Wednesday, October 31, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS!  I am proud to announce the new November Artists of the Month.  These students have gone above and beyond in their artwork, their kindness and their overall attitude.  You all deserve to be publically recognized for your amazing contributions to the overall class.  Way to go and keep up the great work!


Happy October 31st!

This was my first time attending the annual Storybook Parade here at State Bridge Crossing Elementary School. I feel like I'm still picking my jaw up off the ground. The pre-K though 2nd graders dressed up as their favorite character from a story and, while holding their story, they paraded around the school. It was so much fun that Mr. Martin, Dr. Dixon and the whole front staff also had to join in. I teach at such a wonderful school!

Because of timing, the first graders came to me directly after the parade. How fun (and funny) was it to teach a bunch of princesses, ninjas, turtles, fairy, and super heroes! Here is just a glimpse of the storybook characters doing their jungle landscape collages.

Friday, October 26, 2012

When kids show what they know

As we were working on our final touches to the eclectic Miriam Shapiro collages in second grade today, a girl came up to me and excitedly held out three markers. I stared, not knowing why she even had markers out, and then she said, with so much enthusiasm, "These are the primary colors!".

And indeed, they were! I was very proud. The really funny even happened next, about a minute later I was working in a different part of the room and a boy comes up to me and show me some markers (again... 1. we are not using markers, 2. the first rule in art class is "stay in your seat"). I was not thrilled when I turned to look at him, but my heart melted when he exclaimed, "Mrs. Elder, these are the secondary colors!".
Oh my. No, somehow they were not on task. But, they were so eager to show me what they decided was pertinent information they share (and, I think he might have been one-upping her...he he he!).
He is smiling, I kept asking!  Check out this amazing detail!

Oh dear students, you make my day without knowing it most of time. Thank you for another amazing week.

Congratulations to those 3rd - 5th graders who finished the ITBS testing and to the rest of the school for adjusting schedules and staying extra quiet.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend - see you soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Art and Reflections

Reflections is an amazing National PTA program that students PK-12th grade can participate in. Every year students are invited to create art based on a new theme. This year's theme is "The Magic of the Moment". Although I love visual arts, other categories one may create work include literature, dance choreography, photography, film production and music composition.

We had over 80 students who participated this year. Although that might seem to be a big number, I see the incredible talent in this school every day and I know that because only 10% of the students participated, there was probably so much more talent hiding and just waiting to be release in such a wonderful outlet like this one. As you walk the hallways and look at every single entry from this year, please consider taking your bottled up creativity and letting it explode into the Reflections program next year.

To the participants, you have amazed your art teacher! I am left speechless. Way to go incorporating the magical theme as you remembered great craftsmanship and took chances creatively.

 First Place - behind the office for special protection

Art and Brownies

Although that sounds yummy, these Brownies are part of the Girl Scouts.  Working towards a badge, the sweet girls researched water issues around the world.  They came into my studio last Friday afternoon to complete some art and work on presenting their art and facts to the school.   I know I learned a lot.  I hope other Bobcats will take time to read these scary but true facts as they pass the beautiful display.  Great Job Troop 10495!

I heart my Promethean board

I went to an ActivBoard training a few weeks ago and I've really been forcing myself out of my comfort zone of pure PowerPoints and into the fun but doesn't-always-do-what-I-had-intended-and-kids-laugh-at-me zone of using Flipcharts. It really does take quite the touch to use my pen and my cool wand. But, man, the practice is paying off. And, not just for me. I have had the neatest teacher moments where I just hand the pen over to the students who prance right up to that board and move something around or draw the correct line and then stand beaming right back at me and their classmates. That is why technology is cool. These students might not be big speakers; they might be great artists; they might not be the fastest readers; yet, technology is a way they can shine. My goal is for each of my students to be able to shine; therefore, I am so grateful for yet another tool to do so.

Here's a picture of a Kindergartener LEADING the class on a Flipchart about the horizon lines of a landscape. We did go over it all in the beginning of class and this was extra practice. Yes, they all know how to use the board better than I do - but I promise to catch up!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Why I love children's clothes

Great art advocacy!

1st colorful trees

What are the primary colors? How do I create secondary colors by mixing primary colors? Does that really work? These are some of the questions the first graders got to answer as we mixed colors to create circles on our paper. Why circle? Because that was one of Wassily Kandinsky's favorite shapes! We looked at Kandinsky's artwork some more and compared it to Gustav Klimt's. Both artists lived around the same time. Although they had different styles, they both painted a lot of trees in their lifetime. We compared and contrasted the trees of both artists. It was obvious that Kandinsky loved circles and Klimt loved spirals! We had fun with these historical facts!

The students painted trees and then decorated them with circles or spirals. They also filled their composition with other pieces of painted paper. Did they add flowers? How about a pile of leaves? A sun or a bird? Grass? We had fun looking at other student’s creations and applauding the uniqueness of each other's work. Way to go first graders!

this is a dinosaur eating an apple.

K Secondary color pumpkins

The Kindergarteners learned about the secondary colors as they used these three colors to paint their pumpkin. They also got to experiment with creating brown by mixing all three secondary colors!  This was a big hit!  Next, we discussed the word texture. Visual texture is the way something looks like it feels different. We created this on top of our painting using texture plates. Actual texture is the way something really feels. We created this by using glitter over a cool line. What a fun way to celebrate fall!

3rd grade silhouetted trees

The third graders just finished up a lesson that focused on value (tints and shades) and space (positive and negative). We had a really fun time talking about how one color (also called a hue) and be so versatile! You can add white to it to create a tint and you can create so many different tints of that color. The same applies to black. When you add black to a color you create a shade, but there are so many different shades of one color. It was fun to talk about and fun to watch the students create these tints and shades. A painting of just tints and shades of one color is called monochromatic. We also had a fun time discussing space and how artists use both positive and negative space to create interest in their artwork. These third graders did a great job of creating an interesting tree showing negative space on top of their value painting.

Friday, October 5, 2012

It's Fall!

And we are making colorful trees in first grade and secondary pumpkins in kindergarten.  Here's a sneak peak:

New displays around our school

I love it when the students have worked so hard and then...FINALLY...their artwork is displayed in the hall.  From what I hear, they feel a true sense of accomplishment.  Yes!  Here are some snapshots of the newest display boards around the school.  Great working, marvelous bobcats!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Artists of the Month for October

Congratulations! We have six new students who have earned the distinction of being an Artist of the Month here at State Bridge Crossing. It is my pleasure to announce...