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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Koi Ponds

This lesson was one of the very first lessons I ever did in my pre-internship experiences. I really liked it and decided to try the lesson with 2nd grade.

The students were to make pond scenes, we discussed using warm and cool colors. They were to blend cool colors to create the water and then to create contrast we were to use warm colors on the koi fish.

I shared with the students some interesting facts about koi fish, for instance they can live for 30-40 years, and are symbols in Japanese culture for luck, love, friendship, and masculinity, as well as being known as the warrior fish and the fish of nobility.

Koi fish are usually a mix of orange, yellow, red, white, cream, and sometimes gold and blue. They can also have black spots on them. The students were really interested when I showed them a visual with all the different types of koi fish, they are categorized by color and scale pattern, the diagram included Japanese symbols for the type koi.

This project is really great because there are so many things you can talk about, we discussed what made the project 3-d because the torn strips bulge so the project is not flat. Finally we also discussed why the project is considered to be a mixed media project. I explained how this refers to what materials we use, in order to create the koi pond scenese we used paper, glue, crayons, watercolor paint, and tissue paper.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Another Candle

Last year, a committee of teachers, parents, and staff, got together to plan a HUGE birthday party for Chets Creek's 10th birthday. It was quite a week long bash of birthday festivities. One idea, was to paint a large wooden candle for each year, depicting the theme for that year. (1-Building a 21st Century Community of Learners and Leaders, 2-Team up for Success, 3- Aim High, Take Flight, 4 - Hitch Your Wagon to A Rising Star, 5 - Puzzle Paradise, 6 - To Infinity and Beyond, 7 - Mission Possible, 8 -Lights, Camera, Action, 9 - Blazing the Trail 10-The Race is On, 11- The Magic Kingdom, Dreams Begin Here) Here, you see the first 11 (actually 10 1/2) candles with the various themes. These were painted by several people including, Kristy Sappington, Karen Willett, Haley Spooner, Hillery Theverage, Ian Forrester and myself. Believe me, I was ever so grateful to have such a wonderful group of artists to help with this undertaking. It was really fun to see candles ALL OVER THE ARTROOM being worked on in so many different styles. With oldies music in the was a real painting party. And they ALL turned out fantastic!!!! Below, is the new addition for this year..."Around the World in 180 Days." Not only does it include various forms of transportation, but features our new Mascot, Champion Chet, in the pilot's seat. Now, where it will go......I don't know. But it will mark another wonderful year at Chets Creek Elementary!


Earlier you read about all our old 5th graders (I say old like they have been gone forever), that are now 6th graders, returning to paint their "High 5" tiles for our wall. Well, now all the tiles are done and up on the wall, thanks to our wonderful volunteer, James Boyd. All 151 tiles have been adhered to the Dining Room wall and are looking good for our upcoming HIGH 5 Banquet, where the new section of the wall will be officially unvailed.

Here is our new section. Our Goal is to line the Dining Room walls with these beautifully glazed tiles as, not only an enhancement to the yellow walls, but a motivation to our students to strive for the honor of having their handprint, forever displayed, for all future Chets Creek students to enjoy. It is interesting that each year, the numbers of students receiving the "5" on Math, Reading and/or Science, has grown. Maybe the wall is motivating more than we think!! Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Meaning, of course, that things are really cooking in the art lab......with electricity.......specifically the clay pieces. We have had several of our 4th and 5th grade classes finish up their clay projects, using paint and mod podge. They are really turning out beautifully.

Above you will see 4th grade clay plaques, with open negative spaces, where the students have woven with wire and beads. Below, there are swimming sharks and jumping dolphins, completed by our 5th graders.

Our 4th graders have also had some fun designing their own form of storyteller after being motivated by the Pueble Storytellers that they observed. Here you even see and alien storyteller, passing down a story to the little alien children. Also as woman telling her cats a story. This, of course, lined up with telling a narative, which some of them had for the FCAT writes. Maybe they could actually imaging the story that these storytellers are telling. Hmmmmm.....

There is still a lot more to come as the students are finishing up with paint. The seahorses and Marlins that were shown in an earlier post, are getting ready to be finished. Stay tuned to see what comes out next from the CCE ART LAB!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kindergarten Owls

I had my kindergarten class last week paint owls. We practiced several weeks ago on practice paper and then we painted them on the blue paper last week.

I am really pleased with how the owls turned out. We talked about the different types of shapes we use to make the body, ovals, circles, triangles, and skinny ovals. We also talked about patterns in order to do the feathers of the owls. Finally, we discussed overlapping, the branch was to be in front of the tail and the claws were to be on top of the branch.

We also painted leaves onto the branches and used oil pastel to outline and add fine details.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Clay Marlins

The next 5th grade class I worked with made marlins out of clay. These also turned out great! The most difficult part was probably the nose/snout of the marlin, if it got to thin it would probably break.

