Sunday, February 26, 2012

JH Cityscapes and Value

I got this idea from another blogger but back when I found it I didn't write down where it was from.  So if you posted this...thanks!

My JH students went on the computer and each found a city skyline to draw.  Most students worked from one single photo, but some pieced a few photos together in their drawings.  Students drew on gray paper and then added shadows with black and highlights with white.  The middle grays were left gray or lightly shaded with white or black.  I think they turned out well!

Here are a few examples:

Sunday, February 12, 2012

HS Art Auction

This is the second year I've been teaching and I've decided to continue the silent art auction I did last year.  I want to make it kind of a tradition as long as I'm in this same district.
Since we live in southwest Kansas, we make that our inspiration.  I leave the project pretty wide open in terms of subject matter as long as it fits with our inspiration.  I also let the students choose to do pencil shaded drawings, use colored pencil, or paint.  The focus of this project within the classroom is quality and craftsmanship, knowing that we are putting them up for sale.  Allowing the students to choose which media they want to do helps them to work with something they love and know they can do well.
Both years I have done this project, I have seen my students step up to the plate with this challenge.  They try so hard, knowing that a lot of people will be seeing them and that people will be purchasing them.  My students have blown me away by what they can do and I think they surprise themselves as well.  It is a great feeling!
I pair the art auction with a home basketball game and have our art displayed in the commons area so the work is highly visible.  This year the particular game I chose was paired with our winter homecoming and the gym was packed.  I received many, many compliments on the work from my students and everything I heard was so very positive.  We sold 28 pieces and made $592!  It's the easiest fundraiser I've ever done.  The prep work is mostly done within the classroom by my students and my work is minimal only needing to make bid sheets and hang everything up.  After half-time of the varsity boys game I started collecting money and the art went out the door with the highest bidder.  Everything was collected and all cleaned up by the end of the game.  Easy!
Most of the pieces were bought by parents or teachers and some other community members.  This year I had one lady who purchased 5 or 6 pieces and when she came up to pay, she told me she didn't need the art work and although it was wonderful she wanted me to give the art back to the students who made them.  She bid for encouragement.  I just love that!  And my fellow teachers do the same, supporting the students that need the most love and encouragement.  It just gives me the warm fuzzies inside knowing that people are just so good!

Like I said, we had 28 pieces for sale but I won't post them all.  I'll try to pick some of the better ones and some of my favorites.  6 of the 28 pieces were out plaster buffaloes inspired by the Cow Parade which you can see a few posts below, so I'll leave those out of this post.

Sophomore - Our school mascot is the buffalo and our colors are purple and white

Senior - Watercolor


Junior - Acrylic Painting


Sophomore - Watercolor



Junior - Acrylic Painting

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Behavior, Bribes, Rewards, and Art Bucks

I hate feeling like I have to bribe my students to be good.  They should just be good.  But we all know they aren't always that way. 
My 5th graders are the worst.  Not only are they my largest group of students but they are a very social bunch.  They get quite chatty.  I also have quite a few lower level students in this bunch who are low on reading levels, take longer to process, and have behavior issues.  Basically they make me want to pull out my hair!
Overall I do a behavior reward system for each K-6 class.  If the whole class is good, they get to move their rocket ship to the next planet (this year my theme is around the world and into outer space).  Last year I had gumball machines and they added a gumball.  When they get to the end of mark, then we have a free day.  My free day consists of going out for recess if the weather is nice or getting out fun art stuff we don't usually use and having centers.  I don't particularly care for giving up one class period for recess, rather than art but I think it is worth it.  I bring out sidewalk chalk for an added option to the regular playground equipment that a lot of my girls enjoy.
I have some classes who are on their 3rd time around and I've been keeping track by adding different colored flames to the bottom of the class rocket.  Red for completing the first time around, yellow for the second, and I might do orange or blue for the end of the third time around.

Rocket Ship Bulletin Board for Good Class Behavior.

