Please Don't Eat the Artwork

ART WITH MS K


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Art to Remember Fundraiser

I am so excited to share this year’s art fundraiser with you. From start to finish the experience was exceptional – it was easy, fun, and well worth the time in the funds  – and excitement – produced. 

Keychain

The past couple of years I have done a framed art show. The effect of 700+ works of art in the gym together is really astounding. That is one aspect of that fundraiser I will miss. The parts I will not miss are the time spent dealing with all of the artwork – gluing each piece to a special paper, filling out all of the little name cards, making sure everything is facing the right way, handling all of the frames, waiting for the show to be taken down (I was at school til’ 9 pm – yikes!), and making barely any money as a profit. So this year I decided to switch from frames to chachkis and boy am I glad I did! Not only did I make TEN TIMES MORE PROFIT than I did with the framed show, I also did not have to handle any money, stay late into the evening, or organize a crowded event. This fundraiser was a dream!

Matted Print

I reached out to several different companies that do this sort of thing and ultimately decided to go with https://arttoremember.com/ Communicating with my representative was easy and everything came with easy-to-follow instructions in a neat little box. They even sent over a ton of sample products which helped me get the kids hyped up. 

Travel Mug

The paper we used was 8×10. It was the perfect size for a beginning of the year project. Here are the projects I did with each grade:

K Rainbow Lines: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/09/17/rainbow-lines-that-wiggle-mouse-shapes/
1st Rainy Day Portrait: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/11/06/a-rainbow-of-my-own/
2nd Whimsical Landscape: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/10/01/moana-landscapes-by-2nd-grade/
3rd Georgia O’keeffe Flower: https://artwithmsk.com/2016/09/26/flowers-and-portraits/
4th Vibrant Village: https://artwithmsk.com/2017/11/13/vibrant-villages/
5th Succulent Still Life: https://artwithmsk.com/2016/10/03/psychedelic-succulent-still-life-paintings/

Night Light

I liked the paper because there was no border or name card or anything else that the kids had to do other than create their artwork. Art to Remember sent me sticker bar codes with each child’s name which I adhered to the back of the artwork. Easy peasy!

Journal & Bookmarks 

The art was then shipped off and in return, each student received a custom order form with their specific artwork pictured and instructions of how to order online. They had about 2 weeks to place and order and then about a month later the products arrived. 

And lemme tell ya about the products!! The stuff is SO COOL! There are water bottles, mugs, magnets, phone cases, mouse pads (“What’s a mouse pad Ms. Katzin?”), key chains, pillows, cutting boards, night lights, and a million other cool things. The majority of the items are very high quality. The price point is a tad more expensive than what you would find at Target but the premium of having custom artwork is WORTH IT! So many kids told me that they will be giving their items as holiday gifts which is absolutely precious. The artwork looks absolutely STUNNING – it is vibrant, rich in color, and true to the original. 

Water Bottle

It took about 3 hours to sort and organize the products when they arrived. I made sure to thoroughly check each child’s order and make sure all of the items were included and correct. All of the small items were grouped together by teacher and there is an order confirmation number on each item which is individually wrapped. This made passing out the stuff so simple!

Ruler

Overall I am so happy with the process and products of Art to Remember. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the kids and community and am looking forward to another great fundraiser next year. 

If you are thinking about doing an art fundraiser please consider working with Art to Remember. I cannot rave enough about how wonderful this was for my school and community (and sanity!) I give it a solid 100 and know that you will love it too! 

❤ Mrs. K 

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Paper Bag Tree Sculptures

The idea for this project came from an Instagram post by @iteachart2004. Here is my teacher sample which I absolutely LOVE and am quite proud of:

Art club loved making these sculptural trees. We began with a piece of cardboard and a paper bag. The cardboard was cut to the size of the bottom of the bag. Once placed inside, the bag was twisted. The kids cut into the top and twisted the pieces to make ‘branches.’ 

After sculpting their tree, students used tempera paint to paint the base. Some kids painted the branches and quickly realized that it made the sculpture droop because it was too heavy. Next time I do this project we will make sure to just paint the base 🙂 

The next art club session, students used tissue paper to create leaves on their trees. They also began to draw and cut out their pop-up details. 

My example was fall themed and my students ran in all different directions with their own projects. Some kids made winter scenes, some made magical fairytale trees, or trees inspired by stories and mythology.

I can’t wait to do this again in the spring with the next group of Art Club kiddos. I am thinking that we will make cherry-blossom trees!

❤ Mrs. K 


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Criticket

The idea for this critique games comes from mskitlang.com. So far, I have only played this with 4th graders when they completed their Important People Portraits. I am hoping to play with more grade levels throughout the school year.

Students started off by looking at a PowerPoint introducing the game. We watched this video which is a pretty good introduction to art critiques for young kids. Then, I explained what each ticket means:

criticket

Students played a practice round with artwork:

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The practice round allowed students to see how the game is played. They quickly realized that this is an opinion game and that not everyone will have the exact same answer. In fact, there is no right or wrong answer! I gave the instructions. . .

