Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peacocks, peafowl, penhens and more (last year)

2nd grade made these beautiful peacock paintings at the end of last year and I never had a chance to blog about it.
So here they are!

Special thanks to Patty from for this idea:

I figured out the best sequence for my 2nd graders is:
Day one: draw the peacock, draw lines for feathers (no circles yet) and paint the body with metallic tempera.

I gave each table 3 cups of paint: blue, teal and green

Oil pastel designs on the feathers before gluing the circles down really looks good...

Day two: Draw concentric circles or "eyes of the gods" could talk about India and significance of the peacock....and paint those concentric circles on a separate piece of white paper. While those are drying, paint the feathers with same blues, greens and teals from concentric circles.

Then cut out 'eyes' and glue around feathers!

Super easy and beautiful!

Kindergarten and Kandinsky

Lines galore!...and yes, I'm crazy, I have kindergarten painting already...they are suprisingly occupied and happy. :)

First we talk about line....and they echo my lines but they choose the color...

We used oil pastels so we could make 'the magic of oil pastel resist'...

Day Two: Watercolor procedures and demo

And they're off to paint....the art challenge is to leave no white space.

Some of these look very landscapy which is neat...

But our main focus is line and color influenced by Wassily Kandinsky.

"Watercolor (No.13) in 1913" Wassily Kandinsky
(Borrowed image from this website)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Idea Books and Name Tag Designs

I have each kid, 1st through 4th, decorate their Idea Book cover and they create a name tag for their table. This is a great warm-up activity for them to get used to using art supplies appropriately, practice procedures, and I can get a visual assessment of what I'm working with for the year!

We use the Idea Books just about everyday...this is a great way to incorporate writing into my lessons and it gives them something to take home at the end of the year.

4th grade got to collage their idea book cover with maps, books and newspapers

usually i just staple white paper together and make a word document cover sheet for them to decorate, but lucky for us this year we got an awesome donation of all these paper swatch booklets with like 30 blank white pages inside...awesome idea books!

using mod podge to adhere the paper to the cover

Kindergarten Day One Drawings

On the first day of art with kindergarten, we read the story "Beautiful Oops" and discussed the art room rules.

Their art project was to draw their favorite thing to do...I kept it really simple and we used pencils and crayons.

As you can see, I've already got some talented kids!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to School

Well, I have been working on my room... trying to make it fabulous for the new year. I've made some positive changes and thanks to Pinterest, I feel great about some new additions.


Every year I create a board like this with 8 famous artists. Sometimes I repeat artists and I try to add new ones and change the numbers around. Each artist matches a table number: Table 1= Wassily Kandinsky and so on....throughout the year I call each table by their Famous Artist Name (first, last or both)....this is just a little something extra to teach them artist's names, and they always see the artwork associated with the name.

 Hopefully, everyone will walk away at the end of the year knowing 8 historical artists! It's also fun when we study an artist and one of these works of art pops up, they all say "It's van Gogh!!"'s especially nice when this happens during an observation. :)


On the first day of art class, we discuss the art room rules and procedures. This year I created a bulletin board for my procedures called "How to be an Art Star" .....

I've since added some more fun underwater decor to this board, but I thought this would be more helpful than a poster(what i normally use). Whenever I catch a student using one of these procedures I try to reward them with praise saying something along the lines of:"Wow, look at that art star behavior!" And when someone isn't following these procedures I can say "Show me how to be an art star..."

Here's a new addition to the art room, my "Be smART Chart" where I will add vocabulary words from each 9 weeks to the appropriate grade level column. I like the idea that these words are visible for me to use as well as the students. I'll add words as we come to them and I have them printed out in envelopes nearby so I won't forget. In my world it's "outta sight outta mind" I'm glad I did this for the kids and myself. This is located right beside my carpet, so I will be able to reference it regularly.

Bonus! Last year I would tell the 2nd graders (for example) that they were using a 4th grade art word and that was inspiring for them, so now they can visualize it on the Be smART Chart! "oh wow, I'm smarter than a 4th grader..."

  Marker Monster!

Thanks pinterest!

Art Library

I've told the 2nd -4th graders that when they completely finish a project (clean-up included) they have the option of reading a book from the art library. I have rules posted now about how to handle the books. We'll see how this works out this year.

Drying Racks

Drawing Station

Pencil Station

Enevitably, someone will put a sharpened pencil in the not sharp cup, however I like this system. The kids know that when their pencil breaks (an accidental break) they just come trade them out, independently. I don't need to be told every five seconds when a pencil breaks. :)

Also I have a huge 'stabbing of erasers' I try to be the eraser saver....we'll see.

Thanks pinterest!

Time Out Station
Ahh, time sad that I need this but this is a must. Sometimes the kids just need to sit out and write the art room rules. It works too...for most kids.
My discipline plan is simple (so I can remember to use it!)
Strike 1: Verbal warning
(I write their name on a little clipboard in a red box....with a dry erase marker)
Strike 2: Time Out....
Most of the time I have them write the rules....the little ones I may just have them sit here for 3-5 minutes with a timer so they know when they can leave...
Strike 3: Art Note Home
I'll have to post a pic of my art notes....they have to take them home and return signed.

Obviously, if someone is really acting up I'll send them to the office as a last resort.

Here's the "strike clipboard"....just a red square laminated on white paper. Oh and you can see the "Magic Brush" ....we use this as a pointer when talking about artwork...sometimes I lay the brush on a super awesome table where everyone is showing art star behavior.