Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kindergarten. Show all posts

Thursday, May 4, 2017

In the Art Room: Kindergarten Creates Arlo Needs Glasses

 We are winding down the year and heading to the art show...which means art projects now need to be short, sweet and a review of what we've learned. Today, kindergarten did a review of both pattern and texture while listening to the tale of Arlo and his need for glasses!
These cuties were created in 45 minutes and it was go time from the moment they walked in the door. I LOVE author Barney Saltzberg (his book Beautiful Oops is an art teacherin' fave) and I'm a big fan of Arlo Needs Glasses. Unfortunately, I don't own a copy but I did find a sweet little YouTube video of a boy reading the book. 
The kids were immediately interested in Arlo and couldn't wait to create. I had them gather up an 11" square piece of construction paper with any color of their choosing and a paintbrush. Once at their seats, the kids wrote their names and then used oil pastels to create a colorful rubbing. After a few minutes, we did a guided painting together. Here's the one minute version:

So much fun!
I loved how sweet and cute each Arlo was and so did the kids. I overheard the kids talking about how much they loved their creation. "I like mine and so does Mrs. Stephens!" to which another replied, "She likes everyone's art. That's her job." It's true. 
There were a lot of squeals when I said that we'd be finger printing. 
 I love how some of them look like koala's in glasses!
Once paintings were completed and drying racked, the kids met me on the floor to create the pipe cleaner glasses. 
 I played the book video again while those who finished early with their glasses helped those who struggled. 
 As they finished, I had the kids bring the glasses to me. I placed them on a large sheet of paper and wrote their names on the paper. Once the paintings were dry, I took them off the drying rack and hot glued them to the paintings. 
One more masterpiece for our pet-themed art show! Since the artwork for kindergarten is already hung, these just might be displayed on the cabinets in the art room.
 This one is so stinkin' cute...
 And this one completely cracks me up!
 Kindergarten is a tough beast to tame...but this project was definitely one that got them excited (more so than usual!) and one that I would def do again.
How about you, what are some of your fave kinder lessons? 
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 33

If you are anything like me (and bless, as we say in the South, if you are), then you prolly got that art ed degree of yours without being a total pro in all forms of media. I didn't take a single printmaking or ceramics class in college and I got a C in textiles (which is a fave but at the time, I was huffing too many paint fumes, er, REALLY into my painting class, to be bothered with warping that freakin' floor loom). What I did get is a two year degree in oil painting because...you know, that's something we teach to the 10 and under set. Ahem. All that to say, we are expected to be at least somewhat knowledgable about the media we share with our students. But, let's be honest, a lot of times, we are learning right along with the kids. 

Now, I've been at this art teacherin' game for sometime now (18 years but who's countin'?) and I have learned a thing or two along the way. One thing is for certain: kids LOVE clay. However, it can be frustrating to teach if you lack experience. Since I've been around the art teacherin' block a time or two (wink-wink, nudgenudge), I thought I'd share some of my fave art teacherin' clay hacks with you. Here you go:
 Let's talk about some of the things I've shared and just where you can find them. 

* Clay mats. I mentioned The Clay Lady and her clay mats. I seriously have had mine FOR YEARS. They are worth the cost of $2 each. 

* Toothbrushes and doggie bowls. Seriously, what would we art teachers do without places like The Dollar Tree?! Toothbrushes are perfect for teaching scoring and doggie bowls are awesome for holding slip while preventing spills. 

* Texture! A visit to your thrift store will provide you with a good stockpile of texture for your clay adventures. Placemats, cable knit sweaters, burlap, stamps, you name it. If it has a texture, your clay will capture it.

* Skewer sticks. Perfect for cutting, drawing and carving into clay.
Something I failed to mention: what to do with those projects that kids work on for more than one class? To store these effectively, I have a stockpile of old and large zip lock baggies. The kids write their names on the bags in Sharpie, wrap their project in a damp paper towel and place gently inside the back. I tell the kids not to zip their bags shut as that usually traps air inside. Instead, I tell them to push the air out and tuck the opening of the bag under their project. This will keep their clay workable for about a week. 

If you would like to continue this clay chat, you are in luck. All throughout the month of May, I'll be hosting clay chats (and craft nights, so come armed with clay!) right here, every Wednesday at 8pm CST. You can work with any ole clay you like...however, I'll be using the clays made available in this kit which you can purchase here. For more info on what we'll be up to, check here

