September 26, 2012

point of view pumpkins

Well my room is in full autumn mode at the moment.
Last year I introduced fourth graders to the concept of Point of View using snowmen as our inspiration.
Then I saw this pin from the wonderful Sarah. (her blog) (her project)
I went along with her and decided to use pumpkins as my inspiration this year.
We looked at lots of photos that showed how artists make things interesting by changing the point of view.
We rehashed color blending since we already dabbled in this on our last project.
We looked at our pumpkin still life and each student decided on their own point of view.
I gave the 9x12 minty green construction paper and they sketched out their pumpkins.
The above two pictures are my examples.
I wanted them to see how they could either do a pumpkin or jack-o-lantern and still make it interesting.
Love the things they came up with.
We talked above eye-level, bird's eye view, close-up, profile, 3/4 view....
Love the porch. Wowza!
Beautiful color blending.
Everyone came up with something different.
Plus we all had a great time.

September 23, 2012

homework for life

What a week.
Every so often a week hits you where you completely fall off the map.
Almost like everything on your planner hits you all at once.
Since blogging is a hobby...a habit...an addition...but alas not a job...it got moved to the bottom of the list this week.

Besides working to make your refrigerators beautiful this week I was doing my own homework.
Homework for Masters.
Homework for Church.
Homework for life.

I remember when I was in college I elected to take 19 to 21 credits a semester.
And yes, those are the semesters I don't recall a thing.
Working and taking one masters class at a time has been plausible the last year and a half.
Suddenly though, working and taking two masters classes has become overwhelming.
Maybe it is the mix of classes.
Maybe it is my severe case of senioritis.
Whatever the cause may be...it is happening.
Take one day at a time.
And perhaps give myself a free minute or two to google Master's regalia.
Ya know, I need motivation and remind myself there is an end goal.

Then there is church.
A question was asked of me.
How does digging into the Word elevate your mood?
Was someone in the church reading my blog?
Hello loaded question.
(at least personally for me---it is loaded)

So I bared as much of my heart as I could for the camera.
I did get to read a quote from a book that I recently read.
(C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters")*
To me it perfectly sums up my life homework.
*Note this book is written from the perspective of a demon

September 17, 2012

candy corn printmaking

So I found this pin over the summer. (here)
Because it was only linked to Artsonia...
I used my brain to recreate the steps.
This is the final product.
This is how my kindergartens created it.
Set-up three different stations for the three different sections of candy corn.
This first one they dotted with the light orange using the bottles with caps on top.
Then they used the darker orange and open bottles to make a ring around the dot.
I made these bubble wrap rollers by hot-gluing bubble wrap to paper towel rolls. 
Student rolled them into the yellow paint and made a great texture on white paper. 
(note-the above sample was done before I got these awesome roller made.)
Third station consisted of sgraffito scraping tools and a plate of orange paint.
These are the three results. The white and yellow paper is 5" x 9" and the orange is 8" x 9".
Take all these on the second week and glue them down to a 9" x 18" paper.
Take a tracer and cut out the candy corn.
(Clearly, this one had not been printed on yet)

I was gonna give each Kindergartner a piece of candy corn to eat but wouldn't you know they were all made near or around peanuts. 
Oh well.

September 12, 2012

Keith Haring Figures

I must first thank Joanna for this wonderful lesson.
I've done it for two years now and I love the results.

This is the project fifth graders do for Original Works.
We talk about 
Warm and Cool color families.
Contour lines and pattern.
Movement.
The kids love it.
Day 1:
Investigate Keith Haring.
Draw our two figures.
Outline figures with black sharpie.
Choose 1 warm and 1 cool color to fill in the bodies.
Day 2:
Outline. Outline. Outline.

September 11, 2012

to remind. to remember.

I sat at the lunch table today and stared out at the sea of red, white, and blue bodies shuffling in the front door.
Patriotic Day...and rightfully so.
I sat with another teacher and discussed 'the day'.
The day that most of my students's weren't even alive for.
Oh how much changes in eleven years.
Oh how much changes in just one day.

I was a sophomore in high school when that day occurred.
Young enough to maintain my reasoning that all is good in the world.
Old enough to grow up in the span of twenty-four hours.

First hour.
We were being silly.
That good kind of silly.
Where all your carefree childlike innocence radiates out of believing the best in people.

Passing period.

Second hour.
I was in Bible class.
The upperclassmen history teacher walked in and whispered something to my Bible teacher.
The day changed.

