Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Primary Lines, Chihuly, Shading and Day of the Dead!

So today is the first day I am actually starting to feel overwhelmed by APPR!  It's very frustrating because someone will tell you something and then the next day, they tell you something different and wonder why you were doing it the way you told them to the day before!  I was told today that I need to have my SLO's completely written by Monday...which doesn't seem possible if it hasn't been BEDS day to get my actual student count per grade level!  And, the one thing I am very unclear about is how the HEDI scoring works.  Plus, I haven't graded any of my completed pre-assessments because my administrator wanted me to take a sub day to grade them all at can I write my SLO's if I haven't graded those yet????

Well, now that I have vented and my rant is over, I will get on to what we did in art class today!

My kindergarteners painted primary lines.  First we practiced drawing different lines on a worksheet.  I reviewed how to paint with tempera paint and let the kids go!  I have to say, today's group was VERY good about not getting paint all over the place and they worked really well together to clean up.  Very refreshing, especially for the first day of painting in kindergarten art!  The only thing this group was not very good with, was being creative and using a variety of lines in their painting.  I'm sure I'm going to find that the other groups will be opposite!


I originally intended to begin with cave art for my 6th graders, however their social studies teacher this year was beginning with Ancient Egypt.  Soooo, I photocopied my Egypt packets and planned to start today...however last class the kids complained SOOO much that they didn't want to start with Egypt (I can't blame them too much, they did an Ancient Egypt portrait painting at the end of last year before I planned this years curriculum), so we decided to do Mexican Folk Art instead, and then Egypt.  Today, we worked through the packets (not as much complaining about that once I explained to them that they can use them to study for their final assessment!) and started designing sugar skulls.  Next class, we will use plasterkraft (I think that's what it's called...the strips of plaster in a box???) to cover a head form to make a mask.  Then, we will take two classes to paint them.  Does anyone have any good suggestions on how to go about covering the mask? I've heard of covering it with petroleum jelly before using the plaster stuff, but I'm not sure I want to go that route.  Will wet paper towels work?


My 2nd graders viewed a powerpoint on Chihuly and we discussed his use of color, shape, pattern, and the emotion students felt when looking at his work.  They really enjoyed it.  For our first chihuly project we are going to do the coffee filter chihuly project and create a collaborative wall sculpture with them in the hallway.  For the second chichuly project, I bought the shrinky dink plastic...I'm excited to get to that, it's my first time using it!

Next class we will glue these onto a small piece of tagboard so we can tape them to the wall easier. While we wait for them to dry, I found a variety of videos about Chihuly on YouTube.  The students were really interested in watching how he makes these forms so I have about 25 minutes worth of video pinned to show them.


Last but not least, my 4th graders are working on shading and value.  Last class they received a brief introduction to shape vs. form.  Today they learned how to shade using varying pressure on their pencil, as well as stippling with markers, and hatching/cross-hatching.  Next class they will practice shading 3-D forms with a light source (like a cube and cylinder).  This group really likes the q-tip pointillism painting and they asked to do a lot of project with it last year, so they really enjoyed the stippling technique.  Stippling is one of my favorites as well!


  1. Don't you LOVE anacronyms? Totally incomprehensible to those not in the know, but they sound so impressive! Having been in and out of the education system for MANY years, I know how frustrated you must be feeling!! And tomorrow it will change again ... and they wonder why some of us get a little bit cynical :)
    My hat is off to you for allowing your 6th graders to have a say in the curriculum :) :)

  2. I feel your frustration! I love how some individuals think you can just change something at the last minute! The old "I don't care how you get it done but do it and make sure it's done yesterday " Good luck! :)

  3. if you are using the plaster strips on a plastic mask mold then you don't need to use anything....however, you don't want to use wet paper towels underneath because it will keep the plaster from drying well and can lead to can use saran wrap but I always just use the patrolling jelly with my 6th graders

  4. I know I'm retired, and therefore don't have to do this stuff, but honestly, I thought the SLO's had to be done before any assessments. I mean, how do you know what you want to assess if you don't know what your learning objectives are? And I thought you weren't allowed to grade your own assessments - or is that just the post assessments? It's all so crazy. As for the HEDI, I think I have some info floating around here from some NYSUT training I attended. I'll have to look it up. Doesn't your HEDI score depend on the percentages agreed to in our school district, and whatever rubric you are using?

