Saturday, September 29, 2012

Roy G. Biv has Rainbow Colored Hair!

My first graders completed their second rainbow project this week.  I gave them one class to create a Roy G. Biv collage.  This is the first time I have really given a project without showing or telling them how to do it...I showed them my plain example, and then gave them the black paper for the background and offered the students peach/brown paper for the skin (ironically, everyone chose peach paper, even the darker skinned students I have).  They did really well on this!  It was a little hectic for my liking, with paper everywhere, but the products they created still had a really good outcome!  I've seen this project on Pinterest here, but I gave the students artistic freedom to draw Roy's head however they wanted to.  I had to prompt some of them to draw his head bigger, but most of them did pretty well.  I also stipulated that they had to use two strips of paper per color for his hair.  I also encouraged them to cut, bend, and curl Roy's hair as well!

These were some of my favorites from the completed projects!  These students really got creative with different hair styles.

I am also testing out a generic project rubric with these Roy G. Biv collages.  Since our district is using Marzano, I figured using the generic rubric would help give me points on providing clear rubrics/goals for each project to students.  They will glue these rubrics onto the back of their projects before beginning them.  This way, they will always be able to see what I am grading them on.  I saw this type of rubric on Pinterest here, so I tweaked it a little for what I need.  In particular, I added the "good composition" section to grade students on their placement of objects and to make sure they use the entire page smartly.  I'm sure I may have to adjust it once or twice to get it right, but here is what I'm using so far!

As for how my week went, it was the week from you know where for me!  I think this was one of my worst weeks ever...between receiving mixed messages and misunderstanding information about my SLOs from my administrator and have rowdy kids during after school...I was so beat and stressed on Thursday, that I cried after school!

First, I had a little kindergartner have an accident during class.  I felt so bad because when she started crying, I literally had no idea what had happened to her!  We were in the middle of our first painting project, so it was crucial that I circulate the room to make sure everyone was on task, but I couldn't for the life of me figure out why she was crying!  Then she started asking for her mom, so I thought maybe she was just home sick.  By the time I checked on her the third time, there was a puddle on the floor so I finally realized what had happened.  By this time of course, it was time for me to start teaching the kids how to clean up during a painting project.  That completely went out the window as I tried to make sure she wasn't embarrassed any more than she already felt.

Now, to make matters worse, I didn't have any art smocks in my room (I'm switching over to washable paint thank goodness!) because I brought them home to wash over the summer, and then I forgot about them in my garage until Thursday morning!  I couldn't get this poor girl out of her seat and the nurse was taking an important phone call....then I remembered my art smock was tucked in a drawer somewhere!  After digging that out and wrapping her in an "art dress," I sent her down to the nurse with a friend and she was taken care of...and I thought my day was done there!

During after school, I decided to do a coat of arms project.  This really interested a lot of kids, but I had a group of three 6th graders who thought they were above everyone else.  They were rude and obnoxious, being bullys to kids in the classroom and to me!  I couldn't get a hold of anyone to send them out of the room so I had to deal with it.  After my morning of stress, I just cracked.  I made everyone clean up 15 minutes early and put everything away.  Then, what really sent me over the edge was a 4th grader who decided he didn't like his project so far and just threw it away.  (Mind you, him and I have discussions about how this isn't appropriate because it wastes materials and as an artist, you should learn to fix your mistakes.)  I made him pick it out of the garbage so he sat there and pouted.  

After getting them off to the buses, I went to talk to my super about a hiring committee I'm on.  She asked me what was wrong and the flood gates just opened!  Needless to say, these four students will be taking a day or two off of after school activities, and they won't be considered on my part for art club when I start it.  I also think that I may have to send home my 4th grader with a small writing assignment.  A fellow art teacher showed me a book she reads to the young kids called Beautiful Oops! (I think that's what it was called...).  I'm going to find this book and I think I am going to make him read it on his own and write me a small paper on what he can do the next time he is unhappy with his artwork!

All I can say is, Monday is my day off in the cycle!  Hallelujah!  LOL


  1. I love the rainbow hair!!! Do you mind if I use it for my 1st's? It's awesome! Some weeks/days just make you want to crawl into a hole and disappear! Hope next week gets better! :)

    1. Go for it! I borrowed the idea from a kindergarten blog I found on Pinterest. The kids really liked the project. They were asking when they could take it home before they even started!

