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:
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…
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.
Thanks for tuning in! This week has been great 😀
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!!
Good News Galore Ya’ll!! So I can finally share the surprise that I had mentioned a couple blogs ago. Let me preface this by giving a HUGE, MASSIVE “Thank Youuuu” to the Hillel Torah PTA for sponsoring this AMAZING addition to the art classroom. You ladies are fabulous and I just can’t thank you enough for this! I’d also like to thank our business administrator Dov Shandalov who assisted in making this process run smoothly (it wasn’t easy!) and Rivka Varnai for helping this idea come to fruition! Our students are about to benefit tremendously and I know without a doubt – they are going to love every second of this new experience. Thank you, thank you! So are you all ready for the surprise???
Hillel Torah now has it’s very own KILN!!!!
For those of you that don’t know what a Kiln is: it is essentially an oven for baking ceramics. This is super fantastic for students of all ages as this now gives our kids the opportunity to work with clay, texture, and bring a 3-Dimensional element to our art program. I anticipate the clay portion of art to begin around Spring and go through summer break. How exciting!! Am I right?? Thank you again PTA!
Ok so this past Monday I went to the Nursery school to visit my Little Littles and if you have children at the Nursery School, then I’m sure you might have seen these displayed. I taught the Little Ones about the fabulous artist that is Roy Lichtenstein.
We talked about his use of Primary colors and dots. And THENNNN we used our OWN face to create a Roy Lichtenstein inspired work of art!
Last thing I will talk about in this week’s blog is dun dun dunnnnnn: MACCABIA!
I am assisting the students in creating their banners for the competition portion of MACCABIA. My role is one of guidance. These kids have been so amazingly motivated and independent: I am so excited to see the finished products!
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!
All in all: a very lovely week full of variety!
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!
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!
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!
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!
A lot of times when we hear the word space – we think of outer space. In Art however, space means something a tad bit different. I have been really focusing on the elements of art this week with 5th-7th grade. 5th and 6th grades have been learning about the element of Space and what that means in Art. They have learned about background, foreground, mid-ground, horizon lines and vanishing points. One of the biggest concepts I’ve been teaching them is how objects appear smaller in the background and larger in the foreground.
Judah doing a great job
I showed the 5th and 6th grade students how to illustrate a sun-set desert scenery with cacti that get smaller in the distance. I also showed them how to illustrate a bedroom using perspective. This always get the students tremendously excited because they can design their own rooms.
Here are examples of what the kids have been doing:
3rd and 4th grade have been working on one of my most favorite lessons to teach: Matisse Mugs. If you’ve read my first entry, you would have seen that Matisse is my favorite painter. I love his use of patterns and bright colors. Although they may seem amatuer to someone who’s not familiar with art – Matisse was actually an incredible painter.
Students viewed a few of his pieces that are very patterned.
They noticed the warm colors and cool colors (and pointed out it appears to be the same woman in both paintings) and identified patterns. Then they got to work creating a still-life mug, using either warm or cool colors, followed by illustrating Matisse-inspired patterns. **Fun Fact- the painting on the right sold for $33 million dollars**
Here are a few of the beautiful results. Parents: you might want to frame some of these and hang them in your kitchen…especially if you are an avid coffee drinker like myself.
Finally, we have been doing rainy day wax resists in nursery school – 2nd grade. Students start off by illustrating rain with white crayon on white paper (last week). When they first do this – they’re a little confused because they can’t see anything. But then the “magic” part happens (as I call it). We paint over the white rain with variations of blue paint and the rain “magically” appears. They love it.
This week we made umbrellas to glue onto our rainy day paintings.
I also seized the opportunity to teach them about the colors of the rainbow, however they already knew them – so I was pleasantly surprised…