Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Madness

I thought instead of focusing on any one project like I usually do, I'd give you a few snapshots of my Monday.

It started with the Wright Brothers.  Reading fun day is coming up in a couple of weeks.  This time the theme is "First in Flight".  So I'm making the Wright Brothers as lifesize cutouts.  They'll stand at the entrance and exit of are area.  So I have to make 2 of each.

Next is a mini update on the lighthouse project.  As you can see, the fourth graders are adding more forms with paper mache.  They are taking shape.  Houses, boulders, bushes, etc., are being added.

And last but not least, our ECP students used tissue paper, tempera paint and paper plates to make a Valentine's Day hangings.

That shows you some of the variety of projects I'm helping to make throughout a given day.  I certainly don't have time to get bored.  This was only a half day with students.  Most of my morning was working on the Wright Bros.  Tuesday is a full day with wall to wall classes.  I'll be able to show you some more progress on the lighthouses. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lighthouses Pt 2

  I wanted to give everyone an update on our 4th grade lighthouse projects.  If you remember, we started putting paper mache on various cylindrical forms.  These were going to be our lighthouses.

     At this point, we've started attaching our newly paper mached forms onto a flat board.

     A nice start I think.  Next time we will start adding houses, rocks, trees, etc.  After that it will be a simple matter of painting our creations.  Some of my students have expressed a desire to add a beach and ocean to their lighthouses.  All we have to do is add another board to extend the scene.  When I first told them we were going to be using paper mache for most if not all of the project there was a collective groan.  They know how much work is involved.  I think I've converted them though.  They can see the lighthouses taking shape.  I hope you can too.  8D

     On a side note, I just found out I'm going to have a college student coming to observe me for the day.  She wants to be an art teacher.  Do I encourage or discourage her?  LOL.  I'm just kidding.  I love this job.  8p

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Masters of Arts Education

One of the things that always comes up during my teacher evaluations is when am I going to start working on my Masters of Arts Education.  The truth is, I've been putting it off for a while.  Part of it is how expensive it is.  The other part is just the lack of time.  I recently started researching it a bit more and found out it can be done completely online.  That may solve the time issue, but not the money issue.  Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, my art portfolio is severely lacking at the moment.  I framed and sold almost everything several years ago and haven't built it back up yet.  So I have a lot of work to do.   I went to East Carolina University  (GO PIRATES!) and they do offer a Masters of Art Ed program.  They had this to say.

East Carolina University's Master of Arts in Education program will develop your competence as a creative artist, art teacher, or classroom-based researcher in art and education. In addition to a five-course core in the philosophy and pedagogy of art education, you will choose electives in studio, computer-aided design, interdisciplinary studies, and art history. You will complete your degree by writing a thesis or presenting a comprehensive project.

Maybe it's time.  It's been 12 years since I graduated from ECU and began my teaching career.  I really have no interest in going into the administration area of teaching...becoming a vice principal or principal...but furthering my education and increasing my salary does have its appeal.

Anyone out there among my interweb friends have their Masters?  How much work is it really?  When I get home from teaching I feel wiped.  I hope I can get my motivation up and do this.  I really do need to get started.  I'm actually tired after reading the requirements just to apply to enter the program, lol.  I may be in trouble.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Macaroni Art


I have been asked by a couple of my blogger friends about macaroni art.  Apparently, when they were in elementary school, they made several macaroni art projects and find it astounding that I haven't done them in my art class.  While it is true that I have never in my 12 years of teaching elementary art used macaroni as an artistic medium, I am not opposed to it.  In fact, upon further reflection, I took part in a science lab class where the students used macaroni to make a human skeleton.  They actually turned out fairly nice.  I decided to do a little macaroni art research and came up with a few ideas.

We have done projects that deal with facial expressions and what it looks like to be happy, sad, angry, etc.  So this might be a project we can do.

We have most recently made food collages using torn paper as a medium.  I see no reason we can't do something similar using macaroni.  Now I want a cheeseburger.

I doubt very seriously if any of my students even know who the Spice Girls are.  But it would appear that someone out there really, really likes them....and has a lot of time on their hands, lol.

     Those are a few of the ideas I had just doing a little web surfing.  I'm sure my students can make something really fantastic with macaroni.  They can pretty much do anything if I can get them to focus for a few minutes on any one thing, lol.  Anyone have any macaroni art stories to share?  I can always use more ideas.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Our fourth grade students do a lighthouse project around this time of the school year.  In the past, they've been allowed to work on it at home with a set list of materials they can use.  The projects can turn out quite big.  They make models ranging in size from the size of a 2 liter bottle to 3 ft tall.  The problem is that some of the projects came back looking too good.  They almost looked professionally made.  Well meaning parents may have helped too much, lol.  Some of the students would even say during their presentations that they didn't make any of it.  Well, the fourth grade teachers decided to fix that this requiring the students to build their lighthouses at my art class.  I scrounged around my trusty art closet and collected anything I thought might be useful.  I had a bag of pringle's cans, a bag of big gulp cups, a lot of newspaper, and various other materials.  I decided to have them use paper mache.  We're going to make lighthouse scenes with houses, ocean, trees, etc.  Here they are starting to paper mache their various forms.  I thought it would be nice to take pictures of them during their stages of development.

 You can kind of see them starting to take shape.  I'm going to post pics as the lighthouses develop.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Little Monsters

We're back to school as of Monday and we got right back to work.  I showed you fifth grade's clay faces and kindergarten's pinched pots a few weeks ago.  First grade did not want to be outdone.  They used their previous knowledge of pinched pot making and made their own clay faces, but with a twist.  We had read Where the Wild Things Are recently and decided to make our own Wild Things.  Do not be afraid.  These are nice monsters...for the most part.

These creatures were fired but not glazed.  We decided not to make them all shiny looking and paint them with tempera paints.  I had to get a picture as they came out of the kiln though. 

We'll be painting these in the next couple of weeks.  I'm looking forward to the finished product.  I have a large display case sitting empty waiting to be filled with artwork.  I'll get a few pictures as they get painted for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Family of Artists

I tend to focus on a particular style of art.  They tend to be black and white pencil or charcoal drawings.  My wife, who I met in one of my college art classes, still likes to explore multiple medias.  I'm a little jealous of her focus when she tries something new.  I was doing the murals at my school a while back, so my wife decided to do one.  If you don't remember, here's one of mine from my elementary school.

So my wife painted this.

Yes...she can be considered a one upper.  8p

I was doing charcoal drawings and made this one.

She made this.

A much more artsy loose look.  A look I have a hard time duplicating.

Then she got bored and made stained glass projects.

I have to get a closer shot of these.  They look pretty cool in the window.

As you may imagine, the house gets pretty messy sometimes with our various projects and materials lying around.  My 3 year old daughter has become living art a few times when she got into our paints and charcoals, lol.  Next time I'll show you some of our 3 year old's paintings from her sketchbook.  That's all I need, more competition, lol.