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Monday, January 31, 2011

Mimicking Monet!

4th grade has moved onto art history to Impressionism and on from the Renaissance in art history! We talked about some of the main, big names of Impressionism such as Seurat, Van Gogh, Degas and one of Impressionism's founders, the one, the only Claude Monet! Did you know I love Monet's art so much I named my cat (she's a girl) Claudia Monet!? We watched Getting To Know the World's Greatest Artists video on Claude Monet. We learned he is famous for his lily pads in water, scenic views, garden scenes, and haystack studies that change with the weather and time of day. But, most importantly, Claude Monet is famous for his style of applying paint in his brush strokes. He used many tiny dabs of layered colors of paint to form his pictures. Your eyes does the mixing of the colors when you stand far away from it, because up close it just looks like a mess of dabs of paint!  

 We used some of Monet's most famous works as our muse when we mimicked his brushstrokes. We drew a quick outlined sketch with pencil and I had paint at different tables with Q-tips to make the 'dabs' of paint. We also talked about 'layering' the dabs of paint and making sure to throw away or use the other side of the Q tip to make sure you don't muddy up the clean paint stations. We just got started but I can't wait to see the final project!

Lifesize Egyptian Sarcophagus

3rd graders are finishing up their last lesson for our stop in Egyptian art history on our art history timeline! We are combing the skills we've been learning to sum them all up into big teambuilding creative project!

Each table works as a team to practice the skills we've done so far: They have already made their own mini sarcofigus with lots of color and lines of pattern, so they know how to draw one and what it looks like (even though we'll have visuals out to look at again), learned about and made their own cartouche, and worked with Egyptian heiroglyphic alphabet and symbols.

This was also a test of how to work with others and have a positive group experience. I talked about how to work in groups and how to talk about strengths and weakness, how you feel and difficulties in groups. I gave ideas of scenarios and how to handle those, such as: "Would you want someone in your group to say, "Ew! That looks terrible! You're bad at that!" Everyone agreed that they wouldn't like it if someone talked to them like that because it can be hurtful to one's feelings about their artwork and you didn't create a solution to your problem. I explained it's a good idea to ask about strengths and what are some positive ways to make changes and how to go about them. We got off to a great start with a few bumps but ended smoothly. I asked students to raise their hands if at the beginning if they had some difficulties. They raised their hands. Then I asked, did you find solutions to those problems by the end of class today, did things go better later? They raised their hands. I explained that was what the purpose of this activity was:
 How to work effectively in groups.
As for the project, we picked the person with closest birthday to present day and that was the person to be the 'mummy'. We talked about how they needed to 'assume the position' including crossing arms, taking off shoes, and keeping legs 'glued' together. Tracers needed to make sure they weren't tracing feet & showed them again using my projector the visual of the sarcophagus and how it was FLAT at the bottom. We used long sheets of brown craft paper the size of our tables. The students loved that they got to actually lay on the table. First groups designated who was good at drawing what with pencil and drew the outlining details.

 Others who's strengths were coloring/designing, took charge of pattern and color! We used metallic crayons (amazing!) and metallic colored pencils,

added detail with gold metallic paint (super neat!)

 and finished with metallic gold stamp pads and heiroglphics alphabet stampers to create a cartouche to finish it! We are going to draw straws for each table to decide who takes it home to be fair. First I want to hang them in our hallway if there's room!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Vivid Layers: Art Teacher Blog Directory

Vivid Layers: Art Teacher Blog Directory: "I posted this before and I thought a reposting would be nice. Add your art teacher blog to this directory and then repost it to your webs..."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Claes Oldenburg Spoon Bridges

Kindergarten learned about large scale sculpture from one of the masters, Claes Oldenberg! I first started off showing a picture of the famous spoon bridge using my projector and asked if anyone had actually seen it before. Surprisingly, lots of students raised their hands! Many had traveled to Minneapolis or actually saw the sculpture in person. I explained that this sculpture formed a 'bridge' over a small pond and when it was warm outside, it became a sprinkler (sprays from the stem) for a fountain!
Each student, was given a piece of green paper for the 'grassy area' of the sculpture garden. We talked about that a scuplture garden, is a grassy area, sometimes in the back of a museum, that contains many large scale sculptures on display so you can walk around and get an upclose look. Then students were given a piece of blue construction paper to cut out a 'pond' like that of the original sculpture & for the spoon to cross. Then we used different shades of green oil pastels to make little lines for grass. Then Model Magic clay came into play (only the best stuff on earth!) for the round cherry. Model magic is great because it's light, no mess involved, soft, and you can color on it! So if you don't want to have to fire it and have something heavy, this is fast and easy! We rolled it into a ball, then used red washable crayola markers coloring it in!  

