Thursday, September 4, 2014

Back to School

Back in the Swing of Things!

 The 5th and 6th graders have had four art classes so far.  The first day we got some introductory things out of the way and then the students made their portfolios and designed the cover.

The 5th graders use mirrors while drawing their self portraits.

The second day we dove right into pre-assessments.  The 5th graders drew self portraits, as we did last year and the 6th graders drew landscapes.  I will be teaching a unit on self-portraits later in the year to the 5th graders and a unit on landscapes to the 6th graders.  The assessments are in the (long) process of being graded using a rubric and then the students staple them into their portfolios.

The third and fourth days both grades began their first project of the year.  The 5th graders are learning about how to dissect and reassemble geometric shapes as they study the art work of Cincinnati's own, Charley Harper.  The 6th graders are getting a better understanding of the elements of art by making a paper cube that features an illustration of a different element on each side.

New "Decor" in the Art Room

I re-did my points system and instead of the long strips I used last year as a "game board," I made a color wheel game board to replace them.  Last year the goal was to earn three points during each class and I wasn't as good at awarding points as I should have been, and sometimes it would get overlooked.  So, now classes automatically have three points at the beginning of art class and they  keep them by having good behavior.  If they still have three points at the end of class they get to move their clothespin a space on the color wheel.  When they get to 'finish' they get a reward day that consists of taking a break from the project in progress and participating in activities and mini-art projects at a variety of stations around the room.  

I needed something eye-catching and inspirational to put on the wall above my dry erase board.  I took down an old screen and a map that were hanging there and since it is the center of attention in my room I wanted something good.  I looked on pinterest and found an idea that had the "think outside the box" quote with colored tissue paper coming out of cereal boxes arranged in a color wheel fashion.  I liked it so I used that as an inspiration to make this one.  

There's and new fire marshal in town, who is anti-curtain-curtains-in-the-classroom.  All of the teachers received the news that after inspecting our building, the fire marshal ordered all curtains to be taken down.  Remember these curtains from a previous post? I know the fire marshal is doing his job but its a bummer because I made my curtains myself and now I have to figure out what I am going to do with six panels of turquoise and black giraffe print curtains!  They're really cute but they do not match my apartment decor, so its not like I will take them home and hang them up!

This is my artsy-fartsy Warrior head.  The Warrior is our school's mascot.  Can you see the crayon, marker, pencil and two paint brushes in his head dress?  During the opening meeting on the teachers' first day back, our superintendent, Mr. North showed us a list of names.  These were names of people that had taught in our district and that stood out in a way that could be looked up to.  He said that not only were these people that can be inspirations on this list, they were right there in that auditorium that morning: all of us.  One of the people that was on the list Mr. North said bled maroon and white (our school colors) and that he wanted all of us to have that kind of pride for our district.  This Fine Art Warrior head is one new effort of mine to bleed maroon and white!  

Next week I will show you how I made an already awesome project even better!   I am so impressed with the 5th graders and their ideas!  This project features one of my favorites, Charley Harper.