Friday, March 1, 2019

First Grade Tree Houses

We are about half-way through our tree house project.  Today we worked on the actual tree house.  Our focus was making a house structure (a simple one since it is a tree house) and how to make it look like it was made from old wood (nails and crooked wood boards). 

I especially love the signs that were put onto the tree houses.  These were drawn on paper that they had water-colored the week before.  Next week we will finish up our backgrounds and trees and add a few embellishments to complete these. 







When Your Sixth Grader Comes Home Asking For a Laminator For Their Birthday.....This is Why...

Who knew a laminator could be the coolest thing in the world?  Well, this week it is.  And I'm very sorry when your 6th grade child starts asking for one for Christmas (because many already asked me how much they are and where they could get one).  LOL!

This, my friends, is the coolest process we have done in a long time. 


Students are working on their graffiti unit in art class.  It has led to some great discussions on the legal issues involved with street artists.  We talked about why the art world doesn't always accept street art as a legitimate art style but how street artists are gaining popularity and can make millions for their work even though it is not always accepted as a legitimate form of art.  

6th graders are looking at different graffiti fonts and styles using a few different graffiti writer websites.  They can use these fonts or come up with their own to create different words or pictures in a graffiti style.  One of their words has to be completed entirely using colored sharpies.  And one of their words has to be done in foil, hence the laminator.

How the process works: 

-Students create their sketch in pencil
-The sketch is outlined/filled in with black sharpie.
-A photo copy is made of their sharpied work
-Heat sensitive foil (is placed on top of the photo copy) and rolled through the laminator (minus the plastic wrap).  The heat from the laminator melts the ink from the photo copier and heats the heat-transfer foil up.  The ink and the transfer foil stick together). 
-The foil is peeled away and leaves you with these awesome foiled graffiti letters

 Here is a video of the process (courtesy of me):










Students at work: 










Thursday, February 28, 2019

4th Grade: Chinese New Year Dragons

4th grade has been having a BLAST the past month working on a project that is full of so many layers.

The process:

Day 1:

Students were all given a large sheet of poster paper.  Select songs of classical music (with strong emotions) was turned on and students had to draw with the music.  They had to select colors that reflected the emotion of the music and draw along to the music.  The students LOVED this.  Most said that they felt relaxed while doing this.  Almost all students couldn't believe how quickly class time flew by.




Day 2:

The next art class students were given back their musical drawings and stations were set up around the art room.  At each station there was a different technique for painting.

-Stamps
-Paint rollers
-Paint scratch tools
-Paint daubers

Students spent time at each station adding layers of paint and texture to their artworks.  By the time students were done, we had quite the variety of artworks.





The painted papers were torn into strips and students arranged them around a background paper.  


The dragon heads were drawn, outlined in oil pastels (variety of colors), and then watercolored.  These were cut out and attached to the backgrounds.  Fire was made using colored tissue paper.  

I think the final results are SPECTACULAR!  What a way to bring in the Chinese New Year!!   Students learned about Chinese New Year and the symbolism of the dragon in the New Year's celebration.  Hopefully these dragons bring good fortune and good luck into your homes for the upcoming New Year.  

This is a great project to ask your child how they created them.  I guarantee you they will be overjoyed to share with you the process.  I would guess that their favorite part was drawing to music.









3rd Grade: Chinese New Year Dragons

We finally finished these!  A little bit late for Chinese New Year but students got to work on them during the Chinese New Year time and got to learn a lot about the traditions and history of Chinese New Year and the significance of the dragon and fireworks in the celebration.

We watched a little of the San Francisco Chinese New Year parades dragon dance as well.

Here are some pictures of students working and some of the finished products.










Kindergarten: The Colors of Us: Completed

Kindergarten just finished a unit that focused on all of the beautiful shades of skin tones that God blessed all of humankind with.

We talked about what things make us all different as people (body shapes and sizes,  hair color,  eye color, the things that we like and enjoy to do, etc...) and also all of the things that make us the same (we are all people, all have feelings, all made by God, etc...).

We started the unit by reading the book, "The Colors of Us" and then I had students color a picture of themselves and then color a picture of their table-mate and then look at all of the things that were the same and different about one another.  The importance of this conversation was to show students that just because someone looks different than you or likes a different sports team that you do or has different hobbies doesn't mean you don't enjoy them as your friend.  A world full of people that looked and thought just like us would be really really boring.  The students thought that a world full of all of "them" would be hysterical....some even thought they would like it.  Hahah.   More on that part of the project here:  Colors of Us

We then spent some time practicing drawing shapes and then used stamps and ink to create all of the different "body" shapes on our papers.  The best part was when students got to start drawing all of their people details.