Then they were ready to come to my station where put a dot of hot glue to secure our 'bridge' and then another dot of hot glue on the end of the spoon to secure the cherry. I had already cut a bunch of brown pipecleaners to add the finishing touch, the stem, which I let them add, for their final touch as the artist! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Batik & Brush Your Teeth? What?

So have you thought about doing Batik in your room? I've thought about it, but with young students, it seems like a dangerous feat! Batiks, as you know, are made by painting melted wax on fabric in a design. Then depending on the effect you want, the fabric is crumbled up and soaked in different dyes, or different dyes are painted directly on the spaces where wax is not covering. Then you use an iron or a different source to remove the wax and the places that were painted in wax, are now white or a negative space where the fabric was 'masked'.
Well get this. YOu can make your own, WAX FREE, and super inexpensive, by using.....wait for it...TOOTHPASTE & ALOE VERA LOTION! Dollar Tree and Dollar General are calling my name. Here is great instructions and a great art teacher blogger! Pictures and great info! YOU REALLY HAVE TO USE A NON WASHABLE TEMPERA nothing else works, I've tried it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hangin' with Vincent (Van Gogh)! 5th grade explores his Impressionist masterpieces & touches on art careers

5th grade is currently studying Vincent Van Gogh! First we watched "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" Vincent Van Gogh to really understand where the artist began from young to old. It also explores some of his famous masterpieces such as his "Sunflowers" and studies of his bedroom ("Bed Room at Arles", 1889).
We first started looking at Van Gogh's style in his "Sunflowers". We looked at how Van Gogh has a distinct style of layered, thickly applied, long dashed brushstrokes. 5th grade then took a stab at it by first drawing a vase design of their choice, a horizon line, such as the table it's sitting on (since it's not magically leviating), and concentrated on mimicking & understanding the drying petals of the bouquet and then using oil pastel (contains wax) to mimic the dashed brushstrokes. Then we turned it into a watercolor/ oil pastel resist. The class also really started to grasp the correct way to use watercolor with wet on wet and mixing techniques with their brush!  Here are some more examples from class.

Then after completing that, we started to look at Van Gogh's 3 studies (only 1 is found in the United States, and that is "Bedroom at Arles" and found at the Chicago Art Institute) of his bedrooms. We looked and pointed out the different between the 3. Then I asked if the students had heard of the art based career "interior designer". I then explained that interior designers help pick out how a room is designed from anything from the colors of the walls, to the kind of chairs in the room, to how to cordinate furniture and combinations of bedding and pillows. We also learned what warm & cool colors were, how they can psychologically make us think that we feel warmer or cooler than we are, and also change out mood. Interior designers take this into account when planning for a client. 5th grade's project was to redesign Van Gogh's bedroom with color, pattern, and later make things 3-D. We made things 3-D by taking another photo copy of the same bedroom, and colored in items, cut then out, then glued them down with a piece of foamcore, to make it raised on the page(in mine it's' the chair, the bedpost, and a picture frame). We then added other 3-D elements like felt for curtains, a bedspread, or even a carpet.
student work

student work


How 'baby dots' have been life changing in an art room!(could be yours too!)

Okay, so you're reading this and you're thinking, "Uh, what is she talking about? Baby dots? What?" The way you explain something, especially putting a positive spin on things, changes everything! For example. How many of you have this problem in your classroom: You use glue and that equals a) a big mess b) wasted glue! c) requires more clean up time for the messes and d) requires you to invest and plan ahead to order more glue (and take more out of your budget!). Glue sometimes can equal disaster. From the beginning of the year till now, I like to find creative, short effective ways that really stick in understanding procedure for students. So naturally in this case you think, Okay, I'll just tell the students to use less glue. 9 out of 10 times students don't really understand that concept, because what's less for someone isn't less for another student. They'll say, "What? I used less?" and it resembles something of big sloppy mess of a glue mountain or lake. So in other words, you need a constant. Something that is the same for everyone. When I talk about gluing, I introduced "baby dots". I SHOWED the students what tiny baby dots look like, included "no mom or dad dots are invited the party! Just the babies! Oh, and the babies, can't be next to each other, because if they do they start crying! Shhh, good baby dots." I say as I demonstrate on a project. I also say, "Whoops! Whoa! That was a big dot, I think it's Daddy dot! He's not invited?! Return to the baby dots. Shh, gooooood baby dots!". They laugh and remember. I also check for understanding the next few times by saying, okay time, for glue but who's invited to the party?!" STUDENTS: "Baby dots!" Then I'll say, shhh...don't wake the babies!Instead of saying "Whoa, that is too much glue!", I might say "Are those baby dots? They look a lot like daddy dots, or mama dots?" Students then relate that to size and know they have to go smaller. I now can estimate how many dots for attaching projects! For example, for Kindergarten, they needed to cut out a 2" square and attach it. I simply say, "How many baby dots do you think we should put on it? I think about 3 baby dots should work just fine! How many baby dots? STUDENTS: "3!" Then I say, "Shhhh, yes, but don't wake the babies!" They love it and remember.
I have found that this system works wonders and is a positive way of understanding! Because of following this. During clean up time, guess what? MESS ELIMINATED! Only washing small areas instead of scrubbing a whole table, and sometimes no mess at ALL! Less work for them & faster! I hardly have to fill glue bottles! Don't have to buy more extra gallons of glue!(I always need to have some on hand for big project though). The way you explain something really makes a difference!

