Volunteer in the art room!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

4th grade Op-Art All Together!

   Back in December, I posted about the Op-Art my 2nd, 3rd, & 4th graders made. (http://missmccrackensmagicaldays.blogspot.com/2011/12/op-art-with-2nd-3rd-4th-graders.html)

 I just wanted to take a second to post their artwork once it was hung up as a group.  

   In the cafeteria, we have large, moving cork boards that I hang the students' art work on.  I love seeing them hanging together!  

Each students' artwork is overlapping, or touching another student's artwork.  

Together, this artwork is AMAZING!  

Hope you all enjoy! 

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Friday, January 20, 2012


   I'm sure that many of you know about Pinterest.com, but if you don't you need to go there!  NOW!  I can easily get lost on Pinterest for hours at a time!  

   If you don't know what Pinterest is, it's like a virtual cork board where you can pin all of your favorite ideas & get ideas from other people's cork boards & even repin what's on their cork boards to your cork boards.

   I get so many ideas for lessons in the classroom, home & decorating ideas, new recipes.... it's just brilliant!  There's one idea I repeatedly see over & over again on Pinterest.  It's crayon art!  Here's the link to a great blog full of fun stuff & it does a great job explaining the process:  http://megduerksen.typepad.com/whatever/2011/08/you-knew-i-was-going-to-make-one.html

Here is her final product.  It turned out beautiful!  

Then I found another idea on Pinterest that I really loved.  White canvas with white letters.  

Here's the link for the actual blog that it came from:  
Pretty cool!  

I wanted to combine the two ideas & see what would happen!  So here's my final product!

Totally silly!  Perfect for the art room!  

This will soon be hanging on my wall... just as soon as I find a way to hang into the brick!  I used glue & glitter for my letters.  And since my crayons were at an angle, I had to move the canvas as the blow dryer was melting the crayons.  I just used the broken crayons I had in the classroom.  I might consider going back over the crayons one more time with the blow dryer to get thicker lines at the bottom..... that's if I find some extra time to do it!  

Hope everyone enjoys! 

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

No More I Can't In Art Class!

   For the very first project of the year, I thought it would be a good start, as a new art teacher, to teach the students right off the bat that we will not be saying, "I can't" in art class.  I was surfing the web & came across a lesson for a funeral for I can't.  (I hate to say it, but I have no idea where I found the lesson & can't remember!  So sorry to whoever I'm not giving credit to; If I can find it, or anyone else knows who, please let me know!)

   When I told the students that we woulld be having a funeral for "I can't", most of them thought I was crazy.... just exactly what I wanted them to think!  Ha.  That way they never expect what's going to happen.  Makes life interesting.

   I started off the lesson having a discussion about things we can't do.  The things I can't do that I told the students included a cartwheel (yes, I'm 29 & can't do a cartwheel!) & drive a stick shift car.
***On a side note, I vow to accomplish both of these by the end of the year to show the students we can do the things we think we can't.  And I'm having a heck of a time trying to motivate myself to learn stick!***
So I then asked the students to create a list of things they think they couldn't do.... some students had a list a mile long, while others students struggled to come up with one or two things!  They then created drawings of what they think they can't do.  I also used the drawings to evaluate their drawing skills, since they were brand new students to me.

   After we completed our drawings, we were going to put our drawings into a "casket" (just a cardboard box with a lid that said "RIP".  Then we were going to talk about letting go of "I can't".  Well, that's when things took a turn for the worse.  The art teacher, who was previously in my position, passed away.  The students & staff were devastated.  I never met her, but heard many stories about her & how she taught, & how the students looked up to her.  I knew I had big shoes to fill.  My main concern was how the students were going to process coming into the art room & handing the situation....and what on earth was I going to do with my lesson?!  There was no way I could have a funeral for "I can't"!  I talked to my principal & to another art teacher  to try to gain my bearings for this lesson.  Quickly we decided to change it from the "I can't" funeral to sending "I can't" away.  I created a huge package out of yellow paper & put an address on it from somewhere near the North Pole & told the students our artwork would be sent off so we can't think of "I can't" anymore & that at the end of the year we would get the package back  from the North Pole & see if we have accomplished any of our things we couldn't do & also see if our art skills have improved.

It's a little blurry, but you get the point.  

Their "I can't" artwork hanging before I "mailed" it away!

   I was amazed how many students actually took something away from this!  I rarely have a student tell me they can't do something.  Just recently, I had a student say, "Miss McCracken, I need help!"  A light bulb went off for me!  I realized I had a break through with at least one student!  What a great feeling!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Op-Art Mural

   Around October, the music teacher & I got together & decided to collaborate on an art project for our shared bulletin board in the hallway.  At the time, many of my students were learning about op-art & fascinated by it, so that's what we chose as our project.

   First, we covered our bulletin board in black paper.  Then we covered the board in white paper & glued together the seam of the white paper, so it would stay together.  We chose to put black down first, & then white because the students were using markers & we didn't want it going through to our board.  I drew the wavy lines first & then used a ruler to draw the radial lines.  That took the longest.  I had to make sure that there were an even number of straight, radial lines so once the students started coloring we wouldn't have one section that wasn't right.

   I used yarn to mark off a section for each class.  I posted really large directions on black paper covering the sections that weren't being worked on.  Each class had an entire day to work on their section.  I gave the teachers the option to send them down alone, as a group, or for the teacher to bring the whole class down at once to supervise.  I also sent out my directions & class schedule of each class's day to participate in an email so everyone understood what was going on.   Also, after it was hung up & before the students started working on it, I took each class into the hallway & went over the directions.  We didn't work on it in art class though.

Here is the board, covered, & ready to be colored! 

   We had the 1st & 2nd grade multi-age class, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, the 3rd & 4th grade multi-age class, & 5th grade classes participate.

Each class knew to color in shapes with an "X" in it.  Myself & the music teacher put X's in the spots that should have been colored.  They were able to pick any color they wanted to color in the spots except black.

Here is the board with all of the bright colors!

   Even though we drew the X's, there were a few students who made mistakes & colored in the spots that should have been left alone.  That was okay though & I anticipated that happening, so once all of the classes had their turn, we went back & colored all of the white spots black.

Here is our finished school art mural! 

The students & the teachers loved the way it turned out.  My favorite part is that we didn't have to think about what was going on the bulletin board for a few months!  We're going to turn it in as one of our pieces for our school district's art show!