Showing posts from 2013

Art Room Happenings!

Before break, I challenged a couple students who were done with their projects to make a video of the screen print process we were using to create our fabulous t-shirts in 8th grade.  I handed off the iPads, encouraged them to experiment with the iMovie app and let them go crazy! I gave no other instructions. I was watching the videos later and was completely amazed at the amount of work that was happening all in the span of one class period.  As the teacher, I am down in the trenches with the students, so I rarely get to see the "outside" perspective of my classroom. Here is Emerson's amazing video: Screenprinting! from Carissa Zill on Vimeo .

Evolution of a project

Every trimester I start off with a name based project to help me learn my student's name.  The last couple years I had students create a self portrait with "crazy hair" that was formed from their name.  It was a successful project, but this year I found a fun project on Pinterest based on color and strong adjectives.  Trying to incorporate more reading and writing into my curriculum, I thought I'd give it a whirl! The original project came from Ms. Runde's room and can be found here .   It was a great lesson to talk about color, line and get used to the painting routine in the art room.  Here are some examples of what first trimester created: What a great project to bring some beginning of the year color to school! I liked the project a lot, but I didn't feel like students had a whole lot of control over the final product.  An inspirational art teacher, Ian Sands , blogged about a tweet he read, "if you get 25 of the sa


Sometimes, it's hard to let go... Sometimes, it's hard to ignore... Sometimes, it's hard to not help...  Sometimes, it's the most wonderful part of my job... Students are full of ideas, capable of amazing feats & master's of skills I never knew existed! Sometimes, students don't know where to start, where they are going, or how they are going to get there... Sometimes, I want to show them the starting line, lead them along the path & guide them to the finish line...  BUT, students are full of ideas, capable of amazing feats & master's of skills I never knew existed! So, I try hard to let go... I try hard to ignore... I try hard not to help... I try hard to enjoy the most wonderful part of my job... And watch my students CREATE!   I gave my 7th graders their first big challenge of the year: Take a piece of canvas and use these paints to "stain" the cloth

Leaving a Legacy!

Each year my 8th grade students complete a collaborative artwork that will decorate the school and help students "leave their legacy" behind when they graduate.  I have seen legacy projects completed in several of the schools I've worked in and visited over the years, so when I started teaching art at Hester I asked if I could implement such a program.  My idea was well received, so the next step was to get to work! The first step is choosing an artwork that suits the personality of the class.  Students my first year were eager to dive right in and tackle projects in mediums they had never used before, so it seemed fitting to recreate one of Monet's bridges.  I chose "Japanese Bridge" from 1900 because of the beautiful, rich colors.  The industrial arts teacher was generous enough to cut out 161 4" x 6" pieces of Masonite for students to paint their part on.  The final painting size was not the same aspect ratio as the original painting

Our Face Vases are Sprouting!

I was getting ready to leave school on Friday and running a little late when I realized I hadn't watered our face vases in a few days - oops!  As I quickly ran around to all the window ledges and displays to water our projects I was pleasantly surprised by the sprouting "hair!"  Naturally, I had to snap a few quick shots before darting out the door to pick my son up in time from his after school program.  I had originally found this project on Pinterest last year that was posted on Art Projects for Kids.   Immediately intrigued, I decided to test this project at Artapalooza , a K - 8 summer art camp I run with another art teacher, Lisa.  Here are some of our results: We taught this project using slabs since this is a one-week class - which meant the kids had one day to complete the building of the project.  I used the sun, a low temp candling program on the kiln, and made sure to fire slowly to make it happen in one week!  We used sod in these vase

Trimester One Showcase!

One of my favorite parts of being an art teacher is watching students learn and grow through the process of creating! As art teachers, we are blessed to walk the road with students from idea to completion.  We are privileged enough to get the inside scoop without needing the backstage pass.   I am constantly reminding students that I'm more interested in their journey than the end product.  Sometimes it's funny discussing with colleagues about my "favorite" pieces - I'm almost never drawn to the same project in a display as they are.  I'm interested in the students who "failed" by traditional definitions, but kept working through the process and persevered to the end.  Those students whose faces light up when they figure out a new idea, concept, or technique.  I like the walk better than the destination.  

Grading Artwork - oh my!

It's the end of the trimester - that crazy whirlwind of scrambling to finish projects, grade and organize!  Scrambling to the finish line, check! Organizing, check! Grading- I avoid it like the plague... Part of my problem has been that no matter how good my intentions are, I can't seem to find time in the day to grade projects.  There's always paper to cut, supplies to organize, kids coming in for extra work time, displays to put up, a kiln to unload, a kiln to load, art club to prepare for, counters to clean, copies to make... The list goes on.  Then, there's the issue of lugging home all those projects to grade them since I can't find the time to do it at school.   One of my goals this school year is to be quicker on the turn around with grading projects and another is to create an online gallery of work for my students - so in an attempt to "kill two birds with one stone" I decided to try Artsonia.  Now, on the one hand it may seem that I'm only me