Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Show '11

I have been working on our art show projects a lot lately. Here's the plan for one of my schools...
Kindergarten is almost done with Eric Carle's Mr. Seahorse. I did change my procedure on this one a little bit. I'll post about how we did it when they are done so I can show student works instead of just my sample.
First grade is making paper pulp sea turtles, click here for how we're going to accomplish these.

Second grade is very excited to make paper mache sandcastles. One change I will make with the kids, is that they will paint them brown before adding the sand. I was hoping for better coverage with the sand, but the paint will camoflauge falling sand.

Third grade is making paper mache fish.

I found this adorable lesson about Hawaiian dancers on Deep Space Sparkle.

After an internet search for Hawaiian artists, I found one that I love. Heather Brown. Her paintings have a bit of a stained glass feel to them, with vibrant colors and bold outlines-sometimes black, sometimes white. If you search on YouTube, you can find some nice videos of her. I am using one that is an interview with her and one that is a slideshow of her work. One class has start this project, and is extremely excited about it.
I also have an idea for using a paper bowl, tissue paper, and fancy yarn to create jellyfish with my students with autism. Their art always has so much character, I can't wait to see them-and I haven't even made a sample yet!

Paper Pulp Turtles

WARNING: Prep intensive project!
My first graders' art show project is a little sea turtle made of paper pulp. Our media aide found this cute book, The Smallest Turtle by Lynley Dodd, about a turtle's journey from hatching to finding the sea.
To prep for this project, I had to make pulp for each table to use. I started by shredding lots of green paper. The thinner the better, for the shredder and the blender. Fill the blender about 3/4 full of water, and add shredded paper. Blend until it's a pulpy mess.

Dump it in a strainer, and squish as much water out as you can.

This is what it looks like when the water is squeezed out. One blender full makes about 3/4 of a large yogurt container.

Add some glue, and mix it all up. It's ready for use. I then wrapped paper bowls in aluminum foil-without the foil, the bowl will loose it's form. I would like to use plastic bowls so I can skip this step, but haven't been able to find any this time of year. Maybe I'll find some cheap next fall, when the summer stuff goes on clearance. The kids just press the pulp into the bowl until they have covered the whole bowl with about a 1/4" of pulp. It takes several days to dry. I then painted florescent green and dark green lines on the shell and added legs, head, and tail. Wiggle eyes were the finishing touch.

Paper Mache Fish

Last year the other elementary art teachers and I got together to rewrite-well, write a kindergarten curriculum. While paging through out pile of textbooks, I found an image of a bird sculpture using pop tabs as the feathers. Of course, I would never be able to find that image again, but it stuck with me. One of my colleagues commented that it would make a great fish too.
I have been spending most of my prep time lately preparing for our art shows. One of my schools will be having a Hawaiian theme. I'll post about that in a bit. Here's my third grade project for the show:
I am spray painting the pop tabs for the kids. I originally thought I'd have them tape the tabs to cereal boxes and paint them themselves. However, the paint I ordered for metal dried looking all splotchy and not so wonderful. I decided spray painting them in advance would just be easier.

They will be using a bottle for the fish's body, adding newspaper forms to make the fins and tail. After adding a layer of newspaper with Art Paste, they will add a layer of paper towel. I like this technique, as they can see where they still need a second layer, and it covers some of the writing on the newspaper so they need less layers of paint. A technique I like even more is using roll paper for the second layer. That eliminates the need for painting altogether. We don't have many bulletin boards, so we also don't have much roll paper. I made my fish's eyes out of plastic bottle caps and buttons.

I was thinking of using dowels and 2X4s as a base for the fish, but it's really hard to give it good balance, plus I'd have to find someone to cut the wood for me. With a HUGE donation of large yogurt containers, I decided to use them instead. They'll paper mache over them, paint them brown, and add sand.

I used Tacky Glue to add the eyes, scales, and shells to the sculpture. I just painted a layer of Art Paste on top of the brown paint and sprinkled the sand on the yogurt container.

Drying Rack

I am so tired of projects with no name on them. This wasn't a problem last year, and I think I'm asking about names as much as I did last year. Alas, I have a huge, growing pile of art without names. I quickly printed out a few stop signs to hang from the drying rack. The string is really long, so when we're on the bottom of the rack I can lower it. So far it's helped, but it's only been a week or so.