They were encouraged to:
-draw arms and legs that were not "sticks"
-include eyes, noses, mouths, hair
-include lots of fun details (hats, props, buttons, accessories, pets, etc.)

Students finished this project this afternoon.  I took a few quick pics of some of the completed projects.  I can't wait to go to work tomorrow to spend some time to look at all of the millions of details the students put into their artworks.  They really had fun with this one!







Friday, February 1, 2019

1st Grade: The Kissing Hand

I don't think it gets much sweeter than this.  The Kissing Hand, a book near and dear to my heart.  A book that I had to use and kisses that I had to give to my own son to calm his own fears in preschool and even in the start of Kinder.

When I read the book to the 1st graders, most had already heard this story before, some of them had heard it many times before, but still they sat quietly and seemed to still be completely captivated by this story.



After the story, we talked about the colors that were used a lot in this book (besides black and white)....blue, yellow, and red (the primaries).  We spent some time discussing what primary colors were and what made them special (a review from what they learned last year).  In our Valentine's day project this year, we were only going to use the primary colors + black and white.

We drew, we painted, we used crayon rubbings, oil pastels, and sharpies....and I have to say, I think that each one of them is going to end up melting your heart.

I asked the students if any of them would adopt me, just so that I could keep their beautiful artworks. While many offered, I know that none of them would be parting with these precious artworks anytime soon.  They are very proud of them and very excited to be bringing them home in the near future.





Thursday, January 31, 2019

Kindergarten: The Colors of Us

A few things were the motivator for this project.  February is the start of black history month and diversity is our school's theme for this trimester.  Teachers just started more training in social and emotional development AND I needed a cool way to explore shapes and colors with Kindergarten....so all of that combined, lead me to starting this project with Kindergarten today. 

Once student are seated, I will be asking them some questions.  If the answer to the question is yes, then they will stand.  They will sit down after each question. 

Stand up if:

-You have brothers and sisters
-You are the only child
-You wear glasses
-You are six
-You have a dog
-Your eyes are blue

When we are done,  I will ask them if any of these characteristics make you any more important than the other students in class.
What would happen if the world was made of all of the same person?
Who made you?
Does God love all of you?
How are we all alike?
Does if matter is we like or look different than our friends?
Do we make fun of someone if they don't look like us or if they don't like something we do?


I will read "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz to the students. 


After the book is done, students will begin a small worksheet to get them thinking about how they are alike and different than a tablemate in class. They will color a picture of themselves and then a picture of their friend.  They will have to see what is the same and what is different. 

Next week, we will be reviewing shapes and then we will begin our REAL project based on diversity and all being of the same human race.  (More pics coming soon). 

Sky Writing Our Love....

2nd Graders just completed these adorable sky writer artworks for Valentine's Day!

The backgrounds were painted using big brushstrokes using blues, purples, and white.  The goal was to be able to see the big brushstrokes. 

Small airplanes were drawn (finally a Valentine's day project that the boys could get behind...lol) and colored in and then they let their planes sky write some "love" into the sky.






Thursday, January 24, 2019

Collaboration with San Jose Public Libary: World Book Day



Over Christmas break, an idea came to me that I got super excited about.  I wanted my art students to collaborate with the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) on a bookmark project. 

I got a hold of the marketing department contact and sent them a mock-up of the bookmark proposal (see picture below). The idea that was proposed was that students would create artwork on the front of the bookmarks and additional information would be on the back (I'll explain further along).  The librarians would hide these bookmarks in books in high-traffic areas of the library (Lucky Day, new books, and the children's section of the library). When a bookmark is found they will read the following information on the back of the bookmark.


By using the hashtag and posting it on social media when a bookmark is found, we will be able to track which bookmarks have been found. 

When I presented this to the marketing department they were immediately on board with the idea.  They asked if we could have this ready so they could roll it out for World Book Day in April!!!!

So, students have been creating bookmarks with the artwork relating to reading and/or books.  Enrichment students will be coming up with inspirational quotes from books that we will use for the QR codes on the back of the bookmarks (20-25 different ones). 

No student names will be on the bookmarks.

This project is open to any member of the SFC community (parents, grandparents, staff members, etc..).  If you would also like to make a bookmark, have your child bring home a template for you or for other family members to create one.  The artwork should only be done on the front of the bookmark and should relate to reading and/or books.  Do not put your name on it. 
I would like to have all bookmarks by March 1st to give us time to add the backing to them and laminate them. 

Here are a few bookmarks that students have already created: