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:

Friday, May 4, 2018

Coil Pots

Sixth Grade
4 to 5 class periods

My sixth grade classes worked very hard at creating these coil vessels.  Students had a choice between two circle sizes for their base slab.  Students were given the following criteria: the coil vessels were required to be 5 inches high, coils had to be uniform in size, slip and score technique needed to be performed correctly, projects must be glazed, craftsmanship was a must.  Handles, lids, and added decoration were optional creativity choices.

Student Examples:









My Sketchbook Drawings

I spent a little time working in my sketchbook over the past month.  I love it when I find a bit of time and motivation to draw.  I always try to show the students what I have been up to in my sketchbook, reminding them that art is a skill that needs to be practice, even if you are an art teacher.  :)