Happy Holidays from the Klausa Family. Hope you're all getting some time to relax and reflect on the year that's passed and then time to re-charge and prepare for the year upcoming.
I didn't always teach kindergarten. They added kindergarten hap-hazardly in my old district. They never had a full plan of what art would look like, much less a curriculum in place. When I moved to a new district there was a curriculum but only 30 minutes a week to get through it.
Those first weeks in kindergarten are tough, for the homeroom teacher and specials teachers. Those kinders have a difficult time lining up, much less getting supplies in and put back in 30 minutes time. I have found over the years that a consistent activity for the first three weeks helps introduce routines, teach concepts, and reinforce classroom management.
Inspired by Keith Haring I designed a small book that we complete over a series of three weeks that helps me get to know the kiddos and assess their fine motor skill level. I write each student's name in bubble letters on the cover and have the students complete the character to look like them. In the weeks following; we draw, color, and chat about art in and out of our room. The book is a great way to remind students (and me!) where they sit and teach routine.
SCribd changed their policies awhile back, you can also find the file on my google drive by following this link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2_hFbAOrEDFNDNJRWVmWWdEZ1E/view?usp=sharing
Soooooo ... I have been a little MIA lately. It turns out teaching with two kids at home and being pregnant with a third really zapped my energy this past year. I'm due in a few weeks and I will try harder to report back on what's going on in and around the art room. I have a lot of half written posts and a TON of pictures that are ready to be edited and turned into half written posts, but apologies for not getting further. I will try harder. Maybe while I'm sitting around on maternity leave I'll complete some of those old posts ... Till then, Best of luck to you on the start of the new school year!
First and second grades had a great time experimenting with monoprinting this week in our sunny classroom. We used the Gelli printing plates which worked out great. These were an expensive investment but boy it sure beats staying up the night before checking in on my fridge full of jello trays and then trying to wrap them up each day and wiping off the condensation each morning and eventually having to pitch and re-do the next week.
Students used cheap acrylic paint that I had leftover from millions of uncompleted craft projects. They had a blast cutting stencils, playing with found objects and experimenting with color. See below for a short video of the fun that happened.
We had a great time talking about the qualities of clay this past week. Kids were excited to squish, push, and roll clay in there hands to experiment with the tactile properties of clay. Kids were even more excited when I told them to step on it!
We talked about the impression that the patterns in our shoes made on the clay and let them dry. (I used kiln fired Versa clay as well as model magic and both worked out fine).
After the clay dried and or was fired students colored the raised areas of their pendent with oil pastels and then painted them with watered down black tempera paint. After giving them a quick dunk in the water bucket they had a nice finish on them that the kiddos were really impressed with.
We sealed them with gloss medium and I hot glued a wire loop on the back so we could hang them as necklaces. Students strung beads and we cut a piece of cardstock to display our beautiful creations on.
With PARCC testing in full swing and the art room being used as a computer lab I am pushing into classrooms for the next two weeks. Fifth graders loved the chance to try their hand at calligraphy and I loved that it was not a tons of supplies to carry up and down stairs and bonus - it totally kept their attention the class period. I let students keep their pens and many came to show me what they created at home later on in the week.