Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Blazing Star Prairie

2 class periods

Blazing Star Praire Painting, Kindergarten Art Lesson
Day 1:

On the first day of this lesson, I shared with students numerous photographs of flowers that grow in long stalks or upon a vine.  Different types of flowers we looked at were Gladiolus, Lavender, Delphinium, and Liatris (Blazing Star Prairie).  I want my students to realize that there are different flowers out there than the basic one most of them think of (a center with petals around it).  After we looked at these images you should have seen how students started to change the way they drew flowers during free choice.  It was awesome!!!
Example of free choice drawing by kindergarten student.  Just look at those flowers!!!
Students began with a piece of yellow construction paper that was 6 x 18 inches long.  I had students take crayons and scribble away on the paper to create the background.  Since this was the first day of art, they were pretty excited to find out that they could scribble on their first project.  We discussed the warm colors.  I encouraged students to use only the warm colors in their background.

After the backgrounds were filled in with crayon, I demonstrated to students how paint three long stems on their paper with green tempera paint.  I then showed them how to smoosh out leaf shapes with their brush.
Adding stems and leaves.

Pieces were set on drying rack to dry.

Day 2:

We began class reviewing what we had done the class before and re-examined the photographs of the flowers we were discussing.  I next demonstrated to students how to create the flower petals by using my pointer finger and tapping paint onto the stems.  Students were so excited when they learned they would be painting with their fingers!!!!  We discussed proper finger painting techniques and what was appropriate and not appropriate to do with the paint on our fingers.

Students used white, purple and magenta tempera paint to paint the petals on the stems.  I encouraged the students to really look at the photographs and do their best to recreate the flower the way they saw it in the photograph.

Students adding petals to their compositions.

Student Examples:



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Wedding Start To The School Year

As usual the school year has started in a busy mad rush of organizing supplies, labeling, setting up plans for future substitute teachers, PLC's, SLO's, PBIS and just plain trying to remember how to balance the work load of teaching 527 students in a week.  Oh, and lets not forget creating art with all my eager young artists.  It seems that every class wants to paint on the first day of art.  Keeping all this in mind, I decided to kick up the year with another to do and say, "I do" on September 1. 

We had an absolutely gorgeous day (I took Friday off-our school year officially started on August 29th with students) and was thankful to have Monday off (Labor Day) to recoup and bask in the glow of our beautiful day. 

I thought I would share a few photos from that amazing day.  I am going to do my best to try and blog lessons and examples on here a bit more frequent than last year.  Wish me luck!  For those that follow me, thank you for your continued support.  Looking forward to a great school year!
The camera captured a sunspot in this photograph, but I still absolutely love it.  My soon to be hubby was so emotional seeing me for the first time and I was just beyond happy.

Mr. and Mrs. Cornell

This photo is my favorite, 

Friday, May 25, 2018

Say Goodbye to Yarn Tangles, Knots and Waste

I have come up with this solution to organize my classroom yarn for about 4 years now.  Since I have done this with my yarn, I can't imagine any other way to organize the chaos that yarn can be.

I began by cutting foam core into 4 x 9 inch cards.  I use this to wrap my yarn on.  I cut a tab on each end of the foam core.  On one end I start the yarn, I tape this in place with some masking tape.  I then continue to wrap the skein of yarn onto the foam core.  When the skein is gone I put the end of the yarn in the tab on the opposite end of the foam core. 
Close up of yarn wrapped on foam core with tab and label.

I label the yarn with the color name.  These are the labels I use: RED, BLUE, YELLOW, GREEN, PURPLE, ORANGE, BLACK, WHITE, RAINBOW, TEXTURE.  I then place the foam core into a plastic dish pan.   I label each dish pan with the color of the yarn that will be found in that container.
Dish pans labeled with color of yarn.
These containers are very easy to stack and are big enough to hold quite a few yarn bundles.  Students are taught how to unwrap the yarn from the foam core and how to put the yarn back into the tab so the next person can find it.

Each bin contains tints and shades of that color.  So in the RED bin you would also find your pinks, BLACK bin you would find your grays, and so forth.

Yarn organized by tints and shades.
This did take a bit of time to set up, but it has saved me a ton of time in the long run.  When a color runs out, you just load it up again.  Very easy to see what you are low in when you need to order more supplies and so much neater looking than a yarn tangled mess.

I hope this helpful tip inspires you!
  Here's to tangle free yarn adventures! 

Those Yummy Value Cakes!

My fourth grade students wrapped up the school year learning about shading and value scales.  This cake lesson seems to be a favorite for many of my fourth grade students.  Below you will see some of the examples from this year's group.  If you want to know more about the lesson, see the instructions and more examples check out my link on this blog:  Value Cakes

Examples from this year:




Friday, May 18, 2018

Word Ladders Inspired by Jasper Johns

Second Grade Art
3 Class Periods
Word Ladders Inspired by Jasper Johns, Second Grade Art Lesson
About the Artist:
Jasper Johns
American painter Jasper Johns is best known for his paintings of numbers, letters, targets, maps and flags.  He was born on May 15, 1930 and currently still alive today.  For this project we were inspired by his piece entitled Colored Alphabet.
Colored Alphabet by Jasper Johns.
The following is also a YouTube clip that I shared with students about the artist.  I did not show the very last part since it related to a different project inspired by the artist.
               Brief Biography of Jasper Johns

Day 1:  

To begin this lesson students learned about artist Jasper Johns.  We discussed details about his life as well as examined several pieces of his artwork.

I had done some prior investigating with the second grade teachers to see if students were familiar with word ladders. I was excited to hear that students at my school did have a basic knowledge of this topic.  Thanks to this, I was able to begin the lesson with more of a review approach.  We reviewed the concept of word ladders (taking a word, changing one letter to make a new word, and then continuing the process to form new words).  As a class we created a word ladder together.  I then gave students a handout for them to create their own word ladders.  Each word had to be 4 letters long.  I had numerous examples on display and informed students that they could also copy one of the many examples I had on another handout that I had provided to the students.

I had  students glue various size pieces of newspaper to their 12 x 18 inch paper before they traced their letters. I recommended gluing five pieces down.  Piece could overlap.  I informed students we were more interested in the text then photographs.

Students used stencils (3 inch wide) to trace the letters of their words on a 12 x 18 inch piece of paper.

Oil pastels were used to color in the letters.

Coloring in letters with oil pastels.

Day 2:

Students that needed to finish coloring in their letters with the oil pastels continued to do so.

After letters were colored in, student painted the background of the composition using liquid tempera paint.  Students were encourage to explore the many possibilities paint offered by mixing colors and experimenting with brush strokes and brush size.
Painting compositions.

Day 3:

On this day I shared this YouTube clip on the artwork of Jasper Johns.  It is a song that I found quite catchy and the students enjoyed it, too! Jasper Johns Song

Students were allowed to finish painting today.

If paintings were complete, students were asked to go back into their composition with the oil pastels and touch up any letters that were hard to see.

Student Examples: