Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Week with Kindergarten!

Kindergarten is always a tricky class to have the first week... in my opinion. They are just starting to learn how to walk in a line, wait their turn to be called on and listen to the teacher when she/he is talking.  Kindergarten teachers are special people!  I couldn't do it all day long! 

A couple years ago, I borrowed a great idea from someone on Pinterest.  I looked at my page to find the source, but I could not find the pin! I must have immediately made it and moved on.  But, someone out there gave me this great idea!  Basically, a baseline assessment to see their drawing skills and maturity.  A great twist on the "Draw a man" test.  

Here it is....


On the back, students have a dotted picture to trace.  It helps to assess their abilities to follow a line.  Then I encourage them to color and extra items to the drawing.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

TED Talk Challenge Week 2

So, week two of my personal TED Talk Challenge! I have watched more than the
following five... More like 10-12.  I decided to only share TED Talks worth watching. There were a few I watched that were just...okay.  These five I found something great in them.  
I hope you do too!

Phil Hansen: Embrace the shake - A great talk about overcoming a physical defect 

as an artist. Very well done!

Beatrice Coron: Stories cut from paper - AWESOME!!!!! I have never discovered

this artist before, I can't wait to share her with students! 

Amy Tan: Where does creativity hide? Very smart, witty...

Suki Kim: This is what it's like to teach in North Korea - Very interesting.... very...

makes you appreciate our freedom!

Miwa Matreyek: Glorious visions in animation and performance - I have NEVER seen

anything like this! Very creative.  I noticed she has more on youtube that are shorter, might be worth looking for a couple to share with students.

Monday, June 8, 2015

TED Talk Challenge!

Sir Ken Robinson! I re-watched this one, have seen it a dozen times... LOVE IT!

Who doesn't love TED Talks???  I made a TED Talk challenge for myself this summer... I am trying to watch one TED Talk a day during summer break.  During the school year, it seems there is no time for anything but school and the family schedule. Now that the morning is a bit longer, I am taking the time to watch one 18 minute video, the maximum length of a TED Talk,  (the creator of TED researched that adults only give their full attention for max 18 minutes! Think of our students!) It takes me about that time to drink a cup of coffee, so... here is what I have been watching this week that I highly recommend! Enjoy!  If you have one to recommend, PLEASE share!!!

David Kelley! Another re-watch. You will love this one too!

Whoa... powerful... inspiring... admirable.... I could go on, but just watch!

Love this lady, Brene Brown. Psychologist who has researched vulnerability and shame and is great at explaining why we need both, especially as creative people! You'll love these two by her!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Collaborative Mural Painting!!!

I am so excited to share with you my first ever TIME-LAPSE VIDEO of my Annual Collaborative Mural Painting!  This year the theme was " Hot Air Balloon Magic".  I looked at many images for inspiration. Most ideas came from three main artists; Joey Chou, a current Disney Illustrator, Mary Blair, a Disney Illustrator from the 50's, and Ton Schulten, my favorite abstract landscape painter.


I have done this for about 10 years now.  I used to have students paint a flower garden. They could paint any kind of flower, anywhere, any color. Doing a mural that way is more creative for students but it runs into some issues.  It is not a smooth process, there are arguments about location, size, colors. Then if someone does not finish, they are upset when someone finishes it differently than they planned. You can see the headache it can become.  

I started 6 years ago drawing a mural around a school wide theme.  First year, I let students paint in certain areas with warm colors, other areas cool colors. It was okay, but looked very unorganized.  Then, 3 years ago, my classes were taken from 60 to 45 minutes.  Game changer, I began creating a large paint by number.  I mix lots of colors, this year 21 color wheel colors. 

I tell students, "I get to be the artist! My vision, my work of art, you are going to help me paint it!".  THEY LOVE THIS!  It has made this experience so fun! Everyone likes having a color with a number. No arguing, no issues!  They have a blast and feel proud of being a part of something huge.  

I number part of the mural first, let the colors get filled in, then decide how to number the rest of the areas.  Students paint way faster than you expect! If yo see me in the video working, I am numbering, not painting. I try to keep up with their pace!


Thursday, May 7, 2015

4th Grade Keith Haring Crazy Art Folders!

Keith Haring is great for art folders... Working on a large 18x24 is perfect for a BIG space!  My fourth graders each made at least one template of their own out of tag board.  They were required to use it at least twice.  They could make more or share with their friends.  Most made 2 templates, and then there was a lot of sharing!  This is the final product, lots of color, lots of fun!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

3rd Grade James Rizzi Art Folders!

Who doesn't love James Rizzi??? His artwork is always a favorite of my students! We look at his cityscapes closely, noticing the perspective and layers of spaces he creates. While most items are created flat, the near and far element is definitely there! Here are a few samples of Rizzi's cityscapes  I use with my 3rd graders...

When I start the lesson with students, we are looking to create foreground, middleground and background.  We start by drawing a line a little lower than the middle to create the background first... the silly buildings with personality!  After the buildings are in place, they are able to decide how to finish the foreground and middleground.  Street with cars, subway, park with playground, sidewalks, river with boats... or anything they come up with!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

2nd Grade Landscapes (SLO lesson) on Art Folders

This lesson might look familiar...  This the lesson I taught my 2nd graders BEFORE the SLO test. The difference??? This was a directed drawing, making sure each student drew a house and a tree in the foregound, middleground and background.  Very simple, they could add anything extra they wanted to that would be appropriate for a landscape. 

We first looked closely at several landscapes, but my favorite we used for our main drawing inspiration was this one below by Gabriele Munter. 

I show my students how to draw a house with two sides, more 3-dimensional. How to add on a garage, driveway, roads.  They all want mountains like the painting, so they add those behind their third house.  This is seriously a fantastic lesson... every kid wants to draw something real, but they often times just simple need to be shown how to.  I have parents who are always so shocked at how well their child is drawing after completing this lesson!  I just got another landscape yesterday from a student who drew one at home to bring me.  It reinforces the success of the lesson when they go home to practice it!