Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Summer Recap

Hello there, it’s been a while! Usually this back-to-school blog post is some sort of art-room tour where I talk about all the shiny, brand-spanking new things going on in the art room. And I’m always like “yayyyyy back to school!” But I can’t really do that this time for a few reasons. First, there isn’t much that is shiny, and brand-spanking new in my classroom right now. By now (my 6th year teaching) I pretty much have a good system in place and it only needs small tweaks and adjustments rather than huge over hauls. Also, I am planning a wedding right now so most of my creative energy went into that over the summer rather than tons of classroom things. And, my school got renovated over the summer and my classroom is currently filthy and not in any sort of state in which pictures should be taken.

So, while I am of course excited to be back, this blog post is going to be more of a summer recap. I had a great summer that was filled with a lot of relaxing (thankfully) but it also (unfortunately) lacked any international traveling. That being said, hopefully next summer will have the international trip of a lifetime.

Anyways, in lieu of international traveling, I was able to attend some professional development this summer at the Woodruff Arts Center. Their annual educator conference is one of the biggest and best in the South East and encompasses high-quality workshops for visual, music, and performing arts. I have been to many conferences over the years and this one is definitely one of the best!

I really appreciated how hands-on the workshops were. I feel like I learned so much and I was very inspired. One of my favorites was learning how to do Shibori or Indigo dye. The process is fascinating! The dye is made out of fermented plants and variations can be found in many cultures all over the world. There are so many academic connections like history (farming and agriculture) and math (geometry/shape/symmetry) not to mention it is an insanely cool process.

I also learned all about printmaking and cardboard automata

There were two excellent exhibits at the High Museum of Art which I got to see. One is the artwork of illustrator Ashley Bryan. I just love his use of  bright colors in his paintings and paper collages.

The other exhibit was prints by Andy Warhol. So cool!

A few weeks after the conference I taught summer camp at Johns Creek Arts Center. This was my 11th year doing clay camp!

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We did lots of cool projects this summer. One was a succulent pot inspired by Mrs. Knight’s Smartest Artists.

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Teacher Sample 

Another neat project was these chameleon dudes inspired by Cassie Stephen’s Blog.

These cutie pocket animals were also a hit:

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Teacher Sample

And one of my absolute favorites was the slab house which I wish I had more pictures of:

Here is my sample:

Aside from teaching art at summer camp, I got to make a lot of art too.

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And how can I forget the very best part of my summer — getting a puppy!! His name is Rory and he is absolutely delightful. Here he is on a hike:

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I am so excited to see all my students in a few days. I have some really fun and exciting projects planned for this year!

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See ya soon, kiddos!

❤ Ms. K


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Stitched Mandalas

When I found a bunch of burlap in my supply closet, I knew I wanted to do a stitching project with it. I have really enjoyed the challenge of teaching stitching and textiles this year to my art club. The kids were really engaged and excited about the projects and it made me want to teach the skills to my regular classes. At first I looked around on Pinterest to find ideas of what I could have the kids stitch. I saw all kinds of cute things like animals and flowers. While those were all really cool, I wanted to do something ore abstract so that new stitchers could feel more confident with their skills, especially when their work doesn’t “look like” anything. So when I saw a stitched mandala, I knew it would be the perfect inspiration.

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Teacher Sample

We began with a PowerPoint about mandalas and radial symmetry in nature, culture, design, and architecture. It was very inspiring and many students had personal connections.

We talked about how the mandala is symbolic of space and time and even watched a Tibetan Monk mandala ceremony.  Their minds were blown when they saw the monks sweep away the sand at the end which prompted a lively discussion about what it means to make art. With that, we began to create. Students started off by tracing circled onto a piece of burlap.

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Then, I did a needle-threading-and-knot-tying demo. This was really tricky for some kids who had never done this before but there were enough kids who had some prior experience so they became helpers.

