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! ;)