Monday, December 17, 2012

5th Grade in the Christmas Spirit

I feel pretty lucky that my administration lets me do whatever I want in terms of lesson ideas.  I also feel like my ideas are accepted by not only the students but their parents too.  I don't always like the idea of holiday projects because they can get kind of cheesy or cutsey crafty.  However, they do have their place at times.

My 5th graders did these beautiful tree branches and ornaments.  We focused in on creating the texture of the tree branches by using lines with oil pastels.  We divided watercolor paper into 4 sections and did a wet-on-wet technique blending colors together.  We used a compass to create the circle shapes of our ornaments and then put it all together by cutting and gluing.  The final touch was to add hooks so our ornaments and branches went together.

The work in the hallway got great reviews and compliments by many teachers and parents.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Santa Ornaments

My 1st graders created these ornaments, based off an idea I've seen on Pinterest.  I used clay and rolled out some slabs before giving the students some clay tools to trace and cut out their hand.  Then after they were fired in the kiln, we painted red and skin tone in the appropriate areas.  Because my clay fires white, we just left the white alone.  I think this idea was fun to do and my students had a great time with it.

I love how all of them seem to have their own personalities!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

HS Photo-Realism Candy Drawing

Around Halloween my HS students worked on candy drawings.  They brought in candy of their choice and set up a mini still-life.  Working from a photograph, students focused on the realistic qualities of packaging, lettering, and candy.  We used colored pencils which worked out well for the most part...however, I sure do wish I could afford more expensive colored pencils like Prismacolors.

Here are some student examples:

Monday, November 19, 2012

JH Shaded Portraits

I'm pretty sure I've written about this before, but I'm always pleased by the success that I want to share again!

My JH students were to choose a famous person they wanted to do a shaded drawing of using a grid.  For many of them, this was the first time for a grid and for serious shading.  They rose to the challenge and did a great job!

We focused on the contour lines and getting the shapes right by using a grid system.  I'm a fan of the grid, only because for a lot of my students it "clicks" and that is such a great thing to see.  They are proud of what they have done and see the success which is awesome.  I think that it is a great tool for them to know how to use.  We spent a good week preparing our photos, paper, and drawing the contour lines in the drawing.  We then spent another full week shading.  I demonstrate some tips and tricks for them and we discuss the differences in shading pencils.

I got some pretty great results:

Country Singer...I can't remember the name

Weird Al Yankovic

Taylor Swift

Michael Jordan

One of my JH boys who has struggled with a lot of projects made the comment the other day when they handed these projects in that this was the best project we had done so far!  I was very pleased and proud of this statement, first because who it came from and second because this was a really challenging project and my kids stepped it up!  What a proud moment :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Perspective and 5th Grade!

I've never done anything with perspective younger than my 7th and 8th grade students, but I decided after seeing my HS students struggle with it more than I expected to give it a try.  My 5th graders stepped up and rocked it!  I showed them how I would do my last name using 1 point perspective and they loved how it looked!  I explained how it worked and that it would probably be a challenging project but I believed they could do it...and they did!

My students first chose either their first or last name, most of the decisions came easily based on the number of letters.  We focused on creating block or bubble letters and spreading them across the page.  This step alone in itself was a challenge for many, but we kept working at it until we got it.  Then we added the point and using a ruler connected each letter to the dot in the appropriate areas.  My students had an understanding that I would be coming around to check everyone's work, so they needed to be patient.  While they were waiting for me to come around and answer questions and check their work, I encouraged them to ask the people at their table to see if they could figure out their questions together.  After they finished, students added color with colored pencils.

Here are some results...not too shabby for 5th grade! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

JH Magazine Mosaic Animals

My JH students drew animals and used magazines to create a mosaic effect using shades of one color.  This was a pretty simple and straightforward assignment, so we really focused on the drawing aspect of the animal.  We did several sketches and then drew them large on the paper.  We kept it pretty simple in drawing too, focusing on the contour lines and on the inside of the animal only drawing lines where colors changed.  Students then pulled out pages from magazines that were of the color they chose.  Using small sections of those colors, they pieced the colors together, similar to a mosaic.

Here are some finished results:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Op Art Hands

I saw this project idea all over Pinterest this summer and wanted to give it a try.  I chose do to this with my 5th graders, because they are a good group of kids and knew they would have fun with it.

Of course, they didn't all turn out exactly like those seen below.  Some of them you can't tell what it's supposed to be, but all of my 5th graders tried their hardest.  If I did this project again, I'd consider a slightly different approach so I had more successes with my students.  I might also try a different medium besides markers for a neater application.  Anyway here are some of the successes:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Character Paintings

Wow! So it's been a long time since I've been on here.  Guess it's taken me a bit longer to catch my breath and get into the routine of school as well as activities and taking a graduate class.  So glad tomorrow is Friday! WOO!