 

I taught students how to use the “Paper Taco” to more easily thread their needle. Then we talked about how when you stitch, you have to go straight up and straight back down. The most common mistake that anyone made was that they tried to loop their thread around the side of their burlap. This resulted in a big tangled mess more often than (k)not. (Pun intended!)

There really was a tremendous amount of dexterous problem solving with this project. I constantly reminded the kids to be patient with themselves and with me.  They also had to be patient with each other when getting yarn because only so many kids could crowd around the yarn boxes at once. These boxes are the coolest ever – you put the yarn cone in the compartment inside and just pull the end through the slit at the top. I always have trouble with spools of yarn getting tangled up and messy so these boxes were the perfect solution!

After a few class days of stitching on the circles, we moved on to creating designs in between the circles. I showed students artwork by Elizabeth Pawle so they could get ideas for other types of stitches and designs to create.

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Textile by Elizabeth Pawle

Students were challenged to create more designs other than the regular stitch. They also chose buttons to sew or hot glue into the center. The process of stitching was very motivating for students. I had groups of 4th graders come visit me in the morning to work ore on their projects. It is now the second to last day of school and I still have kids coming in asking to work on these! But as you can see, they are absolutely phenomenal – great job 4th graders!

🙂

 


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Sleepy Weaving

The idea for this project came from Mrs. Elder’s World of Art. We began by weaving. This is a really tough skill for kindergartners to get the hang of. I think that many of them just don’t quite yet have the fine-motor skills necessary to successfully weave in an over-under pattern. A few kids usually get the hang of it but most are usually on the struggle bus. Because of that, I always teach weaving very sloooooowly. We begin by folding a paper in half like a book. Then I walk around and draw 5 dots on each paper.

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The students write their names above the dots then draw a vertical line going down from the dots.

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Next, they “cut on the line and stop at the dot.” This essentially created a loom on which to weave.

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They cut another paper into strips and unfold their loom.

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Then, they go “over the river and under the bridge” with their “snake” to weave.

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I show them how to do the opposite for the next one so that it creates a pattern. I also tel the it is ok if all of the snakes are next to each other, it still counts as weaving!

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That pretty much took up every single second of the first day. The next day, we created a colorful background with crayons and watercolors. Some classes did not have time to do that so they just used construction paper. On the last day, I did a demo of how to draw a portrait of yourself sleeping. Students could also add a stuffed toy.

Sweet dreams, kindergartners!

❤ Ms. K


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Op Art Hearts

With the school year winding down to a close, there was one 5th grade class that had a lot of extra time after they finished their dreamcatchers. I knew I wanted to give them a project that would be easy and fun and when I saw THIS I knew it would be perfect. We started out with a PowerPoint that had a whole bunch of different op-art examples that basically blew the 5th grader’s minds. They LOVE op-art! They traced a ruler across a paper and then created a shape or design which they colored in a pattern.

This was a mellow and engaging project to end the year with, nice job 5th graders!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Dream Catchers

I love the look of the mixed-media dream catchers from the Smart Class Blog. I knew it would be the perfect end-of-the-year project for my 5th graders. We began by reading the book “I Have a Dream.” It has the most beautiful illustrations.

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Students were challenged to think of a personal dream that they hope to achieve in their lifetime or a dream that would make the world a better place. They created a visual symbol to represent their dream and placed it in the middle of concentric circles. Students filled the rings of the circles with patterns and designs inspired by dream catchers. They also created feathers or other objects hanging down below. Then, they traced their design with sharpies and colored in parts with Crayola Twistable Crayons (which are seriously my favorite art material right now – I am obsessed!) After tracing and coloring their designs, 5th graders used magenta, yellow, and turquoise liquid water colors with salt to create the beautiful background.

I think these are absolutely phenomenal – my only regret is that they are finally finished so close to the end of the school year and they will not e displayed in the school. This is one of those projects that is so meaningful and beautiful that hopefully it will be hung up in students’s homes for years to come.

