Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rocking Out in Kindergarten.

My students started their "pet fish" rock paintings. To start, I picked up about 100 rocks from a friend and we washed them off. I primed them with a layer of white acrylic so the colors would pop. Week one, we read the story "Only One You" and discussed what it means to be original. I then had them trace their rock shape on scrap paper and plan the design for the following class.



Week two we talked about patterns and practiced tapping out a few and filling in the blank to predict patterns. Using permanent markers, they added faces and patterns to their fish. Here are a handful of our finished pet fish ready to go home.




Thursday, April 28, 2016

Magazine Bowls

Saw a great step by step tutorial on minimatisse.blogspot.com and decided it's the perfect last project of the year. The library is getting rid of magazines (score!) and the bowls can be any size.






















The other thing I like about this is the ability for students to easily prep their own materials after finishing the current project. It's the time of year where they are wrapping things up and are at various stages. I know as soon as they finish they can either tear pages out of magazines or start folding magazine pages. If you'd to do this project without having to write your own three-session lesson plan, you can get mine here.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Toy Story Reveal

Fourth grade finished their toy story perspective drawings. The results were remarkable and the students really enjoyed this approach to the projects I have tried in the past. Definitely a keeper. Will make some revisions in the future. I love the option with the jenga tower for my gifted students to challenge themselves by removing a few pieces.













If you'd like more details on how this lesson is presented, this plan is available for download here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Toy Story

I've been teaching perspective just about the same for the past ten years and sadly, I've been teaching it the way it was taught to me. Which isn't always a bad thing. Except for when it's boring and not relevant.

This year, I'm trying a new perspective lesson with my 4th graders. They are going to draw a box from worm's eye view. So I had them start with some homework. They had to promise me that they would put a toy that is a rectangular prism or cube on the floor and lay on their belly and look at it. They were supposed to rotate the object so that a corner, not a flat side was the closest thing to their face. Most were very excited to brainstorm a list of things that could potentially fall into this category.


I gave myself some homework as well, and set up a few photos at home to display on the board during the next class. For some reason they really love knowing that I have a daughter just about their age. They think it's funny that I borrow her toys and things for our lessons. So I knew this would be a crowd pleaser.








Today we started following the steps to creating the box using two point perspective. I reminded them that they were working like an animator from the film "Toy Story" and they were drawing not what Andy would see, but the little green army men. I had them imagine what they could see. Could they see the top of the jenga blocks? (NO!) Could they see out the window? (NO!) Could they see the outlet (YES) the carpet? (YES). The jury is still out, but I felt like more of them were with me, and had a clear picture in their minds of where we were going. So, ah....homework for the win?


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mack Stack





















After the kindergarten students read Yertle the Turtle and completed the three design centers, the following week we began our paintings. We discussed what we learned about building. We decided that Yertle would stand on the bottom, and we would add the turtles on top, each one getting smaller than the one before and facing opposite directions to balance the pile. We gave each shell a different pattern with black crayon and then used watered down tempera on top to do a wax resist.
























Finished works






















The lesson plan is available on TpT.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Kindergarten Centers

My colleague shared a great lesson idea for kindergarten based on the book "Yertle the Turtle." She did painting with her students. After reading the book for the first time in about 3 decades I decided to go in a slightly different direction. I was hoping to make the lesson two weeks instead of one and to have centers so that the students could try a variety of media.




















This was a great book for the month of March, when there is a great push to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. I love the anti-bullying angle of the book. We also spent some time talking about how the students could create a better throne for Yertle.























I love the ability to incorporate games and play into this lesson. We have a game called "Table and Chairs" where you have to stack plastic items until it finally falls over. It's a great way for them to think about balance and structural integrity. Full copy of the two-session lesson plan available here.



Sunday, March 13, 2016

To Bin or Not to Bin

Do you leave table bins out for all classes of common essentials, or do you have each class pass supplies out as needed?