Tuesday, January 31, 2012

ummmmm... YES!

A few other teachers have been talking about going to the National Convention (see there's a dragon in my art room and art project girl) and I am super excited to say that YOU BET I AM GOING!  It is the national convention which means I will
  1. get a ton of new ideas
  2. meet lots of interesting people, who love what I love
  3. get to visit some rocking art museums
  4. spend time learning about what is happening with art education
and it is in NEW YORK CITY!

My college professor was pretty adamant about us getting involved in NAEA and took us to Los Angeles when I was a Junior in College (that was when I got my picture taken with Johnny Depp...swooon). 

During my first years of teaching my mentor teacher would take me to the National Convention (back when our school district at least covered the cost of hotels and registration). 

I have never regretted going and have always returned refreshed and full of passion for my job.  This year won't be the easiest to go as I have to foot the WHOLE bill myself (darn budget cuts) and I will be leaving my 3 little ones at home (lucky for me they have a great dad) but I really believe it is worth it.
...plus I will have the pleasure of traveling with a first year art teacher from our district and showing her how awesome national convention can be. 

Hope to see some of you there!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Adventures in Teaching

Mrs. Carlisle..."Today we are going to make clay pinch pots." (wipe drool from mouth). 

           "Remember to make a ball" (wipe drool from mouth). 

           "Push you fingers into ball and pinch your sides.  Make sure they are uniform." (check for more drool).

Students..."um, Mrs. Carlisle what is wrong with your face?"

WELL.... after 22 cavity free years I had a cavity.  Here is to hoping that I start to have sensation in my face sometime today because drinking coffee out of a straw is definately interesting. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Art Show work...

With 3 kiddos at home it is hard to come in super early or stay late... therefore art show season equals late nights.  I like to head up after the kiddos are in bed (about 8) and work till I am done.  Luckily we came up earlier today and I took care of a bunch of paper work; with the girls help.

I headed back up after baths (just check out the clay dust on Lauren's legs).... and just finished up.  Well I still have tags and labels to do but at least the selecting and matting are done for 1+ shows.
and it is only 12:30!  Here's to hoping hubby lets me sleep in tomorrow... or get a nap tomorrow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hooooome Run!

Sometimes you just get a lesson that is a ton of fun to teach, the kids love and you get the best results from...
that day was yesterday.
Okay so they always love clay but their projects were just great!  With 4 different days I came up with/borrowed 4 different ideas for pinch pots.  Thursday (day one) was setting the pinch pot on it's side and using it to be the mouth of a creature... any creature.  I had dogs, cats, pigs, evil creatures, frogs and so much more.  I had fish who were eating fish.  I had clams filled with pearls.  I loved them asking "can I make....?"  "Is this okay... I made it thinner than my finger?"  "Don't worry, I hollowed them out and left an air hole." 

Today they had to turn their pinch pots upside down and then build a creature.  It was good... just not great!  (or maybe after yesterday I had too high of expectations?)

Monday is pinch pot monster faces as inspired by the website 365 days of pinch pots.

Tuesday will be bird day.  It is a hodge podge of ideas... think angry birds meets arts and activities slab birds (Feb. 2011 edition) mixed with clay whistle birds finished with a touch of whimsy... 

We will see how it goes...

**and on another note... have you oiled your clay tools lately?  After the 6th grade finished their projects (right before Christmas) we rubbed vegetable oil into the rolling pins, shishkaboob sticks and guides.  All that dry wood loved it.  And I loved that it made them easier to use/clean for this project. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Super Simple Paper Organizer

If you are like me you can be overwhelmed with practice sheets and grade sheets.  Keeping track of old lessons, current projects, art contest information, etc... can be overwhelming.  My super simple solution is....
I clip the worksheets together and then hang them up on a push pin.  Current projects are on the top.  Old projects are moved to the lower spaces.  Another clip is just for art contest information. 
No more searching for copies when a student "looses" one or was sick.  No more searching for the parent release forms when students choose to do an art show.  No more piles on my desk... ahhhh!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I am bummed!