Televisions were rolled into every classroom and we watched the tragedy take place.
I didn't understand.
I couldn't wrap my brain around what was happening.
I stared out the window and watched airplanes make huge circles in the sky.
My childlike beliefs now seemed like a thing of the past.

Life did change after that day.
Some lives were more tragically changed.
But all of us remain changed.

Here I am.
Eleven years later.
No longer a student but a teacher.
Educating children who for the most part don't wake up on September 11th and remember that morning from so long ago.
And so goes our job.
To remind.
To remember.
9-11

September 9, 2012

fashionable art

Are you all aware that it is fall fashion week all over the country?
It's true.
Back in May I got the experience of trying out to be a model in our fashion week.
Actually, this is how the story went.

My older sister told me to go tryout with her.
I said no.
She said she would not take no for an answer.
I said maybe.
A few weeks later she had roped her husband into going to the tryouts.
She asked me when I wanted to leave to go to the tryouts.
I said no.
She said yes.
Being the older sister she has her "ways" of making me do what she wants.
Arm twisted.
I said yes.

So the three of us went to tryout.
Nerve wracking.
But soon it was over.

They got called back to be models for the runway show.
You see...
Being a teacher, I couldn't really give them as much availability as they may have wanted.
I really don't know if that's the reason I wasn't picked.
But I'm sticking with it!

The shows have been happening all week.
And I got the chance to see both of them walk.


Check out that hair!

That's me admiring my sister. 
I was pretty much in awe of her hair. (and her!)

I wasn't modeling.
But I took the opportunity to get glammed up to.
Fashion is art.

September 5, 2012

change my life

As I sat in youth group the other night I surveyed the crowd.
High school students littered the floor listening to our youth pastor.
The topic.
Being invisible.

No, not in the superhero sense.
I suppose the superhero would consider that an advantage.
But I'm no superhero.
I'm just a twenty-six year old who knows what it feels like to be invisible.
To have my presence acknowledged but my true heart hidden.
I'm sure you can either relate now or at some point in the past.

I've written about this before. 
Being overlooked but seen.

But this time it feels different.
Sometimes when our enemy knows we are low he likes to put that extra punch in our gut.
The one where you come up gasping for air.
That happened the other night to me.
A simple thing really that triggered it.
But simple to you can mean utterly destructive to me.

By the next morning I was staring at my toast questioning everything I felt in my heart this last year.
All to familiar tears welled up in my eyes.
I gulped down my glass of milk and the tears.

When I retreated to my bathroom mirror I recalled the very thing we were trying to convey to our high schoolers.
We are not invisible.
There I was.
A reflection.
If I can see my heart.
If a select few people I've allowed in can see my heart.
Clearly there is someone else who sees my heart, my tears, my life, my future.
He should.
He made me after all.

I left for work that morning having already lived a full day.
My words as I parted were simple yet powerful,
"It's okay, I will be okay, somehow He will work this all out."
Saying it was my act of faith.
To trust that things could change -- though in that moment I felt completely invisible.

He was faithful to.
To you -- it would just be a song on the radio.
To me -- it was the another shred of hope to hang onto.
Just the right words. Just the right time.

So let me share with you a quote from a book and a song for the road ahead.
I don't want to be the one they speak of in this quote.
I want to persist till the end.
In contrast to the quote,
I want very much to believe the words of the song.
My life can still change.
And you can still change someone else's life.
Be the reason today that someone else in this world feels a little less invisible.

September 3, 2012

painted paper bouquets

Original Works Program.
Do you do this program in your school or another one like it?
I have been doing OW for the last three years.

This year I slightly changed what I normally do for my first graders.
We review  our primary and secondary colors.
Plus we add a new technique.
Sgraffito.
I always try to figure out how to best let the kiddos paint their paper.
Just let them try to fit 6 colors without any divisions won't work.
Folding was taking too much time.
Last year I simply decided  to divided up the paper prior to them coming to class.
It works perfectly.
They only get the three primary colors.
I go through each color, one-by-one.
This ensures that they sgraffito patterns into the wet paint each time. 
Plus it is a great way to teach them how much of each color you need to make the secondaries.
After they all dry I hand them back out and they use these to cut up their flowers and leaves for the bouquet.
I give them the OW paper for a background.
We draw a table edge and shade the background with some construction paper crayons.
I teach them how to cut a symmetrical vase.
They get to get creative and make their flowers with their painted paper.
Stems get drawn with oil pastels or construction paper crayons.