What a great first year I've had. I have learned so much about teaching, art, and children. Thank you Whitehouse Elementary and Chets Creek Elementary for an amazing first year.
Let me talk a little bit more about what my students are learning right now:
- Kindergarten: Kindergarten is learning about creating self portraits. I am really trying to push them to use crayons the right way. Using crayons the right way involves pressing quite hard to achieve maximum color results, staying in the lines, and covering the entire shape so that there are no visible white spots. We are also learning about proportions. I have guided them to create a portrait the places objects in the right area. We are also discovering how we illustrate emotions. This is a project, but also an exercise for them. This is the first time that I have really pushed them about their coloring techniques. Some are taking it quite well, as others are struggling with the notion of "I'm DONE!". (Students are always quick to be done.)
- 1st Grade: 1st graders are creating an abstract portrait. We are learning words such as abstract and visual texture. Students have a fairly easy time learning about texture, but have a more difficult time understanding the word "visual." We drew our abstract portrait first, used crayons to color it, then we are applying colored tissue all around our face. When you apply water to the colored tissue, the colors bleed together to create a different effect. In our previous project, students learned about warm and cool colors. For this project, students were challenged to recall their warm and cool colors and had to create their portrait using one or the other. We have had great success with student memory. Our muse for this project is Paul Klee.
- 2nd Grade: 2nd graders are learning about architecture and balance. We have just started, but it has been difficult for them to learn the difference between balance and symmetry. Slowly we are understanding it though. They are designing their own buildings and landscapes. They are then tracing their drawings with crayon. Finally, these will be painted with watercolors. Giving students the freedom to design their own buildings is inspiring for them. I tend to give students K - 2 a lot of boundaries, but now that it is the end of the year, I want them to be a bit more free. After all...it is ART!
- 3rd Grade: Third graders are going to start learning about masks from Mexico. Our inspiration is Day of the Dead masks. We will be learning how to manipulate paper to make it fold, bend, and curl. We will also be learning about culture, masks, exaggeration, and formal balance. We will also be drawing design and patters to fill our mask. The challenge for them is to not scribble, but to actually make small designs. They have a tendency to rush art. This is when the scribbling takes place.
That's it for now. Check back for more updates.