13 June 2007
Students worked hard the last two weeks of school to finish all the work they had started. I used the last two sessions in the art studio for all artists to finish work they had kept in their folders or put on the storage shelves - many students had started projects and then moved on to something else as more centers opened. As I reflect on the year, I realize I need to work more on having all artists verbalize what they are working on. The time always goes by so quickly that I often don't have a chance to talk with my students to find out what their artistic thoughts are about the works they are creating. I brought the video camera home for the summer and plan to work on creating mini-movies of all the demos for each center. That way, if a student is absent, watching the movies will catch them up to the rest of the class. Here's to a productive summer and an exciting re-opening of the art studio for year #3!!!
This year I vowed to add jewelry to the offerings in the art studio. I set out bins of beads, buttons and wire and taught artists how to make paper and wire beads, as well as how to make a stringing wire with a hook on one end and a loop on the other end. I allowed students in kindergarten and 1st grade to string ordinary beads on a wire but they had to make a pattern on the table first before finishing their bracelet or necklace. The 2nd - 5th graders could choose from some glass beads that I brought from my own stash at home and combined these with wire and paper beads to make some wonderful creations. This summer I plan on working with friendly plastic and will introduce that medium to the jewelry center in the fall.
When the recycled materials came out, the sculptors in my classes began the mad dash to create. This year, with the help of advice from my fellow TAB teachers, I limited the size of the sculptures by providing 12X9 cardboard bases. The instructions were that the creations could not extend off the base but could go as high as desired. I thought I would have dissent in the ranks but no one seemed to mind the new restrictions. I allow 3rd - 5th graders to use the glue guns (after an initial demonstration) and told students that if they burn themselves, they lose the privilege of using the guns. The only other requirements were that the sculptures had to pass the shake test and they had to be painted before leaving the art studio.