Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grade 2: Clay Leaves

If we could have stayed outside and played in the leaves, it would not have felt like a lost day. To start class off for 2nd grade, we went outside with the mission of finding the largest leaf that we could, plus two others. 
The sun felt so good and the colors on the school property right now are out of a book. 
After we searched for leaves and brought them back into the art room, we took clay imprints of our autumn colored treasures.
What a perfectly colored shirt 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Join Me @ GFS: Iron Pour

Featuring Bear Tavern Parent and Rockstar Sculptor, RORY MAHON
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Stay for an hour or two for an amazing experience as Rory and crew pour lava hot iron!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grade 1: Clay love

In life, the simple things are sometimes the most beautiful, meaningful and profound..
I love clay. Starting our adventures in clay always begins in first grade with a simple little pinch pot.
To get those hands on their very own piece of clay is one of the best moments in first grade each year. As they realize that their hands can build something special and beautiful. As they bring home their little pinch pot that has marks from their 6 and 7 year old fingers. They are making a piece of art no parent could ever muster the strength to throw away.
That little pinch pot. Holds coins and moms rings and whatever else.
We started pinch pots this week in first grade. It's a great week.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Free Giveaway: Celebrating 100,000 pageviews

Marisol loves to paint. So when her teacher asks her to help make a mural for the school library, she can’t wait to begin! But how can Marisol make a sky without blue paint? After gazing out the bus window and watching from her porch as day turns into night, she closes her eyes and starts to dream...

To celebrate Art Rocks! reaching 100,000 page views, I am giving away to a random member a brand new copy of Peter H. Reynolds' book "Sky Color" for you to use in your classroom, to read at home or to (cough, cough) re-gift!

To enter, become a member of this blog and make a comment below...perhaps mentioning a book that you love to read to your child, to the children in your class or another comment of choice. I will message you to obtain your mailing address if you are selected! Open to US addresses only.

Giveaway closes on Oct. 30 at 3:00pm EST. I will post the winner later that evening!

Please email your mailing address to joslynjohnson@hvrsd.org
I will amazon prime you a copy of SKY COLOR!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Grade 4: iPads and Landscapes

It felt great to get outside this morning to take pictures with my 4th graders.
After a short discussion, we took the iPads outside to take photographs of the trees on the school property and photographs of fall colors in general.
Back inside, we reviewed the photos and got ourselves prepped for painting our landscapes. It was pleasant to see them navigating through the painting project successfully without any real directions. They know how to paint! They came up with solutions that worked for them and they did not rush to add unachievable details in. Normally kids will try to get it all done at once but I was glad to see that my kids knew better on their own today.
We will be finished next week. Stay tuned!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Grade 1: Fall Leaves

There are some projects (ok, you know me better...there are MANY projects) that I just cannot contain my enthusiasm for. These watercolor leaves made by my first graders is one of those projects. 
Watching them make decisions for layout, enjoy the process of using materials happily and successfully..... well lets just say this: I must have said "these are SO beautiful" at least 25 times. It got to the point where the kids were laughing at me. "Carlos, I love how you added just a touch of orange..your leaf looks so realistic!" "James, wow, you lightened the color in your background so well by adding water!", "Maeve, you swirled those cool colors together so nicely in the background..wow!" I couldn't control myself. Here are the kids in Mrs. McCann's class viewing their work that they knew I was rushing to hang up in the hallway....LUNCH CAN WAIT FOR THESE BEAUTIES!
1st grades view their freshly displayed work

Grade 5: Yearbook Cover Contest Entries

Here they are- 20 wonderful entries for the annual Bear Tavern yearbook cover design contest!

As the covers have trickled in over the past month, I have been excited to see what neat designs my talented 5th graders have come up with. Today, Mrs. Finnegan (Yearbook Chair, 4th and 5th grade teacher, parent and generally extraordinaire person) and I were flooded with even more beautiful entries. The next phase is school-wide voting to select the winner! What I love is that all of the entries will be published on the back cover or throughout the yearbook pages honoring each participant. 
Stay posted for the winner!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mumble about a Friend

A friend of mine recently started teaching art for the first time and I am so excited for her.
When you have the chance to love what you do and "do what you love" it's such a great way to be.
I am also happy because my instincts served me right and she will be an incredible teacher. When teaching is your calling and you can make a difference in the lives of others, it doesn't get better.
Van Gogh is one of the most beautiful minds to grace the art world. This landscape of his "Wheat Fields at Auvers under Clouded Sky" is a dedication in this post to my friend and all new art teachers who have found their calling. Love every moment for in every moment there is a lesson that will take you further on your beautiful path.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Grade 4: Batik for the PSO

The Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) invited us to create art for a family series performance that they held this month on the Princeton University campus.
The Education Coordinator, Carol Burden, is wonderful to work with and I am so glad to have had the chance to participate. 
We were sent the book "The Great Migration" which is a story accompanied by American painter, Jacob Lawrence's paintings from his Migration series. As we read through the book and looked at his work, we identified his landscapes and the story he was telling about The Great Migration via his paintings depicting travel.
My students created their own batik landscapes and depictions of travel for this project. I hadn't done a batik project in a little while so it was quite fun to share this process with my love bugs.
The 70 or so batiks will be hanging in Pennington for a few weeks. I have to say, I can't wait to get them back and stare at them.



Back to Building Together: Sneak Peek

Building together is what we do well. Here is a sneak peek at our newest mosaic being worked on in September by our champion for the arts Superintendent, Dr. Smith and one of our supportive parents. 

All Grades: I Am Collages

Such rock stars! Here are my 4th graders working on their first project of the year in early September. All grades created mixed media self-portraits that were completed for their parents to admire on Back-to-School night. This project was a collaboration between the media specialist and me. We modified a project that I saw on a photographer's web page about a project that she did for her sons class. She took photographs of the children and had them write personal statements to incorporate into a painting that they made. I enjoyed watching my students work and enjoy scavenging for supplies, using materials as they chose to and ultimately telling the school some special things about themselves. In addition to black and white photos and text, my students created beautiful backgrounds and then got into the spirit of collage adding all sorts of materials to their final product.

I will see what I can do about posting the finished self-portraits considering photo permissions and all.

Chuck Close

How can I help but to love my job!

It's moments that I can capture like this that make my day. I love being as close as I can to art, after all, it is one of the things that I love the most in this world. Seeing my students intently enjoy the art making process and complain when the class period is over is one of the best feelings ever. 
My 5th graders are enjoying our annual name design project so much. It is one of very few projects that I repeat each year... going on 7 years strong :-)

My room has changed some this year. Mostly in that I hung up a few paintings that we collaboratively made and some of the decorations from the Art Show that we had in June. 
The only other major changes are that the tables have been pushed together to create "islands". So far, the kids and I are loving the new table situation and it's working great for us. 

Our Class mascot...long story.  If you haven't noticed over the years, I have an obsession with hanging things and mobiles.