It has been a busy time every Wednesday as I meet with the students for Art. Currently I have been working with Kindergarten and First grade during this rotation.
In Kindergarten, we have been discussing and creating artwork related to line and shape. Students created Shape Bookcovers that I turned into sketchbooks for them to take home. They also created very fun and expressive artworks that depicted a sun with many different types of lines used as the sun's rays. We are currently working on their art creations that feature a little bird created by using an "arrow" as a starting point.
First graders have been very busy experimenting with collage, watercolor painting and directed drawing. The directed drawing gave them a chance to practice their listening skills. They each drew a giraffe by using shapes and lines and placing those elements, step by step, as directed by me. They were then free to color their giraffes and backgrounds to their own choosing. The results were amazing and these can be found hanging up in the middle school hallway.
Art club has been going really well and the students are enjoying it. It has been fun to see the artistic growth in all of the students. Students are very engaged with art classes and share their excitement with me as they show me artwork they have created on their own outside of school. Please don't forget to check out the St. Joseph student gallery on Artsonia.com. This is also a great website to order Christmas gifts for family!
Another fun, creative and exciting learning year has begun in Art at St. Joseph's. I am so glad to be teaching art once again to your children. The 2nd year of teaching has already proved to be much easier and less stressful than the 1st. I had a very relaxing and nice summer, spending one week in Folly Beach (near Charleston, SC) and the rest of the time reading a ton of books and hanging out with my children.
I have also spent part of my summer collaborating with other art teachers from other school districts in the area as we study ways to incorporate STEM into our art curriculum. STEM is a term you may hear from time to time as your children journey through education. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is very easy for art teachers to incorporate those elements a little bit within an art curriculum but we also want to be a great resource for teachers in those particular subjects on how to bring art/creativity to those areas. Student learning and achievement is greatly enhanced when students can make "connections" to all of the subjects areas.
I will also be sending home with your children soon information regarding Art Club. I will be offering it again this year and expanding to add all grade levels. I will also be sending home information about Artsonia (which will be a resource once again this year of student artwork).
Congratulations to St. Joseph students who had artwork displayed this past summer at the Des Moines Arts Festival:
- Nate Steenblock (grade 6)
- Abby Hunter (grade 7)
- Eva May-Mitchell (grade 1)
- Jenna DeGregory (former student)
Students will have Art as a rotation Special on Wednesdays, much like last year. Currently I am beginning the school year with grades 2-3-4. I will also be giving out grades to all students this year in Art.
Second graders have been working on their beautiful dragonfly artworks. This project has allowed me to provide them the opportunity to practice with watercolor painting as well as introducing them to how the crayon drawing "resists" the watercolor. I brought Science into the mix by discussing the parts of the dragonfly (shape of body, head, wings and how many legs). Students were free to use their imagination and make their dragonflies as colorful as they wanted. We will also continue to work on our "clean-up time", being a little more careful, respectful and quiet during this important time in the art classroom.
Third grade had a great time with their first art project titled "Rorshach Creatures". This project is based off of those familiar "ink blot tests". Students created their own "ink blots" using red, yellow and teal paint. When the paper was folded, "smushed" together, then opened again I heard all of the "oohs" and "aahs" from every student (words that art teachers love to hear!). Students took their blot images and glued them to black paper, creating the rest of their compositions using white oil pastels. It was so fun to see where their imaginations took them and what they came up with for their final art.
Beginning in 4th grade and on up to 8th I like to begin to get more extensive teaching about the elements of art. The 4th graders began the school year with the element of "line". This year I have subscribed to Scholastic Art which is a great little mini-magazine that provides additional art information and visuals. The students really enjoyed looking at this monthly issue as we discussed the use of line in the art examples. Students practiced the "line" element using their names in cursive writing and creating a design around those with crayons. Their current project is a "doodling" project that incorporates only black line. They were pretty excited about being able to doodle for an art project. They learned that doodling really is an art form and great practice when learning how to control line on a page when drawing. This year I will also be spending more time with 4th grade on still life drawing using pencil and contour lines.
I always tell everyone "I have the greatest job in the world....teaching art!" I love sharing my passion for art with my students and teaching them to develop their creativity. Currently, I am teaching art to the middle school students during this rotation.
Students have been creating their "stained glass" projects using glue, chalk pastels and black paper. The results were amazing! This class is very artistic/creative and enjoy exploring with any art material that I introduce. They are also in the process of creating clay medallions that feature Native American symbols. This project followed closely on the heels of their Native American unit in Social Studies. I love tying in art to what the students are learning in their other courses. We will be painting their clay pieces with acrylics next time and finishing up this art rotation with a printmaking project and some collage work.
6th graders finished up their value circle projects. This was a great project that focused on tone and value shading. Students were also introduced to clay by creating clay medallions. They were able to come up with their own idea as far as what to place on the medallion. They just needed to have at least one type of art/graphic present. We recently discussed all the different ways the sun is represented in art (they were amazed by all of the examples I had!). I then had them design their own sun with paint. They will be finishing their art rotation with a Batik-like process on paper and creating Egyptian art on Shrinky Dink plastic that will shrink down to create a pendant.
7th grade finished their Color Wheel Eye. Many students created successful "eyes" that incorporated the colors of the color wheel. This group is also very expressive and artistic so I do like to give them some freedom when planning and creating their art. There were many different types of eyes. They will be finishing their art rotation with a unit on the artist Kandinsky and a project to go with that and the same "Sun Project" that was discussed and implemented with the 6th grade above.
The 8th graders had a special art class last time we met. I shared with them that every year I have had art at St. Joes I always plan something special for the 8th grade. One year we designed and flew kites. This year we had ice cream sundaes! You ask, "What in the world do ice cream sundaes have to do with art??" Well, I incorporated them with a unit on Pop Art. We studied that art movement, talking about artists such as Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Many artists during the "Pop Art age" created artwork using ordinary, everyday objects. I had the students create their ice cream sundaes, I took a digital photo of them and then they ate their sundaes to their hearts content!! Yum!! Their sundaes can be seen on the Artsonia website....be sure to check them out!
As for all of the great student artwork at St. Joes.....please check the Artsonia website regularly!! I do keep it updated as often as I can.
Art's Life Skill
Art is about making an idea into a reality. There isn't a single crafted or manufactured object that didn't pass through an artist's hands. That is art's life skill. It applies to everything from the telling of a story, to the functioning of a home, to the building of a business.
Consider the fact that every big business employs a fleet of artists to design logos, build websites, visualize and advertise products, communicate their messages, earn investors, and create a brand. It is no accident that companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Disney are recognized around the world. Creativity touches on all aspects of life.....Rama Hughes, 2011