Friday, September 26, 2014

Bursting with Creativity! Collaborative Hands!

Being only in my second full year of teaching there is still A LOT to learn...One of the best pieces of advice I have received from a colleague is to not spend the entire first back to school Art class focusing on rules and procedures. Let students use art supplies. Many have gone all summer without touching them and are craving them!

Ipso facto our collaborative hands came to be! Every student was included that was at school on their first day of art! The idea for this project came mostly from the same colleague, she does a different variation but very similar. And, a little from Pinterest via this and this post....

After my quick intro about what I did Art related over my summer, two minute rule review, and a tour of the new things in the room, 1st-6th grade classes talked about what collaborative art meant and what we were going to be creating.
I think I put a filter on this one, but have no recollection....humph!

 4th-6th were shown my Zentangle hand example including photos that walked them through making my own and then they got to work. Some classes had experience with Zentangle so they got to work quicker, others needed a longer discussion on creating them. They did work on them after our museum activity during the next class. Not all finished, but I did not want to wait any longer to put these amazing things together! I used what they had done so everyone had at least a partial hand included in the final product.

K-2nd grade were shown the example of my colored paper hand and given the instruction to add a variety of designs rather than pictures of things happening. A lot of the hands gets covered up when they get connected and I showed them how these would look put together to justify the designs only rather than pictures. I had them trace in sharpie and cut out as the last step.

Kindergarten worked a little differently as far as talking about rules and procedures because many of them haven't experienced Art class before. While in this little art supply store in Madison with my grandma over the summer, I found an AMAZING book called Art Today which tackled just about everything you might do over the school year with them in a very simple way with great illustrations. The character is a Kindergartner on his first day of Art and very imaginative ;) Crystal Productions and Amazon do both carry it. They still had time to create the hand and cut it out even after our book and a longer chat about the art room.

Once everyone was done I put the hands together myself into these AWESOME bursts. I loved doing this because it gives me the opportunity to (kind of) do art making of my own! The final touch to the displays were my hand cut signs!

 I have gotten SO MANY compliments and comments from staff, parents, and students at both buildings. I am SO PROUD to have these hanging and can't wait to include them in our spring district art show!

McDill Elementary...

Jefferson Elementary...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

An Art Museum in the Art Classroom

If there is one tool on the internet that I believe you should know about as an Art Educator it is Art Project through the Google Cultural Institute. This site, my love of Art History, and a session about writing at the last NAEA convention, inspired the activity that I did with all of my classes during the second rotation of school.

One of my back to school projects this year was organizing all of the huge reproductions stashed in my art rooms. I probably have close to 100 at both buildings that were slightly organized but not enough that you could ever find what you were looking for. Which meant, I never used them (thankfully the internet has great hi-resolution images). While I was working on organizing the images I pulled about 30 that were a good range of sculpture, paintings, well known artists, graphic design, abstract, and everything in between. Then before school started for the year, I hung them in the hallway on a huge bulletin board and strips outside of my room at one school and on large double sided display boards inside my room at my other school. I forgot to take a picture of the bulletin board and strips but below is the display boards.

Front side
Back side
The most work for this activity was creating "museum labels" for the reproductions. A lot of our reproductions are from all different places so where to find the information of artist, title, year, medium etc. isn't written the same or at all on the front the images. My solution to that was just using online Avery Label maker and doing a basic label with Artist, Title, Date, Medium and I added a "catalog number". The "catalog number" was just me numbering the works 1-31.


I walked through the reproductions after the labels were attached and wrote a variety of questions for students to answer anywhere from common subject matter to counting the number of self portraits. You can see my Google Doc of one of the question sheets here....McDill Museum Guide

2nd through 6th graders started the class with a trip via the internet and Art Project Google to the MOMA where we looked at the traditional idea of Art (like the floor where Starry Night is held) and then the "new" idea of Art by walking around the 2nd floor (part of the contemporary section). I also showed them Starry Night zoomed in on the site which is so mindbogglingly awesome that I couldn't resist.

