Oil Pastels, Music, and iPads make for a very fun art project!

1st grade students were learning about the difference between geometric and organic shapes. We discussed where on a lion's face could we use both types of shapes then student began to draw their lions with oil pastels.

We even enjoyed listening to Katy Perry's "Roar" while we worked. That made it even better!

When our lions were finished we were not quite done. We talked about what would make us roar. Would we roar when we were feeing happy, sad, mad, silly?

Using the iPad app Morfo students were able to bring their lions to life.
Students in Mrs. Vaughn's and Mrs. Larvenz class just finished working on these beautiful works of art!

This project was jam-packed with lots of learning and exploring. 
We had been learning the difference between vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines and this project was a great end to that lesson. We looked at pictures of Birch trees and discussed the lines we saw in the trees. We also talked about how the bark of these trees were different than other brown trees and how they contrasted against the leaf colors. We also picked out where the trees overlapped and some students created overlapping in their own works. 

Students drew out their own trees and colored them in with oil pastel. We talked a little about using Primary colors to paint the background of our tree. Because we used oil pastels we were able to paint right over the trees and they would still show up great. This method is called a resist painting. The oil in the pastels "resist" the paint from sticking to it so it only covers the area without pastel. 

Students had fun mixing the three Primary colors to create colorful backgrounds!

Kindergarten students are learning about Primary Colors. Primary Colors are red, yellow, and blue. They are very special colors because they can mix to make new colors but - you can't make a Primary color. 

We are using our Primary colors in a few different projects but we really got our hands messy with this one! Handshake Color Mixing.

We talked about why you would shake hands with someone and we practiced that. "Hello. Nice to meet you!" "Hi! My name is....."   Then each pair of students selected a primary color and I painted it on their hands. They then shook hands again. This time the paint mixed together on their hands and created a Secondary color! We printed our hands onto a white paper before cleaning up our creatively, messy hands!

Students in Mr. Veto's class are finishing up on a fun project. They were introduced to the abstract portraits of Pablo Picasso and are doing a collage inspired them. They are creating portraits based on the question - What if Picasso made witches?

Student chose two colors of paper after we talked about colors on the color wheel that would contrast each other or would blend together. 
We also talked about a profile view compared to the front view of a face. I demonstrated how to combine the two into a Picasso-like face. They had fun creating these witches. They were able to use lots of creative choices as they worked on them. 
I hope to get them up on our Artsonia Gallery soon!

PictureDigital art created by a student using iPad
Students in Mrs. Larvenz and Mrs. Vaugh's classes are finishing up on a fun Fall painting project. 

By the end of Second Grade I want my students to be able to describe and draw directional lines.  I want them to be able to tell you which way a horizontal, vertical, and diagonal or oblique lines goes. I also want them to be able to use these different lines in an artwork. This year we practiced using these lines in a pumpkin painting. Students had fun mixing colors and adding different lines on and around their painting.

After the paintings were finished students began to create an abstract digital artwork from their painting using the Percolator app on the iPad. Many students have to wait until next class to get their turn using one of our 6 iPads. I'm pleased to see students teaching other students to use this app. They had customizing their abstract pumpkins. We will upload these to our Artsonia gallery along with the paintings soon.

PictureMrs. G's Example
This year's theme in the art room is "Animals in Art". I try to have a new theme each year to guide some of our lessons. The first main project we started with 4th and 5th grade students, as well as my 3/4 split class, is an animal painting with zentangle-like designs. 

We spent an art time drawing out an animal of their choice. My goal this year is to give students as much creative choice as possible within the confines of what I want them to learn or be able to do by the end of each project. So the choice of animal was extended to include imaginary, combined, or "creatures" of any kind they wished to create. We ended up having some very creative drawings - I love it!

Once their drawing was done, I went over a few different watercolor painting techniques. We went over wet into dry, wet into wet, and adding salt to obtain different results. 

When the paintings were dry we discussed line quality and I showed some examples of zentangles. I showed the students some parts of YouTube videos by the artist Milliande that I have on my video page. I also showed them my finished giraffe. I had a blast making it and wanted to let them know that. 

Students are still working on their animals but here are some sneak peeks of them in progress -

Kindergarten students are being introduced to lines in Art. We began drawing different lines and then picked out lines that were used in drawings. In the pictures below students practice making lines by folding, bending, and rolling paper strips. They created paper sculptures that showed different lines. Our next project will in Kindergarten will be creating monoprints with a variety of lines.
I was in Texas at the National Art Education Association Convention! 
That's a great big event where about 5000 art teachers attend workshops and presentations to help them continuously improve themselves and their teaching. Teachers and leaders in the Art Education field share ideas, lessons, art materials, and most importantly - their creative passion to teach the love of Art to all their students. I attended many sessions where I learned some new things, was reminded of things I've forgotten, and was generally inspired.

One of the best parts of going to this National Conference was the chance to meet in person people who help me be a better teacher every day. These people are members of my PLN. A PLN is a Professional Learning Network. We call our PLN the #Arted PLN. The hashtag (#) is a symbol that is placed before a word on Twitter that allows people to find others talking about that word. Twitter is the main place my PLN communicates with each other, but not the only place. We also connect on Facebook, Google +, and websites like ArtEd.2.0.ning.com. In all these places we help each other with lesson ideas, questions, teaching strategies, and technology. We collaborate on projects. We share cool things we come across, and best of all brag about what awesome things are students are doing. The power of a PLN is great. Together we make a Super impact on our students. The goofy picture above is part of my #Arted PLN posing like our Lego selves. You see...along with being art teachers...we are creative artists who like to have fun with Art. One teacher in our group spent part of her snow day making us out of Legos. So when we all got together we had a chance to recreate that in real life. Silly huh?  The shirts we are wearing are another way we showed our silly creative sides. We believe that all teachers are Super Heros - so we have Super shirts with our Twitter names on them.

If I've looked a bit tired this week, it's because I was very busy at this conference. Every day from 8 in the morning until 6 at night there were workshops and presentations to go to. I was rushing from one to another so I wouldn't miss out on any great ideas. I enjoyed almost all of the sessions I went to. A couple made me want to take a little nap. After those I would try and take in some of the warm Texas weather to wake myself up a bit so I could head to the next session. I'm a life-long learner and am always looking for new ideas and better ways of teaching my students or making my own artwork better. I will share a bit about some of the things I learned in another post.
The Coolest part was getting to present a session with another teacher on using iPads in the Art Room. I loved sharing the some of the creative ways we have used our iPads. 
Here's a sneak peek at the presentation Mrs. Fuglestad and I did on Saturday. I will blog more about what I shared in this presentation in another post.

Another Awesome thing about this Conference is the Vendor Exhibit Hall. This is a huge room with all kinds of Art supplies, videos, books, lesson ideas, and artwork being displayed for everyone to see. The companies that we get our supplies from are there to show us new and old things, to let us see things up close, to talk about their products, to let us try the art materials out, and best of all - To Give Us Samples!!! The picture on the right shows all the goodies I came home with. Not all free, but most! There is a couple things in there that I purchased to try out or to support a good cause.

Of course we're on task - it's clay!!!

5th Grade students learned the coil method of clay hand building. They just finished constructing some very awesome coil vases. 

Now we wait for the coil pots to dry out completely so that I can fire them. Then we get to have more fun applying glaze to them!
1st grade students just finished up on three different penguin projects in the Art Room. We first learned about geometric and organic (freeform) shapes and then used those shapes to draw penguins. The art medium we used for our penguin drawings was oil pastels. Students seemed to enjoy these soft crayon-like drawing tools.

When our oil pastel penguins were finished the students were able to take these works of art to a new level using our iPads. I showed the students how to use the Percolator app. I helped them take a photo of their penguin and then they were able to change many settings in the app to transform their penguin picture into a new digital creation. They had fun seeing the different ways it could look. When they had it just the way they wanted, I showed them how to email the image to me so that I could save it and put it in their Artsonia gallery. Many students were able to help the next student by teaching them how to use the app and email the image.

Percolated Penguin by Abby
We moved on to 3D penguins when we created the little guys in clay. We talked a little bit about the difference between 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional art -we'll learn more about that next year.
We made our clay penguins by putting them on our thumbs. The students thought that was funny. This was an easy way for us to create a form that was hollow inside so it would dry out faster. 

The picture below shows all the Roosevelt Penguins waiting in line to have their photo taken for Artsonia.