Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Update from Art Room 201

Ah my desk at the end of the day... this is actually pretty tame! With twenty school days until my FIRST Art Show at my new school, its crunch time! (so much for posting about Sixth Grade's Visual Music paintings and prints. Here is the link for last year's assignment. This year we used tempera paint and stuck to abstract representations of sound, using pattern and rhythm. we also made prints of contour line drawings of instruments, using styrofoam.)

As further evidence of my insanity, I have started a clay project with Sixth Grade. Right? I know, I'm nuts. Above are some of my preparations and after today's first class, it seems to be paying off! I have never really taught ceramics, so I have scoured the internet, especially art teacher's Pinterest pages, for tips and tricks. We actually don't have a functioning kiln, so that takes off a lot of pressure. And we're doing this now because after the art show, I only see students once or twice more. This school year flew!

So anyway, we are making Character Bowls based on a lesson found in March's (?) Arts & Activities Magazine. The first class we started with a Power Point about clay, some classroom rules while working with clay, and some student examples. We discussed what a character is and brainstormed as a class before making some sketches and practicing with clay.

Today's clean up after working on our final bowls went so well that I had to pinch myself! I hope I didn't just jinx it. My tables are labeled by color, so I called one or two up at a time as I passed out plastic shopping bags. In those little baskets on the counter are pieces of scrap paper, sharpies and clothespins. Students followed the directions on the bulletin board then went back to their tables to fold up the plastic table covering. Students were not allowed to use the sink until everyone was seated and plastic folded. Thankfully I have two sinks, so I called tables again by color, as others finished wrapping clay. By the end of the week, the counter will be filled with almost a hundred bowls!

This week seventh grade has been introduced to Pop Art and Roy Lichtenstein. I have done this lesson in the past and it is one of the top hits on my blog! This year I will be giving students a little more freedom to decide their topics and materials. In the past we have used markers and sharpies and stuck with food. This year students will use paint and/or markers but need to pick an everyday object or aspect of daily life that connects them to the world (so that it fits with my curriculum). We'll see what happens!

As if we didn't have enough happening, we are also trying to finish up our murals before the May 30th Show. There's rumors that the Mayor wants to come by and see them when they are done too!

During this crazy time, I am striving to stay organized. Pictured above is my Art Show counter. Listed on the board are the pieces that each student should have completed and can select from for the show. Each class has a list of names on the clip board and a corresponding envelope (see 6E) that I picked up at the recycling center. I also got a bunch of old desk calendars which is why I could make the little signs. RECYCLING! After passing out work and contemplating, students are asked to write down the name of their assignment for the show, next to their name, and place the work in the folder. Done and DONE!

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