The students did a very good job scoring and slipping the clay together and I also think as a whole their craftsmanship and attention to fine detail was above average, there are a lot of great looking marlins!

I will see this class today and we will make bases to hold up the marlins. Mrs. Snead had a neat idea last week that 'mounting' our trophy fish on a wood placque would be kinda fun for a base, but we just didnt have an opportunity to try it out. We will make the base out of clay, but perhaps we can still toy with the idea of placques later on.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Clay Seahorses

All of the 5th grade classes have been working with clay, each class Mrs. Snead was doing a different sea creature to keep things interesting and to help keep the classes separated.

I took over all the classes this week and had to step up to the plate in working with clay. I thought doing a seahorse would be a neat idea so both Mrs. Snead and I got to work in trying to figure out the best way to make a seahorse out of clay.

I knew it would be challenging and I am glad the class I got to work with was small so I was able to get around to everyone quicker that needed help. As challenging as making the seahorse was, the 5th grade class really stepped up to the plate and their pieces turned out great! I was really impressed with how most of them turned out.

It was difficult because we created the body using a slab technique, and we had to continue to work with the clay in our hands so it wouldn't become flat. The body of a seahorse also is covered with a spine like texture that required a lot of skill to mimic in clay. We also created bases to hold up the seahorses, which was also a more challenging style base because the seahorse is kind of thin, but tall. Luckily through the whole process Mrs. Snead was right there to help both me and the students out if we needed it. We did perform a few "surgeries" on seahorses that broke, but its very easy to reattach clay while its still wet by simply scoring and slipping the pieces together.

I am really pleased with how the seahorses turned out and very proud of the students and myself!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

6th Graders Come "HOME" to Glaze "High 5" tiles

How fun it was to see all these students who came in to paint their High 5 tiles. With FCAT scores coming in AFTER school was out for the summer, these students did not get to design their tile until this year, when they are 6th graders. I am so glad we were able to get them in, because seeing your tile on the wall is much more fun if you made it yourself. I would have hated that they would have missed designing their very last art project at Chets Creek.
What is our High 5 tile about? At Chets Creek, any student who makes a 5 on the FCAT gets to decorate and glaze a 6"x6" tile. It then gets fired and put up on our HIGH 5 tile wall, that is worming its way around our dining room. That way, they can come back later on and always be able to find their tile. It really is a cool thing AND it really adds beauty to our dining room.

What was really fun was hearing these 6th graders chat about what was going on with them in Middle School. Oh, has the drama has already begun.......funny! They thought is was fun coming back to Chets Creek as they were constantly asking of their old (well...not really so old) teachers were still here. You'd think they had been gone for years. They had a blast seeing each other again and catching up, as many are attending different Middle Schools. Even the parents, who were hanging around, were jumping into the conversation, laughing, and teasing. Some were even helping to paint their child's tile. Others were offering advice as to how they should be painted. Little siblings (at least those not in strollers) were coloring up a storm and sharing their artwork. It was, to say the least, lively in the art lab these two nights. It all made staying after school, late, a really fun experience!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I Have Learned Something New!

I was challenged by my principal, Susan Phillips, to create a wordle. I was clueless. So I sought out the help of our wonderful tech person, Melanie Holtsman, to help me out.
Wordles! Sounds funny, looks cool. And all ART! Taking words and creating a cloud, where the words you use most often are the biggest. This is a great way to see what words you use A LOT. This can be quite telling about the focus of your written word.

When I look at mine, I at least see that I talk mostly about ART and STUDENTS, which is good as that is the focus of my blog. Fun seems to be a decent size as well, that's good too.

What do you see in my wordle??????

I tag Hallie Spooner, Terri Woodlief, Mary MacKoul, and Betsy McCall to try this out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Intern Update

So things have been going pretty well with the internship so far, this coming week will be the first week I fully take over all the grade levels (I’ve been picking up 2 grade levels each week). I am excited and nervous; the most difficult thing so far has been adjusting/wrapping my brain around Mrs. Snead’s class schedule.

I have been doing a lot of water coloring with the kids to help them finish up their Kids Art Fair projects. I have also really enjoyed helping the 5th graders work with clay. On Monday I am going to start a clay project with a class, we are going to attempt to make seahorses. I know it will be a challenging task, but I think we can do it. I have also had the chance to teach my ‘spacescape’ lesson again, which gave me the opportunity to try a different approach after reflecting on the strengths and weaknesses of the first run through. I was really pleased how excited the students were about the subject matter of outer space.

I also had my first observation by my supervisor last week. She came in and observed me teach water coloring to Mrs. Ossi’s class. They were wonderful and my supervisor said she was very impressed and that I am performing right on target, which is great news and certainly a confidence builder.

The first grade sleepover on Friday was also really fun to be a part of, I love how spirited the school is, and coming into school in pj’s was fun. In the art room we had the first graders making book covers, it was great to see so many parents and teachers getting involved. I really do feel so lucky be at Chet’s for my internship.