Friday, November 30, 2012

6th Grade: Mexican Folk Art Mirrors

I just finished up (finally) with the Mexican art unit with my 6th graders.  The last project in the unit, after the Day of the Dead skull masks, was Mexican folk art mirrors.

Metal working was something new for me, so it was kind of exciting for me!  I taught the students how to do repousse and chasing to create radial symmetry on their mirrors.  In order to speed up the process, I have them use mosaic stickers for the mirror frame.  I'm not too happy with the quality of these, but we needed to move on with this project.  My superintended came in yesterday for some supplies and mentioned the same thing (which was a little embarrassing ..but she understood my reason for doing it).  They didn't really do a good job of creating a pattern/picture with the mosaics.  I think this was just pure laziness as I had made an example of a mirror to show them and we extensively looked at various examples of folk art mirrors in a power point...oh well.  Most of them at least understood what radial symmetry was!

Either way, what this has told me about my units that I created over the summer is that I may need to create less complex projects for the first project in each unit so that I can get through them faster.  We'll see how the next one goes...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Pastels

One more post for day today was pretty long.  It felt like it was never going to end and my patience was running short.  I almost forgot about planning something for the Extended Day program too, so I decided to do Christmas pastel drawings with the kids as they usually like using oil pastels.

To my astonishment, they turned out AWESOME!  And, I was completely baffled by two of the boys who did this art class, they usually aren't what I would consider my star students.  They tend to cause drama and be trouble makers because they are "bored".  They did AMAZING on their oil pastel drawings!  I think I might have embarrassed them from all the praise I gave them!  In fact, one of them asked me, "Mrs. Impey, this isn't going to count for my grade is it?"  No, but, I told him, lucky for you, our next unit in 4th grade will be making poinsettia  clay bowls and then doing an oil pastel close-up drawing of a poinsettia.  He was incredibly HAPPY at this news...even though I told him we would be drawing flowers!

When they finished, I pulled out the "masters frames" that I purchased this year and let them attach them to the frames.  Of course, I played a little favoritism and let the two below put their drawings in a real mat...

These are the two I'm talking about!  Both done in different styles...but both amazing! The red one was done by a 4th grader, and the other by a 5th grader.

Another awesome drawing by a 5th grader.

4th Grader

4th Grader

5th Grader

5th Grader

Fall Drawings and Prints-4th Grade

Hallelujah!  My 4th graders are done with their projects!  Between half days, assemblies and field trips, this has taken a little longer than I would have liked, but I'm not going to complain too much...most of the results are great!

For this project, students had to do a value drawing in colored pencil that included at least one realistic tree.  That part actually took them the longest, but I can see some major improvement in a lot of their use of value compared to the value cities project I had them do.  I think it was a combination of more practice and using the colored pencils instead of the drawing pencils.

Then, students had to draw a leaf and carve it out of a linoblock.  I use these SoftKut blocks (I believe that's what they are called...) which I order through Boces.

This student did an AMAZING job!  I think this is one of the best ones!  She really understands how value is used!

Another good ones...this student really understands about cast shadows...which is pretty impressive as I haven't specifically taught them about shadows yet...

Finished Snowman Plate!

And here it is!  My slumped snowman plate!
Darn you blogger!  Why don't you let me rotate some of my photos!

I do have a tiny crack in it, on the top right part of his hat, down along the brim.  I think the problem is that the glass might have been a little too thick in that part to handle the fast slumping process.  It also could have something to do with that blue glass and the clear glass as they were both from different glass companies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

5th Grade: Color Wheels and Clay Checkerboards!

My 5th graders have FINALLY finished their color wheels!  Amen to that!  This project took forever...and I'm not entirely happy with the results...I am at least happy that about 80% of the kids know their primary, secondary, tertiary and complementary colors.  Craftsmanship was not at its highest for this project...

This color wheel was probably the best quality one that was made.  I wasn't too thrilled with the creativity of there were a few other jerseys that were made, but his craftsmanship was great!

I really liked this one...This was a lot of work for her to cut out all the little toes!

This one was supposed to be art smocks...

This one would have been awesome if the student had been a little more careful with paint!

Robots...another original design...I just wish he had used the complementary colors to add a face instead of random dots!


Another good craftsmanship piece...just not very creative!

This one was made by a took him two extra days because everything always has to be perfect!  I had to eventually cut him off and make him move on, so he didn't do the outlining with Sharpie marker.

Loved this controller!
Now that we're moving on, I decided to go with a clay project.  It's always a risk doing clay with this group because there are so many kids in one class and they are always bonkers, especially when we do something fun like clay!

Today I did a quick demonstration to remind them how to roll out slabs (they've done it before).  I handed out 8" square tracers so they could cut out the checkerboard square.  I also showed them how to carefully put a mark on the clay at every inch around the edge, and use the ruler to put the grid lines in.

All in all, it went pretty well.  Some have extra checkerboard spots, but I can't baby them and remind them to check, especially when it was written on the board!

The only negative thing that happened was that a student decided to take some clay from the classroom (and of course, I decided to spare them the threat I usually give about not taking clay from the classroom...or else you sit out for clay projects). His teacher saw him with during after school and made him apologize to me.  To top it all off...he didn't even want to give me the piece of clay back! *eye roll*  Now I need to I make him sit out of the rest of the clay project...oooooh!  Or should I make him give a little presentation to his class about not taking clay out of the art room!?  Hmmmm, I think I like that idea better...