Friday, May 29, 2015

Weaving Outside

The end of the year is always WEAVING for my 1st grade.  I prep the looms all year long and the last 3 to 4 days of art class is weaving with yarn for k's.  I have always loved this project because the kids are so engaged.

I'm no Cassie Stephens, fibers expert-- teacher extraordinaire,  but I have a couple of tricks to make this and other weaving projects successful.  Click here to see past posts

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Teaching Magic- Abstract Cartoon Shrinky Dinks

There are lot's of teachers that use Shrinky Dinks.  They are the new (old) thing.  It's a bit of a throwback for me.  I remember making Smurf characters as a youth (yep you pegged it, child of the 80's, I'm somewhere in my 30's ;) ).

I brought Shrinky Dinks into my classroom several years ago for a 5th grade group. I finally found a toaster oven at a garage sale and could make these little gems right in my room.  As I moved to the middle school the following year, I thought, why not... let's try this with my 8th grade.  I remember moving into my Middle School classroom.  The assistant principle looked at me with wonder as I hauled in the toaster oven.  He said, I can't wait to see you teach.  That is the moment I knew I wasn't teaching Art, I was teaching Magic.

The 8th graders ate this up!  Their faces were just as pressed to glass of the oven door as my preschoolers were at home.  They couldn't believe how this plastic would wrinkle up, than flatten out.  It got so small... everything they drew was so tiny.  Boys and girls both were amazed. It was a success in the middle school, and I feel it would be in the high school as well.  Check out the 8th grade version (click here).  

This particular project was a smash up of one of my favorite blog's lessons, Shine Brite Zamorano.  I saw his post on Shrinky Dinks recently and was triggered to start the lesson in my classroom.  He was inspired by Phyl over at There's A Dragon in my Art Room and her post with and the featured artist, Nicholas Krushenick.  I loved them, and the artist, but choose to smash up this wrap up lesson with one a successful lesson I have done in the past, also inspired by Don Masse from Shine Brite, Abstract Cartoons.  I wanted to see if this lesson would be as successful, maybe more successful with 5th graders as it was for Kindergarteners. 

The lesson was fun.

Day 1:  Students studied the artwork of Picasso's Cubist work and the work of  Thom Pastrano's abstract cartoons.  They used an iPad to develop several abstract cartoon ideas.  I gave the option to work on one cartoon with several layouts or try different cartoons.  I gave them 1/4 sheet of paper (4X5 inches) and had them draw their final design.

Day 2: The got their 4X5 inch sheet of Shrinky Dink plastic taped onto their design.  I use the Frosted, Ruff and Ready version of the plastic.  The ruffed side up so the colored pencil will stick.  They black sharpie outline the plastic and use colored pencil to add color.  They bring it to me when completed and I punch holes in it.  I use a hole puncher but punch several holes to make a big enough space for the string/ribbon. I would assist in shrinking while students watched. I had a secondary project (Artist Trading Cards) available for students who were one of the first to be done.

Overall this post is about the Magic teachers we are.  Art teachers teach MAGIC and I didn't know how true that was until a recent twitter chat with #K12ArtChat (Side note: If you are not following this twitter chat on Thur. nights, at 8:30, you are missing out, it's a blast).  My tweet... 

Teachers agreed!  We teach the things that make kids want to come to school. We fill curiosity. We make them smile, and want more.  Now come on... who doesn't want to be part of that.  Again I say to you, I love my job! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Uptown, Dunk You Up!

Why, oh why do I hurt from head to toe today?? Because I was in a dunk tank yesterday. I was told that Kindergarten can't toss the ball well, but that was incorrect. Thanks to the PE team at our school... these K's had really good accuracy (well over 50% or the 50 K's that were tossing balls at me). Please note the GROWN MAN having more fun triggering the chair release than the kids are... NOT OK!
No, for real it was a ton of fun to see some of these little faces eye me up like, 'You're going down Hahn'. I also enjoyed the 'cute' little song of 'Uptown Dunk you up, Uptown Dunk you up' coming from one of the K's.

Last week was our HUGE activity day called Hassan Healthy Husky Day.  What a hoot!  There were about 30 station and 100's of volunteers.  The kids were able to go from one station to the next, filling the whole day.  At the end of the day we (the teachers) had a tug-of-war with the 'strongest' 5th grade classes.  This is 5th year tradition and another reason why I love this school. 

So yah, I have 7 days left, and the kids are done, and I'm just wrapping up, and there are performances and field trips, and the kids are loud, and it's going to be really nice out today and I want to me outside in my garden and...  it's all worth it because I love this job!  I love the kids, I love the energy.  I have a GREAT life!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Clay Gnomes

I think this is the last post from our Art Teacher Swap.  The 3rd grade created gnomes with Mrs. Schultz.  They turned out so dang cute. I didn't want to paint them at all, but I compromised with the students by allowing them to paint one color in class and they could paint more when they got home.  I thought this way the colors don't smug together.  I loved seeing all the character in each of these little projects.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Art Challenge- for Students of Hassan Elementary

I love my online tribe.  I was inspired by yet another GEM in the blogging world, Marcia Beckett from Art is Basic.  She has done a summer art challenge for her students and just updated it again for this summer (this is a great post).  Here is my plan that works best for my school...

I will be presenting this to my students the last day they have art.  I will explain to them the instructions and give them the worksheet to document the optional Summer Art Challenge.  This worksheet will also lead them right back here to this website to give each of my students access to the Google Slides, found below.

Get the worksheet by clicking here

There are so many reasons I love this idea...
  1. It get's kids to be creative over the summer.
  2. It advocates my program.
  3. My hope is it will fill my display case/s for the first part of the year.
  4. It will get families to visit me during open house this year.
  5. Helps families out on those rainy days.