Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Funky Kindergarten Flamingos

We made adorable patterned flamingos inspired by this adorable book about Sylvie, the little flamingo who decides to try being a bird of a different color! After reading the book I lead a guided drawing session to get everyone's flamingo looking flamingo-ish using letter forms like "S" for the neck and the numeral 4 for the legs. Using oil pastels the students added three or more different patterns to their bird.


The next class, we took another look at Sylvie, especially the sky and backgrounds. The students used oil pastels again to draw in the horizon line and two details and then watercolored the rest. Finally, once they were cut out and glued into the background, students did a written reflection. Using a chart, we brainstormed great flamingo names, things you would find on a beach and words that describe patterns. Then, using the word bank, students finished a fill-in-the-blank reflection.

My Flamingo's name is ______________.
My flamingo ate a _________________________ and had a ______________________ pattern.

To save time in some classes we skipped cutting out the flamingo, but the backgrounds on the blank paper turned out better. I don't think you can really tell the difference!! Either way, these flamingos are absolutely fabulous!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Chalk-it-up 2nd grade!!

We welcomed Street Painter Lee Jones (Chalk-it-up.com) to our school again this year to work with our 2nd grade students. She did a one hour presentation about the history of street painting and went room to room giving a chalk technique demonstration using hard board. The kids were so excited to take their designs outside! We spend three weeks designing new species of butterflies and moths, paying close attention to the parts of a butterfly and how to tell a butterfly from a moth. (They will be studying the life cycle of butterflies in science right after this unit). 

When the day finally came for us to chalk, it rained. Bummer right? Well there was a bright side... the tiger Lee chalked wasn't on the sidewalk this year, it was on hard board, which means we get to keep it forever!! She set up her board on the stage in our cafetorium (nope-not misspelled...it is a cafeteria that thinks it's an auditorium because it has a stage in it). All the students were able to see the tiger develop throughout the lunch periods and when they came to eat the next day, they were amazed!!

Lee was headed back to Florida, but it was sunny in Nashville so I took all 130 2nd graders out into the front driveway to create butterfly compositions. Each box (3x4feet) housed two artists. I demonstrated how to layout the two designs so that they both overlapped and touched the sides of the box to create interesting negative space in the composition. Lee had already taken care of the chalk technique and in two hours we had 130 amazing butterflies and moths!

That's me doing the Demo!!

This is just half the driveway!

That is my son's butterfly in the bottom left!

We peeled the tape up, leaving a nicely defined image!

How great is that?!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Toot your own horn...by being thankful.

When you learn something amazing, do you want to share it? I know I do!! I am an expert at asking for things (just ask my husband) and I am a little spoiled, I will admit it. But, I think it is because I still do what my college weaving professor/advisor (THX Dr. Shoemaker!!) told me to do...I toot my own horn!! WOOO WOOOO, Thank Yoooou!! You should too...
I let people know what I am up to professionally and how it is impacting my students for the better. I made this flyer and sent it to my principal, assistant principal and PTO presidents when I returned from NAEA this year because it took all of them cooperating for me to attend! I wanted to thank them, I wanted them to know how much I appreciate them and how much their support means to me and our students.

The more appreciative you are for what you have and the harder you work to get what you need, the more people want to help you out! I know art teachers who sponsor games at school carnivals to pay for their entire year's supplies, they ask local business owners and doctor's offices to offer specials in return for art supplies, hold bake sales or sponsor vending machines just to get what their students need to really experience art. You are amazing and you work hard so...Tell somebody!! Even if you are not lucky enough to have someone pitch in some $$ to send you to a workshop or conference, you should still let your school stakeholders know what you are up to and what you have learned...you never know when some money will turn up with your name on it! ;)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Now Picture this...

Of course we didn't just study one book and create one fabulous piece of art work! I brought a mountain of books and had several stations for participants to explore which ever endeavor was most appealing (Academic choice, baby!! Yeah!), of which the Piven portraits were the most popular. But this one came in a close second...

Book 2: Memory Bottles by Beth Shoshan
These amazing coiled creations hold a secret inside inspired by a heartwarming story of a little boy and his grandpa-ish neighbor. These were made using 8oz water bottles and Amaco white (air dry) Cloud Clay and liquid water color paint. Add a little glitter gel medium for a little sparkle! I love how sculptural they became!! Choose any number of artists to add a little history to this unit on how memories inspire artists!!

Elementary Art Needs More Sculpture...don't you think?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Picture This...

No fooling...My friend Mr. E scheduled me to teach a workshop this month, on April Fool's Day!! I have to say I was energized and exhausted from NAEA but my Nashville elementary art teachers did not disappoint!!
Children's Literature in the Elementary Visual Art Classroom
Book 1: My Dog is as Smelly as Dirty Socks

So, what did we do all day...well the topic was how to use children's literature to inspire young artists.  Our first author, illustrator and artist was Hanock Piven!! These are Piven inspired self portraits using found objects!! The best part is that every object used not only has a similar shape to a need facial feature, but it also holds a clue to the artist's personality. You may be familiar with the iPad/iPhone app inspired by this artist called Faces I Make! Here are some more created by the art teachers in my class!!!

"How Great Is That!?!!"

Friday, April 11, 2014

To someone, you are a Rock Star!!

That is what I told my 4th graders today and here is the story...

While I was at the conference, I went to the elementary division luncheon. 

I was sitting at the table with, in my opinion, the holy trinity of techno-art-teachers, Trisha Fuglestad (The iPad Queen), Theresa McGee (Tech/Artsonia Queen) and Donna Staten (Pintrest Queen) among others who's skills I am in awe of and I felt privileged just to share their table. Anyway...a lady came up to my table and said:

"Hi Tina, my name is Brooke and I was in your session last year in Texas. I was so impressed that you walked in with just an iPad for your presentation that I made it my profession goal for the year to be able to do that." 

I looked around the table and back at her..."Are you talking to me??" I thought. Then I said "I was your professional technology goal?? Really?? That's AWSOME!!" 

(BTW Brooke-my friend Susie was in your presentation and she said you did an amazing job!!)

So...just remember to focus on the positive and not get bogged down in what you can't do or what you didn't finish, because to someone, you are a rockstar and you may not even know it!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Assessment is Elementary!!

So while at NAEA, I taught my very first hands-on, ticketed event at a conference called "Assessment is Elementary". Participants were engaged in an unconventional self portrait lesson which they created, inspired by Pop Artist Andy Warhol. I modeled and reviewed some of the assessment methods I use in my classroom to help others find their own flavor of art assessment. 

 I here are some of the amazing (yes-that is the word of the month) piece they created. When it comes to assessment, a finished piece of art work is the ultimate in Post-Assessment!!! Follow it up with a student checklist for craftsmanship and a chance to write about what they have learned and you have Create, Perform, and Respond!! 

I like to have everyone cut them out and display them in a grid just like Warhol's 100 Soup Cans!! Love it!