Showing posts with label first grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first grade. Show all posts

Monday, May 8, 2017

In the Art Room: First Grade Fish UPDATE!

First grade just finished up their clay fish sculptures and before they get placed in our art show display, I thought I'd share them with you. This was a fun project where we used speckled glaze (Jungle Gems by Mayco) and a metallic watercolor. Here's how these cuties were created:
I see my firsties for 30 minutes twice a week. On the first day, we created the base, complete with a starfish (Patrick!) and seaweed. After the kids left, I added a hole in the base and their names to the bottom. On the second day, we created our fish. I did the same thing to the fish...it was tricky writing their names on such a small surface, but I managed to get it done. 
 After the pieces dried for two weeks, I fired them in the kiln. I then dipped the bases in a gold watercolor to completely cover them. From there, the kids used metallic watercolor paints for the seaweed and starfish. Glaze was used on the fish. I encouraged the kids to use at least three coats of glaze for complete coverage. 
The speckled glaze really is the coolest. And the kids love the surprising change they see once their creations have come out of the kiln. 
After all of that fun was done, I had the pleasure of gluing the pieces together. I used chopsticks (I had a donation given to me) that I broke down to a smaller size. After gluing a couple of tall fish, I realized that they might be more inclined to tip over and break than the shorter ones. 
They are much more stable with the smaller sticks. And super cute, I might add. I want one for my home!
The kids had a lot of fun adding texture to their fish which really turned out beautifully with the glaze. 
By the way, when first adding the holes to the bottom of the fish and the base, make sure you wiggle the stick back and forth a bit. Clay shrinks as it's drying and the wiggle will keep the clay opening the right size for the stick. 
Our Pet Shop themed art show is next Tuesday night...I'm slowly getting the art room ready for the transformation. I can't wait to see these fun fish on display. I'll be sure to share!
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Monday, May 1, 2017

Art Teacherin' 101: Episode 33

If you are anything like me (and bless, as we say in the South, if you are), then you prolly got that art ed degree of yours without being a total pro in all forms of media. I didn't take a single printmaking or ceramics class in college and I got a C in textiles (which is a fave but at the time, I was huffing too many paint fumes, er, REALLY into my painting class, to be bothered with warping that freakin' floor loom). What I did get is a two year degree in oil painting because...you know, that's something we teach to the 10 and under set. Ahem. All that to say, we are expected to be at least somewhat knowledgable about the media we share with our students. But, let's be honest, a lot of times, we are learning right along with the kids. 

Now, I've been at this art teacherin' game for sometime now (18 years but who's countin'?) and I have learned a thing or two along the way. One thing is for certain: kids LOVE clay. However, it can be frustrating to teach if you lack experience. Since I've been around the art teacherin' block a time or two (wink-wink, nudgenudge), I thought I'd share some of my fave art teacherin' clay hacks with you. Here you go:
 Let's talk about some of the things I've shared and just where you can find them. 

* Clay mats. I mentioned The Clay Lady and her clay mats. I seriously have had mine FOR YEARS. They are worth the cost of $2 each. 

* Toothbrushes and doggie bowls. Seriously, what would we art teachers do without places like The Dollar Tree?! Toothbrushes are perfect for teaching scoring and doggie bowls are awesome for holding slip while preventing spills. 

* Texture! A visit to your thrift store will provide you with a good stockpile of texture for your clay adventures. Placemats, cable knit sweaters, burlap, stamps, you name it. If it has a texture, your clay will capture it.

* Skewer sticks. Perfect for cutting, drawing and carving into clay.
Something I failed to mention: what to do with those projects that kids work on for more than one class? To store these effectively, I have a stockpile of old and large zip lock baggies. The kids write their names on the bags in Sharpie, wrap their project in a damp paper towel and place gently inside the back. I tell the kids not to zip their bags shut as that usually traps air inside. Instead, I tell them to push the air out and tuck the opening of the bag under their project. This will keep their clay workable for about a week. 

