Monday, March 19, 2012

Mixed Media with ECP


 My ECP class is always a challenge to create art lessons for.  The students range in disabilities from visually impaired, varying degrees of autism and Down's Syndrome.  I work very closely with the ECP teacher to plan lessons that reinforce what they're learning in their regular classroom.  Earlier this month they were learning about geometric shapes.  Their teacher told me they were finger tracing shapes to help with recognition.

                                                                                I had them use craft sticks to make various shapes on a large sheet of paper.  They had to pick the shapes and be able to name them to make them.  After we glued them down, I let them paint the whole paper.  Some were very abstract looking and some tried to make it a recognizable picture.

They really like to paint.  That's always least until I get phone calls from angry parents, lol.  Somehow, even using art smocks, kids still manage to get paint all over the place.

We also used small colored tiles to help decorate our shape designs.  It's a little hard to see all the detail  after the paint was added but they still turned out nice.    

After we get these matted and possibly framed they will make fine additions to the hallway display or maybe even our upcoming art show.

We started working on 3D shapes the last week or so using paper mache.  They are painting their forms and will be decorating them further with stickers
Their teacher wants them to have larger shapes that they made and can manipulate with their hands.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lighthouses Pt 4

We had to take a lighthouse break for a couple of days.  My 4th graders are starting to burn out on it I think.  We started working again today and got most of the painting done.  The next time they see me we will start putting on the final details.  Some of the kids brought tiny rocks, seashells, and are adding them to their creations.

They are looking a little plain at the moment, but that will change when the new stuff is added.
The painting part has been a little tough for them.  For some reason, some of them began using the wrong colors for their lighthouses.  They were assigned a specific lighthouse from our state to create.  They have photographs to work from but some have deviated from the design.  I supplied them with the colors they asked for and didn't pay attention to they photos.  Oh well, live and learn.  

Now for a little peak at my first grade projects.  I have never made a triorama and decided to make them with first grade.

We have an art show coming up next month and I think the trioramas will make fine additions.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Simple Machines

My 5th grade art classes have been working on a simple machine project for a few weeks now.  The assignment is to use at least 4 simple machines (a pulley, lever, fulcrum, inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle, and/or screw) to propel or roll a marble.  There are 5 groups of 4 working together.  The group that sends the marble the furthest wins.  I've been largely staying out of their creative process.  I told them they had to make a plan first, then follow the plan as closely as possible.  If they wanted to change parts of it they all had to agree.  Working as a group is not their strongest quality.  There has been a lot of arguing.  I'm curious as to how these will turn out.  Some of them are looking interesting.  Whether they will work or meet all the requirements is another story.

My dilemma is do I help them more or let them figure it out.  Some of them are on the wrong track and I've been giving hints as to whether I think something is just not going to work.  The thing is one group tested their contraption out and it almost worked.  It sent the marble almost straight up but that was a start.  Now they are excited and working on some slight changes to send it off at more of an angle.  These are just a few pictures I managed to take while dodging flying marbles, lol.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Unique drawing Experience Pictures

A few weeks ago I told you about an art lesson I do with first grade that they almost universally first at least.  I form all of our tables into a big circle.  The students are given a pencil and a piece of drawing paper.  I tell them to draw a certain shape or line, then pass their paper to the right.  Now the next student has their paper and makes a new shape or line.  After the paper has gotten around the table and back to the original person, their paper is full of lines and shapes and there is a look of horror on their collective faces.  Now for a minute all I hear is so and so messed up my paper and my drawing is ugly.  I ask them to look at each others drawings and tell me if any ones design looks the same.  Everyone says they all look different.  I ask how many look similar and explain how similar means they have the same kinds of lines and shapes, but all in different places.  After I explain that I'm not grading on how the design is drawn they start to calm down, lol.  I tell them they now have to color their new design.  I take up the pencils because some students will try to start erasing and "fixing" their designs. The rules are that they can't cross a line with a color and the same color can't touch itself.  Some are better at coloring than others, but it doesn't really matter.  These kids are at that great age where they love art and aren't self conscious about their art work.  At least normally they aren't.  They get over it quickly though.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Price of Art

I noticed that our classroom scrap box was starting to overflow.  When a student is cleaning up they will throw their left over scraps in a big box.  When we do projects, I have them use the scrap box for construction paper to save on the new stuff.  

Before class starts.

After the stampede.

Here they are using their found materials to create their various ideas.  There were clowns, insects, monsters, spaceships, and various other unidentifiable designs.  Sorry I didn't get pics of the final creations, but at this point it was almost time to go and they had a lot of cleaning to do, lol.  I don't let anyone leave the room until their messes are picked up.

Even after letting all my classes use the scrap box, it still looked full.  I guess I need to let them do this kind of thing more often.  They seem to enjoy it.  We're hopefully going to be starting the paper mache projects soon.  I'm trying to get done with the 4th graders lighthouse projects first.  They take up so much room for storage, I have no room for anything else.

Most of the lighthouses are ready to paint.  The kids have been bringing rocks, tiny seashells, etc., to add after the paint has been applied.  It's been taking longer then I thought it would to do, but they had 9 weeks to finish the project for their classroom teacher.  
Alright, back to lesson plans, lol.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Keeping it Real!

This is for my loyal followers who have been demanding that great Elementary Art classic, finger painting.  Yes, we do finger paint on occasion.  What I like to do is spread out a few large sheets of bulletin board paper and let the kids go to town.  

This is a little sampler of my kindergartner's creations.  By the end of the day it was completely covered.  I'll get some pics of the finished product, but I thought it looked nice and clean at this point.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Lighthouses Pt3

It's lighthouse update time!  We are a little slow going with the lighthouses, but they're coming along nicely.  We had a couple of quick projects we needed to do but we're back on track today.

You can see the lighthouses and houses taking shape.  Most of the students are covering their newspaper with torn pieces of brown paper towels to make them easier to paint.  We'll be adding rocks, trees, and whatever else we can think of to make our lighthouse models seem more realistic.  The kids are coming up with some good ideas.

A few students brought in tiny seashells they found in the sand from the playground to add to the beaches they plan to make next to their lighthouses.  The sand from our playground is brought to us from the beach.  The kids like to dig for "fossils"  I thought they had a good idea.

I think they're looking fantastic at this point.  Some of the students were having trouble applying the paper towel.  It's much thinner than the newspaper and wrinkles very easily.  The secret they found was using very tiny pieces.  It takes longer to apply, but goes on much smoother.  Any wrinkles that do occur can be made to look purposeful.  Some lighthouses are very weathered looking.   I believe some of them will be ready to paint next time and I can't wait.  I'm ready to see some finished products.