Friday, May 30, 2014

Flower Extension

The last few projects I have been trying out doing an extension for early finishers (instead of "free art"), it usually fits the theme of the project that we just finished and is a basic drawing/coloring on cheap paper.... 1st grade just finished their variety flower gardens so in keeping with the theme of flowers they did drawings of "flowers" that were objects instead of real flowers. Great ideas came out of this. Potentially a drawing project that I can adapt (like big time) for older kiddos.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Variety Flowers with 1st Grade

At the beginning of the year I sent a letter out to families talking about who I was, my philosophy, and things they could donate. Donations came pouring in pretty consistently after that. I now have more toilet paper rolls than I know what to do with! One of the other items that I got an overload of was cereal boxes. In search of something to do with them I stumbled upon this great project via this post on pinterest. Per usual, I wanted to change it up and and teach a concept with it. A bonus of this project was that they were currently learning about flowers and flower parts in their classroom. Complete coincidence but I loved it! Would love if it happened more on purpose!

I CAN statement: I CAN create a variety of flowers using oil pastels.

Day 1: Started the class talking about variety. What does variety look like? Why would an artist use it? Etc. Then I showed them this image that I stumbled upon while looking for resources for this project. It was a great example of all the different possibilities of flowers including sizes and colors.

After we looked at these I did a demonstration of how to do three different flowers but explained they were not limited to the ones I showed them. For the flowers we were using oil pastels, so in my demonstration I showed them how they could blend colors for the flowers. There was a lot of excitement during that part of the demo :) The only requirement was 10 DIFFERENT flowers so we had the most variety. They did them without pencil and filled a page with them like my example below. Before they started working they had to finish part of their previous project so they were working for the entire class.

Day 2: Showed them the above image once again and asked what variety meant. A lot did not remember the word,  but remembered what it meant. Woohoo! We looked closely at my example and talked about constructing the "garden". Flowers should hang off the top and could overlap and each should have a piece of string for the stems. They continued making flowers and after 10 were done they had to cut them out removing all the white space and then assembled them. Cereal boxes were cut into thirds and one side of the box was used so it could stand open. We pre-painted the boxes for students to save time  because we were getting close to the end of the year but I would have them paint them themselves on the first day we started.

Make sense now?
Day 3: One more work day was needed for many students so while they were working on finishing they had an extension project of drawing made up  object flowers. I will share some images of those images later ;)

One of my 1st grades was a lot more behind than the others and I use YouTube videos as a reward with them so I ended up finding this after we were done with the other classes. Wish I would of found it sooner and shown it to the other classes. SO COOL.

Very happy with how these turned out. If we were not so close to the end of the year and had more time, I would of liked to see a little more time taken drawing the coloring the flowers and I should of done some color concepts for blending but overall it was a success in my book. Also, really fun to display, especially with the Kindergarten Recycled Flowers :)

McDill Elementary...

Jefferson Elementary...

Kennedy Elementary...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Kindergarten Recycled Flowers

As mentioned in an earlier post about Green Art, I LOVE Earth Day. Kindergartners made these beautiful flowers out of all recycled materials. I did this project previously during my long term sub job and they turned out a little better with them because I took two classes just to paint (I saw them twice a week) but I still love how they turned out. I got the original idea from this post via pinterest but per usual turned it into my own thang! The picture below is from the first time I did the project and did two days of painting. You can see how much stronger they are with more painted colors.

No I CAN statement was posted for the project because I don't post them for kindergarten but my objective was for them to create a flower using only recycled materials. Some didn't end up looking like flowers, so I guess I had some that did not meet the objective....(and I thought it was too simple of an objective!)

Day 1: Started a discussion by asking students if they knew what holidays were in April. Easter is always the first guess but eventually I give them enough clues or someone actually knows that Earth Day is in April too. I make the comparison of taking care of the earth like families take care of their kids and then it all starts to make sense to them :) I found this GREAT YouTube video to show them too. BE CAREFUL. ITS CATCHY!

