Saturday, May 22, 2010

beware the brownies

I've haven't been blogging much as things are getting hectic with the end of the school year and the contestant search for full time employment. After being jerked around for the last two months regarding my hours next year, I have accepted a job interview at another school next week. Fingers crossed.

Our kinder, 5th and middle school students are having a choir concert next week and I'm taking advantage of that crowd to display the art of the students who are performing. I will finally be able to display the art made for the earth day art show that never happened.
Middle school students will be showing their french curve and native plant artworks
5th grade will be displaying their native birds and oil pastel self portraits
Kinder will be displaying their personal zoo's that they have been working hard on

1st grade has been looking at the artwork of Eric Karl and using different painting methods to create painted paper for a animal collage

2nd-5 th grade have been learning about proportion and drawing faces and then taking that knowledge and creating either Laural Birch cat faces, cubist Picasso faces or self portraits depending on the grade level. I'm really impressed with how the self portraits and cat faces are turning out.

Middle school has been.... interesting and working very very slowly. We made huge, group, Aztec, mosaic, masks and clay suns with expression. Now we are onto Oaxacan paper machine animals. Some of them are so so but some are really amazing! I can't wait to post photos

Now, in the spring it is normal for 6th - 8th graders to get silly and sluggish, but lately a group of students in my after lunch class has been either beyond silly, like falling out of their chairs silly or have been passing out on the tables. After one girl refused to remove her sunglasses during class I knew it was time to check in with the middle school teachers.

I went to the 8th grade teachers and came right out with it...."I think some of my kids are stoned after lunch!" I'm not crazy. Apparently this has been a major problem with a group of 7th and 8th graders and the middle school teachers are just trying to deal with it quietly. Oh and admin doesn't believe that it is happening.

How you ask? On days when it is sunny the kids are sneaking past the 1 playground monitor and around the building and getting stoned in the softball field that adjoins our school. But this is Oregon and it rains a LOT here and the kids don't go outside on rainy days. Fear not, our students are resourceful and have learned how to get stoned on a rainy day. Two of our students, who's parents have MM cards, have been making pot brownies and cookies and either giving them away or selling them to their fellow students. The kids eat their baked goods during lunch and then show up to after lunch electives...such as art...and are baked (pardon the pun) out of their minds.

So now we have a united front of 5 teachers trying to get concrete evidence that this is going on, but it's hard, especially when the adim in poo pooing us. Till we find a solid way to bust them...all I can say is BEWARE the brownies around here.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5 weeks to go

Lessons for 2nd week of may

Life skills: Both classes will use fun foam stickers and kitchen tools to make pints (maybe some finger paint mono prints...maybe)

kinder: also needs to do printmaking, so stamps, kitchen utensils and fun foam stamps with tempera and brayers

1st: I have a thing for sheep... a bit of an obsession and am always trying out sheep projects. I will have the students take some green painted paper and tear it into several strips and overlap and glue them onto blue paper. I will then ask them to cut a fluffy cloud shape from some fun foam and glue it onto a scrap of cardboard. This probably will take a whole class. The next time we will make three stamp prints of that cloud shape...the body of the sheep and then add a head and legs

2nd-5th grade is working on faces and portraiture

2nd grade duel language is going to try out a guided line drawing of a Laurel Burch style cat face with bold color. I think we will do these on black paper and with oil pastel. The other 2nd grades will paint their dinos, set them aside and start drawing their cat face

3rd grade: doing self portrait is hard when you have no mirrors. I remember seeing a really fun idea where you draw a portrait of the BACK of a classmates head. I believe we will do that the first week and then try our hand at drawing faces the second week

4th: is going to get an intro to Picasso and cubism. I started reading when Pigcasso meet Mootise to one class...but it was long and not really holding their interest. anyway here is a version of the project we will do from Art Projects for Kids. this is a good one for drawing general faces, talking about eye, nose and mouth placement and front on and profile view while still not having the kids stress about it looking "real" or correct. Thanks Picasso.

5th grade will also look at the placement of facial features and how to add hair that makes a face unique. We will be working from the style of good old stretch neck Amedeo Modigliani . Here is a good lesson also from Art project for kids
However, I disagree with her that Modigliani placed his eyes high up on the face. A look at his art shows that he consistently placed the eyes correctly on the face but elongated the nose, chin and neck area of his subjects. To him, a long neck was a sign of beauty and perhaps sexuality. If you look at his self portraits and his few works focusing on men and young children you will notice he does not use an elongated style but dose keep the same simplistic, expressive way of rendering the facial features, particularly the eyes.
He had a rather sordid, soap opera like life, complete with public drunkenness and his wife throwing herself and their unborn baby off a bridge after is death. I tend to save those facts for when I'm teaching high school students about him.

while you were away...

I've gotten lazy about putting up my lessons. A fact that will bite me in the but next year when I try to remember what we did at this point this year.

Lets see this last two weeks we have:
kinder: painted paper plate rainbows and/or did large watercolor flowers for mothers day or step on clay necklace
1st:picture pie birds and flowers (good) tried to paint flowers like Picasso, no good, make a blackline of centers of the flowers correctly spaced next time. Also step on clay necklace, gods eyes and shrinky dink necklaces
2nd: clay pinch pot flower pots and a marigold for mothers day and started dino watercolor and outline project from that artist women. pinch pots went very well. Did wall pockets with one class, too much clay and too hard, had to do half the work for them. Save for 4th grade next year. Drew bugs from how to draw book. bugs were inside a magnifying glass blackline I gave the kids. Outline with sharpie, color with crayon, watercolor background green and glue onto large leaf. (popular lesson)
3rd: Sonya Delaney warm or cool color circles. color choice by throwing a die. turned out very well, kids really liked. One class killed time by making painted paper elephants. All classes learned how to draw several types of insects, made a fantasy insect, outlined in sharpie, watercolor painted, cut out and put onto large paper where several students done early painted huge leaves and flowers. (popular lesson)
4th: made flag books and wrote earth day haiku's. drew and painted parrots (good results), looked at artwork of Georgia O'Keeffe and drew flowers (so so results, do on black paper next time)
5th: drew birds of Oregon (worked hard on these and need to put them up for last concert), made a flag book and haiku. Did solar system splatter paint and chalk pastel project (students really liked these, took two class periods) 2x a week class did a mono print and yarn print project. So so results. Needed to put paint on yarn thicker and do a practice print. Kids were not really into it.

Life skills: variation of kinder and 1st projects. also mothers day flower vase and spin art in salad spinner.