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?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Kandinsky Snails

A very cute pin of snails keeps popping up in my pinterest feed, unfortunately it's a broken link. I would love to attribute it to the right person but can't find them. When I saw the picture of all the snails displayed together, I immediately pictured Kandinsky's Concentric Circles in Squares and knew I had my next Kindergarten lesson planned.

This was great timing as the students had just finished a lesson on color mixing so to continue that theme we talked about the order of the rainbow and how rainbows are formed. They understood there had to be the presence of water so that helped with a sneaky trick I had planned.

Each student received a coffee filter and was told to draw a circle in the center and color it solid with a marker that was one of the rainbow colors. The next step was to make 2 concentric circles around the first using colors in the rainbow that touch one another. When they were finished we misted each one with a water bottle and left them to dry.

The next week I remarked that their coffee filters reminded me of snail shells. We set to work creating spirals inside the shell. They cut them out and selected a body color. All items were glued down onto background paper and faces were added.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Hang ups

Last week the music teacher asked if I had a need for some nifty bulletin board pins. I was picturing pushpins with glitter or something equally tacky. The kind of bizarre thing that makes people think of an art teacher. So I was pleasantly surprised when she handed me a box of these.
The design is very sleek and allows me to quickly pin work in the hallway or wherever WITHOUT staples, thumbtacks, t-pins or other nonsense. When I decided to order more I found them on amazon and staples and they are a bit pricey, but I've decided to invest in this timesaver. I swap out 28 artworks every week to have a rotating "Artist of the Week" represented from each one of my classes. My previous system of thumbtacks and binder clips was functional, but not this easy.  With the binder clips, if you don't find the exact center, the artwork would hang lopsided. If I was hanging 12x18 or larger I needed two clips. These are sturdy enough to only need one, which means I can hang up in half the time. And, if you're like me, you won't have to run back to the art room when you are hanging up your 3rd of 25 artworks and realize (again) that you're out of staples. Every. Single. Time.