Monday, November 28, 2011

Secondary Color Mice with Kindergarten

I found the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh to be very helpful for teaching kindergarten about secondary colors. After we read the book, I let the students mix tempera paint to see if we got the same colors as the mice in the story.

The students at each table took turns stirring the different colors to make orange, green, and purple. It got a little messy, but I think that all the kindergartners know how to mix their secondary colors now!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

6th Grade Food Drawings

I thought it would be fun to use food as a subject matter to teach my 6th grade students about space and receding lines. Each student had to use rulers to create their checkered tablecloth, but they were free to draw any food they wanted in perspective. Some of the students really struggled to draw their food in "3D", but after lots of help and practice drawing, most of the pictures turned out pretty nicely.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Educational Games

When introducing a new concept to the class, sometimes I like to use some sort of game. That helps the students retain the information better, gives them incentive to learn the material, as well as gives me immediate feedback as to whether or not they understood the concept.

I learned from a fellow teacher that our blackboards are magnetic (yay!) so I punched out paper circles with a die-cut, and painted some, and used colored paper or colored pencils for others. That way I got an array of different colors. I put magnetic strips on the back of all of them, and when I greeted my 2nd graders at my door this morning, I gave each one a colored dot.

Then, I introduced the concept of warm and cool colors to the class, and had them all put their colored dot on the left side of the board if it was a cool color, and on the right side of the board if it was a warm color. To my delight, everyone seemed to understand very well, so we started the project. 2nd grade is making desert pictures with the sun setting, so everything will be colored with warm colors. Once this is done, they will make a picture using just cool colors, but I haven't decided what yet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Secondary Colors with 1st Grade

1st grade has been learning about their secondary colors by mixing them with tempera paint. The first color that we made was orange, and the students painted orange pumpkins. The following week, we used colored pencils to decorate our pumpkins (vines, leaves, stems, etc.). Last week, the 1st graders learned that blue and yellow make green, and they each painted their own snake. This week, we are adding a pattern to the snakes with crayons.

Next week, we will make purple. If anyone has any good ideas of what we could paint in purple (the best I've thought of so far is grapes....), please post a comment!

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Proud Teacher Moment

The AEAI Convention this weekend was fantastic. I met lots of art teachers from around the state, gained many new ideas, and had a fabulous time. However, the most exciting moment for me was learning that one of my 3rd graders had won "Best of Show" in the elementary division of the student art show! My student was absolutely thrilled this morning when I told her, and my principal wants to take a picture of our student with her art to submit to the newspaper (small town papers are the best!). Here is her picture once again, showing up on my blog for the 3rd time:

Friday, November 4, 2011

An Easy Fix

Sometimes a student completely misses the mark on an art project. When that happens, I usually try to figure out if it is a learning disability, a behavior problem (willfully not following directions), or something else I can learn to deal with. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to know which students have disabilities or special needs that affect their success in my class, and have tried my best to help them overcome their obstacles. Today one of my kindergarten classes was completing a project on primary colors. I got this lesson plan from my cooperating teacher when I was student teaching last year. Each student was supposed to paint a gumball machine in primary colors:

A few students didn't quite follow the directions, and ended up with some secondary colors (i.e. green) in their gumball machines:

But one student completely missed the mark and turned in a painting that was completely black:

Since I had reviewed the directions and the primary colors over and over again for two weeks, I knew something was very wrong here. I decided to ask his teacher how he was doing in other subjects. She said, "He's doing great! He's very smart." That surprised me because he had completely messed up the subject and the requirements for color. I explained to her exactly what he had done in my class, and asked if she knew why that would have occurred.

She explained that this little boy is emotionally handicapped, and he is not comfortable with me yet. She said he always has a terrible day at school when there is a substitute teacher. However, the solution was easy: all I need to do is support him and encourage him frequently, talk to him a lot, and give him hugs. What an easy fix! Next week, I will make sure that he knows that I care about him and think he is doing an awesome job, and hopefully he will respond by doing well.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

AEAI Convention this weekend!

The Art Education Association of Indiana is having its annual convention this weekend in Indianapolis. Attending the convention costs $150, but I applied for a scholarship from the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette that covers the entire cost. I recently found out that I received the scholarship (yay!), and in exchange for the free ride, I will be giving the Art Museum a presentation on the conference in a few weeks. Each art teacher gets to select a few pieces of student art to bring for the gallery, and we will all be voting on the best ones. Here are the pictures I am bringing:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

4th grade Movement Pictures

4th grade recently studies the two Futurism paintings below. The subject matter in both pieces of artwork are depicted in an unusual way because of movement. The dog and his owner are both moving very fast, so it is hard to determine exactly where the dog's legs or tail are, or where the owner's boots are. It also appears that the dog has four chains! The cyclist also looks unusual because he is moving very fast. Hist back is fractured into segments showing where he was just a split second ago, and he seems to have at least 3 feet. Lines around the bicycle wheels also imply that the bike is moving very quickly.

After looking at these pictures, the 4th graders brainstormed their own ideas of things that move. There were some very clever ideas! Below are a few of their movement pictures.