Monday, June 2, 2014


Marbling is one of those magical processes- the kids oooo and aaah the entire time and can't hold back their excitement. Now this is the first time I've marbled with 250 kids.......I've only done it with my 3 at home :), so it was quite a production to figure out how I was going to make sure that each student had ample time to work, that we rotated efficiently, that the papers were named correctly and we kept it safe since 10 kiddos at a time had big bins of water. I felt like all of the responsibility that the children took on to make this work was really great review for art room procedures and for me to make sure they had grown in those skills.
Suminigashi is the Japanese technique of marbling paper by floating ink on top of water. After you drop the ink you make can make designs by using combs and toothpicks. Next, you lay rice paper on top and viola! The ink absorbed into the paper and you usually have a gorgeous print.
 I have a hard time doing a project that only mimics a technique so I pushed it further by having the children invent tools. We studied many marbling patterns. We studied their names and how they were created, watched videos on the process and I modeled as well. Then I gave them gobs of stuff- forks, tape, toothpicks, pipe cleaners, paper clips and sticks. They invented a tool with the intention of it making a specific pattern. They had to make it, test it and talk to me about their observations.  

an invented marbling tool

A tool after it was used and is covered with ink now

This is when the first inks are dropped on top of the water- so fun to watch!!!

Some of the complete papers- we use them in a later project.

Mrs. Neptune's third grade- country research projects, time zones and clock making

 This project was one of the highlights of my year. Mrs. Neptune's class was working on a research project about countries- each kid picked a country to study, compile information and present to the class. They each gave a powerpoint presentation, replicated a popular game and also made food from their country for their classmates to try.

For my part I thought it would be neat to teach them about time zones and create clocks that used their researched information to portray their country. Learning about time zones was actually really informative for me! I had no idea when and why time zones were created- interesting!! We also studied traditional Cuckoo clocks to get them thinking about how a clock could possibly be a work of art. I found great clocks at Ikea and bought one for each student.

The outside was plastic so we painted them with acrylic paint. Some of them used their flag's colors and others used colors in their country's landscape. Then they drew images related to their country on the face of the clock (which is paper). They drew popular foods, sports, games, places of interest and particular clothing. It was so cool to see what they were learning and have them relate that visually!

For the finishing touch I gave them air dry clay. They modeled and painted little images to glue around their clocks. They turned out incredible!!!

Each child needed to find out the difference in hours between their country's time zone and the time here in Tampa. We all set our clocks to the same time and I hung them outside of their classroom, ticking away!!!






An extension off Mrs. Miller's first grade Colonial Times unit

Earlier this year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Mrs. Miller and her first grade class. Her kids had already been learning about how people lived, dressed, ate, etc. in the US during colonial times. I came into her class one afternoon and talked about their clothing and how garments were sewn back then. Next I worked with the kids on sewing simple fabric shapes onto a fabric square so they could experience sewing by hand. We made cute pillows from them later (see the bottom pictures).

I left the class with pieces to make the first American flag. Brave Mrs. Miller worked with the kids on her own to hand sew it as a class ;). In the end I had to machine sew a few spots but they did such a good job!!! I took close up pictures so you can see the stitching.



Fifth grade symmetry project- hammers and headaches!

The fifth graders became very proficient hammer handlers after this lesson. It was SO noisy- but totally worth it! I cut wood into squares for them, they planned their design (using their math standards we reviewed, thank you Mrs. Orihuela!), painted, then added nails as close together as possible (that was the tough part!) to enhance their design and then colored the heads of the nails if wanted. There were so many visual layers to explore- it was awesome!

Ahhhhhh- hammering ;).
Using their brainstorming worksheets as a reference. Painting their design.

They built upon their painted design by using different size nails.

The happy faces cracked me up- clever!!!

They used paint pens to paint the tips of the nails.