Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2nd Grade Watercolor Resist Seascapes

My 2nd grade students recently created these watercolor resist paintings based on the work of Dutch artist Willem van de Veld.

First the students viewed a slide show of 6 of Willem van de Veld's paintings. These are the 6 paintings the students looked at:

As we looked at each painting, we discussed the principle of art rhythm. I drew the rhythm that we saw in the water on the board for each painting. Here is what my blackboard looked like when we were done looking at all the paintings:

Then, the students picked one rhythm, and drew it across their paper. Below the line, they drew the same rhythm over and over again in different colors. Then, the students viewed different pictures of boats to put in their artwork, and drew any boats they liked.

The following week, we finished the paintings with watercolors. I encouraged the students to use more than one color in the ocean; perhaps blue and green; some students also added some black or purple. They also painted the sky any way they wanted. We discussed sky ideas such as a sunset, a storm, nighttime, clouds, birds, etc.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jumbo Magnetic Spin Wheel

A few weeks ago, I purchased a "Jumbo Magnetic Spin Wheel" on Amazon for about $40. I love it! So far, I have only used it for behavior rewards. I have a star chart in my classroom; the students earn a star each day the class behaves well, and ten stars means a treat day! Now that we only have five weeks of school left, classes that are pretty far from ten will not be able to earn ten stars before the year is over. So, I let them spin the wheel if they behave well, so they can possibly earn two or three stars. Spinning the wheel is so fun, that it is a good motivator in and of itself.

I really love this product. It has a very strong magnet on the back, so I just put it on the blackboard without fear of students knocking it off or breaking it. The pie wheel in the middle works as a dry erase board, and is interchangeable with other pie wheels with four, six, eight (pictured below), twelve, or thirty sections.

There are so many educational ways to use this great product! For a grade level teacher, multiplication (as pictured on the box below), rhyming words (write common endings like -ing, -ight, -ine on it), and many more learning activities could be done.

I'm still trying to think of great ways to use this wheel in art class. One idea I have is to do art criticism with it. I could write elements or principles of art on it, have the students spin it, and ask them to tell how the element or principle is used in the painting we're discussing. Or, it could be a fun intro to abstract art; I could write random things to include in a painting or drawing on the wheel, and as they spin it, they have to add what they get to their art.

If any of my blog readers have any ideas on how to use the spin wheel, please comment! I would love to hear any ideas. I am excited about the educational possibilities of this new learning tool, but haven't put much into practice yet.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Congratulations to Three Students who earned an "Honorable Mention" Award!

I posted recently about my 6th grade students creating insect drawings for Purdue University's annual Bug Bowl art contest. I wasn't able to go to Bug Bowl because of my other job, but I picked up the artwork yesterday, and three of my students had earned an "Honorable Mention" award! I was really excited to share the news with my students today! Here are the three drawings that earned a ribbon (one of them was not pictured in my previous post because the student didn't finish in class and had to take it home to work on).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

1st Grade Daffodils

Now that it's finally spring here in Flora, IN, we are pretty happy! My students have been excited to share about all the flowers that have been coming up in their yards. Daffodils are an especially beautiful spring flower. Here are some daffodils created by 1st grade students, using oil pastels, and liquid watercolors for the sky.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jungle Gems Glaze Product Review

Last year, my 4th grade students created coil pots as Mother's Day gifts. This year, we're doing it again! I purchased some exciting new glazes called Jungle Gems to make this project even more fun. In addition, I asked the PTO  to purchase flowers to plant in the flower pots (they have a small hole in the bottom, and a saucer, so flowers can be planted directly in them!), and the PTO was totally on board. I am super excited about these gifts! I think we'll have a lot of happy mothers in May.

Because these glazes are new to me, I wasn't sure what to expect! I've used only Amaco glazes in the past. It's a big risk to buy enough of a new glaze to use with 90 4th graders, so I'm going to share my experiences with you, in case any other art teachers who read my blog are considering them.

First, the good:

1. This is probably obvious, but: they look cool!

2. The results are consistent! The bottle says 3 layers of glaze, so in order to save time, I told my students to do two thick layers. Some students have a different idea of "thick" than others, so despite various amounts of glaze, all the pots came out marvelously.

