Saturday, August 19, 2017

My favorite new resources in the weekend sale!

Today starts the weekend sale in my Teachers pay Teachers store, so I thought I'd tell you a little more about some of my top sellers AND new things for art teachers as well as classroom teachers who want more art-infused lessons and activities. Everything is 15% off, and some are always free.

New for the art teacher:
Very Fancy Vocabulary - a set of 10 important art words that deserve the fanciest treatment. I like to feature one per month - this month we are showcasing "inspiration" - you will also find portfolio, figure, critique, silhouette, composition, illustration, thumbnails, observation, and craftsmanship.

New portfolio design! I have a set of different portfolios from over the years, and I just added this new one to the set that I will use with all my grades this year. I print them on 11x17" paper and it is a great way for students to keep important words and concepts right at their fingertips while storing their art inside. The portfolio bundle has many options for the art room at all different levels - students really take pride in their collection of work each year.

New for the elementary classroom teacher:
My Goal Plan: for setting project or learning goals

Finish Line self-assessment - a fun way to reflect at the end of a unit or project, with illustrations to keep the student engaged.

Drawing My Future self- portrait activity

Writing exercises that use art as inspiration:

Some best-sellers:
These handouts are perfect for student sketchbooks or enlarged and displayed at centers.

So much more at my store!
Please stop by and shop the sale this weekend - I hope you find something to enhance your classroom!

We're back and we're #makingasplash !

#DiveInDolvin is our school wide theme this year, and we are doing just that in the art room. PBIS and 7 Mindsets are our motivations for making it the best year ever - when we dive in, of course we "make a splash!"
In art class, we can make a splash with teamwork at the beginning and ending of class, resulting in a splash sticker in our class paint bucket. We can also make individual splashes by answering questions, being creative, or showing accountability - students will sign the splash sheet for these, which goes with their teacher at the end of art to coordinate with their class reward system.

In these first two weeks, we have been practicing routines and procedures as well as doing some prep work for the rest of the year by creating lists of our own interests and ideas to be used to personalize our art products this year.
K's are getting hooked on art by trying out the always magical process of watercolor paint over crayon - we call it resist and it is so much fun to do! First graders are beginning their family portraits using size and shape relationships, and 2/3's have jumped into contour drawing - with a twist! More on this very soon.
Fourth and fifth graders are getting ready for the big solar eclipse by designing an illustration and choosing their media - some are choosing a scientific approach to their illustration and some are taking a more artistic approach. I cant wait to show these off next week.
We will get out new portfolios started next week - for those of you new to Dolvin, we keep all our student work in the portfolio until our end of year art show, Fine Arts Night, then everything comes home. But not to worry - we will be sharing all of our completed projects with you through Artsonia, our online gallery of digital portfolios. Be on the lookout for more info on that in the next month or so.

Looking forward to diving in with my Smartest Artists and making a splash this year!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Art & Life: finding inspiration everyday (and a free resource)

Each year I challenge myself to artistically engage more students who may not have had previous interest or exposure. Many kids think that art is just about "making stuff" and don't yet feel confident with their skills in that area, and shy away. When I think about what it is that I TRULY love about art, and how I can share that, it is a much broader picture than just making. This "big picture" approach to learning about art will focus on daily life experiences and choices, and how they have inspired well-known artists and can even inspire us as beginners. I thought about a number of catchy names for my theme but what it really comes down to is life, and students of all ages can grasp Art & Life - can't get much more "big picture" than that, right? :)


This picture is from art teacher Nic Hahn's Instagram - it shows how her garden was very productive while she was away on vacation. All the colors, shapes, textures, and even flavors are very inspiring, and a perfect example of finding art in daily life - her blog, MiniMatisse can be found here.

                                                 Observational drawing of living things

The root of my connection to art is just that, connection - to nature, to ideas, to others - and I am always fascinated by the way artists can communicate these things visually with the simplest of tools like color and line and shape, pencil and paper. As always, we will explore many varieties of media and techniques - painting, drawing, collage, weaving, printmaking, 3-D and tech - and how to use these tools most effectively using the principles of art. At the same time, we will keep at the forefront WHY a particular artist created in this way, WHY we are using certain symbols or representations of our own life experiences. I love seeing students make personal choices in their artworks, and learning design skills at the same time helps them to more effectively communicate as an artist.

American landscape painting inspired by local art exhibit
and student choice

Pet portraits created to raise awareness of the homeless pet
population in our own community

Frida Kahlo will be the first artist we will get to know - she shares so much of her life experience through her self-portraits, her symbolic still lifes, and even her style of dress. In an age appropriate way, we will find out how the  physical struggles of her youth and her brave accomplishments as an adult are reflected in her art.
We will kick off our theme this week with some fun introductory exercises and also a planning sheet for our portfolios that we can refer to throughout the year for inspiration. If you'd like to have your own Art & Life planning sheet, it is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store  FREE for the month of August. Now get out there and find your inspiration!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Gift card giveaway and SALE at TPT!

Teachers Pay Teachers is having their Back to School sale August 1-2, and I am excited to give away a $10 TpT gift card on Tuesday! Just follow me on Instagram @smartestartists and while you're there, leave a comment on my Instagram post that looks like the pic above that says what you love most about back to school.
I have several new products available for fall that are perfect for the art room, the art infused classroom, and homeschool settings. Please check them out in my store Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists - and don't forget to use the code BTS2017 for your maximum 25% savings. Have fun shopping, teachers!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

New Art and Writing resources available and SALE

 I really enjoy making hand-drawn resources for my classroom, especially when they involve art & writing. I have a couple of new ones available now which will be perfect for the language arts teacher as well as an art teacher. I am having a summer sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop this weekend, on these and everything else. And hey, some things are already free!

Also available is My Goal Plan, an organizer to help students create and keep track of progress with personal goals. It is suitable for any elementary grade and subject area. If your school is anything like mine, personalized learning and student ownership are high priorities, and this resource can help make it fun.
Thanks for stopping by my shop and enjoy the sale! Click here for Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

3rd grade embroidery - couching stitch

Embroidery for 3rd grade involved the couching stitch and embellishments! Today was the last day of school - would've loved a bit more time for these. Still fun and cute!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

5th grade clay fish sculptures

I was inspired to teach this lesson after seeing these beautiful sculptures on Pinterest, from the Italian website - La Bottega Della Stelle.

I was taken with the simple fish forms and textures, and I really wish I had some of those beautiful neutral glazes, but no luck this late in the year, so we opted for bright tempera. Maybe next year! 
We built these in one session - we started with a thick pinch pot and flipped it over and added a variety of coral, seaweed, starfish, and other details. Then we formed a slab and added details to both sides to create the fish. Lastly, at the end of our 45 minute session, we poked holes in both using a wooden dowel and a slight stirring motion to enlarge the hole for shrinkage. 

After a bisque firing, we painted the surfaces with liquid tempera and added a bit of hot glue. They turned out beautifully! 

 She named this one "Emo Nemo" - clever! Haha