Beyond Roy G. Biv

Beyond Roy G. Biv

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Specially Designed Art - A Year of (FREE) Lessons

What do you do when you have students that are not succeeding in the traditional Art Room setting? You make up a new class! 

That's what I did a few years back when I felt like the students in our Cognitive Disabilities program were not getting a high quality experience Art. An hour was too long, the materials and multi-step directions were too much, and some of them were becoming aware of how different their art was turning out compared to their peers, etc... I just felt like there had to be a better way to serve these amazing students. In the beginning, I didn't really know what it was going to look like or how it was going to work. There have been some surprising successes along the way and some "well...we won't do THAT again!" moments as well.

Each year, I set out to organize the class in a slightly different way because I don't want the kiddos getting bored and well, let's be honest, it would be dull for me too! I've talked about my yearly plans for SDArt before HERE, along with other lessons I've done with these kiddos. 

I love the SMARTBoard aspect of our SDArt class because it provides a way to see/read the directions along with a cool way to link to songs or online activities after the project is finished. I have posted the entire PowerPoint, but don't feel like you need a SMARTBoard to use the file. It has over 25 lessons that can be looked at on a computer, printed out and used with a variety of students or grade levels. Each project has some images to look at, step-by-step directions, a link, and a picture of a finished student example.

I'd feel guilty if I kept this huge file all to myself! Please enjoy and share!
Specially Designed Art: A Year of Lessons

Here are some of my favorites:
A is for Apples

F is for Feet

L is for Light

T is for Trees

U is for Umbrella

V is for Vegetable (Prints)

Z is for Zig Zag

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monster Paintings & Fotobabble

Have you ever wished that you could make your students' artwork TALK? Well, there's an app for that! Fotobabble allows you to add an audio recording to a still photograph.

We use it on our Art Room iPad after we make these colorful monster paintings. I send the kids into my "recording studio", which is the storage room, so they have some privacy to have fun with their stories and their voices. 

Click on the captions to take a listen to some of their stories!

Zoe's Monster

Jackson's Monster

Paige's Monster

And click HERE to download the lesson plan for this painting project.


Monday, October 13, 2014

First 1st Grade Project...CHECK!

When I tell the first graders they get to use NINE different art supplies all on one project, they get super excited! 

They start with pencil, add watercolors, then glue down ripped paper, use foam stamps and tempera paint, throw in some leaf rubbings with crayons, and finish it all up with scissors and glue! WHEW! 

Sound like a hot mess? Not at all! Check 'em out!

And here's a little tip for the leaf rubbings (even though as you can tell from the kids' work, they like the stamped leaves a little better.)   :-)

For the leaf rubbings, I gathered leaves from our playground, pressed them between some encyclopedias for a few days, and then laminated them. I love that all the texture comes through, the colors remain vibrant and they last for YEARS!

Don't be afraid to mix up the art supplies on a project - the results can become a beautiful blend of colors and textures.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Art Room Tour 2014-2015

I am very grateful for my Art Room. It is very spacious and I've spent a lot of time making it "my own." Some things are exactly the same as they were 17 (!) years ago and some things are different every single year! Please enjoy a tour of my home-away-from-home and leave your comments below!

This is my giant bulletin board that greets my students when they enter the Art Room. We have a SUPERHERO theme this year and I'm a big Disney fanatic, so I had to go with The Incredibles!" The green bins are for each grade level's supplies and samples. And the big table is for demonstrations, extra supplies, and it hides the garbage cans, recycling bucket and bins of my favorite markers. That left the front of the table area for a cute bookcase and display area!

This is a picture of my desk...when it's clean! It won't stay that way for long so I figured I better snap a picture before it's too late! The wooden boxes are from IKEA and I've had them for years! They hold all the extra handouts and paperwork for each grade level.

This gigantic paintbrush and paint splatter stickers are the highlights of The Paint Zone.

