Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Printmaking With a Twist

So excited about a lesson that I road-tested with my daughter and neighbor today. It's a twist on an old favorite. I'm thinking of this for 3rd grade. Instead of printing the same image they will modify the plate each time, adding a snowflake.

Could extend the lesson an additional week by collaging curtains or painting the back of a head as a silhouette (or just for early finishers). The three week lesson with my symmetry worksheet and step by step visuals are available here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Stamping with Kindergarten

I love the Elmer books for so many reasons. If you're looking for a non-halloween themed book they do mention dressing up and parades, but in a non-halloween manner in both "Elmer" and "Elmer Again." I recently purchased the latter as an iBook so that I always have it with me on my laptop. And it has audio, so I don't have to read aloud all day and kill my throat.

I decided to use this as an intro to printmaking. We actually did it in reverse, meaning they did the stamping and printmaking lesson first. During our second session we read the book and cut Elmers out of our already stamped paper. You could also do grids on the elephants or Mondrian Elephants.

Even though one of my kindergarten classes had a fire drill in the middle of our painting day I'm still a huge fan of this lesson. And that's saying a lot. I think it looks much harder than it is, and the students were delighted with the result. Doing the book second was new for me, and it was a nice change of pace from "read the story and make something from the book."

My teacher sample, patterns and two week lesson plan are all bundled up over on TpT.

Speaking of I the only one who varies my patterns slightly so they don't all look the same in the hallway? I made some trunks up and some down and I intentionally place them on the table with some facing left and some facing right.

All the leaves are brown

Before the leaves get raked away we're squeezing all of the art projects we can out of them. Kindergarten, 1st and 3rd are all working with leaves in the art room and the playground has never been so empty of leaves.

In kindergarten and first grade we've read the book "Mouse's First Fall" to get started. Kindergarten is tracing leaves and using watersoluble crayons to learn about mixing primary colors. First grade is stamping leaves with metallic paint. Third grade is creating draped clay slabs in leaf shapes.

Lessons available here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Yearbook Contests

'Tis the season for contests. Drawing contests could easily take up an entire year's worth of curriculum if you let them. I try to be very choosy about which contests we participate in, but there is one that most art teachers can't avoid. Yearbook Cover!

As an art teacher I can see the value in the yearbook cover. It's not going to hang in the hall for a week and get torn down. It's not being shipped out of state and we never ever hear back about who (if anyone) ever won.

So, I am totally down with yearbook cover contests. And as the yearbook advisor, this works out just fine for me! But in case you are NOT the yearbook advisor, here's a lesson plan to get you through the one contest your principal will not allow you to skip.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Throw your sponge away

I have to put this idea out here to the universe because it makes so much sense to me, but no one else does it. I don't give kids sponges to clean up unless there is a tsunami of water spilled. I keep seeing the pinterest job board signs of table washers and turbo dryers and I don't get it.

Ready for my clean up plan? It's gonna blow your mind. 

No sponges.

When they wash & dry their hands, they use that paper towel which is now partially damp to wipe off their desk. It almost always has the perfect amount of water on it, and it doesn't need to be dried.

Free poster you can print and tape above your sink to remind them not to toss that towel.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Down the Drain

So there have been some housekeeping issues in my new school this week. It turns out the entire building had some plumbing problems and the main access to snake the entire building was....(wait for it) the middle of the art room.

Of course! So I taught on a cart for one day and then relocated to a spare room in the building today. Coming soon....lessons you can do with zero prep and lessons you can do on a cart.

Lines That Wiggle

The only thing better than finding a new book to read to your class, is when you find one that works with several grade levels and results in different projects. This summer I ordered "Lines that Wiggle" and it did not disappoint.

This week I tried the kindergarten lesson that I titled "Rainbows that wiggle" and it was well received. Late I will be trying the "op art" version with my older students. The lesson plan with worksheet and step by step examples is available here.