Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First grade lion painting. Posted by Hello

This first grader used crayons to draw her cat. She was able to show the texture of the fur with sketchy lines.  Posted by Hello

Rebecca's golden retriever puppet. She was very careful to choose and use just the right color for her puppy. I love the feather ears! Posted by Hello

The Picture File

I have organized a Picture File for the students to use when they needed to get a "real" picture of something specific. These are laminated calendar pictures that are organized into categories (dogs, cats, wild cats, ocean animals, sunsets, mountains, etc.) and they "stand up" in a computer paper box with matboard dividers. My wonderful parent volunteer made labels to stick up so that the kids could read them easily.
I had been disappointed in the quality of the paintings that the students were producing at the paint center. There were quite a few rainbows, grass with the universal tulips with the zig zag top (tulips don't even look like that!), American flag, etc. I believe the children were painting things that were safe and easy. For the last 2 weeks I have been teaching more paint techniques (that Topal book is great!) and also talking about how to use the picture file to improve the look of their work by concentrating on details. Because the pictures are laminated, I can paint right on them when I am doing my demo. I am so pleased with the marked improvement in the quality of the work since the Picture File has been intoduced. Some students are using the pictures to use in other centers too. A first grader brought a puppy picture to the puppet center and was working so diligently to create a bag puppet of a golden retriever. I am amazed at their work, especially with the first graders. I have included just a sample of some of their art. I hope you enjoy them.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Portable Puppet Center. This can be moved from table to table as needed. Posted by Hello

Painting Center menu. I love watching the students refer to this as they set up their paints. I added clip art images for the students that cannot read english yet. We have quite a few international students. Posted by Hello

Devyn made this cut paper collage of a jet-skiing cat (wearing sunglasses of course) giving a blonde girl a ride in the water. What a clever idea! Posted by Hello

Erin (third grade) made this cut paper collage of a golden retriever.  Posted by Hello

Here is SpiderMan swinging from his web (white string). Cameron (4th grade) got his idea last week when he bought a new SpiderMan action figure. The SpiderMan is cut out of heavy white paper and the building is a piece of mat board that he painted. he is still working on this piece and has added a platform for a villain to stand on. I can't wait to see what he does with this next week. My Thursday classes are upset that they are going to miss art due to Veterans Day.  Posted by Hello

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Kindergarten artists building paper sculptures. Posted by Hello

Two second grade girls collaborated on this collage of a bedroom. See the TV at the top! Posted by Hello

Here is an abstract paper collage using white sticker paper as a base. This is from a 2nd grade class. Posted by Hello

This 3D house started out as a flat drawing with a door that opened using a wooden knob. There is a picture of a dog wearing clothes under the door. The next week Mitchell wanted to make it 3 dimensional so I gave him some pieces of mat board and masking tape. The following week,his classmate Emma wanted to make one. This photo is Mitchell showing Emma how to build a house with the mat board.  Posted by Hello

This is the fish bowl rubric I use with the students. It is an easy and simple way for the kids to assess their own artwork. Posted by Hello

Monday, October 25, 2004

The first day of choice

This morning, during my prep time, I rearranged the art room to accomodate 4 centers (drawing, painting, collage and sculpture). Two tables are located next to the sink. Unfortunately, due to the small size of the room, I had to push the tables up against a blackboard so only 6 students can paint at one time. I may have to rethink this set up if there happens to be many students that wish to paint.
The drawing center has the usual drawing materials along with a basket full of small toys that I pick up at yard sales. I figure they can set up their own mini still life arrangements. I have tons of drawing books but most of the time students will want to trace and not try to draw using the directions in the books so I am keeping them tucked away until I find a student that is really interested in drawing and not tracing. Drawing books have a place in an art room but not for tracing (in my opionion). I have a collage center and also a sculpture center. I plan to introduce sculpture within the next 2 weeks.
The first center I introduced to my 2nd graders was the collage center. I used just paper for the demo. They were interested in it because there was also lots of special paper like colored foils, mirrored paper, animal skin paper and the popular hologram sticker paper! I showed them ways to cut with fancy edge scissors, punch holes using shape punchers and also to rip their paper to make their collage.
They also could work in the drawing center or use the computer art programs. (KidPix)
I allowed the computers as a choice due to the large class size of 24 students. This is a class made up of one and a half classes. In the future I plan to do a demo on using the software possibly prinitng out their designs.
Anyway, the class was wonderful! I had so much fun with the students.... observing them, assisting them, helping them out when they needed it. I fortunately have a terrific parent volunteer that assists me during this class and we were both commenting on how creative the students were .. We all agreed that art was a lot more fun this week and one 7 year old said "Art class was so much fun because it's when our ideas come to life!"
I can't wait to go to work tomorrow!

The decision to make a change

I have created this blog to document my transition from a traditional art room where students complete art lessons chosen by the teacher to an art room where the students choose the art they wish to essence...behaving like an artist.....something I feel I have not been fostering in my students.
Up until now, I have been giving the students choice time ("free time") but only when they finish the lesson I have planned for them. Of course this leaves out the students that work at a slower pace. Often times, some students will rush through their project so that they can do their "free time" project.
Hhmmmmm, are they trying to tell me something?
I think so. I know so.

I wish to thank the members of the TAB (teaching for artistic behavior) group for inspiring me to want to make this change (especially Kathy mentor and friend).