Sunday, February 23, 2014

1st Grade Color Projects

I'm the type of person who likes to make and use lists. It makes me strangely happy to check things off as I complete the tasks that need to be done. One of my lists includes all of the various projects that need to be posted on here. You know how it is, though. Between daily prep, lesson planning, state assessments, having time for my daughter and staying sane, some items from the list get neglected. 

This is a catch-up post. Both projects are from 1st grade and both relate to basic color theory. This first one is a lesson I've used for several years, but changed a little this year. Nearer to the beginning of the year, I teach 1st graders about primary colors and Piet Mondrian. This year, I went away from the basic rectangular format and used basic fish shapes. Students drew a Mondrian style composition inside and painted with primary colors. The finished work was then cut out, glued to black construction paper (to emulate Mondrian's linework), and cut again.

 The second project in this post is my 1st grade introduction to secondary colors. I found this awesome YouTube video from Sesame Street to show my students. 

The video is another classic from the band OK GO. If you're a follower of this blog, you may recognize the band from an amazing video that I use with my machine brain project in 3rd grade. 

For this project, students set up their paper with six squares. Each square has three circles inside. This gives the kids plenty of room to try out their colors. I think the best part of this project is seeing how my students react to how paint colors change as I mix them. They are absolutely mesmerized by the transformation. I give students 2 classes to paint. They get to use the mixing trays on the first day, then they "graduate" to the full paint trays that the older kids use. 

Download my lesson plan! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sharing Lesson Plans

Sharing is a good thing. I try as hard as I can to post my lesson plans at the end of each blog post. I know how long they can take to write. Since I've already done the work, why not share the love? I've been posting links for files I upload to Google Drive. The links take you to the Word or PDF document. They are downloadable (File --> Download), but I get a lot of requests to "share" the files. I set them up so everyone has access, so I can't share more without giving other people the ability to edit my original files online. If I did that, the files wouldn't be in their original form for others to view. 

Tonight I'm trying out something different. I've Googled my head off looking for a way to make my files download instantly from my blog. They are still the linked files from Google Drive, but I've figured out a way to make them download immediately. After the links are downloaded, you can edit them in order to adjust the lesson to your liking. My question for all of you who use them is this- which version would you like?

Here are both links to try out. I'm using my popular Totem Pole lesson as an example. What fun! PLEASE comment to let me know which way you prefer. Thanks!

Old School Way (Link directly to Google Drive Document - Click on File -->Download to put it on your computer.)
Check out the lesson plan here!

Immediate Download (Exact same file, but it downloads directly to your computer.)


Sunday, February 9, 2014

And the Winner Is...

WHAT??? How did this happen? When I found out last week that I was a finalist (for the first time ever) for Art Ed Blog of the Year from The Art of Education, I was thrilled. I hoped that I'd get enough votes to get into the top ten so I could get a rad blog badge. Never for a second did I think that I would win. I'm truly humbled. Thanks to everyone who voted for me. Wow.

There are so many amazing art ed blogs out there. Make sure to check out the rest of the winning blogs for 2013. 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Vote For Me!

I just found out this evening that this blog is a finalist for "Art Ed Blog of the Year" from The Art of Education! Huzzah!!! If you're reading this blog, it means you are obviously incredibly intelligent, creative, awesome, and super cool. Please click on the link below to vote for me! Click on the big red "VOTE NOW" button at the bottom of the page, then select "Thomas Elementary Art" and vote on the next page. Thanks so much for your support! If you're even more amazing, spread the word and ask your friends to vote for my blog. Voting is open through the end of the week. Click here to vote!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Got a good art sub?

Coolest sub note ever.
Demo collagraph prior to letters being flipped.
I don't miss many days of school. I probably miss fewer days than just about the entire staff at my elementary school. Writing accurate plans (just like Mr. E. blogged about earlier this week) takes hours. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to get an art certified sub. I was out on Monday and I came back to a very nice full page note that was written (and cut) by someone who was obviously an art certified sub. She that saw my demo collagraph piece was a quote taken from Harry Potter. (I'm pretty nerdy.) She actually used an x-acto to cut my name out of her note to me. Sweet!