Friday, January 30, 2015

Symmetrical Monoprinting

Second grade, shapes with symmetry, paint one side and print the other - much fun and success for all! Many chose hearts as their symmetrical shape. "Paint a little, print a little" was our theme, so that the tempera wouldn't dry too soon. Beauties, every one, with many unexpected surprises.

Friday, January 23, 2015

International Day 2015

Today was a special day here at Dolvin - not only was it the 100th day of school, but it was also International Day, with global activities galore. The day began with a parade of countries, and many students wear clothing and costumes from their native lands.

After that, workshops were held around the building that focused on international art, music, storytelling, food, sports, and more.  In art class, students made passports the week before to take with them today and have stamped as they traveled from one country station to the next. 

Today in art, classes rotated through every 30 minutes to learn about the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration and try their hands at some Chinese calligraphy, writing Happy New Year which is then attached to a red lantern to hang for good luck in 2015. Chinese New Year is coming up on February 19 and this year is the Year of the Goat - the animal of the year rotates every 12 years.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bright beginnings...

We are in the midst of several multi-week activities, so here is a sneak peek of our progress in a few grades -
Third graders are learning some simple perspective techniques to suggest space. Wet on wet watercolor creates a perfect fuzzy, out of focus background called atmospheric perspective. When the birds are complete they wil have a sharp, detailed contrast against the background and look much closer in space. We are using birds native to Georgia as our subjects.

Fourth graders are also learning perspective techniques using a single vanishing point. Peter Max is our artist of inspiration here. Watercolor is up next.

Second graders are trying out a monoprinting technique using folded and rubbed paper and a symmetrical shape. Hearts are perfect for this activity, inspired of course by Jim Dine. 

Stay tuned, much more to come including 5th grade 2-point perspective, 1st grade African art, and Kindergarten pop alphabet prints. Thanks for stopping by! Check our daily progress on Instagram @smartestartists.

Monday, January 19, 2015

A million views and a contest, too!

It's been an exciting 24 hours in my blog-land, with my page view ticker rolling over to 1,000,000 AND learning I had received a nomination for Art Ed Blog of the Year, elementary division.
Sharing our art room accomplishments with the world has brought a whole new dimension to my teaching over the last four years or so, and I am so appreciative of all the support from readers as well as the fantastic things I've learned from other blogging teachers. All of our students benefit.
Please consider taking a moment to visit all the inspiring blogs nominated and cast your vote for your favorites - you may vote once a day, for as many as you like.
Thanks to The Art of Ed for including me again this year - I am very flattered and my kids will be super excited to hear the news!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Koala mittens service project

Today my Needle & Thread clubbers began stitching pairs of cotton mittens for koalas whose paws were injured during recent wildfires in Australia. We found the pattern online ( and used some 100% cotton bandanas for the soft cloth. The group collecting these mittens is also looking for handmade pouches for orphaned joeys - I will need a sewing machine for that one! 
We are also hoping to stitch some fleece crate snugglies for local animal shelters. It's great sharing our crafts with those furry friends in need! 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting ready for some 3-D action!

Second semester involves a good bit of 3-D work, both actual building and creating illusions of space with perspective. So, the first week back, all of my classes looked at a variety of sculpture and discussed the qualities, styles, and materials used. Here are a few they really liked:

After that, we did a warm-up activity in table teams involving building forms and then drawing them on our paper, trying to capture the 3D-ness in our drawings. It was a fun and also challenging exercise, with everybody fully engaged. They really enjoyed learning the difference between shape/form and discussing how we measure flat things in two directions (2-D) and "popping up" things in three directions (3-D), like a rectangle paper vs. a rectangular tissue box. Found these blocks in the discard pile at the end of last year - what a score!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Second semester sale over at TpT!

Just for you fellow art teachers who are looking for some new ideas for second semester, I'm having a sale starting today at my Teachers pay Teachers store, and many of my products are free anyway!

I am taking note of the suggestions many of you have given me about things to add and I am working on them - thanks for your input and I hope to have those ready for you very soon - Happy New Year!