This hasn't really worked for my 5th grade because the majority of the class on one given day isn't that great.  But I do have a handful of students that are always working hard and listening to directions.  I felt as if I was punishing these students so I've decided to incorporate a new system into 5th grade along with their rocket ships.  And here is where Art Bucks come in...
I saw this idea on a blog and I wish I remember which one it was but I can't think of it for the life of me!  But anyway, I thank them for the idea!

I took one 30 minute class period to introduce the idea and have students draw a design for our art bucks.  This made it a competition, because I had my JH students and a few teachers vote for the best design.  The winning design is our art bucks design.  The students seemed to be buying into the idea!

I printed out a blank rectangle on a piece of paper for them to draw in and printed out a picture of the front and back of a $1 bill to give out some starting ideas.
Students will be able to spend their art bucks on a variety of prizes on the determined shopping day.  Prizes will include candy, pencils, pens, paints/canvas, small toys, etc.  Basically anything I can find for little money goes.  Each prize will be a certain price and they will have to buy the prize with their art bucks.

Here are the top winners based on my JH students votes.

And here is the winning design along with the different colors of paper I used when I copied them.

I also came up with a fun way for the students to store their art bucks until "shopping" day.

5th grade's got money in the bank - piggy banks they can put their art money in for safe keeping :)

How to earn art bucks...they are very hard to earn!

I am on week 2 of this behavior system and I'm not sure how it is going to work.  I gave the winner one as a prize for her good design and I've given out 4 other art bucks.  Overall, I'm hoping to reward those who are consistently well behaved and hope that this will rub off on everyone else.  So far the jury is out on if it will work or hopes are high!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

School Projects

To say that January was a busy month for me is quite the understatement.  My to-do list kept growing and the things on my list were not small tasks by any means.
Here are a few photos of the work that I've been doing lately for school in my "free time".

 I somehow got asked/volunteered to paint some backdrops for the JH musical "Tom Sawyer" that is happening this coming Monday.  I spent a few long days on a couple weekends and a few long evenings after school to get these 3 scenes done in time.  Although in the photos they don't look very big, with both panels together for 1 scene, they are about 10 feet wide and I guess about 12 feet tall. 

Chapel scene

Yard/Picket fence scene

Graveyard Scene - I couldn't photo it without getting shine for some reason

Our high school gym is foreseeing some updates this year.  Most of them are pretty minor and cosmetic.  I was recruited to repaint on 2 walls.  The request was to paint a bigger, more "manly" buffalo to replace the quite girly, lavender-ish one that had been around for quite some time.  I also repainted the letters, making them bigger and easier to read that the very scripted font from before.  One wall is done and the other will be within a week or so, and will be very similar to this with the same buffalo but different words.

My high school students are doing a silent auction again this year.  We are doing a similar theme as last year, as a Kansas/country/hometown inspiration.  Here is a painting I did for it.  I'm not too happy with it mostly because of running out of time.  I always enjoy sitting down and working while my students do too but it is hard to finish a piece when my job is to help them too.  I'm always up and around answering questions and checking to see what their work is looking like and I rarely am able to finish.  But I was determined to do it.  I wish I had done this in oil paint because it would have been much easier but I haven't taught oil paint to my students so I thought it would be slightly unfair.  I love acrylic, so I made it work but with my time troubles and color mixing oil paint would have been much better.  I will have student auction pieces to post on later and will give updates on how our auction goes too!

Our school colors are purple and gray, so I decided to use those colors

HS - 1 point perspective

A few posts ago I wrote about my JH students doing bird's eye view city drawings.  Well at the beginning of the semester I wanted to do a project that had some challenge to it, but just got my students back into creative thinking after break.  Thus, the same project but I love it just the same with some of my high schoolers adding some extra creativity into it.  Here are some of my favorites.

This student is into make-up/cosmetology and created a city inspired by these things.
She also incorporated her nickname.

This student spelled out the words Star Gazer and also added her initials as buildings.

These buildings were created by famous logos, mostly of brand-names.

This city was inspired by technology and name-brands associated with technology.

Inspiration: video games