New Table Hangy Thingies

My wonderful friend and colleague Sunny Lee Mowery, hooked me up with these awesome giant tubes that she used to make crayon table color mobile type things. When she mentioned on social media that she had some extra tubes, that is of course the first idea I had too! How perfect!

So they were really long tubes. And out of laziness and lack of resources (no saw) I was just going to leave them long. …and then I thought about how much more work it would be to paint and decorate a longer one, and how much more difficult it would be to hang it. So I made a trip to the local big box hardware store and bought a handsaw and and hacked those suckers in half:File_000 (2)That was not easy. But I got a good arm workout!

I took them outside laid them on a tarp and spray painted them. Again, I was feeling lazy… well really it was that I had a LOT of other stuff to accomplish and this felt like something I could shortcut. I even enlisted the help of a fellow teacher/friend from my school, Katy. (Thank you Katy!)File_000 (1)File_001 (2)

I was pretty into the little colorful sun shapes we were making on the tarp…File_008

File_001 (1)This is Ms. Katy who helped me. Yay Katy!! Thanks again!!

The following week, I had my student teacher for this fall, Mr. Romoero, help me decorate and hang them. BTW, I decided to not give them pointy tips and just call them pastels. (You know, b/c I am trying to conserve time here!) Mr. Romero wrote the colors in English and Spanish for me, and gave them a simple little swirl line.

I am pretty happy with the results and love color coding my room. Soon I will have my bins that will also match the color of the table. Colored tables, colored bins, colored pastel table identifier thingies… Rainbows everywhere!!! Below you can see a couple of them hanging in the room. Later on I will do a full room post showing how the room looks this year (not totally ready). File_002

Kehinde Wiley inspired…

Ever since I first saw Kehinde Wiley’s work I wanted to do a student project based on it. I have seen a few other teachers’ lessons, but I didn’t totally gravitate toward them. So I came up with my own, based on a lesson with different content I saw in a students teaching art show. This project was done with a 7th/8th grade class.

Sooooo, here’s how it went…

First students looked at a presentation on Kehinde, watched a video, and did a compare and contrast.

Next, students looked at black and white copies of western art and chose a pose they wanted to recreate. Using the iPads, students photographed each other in those poses. I printed the photos in black and white.

Students took the photos and traced them onto transparency film with sharpie. I chose for them to trace, because I wanted them to feel successful in their art, and they have not had but two art classes in their elementary and middle school times. Also, there is a good deal of attention and care that needs to be paid when tracing, so they were tasked to being careful observers of the lines and textures, and deciding what was important to trace.

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Following that, students used acrylic paint to mix there own skin tones and clothing colors. I made a laminated palette because kids kept taking way too much paint.

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Lastly, students designed a patterned background and could use any medium of their liking to add color.

The transparency portrait was paired with the pattern background to make the final piece. 🙂

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Pretty darn happy with these. What do you think?

Art projects I would consider doing….

Other teachers, mostly in the Philadelphia area, are in these meetings and stuff that I go to. These are some of their projects. Some of the projects are also from district art shows and what not. I snap photos with my phone and sometimes it stays on my phone for I don’t know how long. Then sometimes I move them to my computer and there they stay for I don’t know how long. Maybe if I move some of those images to my blog I will comitt them to more of my memory and actually do them. I do also have my lesson matrix in front of me too… so I could jot a few of them down. That would be clever of me. 😉IMG_8207

I have been saving toilet paper rolls for a very long time now. I’m thinking 2nd grade. Toilet paper totem ainmals? Something like that??

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I have a handout to go with this somewhere. Oh gosh, I hope I can find it… This one, if I recall, used the textures/patterns of different animals. But there was somekind of connection to the identity of the student… Gotta find that handout. I’d totally do this one with my 6th graders.
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I remember the teacher said she used the crayola water color pencils on black paper with this. I have some of those, and they don’t work well as watercolor pencils, so totally gonna use them for this project. Thinking 7th grade. They love candy…so do I.

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Cardboard birds! These were soooo cute! And cardboard is so easy to get at any school. Right??!! Right! 4th grade?

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This was at the PAEA conference a few years ago… I have tons of paper bags, and need to do some puppet making with the wee ones, so yeah. This. I’ll do something with this…I will do this with kindergarten and 1st grade. Maybe animals for one and people for the other? OR fantasy animals for one and just forest animals for the other….

Now I know I had way more images. But I have no idea where I squirreled them away!! Ugh. I should have dealt with them immediately.

Where does the time go??

I had such great aspirations of writing a blog post every other day, but it’s just not happening right now… I am glad I moved my blog off of Tumblr. I hope WordPress proves to be better. At least now it will be easier to move it to blogspot/blogger (whatever it’s called now) if this doesn’t work out. I want to buy my domain, but I will wait to see if I like this host or not…Don’t know if that matters. Oh well.

