Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chuck Close inspired

Chuck Close inspired grid drawings or paintings done by last years 7th and 8th graders. This years group is starting them this week and I came across these photos from last year and realized I never shared. Sadly most of the kids took their artwork home before I could photograph it. Voted favorite project of the year by the 8th graders.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

complex color wheels and guitars

These were done by 7th and 8th grade everyday students. They worked very hard on them for several weeks.  They are quite large. The guitars are life size and the color wheels are 14" diameter. I saw the color wheel guitar idea here at the dieviantArt and tweaked it for our assignment needs.

Students had to either design a color wheel wedge slice with four sections and then trace twelve times or they had to draw their guitar body neck and head and divided into twelve sections then divided into four sections.

In each section students had to mix the parent color, a tint, a shade and show the complementary color of the parent color.

I allowed the kids to use: Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Black and Magenta tempera paint.

To top it off each student had to paint a gray scale for either the neck of the guitar or that corresponded with the content of their color wheel design.

more to come in the next few days

Monday, October 7, 2013

First lessons 2013

Whew...after a crazy start we mostly got our scheduling issues worked out. The only strange part is now I have one random class of 15 students and the rest are 30-35 students.

Anyway part of my job is keeping 12 large bulletin boards full. Usually that is not a problem... however, we have back to school night a whopping two weeks after the very first full day of school and I am supposed to have all the bulletin boards full of student artwork by that night! We only managed to fill 8 this year.

We did three of my lessons that result in good results fast....if you have followed my blog for a while you have seen all four but this is what this years results looked like. Sorry some of the photos are a little funny, my TA got creative with her photo taking.

Pattern initials:
Theses turned out really nice this year....I showed the kids how I wanted the stamping done and got much better results than the last time I let them carve stamps three years ago. Argg blogger keeps rotating the photos!

Radial names: We do them each year...I always like them. I let the kids use the Prang metallic markers that the sales rep brought me last spring. They loved them...I felt ehe about them and still like the ones that used standard markers best.  Tutorial is here.

Hidden names:  also turned out well and always a good exercise in brush control. We were out of crayola black and had to use some off brand that we had and man let me tell you the crayola or Prang black is worth the extra money. Whatever we had was more blue than black and did not have good coverage. I had to go to the store and buy better black by the second day of the lesson.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A SUPER start to the new school year (or so I hope)

Ah middle school, I love teaching them, I love doing art with them, I HATE doing rules and procedures with them. By the time my students are in 7th or 8th grade some of them have heard my rules and procedures presentation 6-8 times! So this year I have tried to think of a new way to do the rules and procedures and help the kids new to my program get acquainted with the room.


We are starting off with my first attempt at a Prezi and then each table group is going to do a "scavenger hunt" around the room for supplies and posted info. The scavenger hunt has five phases at after completing each phase the groups check in with me to get supplies towards their super hero challenge.   Here is an excerpt from the scavenger hunt

Answer the five questions below using your prior art knowledge or the information you find posted around the room. When you have answered the first five questions bring your paper to me to have your answered checked and receive your first set of materials.

1. What are the three secondary colors?

2.  What are three of the elements of art?

3. What are three art movements?

4. What information needs to be on each project or paper you turn in?

5. How do you correctly spell your art teacher’s name?

** STOP, send one group representative to me with a  paper and get your first set up supplies!

First group to get supplies gets a bonus item"

So the goal is in class one for student's to get through the Prezi and complete the scavenger hunt and acquire the supplies they need for their super hero challenge.

At the start of the second class each group will put their collected items on their table and then draw a "super power" from a basket. They then have the majority of the class period to, as a group, create a superhero persona and costume and dress one of their group-mates in said costume. These are the costume requirements:

* A cape
* A  logo displayed on the chest of the superhero
* One (or more) super accessories such as mask, hat, belt, wrist cuffs...or????

At the end of that time period you will need to dress your group’s superhero and be ready, AS A GROUP, to come up to the front of the room and present your superhero to the class and have a group photo taken.  

hopefully this will be a fun way to build some class community while also establishing classroom rules and expectations. I'll let you know how it turns out!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

summer class take-away and the new art supply I LOVE

Elsworth Kelly made this drawing....keep reading to see what he had to do with my summer vacation.

Wow I know it has been a long time since I posted but life with a toddler is crazy! I see that many schools are starting up again in the next week or so but here in the Pac NW we have only been on summer vacation for about a month and have another month to go.

Part of my summer vacation this year was going to some classes for re-licencing credit. There are so few art teachers in Oregon that there really are no classes that are for art teachers Instead I go to classes that are intended for classroom teachers 3-8th that want to incorporate more art into their core curriculum.
I always think it is good for us, as teachers, to be in the student's position from time to time. Sitting in a chair seven hours a day as a student for two weeks really helped remind me of some important lessons:

1. It is really tiring to sit still for extended periods of time! I need to make sure I have structured times for student's to get up and move around the classroom mid-class, such as gallery walks, switching out materials or even just a 2 min stretch break.

2. Along those lines it's really hard to not talk for long periods of time! I am already pretty good about making sure that student's are allowed to have a chance to participate in instruction, discussion and may talk quietly at their table as long as they are on task. "if your mouth is moving than your hands are moving working on your art!

3. Art is more enjoyable and meaningful when you have choices! I know sometimes a lesson may not lend itself to too many choices for the student's but even being able to choose the size or color of your paper, the material you use, the subject mater...whatever you can do, big or small to let kids have a say in the work of art they are creating.