    We did those coffee filter Chihuly macchias last year. I hot glued them to scraps of mat board to hang and it worked great - I'm sure tag will work well too. It was a pain storing them before they were hung and when we took them down. I had the kids write their names on the edge of the filter with a sharpie.

    As for the masks-we've used the vaseline on real faces, but never tried it on mask forms, though it should work. Or you could use some tin foil, though it is pricey. The foil would be cool because the kids could make subtle changes in the shapes on the features if they want. Saran Wrap sounds slippery and problematic to me. Ditto to the comment above- don't use wet paper towels!

    1. Well in order to completely write a Student Learning Objective (template can be found here:, there are kind of three need to know and have your pre- and post-assessment approved by your administrator (check!). Then, you have to start filling in the template that has your student population, learning content or standards covered, interval of instruction time, and evidence (what is the pre-assessment used to address your goals?). The other half of your SLO can't be written until you complete and grade your pre-assessments. Those include your baseline scores (where did your students score on the pre-assessment?), your projected target scores for your students, your HEDI scoring, and your rationale for your entire SLO/projected target scores.

      I was able to get some clarity on what I'm supposed to be writing for next week...more to come in my next post tomorrow!

  5. Thanks for all the advice! I bought two big jars of Vaseline, so I think I'll have the kids put a thin layer of that on the face forms before putting the plaster strips on them.

  6. Oh the SLO''re not alone. We had a conference day last Friday to work on these, and it took me all of the time they gave me to get my 4th grade roster in order with historical data (I am using art grades from last year as part of my "multiple measures") and grade pre-assessments for that grade level alone. Now I still have the SLO to write.

    The thing that really gets me is that I am the only ES Art teacher in my district (as I am sure many of you are) and so I alone am writing 3 SLO's. (I have to do three grade levels to reach my 51%). Whereas grade level teachers are writing 1 SLO which they write and share as a group. To clarify~ I am one person writing 3, they are 4 people writing one...

    Rant over~

    What I REALLY wanted to tell you is that I had a really hard time w/ vaseline on my plastic molds last year. It may have been because they are old and brittle, but as we took them off, many of the molds broke. I actually bought new ones, but I intend to use plastic wrap this year. Keep us posted on how it goes~ good luck!

  7. ...And would you mind sharing your VALUE handouts?

    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's a little unfair that us special area teachers have a lot to do in the SLO department! Not that I'm saying the other types of teachers don't either...but sometimes I think our administrators may forget that! I have to do 4 SLO's to cover my 51%. I have about 150 artworks to grade, give or take...are your adminstrators letting you grade your own pre-assessments? Mine is making the high school art teacher and I take a substitute one day to swap assessments and grade each others...again, another unfair point as she only has half as many numberwise to do...she only has to write 1 SLO for studio art!

      I will share my value handouts when I post tomorrow! Thanks for the interest and asking!

  8. So far, we have been allowed to grade our own pre-assessments- but what you are describing sounds like our plan for post-assessment scoring. ...and my HS teacher is in the same boat~ 1 SLO for Studio.

    I've been trying as much as possible to make sure us "special area" teachers stick together in our building so we can alleviate some work on ourselves. For example, I created an excel spreadsheet for our "rosters" we need to turn in with the SLO's. Since the co-curricular teachers (Library, Music, PE) have all decided to write SLO's for 4th, 2nd and K, we all need the same rosters. Why should each of us take the time to type the same info? So I'm trying to stay positive by creating things many of us can utilize!

    1. I'm not really sure why they are making us swap pre-assessments to grade...especially as the state has said it's okay for us to grade our own pre-assessments. I guess they just want to be really sure we can't skew our results in anyway...which I suppose makes sense.

      It's looking like next Thursday we will finally be grading our pre-assessments...I can't wait! I hate having this stack of artwork on my desk, staring me in the eye, waiting to be graded! Actually, I think I'll be more relieved to get this done so I can finish writing my SLO's and then not have to worry about them for a while!