Thursday, January 28, 2016

Some Indian-Inspired Architecture For Your Thursday

We're finishing up our Indian Unit in sixth grade, and made these pop out buildings:

We'd looked at some architecture from India, and I left up the architecture slide for them to look at as they worked (you can download my 'Art and Culture of India' Smart Notebook file here).  We used tagboard and patterns for the building shape (some people are very against using patterns--I'm not one of those people.  If the objective isn't cutting/gluing on their own, I figure what's the harm in a pattern?!).


Students were allowed to alter the pattern to their liking.  They just folded their 12 x 18" tagboard, put the fold with arrows on the fold, traced, had me check it and cut.  I added the "have Mrs. Fresia check it" part years ago after so many "I need a new paper/I cut mine wrong"s that drove me nuts.
After cutting they save their scraps to make little hinges to attach their Indian palaces to a background paper.  Everyone got a 12 x 18" blue piece of construction paper to fold and glue their paper hinges and palaces to. Students only needed four or six paper hinges--2 or 3 on each side. The cutting and gluing honestly took an entire 40 minute class period.  A few students got all that done and started their [symmetrical] drawing/designing, but many didn't.

A class' worth of work folded and ready to be displayed.
Students designed their buildings however they wanted, as long as they were symmetrical.  We drew in pencil and colored with metallic colored pencil.  Some added construction paper crayon to the background/blue paper, but that wasn't a necessary step.  I also kept up a print of the Taj Mahal for them to see the size and intricate carvings.

This one shows the pop out effect well--
building folded going out,
background folded going back.
I've got two classes' worth of work displayed in the library:

But I really don't have a great place to display 3D work in my building, which is sometimes a frustration.
Here's an amazing one from an amazing girl who is pretty much always amazing:

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Last To The Party

Do you know this book?

Pretty sure every art teacher in America uses it, but I just figured it out/found it (thanks, Stephanie!).  I found some dog-eared paper in my cabinet and made sure each piece had: a tear, a folded edge and a hole (or two).

When kindergarten came in, I talked to them about how they were going to do their best and make AMAZING artwork.  Then I passed out the paper without saying anything.  Hilarious! The students were horrified and kept saying "I need a new one!" "Mine's bent!" "Mine's torn!" I let them grouse for a bit, then read the book and had them work.  We only used marker, but here's how a few of them turned out:

I did let them take them home the same day, and we had quite a discussion about making the best of things, and seeing opportunities rather than obstacles.  Maybe next year I'll let them paint so they can have some smears. . . never a dull moment in kindergarten, that's for sure!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Great News! I Didn't Set Anything on Fire Today!

No flames in my shrinky-dink'in today! And as a bonus, everyone's shrinky dink quilt squares turned out:

I think I baked 18 today, so this is just some of them.

Now that's PRETTY!
For the 411 on this lesson, click here.
Also going on, my second group of adaptive students finished their laced fish kites:

This was my "high" group, and I also saw them one more day than the first group. We started out like this, and then added both metallic FX crayons and shimmery paint to make them really stunning. I had some reg ed students in there (along with paras) and we marked with pencil where we wanted the students to punch holes. This was totally doable for this group--they're mostly older and stronger than last week's group, so the hole punches weren't as hard to handle. Students used yarn (with masking tape around the end to make it stiff) to lace around their fish.  I made sure the yarn was extra long so we'd have a tied sort of handle to "fly".  SUCCESS! Finally, for fun, we took them into the gym to run with them (get ready for some real action shots):

This is really turning into a hodge-podge sort of post, but I have to share my *always adorable* kindergarten Monet water lillies:

So beautiful and wonderful to look at on these cold winter days! They're really brightening up the hallways!
Stay warm during this blustery January, art teacher friends!

Friday, January 15, 2016

If You're Gonna Use A Marker, Put A Lid On It


See that purple one over on the far right with no lid? That's AFTER I had students check them.  Grrrrrrr!
Both fourth and fifth grades have been using them for projects.  Fifth's Underground Railroad Shrinky-Dink necklaces, and fourth's Mexican tinwork frames.
I've had some difficulties with the Underground Railroad Quilt Necklaces this year: the first class I did, the sweetest, nicest kid in the class' got ruined/stuck to the cardboard.  Ditto the next day.  TODAY, I started a small fire.  In the project kitchen oven.  Like, flames and everything, and I had no idea what to do.  Another teacher grabbed salt and threw it on (until we ran out).  This was all that was left of that student's work:

And, OH BOY, what a smell!  The cardboard was also burning and ash was floating in the air, causing a para to walk in and say "why are there gnats in here????"
When I returned (the non-melted) quilt necklaces to the rest of the class, I had to confess to the student who's work was ruined, and guess what??? Yep, one of the nicest students in the whole fifth grade.  I am so ready for this long weekend, I need a break from teaching catching things on fire.

When I've recovered I'll come back and blog about my wonderful kindergarten and adaptive student work from this week.  Enjoy your day, art teacher friends!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Back In The Saddle

Welcome back, art teacherin' friends!  Due to having a student teacher, I haven't been day-after-day teaching since mid November.  I was a little worried about the pace of the day--would it seem so fast? Would I be exhausted?  Yes and yes, but no more than normal.  Because I'm totally new to teaching I've taught SIXTEEN YEARS, I decided a really smart thing to do would be to lecture all morning (introducing new cultures/art history periods) and paint back-to-back with 2nd, 1st and K.  Yeah, genius idea. You know how after a long break you get back into it and think "wow, this is really awesome?" Even with a strained voice and chapped hands from washing out paint brushes, that's the week I'm having.
Meanwhile, I have a very small adaptive group this week (3 students) and we've been working on painting some fish that we will later lace around the edge:

Gave them templates, they traced and cut them out.

Cutting with a para's help.

We glued them to another paper before cutting them out again.

Painting our fish.

Today when they came we were a para short (due to no sub), and the other para was also a sub, but a retired para, so I've known her for a while.  So this sweet, quiet little group is painting their fish and I'm just talking to them (they're SO QUIET) and Disney's Frozen is a favorite.  I was asking about different characters and Olaf was discussed.  I said "Snowmen don't talk! Oh, I guess Olaf does, and Frosty" to which the student said "Yep, but Frosty's drunk and Olaf. . ."/something I don't remember because the para and I looked at each other quizzically.  The para mouthed 'drunk?!' and I nodded.  So there it is, friends, and it explains so much: Frosty was a drunk.  Must be why he was so jolly.

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