Sunday, August 28, 2016

Job Security--If Only I Could Remember!

Here's (one of the many) great things about being an elementary art teacher--it's always someone's first time to ____________.  There are always going to be children who've never held scissors, or painted, or used papier mache.  This is job security!  In our technology/digital world art teachers are needed more than ever! Fine motor skills are important and creativity is vital! Now, if only I could remember this when I start lessons at the beginning of the year.  Yesterday I started Emily Carr landscape paintings with fourth grade and didn't demonstrate painting techniques at all! What is this? My first day?! Needless to say, I demo'd the heck out of some painting with my fourth graders today, and wrote DEMO in my plan book for fourth grade on Monday.
I also made a sketchbook measurement how to video for sixth grade (probably more for me and my remembering):

What would really be great would be to show this video to my classes on my Smartboard, but (GASP!) my Smartboard is not recognizing my computer these days.  Even with our tech person working on it, it's not happening.  On the plus side, our district started using Schoology this year, and my lack-of-Smartboard-having means I'm dropping things into Schoology and using that resource the second week of school.  But THAT means students have to carry their chromebooks to art AND I have to remember to email teachers to tell them.  And we all know remembering isn't always my strongest suit! 

What am I going to be like in 10-15 years? Forgetting to wear pants to school?  The older I get, the more I realize that art teachers may deserve the reputation as the kooky ones.  Or maybe it's just me.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Starting Out with Sketchbooks

Let me just start out by saying, the things I forget from year to year could fill a book! A large volume at that.  There's always that adjustment period of remembering the pace of the day, but REALLY, I forget so much year to year, and even if I write it down I most likely never look at it later.  This is what happens after this many years, I guess.  So 'comfortable' with what I'm doing that reviewing the steps seems unnecessary until I get into it and think 'whhhhaaa? How is this supposed to work again?'  Case in point: the sketchbooks that my sixth graders make and use all year.  I blogged about it last year two years ago, and last year made the decision to make them half size.  This translates to cutting cereal boxes to 10 x 13" pieces (which I didn't remember resulting in having to cut several twice to get the size right). The first day of art we had time to go over the rules & procedures, then add our wet and stick tape:

Students folded their cereal boxes "like a card"
then put the wet and stick tape (sticky side down) on the folded edge--
this will be the spine of their sketchbook.
Little tip: have them cut the wet and stick to size,
and THEN hand out waters cups--otherwise your
rolls of tape will be ruined.
The second day of art students have started working on their covers (just drawings or designs).  Those are in the works now, and I have BIG PLANS for the back cover.  I made a video for students on Gelli printing with Payons:

The next time they come to art they'll be working on their covers, measuring their space for sewing in their pages, counting out their pages and Gelli printing in small groups (I only have five Gelli plates).
A few years ago, I ordered this:

Sorry for the sidewayness, although it looks ancient,
I really did get it last year.
The plan is to team-teach this part with sixth grade teachers, but I wanted to try it out and so I made this video explaining the setup:

Students won't see my final result until after theirs is done, but we're all adults, right?!  Here's mine after sun exposure and a cold water bath (and drying overnight):

It's going to be GREAT.  While the fast pace of the day leaves me a little woozy sometimes, being an elementary art teacher really is the best. I wish you all smooth starts to the beginning of your school years, interesting students, and loads of cash.  Hey, a teacher can dream, right?!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ready or Not, HERE THEY COME!

If you've taught for a bit you know that back to school means more meetings than prep time, and if you're one of those come-weeks-early-and-get-your-room-perfectly-prepared then this is probably not the post for you.
Here's my room two days before students return:

Randomness abounds and NOTHING is up on the walls.  No new supplies in bins.  See those piles in the foreground on the table?  Those are all the sketchbooks that need copying.  I did try to copy them, and broke/jammed the copier.  Twice.
I did get two real things accomplished before Meet Your Teacher:

The hallway bulletin board that every child getting off the bus sees.
And my poster outside my door for this year:

The black strips are photos of student projects made to look like
old film strips--all thanks to my fabulous with Photo Shop husband.

It will all come together, I promise.  This year WILL BE FABULOUS.  Students will learn, time will march on.
Happy art teaching, friends! Hold on to your hats!
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