15 October 2006

Mountains say home in Colorado

Here are two visions of life in Colorado -- the top drawing is from a 5th grader and the bottom drawing is from a 1st grader. I love the detail in the top work and the spontaneity in the bottom one!!

Images of Home

My 1st and 2nd graders are drawing pictures from their everyday life... and isn't that just what artists are supposed to be doing?

Interesting points of view

My fifth graders seem to have grown a lot over the summer! I can't believe the unusual perspective shown in these works..

Collages are improving!

I can't believe the great art that is being created in the collage center. Using my new digital projector from the district, paired with the laptop, I've been able to show slideshows of collage images along with images of collage techniques. This new technology has greatly improved student achievement in the art room!

12 October 2006

Year #2 is going full speed ahead!!

I began the year in August and was feeling very optimistic about having another great year! When the students arrived, I had them each make a folder for their work (just 12x18 lightweight tagboard folded in half and stapled 3 times up each side. After thinking this summer of how much I wanted my artists to have the experience of using a sketchbook, I introduced the idea to my 1st - 5th graders. My 1st graders can't seem to get the hang of using the sketchbook to draw their ideas, so I may not include that grade level next year... note to self. But all other levels are enjoying the new concept of drawing ideas and keeping all their work in one place. I showed the video - "How Artists Use Sketchbooks" , the classtime after we made the sketchbooks and I think that offered them a look inside the mind of artists.

13 June 2006

End of year #1

This year has been one full of creativity and revelations. There were a number of times what I questioned this new approach to teaching art but each time I was sure I'd make a mistake, a student would tell me how much art class meant this year-

"It's so much better than last year because now I get to explore using my own ideas."

"This year I have liked learning more about weaving and making things with yarn and fabric."

I plan to spend time this summer going over my thoughts about what worked and what might need to be re-worked. More time needs to be spent helping students find their own voice in art. Maybe we need to spend some time at the beginning of the year talking about how artists get ideas and how art, like writing, comes from within. I also need to tighten up the assessment part of my curriculum - sinced the students are in charge of their projects, what exactly should I be grading?

As a crowning achievement for the art department, the rain forest mural was completed, framed and hung in the hallway. I will sure miss this years group of 5th graders --

29 January 2006

Here are two products from the Sculpture
Station --- it's amazing what students can
create with cardboard and army men!!

This sculpture, in the style of Louise Nevelson,
is called "Jail Break".

A kindergarten self portrait in paper...

Here are a few different takes on creating a landscape.

This girl obviously loves her cat!

Doesn't this remind you of Magritte??

There continue to be great paintings being done --

Paper sculpture is another enticing project in the art room --

These two works show how one student has been exploring using soft pastels --

This student first created a stitchery called
"The Jet Pencil" and then decided to turn
it into a pillow.

It's been awhile....

Now that thanksgiving break and xmas break are over, we begin the 2nd half of the school year and the students continue to explore in different mediums, creating wonderful works of art. The Fiber Station continues to be a favorite and the Weaving Station always has a handful of artists quietly working away on their creations . At the Clay Station, there are a number of students who are practicing their techniques in order to earn the chance to try real clay. The rule is that two practice sessions must be graded before they are allowed to give real clay a try and at present, I have a dozen projects drying and waiting to be fired. The biggest draw has been the Sculpture Station and I am finding out quickly that I don't have enough places for students to store their works in progress. I think it's time to purchase 2 or 3 five shelf units to put along the wall! Then I will have a place for student work as well as somewhere to put boxes of materials so that they will be accessible for my artists... time to hit Target and Big Lots!