Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Classroom Themes and Gearing up for 2016-2017

The Art of Nature is going to be my theme this year in art. 8 years ago when I started teaching, themes were not something I was thrilled about. Through the years it has become something I look forward to planning. It has allowed me to collaborate and make connections with other educators. Themes have also helped bind and connect content together in my classroom and with other classroom curriculum. I always try to choose a theme that is broad and not too concrete. This allows me a wide range of options and content to choose from. I love having students in grades K-6 make connections with each others work and with my other three elementary art teachers. It is a great way to put meaning into the hard work everyone does all year. This year I got an early start on creating my bulletin boards. What fun themes and awesome connections are you looking forward to this up and coming school year?

Twitter:Community Connection

Being an art teacher is awesome! I get to see all of my students once, sometimes twice a week and I get to see them grow, create and learn for almost 7 years! It is great to get to know them, their families and their life stories. One way I tried connecting with my students and their families this year was through Twitter. Twitter has allowed me to share the awesome work my students are doing in the art room. It also allows them to be part of our classroom outside of school and in their home. Students love coming in and sharing their work online and see the work of their peers. This has been a great way to connect with other art educators and educational professionals around the world as well. I love see Parents and students be involved in our online community and the visual arts. 
This year and last year we had students create our front and back covers for our yearbooks! I love showcasing these school wide projects!
Towards the end of the school year, students went outside in our school garden to create works of art. The space inspired students to create art in a new way and got students thinking about art, science, and the world around us. I loved being able to share their smiles and creativity with others. 
Do you use Twitter? What cool things are you doing in your classrooms with Twitter and social media?

Art Camp: What does your summer look like?

What better way to celebrate our awesome summer's than to host an Art Camp! Art Camp's are every art teachers dream, especially in the summer. You get students who love being creative, love art, and want to be in your class! This is a great way to connect with students and your community. Adult or children art classes are a great way to keep active in the summer, let your creativity run loose yet not loose that classroom touch of teaching! 

This summer I hosted a Clay Studio Art Camp. We spent two hours for two days making as many awesome pieces as we could. We are letting them all dry out for the next two weeks and then I am popping all those wonderful pieces in the kiln. We will then have a two hour session to glaze and paint our pieces. Pieces will then be shipped to our administration building for pick up. The students loved this camp so far and I had a range of students from 1st grade up to 7th grade. I had 14 students total and maxed out at that number. It is great to keep the group small so you can meet the needs of all your students, have fun with them and be able to create large and detailed pieces. 

Projects Completed:
1. Mugs
2. Organic Bowls
3. Roses
4. Octopi Plates
5. Fish Plates
6. Free Choice Creation
7. Coiled Pottery
8. Animal Pencil Holders

On our organic bowls we marbleized both the white and red clay. I can't wait to see the results. I had a variety of great resource worksheets I obtained from other wonderful art teachers out there like you. I found them on Pinterest. Come check out my board to see what resources I used to inspire these wonderful projects. 
This was such a fun two days I can't wait to show you all the final results! What fun and creative camps are you doing this summer? I would love to hear all about the experiences and projects!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Frank Lloyd Wright and Architecture:Integrating Technology into the Arts

Are you looking for fun and engaging ways to integrate technology into your classroom? This is a great site to have your students create floor plans, design an architectural layout choosing materials, furniture and much more! It is called HomeStyler. Students can present their work, take screen shots and organize a variety of views using this free, fun, and engaging tool. The only downfall is that work cannot be saved unless you have students create an account. Sometimes accounts on programs like this are not allowed in schools, so make sure you check first with your administration! If you cannot create accounts and are looking for a one day lesson, this is great for your students to explore design and architectural layouts. This is a great lesson to connect with the work of Frank Lloyd Wright!