Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Faces of Star

The first round of our Monochromatic Self Portraits was a HUGE success!  Students utilized scaffolding strategies from the week prior (yay!) to create amazing features on their faces.  We have been talking a lot about the word "Craftsmanship" in Art and what that means.  Does it mean you are the best artist?  No, craftsmanship in Art class focuses on two very important skills...effort and detail. Boy did I ever see great craftsmanship out of these kiddos today! 

We will continue our Monochromatic Self Portraits on Thursday and then on display they will go.  Can't wait to see the rainbow of bright, smiling faces of Star on display for the whole school to see. Here is a sneak peek at our soon to be wall mural, that will span over 8 feet tall and 18 feet long!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Using Books to teach Art Attitude!

I decided to start the new year in Art class reading a book to each group of students.  I chose "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds for 1st and 2nd graders and "Ish" also by Peter H. Reynolds for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders.

The Dot storyline is about a girl who doesn't feel confident with her Art skills and won't take a risk to try and create in Art class.  Her teacher pushes her to just make one single dot on her paper and then asks her to her sign her work.  This one little dot and her willingness to try sparks her journey in Art. This is a great story for younger kids, as many can relate to the feeling of not thinking they are able to draw- a mindset I plan on changing this year in Art!

Ish is my all time favorite art book about not feeling like your work has to be perfect.  We've all heard the phrase, blueish or greenish but may not have given the true meaning of "ish" much thought. This story is about a boy who gets teased because his artwork doesn't look like what it is intended to be. Naturally, he shuts down and nothing he draws is good enough anymore.  That is, until his sister helps him see his artwork in a whole new light.  She shows him that his artwork doesn't have to look exactly like what he intends it to be, that having it look art-ish is good enough.  Thinking "ishly" opens up a whole new world of creativity and feeling of content for the boy.

The best moments in the art room for me today? When students were practicing facial features for our upcoming Self portrait wall mural and I would overhear "I don't like the way this nose is looking" to which a fellow table mate would reply, "I don't know, it looks pretty nose-ish to me." Awww!

We could all use a little more "ish" in our lives.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Getting ready for the first day of school!

As the first day of school is approaching fast, teachers are busy getting classrooms ready for a new group of students.  For me, this means starting from scratch.  While a bit daunting, the opportunity to create a classroom from a blank canvas is an exciting task.  I have taught middle school art for the past five years, so while I am not new to teaching art, I am new to teaching art to the younger crew.

My approach to my classroom design? I have taken my middle school art classroom management skills and have adapted and modified where necessary to create an art space that is functional, promotes a positive and creative learning environment and of course, is visually appealing!  It is an art room, after all. Working with an untraditional classroom footprint was a bit of a challenge, but I am happy with the way the room has come along.  Sure, I'll make changes as I go, but for now, I am ready to fill those colorful stools with students who are eager to create art!