Sunday, October 30, 2011

Steve Jobs Quote

My Girlfriend shared this quote with me today and I thought is was worth sharing...Thanks MAgs!

"We do not teach the arts to create great artists anymore than we teach math to create the next generation of mathematicians or language arts to create the next generation of writers. We teach the arts in our schools to create great people so they are empowered with skills and knowledge to be successful in life… to do great things regardless of the vocational pathway they choose." Steve Jobs

As an art teacher, I am a tad bit bias... but the quote is so true and I wish more people saw the importance of the arts in education!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Foreshortening... 5th Graders Self-Portraits

These self-portraits took a long time to make... But well worth the wait! My students learned about foreshortening with this lesson. I wanted the portraits to look as if they were falling through space. I got this idea from a fellow blogger (Thanks). I started out by having my students trace their shoes and hands on the first day. After they did that, we talked about face structure and dimensions. The students learned a lot and I feel as if they were surprised with how well they turned out. They looked at me like I was crazy when I told them that the eyes were in the middle of your head and the nose in the bottom quarter.
Since they have been in the hall... fellow teachers can't say enough good things about them. As a first year teacher, I have no idea what was taught the previous years. The previous teacher teacher taught for almost 30 years and did the same project year after year (not that there is anything wrong with that). I do know that the other teachers are loving the new fresh projects.
For me, each project is fresh... I have no idea what may come of them when we start, but I love how the ones I have done so far!

Some Fun Posters For Art

Sneak Peek... 1st Grade Dino's

Thanks to a great friend, I got a great idea to do a dinosaur lesson with my first graders that reinforces the horizon line. I read an awesome book "Dinosaurs Love Underpants" to my students and then talked to them about side profile. We talked about how we can only see one of the Dino's eyes and nostrils. After reading the book we did a step-by-step drawing together. After we finished the drawing that we did together, I allowed the students to flip the paper over and draw another dinosaur using what they had learned. Almost all of my students did an even better job on their second drawing, that they did on their own. I love the fact that almost every student told me that they learned something.
In all honesty.... I did this lesson because 1. I loved the lesson that I saw from my buddy. 2. I saw my students drawing dinosaurs during free draw and the dinosaurs were always smiling with two eyes (even though the students drew them in side profiles), and they always had five fingers on their feet (always straight lines underneath their arm like legs). I love their drawings that they did today... Dino's drawn in side profile with nice and properly drawn legs.
I love when I see improvement... I love even more when they are excited and inform me themselves that they learned something!
More images from this project will be soon to come....

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Horizon Line

I love how these turned out. I have to give all the props to a fellow blogger for this lesson. I cant remember who (my apologies). My first graders learned about the Horizon Line in this lesson. We talked about the importance of the horizon line, and how without it objects would seem as if they were floating. The students painted light green, dark green, blue, and light blue on a large piece of paper. The next class they tore the paper into small pieces and glued each piece according to is place above or below the horizon line (blue = sky, and green = ground). I loved this lesson, the students loved tearing the paper and learned a ton! Hope you enjoy!

Lesson: Landscape With Horizon Line

Grade: 1st Grade

Estimated Time: 3 class periods

Wisconsin State Standards:

A.4.2 Learn basic vocabulary related to their study of art

C.4.5 Look at nature and works of art as visual resources

H.4.3 Show differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities of objects in their artwork


Students will learn the importance of a horizon line in a landscape.

Students will build painting skills

Students will develop gluing skills

Key Concepts:

Exposure to: Painting, Horizon line (Vocabulary), gluing, and overlapping.

I Finally Found Time To Add Some Color To A Once Lack of Color Art Room

About time... I finally got the time to spruce up my second of my two art classrooms. My "Respect" board that I blogged about earlier was only in one on my two classrooms. I have found that it is extremely hard to balance my time between the two schools. I always feel like I am giving more time to one classroom or school than the other. Well, this weekend I made it my goal to catch up.

"We Are All Artists" board... is my attempt to showcase my students artwork in a way that they can be acknowledged for their hard work. It will allow parents and guest to my room the chance to see all the artwork being created in my classroom by the different grades. I love the way it turned out, and how easy it will be to make changes as new projects are created. My hopes are to write down the names of each student shown on the board, and change it up throughout the year. No student will be on the board more than once. "We are all artist"... should represent the fact that no matter how talented the student, I reward the attempt and the improvement made with each project.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fun Idea

Preview of Overlapping lesson

Yay, my Kindergarten students are learning to cut and trace so well! I am so excited about the improvement my kindergartners are showing in their cutting and tracing skills that I had to show you a sneak peak of their new lesson on "overlapping"... We read the book "The Dot" and learned that all of us are artist as long as we try and put something down on the paper. The students learned the importance of signing their names and that all the famous artist put their names on the front of their artwork. I had the students trace a rectangle tracer and then cut out a rectangle and sign the front of it. This was a great lesson because I got a ton of paper used up out of my scrap paper pile. The students took paper out of the scrap box and brought it back to their table to trace the rectangle. once they cut it out they came back up and grabbed a different color piece of scrap paper and did it all over again. I decided to show their names on the rectangles when they glued them to the gray paper to reinforce the importance of signing their name. The students were so proud of their cutting abilities... (secret: so was their teacher!)

