Wow, it’s been a long time and I feel terrible about that. I’ve gotten quite a few new followers since my last post and y’all are probably wondering why in the world you bothered. Well, the holidays were rather busy – busier than normal – and I got a new phone and haven’t had access to my old photos that I took of my holiday art and boards. I think I did share some on Instagram before I got my new phone so if you are an Insta-user, check out tinyartroom there.
So, right before our Winter break, I started all my classes on their Art to Remember projects. A few grades finished and a few are finishing this week. All of the projects are turning out great and I have two new Art to Remember projects that I’m trying out this year.
Kindergarten was one of the classes that finished before the break so I was looking around on Pinterest and my favorite art blogs (see the blogroll to the right) to see what I could find for them that would ease us back into the swing of things. For some of these kids (and me) I feel like it’s a second First Day of school so we need to tiptoe back into it.
I found this awesome project over at this cute little French art blog called Le Petites Têtes de L’Art which Google translated to “Small Heads of Art” so… let’s just stick to stumbling over the French pronunciation. Anyway – the kids loved making this so much. At the end of class, I asked them what they liked so much about it. They all said some version of “I liked the scribbling” and “I like cutting the paper.” So, basically they liked being given a goal but allowed to go about achieving it how they wanted. Ahhhh… choice based art. I promised them we would do more of this. 🙂
For now, check out the results of today’s work:
My fifth graders started on their NC art project this week. We are creating in honor of the annual Statesville Hot Air Balloon Festival. We looked at tons of pictures of hot air balloons, paintings of hot air balloons, and even a video of a mass launch at the Statesville festival.
I wanted to give them more choice in their artwork and so I left up lots of the pictures we looked at and they are using those and their own ideas to create their own individual pictures.
Here’s a few from the first day of sketching…
Day one of choosing their own materials. They chose from crayons, markers, color pencils, color sticks, oil pastels, and paint.
After attending the Art of Ed online conference, I was again inspired to step out of my comfort zone and let the kids go crazy, making some Valentines. I have always loved the IDEA of putting out a bunch of stuff and letting the kids just have a ball with it in their own, different, personalized ways. But in real life, I am not entertaining 12-14 perfect angels in my own classroom with an endless (or even reasonable) amount of time to play. In REAL life, I am educating 18-21 sweet and well-meaning first graders in 40 minutes on a cart. I have to get things set up and then cleaned up and put away within those 40 minutes because I have another class waiting on me up two flights of stairs. The stairs are not the problem. And I can be the most prepared and organized person in the world but I will never be a magic genie that can wiggle my nose and make everything clean and tidy (no matter how many times or how hard I’ve tried!!!)
With that said, I attempted this last week. It was crazy but great! I couldn’t have asked for a better, more patient set of students. Some of them didn’t even get to touch paint until 5 minutes before I had to start cleaning up. But no one complained and they were all pleased with their artwork. It was so bright and colorful and heartfelt, you just have to love it. It made them feel like real artists and that is what I strive for in EVERY class.
So, here’s to choice-based art and dirty tables…