Saturday, January 24, 2015

Post It Note Directions

A lot of times I like to leave step by step illustrations with my sub plans. What I often find is that on step 7 out of 9 I make a silly mistake or realize I drew too big and they won't all fit on one page. I started doing the steps on mini post it notes. Then I can stick them on a sheet of copy paper in order when they are all done. You can slide them into a plastic sleeve if you're afraid they will fall off. This is also great if you decide to change it up from year to year. Or if you find less steps are necessary. I also like having the boxes the same size. This could probably be photocopied to give to students who were absent during a previous class. (Darker post it colors may not work, but yellow should be ok).

Catching Snowflakes

I tried the "catching snowflake" portrait lesson that I first saw here but wanted to make it my own. Instead of painting a jacket on their person, I had the students create a paper loom on the sweater portion and weave the sweater. This provided an authentic extension into weaving.

Luckily I had these students in first grade and they were already familiar with weaving. We used the thickness of a a ruler to make vertical stripes starting at the neck and shoulders to the bottom. Then they wove 1.5" paper strips through. I had them slide each strip to the top and glue it into place before adding another strip. At the bottom they had to glue each section to create a sturdy base.

We also did a mini-lesson on symmetry before they made their paper snowflakes. This lesson took 3 (40-minute) sessions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Clay stampers to label clay

Individual letters are a great way to have students label their own clay pieces. I usually scratch their initials and class code on the back. I'm always afraid I won't be able to read their writing, or that they will squish or collapse their piece. This is something they could do on their own. It would also be a quick way to quickly add the class code to each piece after the students leave.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Games in the art room

We somehow ended up with a mindware catalogue in our home before Christmas. This was dangerous for a number of reasons. It got me wondering what kinds of games and toys other art teachers use in their rooms. The following are some staples in my classroom for days when they earn a "free art day" as part of their PBIS reward. 

1- Etch a Sketch
2- Magna-Doodle
3. Wooden Blocks
4. Shape by Shape
5. Square by Square
6. Tables and Chairs
7. Doodle Dice
8. Logic Dots
9. Jenga
11. Qbitz

I love that Qbitz calls itself a game a visual dexterity. That's going right on my lesson plan. 

Which games do you use in your art classroom?

*This is not a sponsored post. I have purchased all above items for use in my classroom.

Who will see their shadow this year

If you had asked me where I stood on "seasonal" art projects three years ago I would have asked you where I would find the time. I was going to be super busy with all the critiques and social issues that I was infusing into each lesson. Please don't bother me with your pumpkin/nutcracker lessons. I'm a little too busy cramming ten thousand years of art history down the first graders' throats.


So over winter break I was browsing the children's book area as I am wont to do when I have giftcards and I saw yet another book that I had to have for school. My daughter is now nine and I can't even pretend these books are for her anymore. But it sure was a sweet ride while it lasted. The cynic in me noted how quickly (Dec 26th) the Christmas books had vanished in favor of Valentines day themes. Right there amid all those red hearts I saw this little gem. That's right. Because no one know how to plan for a holiday themed art project like this girl right here. I'm already feeling that uneasy pang that we may not finish in time for Groundhogs Day if there is snow. Fingers crossed for no snow!

The book reminded me of a cool lesson I have seen and pinned no less than 3 times over the past couple years and it seemed like just the right time. My second graders will be starting a figure drawing unit once we return, and I've decided to have them try the crushed foil sculptures with shadows.

Can't wait to give it a go.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Student Work

Some of the recent works from my students:

Melted Snowman Pinchpots (2nd Grade)

Symmetrical Nutcracker (2nd)

Still Life Drawings (3rd)

Still Life Paintings (4th)

Snowmen at Night Landscape Collage (1st)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gift box still life

Last year I did a still life lesson with my fourth grade that I wanted to switch up for this year. I remembered seeing an idea on pinterest to practice 2 point perspective by drawing gift boxes and decided this would be an easy way to grab attention during the craziness between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This lesson easily takes four weeks from start to finish and there are many great extensions I could add (such as creatures stirring in the foreground). Lesson plan available here.