Monday, January 17, 2011

4th grade Renaissance Masquerade Masks

Today we finished our Masquerade masks from the Renaissance period and used all kinds of items to decorate. I just laid out in different stations tissue paper streamers, jewels, sequins, foamies/stickers, ribbon, yarn, feathers, beads and more. It would be ideal to have some plaster strips and then have a mold of a face mask and make your own, but with low budgets we made paper plates work and it seemed to work to our advange in some ways too. Here are a few from different 4th grade classes! My students do some great, original work!

Where is my student's art? Hmmm...

Hello parents! I know some of you had mentioned you haven't seen a lot of art come home yet! Reason? Well there are several 1) I only have them once a 6 day cycle and we do projects that require more than the 45 minutes to complete, so sometimes we have to take several classtimes to complete. 2) Miss Oetken has 4 buildings and has been trying to save the art before it goes home to look through! I like to look through the projects to see our progress and to be looking for pieces that deserve recognition in art, say an art show!:) Sorry for the delay, but they will be coming home soon, I promise...if it makes it's way home with your son or daughter that is:)  Also, I have been informed that some parents haven't received my newsletters. I am going to see if I can post them somehow on my blog here. Looking into it!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Op Art 3-D Glasses with 3-D Self Portrait


We are currently just starting our 3-D glasses and that went really well so far. I've done this activity with other classes at art centers and it's always been a hit! I got the initial idea (before my creative tweaking) from Arts and Activities magazine (a personal favorite!). The kids can't believe how the glasses and paper interact with each other to have the facial features pop off the page! Here's how I do this art lesson: First I make a bunch of copies of the 3-D glasses template on either regular paper or cardstock. Then I show the students to cut out the glasses and how to safely cut a hole in the paper to cut out each of the lenses carefully. I have precut the red and blue celophane into squares a little bit bigger than the square lense hole. I encourage students to use baby dots of glue around the edge of the lense so it doesn't squish all over the lense.  
Then they pick up a long strip of cardstock/posterboard for the 'bows' of the glasses to stay on. I show them how to cut a notch so it stays on your ears. Then glue it on the top part of the back (as pictured) and bend to form the bows of the glasses. Now DECORATE!! I've even thrown some sequins out there with all the markers, crayons, colored pencils etc.
Classtime#2: Now students can wear glasses to choose colors that pop or don't pop for the features on their self portraits. You HAVE to have FLUORESCENT PAPER FOR THIS PART. Have students glue down a circle of paper for the face (construction paper), then have all kinds of scrap paper and fluorescent paper mixed in, to add and cut for the eye brows, eye lashes, hair, glasses, eyes, nose, ears etc. Encourage them to keep their glasses on for color choosing but dno't have to have them on the entire time because it's hard to see everything with them on.
Snowflake Colorwheel Snowmen

2nd grade finishing Snowflake Color Wheel Snowmen-now Op Art 3-D Self Portrait!

We just finished our watercolor snowflake snowmen. It was a great activity for 2nd grade to not just work with watercolor/brush techniques, but also understanding the color wheel/color mixing! Classtime #1: I had students pick 'neighbors' on the color wheel, or colors right next to each other. Then using wet on wet techniques/proper brush techniques, the students picked their colors and painted. I had them do a side project (a holiday 'extra' activity) to fill the time after they accomplished their project.
Classtime #2: I had drawn 3 different sized circles on a piece of paper and made copies for them to have their own 'templates' to trace around them after cutting them out. Have the students place the templates on their 'tye dyed' now dry paper, trace and cut out. I also demo how to make snowflakes: Fold over to make a taco, then again to make a piece of pizza. Cut out shapes like triangles,squares, circles around the edges...make sure not to cut too close together or the paper will disappear and the snowflake will fall apart. Then we glued them down using 'baby dots' and used metallic (let's face it, metallic crayons are way more fun then the plain ones they're used to!)crayons to make the face & arms if they chose to. Then, I did what I am not a fan of....used glitter.I can't help it, the kids love it so I got it out. I could write a whole nother post about how I have careful process of how we use glitter in my room, but that's for another time. Nevertheless, we used glitter for the scarf, it's still on the floor in some places, but the students loved it! You just gotta break down your boundaries and have fun some know you want to! Now onto the next post about 3-D self portraits!