Saturday, September 13, 2014

Showing off in K-2

My youngest artists, grades K, 1, and 2, have been starting out with the basics - elements and craftsmanship - and some classic lessons. They've been doing a great job! We also found reading and Language Arts connections in each of these - soon they will know that art is connected to their life and learning in many ways!
Kindergarteners get so excited about learning to draw with line and shape after seeing that the Pigeon in Mo Willems funny books is made from them too. We also learned about using and caring for different art materials.


First graders learned about the nouns of art: people ( portraits), places (landscapes), and things (still lifes). We drew family portraits with a focus on filling the space, and talked about the importance of details in a story told with pictures or words.


Second graders learned about drawing from their imaginations and were inspired by Joan Miro's abstract work "People and Dog in Front of the Sun." We also learned that reading titles (and writing them too) can be helpful when trying to understand a work of art. Combining a variety of materials can add interest and texture.




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Get in on the fun, kids!

There are three fun art related activities going on between now and the end of the month at Dolvin, and I'm inviting all students to get involved! 
1. Instagram Challenge - I participated in one of these over the summer and it was so much fun! I will post a new challenge each month - see the pic for this month's challenge. Please do this with your parents or teacher's assistance and permission. Don't forget your hashtags so I can find and repost your pics!

2. Guess the Artist - the images, clues, and guessing folder are all posted outside my door - a winner will be drawn at the end of the month and announced on the News Splash.

3. Next Monday, September 15 is International Dot Day and Dolvin is participating by wearing polka dots, or big dots, or really any dots you have on Monday.
Students in 3rd grade have been making dot-themed art, inspired by the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Here is the video version of the book if you haven't read it - enjoy!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Teachers Pay Teachers Store is up!

I am very excited to have a new Teachers Pay Teachers store! I really enjoy making handouts, rubrics, and especially PORTFOLIOS each year, and I hope that many of you will enjoy using them too. I've sent out quite a number of these portfolios through email, and they were specifically made for my classes - the ones I have listed at the TpT store are a little more universal. There are three levels: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5, each with its own areas for vocabulary, color wheels, personalizing, and lots more.
Also in the store are some rubrics and idea starters, which go really well with the portfolios  - I will be putting more and more of this on soon, along with a few of my most popular lesson plans.
You can visit my store by clicking the tab at the top of the blog, look for the gadget on the right sidebar, or click this link:

Thanks all.

Friday, September 5, 2014

700 followers! Week four accomplishments, too

Just saw that I reached 700 followers on my Blogger dashboard - thanks so much for keeping in touch with my Smartest Artists :). (Thanks to Bloglovin' readers too!) One of the most popular things on my blog has been my student portfolio posts, and after a few years of sharing them through email, I am happy to announce that I will have them available for you on Teachers Pay Teachers in the next few days! Stay tuned for that announcement/link.
I can't believe we are a full 4 weeks in - there is so much to do in those first few weeks and I feel like I should have more work to post, but honestly we are still putting touches on a lot of it. I do have some that I'm proud to show you though:

Kindergarteners continue the tradition of starting the year with Mo Willems' Pigeon, who found a friend or two in our drawings. Focus: combining simple shapes, illustration, filling the space

First grade family portraits - focus on filling the space, drawing portraits with overlapping, using materials correctly

Second graders will be revealing their colorful tissue paintings next week, based on Miro's abstract style. Focus- abstract art, drawing from our imaginations, using good craftsmanship

Third grade positive and negative dots based on The Dot. Focus - illustration, craftsmanship, positive/negative shapes

Fourth graders created observational drawings, first gesture figures then contour still life with shading.

Fourth and Fifth graders made color wheels, value scales, and notes on their portfolios to refer to - these and other things now available on Teachers Pay Teachers!

Fifth graders made black and white observational drawings of rocks and shells to warm up, then moved on the contour line gem stones which we will fill with hues, tints, and shades, creating form.