3. Along with that, the colors don't get blotchy where the glaze is thicker or thinner on each pot. I can't imagine my 4th graders all glazed perfectly evenly all the way around, but the glaze looks even on all sides!

Now for the bad:

1. They are very hard (nearly impossible!) to stir! All the crystals are at the bottom. Shaking the bottle or leaving it upside down for two weeks does nothing. I had to use a giant popsicle stick to stir the bottle up, and it was hard. Pouring some of the glaze into another container helps.

2. The little glass crystals are sharp! I got some cuts on my hands from handling the glazes and glazed pots, but the students did not from just handling their own. rubber gloves could be helpful.

3. Is it safe to wash paint brushes in the sink? I'm concerned about glass crystals clogging my drain!

4. They fire to Cone 06, which is different from all of the other glazes I have (Amaco F-series, O-series, LT, and LM), which fire to Cone 05. It can be annoying to not be able to fire all glazed projects together.

And now for the verdict: Would I use them again? Yes! Would I recommend them to others? Yes, they are an easy way to get interesting surface designs on pottery.

I purchased 9 colors, and now I'm going to review each one individually. It's hard to tell from the catalog how the colors look, so here are some photos:

1. Firecracker. A bright red with yellow and orange dots. Very consistent, and popular with the students.

2. Peacock Green. I love this color! The photo does not do it justice, at all! It is very shiny, almost iridescent, with many shades of green throughout.

3. Sassy orange. Yellow with orange and green dots. Very bright and bold.

4. Lagoon blue. A bit of a disappointment; mostly just blue with white dots; it seems to have a few green spots as well. It's a nice color, but the crystals don't do much for it.

5. Kaleidoscope. This glaze is a pale gray with many colors in it. It looks beautiful up close; from far away (when you can't see the colors), it looks more like a light tan.

6. Royal fantasy. Purple with other shades of purple scattered throughout. It's a pretty deep purple, kind of mauve.

7. Bloomin' Blue. This color is green with small blue spots throughout. It's a nice glaze, especially up close.

8. Masquerade. This color is very popular with the students. It's a pure black with yellow and red crystals throughout.

9. Strawberry Sundae. A redish-pinkish hue, speckled throughout.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2nd Grade Paper Weaving Inspired by Jackson Pollock

I have done some form of Jackson Pollock's action painting every year since I started teaching. Usually, it's a one-day lesson, and the students love it, but there's no more to it than just splattering the paint! I saw this lesson on another blog, and decided to try it with my 2nd graders! The lesson is for 4th grade, so of course I had to be extremely organized to keep the action painting under control with 2nd grade.

The students had very recently learned about warm and cool colors, so I had them make one warm color action painting, and one cool color action painting. The warm color paper was smaller, 9"x12", whereas the cool color paper was a 12"x12" square. I set up 6 stations: red, yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple. Each color was a cup of watered-down tempera with a large brush, set on top of a spread out sheet of newspaper. The students stood in line for each color, action painted just a little bit (I was very firm with only a little bit of each color), and then switched to another line. They used only warm colors on the warm colored paper, and only cool colors on the cool colored paper.

The following week, we began weaving. First, the students folded their large paper in half with the action painting on the inside. Then, they drew a line with a ruler on the open edge (as opposed to the folded edge), by lining the ruler up with the edge of the page, and drawing along the other side of it. Next, we pretended our scissors were a car, and the line was a stop sign! Cut, cut, cut....stop! They could not cut past the stop line.

On the back of the warm colored paper, the students drew lines with the ruler, about an inch apart. I checked to make sure the lines were drawn the "tall" way, instead of across the paper. Then, the students cut their strips, and the weaving began! Here are some results:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

6th Grade Insect Drawings

Purdue University's entomology department puts on a festival called Bug Bowl every spring. One of the events is a student art contest. This year, I assigned my 6th grade students an insect drawing, and they are all entering the contest. All of their artwork will be on display at Bug Bowl during the weekend of April 12-13! Here are some of their drawings: