Friday, April 26, 2013

Totally Cannot Take Credit for This

This is an amazing art and math lesson that I got from a teacher at a conference who did teach a district over from me, but is now getting her PhD. 
She always had amazing stuff to present at conference. (You're amazing, Mary Franco!)
Anyway, this lesson involves Paul Klee and multiplication.  I made a little three page Smart Notebook lesson about Klee's work "Once Emerged From the Gray of Night" (where I used to show a poster of it) and have the students talk about what's more important--the words of the poem or the colors and composition? Then we talk about putting two things (like writing and art, or math and art together).  It's SUCH an amazing lesson, here's a sneak peek:

So, students get a little background knowledge of Klee, then we talk about tessellations and multiplication (and practice on the Smart Board). Then, students get a page of one-inch graph paper and write out a one digit by one digit multiplication problem with a two digit answer.  I tell them to choose one that's hard for them to remember, or their favorite one.  They then repeat that problem seven times, dropping down and over one square for 4 times, then down and back a square for three times, making them into interlocking tessellation shapes:

After they've drawn it all out in pencil and I've checked it, they choose ONE color of fine-tip marker to trace it with, then use colored pencil or watercolor pencil to color.  The coloring is a bit of a challenge for them, because they need to forget that they're numbers and only look at the space.  They then color it in patterns/designs to make it visually interesting and play with people's minds ('math? I dont' see any math!')
It's an awesome lesson that really challenges their thinking.

This one really shows the patterns and designs.

Oh, it's also important that their numbers COMPLETELY
fill the one inch box of the graph paper.
I always try to do this lesson at a time of the year when classroom teachers are complaining about students not remembering their math facts.  I usually do it with fifth grade, but I did it with sixth one year at the teachers' request.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Finally, the Art Fair

In case I haven't said it often enough: I've been at my current school/district for six years (ie, this is the sixth year) and this is my fourteenth (!) year teaching.  I, like most art teachers [probably] have a love/hate thing going on for the art show, or as it's referred to at my school, The Art Fair.
I keep EVERYTHING the students make all year, and then about 6 weeks before D day, I pass it all back, and students 2nd grade through 6th grade choose their two best that they want in the show.  K and 1st just sort it into a "folder" (folded piece of 12 x 18 paper) and I choose their two best.
Then, it's all displayed like this:

Kindergarten work

First grade.  The little white things in the middle
are their names (I have the secretary print them for me on address labels).
I also try to put up other stuff around the building:

Sixth grade origami dragons in one of our office areas.

This class decided to combine theirs to make long dragons--
the other class did not, so you'll see a giant difference in a moment.

Super-long 3 headed dragon.

Another office area: dragons and Chinese lanterns.

I'm sure the secretary will be THRILLED to know her picture is on my blog!
I've done the Art Fair this way since I've been here (artwork on black paper outside student classrooms) but at my old school (which was about a third of the size) I hung everything salon-style floor-to-ceiling (on black paper), and all mixed up.  A kindergartner could be next to a third or fifth grader.  I loved that parents HAD to look at everything to find works of art from their child.  With 1000+ students, it's not so do-able.
Anyway, more from the Art Fair:

Fourth grade: they choose it and glue to the black paper themselves.

More fourth grade.
Happy Art Fair/Art Show time to all!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Silly Second Graders!

A few years ago, I found this book somewhere:
It's a silly little rhyming story about a boy who wakes up with a bunny on his head.  He names him Fred, this bunny on his head.  And so it goes on, rhyming all the way.  Soooo up second grade alley.  We read it one day, and then (drumroll, please) learn how to make skin color with paint.  It's magic, I tell you!

We use brown, white, red and yellow
to make our skin color.

I explain that we're ALL using all four colors,
no matter our ethnicity.  Just in different amounts.
This in one of the few too-orange ones.
That takes all of the first day.  Once the paintings are dry, we add hair and an animal, but no face:
Students choose the animal they'd have on their heads.

Love the penguin!

There were tears on this one: the butterfly
clip was a mistake with paint originally,
which was transformed into the butterfly.

The final step, the third day, is to add Sharpie marker details.  I talk with them about simple eyes, nose and mouth (like the illustrations in the book).  These are always a huge hit, and I usually put them up, but we still have the fabulous art show up, so I let the students take them home this year.

Friday, April 19, 2013

First Grade Cityscapes and Art Show Woes

This post is way overdue.  My first graders made these adorable cityscapes:

The green paper is 6 x 18 inches, the grey is 4 x 18.

Simple cut paper houses/buildings with pop out cars.

Some students chose to add signs and stoplights.
I have been CRAZY BUSY these past several weeks, getting everything organized for our all-school art show.  I keep everything the students do from the beginning of school until April, then we go through, pick their two best and display them. It makes for an interesting display visually, but it's an organizational nightmare:

This is only PART of first grade, and I have 6 other grade levels also!

The peacocks are amazing, but take up so much room to display!
I literally lose sleep over getting everything ready for the art show.  I'll try to post more about it later, as well as photos, but right now I'm just glad it was last night and I don't have to think about it again for many months.
Back to adorable cityscapes:
Love the bus!

At my previous school, I had loads of windows in the hallway,
so I taped these up high with blue sky behind.

There's something so child-like about these, that I could never
replicate as an adult.
This was a project where we talked about cityscapes vs. land- or seascapes, talked about the variety of buildings and houses we'd see.

Close-up of our pop-out car (in this case, truck).

Is that a tractor or monster tires on the left?

They all put their stop signs ON the road,
but I can't figure out why.

Honestly, I'd forgotten all about this project, and I know I haven't done it since I've been in my current building/district (6 years).  Sometimes it's nice to do something you haven't done in forever, especially when it's a solid lesson.  OK, last of the cityscapes:

The purple thing is an airplane flying over the city.

And I'm pretty sure this is a delivery or trash truck :-)
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