Sunday, November 20, 2016

Weaving With Little Ones

The beginning of November always has me thinking of Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving makes me think about doing weaving projects. (Yeah, I also think about all of my favorite foods .......) Pretty sure back in the day I was weaving paper place mats when I was in elementary school.

Anyway...... I wanted something really simple for my kindergarten and first grade students. This project goes back YEARS! Pretty sure from when I was a scout leader. What I told them was: this was an intro to weaving. Also, a great intro to sewing because of the up and down motion. We used plastic canvas, which was donated to the art room along with plastic lacing donated by my sister. Which I lugged home from New York last time I was there, and I wonder why the TSA always leaves notices in my suitcase???
Anyway......... I was able to cut each sheet into 26 bookmarks. They each measured about 1" by 5". Early finishers in 4th grade grade and I cut the plastic lacing about 7" long.

 I started the lesson by reading the book The Goat in the Rug. I loved asking the students what they thought the book was about after telling them the title. They just assumed a goat is wrapped up in a rug. They also enjoyed the fact that the book was told from the goat's perspective as she explains the steps required to turn her wool into a rug.

Then I demonstrated the process on my Elmo, which is a camera that projects onto my white board, how to weave the plastic lace through the plastic canvas. Not gonna lie, I wasn't sure my kindergarten students were going to be capable of this, so I was pleasantly surprised with the awesome results.
I had students take one piece of lacing at a time to cut down on waste. If they take all the pieces they need at once, they tend to lose them. Also, my students have pocket folders to put unfinished work in, so I didn't worry too much about putting names on the projects. You could have students put them in envelopes with their names or wrap them in paper with their names.

 This first grade class loved just sitting on the floor weaving together.
This project cost nothing to do with my students-which is the greatest thing there is. But if you aren't quite as lucky as me, you can find the plastic canvas at Michael's for .69 cents a sheet and their brand of plastic lacing for about $3 a spool. Overall not a bad deal. Also, consider sending out an email in the event staff or parents have some of this stuff they would like to get rid of.

This project was extremely cart friendly as at one point last week I needed to be on a cart due to a controlled lock down.

Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving to all!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fall Fun

I love the fall. I love the colors. One of my favorite lessons to do with my little kindergarten students is mixing up the color orange. They think is is so magical that the yellow and red paint turns into orange.  Since time has had a way of slipping from me lately, we didn't actually mix up the color until the week before Halloween, which meant by the time they returned, Halloween would be over and I didn't want to have them design Jack O' Lanterns. So instead we created patterns on our pumpkins.

 For little ones, I think they did a great job!

My older students were already working on patterns and learning how to fill up a space with a repeating pattern. They had a choice of using a pumpkin, leaf or boot shape (cooler weather=boot season?) They used a pencil first, Sharpie over their pencil lines and then water color paint.



 I'm convinced art teachers understand other art teachers. So when I say I had stuff running through my head as to what I could contribute to the fall festival I know you will all understand......

I was thinking collaborative, lion, use supplies I have..... Photo with lion?? What position should the lion be in?? What lion do I use? What kind of time do I have? How will he stand up?

 I decided on using the lion from the shirts the PTO were selling as a fund raiser. I changed out the tail so that there would be less of a chance of it breaking off.
A BIG thank you to PTO dad, Mr. Barnett, who donated the plywood and made the stand for the lion. ALSO another BIG thank you to PTO dad, Mr. Hersh for cutting out the lion!

 I first drew the lion using chalk, to be able to erase mistakes. then drew it in pencil and finally used a marker to show where it needed to be cut out.

 I had a couple of students prime the board for me and another student paint the shirt. I used a tempera paint to prime as I needed to try that paint out in anticipation of a future project I have planned. That was a mistake because it mixed with the wet paint being used to cover it.

I ended up switching to acrylic paint but haven't sealed it yet because I was afraid the colors might run. Will worry about that next week, now that the fall festival is over.

 Having never done this before, I learned a lot. I love how it came out and was happy with it's success at the festival. It is something that I hope will be around for a while.

Below is AP-Mrs. Bonnet and Principal Mr. Barker with our newly minted "World's Famous Lion".
Thanks for reading! 

What type of special events do you do at your school and how do you contribute?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Balloons and Crayons and Dolls, Oh My!

My last post was an overview of the workshops and other fun things that kept me busy at conference. Today I thought I would go into detail with a few of the workshops.

While I enjoyed just about every workshop, I don't necessarily believe that all of them would work as a lesson for my students. Which I plan to explain.

Since I had a request for the directions, I thought I would start with the Ugly Dolls.  I enjoyed learning about their history, I sew and it went really smoothly for me. It was the only project I finished at conference.

