Sunday, February 7, 2016

Sneak peek of Free heART Friday!

Sooooo... I've been planning this big art hunt for the Friday before Valentine's Day. Silly me didn't check the calendar and as it turns out we have a teacher workday! No worries - we will just do it on Thursday and pretend :).
Here are a few previews of some of the art "drops" classes have been working on...
More posts coming Friday!

String art hearts in 5th

Artist Trading Cards in 2-4

Lidded pinch pots, 2nd grade

This lesson was inspired by a post from - I just loved the little nose handles and faces painted on the lids!  After pinching our pots and texturizing the sides, we turned them upside down on a slab and cut a slightly larger round lid. We scored and slipped the clay to attach the nose/ handle. A coat of tempera paint was the finishing touch after firing. 
These will be wonderful to hold small treasures.

Side view:

Kindergarten Valentines 2016

Stamp printing gadgets with tempera paint was the first step in creating these joyous valentines.

The next step was cutting them out, gluing to a background, and adding lines to represent the "love or energy" coming out. We can only feel love, but how do we think it may look if we could see it coming from our hearts? Expressive lines!

Happy hearts day!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reduction prints from styrofoam sheets, 5th grade

This lesson is an advanced version of the styrofoam printing done in my 4th grade classes, as students print multiple layers and colors after changing the printing surface. 
The original drawing was done on paper after a lesson on proportion, or comparing sizes and shapes. Students chose the subject of self-portraits or shoes and they drew them using proportion techniques, like "your eyes are one eye width apart" or "the opening of the shoe is about one-third the length of the whole shoe." Students found these proportions by measuring with their fingers, so it was not an exact measurement.
Once the drawings were complete, we taped the paper to a styrofoam plate and traced over the paper, creating a sunken line in the foam below. Next, we lifted the paper and drew the lines directly into the foam to ensure the lines were deep enough for printing. Any letters or numbers were drawn backwards, because printing happens in reverse.

Printing day one: each table of 4-5 students share a few inking trays and print a set of three. We try to follow the "messy middle/clean corners" approach, meaning keep the inky parts in the middle of the table, and do the clean paper printing on the corners, to keep ink from getting in places we don't want it. After printing, the foam plates are rinsed and dried and we prepare to "reduce," or take away, some more areas of the plate. We use pencil to add background designs, more details, and fill in a few areas.

The following week, we pass out the now dry printed papers, the printing plates, and a second color of ink. The only difference in today's printing method is the addition of registering the plate, or lining it up to make sure the print is directly over the first print. There are fancy ways to do this, but we simply do a slow line up of the corners, press the plate down, then flip over and rub the paper with flat hands.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mid-year updates from Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists

Class Dojo Rewards Day was at the end of December - Congratulations to Ms. Alton's 4th grade class, who had the highest number of Class Dojo points for the whole school at the end of the second 9 weeks! They received the hand-printed Art Stars shown in the pic above. Other top classes were:
K - Cameron
1 - Petrina
2 - Shaffer/Popola
3 - Windle
5 - Holden
These students received these handmade Art Star crayons...

Individual students who had reached the 10 or 20 point levels received their rewards on the day before winter break.
You can read more about how I use Class Dojo in the art room in this post from earlier this year.

Dolvin families have been doing a great job following our Artsonia site and leaving wonderful comments for the students - it is so great to get feedback from outside the classroom! Students are becoming more and more confident in their publishing skills and we have really enjoyed using ipads to share our work in this way. Today's Artsonia counts for this school year so far:
15,003 visits to our gallery
2,280 published artworks
1,825 artist fans (family members who have connected)
516 comments from fans

Student portfolios are filling up with some amazing work and students can easily access vocabulary words and concepts on the word walls and track our media use with the media talley section - both found on the front covers of our portfolios. When the students take them home in the spring, after our big art show, they should be brimming with art learning!

Our third nine weeks is filled with kid favorites like clay, printmaking, weaving, and perspective drawing - stay in touch with daily updates on Instagram @smartestartists , and thanks as always for your support! #dolvinFAN

Monday, December 28, 2015

Kindergarten snowflakes in clay

Squeeze, roll, pinch, press... These are the steps for making a clay snowflake ornament. After firing, we glaze, fire again, and string! We wrapped them with hand-drawn snowflake paper and tucked a cut paper snowflake in our bags for good measure.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

4th grade city prints 2015

For all the details on this tried-and-true lesson, please use the search function in the right sidebar to see posts from years past. A quick recap - we drew building designs after looking at the work of James Gulliver Hancock's drawings from All the Buildings in New York, then transferred them to styrofoam printing plates and printed them on colorful papers. Once dry, we traded prints and assembled cityscape collages using different buildings together. I love this look!