More info on these soon to come, see you soon!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Treasure, on the cheap

I am a bargain shopper. I think of it as my version of sport.
I thought I'd share a few new things from my classroom that were free, upcycled, or super cheap.
The end of the year can be a real smorgasbord for art teachers, if you don't mind a little trash-can-diving. I found entire boxes of transparencies and overhead projector cardboard frames, since our overhead projectors have been collecting dust the past few years. I thought these would be great for some new display frames for my six hallway bulletin boards around the school, one for each grade level. I display examples of every project we do all year, so there's always a show going on. These have become new signage frames for my art displays - now I can just slide a new sheet in every time I change the board, listing our new objectives, vocab, artist of inspiration, etc. The little wooden glasses and circles were part of a massive clearance I found at Michaels, where I basically backed my car up and loaded as much as I could :). Pennies on the dollar, seriously - 80% off plus coupon - and Liquitex spray paint, too! A match made in heaven.

Here's more of my clearance loot - you can see more of these in action, like my Following Wall, in my earlier post:

I made some Free Art Friday cases from old cassette boxes that were being thrown out as well. They are the perfect size to hold some cool handmade woven bracelets that my friend Claire made. We are having fun with our collaboration of sharing art in the world!

Kellen was one of the lucky Free Art Finders this week and the kids are excited that this will continue most Fridays this year - I am encouraging them to participate as sharers as well.

I have lots of art learning and production to share with you next week - here's a sneak peek of my 4th graders getting into their observational still life drawing! They are gonna be SO good.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two weeks in

The first couple of weeks of school is all about settling in, getting our feet under us (especially me!), and  finding our inspiration. We're starting off by finding our personal interests and connections using writing and visuals. We're also making new portfolios, not only to contain our projects but also to track our art learning - three levels this year! SLO's are underway for the first time ever for my first grade artists. Enjoy these pics from our first two weeks, and check back soon for upcoming posts on an Instagram challenge and a new after-school club. Thanks for stopping by!

Our collaborative "Pinspiration" board

An idea sheet to refer to during the year to ensure we are using personal voice in our art, no matter what  problem we are solving - FREE DOWNLOAD at my new Teachers Pay Teachers page -

Newly designed portfolios for K-1, 2-3, 4-5

Getting started on our positive and negative dots from The Dot

Fourth graders studying observational drawing with gesture, contour, and mannequins

Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome back! See what's new...

It's our first week back to school and all of my smartest artists are working on new portfolios and a Pinterest-inspired inspiration board group project. I am really lucky to have an amazing art room and I made a few updates this summer, just to freshen things up a bit, including a new rug and bench in the reading area.

I created a small workspace for two called "the QT", or the quiet table, for kids who want to work away from the others for a bit. The QT is surrounded by little plants, adding to the peaceful quality, and topped off with some beautifully illustrated motivational posters by Pop! Prints - Scholastic.

I have updated my portfolios and now have three different levels - K/1, 2/3, 4/5 - with word walls, media tallies, color wheels and more.

I will be using the "ART" noise level again this year, and the stack of papers under the paperweight is called an Art Starter Idea Sheet, which is a space for making personal observations and recording favorite memories, and can be referred to throughout the year when starting new projects. Each student should be connected to their art and able to make personal creative choices.

I updated the look of my classroom bulletin boards as well, although most of the info hasn't changed. I did move my hand painted elements of art to a new space and am in the process of making the principles of art to go with them.

Couldn't resist these happy lil paintbrush faces...

Here's the side of the room I can show you now - the other corner is getting a mural soon so it's kind of a mess and I will be excited to share that corner in the next few weeks hopefully.

You art teachers will recognize the infamous Michael's frames that everyone bought on the massive clearance this summer! I also made a little sign using the word "challenge" to remind the students that althought they are having a ball in art, they are learning, problem solving, and creatively challenging themselves. 

I spend a good bit of time posting about our art experiences online, so I made a little "following" wall, also with the clearance bonanza wooden shapes :). Please follow us on Twitter and Instagram, just look for the links on the right sidebar.

Thanks for stopping by! Here's to a wonderful, artful, peaceful year.