Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


3 Comments

Ireland – An Adventurous Road Trip

Hellooooooo lovely readers! And happy first day of summer:)

Those of you that have been following me for a while know that I have many passions – teaching art, making art, and travelling in the summertime. While my chosen career path will never pay enough (monetarily speaking) the two months off during summer is nothing to complain about!

I have had the extreme pleasure of being able to travel around the country and around the world for the past couple of years: from Israel to Italy and GreeceSan Francisco and Portland (OR), Chicago, and even Burning Man I have been to some breathtaking places. But nowhere has surprised  me and captured my heart quite like Ireland.

IMG_20160607_161455

I travelled with two companions and we began in New York City. Though we weren’t there for very long, I had to get some snaps of the awesome street art we saw!

IMG_20160603_165837IMG_20160603_170440IMG_20160603_170544IMG_20160603_170918_01

We had just enough time to stop by the CW Pencil Enterprise Shop and score some sweet pencils! #artteacherdream

IMG_20160603_174042

From JFK we flew into Dublin. As we drove in (on the left side of the road!) I was delighted to see a modern city on the river with some excellent architecture.

IMG_20160604_160429

IMG_20160610_081850

IMG_9748

IMG_20160605_002107

Dublin is a very old city with some magnificent cathedrals and parts of the original fortress wall still intact.

IMG_20160610_080556IMG_20160610_082632

The big park in the middle of the city (St. Stephens Green) was stunning on a somewhat sunny Dublin day!

IMG_20160604_212803

And of course I couldn’t leave without some more street art snaps:

a9722002-5263-4265-8760-79ec80647f79IMG_20160605_010014

IMG_20160605_004001

The view from the top of the Guinness Storehouse was stunning!

IMG_20160610_142938IMG_20160610_142938-PANO

From Dublin we travelled south to Cork. The drive was beautiful, we passed lush green fields of cows, sheep, and wind turbines looming in the distance.

IMG_20160605_191054IMG_20160605_183543

We spent a couple of hours in the city of Cork.

2984761b-e2ff-4299-b3fb-a3affb642774a7964bf7-5caa-4642-80bf-058c5de81421

 

There was a building block covered in murals:

From the city of Cork we continued south to the charming seaside town of Crookhaven (also quite possibly the most charming town in the entire galaxy). It is the most southern point of Ireland and while we were there freezing our Georgia tushes off in winter gear, many Irish tourists were enjoying a summer holiday in shorts and t-shirts!

The town lies across a bay and has only 40 full time residents. It was quaint, quiet, and quite the hidden gem.

IMG_20160605_202434IMG_20160605_204523

IMG_20160605_210749

IMG_20160605_211958

It was in Crookhaven that I enjoyed one of the finest meals of my life and here I am laughing about how deliciously divine everything is. #YUM

2a0f2118-ec99-48be-8016-2827fbdb8f90

The bed and breakfast we stayed at had the cutest donkeys that were so sweet and gentle.

ec3b5164-23ef-43bc-a552-2b0f2a6404d4

The real highlight of the trip was the impromptu kayak excursion in the Celtic Sea. We paddled through cold water that looked like liquid silver in the cloudy sunlight – it was the experience of a lifetime.

IMG_20160610_234008_01

IMG_20160606_122631IMG_20160606_120611IMG_20160606_141206

After kayaking, we headed up to some castle ruins. The townspeople were very excited to inform us that it will be in the next Star Wars movie – cool!

IMG_20160606_150549IMG_20160606_150716

IMG_20160606_223059IMG_20160606_151418

We journeyed west to Portmagee from Cork. Portmagee is another small seaside town with more delicious seafood and salty Irish fishermen than you can count.

IMG_20160606_213300 (1)

We were extremely fortunate to be able to book passage to the Skellig Islands for a tour. Only 12 boats of 12 people each are allowed to visit this world heritage site everyday. I thoroughly enjoyed the choppy, chilly boat ride to the islands:

IMG_20160607_094613

The big Skellig island was inhabited by monks a thousand years ago. They lived 600 steep steps up into the fog on cliffs above the sea.

