Sunday, October 27, 2013

Our Pinteresting Project!

The fifth grade students proved to be the perfect group for my "Pinteresting" Dot Day project! I featured the pin that inspired our work in our display cabinet with the finished projects.

I can craft that!: The Craziest Art You Could Make
Our Pinspiration

And here is how we did it using colored construction paper cut into 1-inch strips, glue sticks, extra colored paper, 9x12-inch hardboard panels, and lots of ModPodge! The students worked in groups of 4-5 students, so it was a great exercise in collaboration and teamwork as well as creativity.

And here are some of the results!

These projects are getting rave reviews in the display case across from the main office of the school!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dot Day Zentangles

This project took a little longer to complete than I had originally planned, but I love the way it turned out! I like to begin the seventh grade year with a unit about Zentangles. Every year is a little different, but for the most part, this meditative drawing activity makes for a calm, focused art period on Friday afternoons, which is when I see my seventh grade students. This year, after the traditional four-inch square Zentangles were completed, I pulled out a box of old CDs and DVDs (courtesy of our computer lab) and we made Dot Day Zentangles.

First, the students created a round Zentangle, the same size as the CD or DVD.
A simplified version of the Zentangle was then drawn on the shiny side
of the disk using colored permanent markers.
We used Mod Podge to glue the paper to the disk.
A white twist tie was sandwiched between the layers for hanging the finished work.
The students also had the option of glazing the paper with the Mod Podge
to create a shiny surface and protect the paper drawing.
Now that most of the projects are finished, the last step will be using fishing line to hang the pieces in the window to catch and reflect the sunlight. Should be quite lovely!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

MUSE Machine...bringing the arts to schools!

Our new year with MUSE Machine got off to a fantastic start with a special workshop in mid-September to welcome our new sixth grade class and introduce them to the MUSE Machine secondary program.

What is this MUSE Machine?

Just one of the most amazing arts organizations anywhere...and it's in Dayton, Ohio!

Our music teacher and I have been secondary level (grades 6-12) club advisors for the past five years. Through this organization, we have met and worked with some of the most creative and talented visual and performing artists you could ever hope to meet. But even more important, our students have been enriched by these artists through in-school performances, artist residencies, and field trips to arts venues.

"So You Think You Can't Dance?" proved to be a high-energy hour with choreographer Lula Elzy (Lula Elzy Dance Theatre of New Orleans) and actor and Wright State University musical theatre director, Joe Deer, two of MUSE Machine's arts partners. They challenged our returning seventh and eighth grade MUSE Club members and the entire sixth grade class to put on their "dancing shoes" and prove that middle school students CAN dance!

Everyone had a great time, including myself, my fellow Muse Machine advisor, Sherri (music teacher), and all four sixth grade teachers.

Later in the month, our full season of Muse Machine in-school performances opened with a performance of "Historical!" by The Human Race Theatre Company, one of Dayton's many awesome performing arts organizations. Scott Stoney, resident artist with Human Race and script writer for "Historical", and four young actors took the students on a journey through critical events in American history using the musical, an all-American art form, as their vehicle.

Songs included "But, Mr. Adams" from 1776, a heart-felt medley from The Civil War that included "Judgment Day" and "Tell My Father", and a humorous rendition of "Thank You, Herbert Hoover" from Annie.  The 40-minute performance ended with a moving rendition of "The Gun Song" from Assassins, a very timely commentary on today's culture and gun violence. After the performance, the actors and Mr. Stoney conducted an informative Q & A session for the students before everyone headed back to prepare for dismissal.

We'll be looking forward to November 5, the date of our next MUSE Machine in-school performance!