Thursday, September 29, 2011

A teacher at school shared this saying with me today and said she saw it on facebook.  Then I saw a friend posted this image on her facebook page today as well.  I took it as a sign that I needed to share too :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pinwheels for Peace

I heard about the Pinwheels for Peace project from my former high school art teacher and thought it would be a fun idea!  The whole idea is to promote International Peace Day, etc.  I started promoting this idea the very first week of school to my students and we jumped right in making them.  I believe the final number my JH students and I came up with was 208 pinwheels!!!

I really enjoyed this project but after doing something 208 times, it becomes a little blah.  I had lost a little bit of my excitement for the project until yesterday when I was making sure everything was ready to go for today.  I had help from 3 high school students at 7 AM this morning and it took us about half an hour to get everything all done which was exactly along the time line I was thinking.  I wanted it all done and ready by the time parents started dropping their children off and teachers started coming in and at my school that starts around 7:30.

The Pinwheels for Peace website has the template and assembly instructions...  I used the bead/pipe cleaner attachment with the pencil that was a suggestion on the website. I liked this way of assembly because the students could do most of it themselves and have more of a part in the whole project.  However, I felt like this way of assembling the pinwheels didn't allow them to move as much as I wanted them to, but it worked out just fine.  I did assemble the K-2 pinwheels on my own because I didn't think they had the motor skills to assemble the pinwheels, especially this early in the school year.
I also made some poster board signs to promote/explain the pinwheel display.

Overall, I was pleased with the display.  The weather turned out to be really nice despite a pick up in the wind later in the afternoon.  There was dew in the grass that was a small annoyance.  And since we have had so little rain the ground was much harder than I thought, especially despite the school's healthy green and watered grass!  Everything turned out great though and I received SO many compliments throughout the day!  And that just helps to justify what I do :) 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Down on the Farm

This was the first project I did with my 2nd graders this year and last year.  It is a good starting project to see the skill level of each student.  We do a follow the leader drawing and I am the leader drawing on the board.  A farm scene is the theme and although they are very similar to each other, there is some creative freedom.  The goal for this project is that students do their best to follow along by listening and watching closely. 
After knowing my students for a year now, it was interesting to me to see how their drawings match their personalities.  Teachers also commented on this as I was hanging the drawings in the hallway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Easy Breezy Sub Plans?

I was out sick yesterday and although not quite feeling up to par today, I'm just going to suffer through it.  The sub plans I left were fairly easy, or so I thought, until I returned.  Maybe my directions and examples left weren't clear enough because I was in a hurry to get them done and go home and get back to bed.  Or maybe perhaps I am just too picky and want things done my way.  Regardless...does anyone have any easy one day projects that a sub can easily do regardless of what they know about art???  Help!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

I wanted to do some type of art display to remember 9/11.  I was in 8th grade when 9/11 happened, so I realized that very few of my elementary age students would know a lot about it, having been very young at the time or not even born yet!  However, I was determined to do it anyway. 
I thought a fun way to remember would be to honor America, and this idea also fits into my theme "Around the World and into Outer Space".
My 6th graders and I discussed what symbols are and then went further into the idea by discussing symbols that represent our country.  Students then created a sort of drawing collage of things or ideas that represent America.  I wanted the collages to be original and was impressed by some of the ideas and symbols that came up in discussion.  Overall I was very pleased!  The project took 3, 30 minute class periods and was one class longer than I expected so right after they finished on Friday, they went up in the hallway just in time for the anniversary of 9/11. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mural Project Experiment

I was asked by my HS principal to do a test run experiment of painting a mural on the brick building.  The whole idea of his was to do a test run to see if as a school we could do a class competition mural project during homecoming week which is coming up soon.  I was unsure about all of this, especially with the timing of the 2nd full week of school...I hardly know some of my kids at this point!  But I agreed to do it anyway, more because I felt I should.  And now I know that with this particular principal, sometimes you just have to say NO!
Overall the end result isn't terrible but the process along the way made me want to pull out my hair!  The kids weren't thrilled with the idea to begin with especially because we were doing general "school spirit" murals.  Plus, it has been over 100 degrees every day we have been outside!  And on top of that, the sprinklers have been coming on washing off/fading/making the paint run!  It was also frustrating because there wasn't enough space in the 6 foot murals for all of my students to work at the same time.

We used mixed powder tempra because my principal wanted it to be able to wash off eventually.  Little did I realize it would come off basically right away because of the silly sprinklers!
I also used technology enlarging the drawn images on my smart board.  And then creating a large grid.  Most of my students knew how to do the grid at this point, but it was new to some of them.

I'm not sure how I feel about the results...I think they look cool but could be much better with more time and more cooperation from my students.  However, under the circumstances we dealt with we were ready to move on and move back into the classroom!

6th hour Mural

8th hour Mural - Let's Go Buffs!