Hope you enjoy... final images will be up soon.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What I Do With My Prep Time...

At my smaller of the two schools I haven't put up a door sign yet. With parent teacher conferences tomorrow night I figured I should make it parent/ guardian friendly. I added the "ART" and paint can outside my room as a way of sprucing up the joint... nothing fancy, but the students noticed it right away and enjoyed my effort. Must note that I love when my students notice stuff like this... means they are observant and visual human beings. A great friend of mine and fellow art teacher turned a poster (work of art) upside-down or on it's side... his students noticed... YAY students are being observant and thinking on their own.

Fall is Here Lesson

I Love this one... The student mixed all of her colors together and ended up with an extremely brown leaf as I had warned the students. When the students walked in I handed them a leaf to draw from. This students ended up with an oak leaf and I don't think it could have worked out any better for her. The leaf is probably the most realistic fall leaf color (realistically dead). She was upset until I had brought her in a real oak leaf that had been on the ground probably for a week... all the students crowded around and told her how much the leaf looked like the real one. Her frown turned way upside down! Her teacher was happy as well.

My students learned how fun "Wet on Wet" with water color can be. We used this technique to make fall leaves. I started the lesson by talking to the students about fall leaves and the colors we see. In Waupaca, WI the leaves are changing and the hills of Waupaca are full of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens.... Its gorgeous! I thought this would be a great opportunity to use Wet-on-Wet using these four colors to create leaves. The students started with a 8x11 sheet of watercolor paper as they filled it with color. The next class they studied different leaves and learned how to draw leaves using the full piece of paper. After they outlined they cut the leaf out. They put the leaves on a color of choice piece of paper and created what you see above. Tons of great leaves! I am a very happy fall teacher.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Day ... RESPECT

On the first day of school, I talked to the students about the word RESPECT. After talking about the work I had them sign a letter in the word as a kind of contract. I asked them to be respectful to their classmates, room, and teacher. I have the quote below as type of classroom theme. I tell my students almost every day that I don't expect them to be a professional artist at their young ages... All I ask is that they try their hardest!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tissue Paper Color Mixing

My first graders learned about color mixing with tissue paper. We talked about the Primary Colors and how they create all the colors int the world haha. They were surprised by this... I got excited by this knowing they might learn a couple of things and have fun doing it. I got this idea from another blogger (Dalismustache... thank you) I made it my own by using this method as a way to mix colors and show that when a yellow overlaps with a red it created an orange and so on. The students were so excited and possibly though I was the coolest teacher that day when I showed them how the color transfers to the paper when water is added.
I love the result, and the students learned a lot of fine motor skills. They designed their pattern design and cut it out six more times with the tissue paper. Hope you enjoy the results. I just hung them up in the school on Saturday. I get to see what the teachers think on Monday.

Lesson: Tissue Paper Color Wheel

Grade: 1st Grade

Estimated Time: 2 class periods

Wisconsin State Standards:

H.4.3 Shows differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities of objects in their artwork.

C.4.7 Develop basic skills to produce quality art.

E.4.1 Communicate basic ideas by producing studio art forms, such as drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, jewelry, fibers, and ceramics.


Students will work with scissors to cut out designs

Students will learn to blend colors

Students will develop printmaking skills

Key Concepts:

Exposure to: Printmaking, color mixing, and scissor cutting.

A Years Worth of Things Covered In One Project.... Calder Primary Colors

In this lesson I introduced my Kindergarten to artwork by Alexander Calder. We talked about the primary colors (The students were learning about colors in their regular ed. classrooms). After four weeks of hard work and tons of procedures (brushes in the sink, form lines to come over and get paint, how to load drying rack, how to carry paint back to seat, and the dreaded glue how-to's) the students finally finished. We painted, traced the shapes, cut the shapes, glued the shapes and used crayon to again trace and connect our shapes with lines.
Wow... I love the individuality in each of them. As I get to know my students... I wasn't surprised by how each student made theirs. Some were very clean and neat with only one loop in the "string" / lines. Others with shapes thrown all over forming chaos with their lines having more loops than they had room on the paper for. I love both sides, and I'm very happy with the results. They definitely learned a lot!

Lesson: Kandinski Primary colors

Grade: Kindergarten

Estimated Time: 2 class periods

Wisconsin State Standards:

H.4.3 Shows differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities of objects in their artwork.

A.4.2 Learn basic vocabulary related to their study of art.


Students will learn to work with shapes and patterns.

Students will be introduced to working with tempera paint.

Students will learn the Primary colors.

Key Concepts:

Exposure to: Patterns, painting, stencils, and the primary colors.