Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Break!

from my snowman makers to you...
only 3 are mine... the other 3 are my nieces and nephew.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Channeling the Spirit of Christmas

So I have a slight (okay HUGE) admiration for Cassie Stephens and her amazingly bold and wonderful wardrobe...

Today I channeled my inner CS and wore a "real deal tree skirt" skirt.  The kids loved it.  It was awesomely fun.  Thanks Cassie for the inspiration!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Clay Looms

While my student teacher was here she wanted to tackle clay.  I linked her to my clay Pinterest board and shared that the students needed to do a slab project in 5th grade.  We also discussed that texture was the element of art we were focusing on. She found this pin/idea from Phyl at There's a Dragon in my Art Room and her lesson was born...
Subbing and an almost art show
One modification she made was to take away the weaving component.  Time and materials didn't really allow for it this year.  She did a great job of teaching them the lesson, tracking students who were absent, firing 300+ pieces, finishing, grading and uploading the images.  

We discussed the different ways the students could finish the pieces and decided that having them "stain" them in a watery paint bath would be best.  It would allow the students time to finish all their yarn work during one class period.  Without further ado... here are some of the final projects:

We did a different color each day of the week.  Some students really loved the weaving component on the example projects and decided to challenge themselves.  They turned out really nicely. 

You can check out more over at Artsonia. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Secret's Out

I have been super excited to yell this from the rooftops but had to wait till the right time.

Well today is the day.

I am now a contributing writer to the the ART OF EDUCATION!
See... that's my name highlighted
Wow!  I still need to give it time to soak in.  I have been following AOE f-o-r-e-v-e-r!  Like since back when it was just Jessica and back when I typed the address in each time because I didn't have a blog reader.

They have always, always been a great source of amazing information.  Over the last few years it has really morphed into a leading online source for art teachers.  They cover everything art ed and work really, really hard to fulfill their tag line "ridiculously relevant professional development for art teachers."

If you haven't checked out their online conferences I would really, really recommend them.  You get to sit at home, in your jammies, sipping coffee (or whatever you like) while learning a TON of awesomeness for your classes. The next one is coming quickly in January so head over and read my article about one day clay projects... then check out the conference information.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

20 Minute Classes

If your school is like mine there are a few times a year when your schedule is re-arranged for early outs. At NMS we have a few times when we have an 11:30 dismissal.  All the classes are still held but we only have 20 minutes per class period.  That isn't much time to get anything out, let alone accomplished.

Rob to the Rescue....

Rob from Art for Kids has a lot of really great "draw along" videos.  I love that he draws along with at least one of his own kids so it is super kid friendly.  He also has lessons broke down into different age groups and mediums.

Our last 11:30 dismissal was earlier this fall.  My 5th graders drew along to create an awesome owl.

recreated on the computer... how cool!

My 6th graders drew along to create a tough looking football player.

recreated with an entire football field

While these work great for as a time filler I have struggled with how I could make this into a creative activity.  I solved this dilemma by turning the project into a contest.  Each class drew along with Rob in during class time and then were given the following week (until I saw them again) to finish it in the coolest way possible.  Each grade level had the top 3 projects selected for a prize...
5th grade 1st. 2nd and 3rd place
6th grade 3rd, 2nd and 1st place

Monday, November 24, 2014

Exploding Color Wheels

As review of colors wheels and as an starting point to painting, students created "exploding color wheels." The requirements were:
  1. that they had to draw something in pen and ink 
  2. make the color wheel "explode" from that object.  
I wish we had spent more time on discussing pen and ink work before we started.  However it was fun to see the students solve the issue of making their color wheels explode.
You can check out more at Artsonia. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Not So Plain White Cups

My 6th graders have a unit that focuses on drawing skills.  This year when we were tackling contour line we switched it up from our usual hand drawing and challenged ourselves with drawing "plain white coffee cups."  I started by photographing a group of cups together.
After we worked through our contour line drawing practice they tackled drawing these cups in contour line.  I let them "cheat" and draw on a piece of plastic on top of the drawing.  Since it is the beginning of contour drawing for them it can be hard for them to see the connecting lines.  

Next we worked on shading.  They completed a value scale and worked to identify the light, medium and dark values on each cup.  As they finished their practice work I shared the assignment.  They would have to draw a cup photograph using contour line and shading BUT they had to add something to their image to make them unique.  They turned out pretty fun!

You can check out more at Artsonia

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cartoon Posters

This quarter the Aftershock kids are focusing on cartooning.  They have spent some time developing their own personal cartoons.  For today our focus was on creating a "poster" for their cartoon character.  Here are what a few of them came up with...

**pictures were snapped "in progress" and then kiddos took them home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lego Mania

A while back I saw this awesome post by Abby Schukei over at Exploring Art: Elementary Art.  She had done these cool Lego people with her 5th graders.  (Check out the post here)  Since my Afterschock kiddos are focusing on cartooning I thought this would be perfect for the class I would miss when I took kiddos to the Joslyn Art Museum for Celebrating Creativity.
Miss P works hard at everything she does and really wanted her picture with her Lego person... happy to oblige!
I printed off some Lego guys so they could really see the shape of the awesome little people.  They drew them out and colored them while I was gone... and they did a pretty good job!  I could really see their personalities coming through!

I love these so much I think this will be going into my sub file as an awesome sub lesson! 
Thanks for sharing Abby!  
... now go check out her awesome blog

Friday, November 14, 2014

Exploring Art Mediums

One of the first projects my 6th graders did this year was inspired by the one and only Nic Hahn over at MINI MATISSE (if you haven't checked her out - go there NOW!).  Anyway... Nic spent the summer making these awesome "Medium Monsters" to help her mini's know more about art mediums.
I shared a few of Mrs. Hahn's monster and then challenged my students to create something equally awesome using art mediums.  They were given a lot of freedom (in retrospect too much freedom for a first project). 
Their project requirements were to create an image using a minimum of 4 mediums - NEATLY!
We started by creating stations around the room and the students filled in their medium books.  
Then they filled out a proposal for their idea and got to work.  While many of them had each medium represented, they didn't use them in all their awesomeness!

Feel free to stop over at Arstonia and check out more of what they have done. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

More Circles

After students finished up their circle (dots) with clay we tackled some fun "Cassie Stephens" inspired sewn dots.  I will admit it took me watching her how-to video on YouTube to feel comfortable tackling this project.

The students did a great job of following directions and I am thinking some sewers have been born...