Monday, April 29, 2013

a NO GLUE sort of day...

So today we started working on our surrealism collages.  Each day of the week is doing a different project because I will see each of them for different time frames (track meets, field trips, music contest, etc...).  Today they started their collages and I would NOT allow them glue.  I am making them find all their "color" first.

You would have thought I was punishing them...
Almost everyone wanted to get started and the few I did allow to start during 6th hour did exactly what I DIDN'T want them to do.  They started with their "focal point" and then got frustrated when they couldn't get their background to fit in.  sssiiiiggghhhh
sketching out the image...
Today's students are creating monochromatic background environments using magazine paper.  Next week they will create a COLORFUL focal point image using construction paper.  Today's goals were to draw out/plan their idea and complete their color search.
watching the values...
storing our "colors"
Luckily I have a TON of these plastic folders a mom donated a few years ago.  The fit into the art folders and velcro shut.  This way they can collect all the value paper they want and it won't (or shouldn't) go missing by the next class time!  

Collage is one of my least fav. projects (SO VERY MESSY) and I am tackling 3 different ways of doing it,  so feel free to say some extra prayers for me. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Sometimes you just have to "clean" your desk.

Remove everything.

Wash (sanitize) and dry every surface.

Organize your pens and pencils (return all strays back to their places).

...then you can grade papers with a sense of peace!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Could you guess from the last post that 6th grade was getting ready to do printmaking!

I see one group of my kiddo's twice a week so this year we decided to tackle reduction printing with them.  I was pretty nervous about what they could do but I should have known they would rock it.

We started by watching this great video on YouTube.  Then I demonstrated for them...
showing them all three steps.

Then we set up the printing stations (notice the color coded sign up sheets... the color is a huge help for kids who aren't really paying attention).  I had yellow only on the first day.  Yellow and red on the second, with the requirement that all yellow be printed.
 Then we had red and blue on the next day, with the requirement that all red be printed.  (This year I had the kids print two prints on each full sheet of paper instead of having all the paper cut... wow, what a great idea and sanity saver)
The students did a pretty good job with registration and printing in the right places.  
(except for this kiddo who never did get the same print... but I still love it)

Here are some the finished ones... so awesome!  I can't wait for everyone else to finish these.

p.s. While I love these, I don't want to tackle it with all 300 students... these 75 were enough!

Friday, April 19, 2013

6th grade too...

6th grade has been working on their chair projects (see original post here) and it has been awesome! Here are few more of my faves and some comments I have LOVED!

every view of the chair... open and closed
a nice tri-fold brochure to get you interested in buying...
I just love it!
the princess shopping thrown... with a hook for your shopping bags
the pink one is sold as the happy chair... sit on it and you will just feel better about yourself.
a real usable chair....
was wondering about this students sense of relaxing... 
till I realized it was a coke and a bottle of ketchup  
this chair completely comes apart and folds up... all planned by a creative boy. 
some of my fave quotes were...

"you probably don't want to put your face there." when asked if the makeup pouf that made up the chairs seat was usable.

"what kind of warranty do I get if I fall out.  Is there someone to sue."  asked about a hover chair.

"how does it know what will make me happy."  when sitting on the "get happy" chair. 

Here is a teaser about what we are working on now... bet you can't guess.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A little twist

Yesterday I posted about our perspective lettering project.  One of my days worth of kiddo's was going to miss, so I started them off with their letters drawn out.  These classes focused on reduce, reuse and recycle.

They still had to do the lettering and the pattern background but they look a little different!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Lately life has been putting some perspective on things.  We all can get a little frazzled come the end of the year with grades, art shows, squirrely kiddo's, outside activities, spring fever, etc.  The recent passing of one of my mentors after a short (but long) battle with pancreatic cancer has helped me keep a better perspective on things.  My favorite quote from her funeral was "if your bible is falling apart, your life isn't."  Wow... How true.  After the tragedy yesterday at the Boston Marathon and our "freakish weather" (75 degrees last Monday and Wednesday was a snow day...) I can't help but "have a little faith" that it will all work out.

Speaking of another perspective... this is what my 5th graders have finished up.  Perspective lettering with a patterned background.  The requirements were to create at least 3 letters, take them back to the vanishing point, color them neatly, create a neat and pattern filled background.  My example was black and white as are many of the finished projects... but some took up the challenge to do both in color!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life is crazy...

I am typing this post up at home working on getting my week in order.  Got some fun projects to share with you but not this week.

Yesterday was 75, Today we got out of school early because our spring thunderstorm turned into a ice, hail, snowstorm.... gotta love living in Nebraska!

Tomorrow I have a sub as I have a funeral for one of my dear friends... she was a mentor to me in my masters program and her influence on my life was huge.  Her fight with Pancreatic Cancer was very gallant and she will be missed.

Thursday I will be having a sub while I help interview for our High School Art position.

Friday I have another sub for another funeral.  My uncle passed away from emphysema this week.  I spent many a night with my cousin Bec at their house and he will be missed.

I promise I will share more in a bit...and you can feel free to share some of the beautiful east or west coast weather with us.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chair Challenge

So when I was in Dallas the Dallas Art Museum had a neat exhibit of "functional art," including a TON of chairs.  I considered having my 5th graders finish their perspective projects with a chair drawing (the seat would be in perspective) but decided instead to have my 6th graders take the Chair Challenge.

We started by looking at this image of some of the chairs I saw in Dallas.  We discussed how different each was and the different purposes they could serve.  
Next we talked about the show Shark Tank  and how the investors decide whether or not to support the inventors ideas.  They were informed that over Easter Break they would be creating a new "art chair" and that when they returned to class we would be voting on the top two chairs.  Since we don't have the money to create the chairs, their reward was a free clay project for the top two chairs in every class.  

We started with this worksheet (planning/grading sheet)
Now the challenging part was that they had to create a chair that meet specific requirements.  They had to write down their phone number on their planning sheet.  For each number there was an odd/even option.  
Number 1 ~ odd number = outside, even number = inside
Number 2 ~ odd number = woman, even number = man
Number 3 ~ odd number = new materials, even number = recycled materials
Number 4 ~ odd number = stationary, even number = portable.  

They could present their chair idea in any manner.  Online drawing, PowerPoint, hand drawn visual, tri-fold brochure, model etc.... Yesterday was my first day and I was BLOWN AWAY!  They did so awesome! Here are the chairs that made their way to my room before school even started.  
They totally exceeded my expectations.  
**Disclaimer:  Of course I had some students who simply created a pencil drawing, but even they put a lot of thought into what was happening with their chair so it would "meet the requirements." **