Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Crayon Challenge

There are always discussions on Facebook as to which brand to buy when stocking our art rooms. Art teachers are always asking other art teachers for suggestions and recommendations.

I got lucky, I had received an email a few years back asking if I would like to be part of a teacher's advisory board for Faber-Castell. I JUMPED at the chance!

Soooo recently I was asked if I would like to participate in a Crayon Challenge*. And of course I agreed. Now having been part of this advisory board for a few years and receiving many of their products for free, I was concerned about favoritism and that perhaps I couldn't quite be as objective as I would like to be. So I got my students involved.

It was the last week of classes and students were given many choices as to what they could be doing in art. Click here for those details. I then asked for a group of volunteers to come to the back table for the Crayon Challenge. I had about 5 students at a time and as students finished more could take the challenge if they wanted to.

Now since our mascot is a lion and since this last week was about using up photo copies I handed them a sheet with 4 outlined lions. Click here to see how I used them in a lesson. One lion for each brand they would be trying out.

I had students mark each lion with the brand name. They had Crayola, Cra-Z-Art, Faber-Castell and RoseArt.
As they were coloring I asked them to think about the following questions when evaluating which of the crayons they liked the best. What crayon colored the smoothest? Which crayon had the best coverage? Whose brand had the most vibrant color? Which crayon had less of a chance of breaking? Which crayons blended the best? And when they told me which one they liked the best I wanted them to tell me why.

I'm pretty happy to report that Faber-Castell came out on top as to which crayon the students loved. Coverage was great, color is vibrant, very smooth coloring and due to the thickness of the crayon, it would be harder to break.

Now I would have thought Crayola would have come in second, because that's what I usually have available for my students, however, many of the students picked Cra-Z-Art because the colors were paler and they liked the softer look of that product. I found that to be interesting.

My take away from this, is to think about involving your students in the process of picking out the brands you purchase for your art room. It really shouldn't be too expensive to buy a small pack of a few different brands of crayons or even markers, colored pencils or paint to try with your students. If you attend conferences, you will be able to pick up free samples. And another thought I have is to write/email companies and ask for samples. It's worth a try.

I would like to know how you decide what brands to buy.

Thanks for Reading!

*Disclaimer: products were sent to me for review and all opinions are my own and/or my student's. I will receive free merchandise for compensation.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Best Last Week Ever!

This year's last week of school was the BEST one I can ever remember having. I decided to go through my file cabinets and pull out leftover copies from lessons done in the past. I set up the copies around the room and explained what they had been used for and then I let students in grades 2-5 choose what they wanted to do. With kindergarten and 1st, we did the story The Big Orange Splot and they made the house of their dreams. I usually leave this lesson for substitute teachers. Click here for more substitute ideas.

These were left over from a 9/11 poster that I had a few children work on for a memorial service at a local park. Click here for Blog Post 

 I love Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head and I did a paint project many years ago where students mixed brown and designed their own Potato Head. Read about it here.

 The Lion is our mascot and I love doing projects around him. Students copy famous art from postcards to fill in the shape of the lion. They also had the option of creating their own art.

Google has a annual contest called Doodle for Google. I never actually entered my students in it, but they seem to have a lot of fun playing and doodling with the Google logo. I just may need to consider entering them! The Lego Person is another lesson I leave for subs and is mentioned in the post with the Dream House.

I also mentioned to teachers that students could bring their electronics and fidget spinners. And I pulled out the iPads I have for the art room. I was able to purchase them through a grant. Read about it here

Turns out that I'm not the only art teacher that wants to make sure students are engaged during the last week of school check out the blog Managing the Art Classroom for a wonderful list of things to do the last week. And this one from Cassie Stephens.

Sorry I don't have more student work to show, but my goal was to keep students engaged and for me to start cleaning up the art room. They really did some cool stuff.......

Away another year down and my room is packed up and ready for the custodians to do their thing this summer.......

Thanks for reading and enjoy your time off!!!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Designing an Alphabet Letter

The photo above is what inspired me to do a lesson on designing an alphabet letter.  Click here to see another way I used the Alphabet in Art. After receiving the picture from my daughter for my birthday I just had to have the set of magnets to use to inspire my students.

I also had to have this book! Click here for buying info.
I bought some alphabet tracers, shared the above book. And also had students do a planning sheet. In each class, each student was given a different letter to do so that I could eventually do a full alphabet. I tried to match letters to their names and sometimes just had them choose the letter.
Students were encouraged to use markers, colored pencils or crayons.

Check them out:

I think over the summer I will put together a Shutterfly book with the letters to share with students and their parents at events like back to school night.

This was a fun lesson for students as they really had the freedom to go in many different directions!

Thanks for reading and for sharing my blog, last week I officially had over 100,000 page views of my blog.