December 16, 2010

...the grumpy grader...

Yes, I'm going to bellyache a bit.  We've had snow days this week...some we truly needed...others not so much.  This is the last week of the nine weeks & the start of Christmas break.  I usually have a "Finish Up Day" the last week of the 9 weeks so students can finish some of their unfinished work...and it gives me time to do a portfolio review with each student in class.  I've loved doing it this way over the past hand full of years!!!  I love the time I get with each student to talk about what is working & what needs work.  Getting their perspective on their work is so helpful to me as their teacher.  HOWEVER...with the snow days & half days...I've not had any classes this week...AND...the teachers still want their grades NOW NOW NOW!!!  So I'm up to my eyeballs in art, and
 feel like I'm missing a key component of the grading process....
the student!  It will get done....but it is so much more enjoyable with the kiddos!!!!

December 07, 2010

Snowmen St. at TGE

A couple weeks ago I saw a GREAT idea on Lines, Dots, and Doodles. 
....Check out the link....

I gave each of the teachers & many of the staff a 2 1/2 foot blank snowman.  Their only instruction was to decorate it...or have their students work together to decorate it.  I really wasn't sure how this would be received.  This is a very busy time of the year...and there has been some "stuff" going on at our school that has caused many to be stressed/frustrated(I'm totally ignorant of such things..and blissfully happy in my little art world).  I'm happy to report....THIS PROJECT HAS BEEN A HIT!!!!! Many of the teachers have come to me and said how much fun they've had creating their snowman...and they didn't want to give it over to their students!(maybe I should have a few art nights for them!!)  Everyday you can find teachers looking over the snowmen...trying to figure out who did what....and smiling...laughing...forgetting about whatever was weighing on them....if only for a moment. 
I hope you enjoy looking through the snowmen of Tulip Grove Elementary!





This is my van Gogh snowman... I was pretty happy with how he turned out!!!!

December 06, 2010

Abstract Expressionism - 4th Grade

A couple summers ago I had my art camp create Abstract Expressionist paintings.  They were amazing!!  We had the time, money, and resources to create them on large canvas board panels.  I do not have that luxury during the school year with my once-a-week/ 4 cents per class per student budget! After weeks of wrestling with perspective & still life drawings...I wanted something totally free & fun for my 4th graders.  So I figured out a way to create Abstract Expressionism on a budget! 
I used craft circles(the 12 inch circles I use for circle weaving)...and Apple Barrel paint from Wal-Mart. 
I limited the color choices to a winter palette.




The results....AMAZING!!!

December 01, 2010

Super Site for Savings this Season - Shutterfly!




With 803 wonderfully different designs to choose from for the Christmas Season...you will find the perfect complement to your family photos!  I've uploaded several different designs/layouts for you to see the variety. Remember though...this is only 1% of the available cards!!!!  My personal fav. is the black & white photo with the red/green criss-crossing asymmetrical ribbons!  I also like the option of making the images black & white.  We have some amazing close up photos from the fall, but Margaret is obviously wearing fall colors. Going black & white with them will allow us to use them for winter as well.  It reflects my personal style, but I think my wife will want a more traditional layout.  She enjoys more symmetrical designs.  The great thing is...with so many options...we'll surely be able to find a blend of our styles.  We may also need to consider one of the layouts that will allow us to show off more photos of our beautiful girl!!!!!  With family & friends all over the country, this type of card would allow us to share so much more!   .  I know whatever we decide...the end result will be wonderful.  We've so appreciated the quality and service Shutterfly delivers. Also, we've not found a better price for the quality & product!! 

Margaret is the first grandchild for my wife & I's parents.  Pictures of the first/only grandchild are like GOLD!!!  ha ha  The calendar maker on Shutterfly allowed us to create amazing Christmas presents for the grandparents that would bring great joy all year round.  To top it off...IT'S EASY TO USE!  All of Shutterfly's services are easy to use!!  So if you have someone that is hard to buy for...think about creating a calendar this Christmas.  It's a gift that gives the whole year long! 



For those of you that are coffee/tea drinkers....or know someone who is...why not consider a mug with the favorite mugs in your life!!! 



 
So check it out!   


David Wiesner

You may not know his name, but I hope you know his books!!  Tuesday ring a bell?? I just was introduced to his newest book..and I think it is a must have for all art teachers. Art & Max is a beautifully illustrated book of lizards & art!  How could you go wrong with that?!?!?!  The website is also very cool.  There is a section that allows you to see some of his creative process in developing his books.  This is a wonderful resource if you are teaching illustration to your students!!!!