Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"S" is for Spiral and Snail !

Ok... So, if I have not made it abundantly clear yet.  I LOVE teaching art to my Kindergartner's!!!  I can't begin to tell you how they brighten up my week!  I wish I could bottle their enthusiasm and excitement!  They are always so excited about everything we do in art class!  We have been working with all the basics...  Shapes, lines, color, art material procedures and I am now working on teaching them to draw by using lines and shapes.

Before Thanksgiving I needed a subject for another painting/drawing with shapes project for my Kinders.  So, I went to the main source...  The Kindergarten teachers and asked them what they were working on in class.  They said the letter "S".  Perfect!  I decided quickly on spiral lines and then I would show the kids how to turn their spirals into snails!  I was excited and the Kindergarten teachers were excited to have the educational connection between their  room and mine!   (I aim to please!)

And thus, the lesson "S" is for spiral and  a Snail was born!

Ok, so this is not the best visual I have ever made for a lesson but I was in a rush and it has served it's purpose! I also made a large visual with step-by-step directions for drawing their snails.

I started the lesson by explaining that they were going to be drawing a spiral and use it to create a snail drawing.   Their hands instantly started to shoot up in the air as they excitedly began to tell me how spiral and snail start with the letter "S" !!!

First we practiced making spirals in the air.  I went through each drawing step one by one.  When the kids were done with a step they would give me the "thumbs up" so I knew they were done and ready for the next step.  I stressed that each snail would look different since we are all different people.  I gave them different options for drawing the heads, eyes and faces and also letting them add shapes and lines to decorate the snail's shells if they wanted.  I had them trace their pencil lines with a black Sharpie before we painted them with watercolors. 

When they were done painting we put them on the drying rack to dry.  The second class I had each painting pre-stapled to a colored paper.  I had the kids glue painted paper scraps I pre-cut all around the frame to create a border design and finish them up!  I like how the papers resemble mosaic tiles!

I cut up old pieces of bulletin board paper I had used as floor protection under paintings we had done in the past. (recycle and re-use!)  I also printed out some photos of painted papers I had taken last year and cut those up as well.

Once they were cut up I put them into little baskets on each table for the kids to use.


The kids were so excited to take their finished snails home! Here are some of the  completed snail masterpieces!


 Here is a preview of our next project...

"P" is for painted paper Peacocks!

This display board is much better than my rushed snail one!

My example is still in progress.  There is more work to be done on the tail feathers!
How to draw a peacock direction poster is hiding under my example.

Some painted papers one of the classes made today!
We will begin to turn them into Peacocks next week!

Hope the rest of your week is creative!  :)

Friday, November 23, 2012


Hoping everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving!  As we enter the Holiday Season, take some time to remember what is really important...  As I sit here drinking my coffee I am watching the morning news...  It's filled with stories of Black Friday shopping.  Pictures of  people waiting in lines to get into stores to shop, for what?  Is it really that important to get that TV or the latest toy before everyone else?  Relax...  Take some time to spend with your family and friends, make some holiday decorations, bake some cookies to share, donate food and holiday gifts to your local Help Center for those less fortunate than you.

I promised my daughter that I would go into the attic and pull out the garland and lights for the inside stair railing.  I will gather greens from our property to fill my flower boxes and hang the wreaths on the front porch.  Mostly, I will take time to reflect on what I have and that I am lucky to have it.


