

As an art teacher/instructor/specialist here's my question: What do you do as a staff to honor all these life events? Do you personally have a signature gift that you create for the new bride/groom or baby?

I've done baby quilts in the past with the class of the expecting teacher but with standards-based teaching and pacing guides it's harder to justify a few classes away from the curriculum...

I thought maybe some of you would have some innovative ideas so PLEASE leave a comment and share!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vocabulary review

With a 2-day week ahead (WOO HOO!), I hesitate to start new projects so we'll be doing assessments and playing vocabulary review card games.

The card games are basic memory games - spread out the cards face down, turn over 2 cards at a time to find a match.

I use Avery labels to print out words and definitions for the upper grade students. The K-2 student cards rely more on examples of color, shape or line along with matching words.

It's amazing how the vocabulary just flows out during the game! I have a set for each table group to use.

The labels are placed on recycled printed cardstock I bought by the sack-load at Treasures 4 Teachers...about time for another drive over there since I'm running low on supplies now that I have 7 sets featuring mola/shape, landscape and color vocab for the current projects.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Marvelous Molas revisited

Our mola project is wrapping up & I have a few pix of the more successful compositions:

I would have preferred more mola-like rather than mosaic-like but the main thrust was organic and geometric shapes so hopefully that message came through. In the next weeks we'll do our final assessment to determine their understanding...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Albuquerque Turkey

Found this flyer on the sidewalk after the chaos of dismissal today...

Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving Day - Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Duct Tape Delirium

Look what I found at Michael's last week...

Just what I needed to define my line up area...

Have to get another roll next time I get another half-off coupon because I have sooo many more ideas...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kumihimo Days

Hopefully 4th graders will all finish their braided Kumihimo bracelets by this time next week. We have a short week (2 day) next week so would love to be ready to start ceramics when we get back from Thanksgiving break.

These 4th graders were enjoying the camaraderie that comes with profiency - they're on their 2nd, 3rd or even their 4th bracelet while a few others complete their first...

See my previous posts for details on the Kumihimo process.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Marvelous Molas

One of my all-time favorite cultural inspirations is the mola (right up there with Australian Aboriginal dot & Xray style paintings). I was fortunate to 'inherit' an authentic mola from a retiring music teacher who had traveled to Panama many years ago.

My second graders are just about finished with their compositions - done in paper rather than fabric. I stressed organic (the main object) and geometric (background & detail) shapes in the lesson. Other vocab included background, Panama, fabric art.

A previous student teacher of mine designed this lesson for 2nd graders (I've done molas using layered papers w/an Xacto knife with 5th graders before) creating simple animal templates of more than a dozen animals/reptiles of the AZ desert areas. My kiddos traced & cut out one to start the process...

That first organic shape was glued on to & cut out of a contrasting color then repeated until we had a 3-layer organic wonder.

Black was the standard background - I love that contrast! To help distinguish the different class groups among that stack of black papers, I had each class use the same color for their base organic shape. So if classwork gets mixed up on the drying rack, it will be easy to sort.

Students added geometric shapes to background. To streamline the process, paper strips - about 1/2" wide - were provided. They used these to cut off square, rectangle and triangle shapes. It was emphasized that pieces should not touch so as to allow the black background to show for contrast.

I'm seeing some wonderful creations!

I'll post some finished artworks next week...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Monster Symmetry

My kinder and first graders have been working with color mixing - first with crayon, moving on to watercolor and now we're using tempera to mix primary colors to create our secondary group.

Students folded and labeled their 12 x 18 papers. I put red, yellow and blue tempera on one side.

Fold paper closed and rub, rub, rub those colors together!

I have a drying rack full of amazing work!

Next class we'll have a discussion of symmetry and turn our paintings into monster faces. I can already see the potential here...

Best part was since I did the work in small groups of 5 kids at a time, there was only 1 table to clean!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Breathing space & my glue bottles

Today Kinders went on a field trip to the Botanical Garden so I had 90 minutes of breathing space...ahhhh!

I decided to tackle my glue bottles.

We're gluing molas and printing plates right now so I was past due getting them filled and the caps replaced. I've written before about my preferences for glue bottles - we're so picky, sometimes, aren't we?

I recently got a fresh order of those Tap n Glue caps I prefer but haven't had the time or students to do the work. I was able to get all the bottles refilled, caps replaced & screwed on with a fresh layer of vaseline.

THEN I reorganized the cabinet they're stored in!


Monday, October 31, 2011

What's in a Name?

One of my frustrations is artwork without a name. To cut down on the number of anonymous artists turning in work, I've started to try something new.

When doing something wet or messy, I now require my students to put their name (first and last names for grades 2 and up) on their paper BEFORE they get the tray of good 'stuff'. Table helpers have to check for names and the class code on each person's work at their table (about 3 or 4 students at each table) before getting the supply tray.

This not only ensures that we won't have to turn a painting over when wet to add a name - it also slows down the rush to hurry up and slop something on their paper to claim the title "I started FIRST!!"

What do you do to make certain that names go on your student work at the start?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

AAEA '11 Conference: Tribute to Andy Goldsworthy

All the cabins at Art Camp participated in a nature installation inspired by Andy Goldsworthy. Here are the results...

Cedar cabin:

Pinon cabin:

Juniper cabin:

and Ponderosa cabin:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

AAEA '11 Conference: Mask Making

The first workshop I attended last Friday was Mask Making Across the Continents. We created 2 masks - both of which were brand new to me!

The first was an Incan mask using a disposable foil baking/roasting pan, small tagboard templates for add ons & mask shape, along with Sharpie markers (gold & yellow). These are the pieces I traced & cut out of the pan...

Tools used included paper punch, various paper crimpers, Unruly Rulers, paper clips, scissors, stylus (used-up ball point pens) and plastic texture sheets. Color was added to the pieces before texturizing.

I'd never seen or used Unruly Rulers before (seen on lower left hand corner of pix below) - they were very useful in adding embossed shapes for eyebrows or any of the other small details...

Paper punches were used to make holes for earrings and any other dangling shapes you wanted. The pieces were attached with paper clips...

The eyes, nose, mouth and other non-dangly stuff was attached by with a stapler. Here are some of the other finished results:

Lesson plans will be posted on our soon. I'll blog about the other mask in a day or so...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Papermaking Workshop @ AAEA '11 conference

My last workshop of the conference was papermaking. This isn't the first time I've dabbled in it but I learned a great new tip this time.

Setup was ziploc bags of pulp prepared ahead of time...

Large foil pans were filled with about 2" of water with a handful of pulp added.

There were a variety of molds for us to try...

The BEST new technique was the tip to use plastic mesh - the stuff I used to use for needlework. So much easier to get & use than the wire screen mesh in the wooden frames... We just swished the mesh in the pulp pans, flipped it over onto newspaper and used sponges to press on the back of the mesh to soak up the extra water.

Here are some of the results of the workshop...

This workshop will also have lesson plans posted on the AAEA website - hopefully soon!

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