Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last one...

Last post for today... (I said I was cleaning up my computer)

This is a review of our celebrating creativity lessons...

Helen Frankenthaler inspired paintings...  watch the video here

George Segal inspired plaster sculptures

Dale Chihuly Inspired "glass" work   (ok it's plastic)

Dale Chihuly inspired Macchias (ok they are starched coffee filters)

Keith Jacobshagen inspired landscapes
Some computer work inspired by Sandy Skoglund
And now I am done... Have a great summer!  I know I plan on it!

Pattern People on Parade...

When all my other classes were finishing up, my Tuesday class was done (they never miss for anything).  So we headed outside to create "pattern people on parade."

The idea was that we would trace each other "dancing" and then fill the person in with pattern.  It was a fun way to end the school year and it made our entrance fun.


One of our last assignments for the year was based on illustrators.  My goal was to hit the computer lab for these but printmaking was taking toooooooo long.  So they drew them out instead.  

We looked at illustrators we liked, and some that we didn't.  We researched books, their plots, main characters, settings, etc...  Then we sketched out ideas.  Then we started our final copies.  
...I don't think I ever saw so many hunger game book covers...

Here are some of my favs...

Love me my Picasa...

So in cleaning off my computer for the summer (we are all getting new laptops for next school year. YEAH!) I started to play with a few photos for a blog post.  I was having so much fun with one photo I just had to share....
the original... taken lying on my classroom floor.
These are all different images created with a few quick clicks in Picasa. 
 #1 is invert colors.  #2 is pencil sketch.  #3 is HDR.  #4 is duo-tone and comic books.  #5 is neon.  
This is just one more thing I will have to consider adding for my lessons for next year.  If I could do all this is less than 15 minutes, I wonder what my kiddo's could do?  

Monday, May 21, 2012

Awesome watercolors...

Did you know that cups of markers = liquid watercolors...

Every year I have had those "nasty, old, worn out" crayola markers that have "seen better days."  This year I decided to give them new life.  (disclaimer...I had read a few blogs about it and decided to give it a try)

WOW... talk about stretching your budget dollar.  

I started a "nasty, old and worn out" box for markers after Christmas. 
 By now I had collected a handful of each color.  I started soaking them last week, by color groups.  After 3 soaks (coffee cups about 1/2 full of water) I had some great colors. I am storing them in these squeeze bottles I have had setting around.   
I think I could have soaked them one more time as there was still some color left in the marker tips.
But I am ready to have all my "stuff" cleaned up.  

This week is the start of the annual art room "dirty wipe contest."
I make my own wipes using 1/2 a paper towel roll (cut in half) stuck into a Folgers coffee can of water and "all natural" cleaner.  Each student pulls out a wipe and every class has a place to clean... one class is equipment (scissors, rulers, markers,etc), one class is walls, one class is tables, one class is chairs, etc... Students turn in their dirty wipes for a jolly rancher.  
They love the candy, I love my sparkling walls and clean supplies.  
This was "inside the desks" gross!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Non-Digital Photo Fun!

My dear friend Sarah posted this neat lesson to artsonia where she did contour line portraits with her 2nd graders and I thought... hey I could do contour line with my 5th graders.  So we started a fun portrait project that is fun.  (Warning:  My kiddos are still working on theirs so I am using my finished one as a an example.  You will be subjected to looking at this more pics of me than you want!)

The students started by learning about contour line drawing and doing some practice.  Then I gave them a photograph of themselves and "let them get to it."  They did a great job of drawing "one non stop line that shows the outside edges and main details while just glancing at the paper." 

Next they took their photograph and looked for light and dark areas; which they drew out with pencils.  
( I did my first example with colored pencil but found that markers work much better) 

They selected at least 3 colors to finish their images.  
They are turning out pretty fun!

  I have to remind them that their hair and clothes are a part of them but they are liking it.  When they are done, I am going to show them how they can do these same effects using photo editing software.  (,, picasa)
I will post some of the finished ones when they are done.  
... actually just check out our artsonia site...

p.s. This pic is from my little bro's wedding this summer.  I don't usually get this dressed up.  I have to share the original because it is one of my favorites... simply because of who is sharing the picture with me.  
My daughter Haylee... the cutest little flower girl!

One of THOSE days...

It is best that I am writing this today and not yesterday.  By 8th period I was DONE!  I was so frustrated and upset with my 6th graders that I did something I rarely do... I left without even cleaning up my room.  I just had to "get a break."

We have been working on our printmaking projects and to fill in the printing time I assigned a illustration project.  They researched different illustrators they liked and even had to reflect on one they did not.  They had time to plan, sketch and reflect before starting a final copy.  Their final copy could be an inside the book illustration or the book cover.  Besides the fact that I am getting a least 2 'mocking jay pin covers' for the Hunger Games (a complete copy of the cover that already exists), I am getting a bunch of poorly done projects.

This was supposed to be a lesson that would interest them and keep them working hard till the last week when we would have a "fun" project.  

The drawings are lacking authors... I am asked multiple times each class, "who is the illustrator?"  (who is doing the drawing)...  They are drawing floating objects with no horizon line....  They have forgotten everything about craftsmanship.  UGH!

Here is a few of what I was expecting...

...and what I am getting a lot of...
When I sent this student back to work on it more, I was informed that this is his best work  (He spent 10 minutes on it) and he wasn't going to do any more.  I know that I can give him a grade that reflects his level of effort but this is frustrating to me.  This student is exceptionally bright and honest but his attitude and lack of caring keep him from being a shining star in his class.  He could be a leader in his class but chooses to be the instigator (you know the one who taps the desk just to make noise and just to see if he can get away with it).  I think this is one of the hardest parts of teaching for me.  Seeing a student with so much ability who consistently makes choices that squander his talents.  I can't make him care so I just pray that someday he will meet someone who "jump starts his ability." 

Does anyone have any advice?  What do you do to keep kids working hard until the end of the year?  How do you keep kids motivated on a lesson that takes more than 2 weeks?