Category: All Grades
|December 12, 2014||Posted by Cristy under All Grades, Teacher Concerns|
Sometimes I feel like my life as a teacher has been 15 years of searching for ways to not make such a huge mess.
Art is messy, but after hours at the sink, chapped hands and paint everywhere I dream of ways to streamline. I won’t tell you I have it all figured out, but with tempera I do have a system that works pretty. I thought I’d take the next few posts to share my strategy.
To begin with – here’s the “lay of the land”:
Sinks are closed. “What??” You say… “No sinks during tempera????” I find that kids take SO MUCH time washing hands, brushes, standing in line, dribbling wet sponges all over, flicking water, you’ve seen it. Everything can be accomplished without the sinks. How? Hang with me.
Pre-moistened (by me) sponges. Rags for drying. Kids can use these anytime for spot cleaning and hand wiping. When full of paint, I rinse and wring them myself so I know they aren’t drippy.
Wash buckets: One per table half filled with water and a glug of fabric softener. Half filled so they don’t slop, fabric softener because it makes the bristles nice. (No kidding! Try it!) Used only at the end of the class. (Bossy old hide, aren’t I? I’ll show you why.)
Newsprint “Placemats” that stay at the table and are re-used by each class forever. Or as long as I can.
Paint table: This is my exclusive domain. Paint lives on this table to be dispensed by Yours Truly. (I hide the colors that are not in play so kids don’t beg.) Palettes come and go from here according to what grade level is working. Everything in quarts except white – I buy that in gallons, but refill it into quart size squeezers.
Drying system: I couldn’t live without this baby. Actually, I have lived without it – you can get creative with clothes lines, strips of floor around the perimeter of the room etc. But the rack is a Godsend.
Storage totes: These came with a cubby system we bought and they seal pretty tightly when stacked. If I didn’t have those I’d get some flat Rubbermaid boxes. Or open tubs with Press-n-Seal.
The “Job Wheel”: Letters correspond to letters drawn on tables with permanent marker. I re-write the letters every couple of weeks as they wear off, but it’s better than tape, and our super-strict fire marshal won’t let me hang anything from the ceiling.
Okay – that was a lot of setup! It’s worth it, though. Now for the action:
Skill #1. Paint until the brush is “thirsty: This is the key! This is the skill that will make your tempera unit a pleasure to teach. Show kids how to lay down a color and spread until the brush scumbles. I teach kids that the brush is now thirsty. Now you can dip into another color without contaminating it. The colors will blend from what’s left in the brush, but that’s fine, because blending is the skill we’re working on. Kids practice changing color only when the brush is thirsty and blending wet into wet. I have everybody work on blending for a week or so. You’ll be amazed at how clean the colors stay once kids get it. (Except Kindergarten. They’ll get their own post. Stay tuned.) Only when kids have mastered this color change do I introduce brush washing between colors for the older kids. The blending all happens on the paper, and not in the palette or paint cup. It’s great!
Now for cleanup!
Skill #2. Cleanup according to the Job Wheel:
Paper Chief puts art in drying rack and stacks the placemats.
Tool Master washes all brushes in the bucket at the table and returns them to the cup “hairdos up!” I can’t remember what blogger I learned “Sweep in the deep, swish like a fish.. wipe, wipe, squeeeeze.” from, but that’s how I teach cleaning. “Sweep in the deep” means to rub the bristles on the bumpy bottom of the bucket.
Social Directer puts palettes in the tubs and does any errands I put them up to. (Generally I say the Social Directer is in charge of helping others and keeping positive energy flowing, but sometimes they have a job too.
That seems like a lot (and it is the first time you introduce it.) but I think it’s worth it. My kids LOVE tempera, and now I look forward to getting it out. Later I’ll show you how I differentiate for the various grade levels and how I build up the skills over the years.
Go forth and paint!
|November 7, 2014||Posted by Cristy under All Grades|
|June 3, 2014||Posted by Cristy under All Grades|
Where does the school year go?
Well – in accordance with the time honored tradition I created a short video to celebrate the last day of school. What’s different this time?
It’s stop motion animation – created by students on our new cart of
Enjoy – and have a brilliant summer!
|March 12, 2014||Posted by Cristy under All Grades, Teacher Concerns||
Holy Guacamole! I can’t believe our amazing parent organization raised enough money for an entire cart of ipads.
*This is me bowing deeply in sincere and humble appreciation*
Here’s a quick compilation of my best answers to Ipads in the Artroom Frequently Asked Questions:
Ipads in the artroom FAC:
Aren’t you just playing games?
There’s no denying kids’ natural affinity for Flappy Fish., or whatever the latest game is, but ipads have also can be serious tools for serious artists.
Once you’ve made a piece of artwork, what do you do with it?
That’s a good question. However, it could be asked of paper and paint artwork just as well. While “analog” art is likely to be crumpled into a backpack, with the possibility of being mailed to a grandma or doing a term on the fridge door, digital art has an opportunity to reach a much wider viewership. Once uploaded to a student’s Google account, the art could find it’s way to a virtual gallery, photo sharing location like Flickr, emailed to one or a million recipients, be shared via a blog or website, or even go to a virtual museum like Artsonia or to Zazzle where it could be printed on a variety of gift items.
What are other schools doing with ipads in art?
They’re relatively new additions to the education scene, and they’re expensive (as you well know!) While the vast majority of schools are just testing the water with tippytoes, there are a few who have taken the plunge. Fortunately, many of those art teachers share their ideas, experiences and successes through blogs and websites. Trica Fuglestad has been a rock star in innovation and sharing, as has Suzanne Tiedmann, among others. Hopefully Yours Truly will join the worthy ranks of Ipad Artroom Bloggers on my platform here, although I’ve got a ways to go to be as blog savy as some!
Are there any resources for how to use my ipads?
Oh man! Here are some I’ve used and loved:
Isn’t it better for kids to make art with tactile materials?
We sure wouldn’t want to limit a kid’s opportunity to smear with real paint, scrub with an eraser or mold clay. Those things are very important developmentally. But I think that I’m more limited than they are in a digital world because I didn’t grow up understanding how to re-size tools, adjust transparency of layers, select digital sections and apply a green screen. We definitely don’t want to close any doors, but I think that appropriate inclusion of digital media can open many more, while giving our students a leg up in a world we’ve only begun to imagine!
|June 5, 2013||Posted by Cristy under All Grades|
|September 28, 2012||Posted by Cristy under All Grades, Third Grade|
Just a simple little slideshow that you might like – It’s a little heavy on bones, because I made it as an intro to the third grade bone unit.
Here’s a link – I’m having trouble embedding
|June 18, 2012||Posted by Cristy under All Grades, Teacher Concerns|
Well, one of them anyway….
I couldn’t live without it.
Dividing up bulletin boards, reserving seats, marking “temporarily closed” areas of the room, making big bright arrows that point at stuff… I love surveyor’s tape.
It’s bright, it’s cheap, it’s eyecatching, lightweight, it tears and cuts and staples and tapes, I keep three colors in my top desk drawer.
Yep. Getcha some. You’ll see.
|April 5, 2012||Posted by Cristy under All Grades, Teacher Concerns|
Seems like I search and search to find good quality markers that last, and when I do, they become unavailable somehow. Last year I ordered the cheap ones from School Specialty and was horribly disappointed in the longevity and overall quality. They came apart, lids didn’t stay on, some were dried up when they were new, and they just didn’t last. That, and I didn’t realize that they were “smelly” markers, which kids love, but I hate because the focus shifts from the artwork to opening and sniffing all the colors. (Frequently resulting in multicolored noses.)
So here’s my research project. I ordered a pack or two of every type of marker I could find, and I’m dumping them all together in mixed-up baskets. We’ll see who lives the longest. It’s a showdown in the wild west, folks! Place your wagers!