Friday, November 16, 2012

Color Wheel Skies with Birch Trees - 5th Grade

My classes are studying color at the moment.  I had my fifth grades review the color wheel and it's order by creating skies using a grid a basis to paint their colors in.  Every two rows combined two colors that were next to each other on the color wheel.  Red-Orange, Orange-Yellow, Yellow-Green, etc...  I made up a chart with each color combination in order so they could visually see what colors went in what rows.  It really helped!  The chart helped them to see where to place their colors without getting confused.  I let them have a little artistic license with how they painted the rows in as long as they stayed in color wheel order. and stressed that our main objective was to be able to remember what colors were next to each other on the color wheel for future reference if they did not have a color wheel to look at.  I also made up small color wheels that I printed out and laminated so each student had their own to look at. 


the next step was to create some birch trees using a pulled paint technique.  There are a million demos out there for this technique.  The one we used was to take pieces of mat board that I cut up into rectangles that they could easily hold and dip the edge into black paint.  I poured a small amount of black paint into small plastic plates that I covered with tin foil.  When we were done using the black paint for the day I covered the plates with more tin foil to save it for another day.  I also saved the mat board pieces to reuse if they were still decent.  This saved a lot of prep time.  When we were done with the paint for good, I just took off the tin foil, threw it out and saved my plates for another day!  I have been using the same plastic plates since last year by using this technique!

They drew out their trees onto some white drawing paper and pulled the paint along the side of the trees using the mat board rectangles.  I did have the students practice their pulling technique because it needed to be a quick pull so they did not get too much paint on their tree.  We let them dry, then cut them out and glued the trees in place!  They came out really beautiful!  Enjoy! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Day 10 - Power Restored!!!

Well, I am blogging this from my local library as they are open again and since they are the only ones in my area with their internet back up and running.  I am here loading my grades for the first marking period!  They have to be in by Tuesday mid-night and I knew I would not have time to get both of my schools done at work!  Thanks for all the good wishes and thoughts from everyone out there!  We finally got our power back on Thursday evening. We were happily being trapped in our neighborhood all day while the power crews replaced three telephone poles on the street below mine.  Since that road is the ONLY way in and out of my small development, no one was getting in or out.  It looked like a power crew convention with all the trucks and guys up in the air replacing all the power lines!  I was never so happy to see anyone in my entire life!  Special thanks to all those guys who worked day in and day out to get our power back!  They came from all over the country!

I had gotten my mother (who is 81) to finally leave and go stay with my brother and his family on Wednesday before the snow storm rolled in.  They live at the shore and even though the area by them is even more devastated than mine, they have a generator and heat.  It was a brisk 38 degrees in our house by Thursday and by then both of my kids also had head colds and sore throats (the fun never ends).  Wednesday's snow storm came and went in a flash and wasn't so bad by me.  Pretty minor as Nor'Eastern's go around here.  We only had about 2-3 inches of snow (which melted by the next day) with very little wind.  My brother on the other hand got 6-8 inches at the shore!  It's usually the other way around!

I will check in during the week from school.  My daughter's school opens again tomorrow for the first time in two weeks.  No telling when our cable lines will be replaced but I don't care, I HAVE HEAT and LIGHT and can cook in my house and not have to go out to eat!  I'm off to go home and roast a chicken!

Everyone stay safe and warm! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Day 7 - No Power

So we made it through the storm without any property damage and I am very, very thankful for that.  My town was devastated with trees and power-lines ripped down as well as hanging everywhere/laying on the ground and across roads.  We are at day seven with no power and our schools are still closed in town.  They hope to get them open by Wednesday. My school district wear I teach in is re-opening today.  The kids just had their Halloween Parade and will "Trick or Treat" in town tonight.  In my home town the kids will "Trunk or Treat" at the high school - still too dangerous to walk the streets.

We are burning lots of wood in the fireplace to keep semi-warmish.  Using the camping stove to cook on the front porch.  Town opened the Senior center as a warming center which has been a god send!  We have been able to charge things, fill water jugs (I have septic and well — No power no water) and get news updates.  Cleaned out/threw out everything in my refrigerator yesterday and need to do the downstairs freezer tonight.  Power is slowly coming back on — Lines were extensively damaged.  If I'm lucky we will be back on line by the weekend (if I'm lucky).  Gas rationing started this weekend so I have to go search for gas after school.  We are on odd/even days and today is my day.  Pray for everyone who lost everything they own...  We will have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving...