Tuesday, June 5, 2012

End of the Year Activities

With only a week and a half to go, we are quickly wrapping things up in the art room. As of tomorrow, our eighth graders are on a three day camp trip! And I will be attending a luncheon to celebrate one of my students' accomplishments in poster contest this past fall, later on in the week, so there is very little time left!

In an effort to get rid of some of my scraps, I have introduced sixth grade to Matisse and his collage techniques. We are covering plain old manila paper in bright, colorful construction and painted paper scraps. We briefly talked about positive and negative space as well.

As a culmination of the year, and their three years in middle school, eighth graders have been designing story cubes based on Dr. Suess' "Oh the Places You'll Go." The idea was to have a story flow from panel to panel of a cube template. The results have been mixed as some students have tapped out while others love the idea and have taken it to heart.

I wanted to be able to do something three dimensional with seventh grade before the end of the year. I also have varying degrees of abilities and behaviors. So, spray starch coffee filter Chihuly inspired macchia designs it is! I've started this one day lesson by showing students this interview http://www.chihuly.com/cbs-early-show.aspx and various macchia pieces from Chihuly. We then used plain old crayola washable markers to fill a coffee filter, inverted them over cups and sprayed with starch. So far the kids have loved it! The starch gets a bit messy and sticks to the table, but all in good fun. I hope they are happy because they look super cool!

Also a quick, one day activity that not everyone got to participate in, was my "Art Show Critique." Students came down to what was left of the show and with a partner answered a series of questions about a piece of their choice, not from their grade. Its not exactly a critiques, but it gets students to look more closely at an artwork and begin to analyze it. 

1. Describe what you see: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
2. What stands out the most when you first look at this work of art? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
3. Explain the reason why you notice the thing you mention in number 2. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
4. What leads your eye around the page? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
5. What is the subject of the artwork? ________________________________________________________________
6. How do you think the artist made this work? What materials do you think he/ she used? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
7. Circle which elements of art the artist used
LINE         SHAPE              COLOR      VALUE       TEXTURE           FORM       SPACE
8. HOW did the artist use at least 2 of these elements? Think about:         BALANCE       CONTRAST PATTERN EMPHASIS     MOVEMENT    RHYTHM         UNITY
9. What feelings or meanings could this artwork represent? ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
10. What titles could you give this artwork? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
11. What other things interest you about this artwork? Why did you pick this one out of the hundreds in the show? _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Spring Art Show Wrap Up

Wow. A part of me still feels like I am recuperating from the thirteen hour work day setting up the show, dismantling of the show the next day, returning the work the following, and celebrating student of the semester. All in one, short week. Maybe I am also anxiously gearing up for the last weeks of school!

But my first public school art show went off without much of a hitch. I suppose the only hitch was how I felt selling some of the student work. I get uncomfortable selling working. The money comes back to the art program, but I get worried, and so do the kids, as to where their hard work is going. And, on my end, did I remember to put the "not for sale" sticker on the work, or did the responsible 8th graders helping to prepare in the weeks before remember!?

Over sixty works of art were sold, raising almost $200 for the art program in one night. I have nothing to compare that to, but I'd say it was a success! I am even more happy with the comments from parents and staff saying how it was the best art show in memory. Thank goodness! I am the third art teacher the poor eighth grade kids have had!

8th grade Color Scheme Bike Tempera Painting

7th grade Pop Art

Also 7th grade Pop Art... you'll need to rotate your screen.
Also, an adapted lesson for my special needs student. 
7th grade Warm and Cool Rule of 3rds Bikes

All of the above pieces were sold. Two of the four to the former art teacher, now solely teaching elementary. The other two to staff members. 

The panels formed a horse shoe. This is the middle, with one of the three tables of 6th grade Character Bowls.

We were fortunate enough to borrow the metal panels from the local art association. It really made life (for me) so much easier. And I think it brought up the level of professionalism. Also wonderful was the the joint celebration of the arts that night. After an hour of viewing the art work, parents, families and others in attendance enjoyed a band and chorus performance. I was very impressed by the chorus. They really pulled it together for Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror and Journey's Don't Stop Believing!

The day after the show, I brought my students down to view the remaining works and look a little more closely at a work of their choice. With a partner, students answers questions, almost like a critique, about a classmate's work.
During last period, I was asked to come down to the office as soon as the bell rang. I tried not to get nervous, but all I kept thinking was "What did I do?"

There was a message from the assistant superintendent to please give her a call back. Um ok, sure thing.
Boy am I glad I did! She asked if I would be interested in a year, .5 position teaching high school, in addition to my .5 position teaching middle school. I have the opportunity to be full time next year! At a public school!! I have been working towards this since college graduation six years ago. Yes, I am interested, thank you, thank you, thank you!

So, anyone out there teach high school?
I am waiting for more specifics but am very much looking forward to the new challenge and improving my middle school curriculum as I go.