Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Two Easy and FUN art lessons for the End of the year- last week of school!

I recently met with another art teacher after school to start planning our week of art lessons for a local summer camp that we will be teaching together. Before the end of the meeting we both looked at each other and said....."I really need some easy last week of school lessons that aren't too messy or can be finished in one class."
Two great lessons that I have had a lot of success with in the past came to mind! The first is called a FUNDRED dollar bill. More info can be found on their site http://www.fundred.org/

The project was originally designed to raise awareness about lead poisoning issues but I really just think that the kids have a blast designing their own money! Plus there has been a lot of speculation lately about the lack of women on the American bills- (maybe we can get a Hilary Clinton 2 dollar bill in 2016?!) ANyway- the site has a printable version of the Fundred that might be easier for younger students, but I allow my classses to use larger paper if they want. They do need a template to look at to make sure they are including all the details for their money (signature, symbols, etc)


The SECOND super fun and easy project was inspired by one of my FAVORITE places to eat: Tropical Smoothie! They designated June 19th as National Flip FLop Day! Patrons can go to their local Tropical Smoothie on that day and get a free smoothie!!!! They can also donate money to a great charity camp for kids with terminal or devastating illnesses called Camp Sunshine. So we celebrate this day early by designing our own flip flops using the Elements of Art! What an awesome way to review those important building blocks. They can also use an art style if they like. My students will be drawing their designs first on the iPad and then they can draw their favorite design on paper.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Obelisk Art Reception

This week has been busy- organizing/finding and sending home artwork!  Plus- on Wednesday night I was able to attend the Compassion St. Augustine Obelisk Reception at Flagler College.  This was a really awesome collaborative art project that teachers were invited to participate in with their classes in order to teach principles such as compassion, equality and kindness in our community.   I had my art club students work on our design.  I began first researching the background of the Obelisk itself- which seems to originate from Ancient Egyptian culture.  Then the students began brainstorming symbols and pictures that represent compassion which includes the peace sign, hearts, faces and nature. 
Watch the Video of how the Obelisks were made!

Then I began thinking about how to incorporate some elements to our designs that relate to ancient art forms such as mosaic and clay.  So we used mask forms to create four faces for each side of our Obelisk.  They were dried, fired and glazed.  Then I ordered many small tiles and glass gems that the students got to adhere to the designs that they drew onto the Obelisk.

THEN we grouted- Black grout...which I thought would really make the color of the tile POP.  Boy, oh boy, was I wrong.  We also probably could have gone a little lighter on the gooey, tarlike (premixed) black grout.  That night I was scrubbing that thing until my finger tips were almost raw! 

The outcome was disappointing to say the least.   So I put it in a corner, let the kids scrub it and tried to get their feedback and ideas.  Some suggest the black was too dark- so I got some lighter brown grout- and we RE-GROUTED (using less grout this time)  and the result......well it just looked dirty.  LOL

So once again, our Obelisk got cornered until our next art club meeting.  The kids loved it, but I just thought it needed something more.  Many of my fourth grade were working on Egyptian portraits at the time and had used gold paint for many of the patterns- so I put two and two together and BAM- I thought- "could we just paint the grout gold!?"   I wasn;t sure.  I was sure was going to try.  So we grabbed the bottle of gold and bam- IT WAS AWESOME.  The natural color and shine gave it a real 'Egyptian' look and complemented the gloss of the tile and glass.  We had also used mirror tiles which created a really awesome 'reflection' aspect of the sculpture- which I explained to the kids would allow people to reflect on themselves as they viewed the piece.    The result was a unified, gorgeous mosaic Obelisk that I am so excited will be displayed around our city.  I am so proud of our work and how much we learned. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

End of the Year- Art Portfolios

16 DAYS!???  How did that happen!  I was so preoccupied with our art show that I feel like I just got a chance to realize WE HAVE LESS THAN 2 WEEKS left!  Oh my!  I was thinking I would have time to wait until Artome sent our remaining art work back to school before we starting making our portfolios.  Well I would rather be safe than sorry and have students get a jump start  to make sure that everyone has time to find and take home their masterpieces. 

SO- I started planning how they were going to make their portfolios.  In the past, I had fifth grade make large poster board folders to decorate and put their artwork in, but during the FAEA conference, I saw how an art teacher, Tamala Cusamano?) had the students make a book.  So I decided a book type portfolio would be easier to store and display for them.  This was what the book looked like..

So this year we are going to try to make portfolio books instead of folders.  I was going to have second graders start today but I ended up having to get a sub since my four year old has had a high temperature for two days!  So I  made a flipped video for my sub and left a LOT of 12x18 white paper for the kids to start their portfolio book today.  Hope it goes well!  I will let you know!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Art Show Success!

I am finally feeling somewhat recovered and caught up with sleep after getting everything ready last week for our Night of the Arts on Thursday night.  I was trying to get as many students to record their artist statement with the iPad for the Night of the Arts Movie that we showed in the cafeteria during dinner.  I sure hope that the families that got to see it, enjoyed it as much as I did. Some of the statements are funny, insightful and just plain awesome.  I loved getting to hear what the students learned and what they like about art.  It really meant a lot to me to get to compile all those into one movie using Microsoft movie maker.  I burned some to DVD but I didn't have time to make a lot.  At first I thought it might be nice to give a copy to our art club students but as I said earlier- ran out of time (it take at least 20 min to burn one DVD).

The recycled fashion show was awesome as well.  No one got cold feet or fell on the runway!!  YAY.  I even had 3 former middle school students come and help with the announcing and participating in the show itself.  I was so proud of all our students and their contributions to making the night a success.

Before the Recycled Fashion show (6:30) some of our art club students got to serve as tour guides for the Cave of Art, which was set up behind the stage.  Our cave is lit with black lights and contained 2nd grade cave paintings, 3rd grade Egyptian Cartouches, 4th grade Egyptian Portraits, 1st Grade Roman mosaics and a few fifth grade Koi fish, all created during their art time using flourescent paint, oil pastel, marker or paper.  It looked awesome!!  Sadly, I had to take it down Friday afternoon because there were other performances scheduled for the stage but luckily Artie, my art robot and I got to take  a tour of the cave and recorded it to show you! :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Clay Roses- Just in Time for Mama's Day!

All 600+ pieces of art work for my school Artome show was due to be boxed and mailed through UPS on Tuesday, so I was frantically double checking and attempting to take pictures of and upload as much as I possibly could before 6:00 pm.

 In a fog of stress I realized that today was going to be be first grade ROW- which meant I would have all first grade classes in one day.  This is the best time for me to introduce or work on clay projects because I can get out all the clay supplies and leave them out until the end of the day and only semi-clean up after each group. 

So yesterday, after I made it home after just barely making it to the UPS store, I decided first grade would work on making their clay coil rose sculpture because SOME - or maybe all could be ready in time for MOTHER's DAY!!!

 So last night I made a flipped video on how to make the rose- but this time instead of me teaching- I let Artie- my art robot do the talking.  The kids loved it!  Especially when he taught them to roll roll roll their coil until it's nice and long (to the tune of row row row your boat)
So here is the video and a pic.....