Had an early finisher in 3rd grade who got out a piece of paper. I was about to tell him to put away the scissors (because we only had a few minutes left of class and we know they never clean up all of their scraps), but I realized he was making a loom for a paper weaving. We got together a few strips of paper and he had this together in just a few minutes. So impressed! We did weaving last March and he still knew how to do it from start to finish. There’s a reason we spend so much time creating those looms during that lesson!
I have a handful of very quick workers in pre-k, who also do a good job on their work. I know I’ll have to plan more additional assignments for them in the future. Yesterday, we began these apples as other finished up the rainbows (they studied apples last week). It’s a good independent project because they are familiar with the skill and the project uses minimal materials. I plan on pulling these out for my early finishers, but I know that eventually I’ll need something else.
Any ideas about what to do with pre-k students who get done early in art?
More adventures in Pre-K: Rainbows!
Don’t underestimate those fine motor skills! Tearing is a difficult motion for many children. Often kindergarten and even pre-K classes don’t have the time to devote to tasks that help build those skills, so I feel it is important to do so in art. These rainbows took a little over an hour for most students (a little over two classes), but some could have easily spent a full two hours. They started with one arch that I drew and I added the others for the next colors because I realized that they needed more lines to follow.
We used glue sponges (first time for me! Made them a few weeks ago) and they worked wonderfully! So much easier than glue sticks or bottled glue and big puddles. We also made use of the giant rainbow now in the classroom. Before giving students the next color, I would ask them to look at the rainbow and tell me which color they needed. I love how different they are, some with the tiny, tiny pieces all neatly lined up and others much rougher.
Making pumpkin patches in Ms. Pinaire’s class all during the week that kindergarteners are learning about the letter P! It was an exciting day :) They told me about the letter they were studying and that they learned the first letter of my name, but I didn’t even realize the art connection until one of my little boys exclaimed while coloring that pumpkin starts with P. Such smart little ones!
1st and 2nd Grade’s First Color Mixing Lesson of the Year
Sometimes the first few lessons of the year are more formulaic because they focus on procedures and basic skills, but I really enjoyed the variety of results for this assignment.
Together, we drew flowers. They were required to have at least three so that there would be enough to paint with the secondary colors. Then, they were able to add all of the special details. We used crayon for everything except the flowers, leaves, and grass. On the final (3rd) day, we painted and reviewed color mixing!
The kids really got into the crayon resist, and in the words of one of my second grade girls, it’s quite handy! The crayon helped the students to successfully create the image that they had planned and gave them some confidence with painting.
3rd and 4th Grade Maps
Some finished pieces from our map making lesson! It was inspired by my current MA studio class, Mapping. I had never done anything with map making, but I knew that my kids enjoy making things like this.
We talked about maps as art and maps as tools, map features, and where to find maps/ when we use maps. Then, we looked at a few contemporary pieces. I was really impressed by the results. They were so broad and so personal. Some were of places that students had been, places students wanted to go, or imaginary places. Some drew places that were important to them or made tools for other people (or animals) to use. We also talked about color choices and using different and creative colors, which some students were really excited about.
For quite a few students, this was the best project that they have done for me in the past three years. Tracing in Sharpie and using colored pencils was really the way to go. I plan on expanding upon the ideas in this assignment and repeating it in the future.
Young Artist Award lunch next week and already prepping for art shows! The last week of October and the county fair will be here soon!
After last year, I am getting as much done beforehand as possible. I’m not going to spend three afternoons at the fair writing names and getting set up.
Easy solution for displaying lots of art when you only have one display board: hang nearly everything in the booth! Tape strings to table. Tape artworks to strings. Done!
My county in Florida is doing performance based EOC exams for K-2 and multiple choice EOC exams for grades 3-5, all which will have to be administered in early November (pre-test). The art teachers are working together to create the countywide assessments. We are required to cite our state standards for each question and have a high number of higher order thinking questions. Does anyone have advice or resources?
Best art teacher of the world
Four simple things that make a big difference with how my classroom functions:
As a third year teacher, I’m feeling better about how my classroom runs. It’s amazing how much smoother things are when a few basic things are figured out.
1. Copy paper box lids set out for each lesson with all of the necessary materials for the week. I keep everything from baby wipes to handouts and books to markers in those boxes. Everything is within reach!
2. Lunch trays! I use these for everything almost everyday! I’m really not sure how I would teach without them. I’ll be buying more soon since some of my class sizes have gone up.
3. A good pencil sharpener in an art classroom is a must. I swear by this one. It sharpens everything in seconds and even does a great job with colored pencils. I usually sharpen pencils at the end of the day, but it is quiet enough to use during class.
4. Step stools. The best ones that I have found (and I’ve been through a few) are these basic ones by Rubbermaid. I found them at my grocery store with the trash cans and things. They’re great for the sinks and I find my bigger but still shorter kids using them to reach things on the counter from time to time. Overall, they allow my students to be more independent, which is great.