Sunday, November 20, 2011

Having too much fun with juxtapositions.

Am working on a wearable folk art unit with my fourth graders, and in an attempt to define folk art, here's two samples of juxtapositions that I'm going to share with students:

Kehinde Wiley - After Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' The Virgin with the Host, 2009

Mary Proctor - Mercy Mercy

Andrew Wyeth - Winter, 1946, 1946

Esther Pearl Watson - Superman, 1957, 2008

I have the best job in the whole wide world.
Now if only I could spend all night looking for more interesting comparisons... instead of doing what I have to do. Sleep, for example.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sick day.

Lo and behold... I did get sick. Head cold, stuffed-up nose, scratchy throat, losing my voice. Seems that my chugging Emergen-C, using the Neti Pot, and constant hand-washing was in vain. Sigh. Trying to just rest and relax, but it's so hard when there's so much to catch up on. I feel like blogging is somewhere between relaxation and productivity, so maybe this post will give me some sense of accomplishment without stressing me out too much, heh.

First Marking Period, Revisited
Can't really believe that we're already in the third week of the second marking period. Progress report grades are already due, Thanksgiving is next week. And I didn't post half of what I did with the kiddos. Consider this a recap, of sorts.

...and after.
Bulletin boards (not boreds) got a revamp. And now they're due for another revamp. This one probably won't change, considering most of the content is mandatory. I had it all scrunched on my whiteboard before, but now it looks a lot more attractive and neat on the front bulletin board. Students are still discovering that the photo below "Art is..." is me. They'll interrupt my lesson intro with, "Ms. Dudley, who is that? Is that you?!" The traffic light with the clips is our schoolwide PBIS system. Every student is assigned a number (usually based on alphabetical order), and the clips are numbered. It's good to be on green, excellent to be on gold (gold lion, for we are the Lions), yellow is like a warning, and it's bad to be on red. Similarly, I have my green, yellow, red A-R-T to manage classroom behavior, not individual behavior. Behind the A-- "Reminder", behind the R-- "Warning", and behind the T-- "Silent art". The letters come down as need be. This works well when the noise volume reaches an uncomfortable decibel.

Kandinsky in the Elementary Art Classroom

Didn't my kinders do a great job with these paintings? I'll be really sad to take them down. We explored lines by painting them on the sidewalk with water, making lines with our bodies by dancing around to Greg Percy's  songs "Kandinsky" and "I Draw the Line", and pointing out all kinds of lines in Kandinsky paintings, such as this:

Composition VIII, 1923
Painted our black lines one week, then we worked with mixing primary colors to make secondary colors the next week, and filled in the space around the black lines. I described mixing colors as "magical" and the kids really took to that idea! Also used this really cool "music video" by a Spanish band called Labuat, check it:

My first graders also looked to Kandinsky for inspiration, but this time, we looked at his circle paintings.

Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913.
Next time, they'll be able to choose however many circles they want to go into each square. I asked that they paint one circle within a circle, to keep it simple, but because of this they came out kind of cookie cutter. Not my intention.

First grade unit inspiration from Deep Space Sparkle. Thank you!

Brace Yourself... MORE Sugar Skulls!

Sick of them yet? Because I'm not!

See that empty space? A description was supposed to go there... erm.

In total, I explored Dia de los Muertos and sugar skulls with four grades: first, second, third, and fourth. Here are the third grade results:

I just love all the different personalities coming through. And yeah, that's glitter. One of the worst art teacher sins... but it made them so happy! Glitter happy :)

Unit inspiration from Deep Space Sparkle. Thank you!

Layered Urban Landscapes
with Third Grade

But before third graders made their sugar skulls, they made these layered urban landscapes. Took five weeks, which was two weeks longer than expected. I reinforced and talked a lot about artist and architect dispositions with this one... you can be creative and precise at the same time, who knew?! This, like the Luck of the Draw unit mentioned in a previous post, was also a unit I taught this summer at YPS. And like that unit, those art star kids only needed about three hours to achieve the product, whereas my current students needed more like five. By the end I was definitely tired of reminding students to use rulers for every line and make precise measurements, but when I checked in... "are you tired of this unit?" They were still pumped, even for week five. It's always rewarding to see something you've worked so hard on, for so long, come into existence... and I think they were feeling that.

So it's hard to tell from these pics, but these are actually three layers of different types of paper, one on top of the other. The background is a watercolor on white drawing paper:

Then it's another watercolor on tracing paper:

And finally, it's a clear acetate layer with a Sharpie drawing. (Note: didn't buy real acetate. Asked that teachers dig through their closets for old overhead projector copy sheets. They delivered! The kids loved drawing on those clear sheets.) The layers are taped together with clear Scotch tape.

Can you tell that I had just graded the glittery sugar skulls when I was taking those pics?

First Successful Pre-K Unit

So my Pre-K lessons had been bombing. Due to scheduling conflicts, holidays, half-days, etc. I've only seen them five times so far! This has led to a lack of continuity. And because I only have one Pre-K class, one time a week, and I didn't teach Pre-K in student teaching... I've had a very slow learning curve. Needless to say, the first three times I taught them they were either bored, confused, lost, or all three. FINALLY, I read them Oh, the Places You'll Go (which was over their heads and too long... not saying that I've perfected teaching those little guys) and then they created the "place" that they would "go", haha. They dipped tp tubes, random recyclables, etc, in glue and then glued it down to cardstock. Then the next week they painted it (I only have Pre-K for twenty-five minute classes). Results:


Future Post Preview

In closing, I leave you with a snarky Frederick the mouse, made by one of my Kindergarteners. Thanks for reading! Don't be a stranger... follow me!

More on Frederick to come!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

True story:

Kindergartener walks in this morning, gives me a huge hug, looks up at me and says,

"I'm sick."

Thanks, sweetie. Now I will be, too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Dia de los Muertos!

 To celebrate the Mexican holiday, I give you my student's work:

Sugar Skulls 
with First Grade

Dia de los Muertos Figures
with Second Grade

The Art of the Cross-Out?
These would have been great figures without the insecurity scribbles and start-overs.
I refuse to give out extra sheets of paper, so maybe these are my just desserts?

And in closing...
my sugar skull jammie pants.

Remember that there can be joy in remembering loved ones who have passed.

Happy Tuesday!

Lesson inspiration from Deep Space Sparkle. Thank you!