Anyway, I wanted to write more and reflect on the lessons I did and write about the lessons I want to do, but frankly, there is just no time to do that. I am really gonna have to shove my ideas together last minute like I always do. And somehow, like always, everything comes together and works out. So with this post I will share some photos of a few projects we did this year. Let me go ahead and upload them, and maybe I will talk about whether or not I liked the project and if we will do it again. 🙂

5th grade name mandala- marker

5th grade name mandala- marker

1st grade Pop Art, Jasper Johns inspired Name Design- crayon resist

1st grade Pop Art, Jasper Johns inspired Name Design- crayon resist

2nd grade, black glue line flower still lif- crayon resist

2nd grade, black glue line flower still lif- crayon resist

Kindergarten, paper roller coaster sculptures

Kindergarten, paper roller coaster sculptures

Kindergarten, Eric Carle inspired painted paper and cut paper collage- tempera paint

Kindergarten, Eric Carle inspired painted paper and cut paper collage- tempera paint

Kindergarten, Van Gogh inspired sunflowers- Oil pastel with water color

Kindergarten, Van Gogh inspired sunflowers- Oil pastel with water color

1st grade symmetrical masks inspired by Tribal African Masks- cut paper

1st grade symmetrical masks inspired by Tribal African Masks- cut paper

1st grade Modigliani portraits- oil pastel

1st grade Modigliani portraits- oil pastel

6th grade- surreal 1pt perspective bedrooms- color pencil

6th grade- surreal 1pt perspective bedrooms- color pencil

7th grade- Op art color wheel- color pencil

7th grade- Op art color wheel- color pencil

7th grade-

7th grade- “All about me”- water color

Flowers traced on plexi with sharpie painted with acrylic....(student teacher taught lesson)

Flowers traced on plexi with sharpie painted with acrylic….(student teacher taught lesson)

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8th grade, Matisse inspired- cut paper

4th grade- Stacked name design- markers

4th grade- Stacked name design- markers

4th grade- op art inspired hand design- color pencil

4th grade- op art inspired hand design- color pencil

kindergarten- circles and loops- crayons

kindergarten- circles and loops- crayons

Kindergarten- Robert Frost poem inspired image...Cut/torn/painted paper

Kindergarten- Robert Frost poem inspired image…Cut/torn/painted paper

Kindergarten- gyotaku printing and bubble wrap printing- tempera paint

Kindergarten- gyotaku printing and bubble wrap printing- tempera paint

1st grade- glue line pumpkin drawing- chalk

1st grade- glue line pumpkin drawing- chalk

kindergarten- Mondrian inspired- crayon

kindergarten- Mondrian inspired- crayon

3rd grade- Kandinsky inspired composition- tempera paint

3rd grade- Kandinsky inspired composition- tempera paint

4th grade- Adaptive art lesson for Autistic Support student

4th grade- Adaptive art lesson for Autistic Support student

Okay… so I am realizing I have way more images of the kindergarten work. Let me explain. One of the kindergarten classes got to take art twice. Lucky them! We have art on rotation at my school. Quarterly that is- every quarter I get a new group, and sometimes it just works out that a class will get to repeat a special. So not only did kindergarten get to repeat art but they also tend to move through the projects super duper fast, hence lots of kinder art up above. I realize a goal of mine is to get them to be a little more thoughtful, but also to try and expose the other grades to more art without harming the process of their working habits and flow. There was some sculptural work done this year too. My student teacher did it, but I realize I did not take photos with my personal camera. They are on artsonia. BUT, that too is a goal of mine- to get more 3-dimensional work in each class and grade level. I was very apprehensive this year due to space limitations (storage), resources, not knowing the students and their abilities, and room climate, but this year will be different. Not everyone will be working in clay, and those who get clay won’t even be working in “real” clay, but still they will be exposed to the basics. So yeah. Good to have goals….let’s hope I can realize them. So dang ambitious. Ugh. Gives me anxiety.

Alright now. Looking at these projects… right off the bat- not doing the Kandinsky one again, unless I find a better version of it. I just don’t get enough of the students’ voice in it. Maybe we could do a mini version of it to learn about him and the elements of art, but I refuse to spend the time we did on those pieces to get such mechanical reproductions. I want to see more expressive work coming from my little darlins. On that note, as hypocritical as it sounds, I will keep my Mondrian, simply because it is an easy and fail safe project to do with the younger ones especially when teaching the primary colors. There are lots of other ways to do the Mondrian lesson though, and I may explore those options…

The “All about me Lesson” I borrowed from a friend. I loved the idea of it for the past two years, but I think I am done with it now. I may adapt it to something new… maybe. I’m not sure yet. I last used it to teach 8 different watercolor techniques to my 8th graders. Might try something with that, do away with the analogous color scheme, because frankly, they are still just grasping what the elements are and how to use the color wheel (last year was their very first year having art). So, yeah, baby steps.

I will still do Op art, maybe not the same ones, but the kids love those lessons. I know I need to scaffold the instructions better for all learners though. More goals. lol.

