Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Week 2016

It was no small feat to try and top last year's Wall of Thanks for teacher appreciation...but I think we did it! 

I present to you...

I had my fourth and fifth graders choose a couple of teachers to turn into superheroes. Some gave capes and crowns...others let the title and writing take care of the creativity!
                  This is me ;)

This was a wonderful, thoughtful project on research, portraiture, and appreciation. I'm just sharing a few of the 91 portraits they drew. Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all teachers, you are true superheroes!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Do you see what I see?!

This is one of my very favorite lessons to do with my first graders! I haven't done it in maybe 5 years or so but its so great! I used different media this year (tempera, paper, q-tips for dots and snow!)

Here is the original lesson plan:

Happy Winter!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Our Turtle-Y Awesome Art Room!

Well, it's been about a year since I've last blogged. Oops. Last year was very tumultuous for our school...we had a new, extremely demanding ridiculous schedule that threw all the Specials teachers for a loop (3, K, 2, 4, 1, 5...all back to back with no passing time in between). I know there are worse schedules out there, but between that and absorbing 17 behavior students from another school we just had a really rough year. 

I'm going to be better this year, starting today! HA!

I have never done a "theme" before. My two boys are SO into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at home and I was TRYING to explain where their names came from this summer to them...

Deaf ears, I tell ya.

Anyways, I digress. So this year's theme is "Turtle-y Awesome" and this is my main bulletin board in the hallway. I bought the little Ninja Turtle masks from Wal-Mart in the party section and added a quick bio about each turtle....er...artist.

I made this sign for my classroom door..Ninjas Only!

Here are my table colors. I made little turtles for each table and each has a different colored mask. When my students walk in, I give them a colored piece of paper and they have to match it up with the turtle's mask and sit at that table. This is how I determine their "assigned" seats.

I found this cute little ninja printable here and thought it would be a good transition sign for my exit door. 

This is my schedule, but more importantly I used twin-sized bed sheets as my bulletin board paper! I don't know about ya'all, but we have to use fire-retardant fabric on our bulletin boards (oh yes, the Fire Marshall checks!) and kids' bedsheets are flame-resistant. Now you know!

And last, I found this hilarious graphic online and had it blown up into a poster at FedEx. It was a little pricey (and when I had it laminated it got wrinkly...UGH!) but I think it's hilarious and hopefully by the end of the year my students will appreciate it!

So just what am I going to do with this "theme"? I could hardly teach an entire year of Renaissance Art (well, I mean I could but I think my students would fall asleep...no offense to you Renaissance lovers!) so I am going to introduce one Artist each quarter. We are going to start out with Michaelangelo. For my 2-5th graders I am going to have them do the standard "Sistene Chapel" lesson on the first day of school. I figure after the seating, rules, expectations, etc this will be a good 20-minute filler lesson. 

For my kids K-1 I am going to give them each a white paper plate, a dab of blue and yellow finger paint so they can make green, then add a ninja mask for their "art ninjas". I will post the project(s) in a different post. 

I am excited about this school year and excited to blog again and share our crazy art journey with you! Have a great beginning of the year!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paper Plate Tree Weavings

This was one of those projects this year that my fifth graders LOVED. Consequently, so did all of my other grade levels and now they can't wait to make them too! I saw this idea on Pinterest and she originally used large macrame hoops as the loom. She then simplified it down and used Chinette plates (which work out JUST fine, though the hoops are absolutely gorgeous!)

We started by painting a simple landscape on the plate with tempera paints. When they were dried I gave them a cutting template with 9 cuts on the top and 2 on the bottom to string the loom for the "tree".

I brought all my kids down to the floor for this. Once you get all the yarn strung from top to bottom, you then pull your last piece down about halfway and wrap it around and around and around to create the "trunk" of the tree. 

(you can see how the trunk is wrapped here. When you are finished wrapping, tie the end off on the bottom to secure it. 
I gave my students options as to which yarn they could weave...fall colors in this case. 

Honestly, the hardest part of this project is stringing the "loom". Once you have that, you're good to go!

Happy Creating!

Friday, October 10, 2014

(More) Ndebele Dolls!

There is no doubt that this is one of my all-time favorite lessons to teach at the Florida Art Education Association Conference! Maybe someday if I have enough guts I'll teach it at NAEA too! It is such a wonderful lesson that marries culture with art-making with a sprinkle of Common Core on top!
(If you would like to see the list of materials to use and how to assemble the dolls, please visit one of my previous posts about this lesson here.)
Of cousre doing this lesson with teachers rather than students has it's advantages- teachers can sew and are just more careful and thoughtful with materials and ideas. Students still do a nice job with these, though! This particular doll (above) was created by a teacher who spent her childhood growing up in Jamaica, hence the beautiful colored fabric she used for her skirt!

A "class picture" of our Ndebele Dolls from the 2014 Florida Art Education Association Annual Conference in Daytona Beach!

This participant said her greatest memory was having her daughter on Christmas Day. I love the tiny tuft of hair on the baby's head!

If you are interested in teaching this lesson in your art class (it is adaptable to ALL levels...even adults!) you can get the PowerPoint at Teachers Pay Teachers!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Art For the Sky!

Please forgive me, life has gotten away from me for the past couple of months...and now we're in Art Show season and sometimes I feel like life is getting away from me!

A couple of weeks ago, our school participated in the most amazing community art project, and I wanted to share it with you!
(Look closely, the "paint" on this alligator is made up of about 750 students and staff members at our school!)

We worked with Daniel Dancer, an aerial artist from Oregon to create this jumbo-sized work of art on our soccer field. It was a true test of patience, collaboration, and community to pull the whole thing off! It is called "Art For the Sky"- a program that teaches children to utilize donated, post-consumer goods to create a giant, living painting using people. I worked closely with Mr. Dancer to design our project, which will be prominently displayed in our hallways for the next 40 years!

One of the teachings of Art for the Sky was that of "impermanence"...that this project is not forever. All of the materials we used will either be absorbed into the Earth or back into our community. The alligator's teeth were created using sand from our beach.

The water that made up the alligator's habitat was made up of over 500 pairs of jeans donated by our students and families. When the project was over, we donated the jeans to our local Salvation Army and to a local church who will be making them into shoes to send to Africa. 

Black mulch was used to outline our design, and red and yellow t-shirts made up the inside of the mouth and the eye. 

Finally it was time to call out the troops- all 650 students and 75 staff members to make up the "paint" of the alligator! We were lucky enough to have a local fire department bring their ladder truck so we could get the aerial shot. All our students crouched down and held it for about 5 minutes...and...
WE DID IT! It was such a great experience...to be a part of the whole, a symbolic piece of this school, and a memory for many years to come!

If you would like more information about Art for the Sky, or Daniel Dancer, please visit his website at www.artforthesky.com

Monday, January 27, 2014

Penguin love

Well, it's been awhile since I've posted...apologies! It's been so crazy lately and I've needed some time to decompress and recharge!

Some exciting news is that I have been elected Elementary Division Director for the Florida Art Education Association! I am both humbled and honored to have been elected and promise to uphold the tradition and standards of greatness that have been set forth before me!

This week my Kindergartners have been working on these penguins, a combination of "Impressionism" backgrounds and collaged penguins. I just love them!

I hope you have a great week and that you aren't frozen Popsicles...we've even been freezing in Florida (a hard thing to imagine, but it's true!)

Enjoy ;)