Monday, December 4, 2017

Artist in residence

Today was the last session with our visiting artist, Mallory Zondag. Every student in 3rd-5th grade choose a flat piece of felt to contribute to the piece and every student K-2 choose either a sphere or a cord to include. All other pieces were theirs to keep. She will combine all of their pieces onto the giant 5' x 5' felted background that all students worked on in class and it will hang prominently in our school.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A New Throne For Yertle

Kindergarten and 1st grade designed and built a new throne for Yertle the Turtle. After reading the story and discussing the characteristics of good leadership, we decided Yertle needed a new throne, so he would stop standing on all his friends. Students visited three centers where they designed with marker, built individually with play-doh and worked in teams building with blocks.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Kindergarten Collaborations

Kindergarten has been working their way through paper sculpture at one of my schools. After studying and practicing planar sculptures in the style of Alexander Calder, we moved onto collaborative paper sculptures by looking at the found object work of Louise Nevelson and creating paper assemblages on 6x6" paper.

To teach the lesson, each table had one paper sculpting technique "sample" and each student had their own background paper. They had to try to make the example on their own by experimenting.

Every 5 minutes I would switch out the samples (easier for me to move 6 paper samples then for 24 kids to change seats 5 times!) After their final technique was added, they brought their paper back and we glued it onto a giant piece of posterboard.

For our third week of paper sculpture, we looked at the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. Since they had just finished collaborating on the Nevelson project, it was easy to link into quilts. We talked about quilting bees and other ways artists can work together. I then shared the work of contemporary artist Suzan Shutan. Inspired by her tar paper installations, students created loops and began adding to a classroom piece by directing the placement of their individual loop.

They used marker to create pattern inside their loop, but the outside of each loop remained white to create a unified design. All four kindergarten classes are displayed together in the hall and will eventually move into my classroom.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Updated Organization

A few years back I had posted a few tips and tricks I had picked up along the way. I updated the list today with some new ideas, photos and routines. One of which is my "class counts" cheat sheet. This is a super simple chart I make in excel with the number of kids in each class, broken down by day and grade level. (The bonus of using does the math for you!)

I print it out 6 to a page and tape that thing wherever I find myself counting out supplies...especially next to the paper cutter! If you struggle with organization this is a free download on TpT. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Felted Spheres

During our 30-minute classes today the K, 1 & 2 students made spheres with felt. This may become rocks or pebbles in the final design. This was the second session with our artist-in-residence, Mallory Zondag.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Candy Cane Lane

Teaching 3rd grade 1-point perspective with these gingerbread houses on Candy Cane Lane.

They have already completed a pumpkin patch painting using the casual devices of perspective (scale, overlapping, details and placement) and are now ready for more formal perspective. They started laying our their drawings last week and I think this is going to be more successful since they have that foundation of perspective already mastered. We're working on kraft paper so the gingerbread will not be colored and the frosting really pops. My sample is colored pencil, but I'm going to let them use oil pastel.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Artist In Residence

Our visiting artist, Mallory Zondag, started today and it's been amazing to watch the students blossom under her guidance. We are constructing a living wall of fiber using wet felting techniques. Every student K-5 has the opportunity to add to the collective 6 foot square background. Grades 5, 4 & 3 are creating sheets of felt that will be needle felted on top of the background while 2nd, 1st and kindergarten are creating cords that will be used as textural embellishments.

For the flat pieces the students tear and place five thin layers of wool roving, alternating the layers as they stack them on their mat. The mat is a piece of pool covering but you could use a sushi mat or bubble wrap.

A mesh screen is placed over the five layers and then the warm soapy water is used to scrub over the entire pile. We used an olive oil based soap.

Next, they remove the screen and roll over top of the felt with a pool noodle wrapped in the other end of their mat. They agitate for about two minutes. Then we added five more layers to the pile and repeat. They could change color if desired.

For the corded pieces, students received about a yard of roving to wrap around their palm several times. They dunked their hand in the soapy water and rubbed their hands together to agitate. They needed to rotate the wool around the hand so that it was evenly felted. After a few rotations they had  to unwrap the cord and squeegee off the excess soap.

We store the kits by rolling the mats around the pool noodles, stuffing the screen in the open hole of the noodle and securing with a rubber band.

Here is their progress so far: