More Fun Faces

….a few more art projects done by my grade 3 classes

This last assignment on drawing faces has to be one of my favourite projects. If I ever get called back to do supply work in an art class I’ll definitely pull this one out of my bag of tricks if I have to come up with my own lesson plan.

Two More Days!

…..the count down continues

One more day with the kids and then a PA day for cleaning up. The irony is that it seems like all I’ve been doing for two weeks is cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning; however, as soon as I start a new art project or pull books for discarding I seem to be right back where I started from.

Joanne suggested that I take photos of the every day things that I see all the time as a visual record of my life as a teacher. Here are a few shots taken after I’d cleaned the library. Unfortunately it doesn’t look that way at the moment. Outside the library a gallery of art that my students have done is on display and further down the hall is Ms. B’s class, Ms. C’s class and the office.

Making Funny Faces

…..what to do with the kindergarten class for art in June?

I’m always pondering on what to teach to my art classes, especially the kindergarten classes. I get inspiration from numerous sources, i.e., books, on-line classes, Pinterest, other teachers and Facebook.

Recently, two artists that I follow on Facebook were posting great portraits that they had made from crayons, markers, pencil and collaged papers. They were intended to be fun and somewhat abstract. I really thought that my kindergarten class could handle a similar assignment. I quickly made up a sample and drew some basic shapes that I used to show them how to put together a face. Here is my sample:IMG_2328

As usual the kids ate it up and created some fantastic faces. Unfortunately I didn’t bring my camera to the class so I don’t have any photos to share of their work but I did repeat the lesson with my grade 3s. I added one extra element to their lesson and that was adding watercolour as one of the mediums that they could use.

Here are some of the finished pieces. I love them all.

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Thank you Stefanie von Hoesslin and Jill Kuhn for inspiring me.

Ballerinas

…..a few weeks ago The National Ballet Co. came to our school and demonstrated the fundamentals of ballet and the preparation that takes place before a show

Our entire school population, from kindergarten to grade 5, were lucky enough to see the show and ask questions of the dancers. As a follow-up I did an art lesson with my kindergarten classes and used a picture book about Degas and the little ballerina, Marie to demonstrate some ballet poses and highlight some of the work that Degas created.

I showed the classes how to draw a simple ballerina, using chalk pastels. Some of the boys asked if they could draw male dancers and I was interested to see how they would do that since I spent so much time showing them how to draw a tutu.

As always, I was blown away with their creations. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

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A Busy Week

….when it rains it pours

This past week was the week I dreaded the most because many of the events that I organize and other special events and meetings that I take part in took place in this one week. On Monday the parents organized a very special luncheon for the staff at our school. The library was pretty much closed so that they could decorate, set up the tables and put out the food. As always there was so much food that the staff didn’t have to bring lunch for the next three days.

On Tuesday we had a soccer practice after school and then I drove to the warehouse to pick up an order of paper that I needed for my book making workshop on Thursday. When I got back to school I had dinner with the principle and then we waited together for the parent council meeting to begin at 7:00. I’m the teacher rep for these meetings. Needless to say by the time I got home it was pretty late.

On Wednesday we had another soccer practice after school so I started to set up for my workshop earlier in the day. I cut enough paper for about 60 books and I typed out the names of the 60 students who would be attending the special Forest of Reading Celebration. I placed the lists in the attendance folders so that teachers would know which students needed to be released from class. I would have stayed later and put more things out but I was reminded earlier in the day that I had bought a ticket to see a stage production that one of my former colleagues and dear friend was the stage manager for. I went home to have dinner with my husband and then left shortly after to get to the church on time for the musical extravaganza. It was actually very good.

On Thursday the day started with a bit of a wrinkle in our plans. The photographer for the grade 5 year end photo had to be rescheduled and it happened to fall on the same morning as the Forest of Reading Celebration. Four of the six teachers that were running the workshops that morning also had to be in the photo. Luckily my right hand woman, MC, was able to call down the grade 3s and 4s and read to them for a few minutes and then got them started on the art activity of bookmaking.

After the photo was taken the grade 5s went to the gym where two of my friends and colleagues hosted a drama/dance workshop based on one of the books from the Forest of Reading that I had read to the entire school. The book was The Artist and Me. I wrote about it in an earlier post. I went straight to the library to help MC with the bookmaking. This year I chose three easy designs and the first group mostly chose to make the accordion book.

At lunch the participants in the activity day went to the gym where they were served pizza, juice and ice-cream bars. All the teacher expert readers were invited as well. After the food was devoured the children went outside for lunch recess and the teachers had a bit of a break.

