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: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!)
I was pretty into the little colorful sun shapes we were making on the tarp…
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).
I am so excited about this project. 4th graders were introduced to James Audubon and we have begun to read the picture about him written by Melissa Sweet. After choosing a photo of a bird they liked, they began to sketch the bird in their sketchbooks, and were introduced how to draw the birds beginning by looking for the shapes that make up the bird. To assist with that, students were given dry erase markers to trace the shapes on the laminated photograph. I think all their sketches are fantastic, especially so for kids who are drawing from observation for the first time ever! They were very apprehensive about their drawings, and I think a lot of their self esteem is low regarding their ability in art. But I truly believe they are doing awesome. And I told them that… but they were still hesitant to believe, and then I reminded them, that I would never lie about their art. I will always tell them what could be improved upon and how to do that. Those bird drawings are simply gorgeous to me. I hope they start to see that too.
Next week we will use are drawings to cut out layers of bird shapes on card board to assemble a bird sculpture a la Jame Castle. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!
We finished up our time with our resident artist Donna Backues recently. It was an amazing few months, where every Friday Donna would come in and work with my 6th-7th grade studio art students (a pull out class for extra art). For 90 minutes each session, students worked intensively with Donna to complete a collaborative Batik piece, which is now on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art until the end of January. In March it will be on display with the Young Artists show at the School District of Philadelphia’s headquarters at 440 N. Broad St.
The experience of working with a resident artist was fantastic and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to bring this to my students. I am certain they learned a lot from Donna, as did I, and they gained a tremendous amount of creative growth from the experience.
We completed our time with Donna with a final trip to the PMA to see our work on display and to enjoy some lovely cake! Thank you Donna for all your hard work, and thank you Philadelphia Museum of Art for the experience. We are quite proud of the Nebinger art work on display!
Kind of a crazy awesome year how it all worked out, and I hope I can keep up the momentum next year and the years following.
As for this summer, I’d like to focus on writing some blog posts. Maybe one every other day. Writing about the lessons I taught, reflecting on how the year went, and talking about where I want my art class to go. Maybe throw in some other hot topic relevant issues in art ed too. 🙂 It’s good to have summer goals! I’m also trying to learn some Spanish this summer. Studying at least 20 minutes a day. I’ll let y’all know how that goes.