We then talked about museum behavior and I went over the scavenger hunt/museum guide/question sheets and they headed into the hallway or to the boards to complete the sheet. Because the sheet was the same for 2nd-6th,  I had the 2nd graders pair up because I saw them struggling with reading and understanding some of the questions even after I went over it with them. 4th-6th had a little time at the end of this activity to finish the mini project we started on their first day of art.

I thought the online museum for Kindergarten and First grade was a little over their heads so they got to hear the AMAZING book called Art Dog instead. After the book, I gave each kiddo a stack of mini post-its and had them line up looking at the reproductions. Then I asked them different questions like "find an artwork made of just shapes and lines" and they stuck a post-it to their answers. We had a little time left at then end so they practiced different skills they needed for their first project.

While it ended up being a success and almost all students were engaged in this activity, I did notice that all the classes were a little bummed they were not doing any art making during it. So, I tried to stress the importance of art history and appreciation to them. Maybe next year I will try to make it more of an artistic, creative, activity and not do it right at the start of the year when they have the itch for art after a long summer without it!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Friday morning selfies....

You better believe it, because I do!

(Leave it to a t-shirt to give me the confidence I need to move on from a tough day yesterday)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Awesome Things (I HOPE I keep doing!)

We all know how it goes, you start the year full force ready to conquer every day of class but inevitably life, stress, exhaustion, and time throw a wrench into things.

Here are some awesome things I am trying to do this year that I hope I keep doing (And will try my absolute best to do so) this year and the next!

PBIS! This is where our PBIS stuff happens in the Art Room. The numbers are velcro and change throughout class based on behavior (That 2 was the first day of art, UGH) the scale is 1-5. We ask the students "strive for 5", and this is part of our district PBIS program. I did this last year and I loved it but I was having to re-make make my charts when we got new teachers so my solution was to laminate everything! The charts were laminated blank and the names separately so all I needed to do was double stick tape the names. Next year, I just have to make new names! I hope I can manage to do at least that, or I might be a lost cause.

Table identification! Last year we just had table colors, this year, I'm trying to infuse a lot more art history. So, tables are also an artist. Tables might be called by their artist name or color so they really have to listen. I hope I can remember to call them by the artists! And do a project that is centered on each artist!

Displayed I CANS! Last year I was writing massive I CANs up on the board for each class and it took a lot of time and I had to re-write it each class and it left little room for me to use my board. The words "I CAN" are magnetic and so are the classes so I can easily move them when necessary. I REALLY hope I keep up with writing the I CANs, they are such a great tool...for me and students!

What do I need?! Once again magnetic, I did supplies that we use on a day to day basis including colored sharpies, erasers, pencils, rulers, oil pastels, crayons, paint brushes, glue stick, bottled glue, watercolors...etc I did not do one for paper and I have a Special Supply one for unique materials. I was already forgetting to change this in the first week but I hope once I get into a routine, I will be able to stick to it and it will answer a lot of questions that students ask me. In addition to this I have them tell me the steps of a project and we write it on the board next to this. That I  REALLY hope to keep up with too!

 "Show Me The Mona Lisa"! This has been all over the art teacher webisphere and I wanted to give it a try. I SERIOUSLY LOVE IT. The older kids think its a little silly but the younger ones are really into it. Whenever they start to get restless or I need to tell them something during work time I say "Show me the Mona Lisa" and they sit up straight, voice zero, and hands folded. Get this version here, otherwise you can easily do your own! I hope, because I love this so much, I will be able to keep up with it!

Handy dandy supply labels! Another question I'm really tired of is "where is the (art supply)" this will hopefully help with that and also keep my supply tables cleaner! I used the same labels for my What Do I Need? so it was no big deal. On the first day of Art we talked about keeping the supplies behind the labels to keep everything where it should be and so the Kinderbeaners can see the pictures! Obviously I can keep up with this because I don't need to do anything else, but I am worried about wear and tear. I may need to replace them half way through...they are laminated and packing taped on so we will see! I hope they survive!