The workshop was taught by Michelle Varley-Crosby, she supplied directions, paper, felt, thread, needles, buttons and scraps. Everything was available to make an Ugly Doll. Michelle even had a sheet of Dojo characters to inspire us. Class Dojo is an app that tracks student behavior. Students create their own avatar, so if they want, they can actually use that to make their doll.

Anyway I was so involved in making my doll I don't have many photos.
Basically, I used a small piece of paper to make a pattern, pinned it to felt and cut out the front and back. Did arms on a separate piece of paper. Cut some scraps for the front and sewed them on, then sewed the front and back together, sewing in the arms when I got up to the shoulders.
I have a bunch of this foam in laptop boxes I plan to use for the stuffing. It rips really easy. I am hoping to do this with 3rd or/and 4th grade. Not sure I would go younger, unless it was a small group, I had help or students had some practice with sewing. The hardest part of this lesson is teaching students to thread a needle.......

Crayon Mosaics was a blast. I am just so excited to find a way to use up all the old crayons. It was taught by Steven Miller. Below are some of his student examples. Steven uses old records he finds in thrift shops as the base for the design. And he gets them really cheap when he mentions he's an art teacher. Steven supplied us with records, crayons and glue to do this project.

You can actually draw on the record to help you with your design and then you glue on crayons.

It is really pretty easy. I am attempting to finish mine up in school and have peaked the interest of many of my students.  Even though CD's are on the small side, Steven did say that using them might work as a good color wheel lesson. To get the label off the crayons, let them sit in a tub of water overnight. Don't know who came up with that wonderful advice, but it WORKS!!

I had a lot of fun doing this Cotton Yarn Sculpture, but this is one I wouldn't do with students unless I had a small group and lots of time. Or I could figure out a way to it as a collaborative lesson or in smaller chucks. This workshop was taught by Aliana Ochoa, a very lovely soft spoken woman who hasn't been teaching for very long. Kudos to her for sharing with us so early in her career!

Aliana supplied everything we would need including hand held pumps (from the Dollar Store) to blow up our balloon, which we then proceeded to make into a dog.
 We tied off each section and then untwisted our dog in preparation for wrapping it with yarn.
 Yarn was soaked in a combination of white glue, corn starch and water. And since it would take a few days to dry, Aliana brought us finished pieces to assemble, with a partner, to make sure we knew what to do.

I didn't finish in the 2 hours and took mine home.  I had to make sure to finish it before the balloon shrank too much. This reminded me of the Easter eggs with crochet string from years ago. So I could change it out for my students if we use oval balloons.

I have more to share in future posts. Hope you enjoyed what I have shared so far. I would love to know what you plan to bring back to your students from your state conference!
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

2016 FAEA Conference Overview

Gonna blog an overview of what I was up to at conference this past weekend. Currently playing catch up with my sleep, laundry and other things (video games count as other things, right?). Definitely plan to go into more detail in the next few posts!  Promise!

Calder's Circus: Learned some interesting things about Calder and got some great tips on how to play with wire and how to teach it to my students. Didn't have a chance to finish, had some trouble with the heavy gauge of the wire.

Playtime with Gelli Pads: OMG who knew you could just keep printing layer over layer until you LOVED the result? And look at how pretty the stencil turned out!

 Royal & Langnickel Brush: Gave out a nice assortment of goodies and I learned quite a lot about different brushes and how to take better care of them.

Crayon Mosaics: Didn't have time to finish. Also happy I haven't changed out the old crayons yet from last year! Lol!

Journal Junkie Workshop: Loved this exercise using shapes and symbols.

Inkless Tesselation Prints: This was tricky and I got frustrated with it. Other people at my table did great. More about that down the road.

African Ndebele Doll: Loved this, had to leave a little early to facilitate the next class and didn't finish it. But I have plans for it........

Cool Cotton Yarn Sculpture: This was fun, the balloon dog when finished will be yarn shapes glued together.

 Ugly Doll Soft Sculpture: I got so involved in this I didn't take a lot of photos. However I did finish on time!

Only one of my workshops got cancelled due to Hurricane Matthew. So all in all a great conference!

And I did leave time to visit vendors and made this by painting with sand over at Blick.

Tried out this incredible tray of tempera paint and HAD to BUY it! Jack Richeson & Co.

And I spend money on this stuff. Love that book: Draw, Paint, Print Like the Great Artists, in the photo.

And what's the point of a conference if you don't get a NEW shirt!

Got a lot of free samples, still sorting them out for treasure chest at school. I give a lot of the freebies to my students, in the hopes of creating future consumers of those products.

I've got some plans to submit proposals for next year, thanks in part to discussions at the elementary division meeting. Excited!!! Very Excited!!! And tired.........

Thanks for Reading!