Origami Star Box -- 3rd Grade

I did Origami star boxes with 3rd grade this year - a couple of the folds are tricky for them, but everyone succeeds in the end!

Origami Flying Crane - 5th Grade

Here is a video where I talk through the steps of making an Origami Flying Crane - I do this with my 5th grade students!

Origami Cats and Dogs - Kindergarten

Here are directions for making origami cats and dogs!

I do these with kinders - it is a perfect introduction to folding. After we make one of each, as a class, I let the make as many as they can for rest of the class. I make sure to supply different sized paper - kids loving making families (mom, dad, baby, brother, sister) and markers to add eyes, noses, spots or stripes. Often the dogs end up with laser vision and purple eyes - it is hysterical.

For students that start to reach ultimate fun with cats and dogs I challenge them to make up different folds to make other animals. This year I got an elephant, turkey(picture above), spider, and some reindeer!


Start with a square piece of paper.

Pick up one corner and pull diagonally across paper - match up corners and crease.

You should have a triangle. (make sure the long side of the triangle is at the top)

Pick up top corner - pull towards you and then down.

Crease.  Point of ear should hand off the dogs head.

Repeat with opposite corner.

This is where I stop with Kinders - but if you have awesome folders, try the next few steps!

To add extra detail - pull up top layer of dog's chin.

Pullup as far as desired - crease down.

Pick up top of triangle you just folded and bring down to meet folded edge.

You should get a tiny triangle - here is your dogs snout. 

Add some details!


Start with a square piece of paper.

Pick up one corner and pull diagonally across paper - match up corners and crease.

You should have a triangle. (Make sure the long side of the triangle is at the top)

Pick up top corner, pull towards you and then up.

Crease down.

Repeat with opposite corner.

You can decorate this side or flip over.

Add some details!


Origami Bracelets - 4th grade

This was based on an idea our Dance teacher saw on YouTube when she was looking for a special way to fold money for a birthday. As soon as she showed me the video I remember making chains with my mom using gum and starburst wrappers.

The video used $1.00 bills which gave the bracelet some extra give to get over the hand and then cinch a bit for the wrist.  I didn't have any cash on me and for some reason trial and error seemed faster and easier than looking up dollar bill dimensions on-line.  So, I took some printer paper and started to mess with sizes - it took a couple of tries to find the right ratio for the rectangle.

I found that paper 2.5 inches wide x 7 inches long gave us the extra movement needed to fit over hands.

Students decorated 10-12 strips of paper the first day. We did a little math if they had 30 minutes left and 10 strips - then they had only 3 minutes for each one. I tried to stress that they had very little time to color/design their papers. Most finished, some didn't - but got close enough.

The next class I showed the kids how to fold, assemble, and finish their bracelets.  Most students finished, but a handful did not - I promised to put the videos on the blog so they could make/finish them during break!



Thank You

This is what I felt like this morning when I read the e-mail from Jessica at the Art of Education.  I was shocked, excited, and I even e-mailed Jessica to confirm the e-mail.

Thanks to everyone that voted for Organized Chaos!  Check out that side badge!  Yup, you read it right - 1st place!  I am honored to have such support.  I do hope that everyone that voted stops back from time to time to see what is happening in the art room.

PLEASE click on the Art Ed Blog award badge on the side - it will take you to a bunch of other AMAZING art blogs that will give you ideas, inspire you, and even give you support if you need it.  I am honored to be on this list with so many fantastic teachers and resources.


Last Day to Vote!

If you enjoy Organized Chaos, please go to The Art of Education and vote it for Art Ed Blog of the Year!

Voting closes tonight at midnight!



Art Ed Blog of the Year 2012 - VOTE!

I can't believe it!  I am so honored!  I just got an e-mail from Jessica over at The Art of Education letting me know that my blog has been selected as one of the finalists to win "Art Ed Blog of the Year!".  I am super excited, and honestly - a little surprised - there were over 80 nominations this year, so even to be a finalist is amazing.  

I love that Jessica does this each year, because I find so many more art blogs that help to stretch me as a teacher in both instruction and projects!  Most of the blogs I have found are through other blogs and having Art Ed Blog of the Year helps to further find gems hiding amongst the internet!

