Most posts have video which may require a computer to see.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Magical Masks, Hats, & Foam Creatures

As I get ready to retire, I'm using up some of the craft materials I purchased but never got around to. It is really very difficult to have 42 kids doing this at the same time. I had to do all the prep work because these students would not have been able to cut the masks out themselves. We had days of cutting practice with less than stellar results. Some states push for more time on academics in Kindergarten and First Grade. Their teachers are discouraged from activities requiring cutting and pasting so the children are losing their ability to do fine motor work. Since an art teacher sees those children less than one hour per week, they are not able to spend the time to address individual needs. Classes of 30 to 40 children are nightmares purely from a material handling perspective, let alone preparation, cleanup, and behavior management. (See Animoto below)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

4th Grade Weaving

My first experience with weaving was during student teaching and it was amazing to see a class of usually rowdy 3rd Graders settle down so completely while they were engaged in this activity. It is a tactile project that allows the students to relax and either focus on the work or engage in quiet conversation once they get a rhythm going. Unfortunately, I chose a yarn assortment that I bought from one of our only source catalogs and the yarn had a rough texture. Some of the yarn had multiple strands that did not weave smoothly but the kids didn't complain. For that I was grateful. (See Animoto below)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Monster Game

Using the whiteboards is a real blessing in many ways. Temporary drawings do not become precious and kids don't mind erasing them in order to draw something new. We used the SMART Board to play drawing games during which they learn the concept of columns and rows. Kids come up and roll the virtual die and explain to the class which column and row they will draw. Looking at the white board results gives me an immediate take on whether the child understood the cell they were to draw. (See Animoto below)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Peeps!

Fourth Graders used a pattern to trace their bunny peep onto a folded piece of felt. They cut it out and stitched it together, leaving about one inch open on the bottom. They used the hole to stuff their peep, making sure the stuffing went all the way up to the ears. Since French knots are a bit tricky for Fourth Graders, I had them glue googly eyes on instead. I loved seeing all the pockets filled with peeps as they went to their next class.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Salon Des Enfants 2013

This was my last Salon Show because by this time I had decided to retire. I had such a great time with my junior high elective classes and watching them improve their skills. I was so proud of the work they did for the show. I will certainly miss that part of teaching, where I can mentor students who are exploring their personal creativity in art. (See Animoto below)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Color Order Designs

Students created a color order design using only the 3 primary colors. I was looking for proper color blending, the correct order, and craftsmanship in the coloring. Students simply do not have the same skills they used to have because classroom teachers are relegated to mundane testing skills and discouraged from any basic skills in the classroom. We see a much lower level of craftsmanship because of this test emphasis. (See Animoto below)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

6th Grade Radial Designs

Radial symmetry is such a beautiful and simple design principle from a daisy or sun to a very complex design. Students created these designs without bothering with compasses or protractors in order to improve their skills at "eyeballing" the symmetry of the details.
Students watched a great video about radial symmetry on the SMART Board before we began. These students learned radial symmetry using sticky squares when they were younger so they had prior knowledge of the concept. (See Animoto below)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Using Whiteboards to Learn About Line

First and Second Graders are learning about the art element of line. They worked with a SMART Board activity and personal whiteboards to show understanding and their recognition of various types of lines. We have already looked at the types of lines used by artists Miro and Mondrian, so we are building on that knowledge. (See Animoto below)

Friday, February 1, 2013

Tessellation Transformation

As part of our math concept integration in art class, 4th graders explored tessellations. We looked at Tessellation Exploration by Tom Snyder and they looked at a few samples by M.C. Escher. They learned about adjacent sides, slide translations, and transformation. After creating a slide translation template, students were to sketch a few ideas in their sketchbooks that would transform the slide into something imaginative. After tracing their template to cover a piece of paper, they were to add all the details and color in a checkerboard pattern. Coloring was to include one of the neon colors and students were to use good craftsmanship in their work. (See Animoto below)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Learning About Line: Miro-Style

I like to use Miro as a featured artist with all primary students because the artwork is easy to recognize and includes easy to understand concepts. Students can use whiteboards to practice drawing the types of lines and shapes used so they are not timid about creating their own Miro-like designs. The video below includes the work of only the youngest students so it is quite basic.