Sunday, April 26, 2015

Concentric Fruits

This is a project I happened to dig up not too long ago in my garage.  A lesson that I threw together and these were some of the no namers left behind for the end of the year.  Don't you love those projects that you give little thought to and they sometimes come out being some of your best pieces.  I think these are great and they are the leftovers no one wanted to claim.  These were done by first graders as an end of year project.  I don't recall the year, but they have to be from at least 2000 or before.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone!  I thought I would repost a few of my projects that are used from recycled goods.   Some of these are from art camps, but could be altered to a smaller scale to accommodate a classroom activity, like the art above.  The above art is scraps of cardboard painted with acrylic paints, and students arrange the pieces.  These turn out to be great abstract pieces.  I have these two pieces displayed together from my girls, at the time they were 4 and 8.  So this is a great activity for any age.

The art piece above is a canvas project.  Each student cut out an image from an old calendar or magazine.  Then, they painted an appropriate background and added the cutout to the final piece.  

These are also old calendar images.  We studied the works of Claude Monet and added layers of oil pastel for an Impressionistic touch.

This is another artist study with Louise Nevelson.  Someone donated cigar boxes and we used all kinds of odds and ends that were laying around to embellish with.  Each child decided on a color and I spray painted for them.  They are great for keeping all those little treasures.  My girls collected rocks and this is where they kept their rock fortunes!  
Have a happy day creating and keeping Mother Earth in mind!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Rememering the Kiln Mishap... dun dun dun....

Every once in a while something pops into my head, and I'm like, OK that was a fond memory.  Or wow, that was a little unexpected.  Well, for some reason, a memory popped into my head, and I was like, oh shit, I almost burned the school down.  Not really, but at the time that is what it felt like!  So, five or so years ago, I needed to fire several loads in my kiln.  I had an almost brand new kiln and there were no problems.  So, I had an after school group make octopus with clay, and they used newspaper to form the head.  After they were dry I pulled out the newspaper.  Or at least most of the newspaper.  Well, before STAAR testing there was the TAKS test.  And the days our campus was testing, the kids taking the test didn't go to specials.  Instead we went to them and relieved their teacher for a break.  Early that morning I went in and started my kiln, did a few things, had my first class, maybe my second.  Then it was time to go to the teachers and give them a break.  Each specials teacher had about 6 people to go to.  I went to each of mine, and each took about a 10-15 minute breaks.  Now that I was done, I had a few minutes to get ready for the next group.  As I was walking down the hall, I could smell something and it wasn't a familiar smell.  I round the corner to my wing and the smell is bad... really bad, like burning my nose bad.  And at the other end of the hallway is the school secretary.  And I can tell she smells it too, we make eye contact for only a second and we both start running for my room. Apparently, it doesn't take much newspaper to make a lot of smoke.  Thankfully, I had lots of windows in my room and I opened them up.  She, the secretary, got me a box fan and I was able to divert most of the smoke out.  And of course I cut off the kiln.  I just knew I was going to make headlines that day for the fire department being called in the middle of the TAKS test...  I could just see it, news crews and reporters, "Mrs. Pruitt, what the heck were you thinking?"  Thankfully that didn't happen, but it was close! Now, I never run my kiln on a testing day! EVER...even if I haven't even used newspaper for my clay project!  Can anyone relate?  I'd LOVE to not feel alone here!!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Leader Leaves

This year for our Leadership Day, I put together this tree, which is displayed on our school stage.  Although it may not look all that big, it actually is more than 15 feet high.  Every student in the school was asked to create a leaf with color and then add one of the Seven Daily Habits to the leaf.  Our school is going through the process of becoming a Lighthouse School based on these principles by Steven Covey, which I'm sure most of you are aware of.  And actually now their is an added habit, #8 Find your voice.  

Day in and day out we are practicing these habits, we recite them, we look at characters in literature and see how they are applying the habits.  We try to implement the habits anyway possible.  And while they get certificates that state what habits the kids are doing well, I feel it is important for them to express which habits they are good at. 

So, that is what they did.  And, I have to say, I think they really loved this opportunity.  Someone else wasn't telling them what they were good at.  They got to share with everyone where they feel success.  And surprisingly they weren't all habit #7 Sharpen the saw!  In fact, I saw every habit written on a leaf in every class, even in kindergarten.  I though that was very powerful.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Goodbye March

Where did March go?? I did a horrible job this year's YAM art show.  I did manage to snap a few pictures in progress, but NO pictures at the art show. 
I guess the stress of hanging an art show and taking down in one night was just too much this year!  Ha, but I did enjoy just visiting with students, past and present, and catching up with them and their families.  That is the most important part...right! 

But, I did come across some art show images from a few years ago.  I have lots of great memories from my 17 years of art showing!  And I love how our district art show has changed over the years. 
We have everything from silent auction, and community artist to make it-take it tables and choir and mariachi performances!  It has been a one night only event the past two years, but we pack it with a punch!
You know after teaching for 17 years at the same district, has been so very rewarding.  I bump into old students all the time.  Sometimes I remember their names,  most of the time I just don't.  But, I almost always recognize them.  I'll admit, though, not always immediately.  Hours or days will go by and I will have a flash of that child I just ran into, who is now graduated, and I see them as the 3rd grader they once were.  Not long ago, I was at the local grocery store and a sweet kid came up to me to give me a cart.  He asked me if I was ever an art teacher.  After we started talking, he told me he was always bullied in elementary school, but his best memories of me was sticking up for him on multiple occasions.  That really got to me, and almost had me in tears! 
Sorry to stray so far from the topic of art show, and going down memory lane!!  I think maybe my point is in a round about way (My ADD kicking in for sure!!) put your camera down and sometimes just live in the moment.  Bond with your students and families, it is so very rewarding.