Sunday, November 12, 2006

Mixed Media: finger weaving, construction, and paint

K has spent several weeks working on her representation of a bedroom. She did the finger weaving first, then started a construction of a room. She decided to use the finger weaving on the bed. The orange ball is a light fixture. She has painted rugs on the floor and a trash can with a lid.

Bristle Blocks

I purchased the bristle blocks this summer because we were going to start teaching kindergarten this year, but some of my older students have really been creative with them; for example: this space station and robot created by two boys working together.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Working Airboat

Several boys have been working together on a fan-powered boat. One of them brought a small motor to use. It has rudders to give it direction. We tested it in water in the sink this week, and it works!

Stick puppets

Many of our younger students have been making very creative stick puppets. This is S's puppy puppet. It even has a leash!

Collaborative Super Jet, completed

This is the super jet that M & C have been working on for several class periods. You can see a view of it before the color was added in the previous posts. I was very pleased that they could work so well together to make such a personal artistic statement.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

More Stations

These two photos show the many varieties of construction sets and
manipulatives in our "building" station
Painting station, which has watercolors, liquid tempera, and tempera blocks
Word wall and reading station, with many books on master artists


Three-dimensional paper sculpture Our still-life materials for drawing or painting
Collage, puppet, and mask-making station
Our drawing station with a large variety of drawing materials, objects to draw, drawing books, textured rubbing materials, and a picture file
Our weaving station

Some of our parents never have a chance to visit our art room. I thought that they might like to see the set-up of our stations.

Collaborative Super Jet

Who would have thought that making a detailed jet plane could be a collaborative project?! Only two very creative students! Posted by Picasa

Kindergarten Masks

These kindergarten students enjoyed making paper masks with different personalities. Posted by Picasa

Castle Complex

These boys created quite an elaborate castle complex with moats and bridges, using extra shapes from wooden die cuts. Posted by Picasa

Giant Hand

I don't know the significance of the giant hand, but just think of the possibilities! And check out the blue shadow! Posted by Picasa

Shapes Collage

First grade students have been using pre-cut shapes to form collages. The first student made a girl and her dog. The second one made a mouse, then made a handle to carry the picture. The third student made spiders with clever expressions.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Paper Sculpture Station

Roberto's spring man

Blake's freeform sculpture

These students enjoyed making geometric forms out of paper and creatively adding details to them.

Tony's sculpture

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Drawing Large on the Dry Erase Board

Students in the lower grades enjoy being able to draw a large composition on the dry-erase board on my easel.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Collaborative Mural

Many of our students like to work together. These two boys spent many days last spring working on their ocean mural, using oil pastels and cut paper. Posted by Picasa

Conceptual Building Center

Over the summer I found many new items that I could add to the building station, where students create conceptual designs in three dimensions, then take them apart and create again. The new sets are K'nex and Kid K'nex, wooden Tinker Toys, plastic Tinker Toys, another set of Constructo-Straws, so that students can make bigger constructions, Space Links, Bristle Blocks, a plastic Erector set, another set of magnetic rods, and Toobers, and Zots. I also added a set of small people, furniture, and animals so that students could add these to their buildings.

A lot of the students like the large building blocks, which are really just sanded pieces of scrap lumber (they like to help me sand them), but these students decided to build their castle on the bottom of the box that the blocks were stored in!

Students like the magnetic rods so much that I got a second set this summer.
Students like to use magnets on the chalkboard to create outlines, or contour line.
Students use the Riviton set to create objects with moving parts, and use problem-solving and engineering skills. Posted by Picasa

Pattern Blocks

The student who made this would be well-served to try to create the same design in paper. Trying new designs, and trying and trying again is why we have a station for conceptual art. Posted by Picasa

Collaborative Collage

Two girls worked on this well-thought-out collage together for several days, carefully searching for just the right items to add to their beach. Posted by Picasa

Our Second Year as a Choice Art room

This year is going very smoothly. Many of the students were already accustomed to the routine in our studio. They fell right in to the routine of making their own choices of materials and subject matter. We began the year with a discussion of where artists get their ideas, but I found that many of them were all ready with ideas that they had thought of during the summer. They are not nearly so hesitant this year to strike out on their own.

They were anxious for the stations to open, but I have opened them slowly. At each one I wanted to teach them additional techniques, as well as offer additional materials. In the upper grades, we have drawing, computer graphics, collage, paper sculpture, weaving, conceptual building in 3-D, and painting stations open so far. In 2nd grade, we have drawing, collage, computers, clay, stamping, painting, large drawing on the dry-erase easel, and building in 3-D open. 1st grade students have just learned that they can make choices in our art studio, as a real artist does. They may choose between drawing, computers, clay, stamping, building, and drawing on the dry-erase board.

Kindergarten students are new to our specialties rotation this year. I have not yet introduced to them the concept that they can make a choice, but I am rotating many different materials between their tables: drawing materials, stencils, clay, stamps, and three-dimensional building sets. I plan to ease them into the concept of making a choice, but each group always has the choice of drawing rather than the other activities, and so many of them are fascinated with my variety of drawing materials, that they choose that over the other activities.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Clay Station

Clay was added as a station in the spring in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. Techniques were demonstrated, then the students chose their subject matter. The clay was then fired in the kiln. Some students used acrylic paint to add color.

One of the techniques demonstrated at the clay station was building by coils. This student added coils to a pinch pot to create this unique pot. The other techniqes demonstrated were pinch and pull, and additive sculpture. This student used both coiling and additive techniques to add the decorations on the pot.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Puppets and Dolls Station

We have a new station in which we can make hand puppets, sock puppets, or dolls. We are learning how to thread a needle, knot the thread, cut fabric from a pattern, and sew a running stitch.

The student who made this puppet gave him sunglasses, a pair of shorts, and a vest with buttons.

Artist Study

One of the reasons given by the students for making art is to become an artist who makes a living by making art work. We took our discussion of "why make art" one step further and began to study master artists. For several class periods we discussed Picasso. We viewed his abstract art, his realistic art, his ceramics, his cubism, and his one-line drawings. Our younger students even learned a song about Picasso.

We have been learning new techniques at the painting station, such as wet-on-wet, splatter, dry brush, and layering thick paint. All of these techniques led us to a study of the French Impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Why Make Art?

As soon as the winter break was over I began a discussion on why people make art now or have made art in the past. I have a tablet in which I am recording the ideas from each class. We are spending five minutes at the beginning of each class, then go to work making art. I'm planning on posting some of the most clever responses.

Creative Santa

This is an inventive way to make a Santa using our recycled materials!

Hands, Head, and Heart

This student created her heart-felt art using oil pastels.

This student has demonstrated the concept that if you use your hands, head, and heart to make your art, then you are a true artist. She used tempera paint and oil pastels in this mixed-media picture.

Painting Instruction

I decided that we needed some instruction in painting in third, fourth, and fifth grade. I chose to use an idea from a book by Cathy Weissman Topal called Children and Painting. I set up all of the tables for painting. We discussed thick and thin lines, and listed a variety of decorative lines such as zigzag, wavy, looped, crenellated, scalloped, broken, dotted, spiral, and even have some that we made up and call tepee lines and mousehole lines. Each student was to use a large brush and black paint and scatter eight different thick and thin lines across their paper. Then they used a smaller brush to connect the lines so that their paper was divided into shapes and spaces. Afterwards they filled in the shapes with color. This is the only lesson so far that we have done as a group since we began choice art, but I think that it was effective. We had discussed the non-objective style of art before, but I think that the students have a better understanding of how to create it now.