Grade 4 – Fall Units Update

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Fourth graders have been very busy in regular art, learning how to create a realistic looking still life drawing.  They learned how to show space or depth in their work by overlapping objects and how to draw cylinders 3-dimensionally.  To understand these concepts, students utilized our class iPads and the app Explain Everything to photograph still lifes they set up, and draw on the photographs.  This helped them see how to draw what they were seeing. Finally students practiced observation drawings in pencil, and moved onto their final, which was colored with oil pastels.

Check out the in progress photographs below, and be sure to visit Conant to check out some of the work on display in the front lobby.  OR visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.

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In extra art, which ended this past week, students in room 19 worked on a weaving unit that combined science and art.  The work was inspired by the artist Nathalie Miebach who creates sculptural basket weavings that are determined by a collection of scientific data, typically weather data. Students learned and studied her work, and then set out to use a data set of their choosing to create a pouch weaving.  The most popular data set was the temperature of a particular location for a month or so.  Students were able to use weather underground to research data as far back as 2005, in a number of locations all around the world.

Be sure to check out the in progress photos below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see the finished pouches, and to read the artist statements explaining what data they used.

We also have big things coming with units that student teacher Miss LeBold has developed for these last few weeks before the winter break.  Be sure to check the ConantArt instagram feed for more frequent updates!

Grade 3 – Fall Units Update

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Third graders have been so amazing while creating their landscape drawings inspired by Grandmas Moses. If you don’t know much about her, Anna Mary Robertson Moses, or as most people know her, Grandma Moses is considered a primitive artist. This is because she never had any formal art schooling, and actually picked up painting when she was 78 years old. To learn more about her we read the book Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Grandma Moses by Mike Venezia.

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Labeling the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line

First students learned and identified the foreground, middle ground, background, and horizon line in some of Grandma Moses paintings. Then they spent time thinking about a place from memory that they would like to draw for their landscape drawing.  Some students decided on places they’ve visited on vacation, or places they’ve lived.  These sketches were then used as the basis for a final drawing. Many days were spent drawing all the important details, and coloring in with colored pencils.

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Coloring the landscapes in with colored pencils took lots of hard work

Be sure to check out our online gallery on Artsonia to see all of the finished pieces, and to read the students artist statements.

In extra art, third graders in room 10 worked on creating a weaving that utilized a pattern.  These weavings are what I like to call ‘mug rugs’, which means the functional use is that they are similar to a coaster.

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In second grade students create a weaving in connection to their Kenya studies in the classroom, so this unit builds on the skills learned in second grade. Students developed a pattern and planned it out prior to weaving. They also learned how to remove their weaving from the loom (what holds the weaving together while it’s being worked on), by tying the weft thread.

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Again, check out some of the weavings below, and visit our online gallery on Artsonia to see all the work.  It should be noted that these galleries of student work is managed by the students, using our class set of iPads.

 

Grade 2 – Fall Units Update

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In second grade we started off the year with one of my favorite units.  This unit has students’ focus on observation and teaches them more about printmaking, one of my favorite types of art to make.

Students first start by learning about why artists draw from observation.  Our big idea for this unit is Artists draw to record what they see. Their job for the first class was to practice their observation skills and draw leaves from observation.  When you look at their final pieces you will notice that they observed the edges of the leaves, as well as the veins inside the leaves.

On day two, students transferred their best drawing to a styrofoam printing plate, and explored how they could create a rubbing with paper and crayons. You may have seen some of these awesome rubbings at home, because students were able to take them home the same day.

The rest of our unit was spent learning how to create a print, just like printmakers do.  They learned how to ink their plate using crayola markers, how to place the paper, and pull a print.  This required some practice and patience.