Point charts are a heavily debated issue in education, but I find that they work really well for my program. The kids are motivated to fill the rows, fill the entire chart and to compete against other classes. And they work really, really hard for just a small piece of candy or a new pencil. 
And I love the little orange sign below the Point Charts! At the end of each class, I noticed that I was calling up the same quiet tables first. To give everyone equal opportunities to line up first, I started rotating table numbers. So, this week, Table 1 lines up first, then 2, 3, 4, etc...  Next week, 2 will be first, then 3, 4, 5...and 1 will be last. The following week, we'll start with 3...and so on. This system is nice because when students know what comes next, there are less classroom management issues. Woohoo!
And the little hanging signs on the yellow sign are for "extra credit jobs" for the 4th, 5th and 6th graders. They include all the jobs I don't like doing but the kids do, like folding the smocks, emptying the pencil sharpeners or washing palettes. What they won't do for one little, extra point!?

And this is my Noise Chart - all superhero-themed, of course! This is another classroom management lifesaver. Each class starts on "Ready to Learn" and can move up the chart by working quietly or can sink to the bottom by being loud or disrespectful. It is a full-class system because I'm not a big fan of calling out or punishing individual students in front of the entire class. And again, this system seems to motivate students to work together for the greater good - getting more points which leads to more rewards. 

And this is my classroom mascot, Art from Monsters University, one of my favorite movies. He has absolutely no educational value but he's adorable, so he stays!!

Here's to the beginning of another great year of teaching and learning!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Art is Incredible!

We have a SUPER theme this year - SUPERHEROES! And we're not just talking Superman and Wonder Woman - we are talking heroic acts by our very own students and staff! The superpowers of Honesty, Responsibility, Respect, Empathy and Cooperation are going to be celebrated this year at Big Bend.
It has been fun coming up with items that will be a creative twist on this theme for the Art Room. Here's what I've got going so far... 
The 3'x12' bulletin board - front and center when you enter the Art Room
Our class Noise Level chart
Our Point Charts

The adorable graphics are from Melonheadz Etsy shop and I adore them! Well, I've still got a week or so until Open House, so I've got a couple more ideas up my sleeve as we get closer to our official start date! Stay tuned!


Every time I walk into my room, I giggle a little bit! I wonder if the kids will ever notice the big Art Room no-no?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

NGA Book Goes Interactive

Art History Book goes Interactive for the SMARTBoard
I love when I can feel totally relaxed in the summer AND super crazy productive! I just finished the final touches on my annual Artist-of-the-Week SMARTboard presentation for the next year! Can I get a "Woo Hoo!"??

It takes a lot of hours to make this type of activity, but I love exposing new artists, cultures and types of art to my students. If you want the background of this idea, you can check out these posts. Or you can go to the SMART Exchange and get them all to download for yourselves! 

This year, I used an awesome book as my jumping off point: An Eye for Art: Focusing on Great Artists and Their Work. It has a simple layout, crisp images and age-appropriate info and questions. A bonus? No naked people! (That's a tricky subject matter with my ittybitties!)

And I'm still pretty old-school, in that I like to plan out my Notebook files on paper first. Its kinda fun to see a simple sketch turn magically into a complete digital file.

To make the book more "interactive" for the SMARTboard, I just adapted 26 of the 45 artists bios, used the National Gallery of Art's website, and added questions, pull tabs, animations and video links. And every page links internally to make navigation a breeze! That makes it sound easy, right?! I'm going to use the file for the entire 2014-2015 school year, so it was worth every minute!
A look at the title page

Seven themes - all linked to multiple pieces of art

Then, each theme explores different artists and their work

Each piece of art is laid out to reveal an image, facts, guiding questions and maybe even a hidden link or 2

Download and enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Confessions from the end...

I take great pride in my organizational skills. With that said though, I feel I must confess to how my Art Room looks at the END of the school year. It's not pretty. It's not organized. It's full of dustbunnies, piles of scrap paper, bins and broken pencil nubs, and more summer birthday treats than I could ever eat!

But it's not all bad...  It's also full of memories; memories of giggling kids, oodles of hugs and high fives, some tears, hundreds of colorful projects, some great "light bulb moments", and a lot of learning about art, artists, color, vocab, etc!!! This marks the end of Year #16 for me and I'm already looking forward to next year!