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?