Friday, December 2, 2016

Games in the art room

Once per trimester my classes can earn a "Free Choice Day" which I mentioned here. Since that post, I've accumulated some new games and favorites that I wanted to share. 

Zany Chain - Summary: It's like win, lose or draw. They pick a card and read the clue. There are three ideas on the card and they choose one to draw with a metail chain (like a long necklace) on the table. 

Playfoam - Oh, my gracious. This is the coolest stuff ever. The students were so excited to work with it. The best I can describe it, is if playdoh and a rice krispie treat had a baby, it would be this stuff. It doesn't stick to the table. If you seal it in a bag it stays good for over a year. It's pricey, but worth the splurge. 

Magna Doodle - Available at a yard sale near you

Block Buddies - Like tangrams, but for younger kids. Making picture mosaics to match a picture card


Drawering - This year I had four ipads available as a station. I limited them to this app, no selfies, etc. I think the novelty worked, because they didn't fool around at all. They get very zen and relaxed with this. It's like a spirograph without the little circle, wheels where your pen pops out of the space every 3 minutes.

Rubik's Race - Match the pattern by sliding the tiles. Square Up is another version, which I prefer because they each get a separate board and don't have to be seated across from one another. It allows for solo play and includes two shakers.

Scratch Art Anything - I've had them do trees, mittens, bookmarks. Anything to use up the scraps or colors no one wants. 

Many of these items would also be good year round in an art center for early finishers.


Thursday, November 17, 2016

STEAM

What to do when you find out you can't use sinks for the day and had planned painting and glazing? Today I road tested my Iggy Peck:Architect lesson. For today's lesson, since I was caught a little off guard we read the book and they worked in teams at their tables to build a bridge across a river (a 4x9" piece of blue paper).





















Each table had the following items at their disposal:
scrap cardboard
(1) piece of wire
scissors
glue sticks
(8) popsicle sticks
(1) straw

The only rule was the bridge could not touch the river in any way. They completely rocked it and were SO proud of themselves. I had not at all predicted the way they would take charge of this project and I never would have come up with some of their solutions. There was only a small moment of fear when one of my shy, quiet girls began stabbing the cardboard with a closed pair of scissors to make notches in the cardboard.



Early finishers were allowed to create a house made of unusual materials. I had a picture of the old lady who lived in a shoe and the Berenstein Bears' tree house.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Scarecrows Finished

The first group of students finished their scarecrow weavings  today and they are much better than I expected. They really put their hearts into this. Definitely will do this lesson again. Printed out photos of cornfields for inspiration, but did not do direct instruction. I love the way they turned out! Some were early finishers so the texture plates came out and we made the scarecrow faces look like burlap feed bags. So proud of them! If you'd like to teach this lesson but don't want to write the three week lesson plan, check it out here.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Scarecrows in progress

My second graders started the scarecrow weaving lesson today and they really rocked it. We had a discussion about what scarecrows are, where you find them, what they do and what objects you would use to make one.


The students made good connections to the use of farm supplies such as hay, feed bags and broomsticks. Our population is divided urban/rural so there are some students who live on or visit farms regularly so that made the lesson come alive for many of our kids.


They were able to draw the face, body and stripes. Next week we will cut the stripes and begin to weave. If this seems like a lesson you'd like to try, check it out here.




Sunday, October 2, 2016

Weaving Remix

Since I have taught my woven sweater lesson off and on for four years I was getting a little bored with it and wanted to switch things up this year. In the past both first and second grade did a weaving project, so I decided to drop it from first grade this year and move it earlier in the year for second. They are definitely ready and able to handle it.














This little cheat sheet will really help at their tables or in case a substitute needs to step in.




















 I also tweaked my powerpoint to get down to the bare necessities. After attending the AOE conference last year, I was pretty excited to add the Weaving DVD featured in the swag box to my professional library, so I may not use the PowerPoint at all, but it's ready to go.



What's your favorite way to introduce weaving? If you'd love to teach this lesson, but hate to do the planning, it's available for download here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

I saw a poster in Oriental Trading for the anniversary of "The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and immediately knew I needed to make this a lesson somehow. Since one point perspective is not my favorite way to start the year, I decided to go back a step and begin with the basics of perspective. Less formulas and rules. Once my students could master the casual perspective basics of overlapping, page placement and scale they were ready.

It took about 3 and a half classes on average to complete the pumpkin patch and I was able to work in lots of third grade vocabulary such as value, silhouette, horizon line and resist.

Here are the amazing results.



























If you love the lesson, but hate writing your own plans check this out.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Pair of Socks

As I look to wrap up my first year teaching art to Kindergarten I've been checking my curriculum guide and the National Art Standards to see what else I can squeeze in. A while back I had pinned this adorable book to my books for art educators board and decided it was finally time to develop the lesson plan.


Art Lesson Plan Teaching Pattern


For my sample I decided to use the Placolor set. It goes on like an oil pastel but dries completely smudge free in less than a few minutes. This is a fun alternative to the richness of an oil pastel minus the messy clean up AND my overflowing drying rack. I'm all about that in May!


Using some digital patterns that I had created in Photoshop for signs and labels, I made a set of cards for the students to play a memory match game. After I print and cut them apart, they can turn all of the pairs upside down and test their memories. I think this would be a fun closure activity for those finishing early.












If you've gotta have the details on this plan for your classroom, it's available for download here.