Anyway we have been making a lot of things in my art classes and I'm finally getting pictures taken and uploaded to be able to write/post about them.

I'm going to start with some high school paintings.  I got this idea from a fellow blogger,  Students created a painting based on symbols that represented a character from a movie, book, cartoon, etc.  They could not incorporate the character itself, but only symbols associated with that character.  I had a great variety of ideas that truly seemed to fit the personalities of my students quite well.  I think they all did a great job!

The Hulk

Captain America
Scooby Doo
Queen of Hearts - Alice in Wonderland

Dorothy - Wizard of Oz

Katniss Everdeen - The Hunger Games
Lion King

I loved this project and my students had a lot of fun with it as well!  Thanks for the idea!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Well we are ready to start our 3rd full week of school and everything is off and running!  It has been a bit crazy but things are starting to settle into a routine again.  It feels good to be back with the kids!

My first project with my high school students was an art elements/design "basic" so that I could see where each student stood with their ability levels.  I have many students on the high school level that I have never had before so I wanted to see what they could do.  We focused on line, shape, pattern, texture, color, and lettering/typography.  I have seen a variety of projects similar to this out there in different places.

Each student had to come up with a quote that inspired them to bring in to class to start this project.  This project as a whole I feel thoroughly represents the student and their personality which is always cool!

Although they all turned out pretty great, here are some really awesome ones!

Monday, July 30, 2012

New School Year...New Theme. Any Ideas?

Well I've come to face the reality that school is just around the corner.  Although I'll be sad to give up my lazy days and naps, I'll be glad to get back into a routine again once school is actually here.  For now, I'm slowly starting to think about lesson plans and other ideas.  I'm excited to be starting my 3rd year!  I feel more and more comfortable with what I am doing, but am continuing to strive to change things up and make things better! 

I've found it to be easier to do bulletin boards and projects for my K-6 students if I have some kind of theme.  I've done Wild About Art and Around the World/Into Outerspace.  Any ideas for this year?

I enjoy the theme because it makes things a little more exciting and helps me keep a little more focused through out the year.  Not everything I do throughout the year has to relate to the theme, but it is always nice to fall back on it.

My previous themes have also linked into my Spring Art show, but it could be something totally different and just be for the classroom.

If you have any ideas, I would take them!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

High School Final Projects

My high school students spent the last 4-5 weeks of the school year focusing on their last project.  This last project was a themed unit that actually consisted of 3 smaller projects.  Students chose their theme, planned out each project under that theme, and then started production after they received teacher approval of ideas and use of materials.  By this time of the school year some of my supplies were pretty limited, especially in particular colors of paint.  Because of this I stressed that each student plan out what they needed and make sure that I know prior to beginning.  Students were also encouraged to bring in any found materials/extra supplies of their own...however, I don't believe anyone did this.
This was the first time I tried something like this and I found that there was great success in it!  The theme allowed students to choose something they were interested in and apply the art knowledge they had gained throughout the year.  This project had much weight in the semester grade and I looked for such things as time management, use of theme idea, application of art knowledge, etc.  I believe the most difficult thing for my students was the time management part.  I stressed that managing time was important in order for all projects to be done in time, and if 3 projects were finished before time was out that they all better be darn good and then they must add a 4th idea to their same theme. I had many who were scrambling the last 3 days or so to get everything finished.  I also had a few that had 4 or even 5 projects for their theme.
Overall I enjoyed this project very much because it allowed me to see the growth and talent of my students in a different way.  This project was very open and it allowed each student to tap into their personalities and let them shine!

I am incredibly excited to try this again and might try doing this 2 times a year, once in November until Christmas Break, and then again near the end of the year.

This student loves horses and actually has a few and a lot of other animals too.
She was great to have in class and I will miss her talent since she graduated this year.

This student I only had for 1 year and he also graduated this spring.  He has a great eye for detail
and I am glad that he is planning on pursuing art through some form in college.

The smallest cross is made from clay and is able to hang.  I like the simplicity of
this theme, but that it could become intricate and varied through
a variety of mediums and design.

This student did a golf theme and I did not get a chance to photograph his
other projects before the year was over.  This is some of his best work
of the year which is exciting!


This student did a hunting/fishing theme because she love the outdoors.  I wish
she would have spent more time on a few pieces and had less pieces overall,
but she doesn't take critique well and usually does what she wants.  She
has a lot of talent but can be pushed much farther if she would listen to some
advice.  Sadly, this student is moving away.

This student did a fairytale/medieval theme.  I love the dragon on the castle
made from clay.  It looks much better than in this photograph.  He spent so much time
on itand was rushed to finish the other pieces in time and although
they are good, they could be much better.

This student created a forest theme.  The tree is made with acrylic and melted
crayon.  The top left animal is done in acrylic and the bottom piece in
watercolor.  She was a foreign exchange student from Thailand, so she will not
return next year and I will miss her very much.  She had such great talent!