Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Street Art: Do You Think it's Rad or Does it Make You Mad?

I know that the topic of "street art" being taught in the classroom really hits some of those hot buttons for art teachers. Me personally, I'm all for it. My students love looking at it, talking about it, and they are SO engaged by it! I live in such a community where students are exposed to street art all the time whether it be a commissioned mural, street performance, or tags defacing spaces under bridges. It’s part of their culture I'm not going to fight it, I'm instead going to talk about it. First, it’s important to properly define street art. When discussing with students I break it down into two categories: Public Art and Graffiti. Public Art = Permission, Graffiti = No Permission. Some of my favorite discussions I've had with my students is the "Is Street Art Legal vs. Illegal?" The entire class gets into it and it encourages students to take a stance and voice an opinion. Sometimes it gets heated and I LOVE IT! Sometimes talking about art is just as great as making it.

Really I just want my students to understand what it is and know that it goes beyond Banksy. But nonetheless it's always going to be one of those projects that students are into because it's personal and like it or not the finished product looks cool.

This is certainly not a groundbreaking project. It's been done time and time again, but here's my version. A little stamping action with one of those yellow and green sponges makes for some nice bricks!

If you're looking to find ways to rationalize street art in your classroom check out this article that breaks down "10 Things We Can Learn From Street Artists"

1. It's Important to Take Risks
2. Give without Expecting a Return
3. Challenge the Norm
4. Be Fearless
5. Question Everything
6. Persistence Pays Off
7. Collaboration Enhances Productivity
8. Creativity is a Universal Language
9. Context is Everything
10. Life is About the Journey Not About the Destination

Street Art what do you think Rad or Bad?

P.S. See you all at NAEA 2016!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Value Still Life with a BONUS

I don't know how your students are, but when we get started on a still life project it takes awhile for my students to remember and know what a still life is.  I find it so beneficial for my students to draw from observation, especially as young developing artists.

For this project 7th graders were required to draw from observation.  If they wanted to incorporate something in their drawing it needed to physically be sitting on the table in front of them--no reference photos.  Many students chose to bring in their own objects, but for those that didn't they got to choose from some of the awesome props I keep in my classroom.

As an added bonus, students were to invent an area of their drawing where the color wheel would be incorporated.  So they did get to do a little inventing!

Here are some of the awesome results:

In other news, I started writing for the Art of Ed! Make sure to check out all of the awesomeness they have going on over there, but don't worry I'll still be sharing my classroom happenings here!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Alphabet Challenge

Yeah I know, my absence on here has been real--BUT good news everybody--I made it through my first semester of Middle School!

This 8th grade project was all about themes. The idea for this lesson came from a hashtag. That's right a good ole hashtag on Instagram: #kolboalphabetchallenge. This challenge was started by a high school teacher in Nebraska, but people were participating around the world.  I even dabbled in it a little bit.

S is for Sprinkles....duh!

My middle school students are OBSESSED with Instagram, so when I told them about this they were just excited that I was using Instagram as a learning resource.  I had everyone's attention.  We did our own challenge by drawing a letter of an alphabet from a bucket. Luckily my largest class size is 26 so no letters had to be repeated!

 Check them out--I love the variety, simplicity, and complexity of each!

O is for Office Supplies

N is for Nightmare

A is for Aerospace

Y is for Yarn

 T is for Teen Titans

M is for Moon Phases

V is for Volcano

E is for Earphones

W is for Waste

Q is for Queen

F is for Fish

W is for World

L is for Leopard 

 Z is for Zap

Friday, November 6, 2015

My World in a Bulb

This is one of those lessons that I just didn't get around to posting.  These may or may not have been completed by my 5th graders in May---BUT they're too good not to share.

In this lesson we looked at the art style of surrealism.  Of course we looked at the work of Magritte and Dali.  If your school has a BrainPop subscription, they have an awesome presentation for both elementary and middle school students. 

This lesson was quite simple, yet it really got the students to think.  I ran across this image online that inspired these surrealist bulbs!

  I also gave the students a couple handouts to get their ideas a-brewing.  The target here was to create a surrealist type world, event, or scenario inside their lightbulb.

This lesson cut it pretty close to the end of the school year so most students chose to fill in their background with a little watercolor and salt technique--definitely can't go wrong there!  

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Pencil Sharpener that EVERYBODY Loves

I've posted about this pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies before and it just continues to get better and better.  And now for all you purple pencil lovers, they have released a new color--just for you!  

If you don't have this pencil sharpener you NEED to get one--I REPEAT--NEED.  I've had one in my classroom for over a year, it's durable, creates a perfect sharp pencil every time, and you will probably have students begging to sharpen all your pencils for you .  I'm not kidding about this (my middle schoolers even do this).  I once had a first grader on a behavior plan, when he met his goal for the day, one of his rewards was to come in and sharpen all the pencils using the Classroom Friendly Supplies sharpener.  This product works wonders and it beats a noisy, electronic pencil sharpener that always breaks down any day!   

Go to their website and order one, I promise you'll be asking for more!