  • Place your sketch with your final artwork.
  • Working in teams of two, you will play Criticket with your classmate’s artwork.
  • Remember: there is not RIGHT or WRONG answer – this is an OPINION game.
  • Be honest about your opinion, don’t pick something just because others did, be original!
  • Not everyone has to get a ticket, if you don’t get one it doesn’t mean nobody liked your artwork. This game isn’t about “liking” the artwork, it is supposed to make you think deeper.

. . . and then we got started. Students placed their sketch with their final artwork. They teamed up and did a preliminary walk-around.

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After they viewed each of their classmate’s artwork, they started placing their tickets.

 

When the team is out of tickets, they have to sit back down. When everyone is sitting down, we come back together as a class and discuss. Students get to share why they placed their tickets where they did. The conversation is positive and uplifting, one group of students even applauded for each other. Overall this activity was a great way for students to support one another and show empathy and kindness. I can’t want to do it with another group!

❤ Mrs. K


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Daydreamin’ Doodle Portraits

5th graders created these cutie-pie portraits. I took their picture in a “daydreaming” pose. They brainstormed ideas of things that they are interested in and created symbols to represent those things. (Side note – this project was really exciting for me to teach because my thesis was all about personal symbolism and visual metaphors in artwork.)

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Teacher Sample 🙂 

 

Students cut and glued their portrait to white cardstock paper and used markers, crayons, colored pencils, twistables, and any other dry medium to create visual interest, contrast, and personal symbolism. Students also had the option of creating abstract patterns instead of symbols so there are a few of those as well.

 

This project was a bit on the easy side for 5th grade so if I do it again, I may try and make it more challenging. However they did turn out really cute and it was cool to hear some great conversations about the things that they are interested in!

❤ Mrs. K


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Emoji Pillows in Art Club

Art club kids really enjoyed making emoji pillows. I did a similar project a couple years ago with art club but it was a lit smaller and more difficult to sew. This time around, instead of felt, we used Smart-Fab crafting fabric. It was so easy to work with and it is so soft! I traced out giant circles on yellow fabric for the students to cut out and sew together.

Once they finished sewing their circles together (with a little bit left open) they flipped it inside out and used cotton fluff to stuff. They they sewed the gap closed and designed their emoji.

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Red, black, blue, and white fabric was used for the details. It was super easy to glue together with regular ol’ school glue.

These turned out great! I liked the process and product for this project. The kids felt empowered to learn how to sew and create their very own pillow. It was a new skill for most and I am very proud of all of their hard work and perseverance. Way to go art club!

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❤ Mrs. K


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Activities for the Last Day of Art Class

It can be a challenge to plan the last few weeks of art lessons. You want to do something that is engaging and educational but fun. It is the end of the year after all! This year I did a bunch of different one or two day lessons and then on the very last day of art I had students do Genius Hour or The Day the Crayons Quit. I wanted to create a blog post about these and some of my other favorite last day lessons.

Water Graffiti
I have talked about this one before. At my old school, I had an enormous and mostly empty courtyard outside of my classroom. It was perfect for doing Water Graffiti. Basically, we would take big cups of water and paint brushes outside and paint with water. This was not only exceptionally fun but also provided a nice little science lesson about evaporation and the water cycle.

I would give challenges of who could paint the biggest ____ or who could work together to create a ______, who could write the entire alphabet without it evaporating. I haven’t done this in a few years but it is super fun on the last day, especially if it is nice out!

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The Dot
This activity is perfect if the weather isn’t great or if you have a group that you just don’t  trust to paint outside with water. I read The Dot to the class and put big pieces of butcher paper on each table. Students use a variety of art supplies to create their own dots. Usually there is an episode of Magic School Bus playing too 🙂

The Day the Crayons Quit
I will never tire of reading The Day the Crayons Quit to students. It is hilarious and so is the sequel. We begin by reading one or both and then do a step-by-step to create the crayon craft. This project is definitely more on the crafty side which I often try to avoid but it is so cute that I deem it OK for the last day of art class. I did this project earlier this year with the classes I had on Halloween because it was also Book Character Day. It is a perfect one day lesson for an exciting school day!

Each kiddo gets a popsicle stick and we create the crayon details, the name of the crayon color, and the face with sharpie. Then, they color it in. Next, students pick a pipe cleaner that most matches their crayon’s color and they cut it in half. I hot clue the pipe cleaners to the back to create pose-able arms and legs.

Genius Hour
“Ms. Katzin, why is it called genius hour if specials is only 45 minutes?” one sassy yet observant student asks. The answer is because this is an idea I borrowed from the kindergarten team. Out at carpool I started noticing kindergartners with amazing creations that they were designing and building during Genius Hour – an hour devoted to creativity. I am absolutely over the moon about this process and wish I had thought of doing it earlier in the year.

