I'm Done -- All Grades

What do you do with kids that are all done?!

Here is what I do - as of now:
- Students first have to come show me their work and we discuss it - we compare and contrast their own work within their work.  So for example if one part is colored/painted with care and precision but another part is scribbled in - I point out the two spots and ask if they match in quality.  In most cases students will see the difference and go fix it.
- When students bring me their 'done' work I also compare it to our list of expectations.  For example if we are working on their Wild Things I will go down the list of requirements: - is the wild thing made up of 4 or more animals? - Does your wild thing have visual texture? - Does your wild thing have a habitat?  - Yes to all of those? You are done for today.

When I agree they are indeed done most times I send the kids to the 'Done List'.  I sometimes have mini projects for them to complete, but often times kids get a huge benefit of exploring things on the done list.

The 'DONE LIST' in my room currently has the following to do:
- Free Draw (2 papers)
- Modeling Clay (size of a golf ball)
- Art games - memory and go fish
- I Spy - books and search bottles
- Tangoes
- Kidpix

Free Draw: Students may use 2 papers to color, cut, glue, paper punch - it is free draw after all.  For some reason my students LOVE to use paper punches.. they will sit and punch holes in paper for their entire 'done' time.  I don't full get it, but there must be some magical about punching perfect circles and hearts in a paper.

Modeling Clay: This is a favorite with ALL grade levels - and mostly with boys.  The rules are: no weapons, no throwing, no chasing each other.

Art Games: These tend to be more popular with younger elementary students, as most older kids have mastered memory and go fish.

I SPY: These tend to interest middle to lower elementary students and mostly boys - though many girls still enjoy them.  I made the search and find bottle out of a plastic tea bottle, added some small bits of this and that from around the room, filled with plastic beads, glued on the lid, printed out a list that I taped to the side.

Tangoes: Tangoes are basically tangrams with different shapes.  I got these travel tangoes at Target - they are magnetic and have little books inside with pictures to make on the front and the solutions on the back.  I find all grade levels love these and I tend to see girls play with them longer.

Kidpix: ALL kids LOVE kidpix.  I have 3 computers set up in the back and they make silly pictures.  I set a timer for about 4 minutes so they don't stay on all class and give other kids a chance.  I don't have it hooked up to the internet or to a printer.



Jim Dine -- All Grades

It happened - Jim Dine invaded the art room!  Hearts are everywhere!

Due to my district's schedule and a snow day - my Monday kids are a WHOLE unit behind everyone else, so I am filling my Friday schedule with some quality one day art lessons.  I hadn't really planned on using Jim Dine, but he kept popping up on art blogs and pinterest that I couldn't ignore his amazing hearts any longer!

So, off I went to google to find and save images of Jim Dine's many marvelous hearts to make a slide show.  I talked a little bit about the Pop Artist before the slide show, and explained to the students that their job during the slideshow was to find something about his work and raise their hand.  They could raise their hand when they knew a color, a texture, what the subject was, something all the pictures had in common, something the pictures didn't have in common or anything they observed.  I made sure to wait till ALL hands had something to share.  I called on students until anyone that wanted to share got to share at least once.

Next, I explained their job was to create their own version of a Jim Dine heart.  I broke down and wrote on the board what choices they needed to make:
1) How many hearts? (We talked about any number they were willing to color: 1,3,7,59)
2) What colors? (random, hot/cold, favorite, sport team colors, school colors)

Then we discussed what they needed to have no matter the number of hearts or colors:
1) Whole paper filled with color.
2) Coloring with purpose and not scribbling in whole thing.
3) Using the TIP of the oil pastel and NOT the side (sides don't have as much color and the coloring goes far too fast)

I passed out paper and oil pastels and let them to it.  I let students get pencils if needed, but I encouraged them to jump in with oil pastels.

These turned out great!  I had some students struggle with the freedom of this project, but most of them loved doing it and asked to do more than one.

Now, in classes that had more time to work I offered another step to students that wanted it.  I let them "batik" their papers.  Now, this isn't a true batik as we didn't use wax resist and plan out our colors lightest to darkest.  Instead it is more of a inspired look from batiking.  Those that wanted to crumpled their paper into a ball, then smoothed it back out - they did this 3 times.  On the their crumple students kept it in a ball, dunked it in watered down black paint, rinsed it in the sink, blotted it dry.

I let students pick if they wanted to do the last step because the idea of crumpling your work is too much for some students to handle - though MOST of my students were excited about being a little rebellious.


Truffula Trees for 5th Grade Production

Our 5th graders do a HUGE production in the spring each year - this is my first one at this building and to say the least I am super excited and a little overwhelmed!

We are working on a big ol' backdrop of our Media Center, creating Seuss land, and then the "Villain" lair.

For our Truffula trees I am attempting to use Mr. E's Chihuly's sculptures as inspiration.  The kids glued and glazed some tissue paper around water bottle that I then forced into a round-ish frame.

So far it looks great and it will be way bigger than I had planned - but it will be awesome!


Draw Along Confusion

I have seen quite a few lessons in the last month or so that specifically have 'draw along' as part of the lesson.  I am very confused and slightly concerned about this - will one of you who do this explain to me your reasoning and purpose for doing them?

I tend to feel that all kids are super creative and I challenge my students to make their art their own.  I have never done a draw along, but I wanted to ask why some of you do them - because perhaps, I am missing the purpose of them.  I currently just don't get it.