This website was designed to be a professional portfolio of what I do in the classroom in order to help and connect with other art teachers. I periodically posted some of my favorite lessons. Now, the website is transitioning to also become a resource for parents during this time of distance learning. All student lessons for distance learning can be found under the tab at the top of the page.
This is what we have been working on so far this school year! Since December, students have working on a music and art unit on Florida nature. We have been learning about our state and why our region of northern Florida is so special.
Right now, all of our work is on hold. There are ceramic projects still in the kiln, a mural left unfinished, and collage pieces all over the room. I can't wait to get back and finish our work. Until then, these are a few images of what we created before Spring Break.
Our Night of the Arts mural has become a tradition at my school. Each year, third grade creates the background and kindergarten adds an element to it. This year, kindergarten created butterflies and third grade made a springtime garden.
The mural is 6ft tall and 24 ft long and made up of four pieces of white butcher paper. I draw out the design with pencil beforehand and then third grade works to paint inside the lines. We usually work on two to three pieces at a time and spread it out on the floor and tables. Some classes can even work together on all four pieces, and they love to be able to see all of it. I complete the mural by painting the black lines and then hot gluing the butterflies. This whole process takes about three weeks.
For the past few years, creating mosaics with paper has been the final project for my upper grades. It gives them a chance to work on something together and still learn and create after they have taken all of their own art home. It's also great to do during testing because I get some classes more than others, so a project with more steps and benchmarks is difficult. Classes can work on the mosaics once or three times and it still works out.
I show examples of murals in Florida and then demo how we are going to make them out of paper (LEAVE SPACES between pieces and pretend it's a puzzle). Then I pull out the scissors, glue sponges, and my scrap paper boxes organized by color and we get to creating!
When the mosaics and complete, I cut them out and laminate them. They will be hung in the classroom next year! I love having student work already in the classroom on the first day of school. It's their space to learn and create and I want it to look and feel like that.
I was looking for a painting lesson that would allow second grade to begin to mix colors and explore on their own. In first grade, we usually go step by step together with painting lessons, so this was a chance for students to complete a painting assignment on their own.
I made the classes a checklist of four things I needed to see on their paper (the secondary colors and a tint), but the rest of the colors were theirs to create. I loved the excitement during the class and the exclamations of "red-violet" and "blue-green!" This is a fun way to really start talking about tertiary colors. At the end of class, one boy even thanked me for letting them make any colors they wanted. Learning is best when it feels like play!
The rest of the lesson was more controlled, and the background papers were painted with analogous colors. The real reason for this is so they wouldn't mix and make brown and it's faster! They ended up painting one primary color and just one secondary color for the stripes. The lesson took about four 45 minute classes to complete.
This project was so successful, I am doing it with third grade, as well. They could always use the extra color mixing practice and still need some fairly controlled lessons.
These second grade gumball machines will make an appearance in the halls of the county offices in a month!
This is the second year that third grade has made these beautiful painted paper leaves inspired by the secondary colors! I love displaying the leaves at the county fair and at our school's fall festival.
This lesson was inspired by a beautiful lesson from www.paintedpaperart.com/2013/09/fall-leaves-at-lake-george/Painted Paper Art. My version takes about three to four class periods. it takes one class to paint the entire paper a secondary color and another to add the texture. I like having two painting days so that students who miss one class can still complete a leaf. I have students mix directly on the paper and give them only the primary colors, black, and white. On the day we add texture, I do have them work with other students who used the same secondary color and give them a little of that color straight out of the bottle, as well. The other two days of the lesson are used to draw the leaf, cut out the leaf, and paint the black lines. Usually just a few have to finish on the last day.
This year, I did better with making sure students created a shape that would work well after being cut out (not too skinny in the middle). I demo drawing two leaf shapes to help students get started. We look at a few handouts about leaves draw the leaves on the back of the colored paper. The first step is to draw the center vein from the top to bottom of the paper. Once our laminator is fixed, I will laminate the leaves to make them even stronger.
This is my second year of doing ceramics and it has been so much smoother this time around! I gave fourth and fifth grade students more time (three days for the coil pots and two for glazing) and changed the procedures for glazing.
We began the coil pots together, creating a slab and cutting out a medium circle by tracing a plastic lid. Then, we made the first two coils and I made sure they attached them well. After that, the design was their own. I wanted them to make something personal that they loved, and I was so impressed their their work. The animal bowls turned out beautifully, so I think I may have students make animal coil pots in the future.
For glazing, I had a counter set up with nine trays, each with labeled cups of a different color, brushes for each color, and the bottle of glaze. I also had a laminated picture from the Blick catalog taped to the counter to show how they glazes would look after firing. Students could get one color at a time with a brush from the tray (no rinsing brushes), do their three coats, and return the cup and brush. This worked SO WELL and we used less glaze than last year when I had the glazes on the students' tables. We had no issues with spilling or dropping cups of glazes. I love having opportunities for students to be independent, so I will definitely be doing this again next year.
Sweet bird nests from third grade! I don't have the space to do clay lessons with more than three grade levels, so third grade is the first time students at my school use clay. This lesson is simple and teaches basic skills, so it is perfect for a first clay lesson. It would be great for even younger students. Creating the nest and eggs takes one day and glazing takes just one more.
Since these pieces are being displayed in the Night of the Arts, I had students make little 5x5 inch tiles with cardboard. This gives their work some color and is a place for their name. We glued a white piece of paper to the cardboard, painted the background colors in "windows" we drew, and added pattern with black paint. They did a fantastic job! I just put a tiny drop of hot glue under the nest and the artwork is ready!
Exciting things are happening in preparation for our 5th Annual Night of the Arts! Third grade created a mural for the first time last year, and that was displayed at the event. This year, we are getting kindergarten involved, too!
Third grade has been working hard to paint this mural of the Ichetucknee River and kindergarten has made turtles who will soon be living in it! I drew out the waves and the grasses and students worked together to fill in the pieces and to create patterns. I finished it up by painting the black lines.
Recently, I had the agent at our county's University of Florida IFAS extension office come to talk to third grade students about aquatic plants since we had been painting this local river.
I am an ninth year art teacher with degrees in Art Education from Flagler College and the University of Florida, living and working in northern Florida. Each week, I teach over six hundred students in grades kindergarten through fifth. Here you will find what we are learning virtually and in the art classroom!