Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Student Engagement: Finding a Hook For the End of The Year!

I have been working with children in the arts for almost 15 years! 
In that time I have come to realize that art is definitely not for everyone.  
There will always be the kids that are an art teacher's dream, they love every project!  For everyone one of them, there are also the kids that begrudgingly come to class and kind of do their work. 
At the end of the year, it seems even harder to get everyone on board. 

                                          No better time than now to dive into challenges!

I have actually introduced a few challenges throughout the year.  This first one was inspired by a wonderful blog by Angela Watson, I love how she emphasizes the important role of challenge tasks in developing problem solving and creative thinking skills. 
I started off the year with a Brown Bag Art Challenge in my Artovation classes. It was a way for me to introduce what Artovation is all about and get students hooked, engaged, and thinking creatively...

To get ready for Dot Day, I presented a dot themed brown bag challenge.
There was such a wide range of ideas!

Check out the link here to my Brown Bag Art Challenge

We also tried out the Longest Line Challenge right before Thanksgiving.  
(Challenges are also a great hook right before vacations!)

Another favorite challenge is the Building Challenge: Lego Edition! I printed out these Lego Task Cards (thank you to A Few Shortcuts Blog!).  Each student was given a task card, each table a Lego bin.  Let the building begin!  I loved seeing how different students interpreted the same task in a different way.  I also saw collaboration and camaraderie. Kids would yell out if they had a Lego piece someone else was looking for.  Students spontaneously joined their creations.

As you can see they loved it!  I think I will need to revisit this one again ts year!

What are some of your students' favorite challenges?

Art Teacher Blogs 
This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Let it Glow: A Week of STEAM Exploration!

This past week at Fuller Meadow student's embarked on a week of glow in the dark STEAM art.
It was an incredible week and our young artists were engaged and enthralled!

Each grade level had a specially designed art lesson featuring glow in the dark paint
and a special science connection.

Kindergarten: Magnetic Attraction

Young kinder artists experimented with magnets and explored how they can both repel and attract.  After trying out a set of magnets they got to work using magnetic attraction to create marble paintings.  Kinders loved using their magnetic marbles to create works of art
and loved watching their art glow!

1st Grade: Bioluminescent Sea Life

1st grade artists kicked off their art in the dark by learning about bioluminescense
and how scientists are creating the ability to glow in things like plants and trees. 
Check out the video we watched to learn all about this incredible science.

Following this Ted Ed talk, students got to work on their own glowing bioluminescent sea creatures.
This lesson was inspired by artist Michelle Guieu. She has created some incredible work!
  First graders used images from iPads to observe and capture their creatures in pencil.

1st graders then used fluorescent stickers to bring their sea creatures to life!

2nd Grade: Centrifugal Force

2nd graders explored this concept through the magic of spin art - and the LOVED it!
They explored how centrifugal force works by examining amusement park rides, cooking techniques, and a spin on an experiment I saw on Mr. Wizard's World.

We then used these examples to make predictions on what would happen if 
we put paint in the center of a salad spinner..... 
2nd grade artists learned that the paint will be forced away from the center of the spinner.  
Put that together with glow in the dark paint and you get an amazing splatter of art!

These Fuller Meadow Artists' had so much fun this week. 
It will definitely be an annual event!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What to do with Early Finishers?!

This year I have been working to grow as an art teacher and communicate what I do with parents, staff at my school, and (my ultimate goal) other art teachers!  I've taken to twitter (@catnasser), facebook groups, and most recently I have joined the Art Ed Bloggers Network!!

The Art Ed Bloggers Network is a partnership of art teachers from across the country.  On the second Tuesday of each month, all these amazing teachers blog and post on the same topic.  I am so thrilled to join them! This month we are talking about early finishers, so here we go....

I think this is the age old art teacher dilemma.  On one hand you want to give students something meaningful to work on.  On the other you don't want them to rush through the "real" work 
just so they can get to the "fun" activity.  

And then of course there is the matter of free draw...should you allow it? When do you allow it? Sheesh!

I've broken down my early finisher activities into 3 categories: 
Extensions, Previews, and Open Exploration.

