Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Second Grade Cats Inspired by Dr. Seuss and the Cat in the Hat

We are kicking off March, our month of " Think Different" art challenges with an homage to Dr. Seuss and The Cat in the Hat.  Second graders created their own cats wearing red and white hats. Amazingly, while each young artist was inspired by the same cat, the resulting drawings each have their own unique personality, and style, just like the young artists who created them.  

Cats with hats by Mrs. Page-Redmann's and Mrs. Gautreau's classes. 

Cats in Hats by Mrs. Gautreau's class

Cats in Hats by Mrs. Page-Redmann's class

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Make & Take Zig-Zag Heart Cards

The days before Valentine's Day have been spent in the Art Studio with what I call a : Make & Take
Lesson.  A lesson where we are challenged to explore a process or concept( in this case how positive shapes can create negative spaces, that in turn create other positive shapes) and it results in a product we take home and share that day.

Valentine's Day symbol of the heart, as a symbol of love, offers rich possibilities and this year all the classes ( at  least the ones not impacted by our snow storms) were able to participate.  Kids were totally self motivated by the challenge and I wound up taking photos of every student's work. The work of the previous class became the exemplar's in a iphoto slide show I projected for the following classes.  It was really interesting how the marvels of technology can be used as a simple tool to not only acknowledge the unique style of each child, to affirm the value of their work and inspire their classmates.  I had never in the past used the work of a current years students in such a way and I am hooked on using it more as students work's became successively complex as they garnered ideas and inspirations.
Below is a slide show of works by students in Mr. Abbott's 3rd Grade.  The challenge was to create the zig-zag fold and then somewhere in the card use at least one positive shape heart and its negative shape ( created by cutting it out) to create another heart.  The results are diverse and lovely as you can see.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Open Studio Collaborative Problem Solvers and Makers



Often in the Art Studio, when students are done with their structured lesson time they pull out blocks or play dough.  These two  3-D materials seem to spark kids imaginations  and force them to problem solve on the spot, without them even realizing they are problem solving.  Below are some images of structures, environments, animals,  foods and fabulous creations by students across the grades.

One of the things I find so fascinating and wonderful is that these materials also bring out kids collaborative nature and they tend to work and play collaboratively when these materials are out.    In this digital age where kids are so drawn to screen time its refreshing when we all are getting messy with blocks and play dough and digging deep into our creative brains.
 For example, today while kids were building with blocks I witnessed a team of kids working on a physics problem, trying to balance blocks of varying sizes against a large piece of board.  Other students created their own game with play dough; they split themselves into groups of 3 and each group pretended they were chefs and created foods that the other team had to guess.
Honoring this unstructured time and letting kids feel empowered during it is something that I am attempting to embed into our studio time on a regular basis this year.  It feels like a win win for us all.  Enjoy some photos below from various different recent classes.