And now, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave clay projects over the years (many with video links!) for you to take back to your own Art Teacherin' Town. LOOOOOVE to hear your fave clay projects and words of wisdom. Please feel free to leave in el commentos below. 
This clay project was one that I did with my second graders FOR YEARS. They love it, it's a great way to introduce texture, slab, coil and glaze. It's also a quickie and with my short art classes, it worked very well. 
This was a fun project my third graders did one year. If you've taught clay before, then you've probably done the coils-in-a-styrofoam-bowl project (I know I have!) a different spin on that is having the kids use slabs of clay to create flowers. We had a spring theme one art show and these fit in beautifully. 
I almost always do a clay project that emphasizes texture with my kindergarteners. I'll share all of those projects...but this one is always a fave: texture butterflies
This is another kindergarten clay project with an emphasis on texture. This project is also shared in my clay book...but with homemade clay! 
These clay fish by my first graders always crack me up! They had so much fun creating the silly expressions on these a couple years ago. If every glaze is not an option, here is a fun alternative: florescent oil pastels and watered down black paint! 
Inspired by the painted elephants in India, my fourth graders created these fun guys one year. 
Funky frogs were created by my fourth graders one year. They had so much personality! This was a project we worked on over the course of a couple of art classes...which really allowed the kids to get creative. 
One year, to go along with our Asian theme, my fourth graders created these fun pandas. Each had their own wild and wacky personaltiy. 
To go along with that theme of Asia, my third grade kiddos created these Chinese dragons which they had a great time doing.
So I might have a thing for animals and clay...what do you think? My kindergarten and first graders created these pinch pot pets a couple of years back when our art show theme was to raise money for a local animal shelter. And, what do you know, animals are our theme again this year! 
That year, my second graders created this version of pinch pot pets: two pinch pots put together to create the body of their animal. 
And my fourth graders created these! Definitely a favorite by both me and the kiddos. 
Yet another spin on pinch pots and animals: using the pinch pot as a container. Our school mascot is the tiger and this particular year, second graders created tiger pinch pot containers
 Now last year, I decided to go for a food theme and create the art room into a 1950's style diner. These projects were not shared in detail like my others because...I was in the middle of writing my clay book and these projects are all featured in that book! The book is written to be used with no kiln fire clay...but, as you can see, you can use kiln fire clay as well. You can scoop up your book here
 My first graders served up these coffee and donut delights. 
 Second grade backed up cupcakes. Y'all better believe the retro lover in my totally enjoyed decorating for this art show!
 Third graders made hamburgers and fries...complete with all the fixin's. 
While others made pancake containers with hand painted paper plates. 
A kid and crowd favorite were the pie containers. The kids had so much fun googling pies and sculpting their favorite. 
While other classes did pizza containers. I reached out to a local pizza place for the boxes to display the pizza in. 
This year, we are back at it with an animal theme! We are transforming the art room into a pet shop. Third grade is in charge of the reptiles
Fourth grade had a blast creating these bobble head pets
But a crowd favorite so far are these fun and funky birds by second grade. They crack me up! 

Many more clay projects are coming up so stay tuned. However, if you just can't wait, you can see a handful of clay projects that have not been shared here but are on my YouTube channel. I always upload there first...so if you'd like to stay up to date, you might consider hitting subscribe. 
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

In the Art Room: Art Buddies

Once a month, we have half days in my school district. You'd think a half day would be an easy day but it's actually more like a normal day condensed into half the amount of time. Read: it's crazy. On these days, I have four classes, four different grade levels for 30 minutes each back to back before we dismiss. Our half days are almost always on Fridays and the kindergarten classes I would normally see on that day miss art. If you do the math (which, gross, why would you) that means I end up missing my kindergarten classes seven times over the course of a school year. Yikes!

This time around, I decided to do something about it: invite my kindergarten classes in during the time scheduled for my third and fourth grade classes. See if you can follow me on this journey: when I see my third and fourth graders on their normal art day, the classes are doubled up (meaning I see two third/fourth grade classes at a time. This was the only way I was able to get an hour with these students). However, on half days, I only see one of those third/fourth grade classes. Which means that if we did our normal art lesson, when I saw the kids next, half of them would be ahead. So usually on those days, we do something completely different. That means more work and planning for me.

When I got the schedule for our half day, I approached the kindergarten teachers and asked if they'd be willing to give up some of their time to allow their students to have art. I let them know that they'd have Big Buddies to help them in art today. I let the third and fourth grade teachers know that their students would be giving up their art time to act as role models to the kindergarten kiddos. Here's a glimpse of how our very busy 30 minutes went!
I have to say, the Big Buddies ROCKED it and the Little Buddies were THRILLED to have them. I saw my older students step up, speak kindly, be gentle and guide their new friends. I saw my younger students tell them what they knew, sit up tall and follow directions to make their new friends proud. It was a big ego boost for both sides and a lot of fun to watch. 
How did this go down? I met both grade levels at the entrance of my room. I told the younger students to go in and take a seat on the floor in the first and second row. We were seated under the large television screen you can see in the video. I asked the older students to sit behind so that the younger kids could see. I explained to both parties that they'd have to play close attention to be a good student and a good teacher. I explained that were were creating paintings that would later act as a sky in a collage landscape. We learned about TEXTURE and TINTS with texture being our Word of the Day (whenever I say the WotD, the kids know to give me a WHOOP-WHOOP!). I let the younger friends know that TEXTURE is one of the elements of art. At that point, I had all of the kindergarten kids turn around and face the big kids as they did this little hand-jive to explain what the Elements of Art are...
I told the kids that they were to use white paint first and put big blobs of white onto their paper. I said to "scoop, plop, flip the brush over" at which point the kids repeated with me "scoop, plop, flip". I didn't want cups of water on the tables with this many kids and because it would put holes in the construction paper. So the kids were instructed to clean their brush either on their paper or on their messy mats. From there, they were to add "baby blobs of blue". Once complete, they were to use the texture tool of their choice to blend the colors together creating a TEXTURE TINTS of blue.
As a reminder of the directions for EVERYONE, we did a call and response...my favorite thing in the world. 
We got through all the directions, painted and even did a bit of book reading all in 30 minutes flat. With the help of the older students, I was able to have a much more relaxing teaching experience...and drink my coffee! 
I will admit, we were loud and proud! But with 35-ish big and littles in the room, I was willing to go with the flow. All kids were on task, all kids were having fun and all kids completed their painting. We did neglect to wash hands as I just couldn't see having that many friends at the sinks. Thankfully, I work with classroom teachers that totally understand and were fine with taking care of hand washing. 

I really cannot wait for another half day to do this again. I think this will be a fun new routine for my students. My favorite part was when a third grader, who was the last to walk out of my art room stop, lean against the wall and let out a big WHEW! When asked if she was alright, she said, "teaching kindergarteners is TOUGH! I'm exhausted!" Ha! 
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