Getting into the Groove!

We are currently in our 3rd week of school and routines are close to being established.  Students are getting the hang of the art classroom again; it’s like riding a bike.  One of the newest routines I’ve introduced to students are Bell-Ringers for grades 3-8.  Upon entering the classroom, students have a bell-ringer assignment on the board that they are to work on right away.  They have 7-10 minutes (depending on the grade).  Bell-Ringers are done in their sketchbooks.  Here was this week’s bellringer:

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These were just a few of the lovely responses I got…


Portfolio production continues…

All classes are currently working on designing their portfolios.  The portfolios will take about 2 class periods.  Students are asked to illustrate their name large on one side, and draw whatever they like on the other side.  The portfolio process is particularly exciting for parents of younger kids: the progressions and development of their skills is significant and VERY noticeable from the beginning of the school year to the end.


Choice time for 5th, 6th, and 7th Grade

Something new this year for our middle school students, is something called choice time.  On Wednesdays, students in grades 5-8 have the opportunity to choose where they would like to go for 20 minutes.  The options are gym, art, computers, library, game room and study hall.  I have had several visitors 🙂  This is really a wonderful thing for the students, because they have the opportunity to explore, investigate and do their own thing…

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Art Begins for the Nursery School

Finally, art is officially in session for the Little Littles as I call them.  This week I read The Dot to the pre-nursery and read a book about the artist Paul Gauguin to the nursery school.  Pre-Nursery worked on Dot paintings and the Nursery students worked on colorful landscapes inspired by Gauguin.  I actually drew my inspiration for the Gauguin lesson from a weekend visit to the Art Institute of Chicago.  They currently have an awesome exhibition of Gauguin’s work called Gauguin: Artist and Alchemist.

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Thanks for tuning in!  This week has been great 😀

Projects in Progress

The Donut Club

Inspiration and ideas can come from anywhere, even through a deep supply closet cleaning.  This past week, while organizing my supply closet, I came across a package of rigid wrap and then all of a sudden it hit me!  We will create paper mache donuts during clubs!  Clubs is a weekly session our junior high students get to take unique classes such as yoga, cooking class, and Art!  🙂

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Students were shown how to create the base of the donut by twisting and wrapping paper around their hand, followed by wrapping their donut shape with masking tape.

Next week will wrap our donuts with the rigid tape to make them extra sturdy!  Stay tuned!


Self-Portraits

In our regular art classes, 6th and 7th grades are currently working on self-portraits.  Students viewed a slideshow of several famous artists that are known for their self portraits: Van Gogh, Picasso, and my personal favorite: Frida Kahlo.

I showed the students how to use this awesome site called blockposters.com.  We uploaded our pictures onto the site and it broke our photos up into larger scale print which we printed out.  Next, students were shown how to use carbon paper and we traced our photos onto a large sheet of white paper.  Check out our progress so far!  They are looking pretty cool…

Next week students will add words that describe their personality to fill the background.


4A Weavings

I rotated the weaving project between the two 4th grade classes.  And this week it is now 4A’s turn to weave.  They are doing a fantastic job so far.  I also created some threading “needles” out of cardboard to help with the process.

Check out some of the finished results from 4B!

Mad about Matisse

It’s no secret….I am absolutely MAD about MATISSE.  I have probably mentioned my love of Matisse in several blogs, so I will spare you all the details, but I still have to share this darling, darling project I am doing with Kindergarten through 2nd grade.  Parents: this project is definitely getting hung on the fridge, somewhere, anywhere!

As you might recall, I taught the students how to create one of Matisse’s most famous designs a couple of weeks ago.

Well this week we are using those prints and creating a Still Life of a table with a vases of flowers.  Everything is patterned: Henri Matisse-Style!

We cut out a table, and then we cut out a vase.  We glued the vase onto the center of our “table”.  I guided the students into creating a variety of Matisse designs on the vase and wall paper. We finished by adding flowers of course!

Check out our beautiful results!!

STUNNING!!

The Art Buffet

This week has been jam packed with so many different art projects, that I am referring to it as the Art Buffet.  And the title is actually very fitting for the first project I am going to introduce you to:

Now Presenting: My Favorite Family Meal

Students in 5th grade were asked to write about their favorite family meal in their sketchbooks.  They had to go into detail with it: who makes it, how often do they get to eat it, what’s in it, how does it taste, how is made, etc.  After the written description they had to draw a picture of it and THEN they were asked to create a paper collage of the meal.  They came out fantastic, and I was super appreciative of students adding details such as silverware, ice cubes, spices, etc.  It’s the little things that make all the difference in a masterpiece 😉


Next up: Weaving with 3rd Grade

I introduced 3rd and 4th graders to the wonderful world of weaving.  This was a very in depth process and both grades rose to the challenge.  They learned how to thread a loom and how to weave and switch colors.  They got really into it: the concentration levels were through the roof!


Under the Sea Value Studies & Perspective with 4th Grade

I know….I know….I love under the sea stuff….this will be the last ocean inspired project for a while!  I promise.  Anyhoo, I taught 4th grade how to paint using value with watercolor.  This week they added sea creatures using perspective.  I asked them to pretend they’re at the bottom of the ocean and they had to draw large and small fish in relation to how close they were to them aka Perspective!


Matisse with Kindergarten

Not only do I love under the sea creatures: I also love the artist Henri Matisse!  Kindergarten learned about the wonderful artist Matisse and his use of bright colors and patterns.  I taught them how to illustrate one of his most famous patterns too!

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All in all: a very lovely week full of variety!

Under the Sea with Kindergarten

The last 2 weeks Kindergarten and 1st grade have been working on “Under the Sea” art.  I am such a huge fan of the ocean and sea life.  As a kid I would pretend I was mermaid: so teaching my students how to draw under the sea life is always super exciting for me.  In the weeks prior to, I had the students create a water color wax resist to create some beautiful, realistic-ish waves.  We used oil pastels to create wave lines and painted over them with blue paint.

When we came back to art class the following week I taught the students how to illustrate various sea life: we drew “schools” of fish, crabs, jellyfish, sharks, and sea turtles.  I demonstrated how sea weed moves with the water.  The kids were super engaged!

Take a look at what Kindergarten created today!

I Have a Dream…

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I asked my 3rd grade class to create artwork based on their own dreams.  I asked the students to trace their own hand and I showed them how to add some more realistic features, such as fingernails and knuckles.

I then had the kids create a dream bubble and asked them to illustrate their own dreams inside the bubble.  I left it pretty open ended.  I encouraged them to think of dreams that are good for mankind, but if that was not their cup of tea, then they were more than welcome to use their own ideas.  This of course made for some hilarious results as well as some super sweet and endearing ones.

Please take a look at what we created this past week.

 


 

6th and 8th Grade are continuing with their tessellation artwork and they are turning out SO cool!

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Cara Rosenburg is currently working on a moose tessellation!  AMAZING!!  The final results should be ready by next week so stay tuned!!

Welcome to 2017!

2017 is looking very promising!  The Art room is about to have a wonderful new addition to the program in the next couple months and I’d like to keep it a little secret until it’s officially here.  The suspense shouldn’t last too long because I am anticipating our new addition in a few weeks: so bear with me!

This week I got to visit the “Little Littles”, as I call them, at the Nursery school.  My trip up to the North Woods of Wisconsin over Winter Break (which was FULL of snow), inspired me to create a snowman project for my Nursery school students.  Although we didn’t have snow at the time, ya’ll know it’s just a matter of time before we do!  This is winter in Chicago we’re talking about over here!

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I asked the Little Littles to arrange their snowmen in the “correct order” smallest circle to biggest and they had to glue them down.  We added hats, scarves, eyes, carrot nose, and arms.

We finished by adding Snow with white paint all around the snowman for an extra wintery effect!

This project had a variety of elements: cutting and using scissors for the 4 year olds, arranging by size, gluing, assembling, and painting.  It was all in all, a very good project for the age group with super cute results!


….Meanwhile back in the main building… 

6th & 8th grade are learning about M.C. Escher and tessellations!

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I taught the students how to make their own tessellations and I’ve got to say: they got so into it you could hear a pin drop in the classroom.  They were amazed at the fact that they were able to create something that could fit perfectly from all directions.

They will get to figure what their tessellations resemble next week!

William Wegman, Paper Weaving and Collage Galore!

We are back from yet another break and ready to get back into action…that is until we break again on December 23rd 🙂 !  My kindergarten students have been watching one of my FAVORITE art videos of all time: William Wegman’s alphabet soup!

The kids get such a kick out it because, C’mon!  …It’s dog heads on human bodies!!  The students were provided with dog heads and asked to illustrate a human body underneath it.


 

In 6th grade we have been working on creative collages.  I was really inspired by these images and thought it would be cool to do a project inspired by them.

I provided the 6th grade students with animal eyes.  They had the option of either owl or alligator eyes…and they were asked to create a collaged version of their animal.

This one was created by Emma Felix!

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And to end this weeks recap: 1st-3rd have been working on paper weavings.  This is really a lovely, tactile project that involves eye-hand coordination, and pattern identification A.K.A. GREAT project for little ones!!

They were so into it!  Awesome week boys and girls!  #SoProud

Weavings for End of the School Year Ants in the Pants

I like to save my tactile art projects for the “End of the School Year Ants in the Pants” syndrome, as I call it.  One of the projects I’ve done in the past that has been met with tremendous success – would be the Plate weavings.  I changed the project up a bit this year and had the students design their plate which serves as the loom.  5th- 6th graders are doing this project.

I first provided the students with a compass to make circles within circles – and then create designs within them.  That portion of the project took up about 2 class periods.

Next I had the students cut 19 slits all around their plate and get their loom prepped.  It somewhat resembles a bicycle wheel…

I had enough time to show some of the students how to begin their weavings and all I’ve got to say is “SUCCESS….AGAIN!!”  Hillel Torah students: girls AND BOYS love to weave.  The boys have even mentioned that the weavings resemble kippahs – so who knows….??  Maybe we will be able to successfully pull the weavings off and they could be used as kippahs.  We shall see…!