Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chatterpix for the Win with 1st Grade Self-Portraits!

Have you tried Chatterpix in your classroom yet?  No, well then you definitely need to.  It's easy to use, super fun, and helps students give voice to their artwork! This year the Fuller Meadow 1st graders used Chatterpix through one of my favorite self-portrait lessons.

1st grade artists started out by learning the basic rules for drawing the face.  They used an eye line to place the eyes right in the middle of the head.  Next, the nose line was added, followed by the mouth line.  Finally we placed in ears and a neck. We basically learned a simple version similar to this diagram shared by Expressive Monkey.

Throughout the project we examined an amazing group contemporary portrait artists like Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, and many others. 1st Graders made choices to make detailed patterned backgrounds in the style of Wiley or keep the backgrounds solid to highlight the figure in the style of Sherald.  Or they choose to put their self-portraits in a background that shows them in everyday favorite situations like figurative artist Jordan Casteel. We used these examples as inspiration in creating the details on our own first grade portraits. 

Finally,1st graders brought their self-portraits to life with the help of Chatterpix.  
They used Chatterpix to describe their unique qualities and show 
how they represented those qualities in their art.

Find your favorite artist's class below and enjoy!
Mrs. Higgin's Class
Mrs. Shaffenberg's Class
Mrs. Thomson's Class
Miss Tiexeria's Class

Kindergarten Habitats: No Dioramas Here!

Arts integration is all about collaborating!  It heightens understanding and keeps students engaged and excited about learning. I love finding new ways to help students make critical learning connections to other content areas.This arts integrated science lesson checks off all of those boxes.

When I first started developing this lesson with the Kindergarten team, I knew I didn't want to do a shoe box diorama. Every project I created in elementary school (a looooong time ago) featured a diorama.  I needed something more current.  I discovered this new take on a diorama by
Second Grade Nest while scouring Pinterest: 

Kinders were introduced to habitats as part of their science curriculum.  Research for their habitat took place at home.  Following this, they each picked a habitat and a corresponding animal based on animals available in their science kits.
Finally we were ready to create their habitats in art class.  Although the habitats would eventually turn into a triangle, they start out as a flat 2D paper.  Each student gets a piece of cardstock folded into 4 triangles.

This year I placed a post it note on each side triangle to help them focus on the base or ground of their habitat first. Once the grounds were underway, I walked around a removed the post-its so they could work on the walls.  Kinders had a hard time understanding that the entire bottom triangle was the ground.  It helped to fold up the sides as they worked to show them how that part would form the base of the habitat.  We visualized what you would find if you were crawling around the ground of your habitat.
We also talked about how this was a resist lesson and that they should focus on drawing and coloring small details in oil pastel but to save the larger areas for painting.  That was all day one, phew!

Day 2 is when the 2D papers become their 3D habitats.  Kinders fold up the the sides and tuck and glue the back panel.  We then discussed which elements of their habitat might pop up and created those details out of paper. 

I loved seeing these settings come together.  This year one Kinder said the habitat was kind of like a stage.  What a perfect description because each habitat would become a stage for their very first stop motion animation. That is a whole post on its own but in the meantime check it this picture of how I set up their sets for easy animating!
This project is adorable and these young artists are so excited and proud of what they create.  
Take a look!

Miss Balfe/Mrs. Pacini's Class
Mrs. Halligan's Class
Mrs. Libby's Class
Mrs. Murphy's
Mrs. Newton's Class
Mrs. Ochoa's Class

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Adopt a Rescue Animal Today!

This is one of my all time favorite projects! 

2nd grade is the perfect age for learning about the importance of shelter animals and why you should adopt not shop.  They do such a great job of bringing out the character and 
personalities of their dogs and cats.

Learn more about this lesson from my original post.

Thinking about adopting a pet?
Let this year's group of 2nd grader artists tell you why you should!

Mrs. Begin/Mrs. Frey's Class
Mrs. Kennedy's Class
Mrs. LeVangie's Class

Mrs. Mulligan's Class
Miss Polom's Class

What did you think? Ready to adopt? 
Check out Middleton elementary alum Molly Wogan's
foundation, The PAWS Project to learn all about local animal shelters.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Summer PD: The "Art" of STEAM

The "Art" of STEAM

I am so excited to announce that I am teaching my 
first graduate level class this summer with Masscue

This course will explore and examine strategies and techniques to create innovative STEAM lessons for your classroom.  Activities will include readings, videos, hands-on activities, discussions, and feedback sessions. The course will identify and study leading innovators in the field, such as Education Closet, Turnaround Arts, and Tricia Fuglestad with Dryden Arts to name a few.  Participants of this workshop will walk away with a library of engaging ideas and lessons that can be implemented starting on day 1!

Are you interested in learning more?!

Sign up now and discover how art integration + STEAM = Total Student Engagement!