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Sunday, December 18, 2011

1st Grade Kandinsky's Circles

For our Kandinsky circles, I thought it was important for the students to learn warm colors, cool colors, primary colors, secondary colors, & complimentary colors.  I created a few samples of circles using oil pastels in each of these combinations that I could hang on the board for students to see.

Every lesson that I start with the students, I show a PowerPoint presentation showing the students the artist, their artworks, some facts that they need to know, or our process.  
The students love seeing the large images of the "famous" artwork.  If I don't mention it in each blog, just consider it happening.  
The PowerPoints take me less than an hour to make & I'll always be able to use them in the years to come.  
A GREAT place to borrow PowerPoint presentations is from 
Mrs. Brown has tons of slideshows!  Most of the time, I look at hers, & then create my own to better form it to my lesson. 

I didn't want all of the students' artwork to be the same, but because we were doing this project in September, I thought it was important for me to grasp how well the students could follow directions.  

These are the directions I gave (which I leave on the board throughout the project):

1. Each circle has to have AT LEAST 3 colors. (I would also say "3 or more".  I found "at least" was hard for them to understand.

2. Each circle must stay in it's own square.  (They did pretty good with this one.  The concept of the circles expanding off the edge I found was hard to explain & hard for them to understand.  I have found even 4th graders don't want their shapes to run off the page, so this is something I'm going to have to work on.)

3. Each circle can not be the same.

4. Blend (they liked the word "mix" better) the colors from each circle together so the colors touch. (Some students did this with no problem, where others struggled.)

5. Press hard so the oil pastel looks more like paint & less like crayon. (This depended on the students' hand strength; some did this instinctively where others were reminded)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Andy Goldsworthy / Andy Warhol Mash-up

3rd grade students looked at artworks from Andy Goldsworthy & learned about land art & using nature as a source of art.

We chose leaves off the trees & narrowed it down to our favorite leaf that would fill the space, was interesting, & laid flat.  I told them holes in the leaves were okay, but many opted for leaves with no holes.

Then students learned about pop-art & Andy Warhol.  We compared the Andys & their artworks.  We then created four tiles with the same image of each leaf.  I borrowed 14 projectors from most of my fellow teachers to ensure there was room for everyone to trace.  What I didn't consider happening was blowing a fuse!  Once we did, I had to rearrange where they were plugged in so I didn't have to worry about it happening again.  The students traced their 4 leaves with pencil & then outlined them in Sharpie.

I wanted to expose the students to creating art using more than one medium, so each leaf was a different medium.  We used markers, oil pastels, chalk pastels, & watercolor pencils for our leaves.  Each medium was only on one leaf.  I think this is a good segue for later in the year when we experiment by mixing different mediums... at least I hope.

The students had a really hard time with the chalk pastels.  It was really hard for them to use one color in one spot without smearing it.  I think next time I might use a different medium   Many of them had not used watercolor pencils before & loved them.

Here are some of our results:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Op-Art with 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders!

I was inspired by  Mrs. Brown's Art (http://www.mrsbrownart.com/3rd.htm) 3rd grade op-art checkerboards & her warm & cool colors shape designs.  So I just mashed them into one project!
We learned about M.C. Escher & Bridgett Riley, discussed their works, & ways they are different & similar.

I was surprised to see just how fascinated the kids were with optical illusions & op-art!  I had parents stop me in the hallway & tell me how much their child loved op-art.  That made me feel pretty good!

Back to the art.... 2nd graders created a basic vertical line pattern using 2 different colors of marker & had to add shapes to their paper.  I found that some of them needed help creating their A/B pattern of colors, but overall they turned out very successful.  I reminded all students to, "Keep coloring.  Go back & color some more.  Fill in all the white spaces.  No really, keep coloring."  Haha.  I think I became a little annoying to them, but when they were one they were all very proud of their work & so was I!

First we used rulers to make our straight lines, then used tracers to make out shapes, then we outlined everything in Sharpie, & lastly we colored it all in!  

For 3rd grade, we did the same thing, but we created wavy lines.  We talked about baby, medium, & large waves & how they're all different.  Then we added one shape that repeated outward.  That was a very hard concept for a lot of them - that the shape could go off of the paper.  Next year, I'll have to find a better way to describe that to the kids.  Either way though, I think their work turned out amazing!


Well this is my very first post on my very first blog ever!  I thought that it would be fun to start a blog of what's happening in the art room for others to enjoy as much as we do in the classroom.  We've been in school since August, but I've finally got settled enough to create it!  

So step into the art room with me!

There is a reason the title of my blog is "Miss McCracken's Magical Days".  Every day when the students are on their way out of the art room door, I make sure to tell them, "Have a _____ day!"  The blank is filled in with whatever adjective I can come up with, great, happy, magical, fantastical, glorious, awesome, wonderful, you get my point.  It's fun for me also when on the way out the door they tell me to, "have a ____ day".  They make me feel good everyday & I hope I'm making them feel the same way!