Kindergarten body portraits are one of my favorite projects of the year. They are so fun!
It’s been a while since I posted work coming out of the self-directed classes with 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Only one of these pieces was based on a demonstration I presented as an option (Found object face, 7th from the top). Sometimes I worry that the quality of work or themes explored might suffer in a self-directed setting, that students won’t challenge themselves or think as creatively without more teacher direction. After searching through work for this post I feel reassured that this is not the case. Cause check out this awesome stuff! More to come soon around how I assess a self directed art class.
First graders just completed one of my all time favorite projects: Eric Carle Collages. First students create patterned tissue paper with tempera paint. We use a variety of brushes and stamps. Then we use the patterned paper to create animals, plants, or bugs. This year we have a dragon in the mix, a butterfly drinking nectar, and a pregnant cat (at the bottom). AMAZING!
Kindergarten line paintings.
Kindergarteners do an aquatic study in science at our school. They have an aquarium in their classroom, they visit the local aquarium, they learn about different bodies of water, and a variety of aquatic animals. In art we practiced drawing a variety of ocean animals from reference photos while working on an ocean mural. We used watercolors for the sand and water (adding salt to create texture). Then we used tempera to paint seaweed and stamp coral. Last each Kinder group chose an ocean animal and we used printmaking foam to create stamps.
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.
2nd grade has begun choice based art making a few weeks back. So far they have the drawing, painting, and collage centers open. 2nd grade is so full of ideas they want to create imagery of.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I would be showing how I organize choice centers around the art room.
From top to bottom:clay,painting, drawing, fiber, sculpture (both smaller pics), and last is collage.
Choice art is now in full effect with 4th, 3rd, and 2nd graders. Every class I teach is even more exciting than before when I led the project. I still demo a lesson, but when I move about the room asking kids about their work it’s a unique conversation every time because they are all working on something different. Before I would walk up and ask what are working on? And of course I already knew. They were working on the project I told them to work on. Don’t get me wrong there is still a time and place for a more guided project. For example 4th graders are doing marbling this week. 2nd graders will be creating some transportation printmaking projects later in the year. But man the diverse work the kids are creating is astounding!
Third and 4th graders art studio time is looking different these days. We are moving towards a choice based curriculum (following the Teaching for Artist Behavior TAB philosophy for all of you teachery people). Students are now developing their own subject matter and deciding what materials they want to work with. This much independence means that students need to be able to get materials all on their own (and clean up). All of the art materials in the room have been organized into centers. So far we have a clay, fiber, drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture. Each center has a menu. Students use the menus to remember procedures for gathering and cleaning up supplies. They also use them for help with techniques and subject matter. In upcoming weeks I’ll post about how each center is organized. There has been a lot of trial and error with the setup, but now the room is working pretty smoothly.