Washington State Visual Art Standards

Saturday, September 24, 2016

School wide Self Portraits



During our first staff in-service day back in August, our entire staff wrote on a large poster what they hoped for the North Star students. This poster is hung just outside the library which is central in our school. One of our 3rd grade teachers, who is pursuing her principal credential, guided the staff through this process and asked each teacher to have their students answer the same questions for themselves.


I decided to build off of this idea and have each student create a self portrait in a monochromatic color to go along with the staff/student posters. Next week, all the portraits will be finished and me and a team of parent volunteers will assemble and display them. I'll be sure to share photos once it is up.

Here are the flipped lessons I shared with my students to teach them about portraiture and monochromatic color.


Kinder Line Sculptures inspired by Candace Whitman's "Lines that Wiggle"



When I meet my kinder students each year I love to introduce them to the art room by exploring the element of Line. It is an element they use as they learn to write letters and numbers. I also want to assess their motor skills. This paper sculpture lesson challenges them to create different types of lines by bending and folding paper while arranging them on a paper base.



I begin the lesson by reading the book "Lines that Wiggle", by Candace Whitman. This book as fantastic illustrations and wonderful rhymes about a variety of lines. Next, I ask the students to look around the room for examples of different lines. This allows me to assess whether they can identify and name lines.

When they've identified straight, curved, angle, and spiral lines I demonstrate how to change a flat paper strip into different types of lines. I show them how to apply glue and attach these strips to a base to create a sculpture. We talk about what a sculpture is and how it is different than a drawing.  They are given lots of strips and paper base and off they go.


Each students' sculpture is unique. I really love when they tell me what each strip represents. For example, a student will point to a looped strip and tell me that it is a car and a curved strip is a bridge. Their powerful imaginations make this project really fun for both them and me.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to School Art Games

New room set up for the 2016-2017 school year
We have just wrapped up our 1st full week back at school and I couldn't be more proud of my art students. This is my third year teaching my kids and they have all grown so much in their art education. I was amazed how much they had remembered from past lessons and even more impressed how willing they were to take risks. I wanted our first art classes to be fun and exciting yet also cover the important art room expectations.

Before school began I was researching new ideas to kick off the year and I read an article form the Art of Education site about classroom management. The author, Melissa Purtee, shared a game called "What's in the bag?" I loved how this game is designed to teach classroom behaviors such as teamwork, creative problem solving, and being on task. I adapted it for my teaching setting by requiring each class to disassemble their work at the end of class. This adaption, which was at first a means to have enough supplies for the 480+ kids I teach, but then became a valuable lesson in letting things go. It was really hard for some kids to take their work apart but allowed them to practice coping with this type of process.

5th grade artists creating a super hero costume prompted in the "What's in the Bag" game

Create a playground prompt by 2nd grade artists

Make a monster that can move prompt by 4th grade artists

Become a Rock band prompt, check out that xylophone!

Another game I played was a drawing game I read from Mona Brooks book called, "Drawing with Children". I read commands centered on the 5 basic elements of shape and my students responded by painting the command. I gave them 4 neon color paints, which they loved, to play the game. The results were beautiful. Even though they all had the same commands, each work was authentic in the response. It was a great game in reviewing drawing techniques and practice classroom expectations.


3rd grade work

4th grade work

I love how they look placed together.



I would say these games were successful in achieving my goals of teaching classroom expectations and creating an engaged, lively, and safe space.

Thanks for stopping by!