Welcome to Paintbrush Rocket! I am an elementary art teacher who has taught for 14 years in Ohio, borrowing and sharing lots of lessons from many other wonderful art teacher along the way. And a BIG THANKS to my good friend Laura, aka, Painted Paper who has inspired me to get in the blogging world! Laura has been a great inspiration and local buddy to collaborate with. I look forward to sharing my ideas and borrowing all of yours! Have a great year!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Kinder Spooky Black Cats

I LOVE this project sooooo much!  Kinder is always begging to paint the minute they walk in the door the first day of school.  I love the confidence of an all knowing Kindergartner! Picasso knew what he was talking about!
  It is always a risk to paint too early with brand new kinders.  If you teach kindergarten, you know what I mean!  :)   I pre-draw the cat's circle head, a rainbow body and the line the cat is standing on.  We practice holding our paintbrushes "straight up towards the ceiling like a rocket", (hense the name "Paintbrush Rocket"), and paint the whole cat WITHOUT paint, practicing perfect paintbrush technique.  Then... I hold my breath and give them paint!  We first paint the fence line, then add another line underneath, dividing the space.  Then add vertical fence posts.  After everyone is caught up, we outline the circle and rainbow line.  Paint the head in solid... add some pointy ears... a SMALL belly... and a fuzzy tail.  They are so pleased with themselves when they are done!  The next week we add details with silver and black sharpie.  Seriously, one of my favorites and the kinders all feel like REAL artists when they are done! And I am a proud art teacher!

1st Grade Day of the Dead Skeletons

These Skeletons have lots of personality!  We printed the background flowers with foam stamps and used up some watercolor paper scraps for the skulls and bones, (a little thicker than drawing paper or tag).  The skulls were decorated like a sugar skull and some extra designing was allowed on the rib cage, hands and feet.  I love seeing my students handwriting on their art, it gives the true essence of their age!

2nd Grade Calacas/Calaveras Portraits

These Calacas/Calaveras Portraits, (dressed up skeleton's for Day of the Dead), are all made with cut paper and a little paint.  The dress sombrero's are painted with silver tempera.  These make me very happy!

3rd Grade Spooky Castles

These castles are painted directly with black tempera and colored with oil pastels.  A little gray chalk for the spooky sky and you have a spooky castle! If you have a Smart Board, I highly recommend the virtual tour of Warwick Castle in Warwick, England. My students LOVED the virtual tour so much, it was difficult to get them in their seats to paint!  They were motivated and inspired!

4th Grade Day of the Dead Skeletons

These skeletons and flowers are made from Cloud Clay.  We painted the backgrounds with tempera and Modge Podge first, then created the skeletons and flower decorations.  Lastly, we painted the whole thing with another layer of Modge Podge.  These skeletons are attached forever!  
Such a fun lesson to teach!!!

Fifth Grade Fall Pumpkins

I love this project for translating 3D forms on a 2D surface.  Highlight and shadow... blending analogous colors... so fun!  I prefer this project on blue and purple construction paper.  Black glue and chalk are so nice together!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Welcome to my classroom!

This summer I worked very hard to get my classroom feeling fresh and new for my students and me.  I am very lucky and grateful to have such a great space for my students... yet, it was in need of a fresh coat of paint and some new colorful bulletin boards and signs. The effort paid off!  The kids love it and I feel reinvigorated in the space!  If you spent hours on Pinterest this summer like I did, you might recognize some of things...

Mona Lisa has become a great icon for teachers.  Several years ago, a former student teacher of mine hung Mona in her classroom and asked her students to "Sit like Mona". She probably borrowed the idea too.  I tell my students that Mona is the perfect student!  She is always sitting quietly looking at me while I teach. I found on Pinterest a few different versions of "How to be MONA-ificent".  The one I pinned gave credit to @Scott Russell.  This description is perfect and my students completely buy into it! They all enjoy being noticed sitting like Mona... perfectly quiet and in student mode.  She is a great art room mascot!  We love Mona!

You might notice the markers around the boarder.  I have a hard time throwing out worn markers, so I up-cycled them into a boarder.  I used packing tape on the back and the velcro hangers to mount them.  I plan to fill it in, just need to wear out more markers!

These crayons are "vintage".  My mother, who was an art teacher for 32 years painted these for her art room when I was 10 years old.  That makes these 30!  They still look great!  When she retired, I insisted on having them for my room.  I have displayed them on and off, but saw someone on Pinterest display some with the paint swatches from the paint store.  I do not know who I borrowed this idea from... I thought I repinned it, but can not find the pin.  If I will do, I will give credit!

This is my classroom theme!  It has been my classroom theme since my 2nd year of teaching.  I had an artist-in-resident come to my school, Steve Fessler. He is a wonderful painter.  Once day, he was working with a student of mine who wanted to paint nothing but Pokemon.  Steve was trying to get the student to think more creatively and said, "I have seen a million Pokemon... Show me something I have never seen before!"  Right away I wrote it down and made a banner with his wise words to hang in my classroom.  In fact, there is a photo of mine circulating on Pinterest that has the quote above a bulletin board with a banner that says, "Create".  Funny... I did not post the photo to Pinterest, but I see it once a week! 

This wooden box used to house some old prints that were donated.  I asked to keep the box and made this plaid design with Duct Tape.  Three of the 4 sides have unique plaids on them.  It now houses all my paint shirts for my students.  It sits in the hall and they grab one on their way into the classroom.  I went a little crazy with Duct Tape this summer.  I also used it on all the rubber base boards in my classroom.  They were looking dingy.  I livened them up with all different colors!

This poster idea came to me from the-learningtree.blogspot.com.  I borrowed the idea and personalized it to my classroom.  I shared it with all my classes their first day of art.  Kind of like a rules chart, but more fun.  I have this hanging by my paint shirts bin and find the classes who are waiting to come in have something to read to get them ready for art making!

These photos are a few details of my art room space.  I will share more very soon!  Happy sharing!