Regular Art Update: Grades 3 & 4

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Grade 3: Third graders learned about the group of artist known as the Fauvists.  We looked at some of the paintings by Henri Matisse and compared them to Claude Monet, to learn about how the Fauvists were creating paintings very different from most painters at the time. Taking our cues from the Fauvists, third graders were limited in their color choices, and were pushed to try non-representational colors for their landscapes. Check out some in-process photos below, and make sure to click through to see the finished pieces on Artsonia!

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Grade 4: This new unit has to be one of my favorite new units this year. ¬†Inspired by a high school art teacher from North Carolina, I decided to share with fourth grade my love of street art. ¬†We looked at Shepard Fairey’s work, and talked about the art of street art. ¬†They had lots of questions, mostly about it being legal or not! Their assignment was to collaborate with a partner to create a hitchhiker street art character. ¬†Check out the many photos below, and click through to see everyone’s work on Artsonia!

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Regular Art Update: Grades K- 2 – So Many New Units!

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With the addition of the trimesters of extra special, I’ve had about 12 extra classes with each grade level. Instead of coming up with something new right at the beginning of the year, I decided to teach units I’ve already done. Now that we’re are just 14 days away from the end, I’ve got lots of new units and lessons to share.

It’s been pretty hectic, so I don’t have pictures of everything, but check out below for some info about what we’ve been working on in art.

Grade K: Kinders have been working on exploring texture recently. They learned the difference between visual and actual texture, how to create rubbings of texture, and how to create texture in clay to create some amazing texture medallions. Some of the kinder’s texture collages were displayed at the high school in room 115N for all to see during May. The texture medallions were strung on elastic cord, and students were able to create beaded necklaces or bracelets, just in time for mother’s day. Check out a few of the pictures below to see the awesome work they did.

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Grade 1: In connection with their Japanese studies first grade made origami paper, which we’ve done previously. They created pecking birds, jumping frogs, and tumblers with the paper. ¬†Check out this short video to see the pecking birds in action, and click through to check out the Artsonia gallery to see the tumblers.

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Besides the origami, we also learned about Children’s Day, which is a Japanese holiday that celebrates children. ¬†During Children’s day, koinobori are flown outside of homes. Students created their own koinobori, or carpe flags in preparation of Children’s day in May. Check out some of the koinobori below, or click through to check out the Artsonia gallery.

Grade 2: A lot of what we’ve done this year has been connected to grade two’s study of Kenya. ¬†It’s just so rich with things to explore. ¬†I developed a new mask making unit, in connection to the African artwork we had on loan from the Gallery of African Art in Clinton. ¬† Second graders were taught how to create a faux wood grain on oak tag, as well as how to connect paper pieces using tabs. ¬†With that basic knowledge, they were challenged to create a mask using their problem solving skills. ¬†Students helped each other out, as well as came to me for support. ¬†I just love all the work they put into these! Check out their finished masks by clicking through to visit our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade two also created thumb pianos for the second year in a row.  Students learned how to sand and prepare the wood for adding color.  When ready they decorated their thumb piano base with patterns inspired by Africa.  With the help of myself, or a parent volunteer, the keys to their thumb pianos were attached, and ready to be played.  Click through to check out the gallery on Artsonia.  You will be amazed with the details in their patterns.

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

A selection of thumb pianos from room 5

Check back tomorrow for an update as to what has been happening in grades 3 through 6!

NAEA15 @ NOLA – Convention Review

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A post about my trip to New Orleans for the National Art Education Association Convention….

Keep Calm & Teach Art

I think things are finally back to normal here in MA, though I’d be lying if I said that everything has been put away after my trip to New Orleans! I still have a few things to take care of, one being a review of my trip, so here goes….

This was my first time traveling to New Orleans, and it was everything I thought it would be and more. The weather was great, the food delicious, and the connections I made with art teachers really made it an amazing convention.

NAEA15_1 A view of Decatur St ‚Äď Praline Beignets ‚Äď Eileen & Myself celebrating our ‚ÄėPresenter‚Äô status!

There were so many great sessions, perhaps too many, since I couldn’t get to them all. I’m only going to highlight a few.  If you weren’t able to go, I highly recommend you get to Chicago next year!


How to Design a Foolproof…

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Grade 3 – Biography Portraits

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Third graders finished up their biography portraits a few weeks ago, and I have been able to get most of their chatterpix videos uploaded to youtube to share with you.  If you are just learning about the biography portraits now, check out my previous post to learn more about the process, and so you can check out our Artsonia gallery to see all the amazing drawings!

