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Another Group of Masks!

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The sixth graders are hard at work on their Native American Masks. This group of kids is really taking their time with these! I think that’s mostly because sixth graders really love clay, and throwing clay, and sticking clay behind their friend’s ear, and stepping on clay, and tasting clay (seriously! You’d think we’d be beyond that point!). I really love when we are done with clay…

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Thinking About Color

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The painters are in the painting phase of the cubism projects. They will be exploring four color schemes: value scale, monochromatic, complementary and analogous. We are taking one at a time and studying each one individually as well as how they can work together.

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Value Scale-using only black and white and gray

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Monochrome-using one color only, but mixing with black and white

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Analogous-using 3 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel and in the same family (blue, blue violet, violet)

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Complementary-using two colors that are across from each other on the color wheel and mixing them together to create different shades.

Cubism and Confusion

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The 7th and 8th graders start out the trimester with a cubist color scheme project. They are given a square that is divided into 4. They are given directions to draw 3 large geometric shapes and 3 lines-one diagonal, one vertical and one horizontal. They then create a curving line that weaves through the whole composition. I am surprised at how many kids struggled with this! I know abstraction can be a difficult concept for kids to understand, and once we added the shapes inside of shapes inside of a square I started to lose a few. But after explaining it again and having them watch another demonstration it seemed to go well. Each one of the four quadrants will be painted in a different color scheme to create the final cubist design.Image

A New Beginning

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The school year has come around yet again! I am so happy to be back at Dakota Hills Middle School. i feel so much better coming into the school year knowing that I have established some relationships with the kids and that I have a place here. First trimester I will be teaching two sections of 7th and 8th grade painting and one section of sixth grade. We switch our elective curriculum every other year, so seventh graders who took it last year can take it again as an eighth grader and have new projects to do and new concepts to learn.

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Welcome to the art room!

A School Year Coming to an End

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I can’t believe the school year is practically over. I look back on the year I’ve had with my students and colleagues and think about how far I have come and how much I have learned. I do believe it is one of my professional duties as a teacher to also be a life-long learner. I will continue to grow and learn and develop and will hopefully be able to pass that on to my kids through my teachings. I think back on a comment I received from an education professor in college about my “fragile voice” and wondering how someone so quiet could command a room of kids. It’s something I have felt a little self conscious about since, but have realized that kids can respond to quiet, and gentle, and subtle. One of the struggles I find with teaching is really being able to tell if you have been successful or not. You can look at your kids’ improvement, you can look at their final projects and see if they have met the objectives you wanted them to learn, but it is harder to tell if you inspired them to learn or helped them find a passion for something. It isn’t something that can be measured by scores or projects. Inspiration is measured 25 years down the road when your kids become doctors, parents, lawyers, chefs, or teachers themselves.

With that, I give you watercolor bugs, done by my soon to be seventh graders!

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Mugs Are Done!

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The clay kids’ mugs are finished! They got to have a hot chocolate party with their mugs before bringing them home. They look great! They have good form, good color, and they’re functional too! :) Visit us on Artsonia to see the rest!

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Perspecive and Pencil

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The sixth graders just finished working on their colored pencil unit. This unit takes what they learned about color theory and adds another element: Perspective. I wanted to do a lesson that aligned with the school’s math goal for the year, and I thought perspective would be a great way to do that. We discussed horizon line, vanishing point and creating depth on a one dimensional surface. I had the kids use their names as their subject-the letters serve as nice, geometric shapes which are easy to make three-dimensional. I had them do a rough draft and a final draft and I am BEYOND impressed with the amount of improvement I saw. After the rough drafts were turned in, I saw that some kids were not quite understanding the concept of the vanishing point, so that is something we revisited before the final. Check them out on Artsonia!

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A rough draft

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The final draft from the same student-tons of improvement!

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A final draft

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A final draft

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