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.