Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kindergarteners take Color

Several weeks back, my kindergarten classes dove in head first to the concept of color.
We first explored the world of primary colors and lines to create these masterpieces:

Next up was to explore what the primary colors can do so we painted paper and made the secondary colors.  I've done this every year with my kindergarteners because they really seem to understand the concept of the primary colors making the secondary colors when they do the mixing themselves.

This year I switched it up a little bit, check out the past few years here and here.  Although, you can't go wrong with the colors I think I kind of like the one's from years past better...what do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Living Out the Dreams of My Tween Years

If you haven't figured it out by now....I LOVE TIE DYE.  I love wearing it, making it, just everything about it.  I was probably about 14 when I made my first shirt, not really knowing what I was doing just tying random rubber bands and not having any methodology to my color choices.  But, don't you fret I still wear that shirt with pride.  I've come along way it's been ten years later I'd consider myself to be a semi-pro tie dyer, if that could even be a title.  There is something so fun about mixing and creating colors and designs and each time the result is always a fun, different surprise.  Each time I finish something I anxiously await and am awed by the result like I'm a kindergartener mixing the primary colors for the first time.  Anyway, I've mostly stuck to clothing when it comes to my tie dye endeavors and I've got my system pretty well developed.  I was having a conversation with my mom a few weeks back, I'm not even sure about what, but it led to her mentioning that I should make my own tie dye sheets.  WHY HAD I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE??!!  I was immediately taken back to a TV show from my tween years, Lizzie McGuire.  There is an episode where Lizzie skips Danny Kessler's (the boy that everyone has a crush on) pool party and her and her BFF, Gordo tie dye her bed sheets.  I forever remember that episode and have always remembered how cool it was and now that I'm almost at my quarter century life mark, I've finally fulfilled the dream of tie dying my own bed sheets.

I've never tie dyed something so large before so it was a new experience.  The hardest part was actually finding white sheets made of 100% cotton.  It took 5 stores and many denied microfiber, cotton-poly blend sheet sets until I was able to find an affordable pair of "sheets of Egyptian Cotton" na-na-na-na-na-na (you know from Uptown Girls).  But really why are sheet sets so darn expensive???

I've come to the consensus that doing the whole process is just easier when it's done outside.  I really hate wearing gloves, but then again I don't want my hands to be stained for days.  Next time I should wear them on my feet I think I still have some nice stains.  

Don't mind my apron it was the only thing my mom had in her kitchen (sorry mom, but I mean that thing has to be older than dirt). 

I've found that sunlight and a clothesline are key elements in successful tie dye.

I realize a clothesline is a thing of the past, but my parents house still has one and I take full advantage of it.  In my future living situations I'll be the tacky neighbor with the clothesline in the backyard, and you know what I don't care!

Plus, look at all the cool things you can do with a clothesline.

Here's that tie dye scene from Lizzie McGuire, start watching at 4:35.

Here's some of my other favorite tie dye pictures I've shared before.

Monday, October 20, 2014

6th Grade Contour Shoe with Monochromatic Background

Talk about a loaded art project--6th graders talked about SO MANY art concepts in this lesson:

contour lines

I think they did a fabulous job at using all of the concepts, what do you think?

Monday, October 13, 2014

THEY'RE BACK-5th Grade Lego Self Portraits

The return of the lego self portraits.  You've probably seen these/my face floating around Pinterest (or at least I'm told by my fellow colleagues that my face is plastered on Pinterest).  The original project I did last year brought some major traffic to my blog.  I think part of the reason, along with the fact that legos are just awesome, was that shortly after I posted the project The Lego Movie came out and Lego Mania was upon us.  

This is probably one of my all time favorite lessons.  We cover a lot of information and it is fun, the kids love it and all find some sort of success!  The majority of this lesson is done with crayon, a few students did choose to use marker on the background.  To see a more detailed description of the lesson go here.  

I'm amazed as to how much I can see the resemblances in some of the portraits and I can pick out which lego belongs to each student. 


Friday, October 10, 2014

2nd Grade Firefly Paintings

Today marks the end of 1st quarter. Grades have been entered, parent teacher conferences are amongst us, and the art room is still it's own work in progress (let me know if you're able to find the floor).  Like I've been saying I HAVE SO MUCH TO SHARE finding time has been hard as every spare minute seems to be spent on homework for my graduate classes (insert thumbs down here).  

BUT 2nd graders created these beauts.  I know the fireflies of summer are put away until next year, but if you walk to the 2nd grade classes you might feel as if it is still a warm summer's night.  Our jars and firefly "glows" were created with gold and silver tempera, the fireflies were created with the coveted silver sharpies and metallic crayons, a small piece of cardboard was used to make the grass, and everything was topped off with a pearly paint coat. 

 I'm totally biased, but I think they are pretty rad.

The focus of this lesson was not to learn about fireflies, but how we can use simple lines and shapes to create identifiable objects. I didn't need to teach about fireflies because let me tell you the 2nd graders already knew all about them--in fact they taught me things I didn't know.  I definitely had some firefly experts in the house.  Apparently there is a show on PBS Kids called "Wild Kratts" and one episode focused solely on fireflies, it's actually pretty cool.  Check it out here.  If I had more time I would have loved to incorporate a portion of the video into the lesson.   

Here's that video, check it out seriously I learned so much!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Up Up and Away-4th Grade Hot Air Balloons

I've been so excited to share these, I just didn't understand why the 4th graders couldn't move their arms a little faster when coloring so I could take some pictures! (just kidding..kind of)

At the beginning of the school year I went to a hot air balloon festival.  After going I knew I had to do a hot air balloon project with somebody--all those colors it needed to happen!  4th graders were the chosen ones.  We started the project by talking about composition and space, using hand outs and images students drew their own balloons.  After their balloon designs were finished they moved onto color (the longest, but well worth it part).  Students were to create value with crayons to give the more lifelike, puffed up balloon feel.  By day two of the lesson while students were still coloring, I think a few of them wanted to throw their crayons at me because they were sick of doing it.  You know that disease when you color so much you're hand is going to fall off....well all of the 4th graders had it.  

BUT THEN THEY SAW THE PAINTED BACKGROUND and the oooohs and the ahhhhs came back and they were excited again!
I love them. Color and color--my favorite thing.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Original Works

My last rotation of classes had to take a little hiatus on the art projects we've been working on (and so very close to finishing) to help the PTA and classroom teachers out with an Original Works project.
If you don't know what Original Works is check it out here.  It's very much like Artsonia, but only focuses on creating one art project.  It's a great fundraiser for the school and the orders usually come in around the holidays so they can make for fun gifts.

All of these projects were one day lessons.  I helped the 5th and 6th graders get started and whatever they did not finish they were to finish on their own.

This was the kindergarten lesson.  Just a very simple flower done with oil pastels and watercolor.

1st and 2nd graders made this fun fish using oil pastels and watercolor.  They all really loved making the silly fish lips.

Per request 3rd grade took a wintry approach and made these snowman with oil pastels and watercolors.
4th graders made these funky parrots.  It was their first time using liquid watercolors, they had a lot of fun with it!

5th graders made these lizards.  I wish I had more pictures of these to share because there were some that were on their way to being masterpieces!

6th Graders made these hand trees.  The idea came from here.  In drawing their hand they were asked to come up with a theme or to create an about me tree.  I was surprised at how nicely some of them turned out.

SO MANY projects are being graded and finished up this week, I can't wait to share what the kiddos have been working hard on!