Friday, September 25, 2009

1st grade - Friday Fun Day no. 2

This week for our Friday fun day we played with pastels for the first time!

Pastels are very vibrant, artist grade chalk. They can be EXTREMELY messy! But, of course, that is part of the fun!

There were no rules for what students could draw, it was just an exploration of the medium kind of day.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1st grade - Starry Night

After visiting the Museum of Modern Art's online children's museum and learning about Vincent van Gogh and his painting, The Starry Night, the first grade students made their own Night paintings. I asked them to observe the night where they live and it just so happens that there was a storm that night. Some of our paintings turned into "Stormy Nights" instead of "Starry Nights". I try to encourage the students to draw from their own memories, like Mr. van Gogh did, so that every painting will look different from all the rest.

These paintings are done in oil pastel, which the students found to be extremely fun to use.
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2nd grade - Scratch Art

Last week the second grade students learned how to create their own scratch art panels! This is something they can now do at home any time they feel a little creative. The process is simple and really only requires crayons on a stiff piece of paper (or card stock).

First, use bright colored crayons* to completely coat the paper with a layer of wax. There should be no paper left uncolored.

Second**, using a black crayon, completely cover everything over with a thick layer so that none of the bright colors are showing anymore.

Third, use a toothpick or other pointy object to scratch into the black crayon. The bright under layer of color will magically shine through!

*Oil pastels can be used instead of crayons.
**In class, we painted a layer of black tempera instead of coloring with crayon, but since most people don't have tempera paint at home you can use black crayon instead. The effect is the same.
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"...I'm only good at video games."

Today I had a student tell me this. The complete statement was, "I'm not good at art, I'm only good at video games." He was in second grade.

It makes you wonder if he uses this excuse with every subject? If he said it out loud, how many others are thinking it in their heads? How have we come to a place where a 7 year old feels he is only good at video games?!

Parents, please take the time to unplug your kids! Hand them art supplies and watch them come alive! Hand them a book and watch their knowledge base expand!

I am not advocating throwing out game systems. They make wonderful motivational reward systems.

When my son was younger, each minute of reading time earned a minute of game time. My son was so into one game that he read for hours and hours just so that he could play the game. Before long, he was so hooked on reading he no longer needed the reward system and now reads avidly and knows many amazing things.

I have recently been astonished at the lack of cutting skills displayed by my first grade students. Many of them tell me they are not allowed to use scissors at home. How sad! It didn't used to be that way. There was a time when childhood was full of cutting and pasting, drawing and painting. Don't be afraid of messes! Life is too short to fuss over small things like a stain in the rug or crayon on the wall (which will come off with toothpaste, by the way).

I hope I never again hear a student tell me "I'm only good at video games."

Friday, September 18, 2009

1st grade - Friday Fun Day no. 1

Whenever we finish a project on a Thursday, we will have a 'Friday Fun Day' in art. Of course, every day in art is fun, but on a Friday Fun Day I will introduce a new medium for the students to play with. There will be little instruction and a whole lot of playing with materials!

This week, our first Friday Fun Day was playing with modelling clay. Tons of fun for little hands and a critical exercise in hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills!

At home, Playdoh is a great investment for your child's development. If funds are tight, check out the RECIPES tab in the right column and mix up your own batch of salt dough!
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Monday, September 14, 2009

1st grade - Mrs. Penrod's class

Here are just a few of the color wheels made by some of the first grade students. I am sorry I wasn't able to get a photo of everyone's project, hopefully I'll get everyone at some time or another!

These color wheels were very fun to make. It is especially important to give lots of practice with scissors at this age!
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1st grade - Mrs. Cowley's class

Here are some of the projects from Mrs. Cowley's class!
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2nd grade - Mrs. Wengreen's class

Here are images of the warm/cool - exciting/calm painting project! This first post is of Mrs. Wengreen's class projects. I was not able to put everyone into the photo collage. If you wrote your last name on the front of your paper, your picture was not posted. This is for security reasons. To see the picture close up, just click on the image and a larger version will appear.

We had a great time looking for things in the swirls of color, thanks everyone for your hard work!
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2nd grade - Miss Maurin's class

I wasn't able to put all of the artworks on here. There were a few that the student put first and last name on, so for security reasons I could not post them. If yours is not here, I am sorry.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2nd grade - "Cloud Shapes"

Last week we painted random swirls of warm colors onto one paper, and random swirls of cool colors onto another paper.

Today we are using our imaginations to try to see things in the randomness of the swirls on the papers the same way we 'see' shapes in cloud formations on a lazy day while resting in the grass gazing at the sky.

On the cool colored paper, you should try to find calm and peaceful images to draw.

On the warm colored paper, you should try to find exciting images to draw.

This is kind of the reverse of what we normally do. Usually, we draw a picture, then color it. This time, we are doing the reverse! We colored, then searched for the images within the colors. It can be very fun and rewarding to stretch our imaginations!

I will try to post some examples of finished projects within the next few days.