Sunday, December 18, 2011

A couple of favorites and Monsters

I just wanted to take a moment to sing the praises of two items I love to use in my classroom. Maxwell House and Folgers giant plastic coffee containers are amazing water cups! Some do have handles which make for easy carrying and the sturdiness of each makes spills much less frequent. Also, they can hold a lot of water so I find myself pouring and refilling cups a little less often during the day. 

Secondly, after Easter I found this plastic egg dying tray. This is by far the coolest paint container I've found. Excellent for keeping colors separate, quantity control, and extra space for mixing. I recommend looking after the holidays for this tray. I think I got them for 98 cents each!

This idea I found on pinterest. On pinterest kleenex boxes were the base, but we used Greenies Dog Treat boxes someone donated to my classroom. I cut a rectangular opening for the mouth, then students covered the box with wallpaper to create a fun print. The eyes are discarded cardstock and teeth are from a cut up card windshield visor. This is an entirely recycled project. I did this project with my 4th grade advanced students due to the limited number of boxes. I'm starting to collect kleenex boxes now so hopefully I could do this with an entire grade level in the spring. My students loved these!

If you look closely on the monsters, the lid for the boxes is on the bottom. We did that on purpose so that it could be used for a secret storage box. Notes, toys, etc can be put in the mouth then empty things out by pulling off the lid.

Two more student days until we are out for the holidays. Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Busy with Winter Works

Busy week in the schools. Trying to hang lots of winter artwork, much will stay up til the middle of January. I have a few examples of finished reindeer. They turned out quite nicely I must say! Students painted the snow on the ground with a sponge brush (tapping only, no rubbing) and the snowflakes using the eraser end of a pencil.

2nd Grade Reindeer. Completed in two weeks.

My 1st graders completed their penguins. They are so cute! I love them. I got this idea from the Georgetown Elementary Art Blog online. This project took two forty/thirty minute classes.
First week students created a crayon rubbing of different textures with white crayon on white paper. Then students painted over it with a watercolor wash.
The second week we constructed the penguins using ovals and squares. We used black, white, and orange construction paper. Penguins were then glued to the texture paper (I referred to it as ice).

Unfortunately the pictures don't do justice to the texture rubbings on the background, but they are most definitely there.

The expression of this penguin is my favorite!

I have two more teaching weeks with my Prek - 2nd graders so I've planned a lesson I'm calling Patterned Hot Cocoa Cups.
Teacher example

Students will fold a 9 x 12" white drawing paper into half (hamburger style), then a second time (hamburger style) to create a gride with four sections. Students then trace fold lines with a pencil. Students then trace a cocoa cup shape in each section, draw a unique pattern for each cup, then trace everything with a permanent marker.
I want students to start coloring part of their patterns and the table surface with crayon, then the following week we will paint the reminder of the picture with cake tempera (or watercolor would work fine too)
Also going to try a version of this with my fifth graders, however they will be designing the shape of their cups on their own and given specific color schemes to follow.

10 more teaching days til holiday break! :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Complementary Poinsettias

Every year I create a special project with my fifth graders that make an excellent gift for any grown-up in their life. Who doesn't love a painting of poinsettias? :)  I found the idea for this project several years ago from Arts and Activities. Its pretty straight forward and has a very high success rate.

I first set up the tables with a tray (I re-use a styrofoam one each year) that has at least two wide sections for red and yellow paint. Another small seperate tray with green paint (I use plastic lids from those giant plastic coffee containers). I also put out a fake poinsettia for reference. Our painting tools are unsharpened pencils and sponges cut into "petal" shapes.

We start off discussing the parts of a poinsettia, then I get into red and green being complementary colors. Students begin by choosing three separate locations on their paper where they would like to create their flowers. They use the eraser end of the pencils to stamp a 'cluster' of yellow dots on their chosen locations.  Then they stamp the sponges into red paint and press around each yellow cluster to create the red "bracts" of their poinsettias. I love for them to keep white spots because it looks like "freshly fallen snow has landed on their flowers."

Lastly, we paint the negative space or background with the complementary color for red.. green!  My students can finish this in one 40 minute class, however, this can be drawn into two sessions depending on how you present your information.

Each one is special and I'm eager to hang several around the school until I send them home for the holidays.

Red, yellow, and green tempera
Paint brushes
Unsharpened pencils (or q-tips work too)
Sponges cut into petal shapes
9 x 12" or larger paper