Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Graphic Design Names

I recently received an email about a photo I had taken of my classroom and one of the projects I had hanging on the board...this is THAT project! I am currently working on this with my third graders (they haven't finished yet) but I'll be glad to show the process and late some of the fantastic results!


6x18 sheets of white paper


Black Oil Pastel

Watercolor paints

The first thing I do is have them write their names (in pencil) so they touch the top and bottom of the page. They write names in all CAPITAL letters.

Next, they use crayons to fill in the "spaces" in between the letters of their name (and the spaces formed by the letters OF their name). Each space is to have a different design and a different color. No representational shapes or recognizable pictures are allowed.

Leave the oil pastel for last (TRUST ME on this!!!) I have them use oil pastel to trace their names with a thick line, trying their best not to rub and smudge the oil pastel as they work. This is an art form in itself! I'm sure you could also use black crayon or Sharpie as well.

This is a great project to start the year off because it:

1. Teaches you everyone's names (if you don't know them!)

2. Focuses on filling negative space

3. Isn't intimidating (I mean, everyone can write their name and doodle).

4. Is colorful and personally meaningful to each child.

5. Is a great lesson on line and non-representational art.

Next week my students will be finishing their work, check back to see their wonderful finished products!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"assigning" seats

I'm not big on assigning seats in my class....(there, I said it and admitting it is the hardest part, isn't it?!) I do, however, like structure and personal space. I also like to somewhat control where the kids are sitting without being the Seat-Assigning-Police.
During the first week of school I like to greet each of my 36 classes outside my classroom door with these laminated pieces of construction paper. The students each get a piece of paper and match it to a coordinating sheet on the tables in my room. This is totally random and the kids love it!

The kids don't look at it like it's "assigning" seats, although this is their spot for the entire year. I'm sure I could do it every quarter just to mix things up, but it's been working fine, so I'll just leave it as is! This way, I don't look like the bad guy by placing them in boy/girl order or with someone they don't get along's all just LUCK!

Do you assign seats in Art? Do you switch it up mid-year? Hope you all are having a great first few days of school (if you've already started!)

Friday, August 17, 2012

ready for monday!

Well, my classroom is ready for kiddos on Monday! I always like to see the spaces that everyone works in, so I decided to show you mine, too! (I also wanted to take some pictures of my room while it's clean, because this is the BEST it is going to look all year!...and there are still a few piles of stuff in places! ha!)

I love that I am able to set up my tables like this. I have 9 tables in a "U" shape. I love it because no one ever has their back to me, and there is plenty of space in the middle for me to bring my Kindergartners together for reading or demos.
I have lots of cabinets, and they're all JAMMED full! I also have my handy-dandy shrink wrap machine for Art Shows. I love that thing!
The front of my room, and my ActivBoard. I use the Activ Board a lot with my document camera to demo projects.
My supply table. The kids have access to anything on this table (usually it is a gigantic mess, but I don't mind!)
This is my shelving system to keep track of artwork by class. I have 40 classes that I see weekly, and each class has a shelf to house artwork that needs to stay here.
I am so IN LOVE with my new Erin Condren lesson plan book! I love that I could upload a picture to look at all year (it's my son) on the cover! Also, my iPad is loaded with inspirational music to work to this year!
This is my free-time station. I have tons of drawing books, free paper, tangrams, tessellation puzzles, etc. The kids love the drawing books when there is extra time! Above is my weekly schedule. The blank spaces are just because our laminator broke and I wasn't able to laminate the new teachers' cards!
The view from the door. We're ready to go on Monday! Make it a wonderful year!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

drawing development in children

My son, Reece, and one of his first "drawings"'s his little brother and himself playing ball...see?!

This time of year I always have these grandiose plans of inspiring projects flying out of my classroom and non-frustrated, happy-go-lucky children frolicking about the Art room happy with their creations.

In reality, we know that some of our students just...can't. Or maybe just...won't is a better choice of words. When I'm dreaming up new lesson plans (especially at this time of the year) I like to refer to this chart about the developmental stages of drawing. Let's be honest, sometimes we just expect too much from these little guys! I also like to use it to see if there is a student that is ahead or behind the norm...and what I can focus on to get them caught up. I've also blogged about my adventures with my little guy this summer and his artistic endeavors over at PreK and K Sharing, so hop on over and check it out!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

welcome back!

It's been a wonderful summer with my fact, I'd go ahead and deem it the "best summer EVER". We pool-hopped and park-hopped and flipped and flopped in our own inflatable pools at home! I've got a great tan and wonderful memories and photos...but alas it's time to get back to the grind!

I've pretty much been off the "grid" all summer, but I just wanted to blog a GREAT BIG "welcome back" to all of the blogosphere and wish you a wonderful first few weeks back! I'll be back to posting regularly shortly!

I'm knee-deep in supply orders and organizing and planning and meetings and gossip and purging and daydreaming and prepping that I won't even go into how my classroom is infested with carpenter ants and larvae under So disgusting! (And do you think my classroom is on the "priority list" right now? Heh, no!

I'm slowly but surely working through all this, but for now I'm getting stocked, stacked, and ready to go! What is your favorite part of planning week? Mine is opening up new boxes of crayons...brings back SO many wonderful memories of childhood!