Friday, August 19, 2011

Action-packed first week highlights

What a great first week!  We had a very inspired five days of K-5 art classes, and here are some of the highlights...
Our recycling project from last year, now installed

Starting the year organized and tidy... for at least a few days

"What are we doing this week in art?"

5th graders posing for gesture drawings

5th graders warming up with gesture drawings

4th graders made gesture drawings and foil gesture figures

1st graders getting familiar with their art portfolios, which I adapted from another art teacher's blog,
"the art of education"... thank you for sharing your portfolio cover ideas!

2nd graders read the book Ish...

...and made "ish" drawings for their sketchbooks

a few 5th grade classes got a head start on our lesson based on Jean Dubuffet,
finding figures in a web of gesture lines

Kindergarteners found many ways to make lines on their "magic carpets"... next week we add shapes
3rd graders gathered on our reading rug for The Dot

See you next week!


  1. I LOVE your classroom! Specifically:
    1. the large windows
    2. your CREATE word sign (how did you make that?)
    3. your clock (with the wings- so cute!!)
    4. the "This week in Art" sign- very informative.
    5. Your reading rug- wish I had room for an area rug.

    Your classroom seems so well planned and organized- condusive to an excellent learning environment for all students (not too cluttered which I've seen, as a Substitute teacher, many Art rooms can be). I love seeing how different Art rooms are set up- thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you! I lucked out with a brand new art room a few years back when our school added a wing... the windows are beautiful, but they come with a price - being the last room at the end of a new wing is a FAR walk from everything! I made the letters from the craft store paper mache kind and hot glued caps, pencils and other scraps that the kids saved from projects last year. I put a cup near the sharpener for "too short to sharpen" pencils and a bin for caps from used-up markers and glue sticks. I stole the winged clock idea from another art teacher that I worked with briefly ... I love stealing great ideas and I love seeing other people try out mine!

  3. I love the "Create" sign.
    Your classroom looks very inviting and organized.

    My favorite project is the gesture drawings.

  4. So glad you could use the 1st grade portfolio idea- I like the changes you make and hope they work well for you! :)
    I also love your "This week in art" sign. I am thinking of all the possibilities this has! Here's to a great year!
    Jessica Balsley

  5. Love all of your ideas, Hope! Thanks for sharing :]

    -Ren from

  6. Oh I love the idea of a Magic Carpet lesson. I'm planning a fantasy theme (art is fantastic!) in my room this year, and I see lots of possibilities with magic carpets - my brain is whirring!

  7. Ditto everything "Miss" said. I am really impressed with all of the first assignments. I have been looking for a way to use Jean Dubuffet and now you've given me one! Thanks!

  8. Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ideas!!

  9. I love the cover of your art portfolios. How did you create and print them?

  10. I love how you adapted the art of ed portfolio cover...I did the same thing and adapted to what we did the current year. Can I ask the same thing Mrs. Stone asked above. How did you print them? I sent them to our district print shop and the largest they could print them was 17x11 (or whatever the dimensions of ledger paper are). Thanks for your help.

  11. They are printed on 11 x 17" paper. I created two separate documents for the front and back and then ran them through our school copier. The paper is pretty thin for a portfolio, but this is my first year using them and I didn't want to invest much into them financially until I'd used them a year and worked out the kinks. Many of the boxes are left blank so that different grade levels can fill them up with vocab, artist info, cultural info, whatever works for that grade. So far they have been working great and they look SO much nicer than a scribbly "decorate it yourself" portfolio cover. If I have the good results I am expecting, I will use some of our fundraiser profits to have them printed on thicker paper next year.

  12. oh, one more thing... most of the work we do is 9 x 12" or smaller, which does slightly stick out of the folder, but not by much so it doesn't bother me. I'd rather have it sticking out than shoved into a pocket, getting folded and torn edges. The occasional 12 x 18" art stays in a different pile until the end of the year, or possibly gets rolled and taken home early.

  13. This is so funny I'm on the other side of the world doing almost exactly what you have done- My year 5's posed for gesture drawings ( they pretended they had super powers and struck posed) then they made little figures but whith pipecleaners not foil!
    I also had a giggle at the way your art room is tidy at least for a few days- it doesn't take long does it.

  14. your windows are awesome, especially with reading area!! I like the quote about making something beautiful today!

  15. I really like the gesture drawing. Hmmm...we may want to do that.

  16. I love the foil figures and gesture drawings. Tell me more about the drawing portion. Do they make the figures from foil then just freehand the drawing? I love the arts but am not an art teacher by training. I am teaching an enrichment class in the after school program to expose students to art. K-1 and 2-3. I love your ideas! Thanks for sharing.

  17. Hi Laura, if you look a few photos above the one with the foil figure, you will see a student posing for her classmates. We do 30 second figure drawings, called gesture drawings, which are very loose and scribbly for capturing the movement and position of the figure. Then we chose one of the drawings to model with the foil.

  18. Hello Ms Knight,

    I was delighted to find your blog and even more delighted that I recognized some of your projects as projects my boys did while students at Dolvin!.....small world. My boys loved art during their two years there, and as a parent I truly enjoyed the great projects you did with them. We now live in Florida, and I am a new (second career) art teacher K-8. You have become one of my favorite inspiration spots.



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