In the afternoon our visiting author, Sue Irwin, arrived with her props and extra copies of her book Safety Stars. She talked about her love of hockey and how she came to write a children’s book about how hockey evolved over the years with new safety equipment. She also tried to talk about the process of writing but the children had questions mostly about hockey which she happily answered. 9781459408470

At the end of the day I handed out special awards to the students who had read the most books. The goal was 12 but the top students had read 30, 39 and 41. Every student who attended the celebration also received a gift bag with a pencil, pen, book mark and stickers and one book of their choice.

After school I had one more soccer practice with the girls before their tournament the following day. On the way home I took the car through the car wash.

On Friday the girls’ soccer tournament took place. There were only three schools participating on this day. Our team won their first game 7-0 and lost the second game 4-0. It was a really chilly day but I’d rather have that than a day sweltering with heat.  We’re not sure if we’re moving on. If we are it means more practices. I guess we’ll find out on Tuesday. On the way home tonight I went back to the car wash and complained about the dirty water that they used to rinse the car. I didn’t notice the spots all over the car until the next morning. They gave me another voucher for a car wash so I decided to use it right away.

Ah, finally the weekend but there is no rest for the wicked. On Saturday I did three loads of laundry, cleared more things from the basement, started to take out my summer wardrobe and put away more winter items. I cleaned bathrooms, tidied my father’s apartment and vacuumed and de-cluttered the living room. We drove to the mall to get some new keys cut and buy some light bulbs and batteries. I checked out Winners while we were there but it was late in the day so I didn’t have time to try anything on.

Today is grey, cool and it’s pouring down rain at the moment. We went out earlier and picked up some meat from the boys that my husband coaches. It was some kind of fundraiser for one of the many activities that they’re involved in. We spent a couple of hours relaxing over coffee and just talking. Now that we’re back home we’re resting up a bit before we head out again to do more errands, i.e., grocery shopping, garden shopping and checking out fences for our backyard.

Tomorrow is a holiday in Canada, Victoria Day. Traditionally it’s the weekend where  a lot of people head up north to open the cottage. I was hoping to do the same but I knew if it was cold and raining I wouldn’t be making the trip this weekend. Only once did I go up in May when the conditions weren’t optimal and I vowed I’d never do it again. My daughter and I froze and left early. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Perhaps we’ll visit a friend or drive to Hamilton or continue cleaning up around here and maybe we’ll start putting in our garden.

Cheers!

 

Geometric Fish

…..it’s easy to draw fish using geometric shapes like rectangles, squares and triangles

For a recent kindergarten art class I read a counting book that was illustrated with funny little fish that came in all shapes and sizes. The illustrator created simple fish shapes with ovals, triangles and square shapes. I demonstrated how to draw a fish using a combination of these shapes. A square, turned to look like a kite, for the body, triangles for the fins and tail and circles for the eyes.

Each student was give a sheet of watercolour paper and a variety of crayon colours and they were instructed to draw at least three fish and some seaweed. I also taught them the trick of making circles with white crayons that would appear magically when they added their watercolour paint.

On my second visit to the class I taught them how to water down the paint and do a wash across their picture. We also talked about using colours that would blend nicely if they wanted to use more than one colour for their background. Again they did a wonderful job. I’m always amazed at how uninhibited young children can be with a little instruction and encouragement from their instructor and peers.

In this class we learned about contour drawings using simple shapes, crayon resist using watercolours, blending colours and using space effectively.

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Inspired by Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

…..the kindergarten classes that I teach art to created a garden of Van Gogh inspired sunflowers

Recently I read the book The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock to the entire school. The book is one of the Blue Spruce nominees for 2017. the-artist-and-me-by-shane-peacock

I liked this book for two reasons. Firstly, because it is written for young children and highlights how the famous artist Vincent Van Gogh was bullied by children and adults alike. It points out that even adults are bullied when they appear different or do things differently. In Van Gogh’s case he suffered from depression and his art was different from the classics that people had come to expect from artists. The students were surprised that such a famous artist was treated so badly. I explained to them that Van Gogh was one of several new artists that had grown tired of traditional painting and wanted to experiment with texture, colour and paint strokes. People had a hard time excepting this new way of painting and in his lifetime Van Gogh only sold one painting.

Secondly, I liked this book because the illustrator tried to use similar colours that Van Gogh used and he reproduced parts of Van Gogh’s work in his illustrations. For example there are a few illustrations of Van Gogh’s famous bedroom and an illustration of the wheat fields that he liked to paint.

I had other books that showed some of Van Gogh’s many paintings. I showed my kindergarten classes the sunflowers that Van Gogh became famous for after he died. In our art period I demonstrated how to paint simple sunflowers using round stamps. Some of the students used paintbrushes to create the petals of the sunflowers. We talked about the different varieties and colours of sunflowers and I gave them yellow, red, orange and white paint that they could mix if they wanted.

On the first day the students painted the centres and the petals of the flowers. On day two they added green leaves and stems. I also gave them the option of adding a blue sky in the background and I showed them how to paint around their flowers. Some of the students also added some ladybugs and other little critters.

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