Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Painted Paper and Math??!!

A couple of weeks ago I ran out of "kid painted paper" for a project we were in the middle of, and with no designated time to have the kids paint more paper I got out some construction paper and started slapping paint on the papers so we'd enough paper to finish our work.

What did I learn during the process??? A LOT!!

Usually when I have kids paint paper I set up each work table with different colors and tools for printing or painting. For example, one table would have forks and warm colors,
another table would have corks or bottle caps, sponges, string, etc.

I almost always have kids go back with 2nd or 3rd colors to add details. Sometimes they change tables with their art to experience new colors or painting materials. All in all, it is a pretty non-directed experience.

Some of these seem too wonderful to cut up!!!

So, what did I learn as I was painting to add to our stash?? I learned that we can reinforce math skills as we print!! Imagine a 3rd grader who is practicing multiples of, let's say "4".  

Using pre-cut printing cards (I just used scrap mat board) and pose a few questions before kids start printing. Questions like, "How many fours will it take to print the width (or length) of your paper?" or "How many squares will you print on the width (or length) of your paper?" or, a tougher one, "How many squares will you print on your whole paper?" I found myself counting as I printed.
Imagine a whole table of kids quietly counting multiples as they print!!! Well, OK, maybe that is a stretch, but I'll bet I could get a few kids interested in the concept!!

With these you could ask older students, "What is the ratio of dots to squares on this paper?"

Meanwhile we end up with lots of cool scraps to cut up and use to create even more cool ART!!

I have come to think it is always good to have some black and white scraps in the mix.

Painted papers always make me happy!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ahh! A Little Rest & Spring Break Sketching

A few years ago I joined The Sketchbook Challenge. The details are on the bottom of my sidebar on the right.

This is an online group that, led by a core group of artists, creates sketches with a different prompt each month. While I don't seem to be submitting as many sketches now as I did in the beginning, some months the topics are more appealing to me and I sort of "get in the groove." This month's theme is "Polka Dots" and I'm so happy that it coincided with Spring Break when I have a bit more free time. So, what does an art teacher do during vacation? Why, sketch, of course!!

Happy Passover and Easter (to those of you celebrating either)!!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Painted Paper Chickens and Roosters

1st graders started out observing slides of chickens and roosters on the Smartboard and discussing their similarities and differences. We looked closely at works by Picasso (click here for link) and Eric Carle's Rooster's Off to See the World. Then it was time to start creating, using painted papers made earlier. I have more to say about those, but I'll save that for another day.

This was a project that students finished collaging in one 45 minute period. I had a wide variety of papers cut to appropriate sizes. I also found an old bag of craft feathers for kids to use on their birds' heads ( for a little bit of the unexpected).

I asked kids to choose a head color that was different from their body and, if they had a colored board, to choose a body color that would create contrast. Most did pretty well with that. For one class I used white board and asked  students to draw lines on their background before starting to glue.

When the children got to doing the tail feathers, I suggested that they might cut some and then trade colors with others at their table so that their tails could have variety like Eric Carle's. That went over well and the bartering began almost immediately!!

Here are some of the results ( I think I'll save some of these to put up for our Welcome Back meeting in the Auditorium in the Fall!!

We talked about how artist think about placement of color and that often a color on one side of a work balances a color somewhere else.

One think students noticed in looking at pictures of birds was that the rooster's tail feathers stood upright.

I like it when kids take their art off the page intentionally.

I think these will look pretty cute displayed on a whole wall!!