"Mama" by my daughter age 3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Last Day of School 2012

My room is all packed up and ready for the summer. It was a great school year with lots of challenges and lots of great accomplishments. The kiddos were definitely ready for a break, as most of the teachers are too.

I try not to get too personal or political in my blog because I like to use it mainly as a showcase of student work and lessons. But I will say that with the election results here in Wisconsin I am disappointed. I fear a lot for what the future will be like for public education and our students. And of course there is always the nagging worry of what massive budget cuts mean for the arts. Well, we'll just keep on trucking along here in Wisconsin with or without the state's and the people's support. We have to, for the sake of the kids.

With that being said, I will not be back in the classroom until mid October for the 2012-13 school year. Baby #2 is due to arrive any day now! I'm so glad I made it through this school year:) I will be on maternity leave for the first 6 weeks of school. I have no idea who my sub will be, I just hope I get one! So signing off for now, until next school year! Have a great summer everyone!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sidewalk Chalk- End of Year Ideas

The end of the year is always tricky with art classes. Some classes finish art for the year with 2 or 3 weeks left of the school year. Others I see lots of times right up until the last day. It all varies depending on field trips, music concerts, equalized days, and early dismissals. As much as I try to plan projects to go up until almost the last day, sometimes it just doesn't work out. So I have been pretty good lately at coming up with one day activities for my art classes. My favorite is taking the kids outside on nice days to do sidewalk chalk art. I used to just let them do whatever, but now I usually have a plan of what I want them to be working on outside.

Zentangles have been all the rage this year. On Dali's mustache blog she calls them Zendoodles, which I like better for elementary. I had my first graders watch an artist create a Zendoodle on a video in fast motion and I also showed them some student samples. I had them do a small Zendoodle on paper to practice and get a feel for it. My classes run an hour long, so we do this for about 30-40 minutes (depending how into it the kids are.) Then I get the sidewalk chalk bins out and we head outside. It's great because my room has a door that leads right to the playground area and kickball field. We have tons of sidewalk to decorate right outside the art room. The kids then started Zendoodling on the sidewalk with chalk. THEY LOVE IT! And having a beautiful day to do it is a bonus.

Thiebaud Cake Sculptures

For my 5th graders last project I wanted to do something fun and out of the box with them. We studied Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud. We watched a CBS interview with Thiebaud from a few years ago- the interview told about his progression as an arstist and of course talked about his artwork.

For our last trimester I did almost all 3D projects with the 5th grade, and they wanted to continue with the 3D theme. So instead of drawing desserts, we made cake sculptures. I saved any type of food box for a few months. The students first built their cake assembling the recycled boxes and food containers. Next they paper mached the form with newspaper to make it one solid piece. Then they "frosted" their cakes using colored construction paper and paper mache again. After they were done with the paper macheing we discussed decorating. I asked how many of the students had ever seen shows like Ace of Cakes or Cake Boss, several had. I found a slide show on YouTube of amazing cakes and showed them that. And it turns out that this year we have a wonderful cake designer working right in our school. One of our instructional paras runs a small cake business on the side and she makes AMAZING cakes. She was nice enough to bring in her portfolio of cakes she has created to share with my classes. They were quite amazed. After viewing all the different cakes, I put tons of random supply out for them to use to decorate. We started to run out of time with it being the end of the school year. But for a big end of the year project they turned out pretty unique!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Grant Wood Farmscapes

Third graders learned about the artist Grant Wood. We discussed landscapes, foreground, middle ground, and back ground. First we learned how to draw a rooster by watching an instructional drawing video on Youtube. We watched it twice, once just watching, and the second time we drew along with the video. I paused it every now and then to give them a chance to get caught up. They did a great job! They then outlined and colored in with color pencil. Next they drew a simple landscape with a farm house and field. I had them start with a horizon line, then use a variety of lines to divide up the space. Then they drew a farm house on top. They used water color to paint. The roosters were cut out and we used little scraps with an accordian fold to make them pop out off our paper.