Thursday, September 29, 2011

Self portraits with paper

The luxury of having a new batch of kindergarteners who have not taken art from me before, is that I get to revisit "ye olde arte projects of the past." Having taught for three years now, I have quite a few that I would repeat and this is one of them!

Here is a link to the project from 2 years ago!

No matter how simple or complex, it is amazing how distinctive and representative some simple cut and torn pieces of construction paper can be. Even Kinders can make their self portrait portray themselves.

I have the kids pick background color and then some skin and hair color. They cut the face as a circle (or close) and then they can tear bits for hair. Add some eyes, nice mouth etc...

Monday, September 26, 2011

Primary Color lesson

In my efforts to give the older kids an expanded art vocabulary, I did an early lesson on color. Notably primary, secondary, complimentary, warm and cool. I put up a color wheel and asked them to name the 6 main colors and gave them an overview that complimentary colors are opposite each other.

For the actual project, I had gained inspiration from this art teacher blog.  I made a sheet of paper with radiating circles and photocopied it for the kids.  Then they traced their hand over this.

This was a brain teaser for many because there were several rules:
  • Warm colors (red, orange, yellow) for the hand
  • Cool colors (blue, purple, green) for the background
  • I wanted them to have a pattern to their color choice so that they did not repeat colors next to each other. This led to some confusion, but if they kept inside the lines it worked okay.
  • If a ring in the hand was orange, then the rest of the ring in the background needs to be the compliment: blue, etc.
This led to a certain amount of consternation and confusion, but after some minimal coaching it worked fine. I was really amazed at the level of sophistication that even the first and second graders showed! The results are truly cool!

Pet Art Supply peeve of the week

I was working with the kids on last week's project (to be posted shortly) and realized that many had Crayola Markers (including my own child) that were NOT the standard bold/bright colors. They are called "Bold". When I bought them, I just thought that meant the thickness of the line....
Set of 8 Bold Colors, Broad Tip
Weird colors

Set of 8 Traditional Colors, Broad Tip
Standard colors

The offending "Bold" 8-12 color marker set has some very nice colors, but they are mostly odd tints. I wanted standard primary and secondary colors but got either too bright or too dark.  I don't mind having fun colors, but nowhere on the package did it indicate that they were oddball colors.

Second peeve, is that Crayola seems to think it is being hip and cool by making all the marker's plastic barrels BLACK and only the removable cap the actual color!!  With young kids this is really bad since they often get the caps misplaced, and all the capless-markers look the same!! Ugh.
Broad Tip Marker

Please Crayola, for the love of us parents/teachers of young children, give us back the colored barrels and make the packaging easier to recognize what colors you are getting!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 2: Leaf rubbing

Another Fall staple are leaves of course. In this project, I took a similar tact to my apple printing from last week. This time they were "printing" but using the leaves under the paper they really could explore texture and layering by rubbing with crayons. For 5-year-olds, I was impressed by their stamina and understanding of the concept.

Week 1: Apple Printing

Its apple season and I'm getting the Kindergarteners into the swing of things.  This week I used paint and cut apples to make some simple stamps.  Pretty basic items, but the kids really got into it. One of the girls even went home and showed her Mom how to do it!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Good beginning ideas for an art teacher

This is my fourth year teaching art, and I have expanded/grown every year. I started with just the K-2 room and concentrated on a  lot of seasonal crafty things. Each year I added another classroom and now I teach all the grades K-6 in three rooms.

 I still plan on doing seasonal crafty things for the kinders. My life is actually easier for that group since I can recycle the best of the last three years for them since they have the room all to themselves and they are all new to me!  Yeah, the archive of work is now paying off!

For the 1-4th room and the 5-6th room, I plan on doing a much tighter curriculum of things. This first week and for the rest of the year I plan on emphasizing the main elements of art: Line, Shape, Form, Space, Texture, Color and Value.  I then hope to keep doing historical artists and a lesson based on them, as well as lessons based on techniques, like watercolor, pastel, sculpture, printmaking, spriknled with a few seasonal or craft items.

Here is a great site by the Getty Center with some nice starter curriclum about the Main elements of art.
Elements of Art from Getty Museum

Here is a very good site for breaking down Art History