Wednesday, December 30, 2015

4th Annual Presents For Paws Drive

Another year of making a difference!  This year the Choir and my Art Club sponsored our 4th Annual Presents For Paws, pet food and supply drive benefitting furry friends in need in Middle Tennessee.  Any donation is a greatly appreciated donation, but I do have a not-so-secret hope of this drive getting bigger every year.. and this year certainly did not let me down. Below is a photo of just 75% of the pet food and supplies that were donated during our two week drive!  Whoooooooa! 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

International Dot Day 2015

I first did a project for International Dot Day last year.. but it was on a relatively small scale. This year I decided to think bigger and make this a larger scale collaborative project.  My school operates on a 7 day Specials rotation schedule based on colors, ROYGBIV.  Each color day got to design an 8" dot using the color tones for their color day in Art (ex. Red day students mixed paint colors and decorated their dots in red tones, Orange day students mixed and painted with orange tones, Yellow day with yellow tones, etc.). Once dry, the students cut out the circles and we assembled one from each day into a truly beautiful 'dot cluster!'  These dot clusters look amazing and make the walls oh so happy! 

For those of you who are not familiar with Dot Day, this "holiday" is inspired by the Peter H. Reynolds' book, The Dot.  The Dot tells the story of a teacher who reaches out to an uninspired student (Vashti) in a very creative way, helping her to break through and to make her mark!  It is a fun and colorful story of self discovery.  In fact, Peter H. Reynolds was inspired to write the book after one of his very own teachers changed his life by making connections or 'connecting the dots' between Math and Art.  

So last Tuesday, September 15th, was International Dot Day and I encouraged my coworkers (as reading time allowed) to read The Dot with their classes and to create their own dot and make their mark.. whether it be in the form of artwork, dancing, singing a song, writing a story or a poem, even acting out a story of a dot!  I reminded them and I will also remind you, the reader, that NOW is the time to celebrate the joy of creative teaching.. make your mark and see where it takes you! 

And as for yours truly, I decorated the school walls with the ROYGBIV collaborative dot clusters and wore as many dotted things as I could find in my closet all. week. long! 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Throwback to Spring Happenings; Artsonia!

This year I have jumped all in to the awesome world of Artsonia!  Artsonia is a great resource for teachers who are looking for a way to keep track of student artwork and growth through digital portfolios.. OR for teachers who are looking for a user friendly method of fundraising.. OR both!  

I signed up for Artsonia last year, but never really put forth much effort since I had so many kiddos and so many things on my daily checklist.  Honestly it just seemed overwhelming.  This year though, I had a special Art teacher friend who helped show me the ropes and got me feeling comfortable and open to the functions of the site. 

If you are not yet familiar with Artsonia, I recommend you give it a try and wander around.  I hear lots of compliments from parents and grandparents who do not get to see their children's artwork everyday due to distance, travel, military placement, divorce, or other scenario.  These digital portfolios bring families together and hey, if they purchase something, a portion of the proceeds goes to support your school's art program!  Woohoo!  

 * And lookie loo, my school ended the year as #2 in the state of Tennessee and #12 in the US.  Not too bad, huh?  My bud, Crystal, took the #1 spot in Tennessee, so I cannot be too upset about that!

Throwback to Spring Happenings; Hat Workshop!

This Spring I also jumped on the bandwagon with some art teacher friends and took part in a super fun and hands on milinery/hat making workshop!  If you follow my bud Cassie Stephens, you may have seen her post on our hat workshop within the depths of her fabulous blog.  She posted many great photos of our time and efforts!
The workshop was an all day event held at Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts inspired by their featured exhibit; Houghton Hall, Portrait of an English Country House.  Our fabulous instructor and fearless leader was none other than Mark Sloniker

* Above is a compilation of photos I took while we were constructing our pieces.  Mine is the peacock number on the bottom left.

Throwback to Spring Happenings; Art Show!

Summer is here at long last (though I confess that this year flew by for me).. and I know it's been a while, but I plan to update you on the events throughout the Spring over my next few posts.  Let's start with our county's annual Art Show at The Frist  in March!
I chose two students per grade (my school is Kindergarten-Fifth) to represent our school at the Williamson County Art Show in downtown Nashville.  It is always such a great day and our turnout this year was awesome!  The students were so proud of themselves (one was even nervous, as he thought there would be reporters there to interview him specifically)!

  This year it was even better than shows in the past, as we went to brunch beforehand at a great downtown gem!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Good ole Rocky Top!

First Grade has been studying state symbols.. state bird, song(s), flower, insect, animal, etc.  So for a connection in art class, we created Tennessee Flag Collages.

The geometric design of the Tennessee flag symbolizes the geographical and cultural heritage of the state of Tennessee, while echoing the colors of the national flag of US.  The color White symbolizes purity, the Blue symbolizes the love that Tennesseans feel for their state, and the Red symbolizes that in times of war and peace, Tennesseans are true-blooded Americans. Pretty cool, huh?

We start by drawing and cutting out three stars (for those of you unfamiliar with their meaning, they represent the grand divisions of the state; Middle, East, and West Tennessee).  Next, we glue the stars onto a blue and then white circle, representing unity of the three grand divisions.  And finally, we glue them onto a sheet of red construction paper and add the aesthetic finishing touches of a blue stripe and a white stripe!  Tadaaaa!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Color Mixing with Kindergarten

Throughout the year I work color theory into Kindergarten lessons, the first lesson after our Winter Break is no exception.  Let me start by telling y'all about one of my faaaaaaavorite books from childhood, The Color Kittens by Margaret Wise Brown.  This beautiful Little Golden Book makes my heart sing whenever I open the cover to the lovely illustrations of Hush and Brush, two kittens trying so hard to make green paint!

I start by reading this gem to the class (using the Elmo is great, as students can see the illustrations while I read).  Next, we talk about color and color mixing.  I then work some magic with tempera cakes/pucks and clear plastic cups with water.  All you need are 3 clear cups, 3 primary colors, water, a paint brush, and a white rabbit (optional).

After my story and demo, it's their turn!
Students get to mix their own colors at table stations around the room.  Purple, green, orange, and pink are the colors they mix, though I have considered opening up the stations to more colors.  Once students paint a section of color on their papers, they use the end of the paintbrush to draw into the wet paint a different type of line.  I keep my example and other references visible in case my young artists need a reminder; zig zag, curly, wavy, horizontal, segmented, diagonal.. you get the idea.  When a student finishes with one color he/she picks up their placemat and moves to the next color mixing station.  Each student mixes and moves to four different stations.  We get all of this done in one 45 minute class.  Enjoy!