If you would like to continue this clay chat, you are in luck. All throughout the month of May, I'll be hosting clay chats (and craft nights, so come armed with clay!) right here, every Wednesday at 8pm CST. You can work with any ole clay you like...however, I'll be using the clays made available in this kit which you can purchase here. For more info on what we'll be up to, check here

And now, I thought I'd share with you some of my fave clay projects over the years (many with video links!) for you to take back to your own Art Teacherin' Town. LOOOOOVE to hear your fave clay projects and words of wisdom. Please feel free to leave in el commentos below. 
This clay project was one that I did with my second graders FOR YEARS. They love it, it's a great way to introduce texture, slab, coil and glaze. It's also a quickie and with my short art classes, it worked very well. 
This was a fun project my third graders did one year. If you've taught clay before, then you've probably done the coils-in-a-styrofoam-bowl project (I know I have!) a different spin on that is having the kids use slabs of clay to create flowers. We had a spring theme one art show and these fit in beautifully. 
I almost always do a clay project that emphasizes texture with my kindergarteners. I'll share all of those projects...but this one is always a fave: texture butterflies
This is another kindergarten clay project with an emphasis on texture. This project is also shared in my clay book...but with homemade clay! 
These clay fish by my first graders always crack me up! They had so much fun creating the silly expressions on these a couple years ago. If every glaze is not an option, here is a fun alternative: florescent oil pastels and watered down black paint! 
Inspired by the painted elephants in India, my fourth graders created these fun guys one year. 
Funky frogs were created by my fourth graders one year. They had so much personality! This was a project we worked on over the course of a couple of art classes...which really allowed the kids to get creative. 
One year, to go along with our Asian theme, my fourth graders created these fun pandas. Each had their own wild and wacky personaltiy. 
To go along with that theme of Asia, my third grade kiddos created these Chinese dragons which they had a great time doing.
So I might have a thing for animals and clay...what do you think? My kindergarten and first graders created these pinch pot pets a couple of years back when our art show theme was to raise money for a local animal shelter. And, what do you know, animals are our theme again this year! 
That year, my second graders created this version of pinch pot pets: two pinch pots put together to create the body of their animal. 
And my fourth graders created these! Definitely a favorite by both me and the kiddos. 
Yet another spin on pinch pots and animals: using the pinch pot as a container. Our school mascot is the tiger and this particular year, second graders created tiger pinch pot containers
 Now last year, I decided to go for a food theme and create the art room into a 1950's style diner. These projects were not shared in detail like my others because...I was in the middle of writing my clay book and these projects are all featured in that book! The book is written to be used with no kiln fire clay...but, as you can see, you can use kiln fire clay as well. You can scoop up your book here
 My first graders served up these coffee and donut delights. 
 Second grade backed up cupcakes. Y'all better believe the retro lover in my totally enjoyed decorating for this art show!
 Third graders made hamburgers and fries...complete with all the fixin's. 
While others made pancake containers with hand painted paper plates. 
A kid and crowd favorite were the pie containers. The kids had so much fun googling pies and sculpting their favorite. 
While other classes did pizza containers. I reached out to a local pizza place for the boxes to display the pizza in. 
This year, we are back at it with an animal theme! We are transforming the art room into a pet shop. Third grade is in charge of the reptiles
Fourth grade had a blast creating these bobble head pets
But a crowd favorite so far are these fun and funky birds by second grade. They crack me up! 

Many more clay projects are coming up so stay tuned. However, if you just can't wait, you can see a handful of clay projects that have not been shared here but are on my YouTube channel. I always upload there first...so if you'd like to stay up to date, you might consider hitting subscribe. 
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

In the Art Room: Folk Art Still Life

 Hey, y'all! A handful of my second graders got really close to being finished with their Folk Art Still Life which was my sub plan while I was out last week. I am so thrilled with their hard work (as are they) that I just had to share. Many of them are still adding flowers and leaves so I'm only sharing a handful. Their next step is adding small details with puffy paint which you know I love as much as they do. Here is the lesson video that my sub used with all of my students, kindergarten thru fourth grade:
Speaking of sub, if you need any tips, tricks and/or sub plans, I just hosted a Facebook LIVE chat last night on that very topic! The chat and all of the commentary is archived on my official Facebook page if you are interested. We have been doing those live chats for the last couple of months and they are blast. Well over 100 art teachers join in each time and it's a great way to share. So if you aren't busy on Wednesday night at 8pm CST, be sure and pop by!
While they were with the sub, some of my students had one 30 minute art class while others had two. So what the sub was able to accomplish was beyond her control. What I love about having a recorded lesson (and a project that the kids are in progress) is that when I return, I don't have to scramble to slap together lesson plans. I can just pick up where the sub left off. 
 With the sub, my students were able to get their sticks done and glued down to the background. When I came back this week, my students worked on their vases and flowers. By next week, they should have all of their flowers and leaves complete and be ready to add some puffy paint. 
One thing that was not in the video was the oil pastel background. One of the kids added color to the background with the bright oil pastels and we all lost our minds...brilliant! So we all had to do the same. You know how that goes, right?!
I know they aren't complete...but I just had to share! I think these are so pretty and perfect for spring and Mother's Day. If you give this project a go, you'll have to let me know. 

