Monday, August 24, 2015

Creative Letter Drawings (1st)

Today was day one of week three and man oh man has it been interesting so far (aside from a kindergartener throwing up on my brand new carpet today)!
As many of you know I started at a brand new school this year - so I've had to start from scratch with my art program! I'm not sure why I just expected that the county would give me additional money for start up supplies (scissors, rulers, etc.)... cauuuuseee that didn't happen. In fact every art teacher in our county lost $50 each from our consumable budgets! :/ 
Sooo $400 for 1,200 kids? Awesome. Fortunately for me I have a pretty awesome principal who seems sympathetic to my position.

So when day one rolled around and I still didn't have my county money, I had to rely on my own wallet for supplies. I bought some printer paper, crayons, colored pencils, and markers and started brainstorming for lessons. 
After much thought I landed on 'Creative Letter Drawings' for my 1st graders (a lesson I learned from my supervising teacher during student teaching).

I started by reading the book "Louise Loves Art" by Kelly Light. The book is about a little girl who creates her greatest masterpiece (a drawing of her cat) but then her little brother cuts it up and makes it into something else (his greatest masterpiece). Then we talked about the idea of taking something and transforming it into something else.
Thats when I told my students that I was going to give them a letter of the alphabet and it was their job to turn it into something else (I suggested an animal).
After drawing an example on the board, my students got to work!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE their creativity!!
*Some of these are not yet complete - but I just couldn't wait to post about it!

'H' into a cat.

'X' into a dog.

'V' into an owl.

'P' into a pig.

'A' into a mouse. A snorkling mouse. A snorkling mouse with cheese in water.

'E' into a jellyfish.

'D' into a whale.

'U' into an elephant.

'N' into a giraffe.

'M' into a cat.

'R' into a flamingo.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015-2016 Classroom Photos!

Okay so technically I don't actually go back to work for preplanning until Monday.. but I've spent a good amount of time already in my classroom this summer.
I was really fortunate in getting my new position as the art teacher at a brand new elementary school in my county. That means new building, new furniture, new students, new adventures, and....starting from scratch. :)

This is what my new classroom looked like a month ago.

This is what it looks like now! :)

Moved over a bit.

My word wall and art centers area!

My bulletin board!

My shape posters.

My illustrated Elements of Art display (from 3 years ago)! :)

My forms posters.

My elements of art posters.

My "teacher area."

My beautifully papered filing cabinet!
I got lazy with the second one. haha

My teacher bookshelf. 

The front of my classroom. My carpeted reading area! The rug is from Target!

Student bookshelf!
Finally they added shelves into my kiln room!

2 sinks! And one is even made for kinders! Now they won't have to climb up to wash their hands. haha

You can see I taped off my tables again! 

I'm so excited to get the new year started!
I think my favorite part of my new room is that I finally have enough room to be able to separate my tables enough to allow for 4 students at a stand-alone table! Hooray!

...Oh... and my GIANT windows!! :)


Monday, July 13, 2015

Donors Choose - Round 2 (and technically 3)!

After the success I had with my first Donors Choose project last year, I decided to try it again!

I currently have two projects open.
If you would like to donate to either project or even just share this post I would be eternally grateful! :)
For the next 7 days, will match your donation if you enter the code SPARK.

My Students: My classroom is a place where students are able to explore their world and themselves artistically. As twenty-first century learners, I think it is imperative that they are introduced to as many different artistic mediums as possible, enabling them to better communicate their message to the world.
The 2015-2016 school year will be the first year that my school is open. Starting the school year with a projected 1,200 students (all of whom I will teach), a high ESOL population, and as a Title I school, I have my work cut out for me. Many of my students are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and as their art teacher I think it is my job to teach them how to express themselves artistically so they can share their unique stories with the world.
My Project: In addition to teaching my students drawing, painting, printmaking, and ceramics, I would love to be able to teach them about photography, filmmaking, graphic design, web design, and animation. Coming from a graphic design background myself, with ipads I will be able to teach my students how to use modern technology expressively in order to effectively communicate a message.
Getting iPads for my classroom would absolutely enable me to teach my students valuable skills for a technology-driven world.
By donating to this project, you will be helping me to introduce my students to a completely different way of communicating through digital expression.
My students need iPads to help them learn about creative design, photography, and coding.

My Students: My classroom is a place where students are encouraged to explore artistically while making natural cross-curricular connections.
The 2015-2016 school year will be the first year that my school is open. The school is projected to open with 1,200 students (all of whom I will teach), will have a high ESOL population, and will be a Title I school. While I haven't met my individual students yet, I do know that many of them are coming from homes where all of their needs may not be provided for. That inspires me to work that much harder to make sure that they are getting an amazing experience while at school.
My Project: My students need 25 books to help enhance and inspire lessons, teach art history, and help students learn to draw. The books donated to my classroom will be used in a number of ways. The picture books will be used to help students make literary connections to inspire their art projects. The how-to-draw books will be used as reference books to help students refine their drawing skills during their free time. The 'Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists' books will be used to help my students better understand the journey of artists who very well may have started out their lives in circumstances similar to my students.
Being able to use books in my art room not only incorporates literacy objectives (which certainly benefits all students - especially ESOL), but also provides heaps of inspiration for my students.
My students need 25 books to help enhance and inspire lessons, teach art history, and help students learn to draw.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Google Tour Builder

This past Thursday I went to a day long technology-driven staff development hosted by the county I work in. Attendees went to a general session and then got to pick four different sessions led by teachers/LSTCs/etc.
One of the things I learned about while I was there was Google's "Tour Builder" (still in BETA).
It is a application in which you kind of merge a map with a story.

Google Tour Builder interface
You start by creating a "new tour," then beginning pinning locations onto a google map. As you pin each location, a "slide" will come up on the lefthand side of the screen (it looks very much like Powerpoint thumbnails). You can customize the pinned map view by zooming in as much as you want, keeping the map zoomed out, or even do a street view. Then you can add text and up to 25 images or videos (with captions) for each location pin.
If you know how to use google maps and powerpoint... it's pretty much a no brainer (you can easily figure it out). If you need help, google also offers a support page.

The session presenter was coming at Tour Builder from a language arts perspective (writing about different places).. but I couldn't help but think about all the possible art history possibilities.
What if you could present to your kids (or even have them review the material on their own - maybe with an iPad?) art history in a more interactive way? You could show them locations where certain art pieces were being made (or movements were happening) and they could see those locations in relation to each other. You could pin the geography of major turning points in a particular artist's life! What if you had students create their own tours about the major influences in their lives or in their favorite artist's life?

Anyways.. I got pretty excited about it and decided to start creating my own "tour" of my favorite artist's life (obviously Wassily Kandinsky). While I still haven't finished my tour, I still wanted to go ahead and share what I have so far with you!

Once the page loads press the "Play fullscreen" button.

What do you guys think? Can you see the potential in this application? :)

Friday, June 12, 2015

My Blank Canvas!

I am SO excited for the next school year!
My new school is still under construction.. but I got in there today to check out the progress in my new classroom!

My classroom is the second set of three windows to the right of the lobby!

My classroom!!
Storage closet. Uhhh storage shelves??