Grade 1 – Fall Units Update

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First graders have been very busy this school year.  Just like all of the other classes, it was a busy start to the year with our Pinwheels for Peace installation. After that was complete, in regular art we’ve been working on a unit that is a big surprise for their parents, so you won’t find any information about that yet!

BUT room 4 has been busy with another unit in extra art, and started learning about sculpture. Our big ideas for this unit were: Sculpture is different from other art forms; Artists make both temporary and permanent sculpture; and Artists explore materials by making temporary sculptures.

Students learned that sculpture is a type of three dimensional artwork where drawing and painting are types of two dimensional art work. They also explored plasticine clay to learn how they could manipulate it with their hands while making a temporary sculpture.

Finally, students learned how to make a pinch pot and created one out of clay that was fired in the kiln at the junior high.  These fired pieces were then painted and drawn from observation.

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First graders exploring clay on day 1

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First graders learning how to make a pinch pot on day 2

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First graders making their final pinch pot on day 3

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Currently you can find some of this work on display in the front lobby of Conant and there is a sampling of the work below. If you are unable to make it in to see the work on display be sure to check out all of the work online at our school art gallery on Artsonia.

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Welcome Back – Pinwheels for Peace

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A belated welcome back to everyone here on the Conant Art blog!

To get this year started, students participated again in the international art installation project known as Pinwheels for Peace.  To celebrate students in each grade designed a pinwheel with symbols of peace on one side, and words of peace on the other.  These pinwheels were then installed on International Day of Peace, September 21, 2015.

The installation went really well and all the pinwheels were out for everyone to see over the weekend.  If you didn’t get a chance to see the pinwheels outside, or would like to see more about the process, check out the photos below.

Also, stay tuned for more information about how you can get involved and make a pinwheel to help children who have had to leave Syria due to the conflict there.  Conant School is participating in the Students Rebuild: Healing Classrooms Challenge, and will be donating our pinwheels to help raise money.  I am so proud of all the students who decided to donate their pinwheels….we have almost the entire school participating!

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Our student teacher, Miss LeBold taught a few Pinwheels for Peace lessons

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Installing Pinwheels

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Installing Pinwheels

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Installing Pinwheels

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!

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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Grade 1 – Pinch Pots – Extra Art

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As I mentioned earlier this year, students rotate through art for an extra bit of the year.  During those classes I teach different units, instead of having one class very far ahead of the other 2 who are not in extra art.

Students in room 3 have just finished up their pinch pots, spending this past class painting them with metallic watercolors.  When finished painting, students also used their observation skills, which they have been practicing in art AND in their classroom during science time.

If you visit Conant school in the next week, be sure to stop by the glass cases in the front lobby to check them out!

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Welcome Back & Pinwheels for Peace

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With school starting after Labor Day this year, the art room @ Conant School has been in fast forward mode, working to get our pinwheels finished for Pinwheels for Peace.

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Students have been thinking about what peace means to them and creating pinwheels with words and designs related to peace.Photo Sep 12, 10 36 34 AM

I learned about the project at the National Art Education Conference in Boston in 2005, and have been participating with my students ever since.  “Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Art teachers, Ann Ayers and Ellen McMillan,…as a way for their students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. The project was quickly embraced…by millions of art teachers, teachers, parents, children and adults who desire peace in our world”

This year International Day of Peace falls on Sunday, so our pinwheels will be installed on Friday September 19, and will be removed on Monday September 22.  Be sure to stop by and check out the pinwheels flying for ‘whirled peace’.  Students in grades k-3 will find their pinwheels by the school sign by Taylor Rd, and students in grades 4-6 will find their pinwheels in the back field by Minot Rd.

Also Heidi Kupferman, the art teacher at McCarthy-Towne school is participating in Pinwheels for Peace with her students, so there will be even more pinwheels flying in Acton this weekend!