Sometimes I am blown away with all the technology offerings out there... "pin it" on pintrest, "like" it on facebook, read it on google reader, post to your blog on blogspot, update your school fusion page, work on QR codes and iMovies, update the iPads, create a new wiki, update your webpage, create a new PowerPoint, upload to artsonia... and MUCH MORE!

Then just today I read that picnik is going to be no more... and I am bummed.  I love picnik and it's fun, easy to use photo editing.  Now I will have to use google+???  I know good things come and go... and picnik was definately a good thing! 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ben Heine

USA Today had a upcoming artist spotlighted on their website a while back and another teacher had to share them with me... I fell in Love!  If you haven't done so, check out Ben Heine

and the cool drawings he does in his Pencil vs. Camera artwork. 

Today my 6th graders started a lesson based on his artwork.  We talked about how cameras capture the world "just the way it is" and how our pencils can capture the world "how we want it to be."  Before they could start their work they had to complete a worksheet where they practiced their pencil skills.  
So far so good.... can't wait to see what happens next week when we start the actual project.  I am also excited to use up a stack of calendars I have had for years as the backgrounds.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Celebrating Creativity - Dale Chihuly

The Joslyn in Omaha has an awesome Dale Chihuly sculpture that definitely made an impact on the kids.  Today they were super excited to do their Chihuly inspired projects. 

In honor of Mr. Chihuly's Macchia Bowl series we created coffee filter bowls.
Dale Chihuly's Macchia Bowls
Original coffee filter

use watercolor to paint, spray with spray starch, put over a bottle to dry...

our Macchia Bowls...

and the leftover from the painting... can you say happy accident!

In honor of Dale Chihuly's Sea forms we made melted plate sculptures
Dale Chihuly's Sea Forms
cur plastic plates colored with permanent marker... color solid (not like this one)

melt plastic plates with a heat gun... round and round we went

our sea forms hanging suspended on an old piece of plexiglass.
And in honor of the big sculpture at the Joslyn we made melted pop bottles... that Mrs. Carlisle still has to put together into the sculpture.   
pop bottle with the end cut off and the inside painted.

after adding heat!
It was a fun day... and I learned a few things.  Use big coffee filters for bigger bowls.  Non-Sharpie permanent markers work best as the kids get a more solid color.  Paint when left to dry overnight falls off the pop bottles as they are heated.  Plexiglass is not fun to hang from a tiled ceiling.

*photo credits are linked but I have to say thank you to all the bloggers who had Chihuly inspired lessons.  I learned a little from each of you to come up with all these ideas. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time Flies...

I have been hard at work simplifying my life.  This process has involved MANY trips to the dumpster, a few to goodwill and the re-purposing of selected things (spiral weavings on my old cd's anyone...).  One of my motto's has been... re-organizing stuff I don't need or use feels good for a little while.  De-owning the stuff I don't need or use feels good forever.   

But as for our classroom.  We have been busy finishing up our perspective drawings.  5th graders used one point perspective to draw a castle or a city.  We worked on the main part of the drawing together and then they finished them on their own... think "what is happening across from your castle?"  "what is happening in your town?"

6th grade has been working on 2 point perspective drawing.  We spent some time talking about all the "stuff" we collect in America and how different it is from the rest of the world. Think "do you have enough shirts to wear a different one each day this week?  "Do you have enough to eat that you complain about what is put in front of you?"  We talked about how coming back from break there are people who feel great because they got a bunch of stuff (that will break or wear out) and there are others who don't feel that way. 

The first 2 classes created gift boxes (thanks minimatisse for the great idea) filled with TRUE GIFTS... those things that can't be bought, won't break or wear out and can be given at anytime.  Things like friendship, smiles, help, joy, etc.  The other 2 classes created a 2 point perspective city drawing where all the store sold only "true gifts."  I can't wait to shop at "Hugs R Us!"

and my "so far" favorite... just because it is the end of the day and chocolate chip cookies sound YUMMY!