As the school year is coming to an end in less than ten days I have to say this has been the best year of my life! I fell off the blog wagon while trying to maintain Seesaw, Dojo, and Artsonia (not to mention my sanity :P) but we have accomplished some really awesome projects and achievements this year and I hope you have kept up-to-date with the Student Work page.
The year end summary:
We're back! During our last project one of the 5th grade teachers, Mrs. Sink said that many of the 5th grade students were having trouble with food chains. Because I am trained in all things Science (not) I took to Pinterest to see what great ideas art teachers around the world have done with this area. You're probably laughing because everyone knows what a bear eats, right? So about half way through students drawing bears eating foxes eating rabbits we sort of came to the Google conclusion (www.whatdobearseat.info) that bears really don't eat foxes... they eat berries and stuff. The hilarity and plain out cluelessness of me- the know-it-all fearless leader teacher was ironic and laughable. Anyhow the projects turned out beautiful so it really doesn't matter how ignorant I am. Remember what my former high school art teacher told me... "You're like one of those kids that aren't good at anything- but you are a GENIUS at art." It's a statement I hold true to my heart with pride. As Dr. Parker would say, "I can draw really good."
Standards for 5th:
TENN FINE ART 1.4: Implement various ways of sequentially developing art from concept to outcome.
TENN. Science 0507.2.1: Investigate nutritional relationships among organisms in an ecosystem.
6th graders are working on Mexican Nichos for Hispanic month, Day of the Dead AND Halloween. It all ties together perfectly as we discuss the cultural celebration, the history of Halloween, and figures of influence. I learned to do this project in college from professor Lida Waugh. She was and still is amazing and most of my best lessons have come from her resource notebook. Students complete their planning sheets in their sketchbooks and bring in a tissue or shoe box. Once we cut out a frame for the box they can paint but then they become responsible for bringing in the remaining 4 media that is required.
Standards for 6th Grade:
Tenn. FINE ARTS 1.1.1: Explore different types of media, techniques, and processes.
Tenn. FINE ARTS 2.5.3: Apply structures and functions to communicate ideas in works of art in an effective manner.
Creative Community Outreach is BOOMING! We just finished the paracord dog collars that we are delivering this weekend together and last Tuesday we started making relief tie dye pillow cases for Children's Hospital! We watch a YouTube video that instructed us how to use the glue to make a relief pattern: (youtu.be/gydh3a_5oGM) I bought some hankeirchiefs they could dye and take home with them the next class because the glue on the pillows had to dry for at least 24 hours before dying. We had so much fun!
In other news....
Teacher shields are coming right along!
Another perfect month! Keep checking the Student Gallery and I hope you keep coming back to see what these incredibly talented kids come up with next!
Has it really been a month since my last post?! I know you guys never do this but sometimes I get in the bad habit of saying at school, "I can do this at home," and when I get home say, "I can do this at work." Time flies when you are having fun!
Students have finished up SO. MUCH. WORK. and they look absolutely amazing!
We finished the flowers and shoes for 6th grade:
5th Grade finished oil pastel flowers:
Finally we got to move on to Lascaux cave paintings.
The SETUP & STANDARDS:
As always, when students come in they have to write their daily question in their sketchbook. I try to make the first one an essential question and the second one a personal one. I made a flipchart and embedded a virtual tour of the caves as well as a 2 minute video on the short history of the caves. We talk about why people in the Paleolithic Era had a need to create and how does that compare to today's world of creativity? I also got my first evaluation during this time, and everything went smoooootthhhllyyy- thanks to my pacing friend, the flipchart.
While we were discussing environmental implications such as the carbon dioxide damage between the 40s-60s, the kids had some great responses like, "Why didn't the cavemen do damage to it with their breath?" One student reported that because the people were a nomadic society maybe they weren't there long enough to do harm. I LOVED IT! My hardest challenge is how can I make my kids ask questions. How can I motivate them enough to have individual based inquiry and want to know more. I'm trying to reflect on how it happened but all I can come up with is- these kids just have a love of learning! It seems like an intrinsic motivation and I am just their guide. Pretty cool.