I’m keeping everything else. A few edits here and there of course as any good teacher would do. 🙂 I look forward to adding a lot more lessons and stressing myself out to the nth degree with all the extra work I will be giving myself. But I am sure the students will make some awesome stuff. Check in with me in a few months and see how I feel about it then. haha.

Art of Education online conference and swag

 Last week I attended an online art ed conference hosted by The Art of Education. I registered early for $89 bucks, so I got that sweet swag you see above, as well as some digital swag including handouts and some discounts at some decent retailers like Blick art and a great discount to Arts and Activity magazine which I will be taking advantage of!

I truly enjoyed the convenience of doing a PD and conference from home at my computer, and I also enjoyed the format in which they chose to present the information. Doing short TED-like talks was a great way to deliver a lot of info in a little time, and we all have the ‘afterpass‘ to revisit the information AND the presenters put up additional information as well! Sooooo, if we need more, we can get more. Great!

I will say one thing I would have like to had beforehand would have been some of their handouts. I’m the type of gal who likes to follow along with the handouts when someone references them, so I felt a little wobbly at times- but really it was not that big of a deal due to the speed of the presentations. I probably would have been wobbly regardless. Ha! Drink your coffee woman and keep up! 😉

Well as far as the swag goes, I am most excited about the stuff Blick Art gave us. They also did a lesson on it during the conference. Basically it is this lesson on the golden ratio, incorporating math (geometry) real hardcore like. It can be taken down a few notches for the youngsters, but I like the idea of using this for my older kiddos. It uses Roylco tissue circles (which I will be buying out of pocket due to no budget), gridded paper, and glue sticks. I am excited to give it a whirl, especially with my handicap in mathematics… this should be interesting… haha.

Anyway, I am glad I gave the AOE conference a shot this summer. Can’t wait for the winter one! And then the next summer one, and then the next winter one! … Gues I always have PAEA and NAEA conferences to hold me over too. 😉

6th Grade Identity Silhouettes

I did this lesson last year at my old school. I adore this lesson, and I think the students are really into it for the most part.

I borrowed the lesson from this art teacher.

In my introduction at my previous school we talked in length about Archimboldo and Cara Walker. I also had the students complete a Venn diagram comparing two of the artists silhouette styles. Then I had students make a list of 30 things that represented them. I had a large example of my own that showed my silhouette as well as my list next to it. While they were making their list and sketching their images of the 30 things, I was furiously tracing their silhouettes.

At my previous school, I did the project with 3rd-5th graders and they were fantastic. I of course had to edit what I showed of Walker’s work, but that’s no big deal. We took the time to talk out our ideas, and for them to sketch everything out.

This year at my new school I had a student teacher and she took on the project. She edited the lesson a little bit to speed it along, which I understand, but ultimately, I think some students work suffered from that. These kids have never had art before and their confidence and skill is lacking in what the can do. I know my student teacher did not feel the project was a success. I think she felt the students were not ready for this level of work, but I think they were and are. They just needed a little more guidance. The above images are 3 of those 6th graders, granted they are the more talented ones, but still- pretty darn good. Just looking at those I wouldn’t call the project a failure. The other silhouettes were half finished or poorly filled in space. In retrospect, I should have given her more feedback on how she delivered that lesson. My bad. It was my first student teacher. Lesson learned all around right? Don’t get me wrong, she was fantastic! She did some wonderful lessons with my students, and hopefully we stay in touch.

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I was listening to Susan Cain’s Ted Talk, and her dialogue on the Ted Talk podcast, and I found myself wondering about myself. I completely agree with Cain’s ideas about introverted people, and how their ideas are often left out or neglected. As she explains, extroverts are the loudest and often most heard, so their ideas are the ones gathered and used. 

So how does this relate to me and to my classroom?? Well, I have always considered myself a shy person; slightly withdrawn and socially awkward at times. I rarely speak up at meetings, and prefer to work alone and do things myself. However, in my classroom, I have never once felt that shyness or introversion. I thrive in my room. I can talk to students, I can tell stories and anecdotes, I share ideas, and I take charge (as I must). So does this mean I am not introverted? I’m okay with it either way. But if I am extroverted I think I am a shy extrovert. 

Obviously this made me think about how I teach my students.  I wonder if I do not pay attention enough to those students ideas who prefer not to speak out… I wonder if I act differently to the extroverts. Am I negative to them? Do I stifle my extroverts, and demand too much of my introverts?

Luckily, the art room can be even playing ground for many types of learners, as well as both introverts and extroverts. Students can choose to share ideas, or they can work out their ideas on their own. We have not done any group art projects in my class, as time has not allowed that, but I wonder how that would go over with my introverts???

This is something I want to keep in my peripheral thoughts as I plan my lessons and teach my students. I want to encourage the worth of students working together, but also encourage the ability to work independently. And I want to make sure I am not trying to make a student change who they are to fit some grand uniform schematic of how people should be.