IMG_20160607_104603

The cliffs were covered in precious puffy puffins!

IMG_20160607_141715IMG_20160607_105406IMG_20160607_105050IMG_20160607_104648IMG_20160607_102721

The climb into the sky was surreal and when we got to the top we walked around the dwellings still standing after a thousand years.

66c07d10-5762-4f33-b178-12e3eac355bfIMG_20160607_111219IMG_20160607_1154419ec409e0-87f3-453b-84c1-aff75be68768

If these structures look familiar, that is because this is also a location from Star Wars. This is where Luke Skywalker was chillin’ at the end of the Force Awakens. This island was fascinating not only for Star Wars purposes but the ecosystem and habitat the monks cultivated.

After visiting the Skellig islands, we traveled a few kilometers to the Kerry Cliffs. Ireland has many natural and beautiful cliffs and we were thrilled to visit this one. In the distance you can see the Skellig islands:

IMG_20160607_161929

IMG_20160607_234609

Next we traveled to the west coast to Galway. Galway is a lively city along the water with lots of fun things to do including walking the green way and going to the beach!

IMG_20160608_095300IMG_20160608_095957IMG_20160608_101027IMG_20160608_104833IMG_20160608_124811

I definitely got a sunburn at Salthill Beach – was not expecting that in Ireland! We miraculously had gorgeous weather the entire time we were there.

IMG_20160608_132134IMG_20160608_131457IMG_20160608_142122

And the very best thing to do in Galway is a small shop called Dungeons and Donuts where you can enjoy delectable donuts inspired by nerdy pop culture references while playing board games. We stayed with the Star Wars theme and played Star Wars Carcassonne:-)

IMG_20160609_110755

 

After spending a couple of nights in Galway we headed back to Dublin. On the way we stopped at Birr Castle. Birr Castle was beautiful, we strolled through the lovely gardens and enjoyed scenic views. Unfortunately we missed the earl who still resides there which is a real shame because I am sure he would have enjoyed our hiking boots and flower crowns!

3bff41b4-30e1-4e8d-8723-0b29b1a169b4IMG_20160609_143256IMG_20160609_150306 (1)IMG_20160609_151104IMG_20160609_151434IMG_20160609_151600IMG_20160609_154549

From there it was back to Dublin for a couple more days then back home. I loved this international adventure. Ireland should definitely be on your bucket list if it is not already. It is a country filled with friendly folks, beautiful scenery, delicious seafood, and the adventure spirit. One week was certainly not enough time to fully experience all of the beauty, history, and fun Ireland has to offer so I hope to return one day for more adventures!❤

IMG_20160616_153558


Leave a comment

Neon Letters

To wrap up the school year I wanted to do a project that would be personal and fun for the kiddos.

d (3)

We began by sketching a letter on a 12×18 piece of white paper. Students could choose what letter they wanted to do and I suggested using a letter with some significance like your first name, last name, a name of your family member, etc. I did a demo on the board for how to draw a bubble letter for each kid in the class so they could see how to do it if they had never done it before.

002

Students drew their letter on the other side of their paper HUGE and used black glue to trace over their lines. They filled their letter with expressive lines and patterns and shapes. I created the black glue by mixing together approximately 2 parts glue to 1 part black tempera paint. It required a little bit of shaking up before each use.

003

Dealing with the black glue took some clever materials management logistics. Some of it got really drippy and if the kids accidentally touched papers it would smear.Also some of the papers tilted on my ancient drying rack and dripped onto others.  I told them to just try their best and if a mistake happened, turn it into a masterpiece! When we added the colorful paint, most students who had a blob or smear were much happier with it.

005

The next week, we used fluorescent tempera to paint. I LOVE these paints! They are so bright and vibrant.

013001 (2)

This was the perfect project to end the school year!


Leave a comment

Tissue Paper Portraits

This project is inspired by this post from the Hudsonville Art Program blog!

026

When I saw the example of this lesson on Pinterest, I knew it would be a fun one for my kindergarteners. We began by mixing primary colors to create secondary colors with bleeding tissue paper. Students tore different shades of reds, yellows, and blues. They overlapped their tissue paper pieces to create orange, green and purple.

002

I created a mixture of glue water that they painted on top of the torn tissues. This will ensure that the papers stick to the white paper and don’t fall off. However, the paper also looks really beautiful if you let the tissue papers fall off but the colors aren’t as vibrant and the bleeding isn’t as apparent.

028

The mixture is one part glue and 2 parts water. I stirred it up several times throughout the day with a popsicle stick to make sure it was diluted. Kinders found out that bigger pieces of torn paper worked better and they were fascinated by overlapping to make new colors.

004005

The papers came out so beautiful! The next time we met, we did a guided drawing of a self-portrait. Students were encouraged to add personal details and use their knowledge of lines and shapes to draw. They traced their drawing with a sharpie and cut and glued it to their colorful background. They could also add a pet or their name if there was time.


Leave a comment

Woven Animals

First graders studied animals in their PBL unit this spring and I thought a woven animal would be a great cross-curricular experience! This ended up being a kind of twist on the woven alligators I have done before but with more choice and voice. I was apprehensive about this at first because it is more open ended but just like kindergartener’s clay animals  I was pleasantly surprised and extremely impressed!

006.JPG

We began by creating painted paper using the primary colors and white. We talked about mixing secondary colors and tints. Students used the other end of the paintbrush to “draw” designs, lines, and shapes into their painting.

011.JPG

The next day, we created a weaving. Students had already been studying their animals in their home room classes and were able to answer the question: What color is your animal mostly? They picked out a piece of construction paper to represent their animal and created a loom to weave. They cut their painting into strips of paper to use as the weaving pieces.

001

On the third day, we talked about how animal’s body parts are made out of shapes. We talked about the different shapes of each animal and I demonstrated how to cut and glue other pieces of construction paper to add details, even pop-up details! I think first graders did an absolutely fantastic job with these, they have so much personality and the level of engagement, excitement, and motivation was so high because of the cross-curricular connection.

Whales with curly 3D water coming out of the blow holes:

Foxes:

004 (3).JPG

Koalas:

002 (4)

Komodo dragons:

Rabbits:

003 (4)

Sharks:

005 (3)

A tree frog:

009 (2)

A jaguar:

010 (2)

And my personal fave, pink flamingos:

I can’t even describe how proud I am of the kiddos for creating these, they are absolutely magnificent!


2 Comments

Ojos de Dios

Weaving is not my favorite skill to teach. I have talked before about how I think it is kind of boring and not that creative because they are all pretty much the same. HOWEVER I am now a believer after doing this project.

IMG_20160428_125414

I was inspired by the delightfully colorful blog Art, Eat, Tie Dye, Repeat for this lesson. We began with a PowerPoint featuring examples of Ojos de Dios and some background info about the native art form. On that first day, students created a painted paper that was supposed to be used for their background (more on that later).

001.JPG

I did a demo on how to paint a galaxy and that seemed to be a very popular option! The next week when we met, each student received an X made out of popsicle sticks that they labeled with their initials and the numbers 1-4. I used regular school glue to create the Xs to give to the students but hot glue would probably work too.

