Monday, March 26, 2012

Sneak Peek!

All of my classes have been working on a series of sculptures for our school. In the front of the school are 6 alcoves where the windows for the classrooms on the front of the building are. We have tried planting all sorts of things there, plants, bushes, etc. but we can't get anything to grow due to the lack of easy access to water. So after some research, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I found the website of Michelle and Nathan Stitzlein and found some amazing pictures of bottlecap murals that Michelle has done with a variety of schools. I decided that bottlecap flowers might just be the thing we need for the alcoves. So at the beginning of the school year I sent a letter home to all parents asking them to save plastic lids. All year long the students brought them in (they are still coming in even after we are almost finished! Ted (Mr. E of Art with Mr. E) I have a bunch of caps for your next project! LOL! Anyway... we finally had enough to start. I bought four sheets of plywood and drew out flowers and leaves. Our school nurse graciously volunteered her husband to come and cut them out. Then I had a couple of helpers come in over the weekend to prime the wood.
While they were doing that, one of my loyal minions started sorting the bottlecaps by color. (Please note that I have parent permission to post these pics of the students).

Finally everything was primed and we started painting the shapes the approximate colors that we were going to use.
My kindergarteners and first graders finished sorting caps, and the third graders painted the shapes. The second and fourth graders then started gluing the caps on. I had them use tacky glue, since I needed the glue to hold the caps on until I could get around to attaching them with screws. Lots and lots of screws... like 13 pounds of screws...
We are now finished with this, and I just have to get the wood for the "stems" we are going to use 2x2's and cement them into coffee cans. After the cement is set up, the wood is primed and painted, some volunteers will come and dig holes to "plant" the stems. Finally, we will attach the flowers and leaves to the stems. I am hoping that this will be done when we get back from spring break.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Texture Hamburgers

While browsing on Pinterest, I came across a fantastic idea found here
I thought this project was great, and filed it away until I found the right time and grade level to do it with. Finally, it was the right time. This 9 weeks, the kindergarteners have been working on textures. We have talked about both tactile and visual textures, and worked with crayon rubbings, and clay that we pressed textures into. I finally decided to pull this project out, although I did change it slightly. The project above revolved around both the favorite foods of the students as well as the texture, but I wanted my students to focus on just the texture aspect of the project. So I went through all of my cupboards and pulled out all sorts of goodies.
I had some dries split peas, cheerios, fuzzy yarn, some plastic "beads" (not really beads, but not sure what they really are, they were donated), rope, crepe paper, paper crinkles, beads, bubble wrap, and a product called Plox, which I had ordered last year from Dick Blick, and hadn't done anything with yet. Plox is a finely shredded paper product for collages, the kids loved it. I put all of the supplies on an empty table, gave the students empty cups to carry their supplies in, as well as the paper "buns" and brown construction paper. Then I let them go at it. It was slightly messy, but the kids were very excited, and when some of the students told their teachers what they were doing, I had one teacher show up to make her own!
Now that my supply of "goodies" has been depleted, I will need to start saving for next year, since I am definitely doing this project again. It really pushed the concept of texture home with the students.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Youth Art Month

As we art teachers know well, March is Youth Art Month. This month, my classes at Lakeview will be working on some fun projects, including bottle cap flowers for outside the building. To kick off the month, I redid the door to the classroom, as well as one of the bulletin boards in the front of the building. Since the focus is on the art of the students, that is what I used to create these displays.

I also have a lot of art to hang! My plan is to have an "unofficial" school-wide (at least my classes) art show. We have not had a whole school art show in two years, instead, we have individual grade level shows the same time as the music programs. We are continuing this process this year, but I miss the "big" art show, so here comes the unofficial one!