At the beginning of every year students create self portraits in the art studio.  This year they created collage self portraits.  Younger grades were given oil pastels to add facial features.  Older grades were encouraged to add 3 dimensional elements.  They did an amazing job.  These are all on display the whole year above their classroom door. 

Today was Creativity Day!  The art show was open for families in the gym and a whole bunch of art projects were happening in the cafeteria (which I’ll blog about later this week). For the 2nd year in a row we raffled off artwork created by each class at our school. Our music teacher donated guitars that he was replacing and students custom painted them (I did touch ups and polyurethaned them). Students took turns during art class adding to the designs. 4th-2nd grade created abstract pieces, though 3rd and 4th focused on symmetry.  1st grade focused on lines and Kinder created fish drawings that I decoupaged on because they have been studying aquatic life.  From top to bottom 4th, 3rd, 2nd, 1st, Kinder.

Clay relief letters. Clay is such an engaging material to work with.  I want to make sure every grade gets an experience with clay even our kindergarteners.  However clay can be hard to manipulate for such tiny hands and many people opt to use alternative modeling clays like model magic. I use to do this to, but I began to feel that my kindergarteners were missing out.  So I created this lesson full of small manageable steps (INCLUDING SCORING AND SLIPPING CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!). 

Day1: Experimenting

We learn how to mold and manipulate clay through guided instruction. We learn to roll spheres and cylinders.  We learn to pinch, poke, pull apart and flatten our clay. Then students have the rest of the time to experiment independently.

Day 2: Making an ABC Plaque

Every single step is a separate demonstration, so the kindergarteners are doing a lot of back and forth to the demo table. First students flatten the clay with their hands and rolling pins.  Then I trace a square or rectangle onto their clay.  They next use a pizza cutter to follow the line and cut out their shape.  Next the kids write their letter into the clay gently but big.  After they roll out a long snake. Then we score and slip the snake and the letter we wrote in the clay (they do this pretty well, but I do go around and make sure they are scratching perpendicular to the letter and not just dig into the letter). Last they take their snakes and make attach them atop their scored letters.