Now, before I go any further I must disclaim the extreme challenge that this project was for both myself and my students. This one is kinda complicated. I had watched a couple of youtube videos to see how to do it (this is a good one even though I have no idea what she is saying this must be what my ESOL kids feel like).  I even used my specials team as guinea pigs and practiced teaching it to them (thanks guys!). One teacher pointed out that it was a lot easier to do from the underside and after  lot of trial and error, the students agreed! I taught students how to do both ways and they could choose the easier method that worked for them. There was certainly some frustration getting started but in the end, most students were incredibly proud and even asked to make another one! Anyways, back to that X –

003

Some kids needed help tying the string to the middle but most had the hang of it.So the first step is to tie the string in the middle and it doesnt really matter which numbers it is in between.

004.JPG

The pattern for weaving is “over – under – under.” Start by placing the string over one of the sticks(2).

005.JPG

Next bring it underneath that stick(2):

006

Put it under the stick next to that one as well:

007

Then place it over that same stick (1) to create a line:

008.JPG

Next, go under 1 and 4 and over 4:

009010011

Continue the pattern of “over – under – under.” Lines will start stacking up along the popsicle sticks.

012

The other side will look like a square or diamond:

013

I told students to leave about a finger’s length of string to tie on the next color.

 

Then continue the pattern. You can also weave from the front by alternating diagonals. Wrap the string around one stick then go diagonally across, then under, then across.

017018019020021

Each color added will create more lines on the back and more diamonds on the front.

 

To finish it off, tape the end of the string to the back of the popsicle stick.

 

The kids really enjoyed getting to choose their favorite colors and express themselves through color.

Now when I showed students the original plan which was to glue the weaving to the paper we created the first day, there was basically a mutiny. It turned out they wanted to have the Ojos de Dios separate. I decided that we would create envelopes with the papers instead so that they could put the Ojos in instead of on them. Students folded their paper in half and used a hole puncher to punch holes up the sides.

006.JPG

Then, they cut small pieces of yarn and tied them to create fringe. I told them not to pull too tightly on the yarn or the paper would rip. They could use 1 or 2 colors and cut the fringe to the length of their choice.

009.JPG

They could also braid yarn together to create a strap if they wanted to.

013 (2).JPG

These turned out SO COOL!!! The best part was that they were really proud of their work and super engaged. They loved the idea of creating something functional. A couple students used sequins to create a jeweled effect and one kid even wrote “MK” for a Michael Kors bag (lol)! Students who were able to make more than one weaving could glue one of their Ojos to the outside of the pouch for more decoration.

We were able to finish these just in time for Mother’s Day and many students are planning to give them as gifts! Today one student brought me a great gift – she had created a miniature one at home❤

024


Leave a comment

Tiny Woven House

I am currently trying to come up with ideas for projects that can be used for an art show for next year. It is kind of tricky because I am not usually a stickler for the “product” of the artwork that students make looking perfect but for an art show there has to be some level of sellability. Also, I usually have my students work on 12×18 paper and for an art show the projects have to be half that size! That being said I wanted to try out a couple of aesthetically pleasing little projects that may or may not be used for the art show next year.

010

This project is based on this with a couple of tweaks here and there. We began by creating the night sky painted paper background with purples, blues, and black paint. Students used the non-bristle side to carve in the details of the stars and expressive lines.

004

The next day, 3rd graders used art stix to create texture on construction paper. They used home made texture mats that were created by “drawing” with a hot glue gun on matboard. I made a whole set and they are great!

006

They cut the paper in half using a wavy or zig-zag line and glued down the pieces into a landscape.

007

Next, they created texture on 3 smaller pieces of construction paper that would be used to make a woven house with a roof. They cut the papers to make a warp and a weft and wove them together.

008

Then they tucked the house into the hills/grass and added a roof and details.

012011

I think they came out nice. I’m not sure if they are art-show worthy buuuuuuut we were also a bit rushed because of testing and the fact that there are only a handful of weeks left of school. Either way, great job third graders!