A few of you asked about my signs in a previous post, and if anyone knows how to upload a Word document, I'd be happy to post all of my labels on here for anyone to print. I just found the images through Google Image Search and copied them into Word. Added text, printed it out, and had them laminated. I used packaging tape to completely cover them as I put them on my cabinets, drawers, and containers so the edges won't start peeling off. I'm hoping it will make them last a few years.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mouse Paint

I had a panic moment a few weeks ago. My second year observation was scheduled for my kindergarten class and I had forgotten the book my project was based on at my other school. Driving the 20 minutes to get it was out of the question, and after asking all the kindergarten teachers and the media aide I still didn't have a copy of the book to read to the children. I completely changed my plans, and based a project on another book that I did have handy.
I'm sure all the art teachers out there have seen the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. It teaches the children primary and secondary colors (although, it doesn't use those terms, I used the book as a launching point to teach them the terms), and color mixing. After reading the book, I had the students draw three large teardrop shapes on a white piece of paper. We then went over which colors to put in each spot of the mouse to show the colors that need to be mixed to get each of the secondary colors. I asked the kids to start with yellow, as it so easily gets yucky-especially with kinders doing the painting!
Between classes of kinders (I have one each day), my new document camera was dropped off. I found that the kids that were able to paint along with me via the camera found greater success than those that watched the demo and had reminders on the board. I love my new camera, and can't wait until Monday, when we have a professional development day and I have scheduled two of our IT people to come in and show us the features of the machines! I am hoping to learn how to more easily make storyboards, and how to make demo videos! Imagine-I can use the same demo for every class (no more "did I tell you....?"), and I can even do the demo for classes when I have a sub! :)

Here are a few examples of completed Mouse Paint pictures. The second art class I had the students cut out six circles for ears and three long triangles for tails. I showed them a straight triangle, and a couple of ways to make them a little wavy. They did a great job, and even the kids that sometimes struggle in art had adorable pictures!

I don't have any Model Magic this year, but I found this image online and think it would be a wonderful expansion of our paintings! Maybe next year...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Art Room Funnies

Student 1: I'm a teacher's pet.
Student 2: Yeah, a teacher's pet piranha.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Room Improvements

One of my classes was on a field trip last week, so I was able to catch up on a bit of housekeeping. It's amazing how quickly an art room can get messy! I also added a few reminder signs, such as:

I didn't think this one would do much, but I've heard a lot of kids say something like "Look, it says cleanup is everyone's job. You need to help." I've also seen a lot more teamwork since adding it. I wonder how long it will last...

The teacher I replaced for my first teaching job had a big sign that said "Art is good for your eyes." It made some kids laugh, and confused others! Maybe it'll get 'em thinking though!

Last year I had green, yellow, and red footprints on my floor to show the kids where to stand in line. I have step stools for the kids to reach my tall sinks, and it makes me crazy when there's four kids on one slippery step! They're also spaced so that they won't get paint on the back of the kid in front of them when holding a wet pallet.

Freshly cleaned and organized sink area! I put new signs on the paintbrush containers reminding kids to put them brush side up-which has helped a lot!

Monday, January 17, 2011

It Was an Honor Just Being Nominated...

Well, Marissa1413 didn't win Artist of the Week. Artsonia did send a printable certificate for her for being in the running. I'm sure that will delight her. Thanks for your votes!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Artsonia Artist of the Week

We have a nominee for Artist of the Week! If you would be so kind as to vote for Marissa1413 daily through Saturday, January 15th we would really appreciate it! Here is the link to vote for her.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Art Room Funnies

My second graders are working on drawing "undiscovered" rainforest birds, similar to the birds in Denise Logan's Dynamic Art Projects for Children. They just started this week, but I'll be sure to post pictures when we're done. When we start, I ask the kids what they already know about rainforest birds to establish that they have lots of bright colors and are many sizes. We talk about exploring and I remind them that it is possible there are species out there that we have not discovered yet. Then I tell them we are going to draw an "undiscovered" rainforest bird, and I don't want any of them trying to draw a specific bird, such as a Toucan. We the proceed to the guided drawing portion of the lesson. While drawing yesterday a little girl looked up at me with excitement in her eyes and exclaimed, "I already have a name for my bird. It's a THREEcan!"

Later, as I was showing them ideas for the eye I made an "angry eye" for one of the examples on my board. A girl at a close table started giggling and said quietly, "It's just like my dad, when he's playing Wii!"