Tuesday, January 31, 2012

heARTwork, project 2 (first grade)

My first graders just completed these beautiful positive/negative hearts in honor of "Jump Rope for Heart". As complicated as it looks, it was only a two-day project! There are a LOT of different elements in here, but our main focus was on positive and negative space.

On Day 1 we used tissue paper and glue water to create a colorful background (the same technique we used in these hearts).

On Day 2 I gave each child two 6x9 sheets of colored paper (two different colors). We folded them in half like a card and I gave them a 1/2 heart stencil. They traced the stencils and cut out the hearts. Obviously, the negative pieces (the "scraps") were glued onto the paper and the cool tissue paper background peeked through. We did some oil-pastel designs on them to dress them up a bit. For the positive pieces (the hearts) we did some "blottos" (thank you Melissa from the Chocolate Muffin Tree---they loved doing this and I forget sometimes to stick to the basics!) and glued them onto the coloful background caddy-corner from each other. We then added some black accents to make everything POP!

These hearts are making everything very COLORFUL at our school as we prepare for Jump Rope for Heart, as well as Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

heARTwork, project 1

My younger students (grades K-2) are emulating the work of Jim Dine right now. We have a BUNCH of heart-related things going on at school right now, so while I usually don't like to do "Valentine's Cute"---I thought these would be a great tie-in to all things "heart".

The background has been created out of tissue paper "painted on" with a glue/water mixture. I love this technique because it creates a really cool tie-dye look! Next, the kids used a large (half) heart template to make the black heart (we drew on them with oil pastel first). Then they glued them on to construction paper and used the "fancy scissors" to cut a border around the heart.

I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do for the third heart layer until I saw these from Melissa at the Chocolate Muffin Tree! We cut out the hearts first (using the fold-symmetry technique) and put a little paint inside and pressed. I forgot how much fun that was! I'm sure you could use any sort of painted paper or media for another layer!

Lastly I had them use the leftover tempera to make swirls and lines that radiate from the heart. If they had lots of extra time they used oil pastel as accents.

We did this project in two class periods---one to create the background and the black heart, the second we did all the layering and accents. I did this project with my second graders.

I just love their heARTwork!!!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

valentine's "dream catchers"

My Fourth graders are working on these beautiful heart-shaped "dream catchers" this week and I'm so giddy over them! We're using wire to form the heart (*they're using approximately 16" of wire each) and yarn to wrap and make the webbing.

TO keep the yarn from slipping and sliding on the edges, they're wrapping the yarn AROUND the wire (once to the right of the yarn, and once to the left of the yarn) to keep it in place before criss-crossing it to another spot on the other side. They are able to use pony beads on their dream catcher if they desire.

Here is a little closer view of a finished product. You can see the edges where they wound the yarn around the wire a couple times before criss-crossing to the other side.

*I had LOTS of disgruntled students during this project. Many heads banging on tables. Many kleenex-laden tables wiping tears away. Yes, a few projects became projectiles across the room in frustration. Their beef? The yarn was slipping on the edges and they just didn't understand how to wrap it a couple times before moving along. Once they got the hang of it, though, they felt silly about throwing tantrums.

**I should mention I have some of the most OCD students on the entire planet.

**I should also mention that said tantrums continued after I told them I wanted to hang them in my windows instead of allowing to take them home. Ahem. I'm so MEAN!

winter matisse collages

My second graders just finished these beautiful collages-a-la-winter-a-la-matisse this week! We used cool-colored papers and worked on cutting snowflakes as well! I love how they turned out, and (despite tears over broken snowflakes) the kids were really happy with their finished products!

Happy Winter!

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Glue U

Don't you feel like sometimes even though you've been doing things for so long....you still have LOTS to learn?

Oh, wait, it's just ME?!?!

Just kidding, I can see your heads bobble up and down as you read this post!

I've felt for the last few months that I've lost control of the glue usage in my classroom. Remember when I bought the "tap caps" and was so excited about them? FAIL. They got all clogged up, then my kids would unscrew them and glue would come pouring out....UGH. I went back to using regular glue bottles. I emphasized my poster of Fred Flintstone saying "a little dab'll do ya" (yes, I made it, yes, you can copy it!)...I emphasized the "no puddles of glue" on my No No Board. I had some 5th graders decorate my glue bottles with threatening messages. I had them count glue dots ("one in each corner and one in the middle!").

I kept getting HUGE messes no matter what I did or said. Cue exhibit One (of many):

I decided to take matters into my own hands.....use a scrap piece of paper and put a puddle of glue on it for glue usage. The kids have to dip their fingers in it to glue their papers down. You will see the following occur:

1. They don't like the feel of it, so they don't use much. WIN!
2. There is no opportunity for huge puddles. WIN!
3. They see their results are so much better...and I'm praising them, so they're happy. WIN!
4. I told them if they do this right for a couple projects I'd give the bottles back---so they're trying to impress me. WIN! ( it's so successful- will I ever hit the bottle again?!)
5. They scold EACH OTHER when they use too much. Less harping from me and I can enjoy teaching more. My voice is saved. WIN!
6. We can stack papers at the end of class because no glue is squishing out! WIN!

I just thought I'd share my glue-y success with you all...I'm glad I finally figured out how to keep it under control after all these years!

PS- did you know? Coating the necks of glue bottles with Vaseline before screwing on the lids will aid you as you need to take them off for refills!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

three hundred

Holy polar bears, ya'all...I'm about to hit three hundred followers? This is just nuts to me, a simple little blogger from a simple little school in little old Venice, Florida. I've learned a lot in the last year of blogging...and learned what a great network we Art Teachers (and others! THANK YOU!!!) have formed across the blogosphere.

I'm just flabberghasted, humbled and honestly surprised! I leave you with a few of my Coca-Cola Polar bears that my second graders finished (and dressed-up). You can see the entire lesson here.

Thank you from the bottom of my....desk....(I swear, it's under this mess somewhere.) I appreciate every single one of you!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

two of my favorite books!

I know for many of you Kindergarten remains the hardest to teach and/or be inspired to create lessons for! (Trust me, I KNOW!) While I by no means consider myself to be an expert, here are two of my tried-and-true Kindergarten art lessons which incorporate literature as well! You can read more about them in my contributing post on PreK and K Sharing.

What are some of YOUR tried and true Kindergarten art lessons! Be sure to leave your lesson link in the comment section so we can all go and check them out!

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Monday, January 9, 2012

more luli sanchez dot paintings

As I was passing back artwork in second grade today I realized that I hadn't posted more pictures of our luli sanchez dot/circle stamps! While I know this idea isn't unique, you may want to check out some of some of her beautiful and inspiring fabrics! My original post is right here.

Happy stamping!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

where OUR wild things are!

This post is looooooong overdue, as my third graders made these super-cute (ferocious?!) Wild Things based off the book "Where the Wild Things Are" by Maurice Sendak. They first began creating their wild thing using crayon and watercolor...this took an entire day to complete.
On day 2 they created these LARGE backgrounds using fluorescent temperas on 18x24 sheets of paper. We wanted our wild things to look like they were dancing, recreating the "wild rumpus" that takes place in the book. I love how animated these figures are juxtaposed against their colorful backgrounds!
What is also AWESOME about this project is that it was featured in our local newspaper, the Venice Sun. An arts-supporting-reporter came and interviewed me and took lots of pictures of my kiddos at work. I love and appreciate people that think the arts are important! (duh!) You can read the article online here.