Tuesday, July 23, 2013

New Job, New Blog...

Getting ready for the new year by starting a NEW BLOG! I suppose using the location specific, TJ artroom as my blog address, not the smartest move ever.... but I digress... and make the same mistake twice...

Hope I can take a few of you with me, and share some really cool things from my BRAND NEW JOB at Monroe Elementary :)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

So Long!!!!

The art room is all cleaned out and ready for Ms. Determan to take the reins next year. Sad to say goodbye to all of my wonderful students and friends in Newton, but excited for my new adventures in Monroe!

Tree is almost finished!

Our tree for the sculpture festival looks great! I hope to finish today 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday, May 13, 2013

Center Day!

Lots going on today!
Drawing jungles.....

Making clay stars for a super secret project,

And making a gorgeous flower banner for an upcoming assembly!

Friday, May 3, 2013


And to think we were just drawing out there, 3 short days ago.....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Drawing Outside!

Taking advantage of a rare sunny day to do some observational drawing in the courtyard.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kindergarteners think spring!

How bright and FUN is this?

The trickiest part was figuring out how to place the flowers
and bend the fingers to make the hand hold the stems the right way....

most of us figured it out.....

and it won't be long until REAL flowers are blooming....

we hope!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Oil pastel transfer

This is actually something the second grade classes are doing, but 1J got to try it as a little bonus-

papers were folded in half, then opened and only half
of the paper colored with oil pastel....

then closed back up and a picture drawn on the outside,
pressing a little harder than usual with the pencil...
(next time I might actually have them use a ball-point pen -
no worry about lead breaking, and it would emphasize the fact
that there is really no erasing here - once you make a mark,
it stays....)

these look SO COOL!
you can color in areas more subtly by burnishing areas of the pencil
drawing with an eraser, the back of a spoon, or another
smooth object....  but, I didn't take a picture of that....

Invasion of.....second grade sculptures

Look what the second graders made!

Strange and fantastic alien creatures.....

sadly, now that my supply of 1000+ cardboard yarn-dispenser
cones is depleted, I'll have to find another base for future
alien life-forms....

I bet I can find a few empty toilet paper rolls somewhere....

Friday, April 5, 2013

3rd graders and Symmetry

Aren't these cool?
The third graders have been exploring symmetry.
These designs have multiple lines of symmetry!

Here is what we did...
fold a paper in half, corner to corner...

Then in half again... 

and in half again....  

Then write your name... I usually recommend all caps
with letters large enough to touch the edges of the triangle

then, unfold back to your largest triangle and trace....

then unfold/refold and trace again.....

until your design goes all the way around

and color...

I love these when they are all colored and hung together :)

Holton Rower

So inspired - what kid wouldn't love to be a part of a project like this?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Table-top monoprints

Step one....draw....ON THE TABLE!  the kids freak out just a little the first time we do this (in a good way).  There is something kind of 'rule breaking' about it that is pretty exciting.

Notice the pink laminated sheets?  Those are another monoprinting tool.  Sometimes we draw on those and print using our printing presses, but drawing on the table is so much fun that here we used them as a template to trace around so the pictures didn't get too big for our paper.

Once the drawings are done, students wet paper....

then blot it a bit with a towel...
before taking it back to their table and placing it over their table-top picture.  Rolling over the papers with a brayer helps the kids get even pressure over their entire picture.  We used to just press/rub with our hands, but the brayers work SO much better!
After they have rolled over every inch of the paper, I have students wait... usually I have them count to 20....before peeling their paper away from the table to see their picture.

The trickiest part of monoprinting from a marker drawing is getting the paper just the right amount of wet :)  If the paper is too dry, the picture won't transfer....too wet, and it's a blurry mess (you'll see the bottom of the print above was pretty wet - the red border ran a bit)

It's a great intro to how printing works - have the kids put their print beside what is left of their picture on the table and see if they spot any differences.  It usually takes kids a few guesses before someone notices their image is reversed.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rizzi-rific Kindergarten paintings!

We were inspired by the work of James Rizzi to create fun cities.  The drawings were done with black crayon, then painted with watercolor paint. Aren't they cool?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

First Grade Winter Cardinals

Watercolor wash, trees made by blowing paint around with a straw, torn white paper glued on for the ground, 'paint blob' cardinals, oil pastel snow.... So fun!