Saturday, September 26, 2015

September in the art room, all grades

It has been a busy month and October is looking full of promise as well. Here are some of the things that have been keeping us artfully engaged lately...
Kinders have been painting fall leaves with crayon and watercolor resist - they love painting and are quickly getting used to routines like cleaning your brush, using a painting mat and placing work on the drying rack. We enjoyed listening to Vivaldi's Four Seasons while painting, since we are celebrating the beauty of fall.

First graders completed their collages from the book The Best Artist in the Ocean

Second grade began their still life study with a version of Matisse's Goldfish. We learned how different art materials can create different effects, like pencil/Sharpie and crayon/watercolor.

Third graders prepared a background for our lesson based on the book The Dot - we used different materials to paint textures with neon colored paints - more on this next week!

Fourth graders continued their Keith Haring inspired works by drawing contour line hands in the American Sign Language positions - this lesson was borrowed from Mr. DeWilde's class. I have been excited to try it since finding it on Pinterest.

Fifth graders have finished their "Gemstones in a Surreal Setting" - a shading lesson that goes from reality into something beyond!

Happy Fall, y'all!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Miro style tissue paintings, 2nd grade

Second graders began the year with the story Ish, which inspired us to be loose, expressive, and worry-free in our drawing. Next, we looked at the art of Joan Miro, who definitely had that same idea for his art - it is called abstract. We examined one of his well- known works and guessed what was happening - then we read the title and it cleared up a few questions. Reading the title of a work can often be helpful in understanding it better.
      People and Dog in Front of the Sun

We drew characters in a setting using abstract lines and shapes inspired by Miro, then we added random color by tissue painting, or wetting the paper and arranging colorful tissue squares. When dry, we peeled the squares off and created a descriptive title for our work. These artwork info forms are available on my Teachers pay Teachers page,

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Clever and Cute Animal faces in K!

My kinderartists learned about mixing two primary colors to create a secondary color this week, and we practiced by painting or scribbling a big round circle with our mixed colors. Next we talked about geometric shapes and how to cut them out. The goal is to be able to glide the scissors across the paper like a pencil - free-cutting. Some students tried this method and others who felt less confident with cutting tried drawing the shapes first and had good luck with that. The shapes became the faces of our favorite animals when glued to the big circles. 
We were behind one day due to a teacher workday so that class tried the scribble technique, making it possible to complete in just one session. I really like the energy in these - such a great effect from simple scribbles and shapes.


Friday, September 4, 2015

Class Dojo: Smartest Artist style!

***UPDATE*** since this post, Class Dojo released its Class Story feature - an Instagram-like feed where teachers can quickly and easily post pics and updates to the whole class and families can see and like ❤️. I love it because I take a lot of pics- here's what it looks like.

I am happy to be sending home parent codes this week for families to access Class Dojo in the art room!
Last year was my first experience with Class Dojo and I felt like it was a potentially great tool for giving student feedback in a fun, quick, and easy way that also uses technology. We tried out a few things last year, like linking with homeroom classes and sharing points - turns out this is great when the whole school is participating because each student's "monster" follows them everywhere they go throughout the school day - great for accountability. However, not every classroom at our school is using CD so I decided to create an account just for my classes, making rewards and achievements much easier to keep straight, and we can focus on specific art room behaviors.

Here is the way points are earned... my iPad or laptop will be open to the site with the kids' names showing.
Ready for Art: one table earns this point at the very beginning of class for entering the room quietly and sitting correctly with eyes on teacher.
Good thinking: students can earn this point by answering questions correctly during class, or by showing great originality or creativity in their work.
Artist Behavior: students earn this point by demonstrating good behavior choices (see pic below)
Clean Up: one table earns this point by cleaning up quickly, correctly and quietly.

Students can also lose points for disrespectful choices or not following directions

In the next few weeks, I will begin unveiling exciting rewards for reaching different levels with points - these may include stickers, art grab bags, and - later in the year - special art events with Mrs. Knight! There are also cool ways to share pics and information with families - this is the next step for me :).
***Update: after the first 9 weeks, we had a rewards day where anyone who had met the 10 point level received their Art Star sticker and the highest point classes in each grade level received a handmade Art Star crayon. We will have another rewards day at the end of each 9 week period.

So, parents please be on the lookout for your special code to check in on your little artist's points. Art teachers - if you haven't tried out Class Dojo, I highly recommend it as not only a behavior management system, but an awesome way to give feedback to many students in an easy and quick way. Setting it up is a breeze - I just have the students come over and type their own name in, which saves me a lot of work, and if time permits they can even select their own dojo monster - this is also a good reward.