Sunday, February 23, 2014

iPads and Matisse in Grade 4

One of the perks of teaching art in a STEM school is the availability of technology. In December, I got a classroom set of iPads. I did have nine iPads at the beginning of the school year, which was great, but having one for every student really opens the door to so many new and exciting possibilities for my students.
In December, my first graders used the iPads and the Art Doodles app to learn about Henri Matisse and then create Christmas-themed cut out collages. That was fun, but I wanted to take the lesson a step further with my fourth grade students. They first used Art Doodles to create their image, then saved it to their photos. The challenge was to recreate their image using a 6-inch square of construction paper, colored paper scraps, and a pair of scissors.
Day 1: After an introduction to Matisse and his work, the students used Art Doodles to create their images.

Day 2: Recreating the image using cut paper
Day 3: Finishing up

On the third day, some students needed a little time to finish their cut paper collages. After that, everyone set up their iPad with the artwork and we had a "walk around exhibit". There was a lot of good conversation among the students as they noted color and design changes and talked with each other about why these changes were made.

After the walk around, a few students added a few  more details to their work, but most of them were happy with the end result and ready to move on to something new. Success!



Friday, February 14, 2014

Jim Dine Valentines!

One of my favorite February art projects with my first graders is our Jim Dine Valentines. I introduce the students to the work of Jim Dine using his "Four Hearts" and "Woodcut Heart" prints.
The students create their own Jim Dine inspired work using heart templates and free drawn shapes that are colored with oil pastels that are "thick and juicy". The backgrounds are then filled in with brightly colored pan tempera.

Here are just a few from our collection:

Having them on the cupboard doors really brightens a winter-weary art studio!

Clay catastrophe update...good news!

This is the perfect photo to begin the happy ending to the Clay Catastrophe story that I first posted on January 15. They LIVE! The survivors have been successfully bisque fired and are in the process of being painted with acrylics and the rest have been rebuilt and are awaiting their trip to the kiln next week. Although I do usually use glazes for most projects, this one just cries out for the bright, cheerful colors that are found in the Pop Art of the 1960s.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snowy days in Room 231!


Although we had two snow days just before Christmas break, I think January set a new snow day record at my school this year! Our return to school in January was delayed by two days due to the combination of snowfall and extremely low temperatures, and this was followed by three additional bad weather days, bringing our total to seven as of February 7. That being said, the weather was a perfect inspiration for my first graders' snow day tissue and paint collage pictures.

All that was missing was some hot chocolate with marshmallows!

So, if you're like me, living in those snowy states, stay warm and think spring!