When they finished up these amazing observation drawings, they were given the task of taking a photo of their work with one of our class iPads, so they could give their subject matter a voice.  Be sure to take a peek!  You will learn so much about all the people they researched!

Extra Art Update: Grades 4-6

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This year, students in grades 1-6 are rotating through an extra class of all 3 specials.  So that means each class gets to see me for extra art for 1/3 of the year.

I’ve been doing separate extra art units, instead of one class getting far ahead of the others.

Check out below to see what’s happened so far this year in extra art, grades 4-6!

Grade 4: Pouch Weavings

Students in fourth grade have been learning about and working on their pouch weavings.  When room 19 was here at the beginning of the year, they did traditional cardboard loom pouch weavings, where they decided on a color scheme, and decided if they wanted to do a pattern or a design.

During the fall I took a class through the EDCO collaborative that had a focus on using Contemporary Artists in the elementary art classroom.  I also presented at and attended the Massachusetts Art Education Association conference in November, and was inspired the keynote speaker Nathalie Miebach.

It was because of those two experiences I decided to rework the pouch weaving unit. ¬†Nathalie uses weather data to create these amazing basket weavings. ¬†Check out her Ted Talk here for more information! ¬†It’s super cool. So, when room 18 came to extra art, I shared Nathalie’s work with the class, and each student came up with a focus for their weavings. ¬†Some students needed to access weather data daily, so I created bookmarks for them to access on our class set of iPads. ¬†Other students decided to gather their data on their own, so they took notes of what they observed outside our classroom window.

I’ve loved this re-imagined unit, and I just found out from the classroom assistant that is in that classroom that Nathalie’s work will be on display at the Fitchburg Art Museum. ¬†The exhibit is called naturetech, and includes two other artists who use data to influence their work. ¬†Click through for more info, and if you can, I’d highly suggest the artist talk on March 22 at 1:30pm.

Also, be sure to check out the Artsonia Gallery to see everyone’s completed weavings!

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Grade 5: Sol LeWit Collaborative Work & Artists Interviews

This is another new unit for this year, that was inspired by some professional development I participated in over the summer. ¬†I was lucky enough to be able to go to the MTA Summer Conference in Williamstown, MA. ¬†While there I took some time to visit Mass MOCA, where I finally got to see the amazing exhibit of Sol LeWitt’s work, who was a Conceptual artist who who write or create diagrams for ‘wall drawings’ that others would follow to create his work. ¬†The actually artwork that was sold was the direction or diagram. ¬†If you haven’t been out to Mass MOCA to see his work, I highly recommend it.

To explore his work, grade 5 students have been exposed to a number of his ‘wall drawings’, through a class lecture and more importantly via recreating the wall drawings using the directions Sol LeWitt created. They created group drawings and a whole class drawing. ¬†At the end of the unit, they also divided into groups to interview each other.

Check out the work in our Artsonia Gallery, and check out the ConantArt youtube page to check out room 14’s videos. ¬†I will post room 16’s interviews as soon as they finish them in the next couple of weeks.

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Grade 6: Fantastical Pen Design & Animation Tutorials

Six graders have worked through two units during extra art. They explored functional art, and envisioned, designed, and created sculpey pens. ¬†I have done this unit in previous years, but it hasn’t always made the cut due to time. ¬†I’m so happy I’ve been able to fit it back in. ¬†The second unit that six graders worked on was a series of workshops that helped them learn how to create stop motion animations. ¬†This unit was developed thanks to the amazing work the Animation Chefs have done. ¬†Their youtube page is a great source of inspiration and tutorials. ¬†Here I’ve linked to the handful that I used with six grade.

Be sure to check out our Artsonia Gallery to see the amazing pens the six graders have made.  Also, check back later in the year to see the original animations that they will be creating.

Happy Youth Art Month!

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March is Youth Art Month and Conant is celebrating with 3 shows in and around Acton! We have a show at the Sargent Memorial Library in Boxborough, a show at the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, and a show at the State Transportation Building in Boston!

Congratulations to all the students whose art work was selected for display, and to everyone at Conant for all the wonderful art you make weekly in art and daily outside of art!  Starting today we will work on our school wide bulletin board to celebrate, and of course, we will continue to be makers!

Check out the work below that has been put on display in our three Youth Art Month exhibits, and be sure to check out the progress of our collaborative bulletin board.

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Extra Art Update: Grades 1-3

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This year, students in grades 1-6 are rotating through an extra class of all 3 specials.  So that means each class gets to see me for extra art for 1/3 of the year.

I’ve been doing separate extra art units, instead of one class getting far ahead of the others.

Check out below to see what’s happened so far this year in extra art, grades 1-3!

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