Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Game of Line

Tried something new this year to help my littlest ones retain the names of the 4 basic types of line. Last class we did the outdoor water painting so we needed a refresher since that was a whole WEEK ago...

I had a shoebox full of these business card-size pieces of printed tagboard. Another great find at Treasures 4 Teachers. So anyway...I drew 5 examples of straight, curve, angle and broken lines - I have 4 kids at each table so wanted one extra. I did 7 sets - a different color of marker for each set, 1 set per table.

First, the students lay out the cards face up in the middle of the table. I review on the board and then have the kids sort the cards into the 4 groups.

Next, mix the cards up again. Now I ask each student to hold up one card of the type I mention. I count to 10 slowly and each table where everyone is holding up the correct card gets a point. After doing each type of line, the group(s) with 4 points get to 'kiss' their brains (kiss your fingertips, touch the top of your head). They thought that was great. Some classes played the game twice - they really liked it and if they didn't do so well the first time they did much better the second time around. Of course you can vary directions to suit your audience...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Student Name Challenge

Well I've been doing this (teaching Art) since the '76-'77 school year (PLEASE don't do the math...) with a few years off here and there due to re-location or leave of absence for birth of 2nd baby but I am STILL learning new names every year. We're talking names I have never SEEN or HEARD of before - AMAZING!

So I counted them up and so far I have 48 names that are new to me this school year. Apostrophes in the middle of a name appear to be a new trend. To be fair, some new monikers are spelled like a name I've seen before but it's pronounced a WHOLE new way...

Here's the challenge: Add the number of years you've spent in our humble, underpaid profession. Take that number and add to it the number of your student names as of today you have never SEEN or HEARD of before this school year and send it in as a comment.

We will all ooh and ahh over the results!!

So here's my numbers: 32 + 48 = 80. Try 'n beat that!

Art Room Placecards

It's that time again - time to create new placecards.

It sure helps to learn names faster and to help my classroom management. They are kept in our class drawers between classes, neatly stacked with the table helper's placecard on top of each table group. The helpers can easily find their stack at the start of each class period.

Everybody gets a 5" x 5" square of white tagboard that's been folded in half. The students use yellow, pink and orange markers (only light colors) to draw line/shape patterns - front and back. I ask them to NOT use marker on the inside - it makes the tagboard too 'soggy' and it loses its stiffness.

I write the names in black - this can be done before, during or after they draw their designs. I tried to have students write their own but some names were too small or too illegible or... Turns out I can read my own handwriting better than 600+ personal styles - go figure!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Kinder: Line Paintings

Today was the first day of four upcoming 'Excessive Heat' days here in Arizona so the kinders & I headed outside while it was 'only' in the 90's this morning.

We spent the early part of class in the Art room learning about the 4 types of line: straight, curve, angle and broken while finding examples in the room around us.

Then we packed up water containers and a variety of brushes and headed out my 'back door' to an area I call my patio room - 3 walls and no roof.

Everybody enjoyed 'painting'on the cement but the water got pretty muddy due to the latest haboob (aka: dust storm) we had last Wednesday which left extra dust & sand on the ground.

Kinders got great practice making all their lines with little mess and no fuss!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Art Stuff

Well, I have a week & a half of the '11-'12 school year under my belt! The first classes included the usual 'Art Room Expectations' which included the necessary fire & lockdown drill procedures followed by the start-of-the-year drawing assessments. By the second week of classes, we were on to permanent seating assignments based on the assessments and behavior observations of that first day. In addition, the kids were able to explore 'Art Activities'.

This year, money from the District purchased some new 3D manipulatives: Constructibles.

These are building sets of consisting of 25 interlocking slotted cardboard pieces in 5 basic shapes. We received 4 sets, two of 'Bold Patterns" and two of the 'Painter's Palette'.

The kids really enjoyed the building and you could see their little brain cells trying to figure out how to stabilize their structures by balancing larger pieces with smaller pieces...

The only drawback - and it's a big one - is the durability of the pieces. After only 3 days of use, several of the arch pieces had to be glued/taped because the tabs had torn off or were bent. Others were in great shape so maybe it was the user rather than the materials. We'll see...

Students also enjoyed using their old favorites:



Drawing books
Plasticine clay

and of course, free-hand drawing!

Next week, projects will begin featuring line, line, line!

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