I often try to plan for a follow up lesson as an extension of what we have just finished.

This fall my 4th grade Artovators created Geometric String Art Designs.  Check out my post on this lesson here.   As a fun extension I had students use Spirograph to create designs and then add extra details and colors to them.

 They loved it!

The Preview
The other end of the extensions is the preview.  These tasks can help set the stage for upcoming projects.  A preview can be an art task or a research task.  

3rd grade artists created clay owls this year.  Right before this lesson, I put out pictures of owls and had 3rd grade early finishers focus on creating implied owl textures using drawing materials.

I also used Padlet this year as a preview.  As a lead up to our Rube Goldberg lesson, my 6th grade Artovation classes researched and posted facts, videos, and pictures about simple machines.

Check out our  Rube Goldberg Padlet here!
Made with Padlet

Open Exploration

Finally, I'm always trying to find meaning opportunities for open exploration in the art room.  I've been experimenting with choice boards for a few years.  I have a giant grid set up on the wall.  The grid acts like a menu.  Students can choose from different items to try if they are done early.  Items vary from independent reading from my "student art library", artist trading cards, helping in the artroom, and other exercises to help students work on various art skills.  

I think students enjoy having options and choice, but it definitely took some getting used to in the beginning.  "Wait, can't I just free draw?"

I am also in the process of setting up a small makerspace in my K-2 school that I'm calling The Tinker Lab!  It is going to have a lego center, a cardboard attachments center, and bins of ideas of tasks and open discovery.  Here's a little preview:

Thanks for learning about early finishers with me - make sure to check back for next month's post!

Art Teacher Blogs
This post is a part of The Art Ed Blogger's Network: Monthly Tips and Inspiration from Art Teacher Blogs. On the first Tuesday each month, each of these art teacher blogs will post their best ideas on the same topic.

Participating Art Teacher Blogs:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Fuller Meadow Secret Artist vol. 20

This week of Secret Artists (week of 4/2) were determined to wow me with their effort this week.  
They were helpers and well rounded young artists!

Good Job!

Picture Group: Alison G. (KN), Jackson P. (1KH), Ella M. (2M), Ben Y. (1T), Tyler M.(KH), 
Kallie Q. (1K), Caden M. (2K)

Not Pictured (Sticker Group): Ryan L. (1S), Ryan M.(2L), Payton L. (KL)

Monday, April 2, 2018

Fuller Meadow Secret Artist vol. 19

Check out the latest group of Secret Artists from the week of March 26th!  
I've been so thrilled to see so many young artists rising to the occasion and 
proving they have what it takes to be Secret Artist! 

Picture Group: Jameson D. (KH), Ria K (2B), Owen D.(1K), Ariel S.(2K), Brady B.(2M), Jenna S.(1EH)

Sticker Group: Andrew H. (KN), Bridget G. (1KH), Markos S. (KO), Genarro R. (1S)

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Fuller Meadow Secret Artist vol. 18

Last week presented another small but mighty group of secret artists! 
These artists truly amazed me with their focus last week. 

I learned new things about them in the process!

Picture Group: Rayian S (KH), Rocco P (KL), Amelia P. (1S), Robert T (2K)
Sticker Group: Guiliana Y. (KO), Karlos P: (2L)

Friday, March 23, 2018

Surrealist Openings

Third grade artists learned about perspective and surrealism in art!

We started out by exploring the definition and different examples of an opening, 
i.e. a door, a window, a vent.

3rd graders then learned how to draw using principles of perspective to show depth in their work.  
for example, steps get smaller as they go back.
They created walls, doors, a room, or steps that showed dimension.  

Then Surrealism was introduced...
3rd grade artists learned about how Surrealist art was based on dreams and nonsensical ideas.

We also looked at the book Journey by Aaron Becker for inspiration.

Openings were created in buildings, mailboxes, trees, basements, rooms.  
They were challenged to create another piece of art behind their opening 
that was inspired by Surrealist ideas.  
Perhaps the space was a different subject matter, color, or material?

They had such creative ideas.
Take a look at their closed and opened images!