Category Archives: 1st grade

Collaboration + Black History Month

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We got a jump on February and celebrating Black History Month with this collaborative project. Students looked at this article on Beanz (a magazine for kids, code, and computer science) about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson the ladies also known as The Hidden Figures. They are all mathmeticians, engineers, and pioneers who worked for NASA and helped pave the way for other women in math and science, especially women of color. We also watched this great video from Flocabulary and the kids loved it and even requested to hear it again before class was over.

The project is a two class project and each student will be making a piece of a large poster that features the three Hidden Figures along with a quote from Katherine Johnson. I found this poster on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Can’t wait to share the finished poster hanging proudly in the halls of our school!

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Chinese New Year Collaborative Dragon

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I came across this super cool project for Chinese New Year at arteascuola.com. Miriam shared some of the process and the end product was so cool! I wanted to share my step by step process here to use with my students as well as with you all! Once we get the final dragon complete, I will share more photos. Until then, please check out Miriam’s page here: Arteascuola

Im going to be honest, I’m doing this with first grade so I’m anxious to see the results of this color wheel. πŸ€·πŸΌβ€β™€οΈLet’s do this!!

It went so well!!! They were excited and everybody’s turned out great. Next, we will add the petals, symbols for scholarship, friendship, and sportsmanship (my school’s motto). We will then put them all together to create the dragon!

I tried to photograph the steps of making the head but I’m not sure how clear this is. I had to pretty much figure it out on my own just looking at the finished example on Arteascuola.

Andy Warhol Hand”Prints”

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Andy Warhol Hand”Prints”

I first came across these brightly colored handprints on Instagram. @summitartists posted her results and they were just so eye-catching, I had to try them!

My first graders loved the little video I found on YouTube about Andy Warhol and Pop Art. Click here to see!

We also used the neon tempera paints and I turned on our black lights while they painted the back ground. They were completely amazed.

The day we added the black handprints, I had a hand painting and printing table set up for four people. They took turns at that table and when they finished, they had some Lego centers, plus plus blocks centers, and a pop art color sheet option. Everyone remained engaged and worked cooperatively. I was super impressed to say the least.

Silberzweig Portraits

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I first learned of Sandra Silberzweig at a professional development day with my school system’s art teachers. And of course, as new things tend to do, after learning about her I started seeing her stuff everywhere. 

I love her art and all the colors and patterns in it. The kids love it too and other than how colorful it is, they love the funky, stylized aspect of her faces. 

One of my favorites is the cat eating a fish:


And of course the Dia de Los Muertos inspired calavera:


So my first and third graders have been working on their own versions and I thought I would share some of their work in progress:


I will be sure to share their finished pieces too! 

Tinker Boxes to blow off STEAM!

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Tinker Boxes to blow off STEAM!

Oh man, I have been so excited to share these little boxes of fun with my students and with you all. I love hearing all about STEAM and how other regular classroom teachers are integrating art into their classes. I’m all like, “Welcome to my world. I told y’all it was fun over here!” 

So anyway, I wanted to create some projects and lessons where the ultimate goal wasn’t to take a perfect little picture home to mom and dad to hang on the fridge. I wanted the goal to be one of social interaction and creative design. Teamwork and imagination.  It’s all about the process, baby! 

The thing that finally got me moving on my idea about this was our school’s family engagement coordinator brought me some empty sight word flash card boxes. They were pretty small but they were brightly colored and had a cute little yellow handle. There were only 10. What can a teacher of 650+\- do with 10 little boxes? 

πŸ’‘ 

I started by finding that bag of random stuff that people give you… you know the one. It’s filled with bits and pieces of scrapbook stuff, toys from kids meals, lost puzzle pieces, marbles, dominoes, etc. Yeah, that one. I divided it up between 6 of the boxes (I have 6 tables in my room) and then set to making some prompts. I know I could throw caution to the wind and let the kids just have a go with no prompts but I want to keep a loose grip on the reins.  I think it would be best to have a common goal at each table so we don’t bicker about step 1. 

There are so many great places to find prompts, resources, and ideas for materials for this sort of thing. Here are a few of my sources: 

A Wrinkle in Tech
Stem of the Month (TPT)
Left Brain Craft Brain
Education Closet
So I put this all together, made my prompts, laminated them, and got ready to try it out…

They LOVED it. Of course they did. I say this not because of my amazing boxes of random crap, but because kids love to tinker and play with little things, and use their imaginations. After they completed the tasks, we cleaned up the boxes and then traded for a new box. We only traded once in the 45 minutes of class. 

I shall not lie to you – there were arguments in some of the groups. Kids have strong opinions about stuff, especially what the propeller of an airplane should be made from. But it was opportunity to work on social skills and learning to talk through problems instead of yelling, whining, and fussing. But that’s what’s so great about STEAM and art class in general: it’s applicable to real life. Problem solving (with people and machines), designing, creating, sharing, giving, taking, directing, leading, choosing a good leader, being a great team player, and the list goes on. 

This was a wordy, lengthy post and I apologize. Here’s some pictures: 

A mini rocket and a big rocket

A large house

A robot 

An airplane! 

Year of the Fire Rooster

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Year of the Fire Rooster

Chinese New Year is happening in a couple days and my 1st and 2nd graders celebrated with some beautiful artwork! Check it out…

Some holiday fun…

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I love the winter holidays. I love the time together with family and friends. I love the decorations and I love the crafts. An art teacher I follow posted that she is not a Hallmark factory for her school and therefore does not do holiday artwork. I absolutely respect that but I do love making holiday art so I thought I would share some of what we’ve been doing since I haven’t posted in forever. 😳

Elf legs! Ornament piles! And Kinder Rudies! 

Snowmen! 

How I’ve been feeling this season: 


Some up close and personal time with Santa! 


Nutcrackers, Rat Kings, Ginger houses, and more Santa! ❀
Merry Christmas from the TinyArtRoom! πŸŽ„πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸŽ¨πŸŽ…πŸΌ