 New "Free Art" excitement! Another Art Teacher webisphere idea/concept floating around is Legos as a free art choice. I also got my hand on geo-boards that teachers were getting rid of when they got new math stuff this year! The Legos were mine as a kid so i'm a little nervous about them being out but I told them how they were mine from when I was little and hopefully that personal connection will keep them around. I am also CRAZY nervous about rubber bands getting flung but I warned them of losing this as a choice if it happens. I hope they can handle this stuff so I can keep using them year after year.

"Write About Art"! This is also a new choice for free Art but will also be used as a consequence for kiddos that are off task. I feel like that is a little contradictory but I have some kids that just LOVE to write, so why would I tell them no? I hope I keep up with using it as a consequence because I believe it will be an effective one.

Le Piece de Resistance! New and improved seating charts! Somewhere in the bloggersphere or Pinterest I saw this idea for seating charts (if anyone knows where let me know)! Instead of writing names in pencil and having to deal with erasing and re-writing for seats that get switched, students that move, or new students, you write the names on tabs that can be moved easily. I write first name, last initial. I have the names blurred for safety reasons here but you can see how it works. I LOVE THIS and have gotten a ton of compliments from other staff on the idea already (but I give credit to the internet-don't worry). It is pretty low cost also, a pack of about 200 is less than $2 if you go with the generic brand from Walmart. I hope I do this each year to save me some sanity of the ever-changing seating chart!

All in all, lots of new things happening and this is just my second and a half year teaching. Can't wait for what the future brings me in my career. I hope its all as awesome as this stuff!

Anything totally awesome that I just HAVE to try in my room that you do?

Monday, September 8, 2014

Artsy Fartsy Instagram!

I've hopped on another bandwagon! Instagram for my Art rooms!

I'm a big fan of Instagram already for my personal use but what a great way to bring my classrooms to the web when I just can't get blogs up on a regular basis once the school year gets into full swing.

To follow my The Artsy Fartsy Art Room Instagram, Click the badge-- Instagram (or search @theartsyfartsyartroom)

Here is a little sneak peak of what is on it!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Classroom Picture Bandwagon!

So many of you were sharing great classrooms I had to share my own!

School #1, I'm only here two days but I love this space! Unfortunately, I can't leave anything out or unlocked because Boys and Girls Club uses it after school everyday from about 3:30 to 6:30 or later. I can't ever stay after school either because of this and also have zero prep when I'm there which makes things REALLY difficult.  I cover all the exposed bookshelves and drying racks and lock my rolling shelves and cabinets when I leave....

View from the door...small office in the back corner that I use as extra secure storage...

From the back of the room...

From the rolling shelves...that side of the room has counters, cabinets, and grown up sinks with step ladders that pull down under them in the cabinets...

Close up of my front wall...

Another close up of my front wall with my desk...

Our "free art" section, some fun stuff in those yellow cabinets!
 School #2, Love this space too but really wish I had an area to store 3D and a rug to sit with my little kiddos. I'm here 4 out of 6 days so I'm much more comfortable leaving things out even though it is a public space to use after school for boy scouts, girl scouts, etc....

Display case right outside my door...

View from the door...that back door leads into a courtyard, how lucky am I ?!

View from the cabinets...reallllly short sinks on that side of the room, no "grown up" sink in the room...

View from the back...

View from the sinks...

View from the front....

Still waiting on my order that includes a world map for each room as a new bulletin board. I'll be tacking where our artists are from that inspire our projects...

Is your classroom used as a public space after school? Sometimes during? I also think about how regular classroom teachers don't have to experience their room as a public space... It is one of the MOST frustrating things about my job. You teach so much about respect to students but things always seem to happen, even under parent/leader supervision....