Friday, October 19, 2012

Art Material Management, Duct Tape, & a Glue Gun Caddy

I've always held by the old adage, "duct holds the world together."  But, I'm really becoming a hard-core believer that a little bit of duct tape can solve a multitude of issues (especially in the Art room!).

Remember, my marker caddy? Remember how a reader suggested adding duct tape, and I did?  Well, I kinda got to wondering how else I could use this duct tape? Thanks to the popularity of the duct tape wallet and prom dress, we now have a multitude of colors and patterns from which to pick when it comes to duct tape.

Recently, using the same concept applied to the marker caddy, I made an eraser caddy!  I LOVE how I can see if all the erasers have been returned with just a quick glance.

Then, I got the idea of tagging all my pencils with tape (just like my permanent markers).  It also works. . .And, when one does accidentally wander off, they come back to me. I'm forever having teachers and students say: "I found/borrowed this and think it belongs to you."  Love. Love. Love.

Then, this week, I had the dreaded 75 person Art club. I shouldn't say dreaded, but it is a lot of people to manage at once. Fortunately, a few volunteers took charge of the 6th graders which brought my numbers down. But, only 5 students have paid dues, and that didn't leave me with much of a budget for any activities. I decided to spend the money on reusable resources and bought seven mini glue guns with about a pound of glue gun sticks. I collected all the old cardboard in my building and told the kids to get creative. Boy, did they!  I think this was the most popular Art club to date.

My concern was making sure all seven glue guns made it back to me. . .So, I made a caddy using foam and duct tape.  I was worried the foam might melt a bit when the guns were stored, but it did not. I think since these are mini guns, the heat isn't enough to mark the foam.

I'm really loving the duct tape when it comes to materials management. For a few dollars, I can really track my materials!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Literacy Matters. . .in Art

Do you offer your students multiple types of instructions? I like to offer students aural, visual, and written directions for every project. Through this process, I hope to offer all students an opportunity to learn in the most accessible manner.

I'm back in grad school (in case you forget; I tend to yammer about it). This semester I'm studying (among other things) how to incorporate literacy into my classroom.  Since I teach Art, I find this process exciting and new.  I read a wonderful book entitled Literacy Matters by Robin Fogarty.  The book is a quick, general strategy guide to literacy in the classroom.  It is a great starting point if you are interested in adding more profound literacy strategy(ies) to your classroom.

I made a presentation to share my reading with class, and I thought I'd share it with you too. Enjoy!

Notes for Book: Literacy Matters by Robin Fogarty

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Scenes From School

It's moments like these wherein I feel the "why" part of what I do.




Why You Should Social-Network With Me

two boys 1 jacket
About a hundred (okay at least ten) times a day my students and/or me do or say something bizarre, hilarious and/or just totally indicative of the unique relationship of teacher-student-school. I post what they say and what I say of Facebook. . .And, it is really a lot of fun.

@artfulartsyamy on Twitter

Here are a few of my favorites:

Fabulous Male student: "Ms. J., I'm excited cause Glee is on tonight and Kurt is my favorite!" Same male student (10 mins later): "Ms. J. guess what? I know a gay person."

Student : "it ain't hard to breed a dog. All ya gotta do is give it ice cream and lots of food. It calms them down."

Male Student : "Ms. J. what's a maxi pad?" Me: "Um, it's for ladies only." Student : "Like a tampon?! Nasty!!"

Discussion w/student accused of saying dirty things. Student: "All I said was 'beat the meat.'" Me: "OK. You know that means masturbation, right?" Student [turns red]: "WHAT?!"

"Ms. J. Can we paint a Sacajawea like da Vinci did?"

Ah so it finally happened. A student told me to go "f" myself. Best of luck in life to you dearie.

Student: "ewww! Ms J.! Tell that boy to quit humping the table!"

We invented cereals today for a package design project. One student meant to spell "ninja crunch." I think he was going for "n-i-n-g-a crunch," but he left out a crucial "n" and left a racial slur

Report cards went home today. Student: "I got all A's,B's, C's, and a little bit of F."

Student haiku for typography project: hot wings are the best. The boneless ones are better. Ranch makes it the best.

Dear sixth graders: I don't want to be an alcoholic living in a cardboard box. You have got to calm down. Seriously

Flamboyant student: "I don't know how to clap; I only know how to SNAP!"

Student who overheard me on the phone with a supply distributor: "Wow Ms. J. You like actually sounded professional."

Fundraising student: "Ms. J. are you lonely?" Me: "Uh, no. Where is this going?" Student: "I'm selling cookies and all lonely women like cookies."

Student: "I bet in jail there is a lot of soap on the floor."

Wooden Face Pins for Art Club

75 kids in art club2
Holy Smokes. I have 75 (s e v e n t y - f i v e) students in my Art Club. . . And, they all showed up last Thursday to make (as they would say) "something cool." So, we did.

Also, I may or may not have had a really stiff drink after work that day.

My kids have never gone to summer camp or made any of the ubiquitous cutesy-crafts synonymous with the American middle class upbringing. Rather than utilizing Art Club to create intense, serious, high art, we make duct tape wallets, shrinky-dink charms, pins, plush animals, and stickers. I'm hoping we get permission to graffiti something this year, though.

This week, we made personalized wooden pins inspired by the ah-mazing work of artist Kim Welling. Go now and check out Ms. Welling's work!

Welling uses left-over chips of wood from her artworks in a beautiful circle of no-waste. . .I bought cheap balsa wood from a local supply shop (that was probably processed in a chemical shit-storm that began with a beautiful, pristine, tree).

1. I pre-dyed all of the pieces of wood to represent a wider spectrum of the skin rainbow.

2. I cut the pieces into 2 inch squares. . .I cut approximately 100 squares.

3. Students sketched pin design onto a 4 inch square of paper (in an attempt to avoid wasted wood).

4. Students selected a wood square and drew their design in black pen/sharpie (and added white for eyes w/colored pencil).

5. Students added colored marker and/or paint as-needed.

6. I hot-glued (I need no lawsuits from the parents of burned students) a metal-tone pin to the back.

I love seeing these cruise the hallways.