Thursday, May 26, 2016

Later Gators - Last day of school!

Today is the last day of the year - summer is here!

***UPDATE - these gators are now available in my Mystery Drawings pack on Teachers pay Teachers
Our final drawing this year was a mystery drawing  - students create a drawing while listening to clues about shape and line and pattern. The first clue was  the theme of "saying goodbye." Once the gators and crocs were complete, we added details to make each drawing unique, and the quote "see ya later alligator - after while crocodile!"

Parents, I hope everyone has enjoyed seeing the artwork in the portfolios - they should all be home by now! Thank you so much for all the great feedback and compliments many of you wrote through Artsonia - they really made my day even brighter.
Please follow me on Instagram for summer updates and inspiration - @smartestartists
See you in August kids and we'll do it all over again!

4th grade embroidery

My fourth graders embroidered an image of their choice while experimenting with different stitches. Embroidery is a little like drawing with a needle and thread - we made different lines and textures with the running stitch, back stitch and cross stitch, as well as experimenting with our own stitches. Stitching/sewing/weaving are all great exercises in problem solving - tying knots, threading needles, visualizing how a stitch should be made to achieve a certain effect. It is definitely the project that gets the most "this is FUN!" responses.

When the pieces were complete, we took them out of the hoops and made a paper frame with a folded construction paper.

3rd grade embroidered monograms

Stitched alphabet letters are known as "samplers" in the sewing world, and back in the colonial days, school children would stitch entire alphabets with numbers and names too! We selected a monogram, or a single letter that represents you or your family, to sew with the running stitch. After learning to thread the needle, load the hoop, and tie the knot, we began our stitching. After the outline was complete, we added some decorative stitches.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New batch of clay cacti pots and desert silhouettes

Here's a lesson I have posted about many times, and I think I have found the best presentation so far - so new post! Here goes - first I'll share a few pics from earlier...
We have made these clay pinch pots with cacti and succulent plants for several years in 4th grade:

And since starting our Artsonia portfolios, we needed a better presentation method, so we tried some different ways of photographing our 3-D works, starting with variegated tissue paper which looked a little like a sunset sky:

Since the students were also learning about what these plants are and where they come from, we started making some cut paper silhouettes as a backdrop, featuring cactus shapes:

So cool! But the silhouettes were kind of temporary, so from there we painted our own colorful skies and made landscapes that could stand as works of art on their own as well as serving as a backdrop for our clay work. We focused on blending analogous colors to keep from getting a muddy sky - it helps to not use water when painting these, because you want blended colors: 

This is a fantastic lesson because there are so many elements to explore - science, culture, color - and plenty of room for kids to experiment. Here's a view from our Artsonia gallery: 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

5th grade memory bowls

This glazed clay bowl will make a nice keepsake for my 5th graders about to head off to middle school. I hope it will help them remember the years of fun in art class as they grow!

We started by rolling a slab and cutting the outer shape.

Next, we added pressed textures and joined coils rolled into numbers and letters, followed by firing and glazing.