Latest Posts

Furniture Alignment

My classes meet in a small portable bulding this year. To make better use of the space I have set up my tables in continuous rows. I bought some cheap lashing straps to attached all three tables in each row together. They function as one table and stay neatly aligned. I’ve been pretty pleased with it.

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Spooooky Perspective

My classes are working this week on their Spooky/Autumn Perspective Drawings. I took the opportunity to prepare this lesson as a product for my TPT store. While my students work on theirs, it will remain at an introductory discount.

I’ve enjoyed doing this project for years and I always do it a bit differently. This time, we are completing a “Dual-Scene” in which the students will create a pair of drawings depicting the same scene or location but interpreted differently. Common solutions would be, a before-and-after scene, day-vs-night, spooky-vs-nonspooky, etc. We discuss a bit the idea of economy in art. Leaving a bit to the imagination of the viewer can help make the designs more interesting or mysterious. Students are able to choose a Halloween related theme or broad Autumn theme.  (more…)

Moving Out

It has been an unusually busy start for the first of the year. Renovations begin in my building this year so I had to move out of my classroom. I’ll conduct classes in a portable building classroom for now. The plan is to move back for the 2016-2017 school year.

Completed Cooperative Posters

Each grade level had time to complete a coop design. (6,7,8)  For the tiger and leopard, students could choose their colors and materials but they were instructed to color the appropriate portions dark or light according to the example on their tile worksheet. There are always a few who fail to follow through on this. They either reverse the values or choose colors that have almost no value difference. This makes the image less clear so those always need replaced. On the Mona Lisa poster, students were instructed to use violet, black, orange, and yellow only. Areas indicated as black were to be violet or black marker while areas containing hatching were to be colored with yellow or orange marker or colored pencil. White areas were not colored. (more…)

Cooperative Poster Projects

I sometimes end the year with a cooperative poster project. It is a flexible activity that fits well with the odd schedules, interruptions, and make-up work that are unavoidable at the end of the year. Students who are done with their primary work move on to the coop poster while the others catch up. Some students have time to do several tiles while others only have time for very few. My first choice is to provide a drawing grid in which the students are required to draw the tiles before coloring them. I supply a cart with various materials that the students are familiar with to use on the tiles.

For assembling the tiles into the final artwork, I prefer to create a large grid framework on kraft paper. This particular grid is four foot wide and five foot tall. The tiles are six inches. I hang the paper in the hall outside my classroom where there just happens to be six inch tiles on the wall…so it makes creating the grid in chalk just a little easier. I use double-stick tape behind the corners of the tiles to stick them down. I typically tape the top corners only in case I need to change one out. When complete, I have a student add tape to the lower corners. If I begin assembling some of the tiles in the classroom as they complete them, the students get more involved. I tell them that I will choose the best tiles for the image since I am having multiple of the tiles drawn and colored by several classes. Tiles that are too faint, for example, will eventually be replaced by more suitable ones. If they want to see their tile appear in the image, they have to put in the effort.

If there is still time left when a grid is completed, we simply begin a new one…possibly with a different image. If less time is available, we complete a coloring grid. This variety is pre-printed with the outlines and the students are only required to color the tiles.

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I label some paper trays by letter for students to turn in completed tiles.

 

coop-grids-2015

 

Doodle Techniques

My students are currently working on their Doodle Design drawings. We are working on glossy rainbow paper with Sharpie. When a paper is glossy and the back is white, any color printed on the paper is typically sitting on the surface of the sheet, rather than permeating into the paper fibers. This allows for a technique to be used in which a standard pencil eraser is used to scrub away the printed material revealing the white below. Hard edges and fine detail are not as easy so its more of a shading effect. I introduced this an an option for those who wanted to try is to add more variety to their Doodle Design projects. Another possibility is following this eraser technique with applying marker of a contrasting color to the now white areas of the paper.

Art Display

For the remainder of the school year, I will be rotating displays of the student artwork in my school’s cafeteria. I save their projects all year so there is quite a bit of it. We used to have a single art show event but that has been displaced due to renovations on my campus.