4. Ellsworth Kelly did amazing contour line drawings. Are you familiar with the work of Ellsworth Kelly? I'll be honest I wasn't. So Kelly was part of the hard edge painting movement...not my favorite style so I'm sure I saw him in my modern art history class and then forgot about him. Turns out he also did line drawings and lithograph prints of plants. They are going to be my new way to talk about contour line drawing along with the line drawings of Picasso. I like how he has a story behind each item he chooses to draw. I feel he does a good job of showing that there is a story or memory or feeling with each drawing even though they are every day plants.
my guess is that these are magnolia flowers...what do you think?

5. Beeswax crayons are the bee's knees!  All pun's aside, I had a chance to use beeswax crayons, Faber Castell ones to be specific, for the first time. I know beeswax crayons are a mainstay in Waldorf schools and I don't know if they all are great or if the Faber Castell ones are particularly nice but they are the perfect blend of oil pastels coverage, vibrancy and blendability, mixed with the density of a crayon and the non smudging of a crayon. I used them a lot and often I started with a base of the beeswax crayon and then added oil pastel on top for blending. I also liked the size and triangular shape of them Faber Castell ones. I'm giving serious thought to getting a class set. Has anyone used these in their classroom?


Hope everyone is or had a great summer vacation!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Parent led art programs in the classroom

I know I have readers who are parents and readers who are teachers and, like me, readers who are both. So I am curious to hear peoples opinions on parent led art programs in elementary  or I suppose any age classroom. I was at a meeting last night with several other art teachers from my district and they were expressing some very strong opinions about having parents come into a classroom and teach art lessons. Several of the elementary schools that feed into my program have parent led art and it is pretty common here in Oregon where there are not many elementary art teachers. For the sake of discussion let's assume there are no art teachers in the school where the parent led program is going on.

So my question is...
What do you think about having parents provide art lessons for students?
Have you ever been a parent art presenter? What were your experiences like?

I had honestly never given much thought to how I felt about such programs but apparently others have so I would like to know what you think!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I love FREE supplies : supply company presenters

Hello new FREE art supplies!

Several posts back I mentioned how I had been contacted by a rep from an art supply company who wanted to come to my classroom to do a lesson with my kids and bring some free supplies along. I asked around and no one had ever done this before but my principal said it was ok.  Today the ladies came to my 6/7th grade class. If I understood right one was a rep from Dixon and the other from Prang. The lady from Prang was the local Oregon rep (a very very good person to know I decided). I thought you all may want to know what my experience was like if you ever get contacted for something similar. They did not ask me to write a review...they have no clue I have this blog.

Both were super nice and my kids liked them and they brought me a TON of cool stuff we got to keep! Some basic supplies like some markers and paintbrushes (which I always need and appreciate) and some  new/novel/funky things that I can't afford to order like neon colored pencils, metallic markers and metallic watercolors and a bunch of air cellulose clay.

Our lesson was artist trading cards with 3-D aspects but most of my kids either made something out of their clay or made a drawing on the card. Only a few were able to figure out how to incorporated the 3-D into the card. As far as the lesson went, it was too open ended for one class period. My kids like to plan, make rough drafts, have a topic to work within...that may reflect my teaching style or this batch of kids, or the age... or a bit of each. The presenters are going to another middle school art room tomorrow (a friend of mine) so I helped them brainstorm how to alter the lesson for tomorrow. I suggested they have the kids make music themed cards with 3-D music notes and instruments and headphones and such. Thanks to one of my 6th grade students for the suggestion.
the flute is only four inches long! The detail she was able to make is amazing!

Remember this young man from a previous post?

What my kids did LOVE was the supplies. Give 6th graders metallic and neon things and they are in heaven. Some really liked the air dry clay and others found it hard to work with because it doesn't stick to itself as readily as wet clay. They really liked the metallic watercolors which I also like but have never have been able to justify buying. What we really loved were the Prang metallic markers which were awesome on black paper. I think they left me 6 sets of them! If they hold up they are something I may just have to get for special lessons.

If I am doing my math right they left me about $300 worth of supplies and all I had to do was let them test a lesson with one class. Um...hello best deal ever! Will I do it again if I get asked? yep.  Does it make me more likely to order Prang stuff...well I already like there stuff so I guess it just reinforces my like of their products.

What would you do with all these new metallic supplies?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Eric Carle inspired collages

6th and 7th graders worked for a while on these Eric Carle inspired collages. I would say the results of this lesson were either wonderful or disappointing with very little in between (not posting the disappointing ones). This group of kids was hit by the flu so a lot of them were out of school for quite a few classes during this lesson which really threw off the momentum of the lesson.
Regardless we got some really neat ones I want to share with you.
she got great texture in the "grass" and I love the paper she made for the puma's body
We found using a mix of tempera and cheep acrylic craft paint helped make the best textures. Adding a touch of metalic craft paint to the painted papers really added something special.
great great job getting texture into the painted paper

Great use of bubble wrap for the background texture

was out sick a lot and it shows....but he had a good start
this is great work for this student, she worked very hard on it and was very proud of it, I love the jellybean print paper she brought in for her rainbow

my photos are not doing this one justice, she did such an amazing job on all aspects of it

The sloth is HUGE, on the biggest sheet of construction paper I could find!

he used the metallic paints well

also out sick quite a lot but another great start

and my sample

In the future I will make sure to have a stockpile of pre-made painted papers for kids to pull from if they are out sick, working really slowly or just need bits of one color. This lesson dragged on a bit longer than I wanted because the kids kept making more and more painted papers.