Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Esprit de She 50th & France 5K Run

My sister, myself and my cousin.

Summer is flying by fast!  I just completed another race last Thursday.  It was called Esprit de She 50th & France 5K Run in MN.  I had a pretty good race time and a lot of fun hanging out with my family.

Here are some more pictures of my sister and I.  Did I mention, she talked me into doing a FULL MARATHON this fall!?  It will be interesting to see how I juggle the start of the school year with my training schedule, but it is the chance of a life time to do something so neat with my sister.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Fish Bubbles

Adaptive Art
2 Day Lesson

Adaptive Art, Fish Bubbles

Day 1:  Have students color paper plates with oil pastels in colors of orange, yellow, red and white.  Using tempera paint have stuents paint the paper plate.  Discuss with students how the oil pastel creates a resist with the paint.

Adaptations:  Using an oil pastel that is larger in size will help with grasp (Crayola make a chubbier brand).  Placing a small piece of rolled masking tape under the paper plate will help it stay in one spot as the student paints the piece.

Day 2:  I had the triangle pre-cut fromt he paper plate before the students arrived.  Have students follow along in a step by step demonstration on how to create the fish composition.  Sand was sprinkled on the bottom of the piece and bubbles were created with liquid tempera paint.  Discuss overlapping, texture, and collage with the students as they work.

Adaptations:  Using a paint/foam brush, students can more easily place glue on paper pieces.  Placing sand in an old mustard container allows sand to flow easily onto paper.  Spring loaded scissors can also aide in cutting if you have students capable of cutting their own pieces for this project.

Student Examples:

Stamped Cats

Adaptive Art
2 Day Lesson

Adaptive Art, Stamped Cat

Day 1:  Using liquid tempera, have students stamp patterns onto various pieces of colored construction paper.  Discuss patterns, color, and designs as they work.

Adaptations:  Having the stamp glued to a slightly larger wooden block with a handle attached, can make finger grasping easier.

Day 2:  I had all the pieces pre-cut to the sizes we needed for this project.  Have students glue pieces together to form the cat.  Discuss the shapes they are gluing and how they come together to create a new form.

Adaptations:  Using a paint/foam brush, students can more easily place glue on paper pieces.  Spring loaded scissors can also aide in cutting if you have students capable of cutting their own pieces for this project.

Student Examples:

Clay Pendants

Adaptive Art
3 Class Periods
Adaptive Art, Clay Pendants

Day 1:  Students were given time to experiment with the clay.  Pushing into the clay with their fingers and squeezing the clay with their hands were encouraged.  Different items were placed on the table to create textrues within the clay.  Students were shown how to press and create textures into the clay.

Adaptations:  Stencils were used to trace for final shape of the pendant. Using items that are chunkie are easier for students to grip (think large legos vs. small sizes).

Day 2:  Students glazed each pendant piece.

Adaptations:  Color selections were limited.  Sponges could be used versus brushes.  I placed masking tape on the back of the pendant and placed it onto a styrofoam tray.  We didn't have to worry about glaze getting on the back of the pendant or the piece falling off the table and breaking thanks to the tape.

Day 3:  Beads were placed on string and attached to the pendant.

Adaptations:  I placed tape on the edge of the string to prevent it from fraying as they placed beads on it.  I also had pendant attached already to the string before students came to the classroom to work.  I discovered placing a small tray of beads in front of each student helped with reaching and spilling of beads from the center of the table.  Using beads with larger openings is also, very helpful.

Student Examples:


Birthday Party Fun!

Sometimes, I ask myself, do my own children realize how lucky they are to have a mommy that is an art teacher?  Both of my children have birthdays in July. My son has turned 7 and my daughter 9 this year. Thanks to my excellent teacher planning skills their birthdays are only 5 days apart.  Due to this unforeseen madness of having close birthdays, we usually celebrate their birthdays together on one special party day.  This year, they both agreed on a Minion party theme. 

I started to search Pintrest and found some really cool ideas that caused lift off for my own ideas.  Seriously?  How did we ever do anything creative without Pintrest?  lol.

It all begins here with me wondering if my children know how lucky they are.

Then boom!  Add a few balloons and some happy children faces and you have a great party photo opportunity for all your guest.

During the actual birthday party, we had a craft activity for our guests.  Maybe this is a touch strange, but hey!  I'm an art teacher.  The guests loved it and it gave them a small party favor to take home, too!

Examples of our Minion puppets made during the party.

I also made these two posters for my children to hang as decoration for the party.
The great thing about this one, is that my daughter helped me paint it!

My son loves Batman and Robin.  This is our Minion twist on these characters.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Playdough: Roll, Cut, Squish, ACTION!

Playdough either puts a smile on your face or it makes you cringe.  I am often surprised to hear how many of my students do not get the chance to play with playdough at home.  My only guess to this reason, must be the fear of the mess that is created with this very important art media.

My advice.  Embrace the mess!  Set up an area on a table, picnic table or a plastic table cloth to work on.  Take a deep breath and let them play!

Playing with playdough helps in imagination and creativity skills.  Squishing, rolling, cutting, poking, chopping, flattening and building with playdough all helps with building strength in the tiny muscles and tendons in your hand (FINE MOTOR DEVELOPMENT) that helps with learning how to grip and control pencils and scissors (so important for the art room and class room!).

Playdough is fairly inexpensive to purchase, but making your own can also be a great bonding activity with your child.  There are a ton of recipes that you can find online, but the one below is my favorite.

Mrs. Allen's Favorite Playdough Recipe

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup of boiling water
1 tablespoon of cream of tartar
1/2 cup of salt
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
food coloring

Combine all the ingredients  in a bowl.  Mix with a spatula.  Once the mixture becomes thick you will have to use your hands to mix it.  Then knead, knead, knead, until playdough is soft. 


Playdough can be stored in an air tight container.