Here's the thing - being in the top twenty means that now the voting starts.  Voting is all week this week and will end Friday, December 14th.  All you have to do is click on the name "Organized Chaos" in the poll and click VOTE - SUPER EASY.  I know I have awesome fans out there - please take a moment or two and promote us to one of the Top 10 Art Ed Blogs of 2012! (Oh and last year we got 4th - lets raise the bar, shall we?)

While you are at the Art of Education check out some of the other Art Ed blog finalists - I love my job, my community - so much passion, creativity, and dedication.



Suggestions? - I'm conflicted

I am working on ordering my supply list of the year (I know it seems late, but I have all sorts of stuff in my room to use up).  I am having issues trying to weigh out what to order and what to pass on when it comes to specialty items like printmaking, clay, glazes, metal tooling and such.

In a perfect world I would do all these special projects with every kid every year - however, the budget of less than $2.oo per kid just isn't going to stretch that far.

Here is my priority:
1) Clay
2) everything else.

I think it is important to do clay each and every year because kids love it, it lasts FOREVER, and it really is unique.  My issue is that clay is expensive, but manageable -- my real issue comes down to glazes.  I feel like glazing is almost as important to the clay experience as actually building with the clay.  Trusting that your pale chalky glaze will turn into bright shinny colors is almost magical. 

So here is my thought/issue or rather my options as I see them:

1) Do clay and glazes like normal and forgo any printmaking, metal tooling.
2) Do traditional clay for most classes, do some sculpey clay beads for another, few glazes, and printmaking or metal tooling.
3) Do clay but no glazes this year and get printmaking, metal tooling, and some paint for the clay.

I should note that when I talk about printmaking I want to get some cutting blocks and really do printmaking - not just Styrofoam plates.  While it works great for younger kids, it doesn't really capture the awesomeness of printmaking. 

My questions:
1) Is it necessary to use clay that is fired for all grades every year or is it acceptable to do a clay project with a different type of clay like sculpey?

2) Are my students missing out on the full clay experience if we paint their clay instead of glazing?

3) Is it better to keep the full experience of clay with glaze if it means other art options are not explored?

What do some of you do with a limited budget and the desire to give kids a well rounded, explored art base?


2nd Grade - Assemblage Sculptures

Louise Nevelson - Assemblage Sculptor
So, I had BOXES, I mean BOXES of just stuff -- milk bottle caps, empty thread spools, wooden spools, cedar chunks, other wood chunks, styrofoam balls, and all sorts of other things.  I was sick of having them stacked in a closet in my room.  I decided it was time to come up with a project I could use it all for.  Then I remembered seeing a picture of this cool sculpture at some point in my life - where there was a lot of rhythm and texture but no color -- everything was one color.

So, aimed with the knowledge of sculptures that were busy and all one color, I searched and searched till I found it, or rather - her.  Louise Nevelson.  Louise is known for her assemblage sculptures full of texture, rhythms, objects, and always painted a solid color.

I had prepared a slide show with some of Louise's work.  I asked the students to look at them and raise their hand when they could tell me something they noticed.  I then had the students pair share what they noticed.  After a few minutes of further discovery we talked as a class.  We talked about what we thought they were made of, what individual pieces they saw, the rhythms and NOT patterns, layering, shadows, lights - we even discussed why they thought she painted her work all one color.

Next I handed each kid a piece of mat board and let them start their own assemblage sculpture.  I did put a few rules on the project -- layers and no taller than their own hand.  Students tend to want to build towers with these, and I wanted them to layer - so thus the height rule.

Kids used wood glue and hot glue to assemble their projects.  (Yes, 2nd grade used hot glue. We talked about safety and how hot glue is HOT -etc.)  It took us a good two classes to get everything glued they way they wanted.  Then the third class, students got to pick what color they wanted to paint their projects.  I reminded them that they needed to be ALL one color.  When kids were  'done' we got down at eye level and turned their project all the way around to make sure they really got it all painted!

I then took their projects and hung them on the bulletin board by color so that they kind of mimic Louise Nevelson and her rhythm of rectangle boxes.


2nd Annual Art Ed Blog of the Year

Excited for the Art of Ed's blog of the year competition! It was an honor to be apart of it last year! This is a great way to learn about new Art Ed blogs and to recognize/honor the ones you love the most!  So head over to the Art of Ed and check out the requirements, how it will work, who has already been nominated, and perhaps nominate some of your own!  Nominations are only open till this Friday, December 7th!