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ART WITH MS K


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Bugs on Rugs by Kindergarten

Kindergarteners learned all about the art of weaving and the process of mixing colors when they made bugs on rugs. We began by making textured painted paper.

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The loom was colorful construction paper and the process of weaving was quite a challenge but Kindergarteners did an excellent job trying their very best. The last week, we cut frayed edges and used bug stamps on the rugs.

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Students also decorated and assembled parts for a bug and identified bugs as living things (yay cross-curricular!)

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Great job kindergarteners!

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ūüôā

 


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Art in Israel

This summer I had the opportunity to travel to Israel for 10 days with a program called¬†Birthright. It was a whirlwind adventure of hiking, food, friends, sunshine, desert, bus rides, history, and culture. In short — it was¬†incredible.

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Israel is a country full of natural and man-made beauty and I was so excited to see so much art everywhere — especially¬†public art all over mostly in the form of monuments or commemorations.

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The architecture is beautiful; especially in Jerusalem where all of the building are made out of limestone.

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The columns, arches, and aqueducts are Roman inspired. Walking through Jerusalem felt like traveling back in time a couple of millenia. The stone streets were smooth weathered with hundreds and hundreds of years of wandering feet.

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Check out this awesome mosaic:

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We went to the room where The Last Supper (supposedly) took place:

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The mystical city of Tzfat is famous for artists and musicians. There were plenty of both selling art or playing music in the streets.

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A harpist playing the harp under a statue of a harpist playing a harp:

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This is a beautiful and intricately carved wooden ark where the Torah is kept. This was in an old Synagogue that was also filled with beautiful stained glass windows.

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A stained glass window with the “tree of life” symbol:

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A tzedakah or charity box outside the synagogue:

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The amazing waxworks in a small candle shop (made by weaving wax — WOW!) :

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We got to meet and talk to one artist named Avraham. He was so inspiring and creative! Here he is in his studio shop:

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Beautiful contemporary Kabbalistic art:

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If you know me in real life, you know that I absolutely love street art. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had some really cool tags and graffiti.

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One very special art related moment occurred at the top of Mount Herzl (the military cemetery). A woman had an easel set up and she was painting a gorgeous landscape with oil paints. It was such a beautiful moment for an artist on top of a mountain in the sun.

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Israel is full of vibrant art. From street art to monuments, from paintings to architecture there is creativity throughout the country.And the beauty doesn’t stop at man-made — there is plenty of artistic and natural beauty.

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The Dead Sea:

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The desert:

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Gardens:

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And of course the marketplace!:
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I enjoyed every minute of my time in Israel and I cannot wait to go back and continue to explore such a vividly beautiful country. I am excited to use my experience as inspiration for my own art and to inform my teaching through understanding of other cultures. ūüôā

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See You Later Alligators

One of my goals as an art teacher is to foster creativity in my students. It is extremely important to me that their projects are not cookie-cutter-carbon-copies, rather they are as individual as the individuals who made them. The last unit of art curriculum for the county denotes that crafting is involved. I type crafting with a grimace and a shudder because in my humble opinion crafting is a cheap way to do mass-produced art.

I was bored to tears by weaving with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders because really, how much creativity is involved in manipulating some yarn? Sure they can choose their colors but in the end all the projects basically look the same. Weaving with paper allows for a little more creative freedom. These woven alligators were inspired by several pins on Pinterest as well as from Art With Ms. Gram. 

I wanted to make sure that they did not all look the same so I made tried to give students as many choices as possible. They chose which shade of green construction paper they would use for the body and  the way they made painted paper. They came up with their own the symbols which were painted in metallic tempera. Students designed their own  eyes and teeth, and the shapes for features such as arms, legs, and tails. I think these look wild and fun and ended up really reflecting the spirit of first (soon to be second!) graders.

We began by mixing primary colors to create secondary colors for painted paper.

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Students used their painted paper to weave into a piece of green construction paper for the alligator’s body.

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Some alligator bodies on the drying rack:

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Then heads and tails were added with more green paper.

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First graders cut eyes and teeth out of white paper:

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Details and symbols were painted on with shiny metallic tempera:

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The display is a farewell to first grade:

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Some alligator close ups:

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These have so much personality and the kids are super excited to show them off. I will leave you with this excellent joke:

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ūüôā


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Weaving With Yarn

3rd, 4th, and 5th graders had the opportunity to weave using yarn and a variety of looms. 3rd graders used cardboard, 4th graders used recycled CDs, and 5th graders used cups. Getting started was the toughest part especially for 4th graders who had to create spokes on which to weave. I figured I would set some rules to begin with so it didn’t become too chaotic.

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Everybody was fascinated with the fact that arm span = height. I let the students use ANY COLORS THEY WANT!!!!!! They were absolutely thrilled about this. Here is the wonderful and colorful selection of yarn:

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(They did not stay in rainbow order long after this picture was taken.)

5th graders (and one random third grade class) cut vertically into cups and wove over-under-over-under to create really cool functional art.

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4th graders created radial designs on CDs:038

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Students who finished their weaving has the opportunity to color in a Mandala to go along with the theme of radial design.

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3rd graders used cardboard for their looms:

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Can I be honest with you dear readers? I am really nonplussed and completely unimpressed by weaving. I have noticed that in other blogs art teachers rant and rave about how wonderful and glorious it is. I thought it was incredibly tedious and left very little room for flexibility, creativity, or differentiation. There is literally only one correct way weave with yarn and if it is knot done properly it will look silly and spoolish. (See what I did there?)

Because this unit did not enthrall the kids — some of them downright¬†hated¬†it — I think I will be amending it for next year and planning projects that allow for more artistic freedom.


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Bugs on a Rug

This might be the cutest project of all time ever in the world. Maybe its the name or maybe its just because for the next few weeks, kindergartners are still adorable and innocent and silly and then summer happens and they become ferocious first graders. (Cue dramatic music.) 

We began this project by creating painted paper using paint scrapers from Roylco. This process of creating painted paper has been extremely popular all year with everyone from k-5.

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This was a great review of primary and secondary colors and the students noticed that the paper looked like it was “woven” if you made criss-cross designs.

Next we created a loom out of colorful construction paper.

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Students cut up their painted paper into lines to weave into the loom.

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They loved going over-under-over-under and they concentrated so hard that it was nearly silent in the art room! Some students had trouble with this step and some caught on really quickly. Weaving is one of those skills that takes a lot of dexterity. The next step was really fun: bug stamps. They filled up their “rug” with little bugs!

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Students also got to make a big bug out of paper by coloring, cutting, and gluing. I used templates for this due to time constraints but next time around I will try and give them the opportunity to create their own bug.

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Kids were stoked to make a bracelet wit their extra lines. They used the most beautiful rainbow lines to create little cuffs. Some “star” students:

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