After the video we talked a little bit more about what they saw in the video and then I showed them my example of what we were going to be making. They had to guess what all the recycled materials were that I used. The rest of the time was spent using watercolors to paint a full sheet of newspaper. The idea was to just cover it in paint, however, some of my more artistic kiddos needed more control and actually created designs and patterns (but most loved just being messy about it!).  I split the classroom into half warm colors and half cool colors and explained that if they stayed with one set they would mix really well and get new pretty colors and if they used both they would get browns and colors they probably didn't want. I really liked separating into two groups like this, I think it is important to change up the classroom sometimes and not have them sit in their usual seats, it provides enough of a level of excitement to keep them more engaged. Some got tired of painting so I made it more interesting by making them go "hyper speed" or "slow motion" every now again. Again, that extra excitement can be really engaging for them. Best part about this is they can be stacked on top of each other, cool in one pile, warm in the other and they will dry, so my drying rack doesn't get full!

Day 2: Watched the video again as a reminder to what we were working on. Then, because I wanted more color on the newspaper but did not want to paint for another class, we used texture rubbings to add more "umph" to our newspapers. Did this for about 15 minutes and then as a group we folded our newspapers back up and into a rectangle. On their own, they drew petals and cut them out and glued them to a small piece of square cardboard. I showed them how to overlap and glue the petals around in a circle to make them more realistic. Last step was to choose a cap to be hot glued as the center of the flower.

Really happy with this project once and glad we did the additional crayons. Some still could of used more color, might end up doing two days of painting with another activity built in just to make sure they are more vibrant. 

They got displayed with a project that 1st grade did that I will be posting on shortly...

McDill Elementary...

Jefferson Elementary...

Kennedy Elementary...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Colored Pencil Surprise! (3rd & 4th)

As a new teacher there are things I see almost every day that still surprise me (pretty sure it is the same for old teachers too)! When I saw the colored pencil skills of some of my 3rd and 4th grade students, I was taken back seeing them used so poorly! While I am a fan BIG FAN of crayons, and usually choose them over any other "basic level" art materials, I love the possibilities of colored pencils. It is pretty endless. SO, I needed to do a project where students could hone their skills with colored pencils and become better artists because of it. I instantly thought back to one of my favorite projects I did while teaching during my long-term sub job. I did the project with 2nd graders then, and was excited to see what my 3rd and 4th graders would do. As far as I know this is a project of my own creation (maybe a little influence from this via Pinterest), I called the project "Complete the Animals" and you can see why! Here are a few that I chose for the spring art show.

I CAN statement for the project: I CAN use colored pencils to the best of my ability by using blending.

Day 1: Intro to project. Because I had plenty of photographed examples of this project from my long-term job I tried something new at the start of this project. I showed some student examples and we talked about strengths and weakness in the pieces. Basically a critique, a very simple one. One of the focuses in that conversation was coloring. How neat was it? How many colors? Coloring in one direction or many? And, the other big focus was the setting of the animal. We talked about using the setting that was in the picture versus not using it, amount of details, etc. I loved the way it went. I think because it was work of students whom they didn't know at all, and not to mention 2nd grade instead of the same grades, it seemed like they were more comfortable discussing it. Here are two pieces we looked at.

Before they got started I demonstrated blending with colored pencils and what sitiations they might use it in. We also talked about other "higher level" skills like coloring certain directions in different places for different effects. They had to complete a few samples of blending before they could choose an animal. I previously clipped 60 or so pictures from the interent and printed them off in color 4x6 just on regular copy paper. I had enough variety that no one was heartbroken about the selections. The first direction was to cut off part of the animal (at least as wide as your finger) and attach the picture to the paper. Then it was up to them how they approached the rest of the drawing.

Day 2: Reminders about blending and good practice for using colored pencil and then workday. If the colored pencil work was finished they used sharpies to outline and matched best color possible since I don't have all the fancy colored sharpies. We skipped the sharpie on some depending on the style they colored in like this guy, sharpie would of really took away the beauty of those trees!

Day 3: Almost all students finished and did shape animal challenge if time remained.

Kennedy Elementary...

A little 3D action. Love that this student took the initiative to do this!

McDill Elementary...

As my stragglers finish, we have been adding... 

Jefferson Elementary...