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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Weaving on Styrofoam

Weaving on Styrofoam was a recent project with the 1st graders. A restaurant supply store near our school had a huge package of styrofoam plates for very cheap. Slits were cut at the top and bottom of the styrofoam and string was placed in these slits for the loom.  The students used ribbon and fabric to weave over and under the string.  Suggest to the kids to choose a variety of colors and textures. I put out some colored wire, chenille stems, feathers, ribbons and straws. There are so many materials that can be incorporated into a weaving!

Where to obtain yarn: I don't think I have paid full price for any yarn in the 6 years I have been at this particular school. Hit up yard sales, church garage sales, thrift stores, and Yahoo Freecycle groups. You will be amazed at what people will give away for free. Send out notes to your parents that you are always looking for bright, colorful, textured and snazzy yarn. I found that if I don't ask for "fancy, textured or bright colored" yarn, I receive a whole bunch of faded, dusty, gross yarn. By best yarn has come from members of my knitting group. Since I knit in my free time and belong to a knitting group, I have told the members that I would be interested in any of their scrap yarns and leftover skeins for my school. I suppose you could find a knitting group online (such as a local group that has a Yahoo group) and put out feelers for yarn for your school. If you offered a small price, I'm sure some of the members would be happy to sell you their leftovers or even donate them.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sponsorship-- Worth Ave. Group

I am excited to present to you my first sponsor.  Worth Ave. Group provides educational insurance policies for K-12 schools and colleges.  Worth Ave. Group has insurance policies that protect student and staff laptops.  They will work with schools to provide individual or group coverage.  They also have an educational grant giveaway going on now.  If your school is in need of technology funding this would be worth checking out. 

Sponsorship Information:
I've noticed a lot of craft blogs have sponsors and thought it would be fun to open up my blog to sponsors.  Education and art education especially can always use support.  Lest you think I will be getting rich off my blog, I can assure you that any and all money from the sponsorships will be used to purchase art supplies or educational art books to enhance my teaching.  :) 

I am accepting sponsorships such as
  • artists looking to sell their art
  • etsy shops
  • online workshops or e-books
  • educational businesses
  • arts and crafts related businesses
Contact me to start.

$10 per month:  One sidebar ad on my blog, size 125 x 125 pixels
$15 per month:  One sidebar ad on my blog, size 150 x 250 pixels

Included in this price is a blog post highlighting your sponsorship with an image link to your site.
All billing will be processed through Paypal. 

Giveaways and Reviews:
In addition to advertising, I enjoy giveaways for my readers.  If you would like me to facilitate a giveaway for your product, feel free to contact me.  You would be responsible for shipping the product to the winner.  I would also be happy to write up a product review if you sent me a product to try out.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Inspired by Henri Matisse- Kindergarten

Henri Matisse is a popular artist to teach about in the elementary art classroom.  I've seen a lot of Matisse-inspired artwork from other art teachers.  His artwork is bright and colorful and lends itself well to teaching about shapes.  We read the book Oooh! Matisse and watched the video Dropping in on Matisse

The students learned about organic shapes and geometric shapes.

They also used their fine motor skills to use shape punchers.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Clay Butterflies-- 1st Grade

These lovely clay butterflies were made by the 1st graders.  Each student traced their hands to make the wings.  Some of the little parts fell off, so I would recommend making sure that the kids don't roll their slabs too thin.  I found this lesson in the book, The Clay Lady Way Textbook.  I was able to flip through this book at one of the National Art Ed conferences and decided it would be worth the investment. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Editorial Cartoons

Every year, students in grades 5-8 participate in a local contest called the Yahara River Writers Contest.  There are categories in poetry, editorials and editorial cartoons.  In art class, we study editorial cartoons.  We analyze cartoons for their use of exaggeration, symbolism, irony and point of view.  Cartoons for the Classroom has an amazing selection of lesson plans for studying editorial cartoons.  There are over 200 printable cartoons with questions and explanations about them.  We also watch this video The Language of Editorial Cartoons, which is really great.  I doubt you'd want to pay $99 on amazon though.  Our school had it when I started.  Maybe you could find that video or a similar one somewhere else.

