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Friday, September 25, 2015

Textured Sketchbooks for 3rd & 4th grade

 I took a Summer institute class with Becky Friese for my visual art professional development and she had us make sketchbooks from card stock and chip board. She really encouraged us to try incorporate sketchbooks in our art rooms as a tool for student thinking, practice, and assessment. I thought to myself, "What a good idea! How can I make it work for me with recycled materials!?" Coincidentally, my absolute favorite art ed blogger Cassie Stephens posted about making sketchbooks with recycled file folders! How brilliant! She includes a tutorial video and provides examples of how her kids use their sketchbooks. I used most of her ideas but I didn't include the baseball card sleeve for "Artist Trading Cards" . I love the idea of these cards but want to learn more about how it works. Once I understand it better I'm thinking about adding in those sticky library book envelopes in the back cover later this year so we can try it out.

On the first day creating our sketch books I talked with the kids about how we could use paint to create textures. I demonstrated brush techniques as well as using texture combs (made from recycled plastic lids). We were experimenting with laying thick layers of paint on our folders (Shout out to Laura Roberts, secretary to Mike Sandner, Art Ed request, she sent me a big box of recycled file folders form the central office!). The students were asked to create a variety of textures using the brush and combs in a limited color paint palette. Once they dried, I added 20 sheets of sketch paper and stapled them.

 I really like how you can visually excavate the layers of color to reveal new colors. They remind me of the Abstract Expressionist movement in art history.

The second day we added the taped spine and name tags. I had given them the sketching prompt to fill their first page with zentangle patterns inside different size dots.  This was a response to reading the book "The Dot". I called them up one by one to check their sketches and add the finishing touches.

Here are some examples of 3rd & 4th grade completed sketchbooks.

I bought some roll-y bins from IKEA to store them in my room, one for each grade level with labeled dividers to keep the classes organized. 

I admit I was a little overwhelmed at the idea of sketchbooks at first but now that we did it, I realize how useful they are for the kids! So far we used them to brainstorm, take notes on my demonstrations, and practice new drawing skills! I plan to use this an assessment tool when it comes to grading too.

I look forward to seeing how they develop over the year! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

First blog post!

Hello virtual world!

I can't tell you how excited I am to start this blog. When I started teaching K-5 visual art last year I would surf around the web and read amazing art ed blogs and think to myself, "I could never do that!" These sites would look so polished, the projects looked so wonderful, the teacher bloggers would sound so experienced! Here I was trolling the web trying to piece together a curriculum from scratch a month before school was starting!

One year later I'm happy to say that I am on that blogging train! I intend to use this blog as a way to share my classes' projects, reflect on my teaching practice, and connect to other teachers, parents, and art enthusiasts!

So for my first project I'll share an artwork from a 1st grader named Kyah. We read an Aesop's Fable, "The Bear and Bees" illustrated by Charles Santore.

I used the book Drawing with Children by Mona Brookes and her "Monart" method to guide the students in their drawings of the bear. I really like how she teaches you to break down shape to the 5 basic elements. This is easy for a 1st grader to digest. 

I had the kids draw in pencil first, outline in sharpie fine tip markers, erase their pencil lines, and color their art with water color crayons. I demonstrated the use of the crayons for them. It blew their minds when they saw how the dry "crayon" turned to paint! They kept saying, " It looks so realistic!!"

Here is Kyah's version of the bear and the bee. I like how she gave the bear's claws purple nail polish! Those bees look aggressive in their movement! She isn't quite finished with brushing the water over the colors yet, but you can see she is doing a nice job filling in the appropriate shapes with her intended color.

Ok...I'm going to sign off for now! Thanks!