Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stick with Wikki Stix

I ended up cutting the 3ft lengths into 1ft lengths. There are many
options for purchasing Wikki Stix.
Wikki Stix are "made of hand-knitting yarn enhanced with a microcrystalline food-grade, non-toxic wax." What does that mean? They are a colorful, bendable, slightly sticky, fun material that your kids will enjoy. My Kindergartners loved using them in their Alexander Calder-inspired Circus projects.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

What's Your Impression? Looking at Impressionist Art via MightyBook Art Gallery

The first signs of spring are here with the just-visible crocuses, birdsong, and damp, slightly warmer weather. Wanting to embrace the light and color of this season I decided to introduce my 2nd graders to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscape art using the MightyBook Art Gallery. My 2nd graders loved looking at artwork on my SMART Board through this site.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New York International Children's Film Festival 2014

The New York International Children's Film Festival is happening now! The festival boasts "four weeks of beautiful, groundbreaking, thought-provoking film from around the world for ages 3-18!"

Can't choose just one? Try one of the three Short Films options which cater to viewers aged 3-6, 5-10, and 8-14. Personally, I'm excited for the stop-motion workshop, screening of Coraline, and Q&A with Laika Studios responsible for Coraline and ParaNorman. I wish I had bought tickets fast enough for Brazilian artist AlĂȘ Abreu's Boy and the World. Not ready or close enough to get to New York but still want to view "the best international, classic or unusual movies"? Get your kids out of their TV-and-film-viewing comfort zone and try this DVD guide from past film festivals and other top picks from GKIDS (Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate).

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Copy Cats - Laurel Burch and Guided Drawing

Looking for a drawing and painting lesson? I needed a quick animal project that my 1st graders could do while they waited for their clay projects to get bisque-fired. Laurel Burch-style cats are colorful, lively, and easy for young students to draw. I created a drawing guide and my 1st graders were all hooked! We drew in white charcoal pencil on black railroad board. Next class I showed them outlining and filling a shape with paint. The real fun came when I showed them how to use the back of the paintbrush to scratch through to make abstract lines, textures, and patterns.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Cool (And Warm) Way To Teach Tints and Shades

Looking for a super successful project to teach warm and cool colors, tints and shades, landscape, and incorporate an artist study? Kindergarten painted lovely winter landscapes using artist Ted Harrison's work as inspiration. I discovered this artist and a similar type of lesson by Crayola for older students on Pinterest and adapted it for Kindergarten. The first two years I taught the project using tempera cakes but after seeing the after school art teacher do a very similar project using regular tempera paint I knew that was the way to go! (Thank you Ms. Kristi!)