I also make sure to be very careful when teaching about editorial cartoons that I find cartoons that show opinions from both political parties.  Wisconsin is a very politically divided state right now and we are careful to not make anyone feel bad about their families' political beliefs. 

After analyzing cartoons, the students drew their own editorial cartoons.  They chose a political, social, local or personal issue important to them.  We used the provided templates to draw the cartoons.  You can see them on the right hand side of the contest page here.   They are listed under "entry forms".

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Name Designs-- Inspired by Islamic Art-- 5th/6th grade

In this project, we studied the repeating patterns found in Islamic art.  These students have studied about Islam in their Social Studies class.  This project also ties into geometry and math.  I have been doing this project for a few years now, and the results have always been stunning!  I originally found this lesson in an old School Arts magazine from the 90's.  Last year, I posted a tutorial with steps to achieve the designs.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Alaskan Masks-- 2nd Grade

The 2nd graders have been learning about the characteristics and functions of Alaskan masks as well as the cultural traditions of Native Alaskans.  They made a 3-D mask using typical characteristics--- animal or human features, fur, feathers, appendages, hoops around the mask.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blog Spotlight

There are almost 200 blogs in the Art Teacher Blog Directory.  Have you added yours?  I was going to highlight some of the newer entries and then  Mrs. Hahn posted some spotlights highlighting the blogs that are on the Art of Ed list, which reminded me that I was going to post about some of the newer entries in this blog directory.  So, anyways...  one of the newer blogs that I discovered is Ms. Branigan's website.  She has some interesting posts, including some fun slide shows.  I always like that kind of interactive format on a blog.  I also use slideshow presentations in class and it's nice to see how other teachers introduce their lessons.

A few quick facts:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Beautiful Oops

If you haven't seen Beautiful Oops yet, you must find a copy and look at it.. It's my favorite book ever!

The first graders looked at this book in class and then they were presented with a creative challenge.  Each child chose a piece of colored paper with a hole in it.  Holes of various sizes were pre-cut into papers of various colors.  They had to figure out how to turn this "oops" piece of paper into a work of art.  The process was the exciting part as the kids folded paper to make pop-outs, placed cellophane behind the hole and colored around the hole.  Flaps, shapes and even black dot stickers were added to make a creative picture.  I would love to see how other teachers would teach a similar project.  Let me know if you decide to use this book for a project.

Start with paper with holes cut out.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Top Art Ed blogs

I'm a finalist for one of the top Art Education blogs on Jessica's website.  If you've enjoyed reading my blog, take a second and vote for me!   Also, be sure to check out all of the other blogs, as every single one of them are ones that I regularly read.  If you want to see some quality art teacher blogs... take a look at this list:

A free guided drawing book

Check out this really cool FREE downloadable guided drawing book from Fairy Dust Teaching. Click on over to her website to get the lovely book.  I'm going to print this out and have it in my drawing book section for kids to use in their free time. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Free Workshop from Strathmore

This is a repost from my personal blog!

I've been having lots of fun with Traci Bautista's online workshop at Strathmore.  Strathmore has a series of FREE online workshops with videos and pdfs.  If you haven't heard about it, you should check it out!  The first session was about spraying with stencils, overpainting the stenciled images and adding details with markers.  Here are some of the pictures I am working on.  These still need marker doodles on top, although they are quite busy as they are!

Kindergarten Clay

The kindergartners made two clay projects before break.  They made little pinch pots and pressed shells on the sides for texture.  We glazed these with Stroke and Coat glaze.

We also made these fun coiled hearts.
1.  Demonstrate how to roll coils with your fingers.
2.  Pass out a handout with a heart drawn on it (I just free hand drew a heart and photocopied it.)
3.  Place the coil on the outside edge of the heart and wrap it around.  Then roll another coil and place it on the inside of that one.  Keep going until the whole heart is filled in.  Smoosh the coils together a bit so they are secure.
4.  Poke a hole with a pencil.
5.  After they are glazed and fired, tie yarn or ribbon through the hole for a fun wall hanging or ornament.


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