Monday, May 25, 2015

What Does A Feeling Look Like?

Believe it or not this lesson creation was inspired by my 3rd grade students.  When we were doing this Georgia O'Keeffe project we watched a Brain Pop video that discussed how she was inspired by colors to express her feelings and moods.  I had some really disappointed 3rd graders when they found out they wouldn't be painting their feelings.  Thus, the creation of this lesson.

To start class we discussed emotions and came up with a long list of different ones, then I went around the room and gave each student an emotion from this list assigned at random.  3rd graders only job was to paint their emotion using only colors, lines, and shapes.  I didn't give the students any restriction of what colors to use, but they had to have at least two and no more than five.  The students loved it, I was so impressed at the thinking involved as students really wanted to portray their emotion.  

The next class we came back and each student picked one color of construction paper that they felt went along with their emotion and did some paper weaving.  The original plan was to have students paint two conflicting emotions and weave those together--but with the end of the school year we simply ran out of time!  Instead, students further embellished their paintings with puffy paint and construction paper.

I absolutely loved this lesson--it was a home run--the 3rd grade crowd went WILD. 











Am I the only one who sees the seahorse on the bottom left?

It's officially summer for me (except for 15 days of summer school--but that's nothing!)  Hang in there as your school year winds down!
post signature

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tie Dye, Psychedelic Donuts, & Ojo de Dios

There are 4 days left of school...I REPEAT 4!!!!!!  

It's no secret that I'm a tie dye lover, and my students know it too.  In fact, they BEG me to do it with them.  HOW I WOULD LOVE TO DO THIS, but I'm still trying to figure out the logistics, like ya know getting white shirts that fit everybody.  Maybe I'll start small and try it out with my summer school class.  This one time at summer camp we had an auction, the campers bid on items (aka counselors) with the payment of pine cones.  I'm not kidding.  Well I decided I would put myself on the chopping block and who ever was able to pay me the most pine cones would get to tie dye with me. NEVER AGAIN.  Needless to say, thirty 8 & 9 year olds and tie dye had me going  extremely a little crazy.

Moving on......

You know at the end of the year when you have all those nearly empty paint bottles?  You try to combine them, dilute them a bit to get the paint of the sides, keep them upside down, and you still feel like you are wasting paint when you throw them away.  I've got your solution--if you're in to tie dye.  I hit up the travel section at target and bought a bunch of those little 50 cent travel hairspray type bottles.  Water those paints down--like a lot--as long as you can see the color your golden, pour them in the bottles and you're all set for some magic.

2nd graders took on fiber arts for this lesson.  We started off with talking about the history of the Ojo de Dios (God's Eye) and the culture of the ancient Pueblo People.  We sat all kum ba yah on the floor (me included) and we got to work on our Ojo de Dios.  

The next class we made our "tie dye." I showed students a couple of different ways to fold their fabric, you don't need to use rubber bands, and then they used our spray bottle of paint to color the fabric.  When they were finished I had them clip it to our makeshift clothesline.  

If you don't have fabric you can do this with a sturdy paper towel, just make sure to soak it in water before hand.  Some classes ran out of time so we had to do a different version of tie dye.

To finish this off, I'm going to leave you with these psychedelic, rad donuts, that only one class who had a little extra time were able to do.  We learned a thing of two about our friend Wayne and made these beauts. Donut you just love them?  

Summer's so close I can taste it.

post signature

Monday, May 11, 2015

Blooming Clay Flowers

I LOVE teaching clay.  As a personal artist, I'd consider myself to be a painter and don't get me wrong I love teaching painting lessons, in fact we do it a lot, but there's something magical about clay.  I'm excited about it, the kids are excited about is good.  There's a different type of creating and learning that happens when students have clay in front of them.  An application of building and a different type of thinking is certainly evident when students are hard at work.  Isn't it amazing how much better they listen when that clay project is on the line?  There's always an exception, but most students LOVE clay.  

I still have all of my clay pieces (as well as all my other artwork) from when I was in grade school even my squished, freaky little dinosaur in kindergarten to my first time throwing on the wheel in 6th grade.  These past three years I've been kiln-less.  At times it's a total bummer, because let's face it air dry clay just isn't the same.  As a child, seeing how glazes work is one of the most magical things EVER! I've worked really hard these last 3 years to find ways to make air dry clay more like the real thing.  I've definitely learned a thing or two.  If you find yourself struggling because you're living in a kiln-less world (say that as if your singing Don't Stop Beilievin') sign up for the AOE Summer 2015 Conference, I'll be sharing some air dry clay magic! 

In the mean time, look at the shine on these beautifully created flowers by 4th graders that were made for Mother's Day.  Aren't they just awesome?  I vote for more clay gardens--think of all the time we'd have (cough, cough, MOM)! 

But then again, fresh tulips are always nice.  
post signature

Monday, May 4, 2015

Meowing at Midnight: Kindergarten Edition

Kindergarteners sure loved this lesson.  We were inspired by this print by Nick Gustafson.  I mean WHO DOESN'T like a cat with crazy patterns? But really, the kiddos were more concerned that the moon was yellow and not silvery gray.  With that we got a impromptu lesson on moon phases and the harvest moon.  But aren't these guys cute?

Disclaimer: No cat tails were harmed in the making of this project.  Seriously--those are some tricky shapes to cut around and maybe 2 lost their tails.  I'll take that any day.  Maybe our cutting endurance is paying off? 

To go along with the lesson we read Cat's Night Out, it's filled with rhyming wonderfuls and counting by twos. 

post signature