I am truly going to miss the 5th graders I have gotten to know this year at Northwood. I can’t believe my first year here is already almost over it feels like just yesterday I was setting up my classroom and introducing myself to hundreds of new students. I am so proud of what the 5th graders accomplished with their artwork this year and hope that they carry forward the creative spirit into middle school and beyond!

❤ Ms. K

 

 


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Clay Animals with First Grade

Last year, I made clay animals with kindergarten for their PBL unit. This year I did the same thing with 1st graders. Students got to choose from a lion, a turtle, an owl, or a komodo dragon. They researched the animal in their home rooms ad came to art to build their animal out of clay.

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My Teacher Samples

The day that we constructed the animals was crazy. It was a huge logistical challenge to teach 4 different clay forms with details in 45 minutes AND help every kid AND clean up the mess. It helped to have the students sit in groups so they could help each other. Nevertheless, everyone was able to create a clay creature. Once they went through the bisque kiln, first graders used tempera paints to paint their creations.

They turned out spectacular!

When they took them back to their classrooms, they built a habitat diorama. I was thrilled to see that they incorporated some of the skills they have learned in the art room to create their projects!

They even made 2D versions for a display:

This project was awesome. The connection with their classroom learning made the students very engaged in the work and excited to create. I always appreciate the opportunity to collaborate!

❤ Ms. K


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Guitars in Grade 2

I have done guitars before and wanted to give em’ a fresh twist this year. The lesson is based on one from Art With Mrs Nguyen . com. We began by looking at guitars and artwork from Mexico. Students looked at the wooden tables and drew what they observes. They traced over their lines with black crayon and painted with brown tempera. This made the paper look like it had a wood texture!

The next week, students used templates and construction paper to cut and glue the shapes. The week after that, we added designs and the yarn strings. I had the kids come up to the example and draw music notes on the doc cam:

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They used crayons or oil pastels to create details:

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I love they way these turned out, it was so much fun for the kids to get to trade colors and shapes with their friends and make connections to music class!

Nice work 2nd graders!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Flower Pot Resist Paintings

First graders did a fabulous job with these flower pot resist paintings! We began by drawing patterned vases. Then, students drew an arrangement of blossoms inside.

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Once they finished drawing, they traced over their lines with oil pastels and used water colors to paint their designs.

Most of these paintings were finished just in time for mother’s day. How lovely!

Nice work first graders!

❤ Ms. K

 


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Emoji Plushies

This year art club has awoken in me a love for stitching/weaving/textile art. I have never been super into teaching these skills before but my art club kids loooove doing these kinds of projects and I find myself loving them too. So one of the most beloved projects of all was the coveted Emoji Plushie.

Now I have never taught plushies before so I though hey, how hard can this be? Well the answer is kinda tough when you have needles that have to be coerced and wiggled in just the right way to get through the double layer of felt. And its kinda tough when you go to the craft store and panic about how much fluff you should buy so you buy a 6 bags and didn’t even go through half of one bag and now you have a ton of fluff waiting around to be used. Anyhow, I digress and in all honesty I am glad that I finally learned how to teach this because it was really fun!

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First, art club kiddos had to design their emoji. It had to be one of the yellow ones because I mostly had yellow felt. They go to look at iPads for ideas.

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Next, students traced a circle and cut out the face. Then they used remnant scraps to create the details.

I set up mini hot glue guns on the back counter for students to glue their details onto the yellow circle. I was rather apprehensive about letting 20 4th and 5th graders use a hot glue gun as you can imagine. So we did a little safety tutorial and if they had a really small piece I glued it for them.

Check out these cuties!

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The next couple of art clubs were spent stitching around the circles. I gave a disclaimer to the kids that it would be really challenging to get the needle through the felt but in the end everyone powered through and created an awesome emoji plushie.

Some were based on real emojis, and some were completely made up. All of them are amazing – way to go art club!

❤ Ms. K