Doodle Designs

This week, students began working on their Doodle Designs. This is where they fill in the page with freehand doodles and patterns. They are provided numerous examples to help with ideas for a variety of hand-drawn patterns. I’ve done several varieties of this project over the years. This year, I provided each students with a large sheet of multicolor spectrum paper as a backdrop for their doodle designs. The paper is glossy (think wrapping paper) so I also provided Sharpie brand permanent markers. Additionally, the color blend paper is surprisingly easy to see through. This makes it possibly to use tracing techniques with no light box and may possibly allow for a “stained-glass” effect if the completed art is displayed in a window.

I have updated my Doodle Designs project on TPT with all new resources and placed the item on sale for the next few days. (more…)

Musak Video

I had some problems with the old ipod that I use to play background music in my classroom. Until I get it figured out I made some DVDs with Windows Movie Maker. I combined some instrumental music with some footage of close-up lava lamp action and then used a separate video converter to render it in a DVD format. I used DVDshrink to author the final disc in which the same video repeats 2-3 times. I think it runs 2 1/2 hours before I have to press play again.

Milestone Free Download on TPT

My 7-Day free download has expired. Thanks to all who shared or downloaded.

You’ll be drawn to this #FlashFreebie! Thanks, Outside the Lines Lesson Designs. http://bit.ly/1HABxIW

Posted by TeachersPayTeachers.com on Thursday, April 2, 2015

Op-Art Designs

My students began working on op-art designs this week. The designs are actually pre-printed copies. The activity is centered around applying color to the images. It’s a good opportunity to introduce a new technique or medium. This group is using watercolor pencils. As the designs are printed on regular copy paper, special considerations must be made. Students are instructed to use minimal water and to avoid “scrubbing around on the surface too much. I also advise them to paint alternating shapes while leaving dry spaces between the painted areas. This allows the paper to maintain is structure, avoid excessive wrinkling, and cut down on drying time. I have a drying rack but seldom need to use it on this project. It also prevents colors from bleeding into one another and gives the students more control. The following day, when the painted areas are thoroughly dry, the intermediate areas may be painted. I created a page with a grid of rectangles for practice with the new medium before starting their final art.

We are using Crayola watercolor pencils in sets of twelve. I place them in a zip-bag with a small sharpener. I have some spill resistant cups for the water. The brushes are Dynasty Ruby Student brushes. They were purchased in a classroom assortment from Sax (School Specialty). Students tend to choose the smaller sizes for this project. (Angle 1/4, Flat 6, Round 10)

This is a good project for allowing students to catch up on past projects. I have those students who need to finish previous work instead of moving on to the op-art designs. When they are ready, the op-art project is easy to abbreviate. I generally begin with large 11×17″ prints. Students with less time can do a 8.5×11” instead. Also, to save time, I may allow some students to black out selected portions of the design with a permanent marker before painting. Permanent marker must be used to avoid the color bleeding into the wet media. Finally, Students with very little time could be allowed to color the op-art with  marker of regular colored pencil if necessary.

More Presidential Progress

Earlier this week, students began applying color to their Presidential Portraits. We used watercolor marker for our color medium. When I know this project is coming up, I order a supply of red, blue, and black markers. Those happen to be the colors that tend to be used up quickest anyway, so its good to have a supply of extras on hand. Recently, I have been ordering individual color broad-tip markers from Dick Blick. I get them for .34 cents each. They are actually some of the better performing economy markers I have tried. Each table has one of each color and those are shared with four classes during the day. The projects are almost complete and, so far, no “used up” markers. That is to say that the original markers have been able to complete at least four 12×18″ artworks. We began with brand new markers but that is still pretty good for cheap markers on a colorful project.

Presidential Progress

This is day four of the president drawings. Students are completing the grid drawing portion of the project. The first day, we created the grid. Those who completed it early were to create a second grid for a “back-up” or possibly extra credit. The next three days have been drawing the image square by square. This student has already erased the grid from the drawing leaving only the outlined president ready for adding color and designs. One of the biggest challenges is simply getting students to draw light enough to be able to erase the grid easily. If the grid won’t come off, the drawing will have to be transferred to a new sheet prior to adding color.