Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recycled Paper Quilt Squares

Fifth grade is combining a study of line symmetry, rotation symmetry, quilt blocks, and mandalas.

I photocopied the 9 block designs onto tag board paper and cut them down to 8x8 squares. 
We began by coloring the corners and center square.

 I made some templates of shapes that would work for tracing and cutting to make symmetrical designs. Some students made up their own. 
My students have been saving and collecting the tops of the cereals they have for breakfast. We used those (which are silver on the back!!!) and other scrap papers to create collaged quilt squares. 

These are some in progress. Hopefully each student will make 2, 1 to keep, 1 to become part of a larger paper quilt. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

D.C. here I come!

I got some fantastic news today!
I am one of the 32 art teachers from 19 states selected for the Lab School of Washington's Power of Art workshop generously supported by the Rauschenberg Foundation!
(and my airfare for this professional development opportunity 
generously supported by Brooke Charter Schools where I work)
So I am off to Washington D.C. at the end of April
 for what I am anticipating to be an amazing experience
focused on teaching students with learning disabilities
and led by Christopher Rauschenberg son of Robert Rauschenberg (one of my fav artists as well) - wahoo! So excited- I just had to share. :)

(... thankfully the best Monday I've had in a while, it's been a little tough lately)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Magnified Insects

1. Magnifying Glasses--- made from 6" paper plates, painted with the sparkly prang watercolors as an extra treat for the kids. 

2. Paint the dirt and grass! --- paint spots of brown watercolor paint, paint the remaining white space with green water color, then stamp with mat board scraps in green tempera. 

3. Insect Study-- students drew 1 large ladybug and 3 or more small ladybugs. 

4. I hot glued the magnifying glasses above the big ladybugs to show how they work. 

Students who had extra time added on a grasshopper. 

Lastly we made a hand and arm (one of my first grader's ideas!! so great!).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Matisse and harmony for all.

My fifth graders are finishing up a unit on elements of color and a study of Henri Matisse. 
We began by doing a complementary color exercise and viewing the Dropping in on Matisse video which I love. 
See also my older posts and detailed steps and exercises by clicking on the Matisse label to the right.
I think teaching about Matisse's life is so encouraging for students and such a great vehicle for motivation- I always point out that he was very sick twice and both times he used a situation where most people would be less motivated to be more motivated and find a new path. 

After reviewing complementary colors and looking at a few of Matisse's artworks I did a new version of my Color Harmony Lesson that I did last year, this time using a large piece of tissue paper first and the paper tape that you moisten to turn into glue and stick down for the smaller pieces:
This is a one day lesson that the students examine and critique as a group when we are finished to see what types of elements create stronger harmony and composition.

We examined a handful of Matisse's paintings that incorporated windows. 

The objective of the students' work was to incorporate a window, something outside the window, a fishbowl of any form, a flower vase/pot, and fill the page with color while considering how their color choices would play out. 
They did not have to draw the entire thing out in pencil first. We "marked" where the main elements would go and I had them just go for it! They used mostly tempera cakes with some Crayola oil slicks. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

one day lessons- Penguins!

Penguins at the beach?!
Ipods, beach towels, sunburns, beach balls, sunglasses... so much fun!
Each student cut out a tall semi-circle (semi-oval) shape, glued that down along with an orange triangle and added on the rest with crayon. 

I left this as a sub lesson... penguin pyramids. Super cute.
I left a how to draw a penguin poster I made as well. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

for the love of cats (and art)

Well the Cat Portrait lesson I posted yesterday took a lovely turn. I emailed illustrator Sarah Coyne

 to let her know that we used her Cats in Clothes postcard series as inspiration for our portrait lesson. She replied with a very dear email and a post on her own blog which concluded with art education advocacy. 
So proud of my first graders!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Cat"tastic Portraits with Personality

My first grade students have been working with the concept of portraits quite a bit this year. 
I came across a set of postcards by a local artist this winter when I was at the BizarreBazaar:
Sarah Coyne of Egg-a-Go-Go
"Cats in Clothes" series

I loved the cats with personalities of people and it reminded me that I inherited this book from a former teacher, "Impressionist Cats" by Susan Herbert:

The kids got a kick out of the cat portraits and impressionists impressions. More importantly though, they were great examples of how portraits can show a close up of a person, a whole body, emotion, clothing, occupation, etc.!

We approached our lesson like the postcards were composed- with an oval shaped 'frame' to draw our cat portrait within and a 'wall paper' background. My goal was to have each student have a closer up portrait and also a whole body portrait- due to severe sickness traveling throughout our student body there are many who only came out with one finished piece- but I still have piles of them and they are hilarious (and genius)!