  2. I especially love the top guy with the glasses! We all have 'those days' when nothing seems to go right! It only takes one or two uncooperative kids to adversely affect the whole class tone, doesn't it? Good on you for immediately developing strategies to deal with them :)

  3. Great lesson. I like the open-ended decision-making so everyone can find their own solutions.

    As for your day - I feel so bad for you! But even after 36 years, there were still days like that. I have a copy of Beautiful Ooops. It's really geared for young kids. There will always be those kids... I had one boy who started over on everything the minute I turned my back, so he never finished on time. I would have to stand right over him and make him keep going. I think he's still trying to do the same thing (do-overs) with the new teacher. I appreciate that he has this idea of perfection he wants to meet, but it's extreme, and there's really no time for it in an elementary art program. Plus I hated the wastefulness.

    I had one perfectionist girl who froze up and started to cry doing self-portraits in 3rd grade! I let her take it home to work on when nobody was 'watching' and she did an awesome job and was so proud of her work. And I could tell it was truly her work.

    As for the potty accident - there's nothing worse, is there? I can't stand smells and it always made me crazy that I had to deal with that from time to time.

    BUT - since you mentioned smocks - here's what I did: Every fall I sent a letter home with every child telling them that they were REQUIRED to have an art shirt. It could be an apron, or an old shirt of dad's with the sleeves cut to kid-length, or whatever. These were stored in their classroom cubbies. If they did not have their art shirt, they might not be allowed to participate in messy activities. I used my judgment on this. For my 6th graders, I told them it was their decision; and I noted that if we were using plaster bandage or ink or paints that I would definitely be wearing my art shirt. If they chose not to, that was up to them, as long as did NOT get any phone calls from home angry that they had gotten acrylic paint on their new school clothes! I'd say at least 1/2 of them always wore the art shirts. If parents (K-6)were unable to provide an art shirt, they would let me know and the 'Art Shirt Fairy' (me, though the kids didn't know this) would surprise them with a shirt to keep. Art shirts were labeled with student name and teacher. They only went home usually at Christmastime, when they were told to clean out their cubbies. They got washed and came back, with a little prodding. Here's the thing - I know lots of art teachers have smocks that they let everyone use, but I'm kind of funny about that. There's kids who are not so clean, or smell not the greatest, and then there's always the possibility of an epidemic of head lice. SO no sharing of hats, art shirts, etc in my art room! Maybe I'll have to do a post about this!

    1. I've thought about asking each student to bring their own smock, but I'm not sure everyone would be able to! My district is a VERY low income district and I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to supply smocks for those who wouldn't be able to being anything from home. To try and erase the idea of smocks, because students end up getting paint all over themselves anyways if they are naturally messy painters, I tried making the switch to washable tempera and watercolor paints this year. I've read that a lot of teachers don't think they have the same quality as the permenant types, but I'm willing to forgo that, at least with the younger kids!

    2. Oh, I was in a low income district too. But it really wasn't a problem, except for a few kids, and I dealt with that as I said.

      I tended to use not just tempera and watercolor, but also school grade acrylics (for papier-mache and clay, since I had no kiln), and also the papier-mache goo, etc, so I was always glad to have the kids covered up. If I took off my own apron, I immediately had something all over me.

  4. Me again...
    I never liked kindergarten in the fall - for reasons precisely like your potty incident - but then I remember how wonderful they got by the middle of the year, and how much fun they could be. Keep your chin up, and think about all the good stuff! There's so much of it when we teach art.

    And lastly - will you be going to the NYSATA conference in Rochester in November? I'll be there - actually am teaching some workshops - and I'd love to see some blogger buddies!

    1. As of right now, I'm not signed up to go. I'm not currently a member of NYSATA, and I hate to say it but I don't have the extra money right now to buy a membership...but I do plan to join in te future!

      I used to be so nervous with the kindergarten age, but this year, they may be my favorite group! It might have something to do with having them for special first period instead of 3rd this year...