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. ­čśëIMG_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. ­čÖé

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┬áexpose 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. ­čÖé 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.

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I listened to the Ted Talks podcast title “Building a Better Classroom” earlier this week. It’s really all I can think about right now. I had an opportunity to talk about it in a faculty meeting yesterday, but in between listening to my colleagues, I could not fully form in my mind what it is I wanted to say. In our meeting we were discussing the gap between genders in those whom receive principle’s comments. (Principle’s comments are a good thing, reserved for those who get mostly A’s.) A common trend seems to be that middle school girls receive more comments than boys, and so our concern is how do we close that gap.

Our conversation led to talk of assessment, teaching styles, learning styles, and developmental differences. One of my colleagues comments has been resonating in my ear, which was something one of her children’s teachers told her that stuck with her. She said, ┬á"Schools are designed for girls.“ Meaning, girls have been training for it before they enter the classroom by playing school at home. Another teacher spoke to the developmental difference in how girls are more verbal in a classroom- better verbal learners than boys. Boys tend to be more┬ákinesthetic┬álearners, and demand more┬áengagement. She also said, and I may be butchering this a bit, "The day we learn to teach math problems with a ball and hoop is the day we learn to teach to boys.”

Part of me wants to fight that gender roles we impose upon girls and boys, and such comments as above only perpetuate those roles. But at the same time, they do hold true for many children. So regardless, what I believe should be happening in the classroom is more teaching as explored in the podcast I linked. The sort of teaching and classroom environment discussed in the podcast and Ted Talks plays to both boys and girls strengths. It encourages creativity, critical thinking and analytical thinking allowing for more outside the box learning. And isn’t that what we need in our future leaders?? Don’t we need more divergent thinkers to help solve our world’s problems and to save ours and their futures as well as generations to come?? Why would we continue to teach in a sit down lecture format with answers being regurgitated back? It might take more time and effort on part of the educator, but is it not worth it??!! To create an authentic learning environment where children work together, grow together, and solve problems together!

Ugh. Okay. Maybe I am getting preachy. I just see so much value in the ideas and teaching styles shared by Ken Robinson, Salman Kahn, and John Hunter. And listening to Hunter discuss his students and the learning that takes place- it’s inspirational!

I wish I could have figured out how to say what I wanted to say at my faculty meeting. I’m still not sure what I would have said… ┬ámaybe something about how our teaching styles need to change to teach to more types of learners, and maybe that will close the gap between middle school boys and girls…

Building a Better Classroom