Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August: TpT Must Follows

This is one of my favorite new practices on this blog.  Once a month I'm celebrating the resources on Teacher Pay Teachers.  Today I'm really excited to share two bloggers that I admire so much and have followed and celebrated for years now. 

First, let me share Art is Basic. Marcia Beckett is the author of the blog, Art is Basic.  We have collaborated on a couple of projects in the past but I follow her blog to learn, learn, and learn how to teach!

I recently bought this Abstract Art Book for my littles.  I'm excited to add it to my lessons for this year.  Thanks Marcia!  

The other blogger I'm celebrating in this post is Hope Knight.  She just shared that she is in her 25th year of teaching... but I don't believe it.  Don't get me wrong, she is an amazing teacher who could only have gotten that way with ample experience. She just looks so darn young :) Hope is the author of Mrs. Knights Smartist Artist.  Again, Mrs. Knight shares so much to the art world.  I admire her! 

I was very excited to see this recent share on Mrs. Knights Smartest Artist TpT store. Our school is becoming a Seesaw school this year for kindergarten through second grade.  This is going to be perfect!! Thanks for saving me time Hope! 

The Seesaw is not the only purchase I have made from Mrs. Knight.  I also bought a "Make it! Planning and Reflection Sheet". Yes, Yes, Yes!! This is amazing. I can't wait to help my students think deeper using this printout. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Art To Remember, Sea Turtle

These turtles were a hit last year! I did this with my 2nd and 3rd-grade students for their Art To Remember project.  The way I broke it down (demonstrated in this video) allows every student to be successful.  For the lesson plan, click here.

Drawing the design on the back of the shell is much easier than it looks.  Draw a triangle up, and then down, and then connect them. Now from each corner of the hexagon, draw a line out to the edge of the shell.  So easy for students to follow along. 

I gave suggestions of how to color the shell but allowed students to color how they would like as well.  They came up with some great ideas! 

I created a finishing station for my students with liquid watercolor. This worked really well.  After they were completed with this step, they brought it to me and I placed the sticker with their name on the back.  This way, kids could tell me 'what way was up' (if the image was horizontal or vertical).  It depends, where you place the sticker on the back as to where the direction for the print. 

There you have it!  Another 'kid tested, parents approved' project.  This was a hit for sure.  I had students creating these lovely turtles for the rest of the year.  I saw them everywhere in the school.  That is when you know you found a great way to teach your students, when the project is recreated over and over. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bit-O-Bio, Faith Ringgold

I fell in love with Faith Ringgold when the Art of Education had her speak at a conference.  She is a treasure.  Such an amazing storyteller, illustrator, artist.  She made great gains in women equality and speaks to her African American history in her art and word.  Of course, you would want to highlight her in an art class.  That is why she is my latest Bit-O-Bio.

This video talks about her childhood, her inspiration from her Mom, and her efforts for women's rights. Amazing lady for sure. The images that are created in this video include a picture of Ringgold as a child.  She always was an artist.  Also, the many children's books that she wrote and illustrated and finally an image inspired by her book Tar Beach. 

As with all the Bit-O-Bio's, there are questions and answers in response to the video.  This will allow teachers to review the information shared in the short Bit-O-Bio.  Teachers can share the books, artworks and images created by Faith Ringgold to make this lesson stronger. 

Click here to view Faith Ringgold's Bit-O-Bio

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Digital Station- Crochet Chain

I have another self-paced lesson to share with you.  I learned how to crochet a chain when my three-year-old daughter taught me several years ago.  Yep, my kids went to a Montessori pre-school and one of the many skills that they learn there was how to crochet.  I have necklace after necklace of crochet chains. 

I still bring crochet hooks along on long trips.  I recently brought a couple along while camping with family.  It was a hit and a lot of fun to do around the campfire. 

Crocheting a chain is a gateway to bigger and better crochet projects. My kids at home and students at school love it.  I hope that it will fit well in your classroom too.  Check it out, the lesson has a QR code and URL to bring students to a video.  This VERY short video gives students an explanation of how to make a chain.  Students can pause and replay this lesson to help better understand the mechanics. 

Click here for the TpT Crochet Chain Lesson


Monday, August 15, 2016

Art to Remember- Donut Painting

I did this lesson with a couple of groups this summer and I'm so excited to share it with you today.  I plan to do this Donut Painting with my 5th grade this year for my Art to Remember project.  I know they are going to love it.  To see the complete lesson plan please click here

For my Art to Remember lesson I plan to use watercolors for the background but in many of the examples that I will show you in this post, I used acrylic paints for the background. Either will work but I think the watercolors going to be more successful for the fundraiser because it's a weaker medium and it will allow the donuts to show up better. For the first step, paint the background and allow time to dry.  

Once the background is dry, it's time to add the donuts.  I cut down a swimming noodle to create a circle stamp.  I think you could use other things such as a sponge or simply drawing a circle and painting the donut with a brush. On the A2R paper size, I suggest about 5 to 7 donuts to fill the page.  It's nice if some of the donuts 'fall off the page'. 

Again, I let the donuts dry before adding the icing and shadow onto the donuts.  Use the image above or the steps on the lesson plan to break this down for your students. 
Decorating the donuts seemed to be the best part of this lesson.  Students loved that they were able to mix paints to create the different frostings. Whenever possible, leaving a little dry time between the frosting and 'extras' like drizzles and sprinkles will be beneficial.

A tip that I used in some of my classes was to allow students to create a small second work of art that they could practice on while they were allowing the A2R piece to dry.  It was helpful to have two projects going on at once. 

Take a look at the following images with your students when talking about this lesson.  Discuss what was successful in each work of art! 

I really learned that this lesson can be done with students of all ability levels... with different results. In the examples that I show, it represents students from 4 years old to 12. I think the different skill levels gives a unique feel to each of the images.