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.

Friday, February 8, 2013

coloring books in the classroom and a preview of Eric Carle inspired collages

So, at the risk of  having the person who I'm talking about somehow see this post...I have to talk about a class I am taking.   Sometimes it is nice to go to a class in person instead of just online. However, there are so few art teachers around Portland that I have yet to find an art related post grad class for ART teachers. I end up going to classes for classroom teachers that are trying to get more art into the contained classroom.  I have done about six of these classes and sometimes they are great and sometimes no so much.

This class is nice so far but I'm not sure what to think about tomorrow's lesson. 
We are to bring in a coloring book image and learn how to transfer the images and then use watercolor techniques in them. I thinking knowing how to transfer an image is a really great skill, but I just don't know how I feel about using a coloring book for the image. I'm not opposed to using tracers at times or even giving the kids a particular shape to help them get started with a drawing...but transferring a coloring book image is making me feel a bit ehhhhh. I can't see myself doing it in my middle school classroom...or really picture how I would have used it when I taught k-5 per say....but maybe I am being judgmental and should not critique any method to get art into the contained classroom

On a personal note it is going to take all my willpower to go through with the lesson....I don't know how I am going to bring myself to spend several hours on a transferred coloring book image. I am thinking about bringing in a black line drawing I make myself or maybe a embroidery pattern....I don't know. I feel a lot of pressure to bring in a coloring book image and just do the lesson because I know the second I deviate from the the assigned lesson that my classmates will see that and I worry that will send the message that I don't like the teachers lesson (as an art educator) and be disrespectful to the instructor.  Ugg what to do.

On an lesson related note here are two preview images of our 6th-7th Eric Carle inspired animal collages...more photos coming this weekend.
I just love her little hedgie!

Just for Phyl because I know she will read this and probably take the time to comment:)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

supplier presentation in the classroom?

So this morning I woke up to an email from the Oregon rep of a large art vendor asking if I would like to have one of their people come come do a lesson in my classroom where they bring all the supplies. I get to choose from four lessons that all feature an item that looks like it is pretty new to that brand's product line.  I told her sure why not (she used the magic word...FREE) and it is only for one day, but I would have to get permission from admin first.
Has anyone else ever done something like this or been approached to have a rep come into your classroom. I think it is very very unlikely that she knows that I have this blog as I have made it pretty darn hard to connect my school and this blog. I'm assuming they know that I teach at a rather large school in a large district and decided to put me on their list. Any thoughts on if I should have them come into my classroom?

and because I have no lesson pic to put a cute pic of my awesome little baby! ok...he is really a toddler now...but he will always be my baby!