Friday, August 9, 2013

A New Year Ahead, A New Blog

I admit, I've been horrible at keeping up this poor little blog :( To re-inspire, redirect and re-do myself, I've created a new Art Room blog that I hope you will visit & follow! The new blog is titled, Mrs. Lawrence's Art Room, and will be updated least thats the plan.

I know I only have 7 followers here but I sure hope you come to my new blog to say hello! I'd love for you to be followers there where I am taking a fresh start at this!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Pointillism on a Banana!

An awesome lesson if I do say so myself! To start the year, I had every grade level, k-5th, listen to the story, The Dot, and had them do dot related activities. Positive and Negative dots, Primary water color dots and then the 5th grade did Pointillism on a banana dots. A great one visit lesson that really had them all engaged!

Students could choose to do their own simple design such as their name, pumpkins, stars....whatever they like.

Or, they could use one of 2 designs I gave them. The point I wanted them to reach is that this style of art making takes time and that Suerat sure had patients when painting in this style!

Bananas are no longer safe! Fifth graders are making art with them!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Art Room Crawl

Yesterday I hosted our first Art Room Crawl! Interested art teachers participated and we each had the opportunity to share an Art Room Management strategy or an amazing Art Lesson. We toured several art rooms in our district and each member was able to present their ideas. Afterwards, we gathered for dinner and further artsy discussion. A great evening.

We began the Art Crawl in my room. Since we still are at the start of the school year, I shared my basic management strategies that I find basic to how I like to structure the art environment.

To help frame my expectations to behavior or how students "act" in class I have my Red Carpet chart. Students can move upward by being Respectful, Responsible and Ready to Learn (part of our school pledge) and can become an Award Winning Performer by showing great character consistently.

Another important element to my management style is my board. Students practice the routine of "reading" the board as they enter the room to understand the outline of our work day & learning. It includes simple cue card visuals, simple text and art samples. Once students understand how I review the outline, a student will present the board to the class giving students the an active, engaged part of the instruction.

Others in our group shared lessons or their own management style. It was fun seeing everyones art environment to see how we all are wonderfully different.  If you would like a more detailed copy of my management strategies I shared along with copy sheets, please email me and I'd be happy to send the PDF to you.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Art Room Crawl

This year has been full of changes in our district. One of the biggest for me is that our building is now K-5th grade rather than K-2nd.  I am really excited about seeing the additional grades and watching students develop their skills each year. So, this change is great!

On a disappointing note, this year we as art teachers have found ourselves without any specific professional development. This is truly sad but rather than complain, I have devised a number of ARt Teacher gatherings to solve this very problem. I began cultivating this idea over the summer by inviting interested art teachers from my district for an Artsy Luncheon where we painted, chatted and ate.........I believe those who came were very pleased and happy to be part of a group of art educators that are taking time to get to know one another not only as teachers or co workers but as people and artists. It is my feeling that you really have to build relationships before any sharing can be done.

The next gathering I organized was a dinner out shortly after the year began. Again, well received and fun. We are all learning about one another in a different way and possibly being more receptive to sharing ideas. I think that people sometimes feel competitive or feel that they have to pump themselves up to validate what they do and this gets in the way of any REAL sharing. My objective is to make everyone see we are all valuable.

SO.....this week is our first Art Crawl! Professional Development we have created! I have 7 art teachers participating and we will visit each others art room for only 10 minutes where the hostess will share ONE management strategy OR ONE awesome lesson....I've kept it to the 10 minute thing since I don't want anyone to be short changed or someone to feel extra focused upon.....We must all feel equal. I've been teaching long enough to see that if a focus becomes to shine on one person, then this is very deflating to others.....they would not ever say this but I know its true. Body language says a lot :)

Stay tuned and I will share images and PDF's of our Art Crawl. Please consider arranging something like this in your district too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thinking about the School Year Ahead

Now that August is here, my mind begins to think about the year ahead in the Art Room. I haven't yet gone into school to unpack my order but I'm thinking of my word for the year. Yeap. I select a word or phrase I want to focus on for the year and I link my lessons back to this. In previous years my words have been, collaborate, a pictures worth a thousand words, connections, 5 senses, express it ....oh, I can't think of all of them but you get the idea. This year I'm considering Fearless Artist, Experiment or Collaborate.....I like all three.
If anyone's out there, which one do you like? Do you use words to help focus your year?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cake Boss in the ARt Room!

I like to celebrate just about everything. So its no big surprise that I honor our end of year with special projects for each grade level. This past week I just completed Parent ARt Day for Kindergartners and Tye Dye T-Shirt Days for First Grade. For second grade we celebrate by creating my version of Rainbow Cake! Here are a few images spotlighting the Rainbow Cake activity.

Kids read, measure, mix the ingrediants for the batter. We use a simple white cake mix.

The batter is then divided into 6 bowls. We review the primary colors and how to mix primaries to achieve the secondary colors. 

No. We don't lick the bowls! We talk about how raw eggs could make you sick.

I do the layering of each color explaining that you don't want to mix up the colors. Also a great year end lesson to reinforce ROY G BV.....I know I didn't include indigo. I like to only focus on the 6 we need to know now but do tell them that they will learn more in say 4th or 5th grade.

All layered and finished! Now into the oven. We make the cake one morning and then next art class we learn about cake decorating as a career & art form (I like to continually remind students that are is all around us and doesn't only happen with paper and paints!)

Everyone has a chance to try their hand at decorating with frosting. Just like drawing, frosting designs take practice.....but you can eat your mistakes.

This cake was made in a rectangle pan.....I only have so many circular pans & I have 5 second grade classes! It was sooo good and a GREAT way to reinforce art concepts, infuse math & language arts and demonstrate another way art is all around us!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

ARty Updates

Oh, boy. Keeping up two blogs is hard...and I certainly haven't been good about this one. However, I am making a hugh effort to do better here. I've got a game plan and I'm ready to go. I sure hope who ever is out there reading this will stay tuned....I promise, I will have more posts here.

For now, why not check out the two pages I just created to share. One is crayon cookies and the other is felting. Both are awesome activities and keep even middle school students engaged. Hope you try them. Please let me know if you need clarification. Felting pictures will be coming shortly to make the process easier to follow.