So 6th grade got to jump into clay. Everyone loves clay! Except this is air dry clay and super brittle so it doesn't last long:( We had to come up with three original symbols and replicate an animal from the caves. They looked amazing once they dried and we applied wood stain!
5th grade did Lascaux cave paintings and we learned how to make our signatures with our hands once finished! They completed a planning sheet which helped them practice parts of a story (ELA standard 5.2) "My Favorite Memory"
Overall it has been a busy month filled with production, Kahoot assessments, displays, and planning. 6th graders are going to be working on Nichos for October and 5th grade has to do some food chain Science reviews. I found some cute ideas on Pinterest for that one. Hey why invent the wheel, right?
I hope you enjoy looking through the Student Gallery. These kids are working their tails off and HAVING FUN in the process. You can tell they are proud of their work and eager to know what's next.
In other random news:
I can't wait to show you the Nichos. They are my favorite project, ever! Until then- Keep arting!
We are finally producing student artwork! Not in time for the Tennessee Valley Fair deadline, but that is OK because we're working hard for other exhibitions coming up!
5th grade: Georgia O'Keeffe Observation Line Study: Before we start, I give a brief demonstration on how to not be overwhelmed with detail. Turn the objects into simple shapes- detail comes later! You will not believe how easy this becomes for them!
6th graders are excited about the option to either draw a flower image OR their own shoe. This is teaching observation through line, while reflecting on how color and other elements convey emotion:
Creative Community Outreach
Started this week! Basically it is what is sounds like: we make functional works of art to give to people in our community. I have the afterschool club on Tuesdays for one hour twice a month. This week we had 20 boys and girls ready to a difference! First the kids came in, we had our snacks, and we talked about ideas that we wanted to accomplish. We listed groups in our community such as police officers, firemen, animal shelters, convalescent homes, and then we talk about what kind of art we can make for those groups. We jotted ideas down for the next couple of classes and went straight into the fun stuff- CLAY!
The kids rolled the clay so that it was an even thickness and cut their hands out. Then they can add all sorts of texture at the texture table and that's when we created our clay bowl for our fundraiser. It is a super fun project that turns out looking great, doesn't take a lot of time, and it snags kids right into telling their friends to join the fun.
Stay tuned to see what more this fantastic group of kids accomplish. If you want to read more about CCO, the Daily Times published a wonderful article in January 2016: http://www.thedailytimes.com/community/beauty-abounds-youth-art-club-takes-creativity-to-new-level/article_684b3dfd-d2d2-5996-a867-edae3eab43c7.html
In other news:
The week ended with a field trip to a MAGIC SHOW, which pretty sums up this MAGICAL week with my kiddos<3
Secret Pal, if you are reading this- I ate this thing in like 5 minutes and it was amazing. I love you.
Before we start our art projects we HAVE to write thank you notes to SVCA. I am a little ashamed to say what happened in one of our classes where I was trying to use math to show how much time it takes to get up to $500. I asked "Tiffany" how much she gets for chores or washing the dishes she said $5. Then she said it takes her around 45 minutes to wash the dishes so I asked our mathematicians how many minutes Tiffany would have to wash dishes to come up with $500 to give us. We tried to work it out and I failed miserably and confused the kids worse so we just ended up saying "A very long time." Listen... I can draw really good. The kids totally got it and their letters were personal and the drawings were just plain cute.
Monday through Wednesday last week was testing so I didn't get to see my kiddos for Art until Thursday. I really got a little nervous because the Knoxville Valley Fair student art deadline is next Friday (YIKES)! I usually take about a full day (45 minutes) of teaching the Artist in Focus as well as the background information but because the deadline is approaching so fast I thought, "Well I can just teach production this one time..." NO! Other art teachers might be able to make connections without the art history and real life connections but then what does that art become? Being back-road brilliant articulators we could call it being experimental but then again some would just call it lazy. Anyhow, it messes with my routine and hey, that's a no-go.
I always begin my lessons by writing my standards on the board along with a kid-friendly objective. The daily questions were hard this week but we compared two student art posters and discussed how each work of art gave us a different feeling or mood. When we covered the flipchart (above) I gave a brief run down of Georgia's experience with her husband Alfred and the places that she traveled to. In their sketchbooks they took notes on how to appreciate and look at art:
1. Describe: "I see a Yak skull." That was probably my favorite. "There is a flower floating out of nowhere." "I see mountains... or is that tee-pees with holes in them?" "I see stormy clouds."
2. Analyze: "What do skulls usually represent?-Death!" "Ok, how would it make Tommy feel if I gave him a flower? -Happy! - So why are these two living together in a singular space?" "They are opposites! The texture of a flower is soft...the texture of a skull is hard and rough." "This could be like Georgia and Alfred's marriage!" (I really liked that guess)
3. Interpret: "So why would Georgia want her audience to see this? What is she trying to express in this image?-Maybe because if it is representing her marriage there are storm clouds." "Or maybe she is happy about dying?"
4. Judge: "Is this a good artwork?-Yes.- Who says no? Why?" "Can success be measured in different ways? How?"
We spend a good thirty minutes just talking about this image alone. It was an awesome talk and every class was engaged and curious about diving deeper into an image!
I am a cry baby. I'll own it! Getting 6th grade ready for their glue LINE (remember we're going through the woods with the ELEMENTS OF ART?) wore my thumb-plumb. out. I got this lesson from my mentor Dr. Jeanie Parker when they studied Georgia O'Keeffe flowers using this glue & black paint mix to create the outlines. They always turned out beautiful. Everything Dr. Parker does ALWAYS turns out beautiful. I did give 6th grade the option of either drawing the outline of their shoe or a picture of bouquets that I have stored.
5th grade are doing an oil pastel on construction paper project, either zooming in and abstracting an image of a flower or composing the entire image in its whole: They end up looking a lot like this. but all very different. Did that make sense?
Finally I have to brag on my husband. I have been coming home chewing my nails off because I have 15 classes and each class box doesn't have a home other than the floor beside my desk. Where am I going to store all this work?! My sweet Moma gave me a Home Depot gift card about a month ago and I had $90 on it. I asked Lance to make me a shelf and he said draw it... so I did!
Organization is everything! Moma always said, "Clean house=clean mind!" and my dad told me this morning "The more organized you are, the less work you have to do." I drew it, Mom bought it, Lance built it, and Dad hauled it. It truly seems like it takes a village to keep the world going round and I am just so grateful for my family, my co-workers, and my students who make everything in life- happy, wonderful, and WORTH IT!
Welcome, welcome, welcome! This year is going to be so exciting! This is my third year teaching but my very first classroom so I have been working diligently all summer to make things prettified and organized. Have you ever heard of a "God thing?" That is what this whole adventure has been about. My friend at church mentioned that the art teacher at her school was leaving this year. It took about 3 times of her mentioning it to me before I wrote the principal and the art teacher to ask if I could come and observe the school and the classroom, just to see how they did things and meet the kids. I came, I saw, and I fell in love. I fell in love with the kids, the school, and the family atmosphere and so I prayed, "If this is your will, let me be here." And it happened! Sometimes our plans for the future is not what God has in store, right? But he knows our hearts and where we are supposed to be, we just have to trust..it's called: Faith.
I teach 5th and 6th grade and I see 15 homerooms twice a week. The schedule is never the same- day by day, but always the same for that particular day. Confused? Don't be, I made a system that helps me figure it out every morning that I walk through the door:
After we go over the set of rules, syllabus, and the upcoming Creative Community Outreach flyer: we get to the fun stuff! LET'S MAKE SOME ART!
I would say That's all Folks, but there is an important detail that I absolutely cannot leave without giving a shout-out to- and that is the wonderful SVCA or Sweetwater Valley Citizens for the Arts: www.sweetwaterartscelebration.com/about.html
This group has donated well over $500 of art supplies to our art program, purchasing:
Because of this group our beautiful BIS students have a fantastic start and advantage to begin creating works of art that spark discussion, promote teamwork and creativity, and most of all- increase self-efficacy and confidence in our little learners.
This is going to be an exciting and productive year and I am happy to be here with you!