Basically – Genius Hour is where you can make whatever you want out of the materials provided. The creative ideas the kids come up with is astonishing. Here are the materials they could use: Pipe cleaners, scrapbook paper, scrap paper, felt, string, beads, paper cups, straws, receipt paper, mat board, scissors, staples, tape, glue. I explained the supplies to them and went over some basic rules and procedures and then they got to work.

One very cool and popular item was the Corru-Gator which crimps the paper. I only had one so the kids had to bring their paper to me but I plan on ordering a bunch more for next year.

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Check out these amazing creations!

I ended up placing a few more items out like bulletin board boarders and painted paper scraps as things got depleted. I am already starting to collect random knick-knacks to put in the Genius Hour bin for next year. I am hoping to do this more frequently than just the last day of art class.

Hope everyone has a great summer! See you in the fall!

❤ Mrs. Katzin

 


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Bubble Letter Sculpture

After starting and stopping this sculpture project   with one of my 5th grade groups, I wanted to rethink the sculpture making process. I took a peek into my Mary-Poppin’s bag of a supply closet (I am always finding some crazy thing in there) and realized I had a ton of empty yarn cones. I also had a lot of pipe cleaners and colored card stock so after playing around with the materials I came up with this sculpture project.

The first day, students had to sketch out their idea and practice their bubble letters. They had to plan out what colors they would be using to paint their cones and for their letters.

The second day, they used metallic versa temp paint to paint their cones.

The next couple of classes were spent drawing and cutting out the bubble letters from colored card stock squares. The toughest part was getting the kids to draw their letters big and wide enough to be taped to a pipe cleaner. So many of the letters ripped apart or just ended up being tiny little spaghetti noodles. Why do kids draw to tiny?!

I taught the kids how to cut out negative space inside of their letters and we used tape to adhere them to pipe cleaners. One kids brilliantly discovered that if you tape the letters to each other the sculpture becomes sturdier. I just love when students problem solve to make a project better.

They could choose any school-appropriate word they want but I encouraged them to do their name, initials, or the name of something that has significant personal meaning. There ended up being an awful lot of Fortnite and Stranger Things inspired sculptures. I guess that is what the youths are into these days.

I would say the majority of these turned out great but the process was rather difficult. Perhaps with less of a time crunch we could have added more details and art knowledge into these. For the last project of their elementary school experience, the 5th grader’s did a nice job overall. Hopefully I will be able to collect enough yarn cones to do this again next year!

❤ Mrs. K


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Doodle Sculptures

A couple of months ago, I was trying to figure out a cool sculpture project to do with 5th grade. During undergrad my studio concentration was sculpture and while I enjoyed using power tools and learning how to weld, it really isn’t very applicable in and elementary school setting. I have to admit, I do not have the same passion for teaching sculpture as I do for creating it. So I really wanted to challenge myself to come up with a fun and engaging project for myself and my students. I realized that I had a ton of cardboard matboard leftover from our Artome art show earlier this year. Usually I cut it up and use it as stampers for the younger or as based for paper sculptures kids but I decided to play around and see what kind of more interesting form could be created. And voila! The idea for Doodle Sculptures was born.

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Students traced circles or created other geometric shapes onto the matboard. The neat thing about this matboard is that one side is white and one side is black. The kids cut out their shapes and used black and metallic sharpies to create some doodle designs. They had to have another shape and they cut slots into both to create a kind of X formation. I hot glued that onto a larger base shape and from there they built up their sculpture by cutting slots in each shape and carefully placing them together.

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There was no glue or tape used other than my hot glue dot which made materials really easy to manage. Here are a few of the completed projects. They don’t photograph very well because they are so interesting and “in the round” – every angle makes it look like a different piece of artwork!

That being said – I initially thought this project would be a home run but I ended up only doing it with one class. I think that the matboard was just too difficult for the students to cut through. Many of them complained that their hands hurt and it was a struggle getting all of the shapes cut out. I think that if I try this again in the future I would do this with art club or use something else to cut that is better than scissors but not as intense as an exact blade. Any ideas for me, art teachers? 🙂 

I came up with another sculpture idea for the rest of my 5th grade classes so stay tuned to see how that one turns out, so far it’s great!

❤ Mrs. K

 


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Dream Catchers

This project is a repeat from last year but I just couldn’t resist posting the pictures from this year’s group of 5th graders. Check out our process here. We pretty much did exactly the same process this year except that for some reason it took about a month less time. Perhaps this year’s 5th grade hasn’t been struck by Senioritis quite yet?! Anyhow, here is their lovely artwork:

I truly love getting to know my students through their artwork and this project really helped to facilitate some interesting conversations about future goals and aspirations. There are certainly a lot of kids who are interested in sports, creating, and You-Tube and I am so proud of how they expressed their interests through visual arts. Great job 5th graders!

❤ Mrs. K