Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Funny Fold-up Faces - an instant sub idea!

Sometimes you've got to think fast.  Today I subbed in my former classroom.  The teacher has been out for a couple of weeks, for surgery, and is coming back tomorrow.  She luckily has had a terrific sub, but the sub was not available today. The teacher had left extensive plans for the sub, with multiple projects per grade level.  The sub had, in turn, left sticky notes all over the plans, explaining what had been completed and what was left to be done.  But I couldn't understand the instructions for 2nd and 3rd grade, who both had class today.  It looked like she had completed the lessons for them, and for one class, said to follow the plans "in the folder".  WHAT FOLDER???  I couldn't find it. For the other grade, she had left materials for a project that wasn't in the original lesson plans at all, and I couldn't find any introduction to the project to explain to the kids why/what they were doing.  So I texted the teacher (not the sub), who said it was OK if I could come up with something to do just for the one day.  

I grabbed some paper and crayons and made some quickie samples for funny fold-up faces.  The paper was folded so that the top and the bottom met in the middle, and a face was drawn on the folded paper (pic at the top of the post).  Then, the bottom was opened out, and a new mouth, chin, and face bottom were drawn attaching to the top part. Then it was closed again, and the top was opened out and new eyes and top of head were drawn to connect to the bottom.  (These are the two pics above.)  And finally, the top and bottom were both opened, and below is the face that appeared. 

Here's another sample.  First is the original face drawn on the folded paper. 
And below, I've added a new set of eyes, and next to it, a new mouth. 
And finally, the whole newly created face.  Remember, these are quickie samples. 

I didn't take pictures of the silly faces that the students made, but they were totally adorable!  There were cat faces, skeleton faces, clown faces, pretty ladies, angry aliens, men in top hats and bow ties, and so much more.  So thankful that it was successful, and I hope that, when the teacher is back in the classroom, that she is easily able get the kids back on track with what she has intended for them to do! 

Friday, January 13, 2017

The latest from DragonWing Arts!

Yes, my sweet students evidently can dab and paint at the same time...  I'm still not quite sure what it all means, but it seems like a harmless fad and everyone is smiling!
Anyhow, a new 8-week session of DragonWing Arts (my after-school art class business) has been underway for two weeks now, and I've got a lively and fun crew!  After a couple of years of classes with just three or four students, suddenly I find myself at my max enrollment with 8 kids!  Half are boys, half are girls; half are 3rd graders, half are 4th graders; three are repeat students, and the other 5 are all newbies!  Luckily, a former favorite student of mine from kindergarten to 6th grade (yes, I admit to having a favorite) is now attending the local community college and is serving as my weekly'helper'.  I'm so glad my schedule and hers jived together, at least for this semester!  She is able to provide a second set of hands, plus, with no sink in the room, she's able to follow kids down the hall to the bathroom and make sure they are being safe and well-behaved.  And I'm so glad to be able to give her this opportunity.  She's a sweet-hearted wisp of a girl with a cheerful spirit.
Anyhow....  Our theme for this 8-week session is POP and OP, and my goal is for it to be a bright and colorful time in the gloom and cold of winter.  So for POP, we currently have two projects underway.  One, pictured above and below, is making food sculptures.  We looked at the work of Claes Oldenburg.  Each student is making, with papier-mache, a slice of pizza, a doughnut, a slice of cake, and an ice cream sundae! 
The shapes are being assembled with cardboard, tin foil, and newspaper, and covered with a variety of papier-mache materials. 
The cakes were covered with Activa Celluclay instant papier-mache, which I had never used before, even though I have substantial papier-mache experience.  I had seen other cake slices on the internet made with this product or Claycrete.  Frankly, I'll never buy the Celluclay again.  It is incredibly dusty when you are mixing it, and we had a hard time making it stick.  I ended up mixing the 2nd batch substituting some Art Paste (School Specialty brand that had been previously mixed) for some of the water, just to make it stickier.  Once it dries, it's rock solid, but keeping it on the sides of the cake while working was a challenge.  Have you ever used the stuff?  Do you like it?  Any hints, since I still have some that is unused/unmixed? 
We also used the Celluclay on the pizza, and used traditional newspaper strips dipped in "dragon drool" (the mixed Art Paste goo) for the doughnuts.  Then, based again on something I'd seen online, we covered both the doughnut and the pizza with a layer of toilet paper and goo.  Again, probably not something I'll ask kids to do again.  The toilet paper formed a terrific surface that looked like doughnut glaze or melted pizza cheese, but using it was tough.  It wanted to stick to everyone's hands instead of the projects!  We haven't started the ice cream sundaes yet but they are gonna be cute!!

And we also looked at Roy Lichtenstein paintings, and are doing some pop word paintings.  Because this is an after-school activity, I tend to be much less directed in the choices I give students.  I suggested they either do their names, or an action word , but most have chosen differently.  Nevertheless, they are doing a great job and you'll see the paintings when they are all done! 
As you can see, the kids are definitely enjoying working on them so far! 
If you'd like to see a video of the kids working on these paintings, click HERE
on the DragonWing Arts Facebook page.  And yes, lest you worry, I have permission to include the faces of all these kids in my photos posted on social media. 

I have another pop art project and a couple of fun op art projects we will be working on soon, too, but I'm not ready to share!  Busy, busy!