013

 

 

 


3 Comments

Clay Animals

I was so excited when the kindergarten team approached me to collaborate on a lesson. They were about to embark on a PBL unit all about animals and the product was going to be a diorama. So they asked me to make clay animals with the students.:)

006

Initially I was a bit apprehensive about the process. Kindergarteners have the least experience with fine motor skills when it comes to using clay and the project would require each student to have a different animal. There would be a lot of logistics going into the planning and management of teaching each student the skills to build a different animal. I was up for the challenge though because I am starting to step into the arena of more choice and voice type projects (the importance of which I have talked about here) and I knew that if I gave students the chance to explore the material they would be successful. This project ended up being incredibly authentic.

008

The kids had studied their animals for a couple of weeks prior to the start of this lesson. Their research included technology components and even drawing their animals which was great because they were prepared with knowledge about the body parts. So I began the demo showing them how to create a coil for the body by squeezing the clay into a hot dog.

005

I showed how to add legs, heads, wings, beaks, tails, fins, eyes, and all of the details they would need to build their animal. Each class had a different habitat they studied and students were in groups based on their animals. I printed off photographs of their animals as well as pictures of what that animal looks like out of clay so they could reference while they worked.

004

We kept the tools simple, each student got a chunk of clay, a burlap mat, and a mini popsicle stick. We also used slip or “clay glue” to stick the pieces together. It was amazing to see the kids working together and sharing ideas for how to create and build their animals. They were tremendously proud, engaged, and motivated to participate in this cross-curricular experience.

After getting bisque fired, students used tempera paints to paint their animals.

015

They came out better than I could have ever imagined – I am so proud of the hard work the students put into this project and so thankful that I got to be a part of it!

Arctic foxes:

029

Butterflies:

028

Parrots:

027

Clown fish:

019

A sea turtle and a shark:

021

Manatees:

022

Jaguars:

026

Snowy owls:

032

Penguins:

031

Orca whales:

030


1 Comment

Ode to the Doc Cam

 

IMG_20160324_140454

This post is an ode to my document camera. I love this thing so much and have become quite dependant on it to deliver instruction. Anyone who knew me in college knows that I have always been somewhat anti-technology. I had a flip phone way longer than it was socially acceptable to do so. When I first started teaching 4 years ago doc cams were still a technological novelty, one that I refused to participate in and pretty much despised. I thought that having students watch the demo on a screen instead of looking at my hands directly took away the personal aspect of the class. Eventually (as you will learn in the following poem) I finally caved in and learned how to use and eventually adore my document camera. I am so thankful that I have access to such a great resource and was struck with the inspiration to rhyme about it. Please enjoy the following, it is to the tune of Fresh Prince of Bel Air*

Now this is the story all about how
My art teachin’ ways got flipped all around
and I’d like to take a minute, with some poetry slam
I’ll tell you how I fell in love with my doc cam.

In Mimosa Elementary my career was born and raised,
In the art room is where I spent most of my days
Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool
Doin close-up demos for all the kids in school 

When a couple of kids who had some yucky germs
sat too close to me and made me squirm
I got one little cold and then went bananas
I knew it was time to use the document camera

I begged and pleaded with my METI every day
and she checked out a cam to me and sent me on my way
Set-up was easy and so quick that it
was simple
and I knew that this is the way to kick it

First class, yo this is a great start
No coughing, sneezing, or too-near farts
Is this what techy people are livin like? 
Hmmm this might be alright

But wait the best part
the kids could all see all of that

This is the best type of tech for this cool Kat
I know they get it, right now and right here
All of their confusion, pushing and squinting disappeared

When the end of my demo finally came near
I pressed “freeze” and the picture still remained there
If anything I could say this feature was neat
And I thought, hey it’s awesome and pretty sweet

I now use the doc cam about seven or eight
times a day for each class that I teach
its great
and to my old ways

I say “Yo homes, smell ya later” 
and I look at my art kingdom, I am finally in an era
of perfection with my document camera

*I was recently asked if I like Will Smith by a 5th grader. I not only expressed my absolute adoration for the actor/rapper/father/positivity inspirationist but then proceeded to explain the show Fresh Prince of Bel Air to the entire class. When they confessed that they had never seen it we stopped everything and all enjoyed the opening credits together. They were for the most part impressed that I knew every single word. At least – I think the looks on their faces said they were impressed. It might have just been pure disbelief at how weird their art teacher is.