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Drawing from observation on Day 1

Finally they selected their best print, titled it, and uploaded it to our online gallery on Artsonia using one of our art room iPads. Be sure to click-through to check out the entire gallery of work on Artsonia.  The best prints are also currently on display at Conant on one of the bulletin boards right off the front lobby.
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Transferring the best drawing to their styrofoam printing plate on day 2

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Creating rubbings of their printing plates on day 2

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Learning and practicing their printmaking skills on days 3-5

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In extra art room 8 has been exploring and learning about the built environment. Our big idea for this unit is Artists practice thoughtful observation of the built environment around them. While working on this unit students learned about two artists: Arthur Fuller Davis, who was a librarian at the Acton Memorial Library, and James Rizzi, who was a Pop Artist from New York

First students started by exploring drawings of various buildings around Acton on our iPads, to learn that buildings are made of basic shapes. On day two students started using their observation skills, drawing either Acton Town Hall, Exchange Hall, or the Acton Memorial Library. These observation drawings helped students understand the parts of a building, so they could then use their imagination to create buildings inspired by the artwork of James Rizzi.

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Shape inventory using iPads and the app Explain Everything

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Be sure to stop by Conant to check out a selection of work on display in the hall by room 5!  Also, visit our online art gallery on Artsonia to see all the James Rizzi inspired drawings.

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Observation drawings of Acton buildings

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Coloring James Rizzi inspired buildings

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.

Catching Up – Grades 3, 4, 5, & 6 – Regular Art

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It always seems that each year I get behind on sharing what is happening in the art room.  This year it hit right around the holiday’s, which I think everyone can understand…..But good news is, I’m finally catching up!

Scroll down to check out what we’ve been up to at Conant in grades 3 -6 recently!

Grade 3 has been working on their biography portraits, which are created in connection with the research they do in their classroom for their biography reports.  For more information about the unit, check out my EDCO collaborative EdTech post here.  Also, be sure to check out the finished drawings by visiting our Artsonia gallery.

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Grade 4 has been working on their nonrepresentational watercolor paintings.  They’ve learned a variety of techniques, created Explain Everything videos to share how to do those techniques, and have almost finished up their final paintings.  Be sure to check back to see the finished pieces.  They should be uploaded to Artsonia later this week!

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Grade 5 has been diligently working through a number of drawing workshops in their sketchbook to prepare for a colored pencil self portrait.  They’ve learned about contour drawing, line shading, value scales, color blending, and facial proportion.  We just started our self portraits, and should be done after February break. Be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery after the break to check out the finished drawings!

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Grade 6 has been exploring making figurative wire sculptures of people in action.  We started the unit by practicing our gesture drawing skills, which included some students posing for the classmates. Before starting our final sculptures, we did some idea sketches in our sketchbooks.  Students are really working on their problem solving skills with this unit. Check out the photos below to get a better idea of what they’ve been doing.

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Catching Up – Grades K, 1, & 2 – Regular Art

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It always seems that each year I get behind on sharing what is happening in the art room.  This year it hit right around the holiday’s, which I think everyone can understand…..But good news is, I’m finally catching up!

Scroll down to check out what we’ve been up to at Conant in grades k-2 recently!

Grade K has been up to a lot since I last posted.  Each section has been working on a unit about sculpture, where they’ve been exploring a variety of sculpture materials.  Provided we don’t have any more delays or snow days,  both sections should start on their final sculpture this week!

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Grade 1 has been learning about shape and color via inspiration from Wassily Kandinsky’s painting Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles. Students explored brushstrokes and color mixing, reviewed the primary and secondary colors, and reviewed how to paint.  I love how varied these paintings are!  Be sure to check out all the work in our Artsonia Gallery.

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Grade 2 has been using African animals as our inspiration for our sculpture & painting unit.  We finished up our sculpture unit in mid January, and have started our African animals painting.  For our painting we were inspired by the work of Nick Brandt, who is a photographer working and living in Kenya.  His work in Kenya is now part of the Big Life Foundation, which he founded to help protect and animals and wild lands of East Africa. Our paintings have been created to look like portraits of the animals, the same way you would see portraits of people. Check out the photos below to see the sculptures and paintings, and be sure to check out our Artsonia gallery to look at all the sculptures!

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