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!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Paper Mache Aliens - 2nd Grade

I had never done paper mache with such young students before, but I was pretty pleased with the results.  I can't take credit for this idea because I saw this project on a blog somewhere, but I can't remember where and the lesson plan I printed is at school.
To begin this project, I gave my 2nd graders an assignment of bringing in a plastic pop or juice bottle or something similar.  This became our form to cover with paper mache.  When they brought them to my room they were excited to figure out what we were going to do with them. 
For paper mache, I use newspaper and watered-down's cheap!  Most of my 2nd graders got the hang of it pretty fast, while others struggled a little.  Overall they loved getting a little bit messy! 

This project lasted 3, 30 minute class periods.  The first class we applied the paper mache.  During the 2nd class we painted, and the last class we added all of the fine details to make our aliens extra special and unique!  I got out my google eyes, pipe cleaners, yarn, pom poms, etc. which made the project fun to go a little wild with ideas!

These creatures are quite interesting and fun! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th Grade Astronaut Portraits

My 4th graders spent many weeks this spring working on astronauts that became self-portraits.  They had a great time working on these large projects and the end results were pretty fun!  These were also on display for our spring art show: Around the World and Into Outer Space.