Saturday, September 22, 2018

8th Grade Koru

In June 2017 I attended the NAEA western Region Leadership Conference and one of our breakout sessions was a lesson on koru- spiral designs representing new life, growth, and peace to the Maori people of New Zealand. 
I taught a similar the lesson to 8th graders last year and ended up changing a few things and leaving it for the beginning of this school year when I was in maternity leave. 
There was a slides presentation to introduce the culture and concept to the students...

Then they start to design. This year I asked the students to trace their designs with glue on black paper and add color with construction paper crayons. They turned out pretty cool, especially after the students chose a color of construction paper to mount the work on for display.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Get started with Donors Choose ASAP to Earn a $50 Donation!

I'm sure you've heard of Donors Choose by now- the online platform that lets teachers post projects with supply requests for their classrooms and lets people who want to help your students donate money to the project- but maybe you've never tried it. This is a great time to start!

If you use my link to get started, you'll also help support my classroom!

 I've had 10 projects funded in the last 4 years including books, furniture, technology, and art supplies and it has been awesome to be able to supplement what I can provide with my budget.

Back to School with Kwik Stix!

I was provided with a brand new set of Metallic Kwik Stix to do a back to school post! This year will be a different back to school experience for me as I'm using my built up sick leave to stay home a couple extra weeks with my new baby. I've been trying to figure out some easy but fun lessons to leave for my substitute to start off the year and the Kwik Stix gave me some inspiration. 

If you aren't familiar with Kwik Stix, they are a solid tempera paint stick that comes in a form that reminds me of a glue stick. They are vibrant and bold, dry in about a minute, and are low mess. 

I don't know about your students but mine LOVE anything metallic. These aren't over the top, they just have a nice sheen. The "metalix" pack has been expanded to include more colors now, so that's a real bonus! My elementary school has a camp/adventure theme this year so 5th graders will start off with a themed project. They will use Kwik Stix to make a sky and then create an outdoorsy scene silhouette on black construction paper. I know they will enjoy the project and we'll move back to more choice-based lessons when I return. I also used the Kwik Stix to make a sign for "Camp Learn-a-Lot" which I'll put up in my empty display case to start the year. Kwik Stix are my favorite poster-making supply when I don't have time to paint one.

Kwik Stix are available on Amazon, online at Target, online and in store at Michaels, and in store at Walgreens.

The makers of Kwik Stix also produce pencil grips which are great for teaching kids how to grip pencils or for those who need some an adaptation to help them out. I will keep my set on hand in case I see a struggling student. The pencil grips are available on Amazon

Favorite Supplies for Elementary

There was a post in one of the art teacher Facebook groups a couple of weeks ago asking for everyone’s favorite supplies for teaching elementary. I decided to share my 5 favorites here! If I’m lucky my children will even allow me to share some favorites for high school later on.

In no particular order...

  • Construction paper crayons- less messy than oil pastels but can produce similar effects on dark paper. 
  • Pacon tru-ray construction paper- better colors and doesn’t fade like the cheap stuff. I like to order black by itself since it works well for mounting and construction paper crayons, then order the warm, cool, and bright packs to get a nice range of colors. 
  • Tempera cakes- dry with a different texture than liquid tempera but much faster to pass out. 
  • Crayola color sticks- last longer than colored pencils and don’t need to be sharpened. 
  • Kwik stix- awesome if you have room in your budget, especially for younger students. Tempera paint in a glue stick kind of form that dry in 60-90 seconds. Students can share the packs so you don’t have to buy as many as you might think.