3 Comments

NAEA 2016 in Chicago

Getting back into the swing of things today has been rough! (#thestruggleisreal right after a conference!) I had a blast in Chicago at this year’s NAEA conference!

IMG_20160318_080632-2

This was not my first time in Chicago nor was it my first national conference but it sure was a unique and fun experience!

Screenshot_20160318-080014

I was so inspired by many of the sessions I attended especially the Curriculum Slam.

I got to spend a few hours in the Chicago Art Institute museum which was a truly amazing experience. I always feel so starstruck seeing artwork in real life. I didn’t take many pictures because I was so busy experiencing the museum!

IMG_20160318_142305IMG_20160318_144459IMG_20160318_150316IMG_20160318_152306

The city of Chicago is also filled with artwork in the form of fantastic murals and public sculptures!

IMG_20160317_154435IMG_20160317_154438IMG_20160317_155016IMG_20160318_080551IMG_20160317_192501IMG_20160318_161519

I loved seeing my dear friends Melinda, Rosie, and Noelle and rooming with them yet again, we always have a great time:)

IMG_20160318_185635IMG_20160318_185622IMG_20160317_190653IMG_20160318_135325

There was a cosplay convention at the conference center while we were there which just goes to show how art teachers affect creativity!

IMG_20160319_133432IMG_20160319_134548IMG_20160319_133002IMG_20160319_132935

What a fab experience! I can’t wait for next year’s conference in NYC!

IMG_20160318_154722 ❤ Ms. K

 


8 Comments

Art Hands

This lesson is based on a project by Cassie Stephens

020 (2).JPG

This multi-media, multi-step, marvelous project was a hit! I am so impressed with the amazing work 1st graders created. We began by using texture mats and crayons on 12×18 paper.

005.JPG

Students used watercolor paints to create a resist.

006

While they filled their paper with a variety of textures and colors, I made my way around the room and painted their hands. WHAT MS. K?! YOU PAINTED KID’S HANDS.. . . ON PURPOSE?!?! This was incredibly exciting for the kiddos and as you can imagine they were just thrilled with the opportunity to have paint all over their hands and for once not get in trouble for it! They got to choose their color from a palette of tempera cakes and I used a soft foam brush to (quite ticklishly) paint their hands.

004.JPG

They stamped their painted hands onto another piece of paper, making sure to spread out their fingers and get their whole hand to fit on the page. In the 2nd day, we read this excellent story:

001

We talked about how even though some people are called “white” their skin is actually peach or tan and while some people are called “black” their skin is different shades of brown. This discussion was a great exercise in character building and cultural awareness for my students. They drew an oval on a paper, added 2 parallel lines for the neck and then used tempera cakes to mix their own skin color. It was tricky for some but with some extra color mixing discussions, most students were successful!

003 (2)

Some of my classes were behind so we jumped into the last day from there. Others had an extra week so we used it to create patterned paper for the clothes.

020

We also used crayons or Art Stix to draw an expressive face.

017

The last day was spent putting it all together. Students cut out the head. . .

031

The hands (which we drew a bubble around first to make cutting easier) . . .

032

And a curved line for the shirt. Classes who did not create the patterned paper used colorful construction paper. Then they glued it all together and if they had enough time, could add a hat, bow, or other accessories. I am thrilled with how much personality these have. They have already received many compliments from teachers and one teacher was so excited about these self portraits that she is planning on doing a writing assignment with her students about them! I am such a huge fan of these types of mixed media, multi step process works because I believe they help students with so many different types of critical thinking and cognitive processes. It may be messy – but it’s worth it!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 160 other followers