Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dia del los Muertos Celebration!

Today my lovely children, my wonderful librarian friend, her son, and I went to the Dia del los Muertos Celebration at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas. It was awesome. We made skulls, watched Aztecas dancers, visited altars created by local artists and my favorite~ ate some elote (corn) in a cup!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Dog on the Playground

This is not art related but it is school related (kinda)...

About a month ago, there was a cute little black dog on the playground. I just happened to pass by since I was on my way to talk to my friend , the technology teacher (shout out megaroni!) Anyway I see this cute jet black dog wandering on the playground. I went out and got her to follow me around the back of the building to my classroom, where I got her some water. Some of the other teachers told me she has been hanging out on the playground looking for kids to play with. They said she usually has a collar. So, instead of letting the other teachers call animal control on her I took her around the neighborhood and left flyers and knocked on doors. I just knew someone was missing this sweet little dog, she looked healthy and well taken care of. I saw some big kids getting off the bus and asked if they knew who she belonged to. They pointed out a house and I went and knocked, no answer. I left a flyer, expecting a call that night. The next day, there was still no call so I took her out of town with me (and my kids) to see my mom for her birthday.
Finally,the next day a woman called describing the dog and told us "Coco" was her teenage son's dog and kept getting out of the yard.  She also explained how her son wasn't taking very good care of her and not paying much attention to her. (I know how I was at that age, friends were top priority.) So I told her that my kids were falling for her and we could keep her.  She said no because she knew her son wanted to keep her.  I told her I would call her when I came back to town to bring her back.  To make a long story short..when we came back she said he son decided that we might be able to give her more time and attention. So she's OUR Coco now! We love her!

Value Drawing

This is a drawing that my SUPER advanced student drew my first year of teaching. He was the one I mentioned in a previous blog. He would ask for extra assignments because he would finish everything so fast. I wish I could really take credit for his drawing skills but he was obviously born with natural talent. What can take credit for is improving his skills. I taught him that drawing from observation is better than drawing from memory. I also taught him how to properly add value to make things look more realistic. I thought I had a picture that he drew from memory, to sort of serve as a "before", he had my class but I couldn't find it. His drawings were good before, but you can truly see the growth from the first picture he drew in my class to this one.

Mosaic Projects

These are from my first year of teaching. The first three were group murals made with mosaic squares. The last two were done by individual students. It's hard to tell the are mosaic because of the overlapping and lack of color variation. I still think they are nicely done, even if they are more "cutesy", than "artsy". I wish I could figure out how to post my blogs in specific catergories instead of just labeling them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Radial Balance- 4th Grade

This is a wonderful lesson I saw on a Blog called Mini Matisse and I was very pleased with the results.  It took my students about 5 class periods because I am kind of a Nazi about coloring with markers and making sure every single spot it covered. I am also the same with crayons and colored pencils. My kids say "I'm done!!" (how many times have you hear that?) Then I always point out the white gaps left behind and say "No, you're not!" Then comes the heavy sigh...anyhow, we play this back and forth game until I am fully satisfied with the results. They were so lovely almost the entire grade got theirs hung in the hallway, even the kids who aren't very artistically gifted.

Also, I must note that at many times during this lesson, my room was almost completely silent because they were so deep in concentration, which always creeps me out because that almost NEVER happens in art!

Monday, October 18, 2010

8th Grade Self Portraits

This is some more stuff from my first year of teaching. I was given full classes of kids who never had art and some who had more experience. I was frustrated that they would not seperate them into (Art I, Art II) classes so I separated my students within my classroom. These are some of the advanced kids work.  Also, I was given NO art budget and was pretty broke and could not afford to buy charcoal and prisma color pencils supplies for all 150 kids I had that semester, so only the advanced art kids got to use it. (I'm so unfair-I know!) Please excuse the glare on the photos, I wrapped them in polyester before I took them.

*The last three are from a brilliantly talented student I had. He was always way ahead of the rest of his classmates so I would assign him extra work, which he happily accepted. He also did a lot of work at home. On the gridded self portrait he did, I told him he had to shade in each square with a different value but was not allowed to have two squares next to each other that were the same value. The last one is in the style of Andy Warhol, with prisma color pencils. He did an excellent job on all his projects.
Great kid, polite, smart, and eager to learn. Every once in a while I get an email from him asking to critique an artwork or how to get dried oil paint out of brushes (yikes!) Sometimes I really miss teaching older kids....sometimes.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yarn Name Designs

My first year of teaching I came up with this lesson. The kids started with a sheet of paper. I gave them rulers and started out with simple instructions. I told them to draw two straight lines and one curved line. I told them to make sure they "exited"the paper with some lines. Then I told them to add a few more lines of their own choice. I told them they had to incorporate their names somewhere. Then they picked a color scheme and filled in the rest with glue and yarn.