Thursday, January 31, 2013

Diffuser paper

I just found a ton of this stuff in one of my 3 art rooms. Diffuser paper. Who knew? This is one of those things that I never would have ordered and quite honestly don't know what to do with it. I brought a few sheets home to try to see what hit me and fought the urge to just google "diffuser paper" or search for it on pinterest.

So...what I found out is that it's good with markers and a spray bottle. I think it might be fun to teach color theory. Let them use the primary colors and overlap slightly. Then zap it with the water bottle. Here is a sample color wheel. (Not too exciting)

I noticed that it soaked right through the paper I had underneath I guess diffuser paper is also good for printmaking?

What do you like to use diffuser paper for? And humor's a glorified coffee filter, right?

Volunteer Update

My first parent volunteer was in today and ROCKED. MY. ART ROOM. After this post seeking some help I took heart to Rina's suggestion to keep her busy. Seriously. Read Rina's comment. Is it not the most thorough, amazing list of considerations for volunteers?
I made a list three times longer than I thought necessary and she did it all. ALL. ALL OF IT.
She cut scratch art paper, sharpened pencils, set out my table bins swapping new pencils for dull and broken ones. She prepped 28 perfect golf ball sized portions of clay. She photographed student art, labeled it and hung it up in the hall (after taking down the current display, sorting it and filing it).

I am praying she comes back.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Monday, January 21, 2013

Visual Pun

Another favorite lesson honed over the past five years. Visual Puns. I love this as an alternative to the Guiseppe Arcimboldo lessons. Students use oxymoron, idioms, double entendre as basis for their work. Composite drawing has a primary outer form and lots of smaller drawings inside. All rendered with a cheap bic pen. Usually one of the students favorite projects. I did this with my level 2 art students. Great review of value and texture.

For fun I would display in hall for a week and they would try to guess each others and then I would apply the title the following week. The two above are "Change of Heart" and "Educational TV." I've uploaded the six lesson plans with critique, more student samples, idiom list and much more (16 pages worth!) to TpT.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bumper Stumpers

My sister and I used to love the gameshow "Bumper Stumpers." During my first year of teaching, I created a middle school lesson based on that show. I'm thinking of dusting if off for my 4th graders this year. This can be taught completely on the computer. The identity component and excitement about driving make it a very strong 7th and 8th grade lesson, but I could see where it might have been a good "sub lesson" or sketchbook prompt at the high school level.
For the critique, I let the students write clues that are used during our own game of Bumper Stumpers.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cinco de Mayo

After finding out I'd be back at the elementary level for the first time in 10 years, I quickly scanned my memory for some of my favorite and successful lessons from my K-8 days. Papel Picado was one of my students' favorites and so I revised and planned to use the lesson for Dio de los Muertos this fall. Hurricane Sandy had other plans, and when we missed a week of school, I sadly packed up the lesson plan and photocopies I had made. This weekend I realized how little time is left this year and how much I still want to accomplish. Since I don't know what level I may be teaching next year, I want to make sure I get this lesson in, so it will now become a Cinco de Mayo lesson.  Part of the fun of this lesson is sharing my husband's many photos from a quick trip to Mexico where Papel Picado can be seen streaming everywhere in the background. This morning I retraced my steps and put together everything I would need to teach it into a TpT lesson plan.
Here's a sneak peak:

Friday, January 18, 2013

Love Bugs

This idea began as a quick something for the early finishers...and then they began to protest. They all want to work on them and they want to spend class time. 3rd and 4th grade. I may have to indulge. I'm a little partial to them as well.

To start I let the students use my "Draw Insects" book by Doug DuBosque. They also used a zentangle/doodle book that I inherited from the previous art teacher to add a border. I've rewritten the lesson plan to include instruction on positive and negative space as well as symmetry, which will be how I present it at school #2 on Monday. Full lesson plans, clip art and worksheet available on TpT.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


My students have recently been doing a lot of marker work. Before I knew it several students had just been tossing the markers in the trash so I needed to train them that I would be the only one to determine when markers are truly "dead." So I made this cute easy container for the markers to "Rest In Peace" because sometimes, markers come back from the dead. The students seem to be enjoying this and not "forgetting" to save the markers. At the end of a class the other day, a student asked if he could test the markers, so I let him and he cheered "It's ALIVE" after finding one was surprisingly juicy.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Brushing up on clean up

After reading this post by Mrs. Picasso - I thought I'd share my own twist on brush clean up. As a high school teacher, I would demonstrate my expectations for painting AND clean up at the same time. Sometimes I show clean up first to emphasize how important it is. When using watercolors, I would rinse the brush in the cup and tell them that if they did a good job washing the brush, they shouldn't be afraid to do this (Dragging the wet brush across my cheek). I tell the students that when they hand their brush in to me each day that they should be prepared for me to test it on their face, shirt or pants. During the first day of painting, when the first student turns in a brush I ask if they are ready for me to test it. They usually jump back and go re-rinse the brush just in case. If they hand it to me, I know they are confident that they did a good job and I don't test the brush. I guess no one wants to risk an $80 hoodie from Abercrombie & Fitch. I've never (and would never) actually do this, but I guess I'm crazy enough that they don't leave it to chance.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Georgia Goes 3D

Was trying to think of something fun and different to do with Georgia O'Keefe. Something other than the pastel flowers that I've always done in the past. Decided to make it a 3D lesson using model magic. Here are the results. I especially love the Calla Lily and it is much easier to do than it looks. The more you pull on it...the more organic and creative it looks.

The lesson plan I just uploaded has dozens of step by step visuals for each of four different flowers:
A rose, a pansy, a petunia and a calla lily. There are also tips for changing the color of the model magic and adding stems.

A perfect Valentine's Day or Mother's Day lesson plan.
Update: The finished Products are so cute. Look!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Doodlers Anonymous

Just stumbled upon the Doodler's Anonymous Coloring Book. I think this would be a fabulous fundraiser. Have the kids submit drawings....photocopy them and sell the books. Maybe?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Parent Volunteers

This post over at MiniMatisse got me thinking about parent volunteers. Wondering about using signup genius to get parents to help in the classroom. My top priority? Having them photography, upload and maintain our artsonia site. It takes up so much of my time.

Coming from a high school, I am not use to having parents in the classroom. What are the potential pitfalls to avoid?

Referral Program

I've been touting the Teachers Pay Teachers site for a month now and didn't even realize they have a referral program. If you're on the fence or haven't joined yet, please use my link! Then tell all your colleagues. You'll earn 5% of their sales.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Jim Dine Woven Expressive Paintings

Students will be learning about artist Jim Dine as they create two expressive paintings to be woven during this three day lesson.

Step by step visuals and more posted in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

New Year. Letting go.

Within 24 hours of my last post I got feedback for a few of my lessons over on TpT. Coincidence? Not sure. It is very exciting and motivating. It's giving me reason to let go of the high school lessons I've been hoarding. I'm also going to start posting my elementary lessons that I think are worthy instead of holding on to them. Up for grabs right now are a few more of my favorites.

- A polymer clay unit to create contemporary jewelry. The powerpoint with my notes are also available. I have taught this several times in a course called "contemporary crafts" but it could easily work grades 7-12.  The images below are student examples that are not features on the TpT site.

 - The flora/fauna painting unit which has a neat interdisciplinary connection with geography (state birds and flowers)

- Elementary Greek Art History with a modern twist.

Saturday, January 5, 2013