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Monday, March 6, 2017

In the Art Room: Collage Landscapes with First Grade

Hey, y'all! Please pardon my absence. I know some of y'all were with me at the NAEA convention in NYC. I had all of these big plans to have blog posts and videos ready to roll while I was gone and then...time slipped away from me. Or maybe I just procrastinated my pants off as that is my nature. Regardless, I missed chatting with you here. I'm back now and, hopefully, back into the swing of things. If you'd like to see what my NAEA trip looked like, I don't plan to blog about it because I shared so much of it here. 

So let's kick things off with this fun collage landscape project I just wrapped up with my firsties! 
What I love about this project are all of the wonderful tie ins: we learned about pattern and how to create them, we worked with watercolor and tempra paint, we explored texture, went on a "cloud hunt" outside, learned origami and collage...and landscape. All while chatting out folk artist Kerri Ambrosino. Whew! That's a whole lotta artin'. 
Kerri Ambrosino is a Mexican folk artist. This is not the only project the kids are doing that is inspired by here. We are also creating these still life pieces. I love this artist's colorful work and I really thought she'd be a great way to introduce my students to pattern. 
Another reason this project was so successful was because of the supplies we used. Let me tell you what we used and the steps we followed to create these happy landscapes:

Supplies:
Day 1 and 2

* Gallery oil pastels in florescent by Sargent 
* Crayola Mixing Colors watercolor paint
* 18" X 6" sheets of white paper
Here's a collection of the painted pattern papers drying. I loved them just like this!
I have 30 minute art classes, twice a week. On our first day, I had folded the paper lengthwise in 8 equal sections. The kids used their pastels to draw a line down each one of the paper creases. From there, they drew a different pattern inside each section. The following art class, we had a reminder on how to use watercolor paint properly and used yellow, turquoise and magenta paint to explore oil pastel resist. 
Supplies:
Day 3 and 4

* 12" X 18" construction paper, any color
* Blue and white tempra
* Bristle brushes
* Texture tools. We use random things found at the Dollar Tree: dusters, sponges, scrub brushes, you name it.

On Day 3, the students were exploring tints and textures. We went "shopping" for a sheet of 12" X 18" construction paper in any color the kids liked. They applied white paint first in good sized globs on their paper. Then they added smaller paint puddles of blue. From there, they used their texture tool to blend the color, create tints and texture. This kind of painting is always a blast for the kids. 
On the following day, the kids were instructed to TEAR their pattern paper lengthwise. This was to create hills and valleys for their landscape. I had a handful of kids use scissors instead of tearing and the results were just as beautiful. 
When gluing, I tell the kids to put glue on the bottom straight line of their landscape and have that edge align with the bottom of their paper. From there, they add glue to the long edge of the other paper, pull back their front hills like a giant and place the other torn sheet behind the front one. This is a great way to introduce kids to foreground and background.

Then we went on a Cloud Hunt! This was so simple, short and effective. I simply marched the kids outside chanting "going on a cloud hunt!" We looked up at the sky and spent no more than a hot minute or two tracing clouds with our fingers. When we popped back inside, drew clouds in white oil pastels and traced them in the colors of our choice. 
Early finishers could create patterned suns and sun rays. I love a good spike-y sun, not even gonna lie. 
On our final day, we did some origami! I did directed origami and in five minutes, we had our houses created. The kids then returned to their seats and used paper scraps for the doors and windows. Polka dots were added with paint and Q-tips. 
Their sweet little origami houses drying. 
Today the kids added their houses and any other details they might want. They are just the sweetest thing ever and they put me in such a happy spring mood. Love to hear about your favorite landscape lessons!
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