One blog a month?  Looks like it, I'm afraid. 
Oh, the things we've been doing!  Most recently, 1st grade students have been introduced to cool and warm colors.  Students are making large bugs that explore line, texture and cool colors through painting.  They are big and cool- and I don't mean just their colors!
Second grade students have been introduced to the artwork of Wayne Thiebault.  Thiebault is a contemporary painter living currently in California.  He paints different subjects, but one thing he paints a lot of is dessert!  Students learned how to draw cylinders and then they turned them into cakes.  Students then paint the cakes using a type of color called a tint.  A tint is a color mixed with white (pink is a famous tint).  Students are also revisiting color mixing and learning how to make brown.  Kids love mixing paint.  I'm enjoying spending my time helping these young artists explore their creative sides. 
Last night my husband and I went to Paddock family bingo night.  It was fun to see a lot of you there.  I was impressed by the many different kinds of pajamas I saw.  I was also impressed by the dancing skills of my young friends.  Thank you to the girls who let me join them in their dance routine- it was very fun.
Thanks for reading.  I'll keep my fingers crossed that I will post more often in the future!
Hi, all.  For all of you who read this blog, I apologize for being away for so long.  We have been very busy in the Paddock art room.
Students have been learning about Organic shapes, art history, 2D and 3D, actually seeing what they are seeing and many more things.  Both grade levels have been spending a lot of time with watercolor paints.  I have been stressing a full-page composition with both grades as well as painting everything in an artwork and not leaving blank paper.
1st grade students most recently have been doing watercolor illustrations to poems by Califf Brown.  2nd grade students have been working on watercolor "pop-up" paintings.  These are a 2D artwork that give the impression of having 3D elements.  I will get some pictures up soon.
This week, all classes will be starting paper weaving.
Stay tuned for more new and pictures of "Art at Paddock".
All week when the kids come into art class, they start screaming.  I've been trying to control it, but I might as well try to control the wind.  The reason for their ecstatic excitement is that this week, we are working with clay.   Man, kids love clay.  At Paddock we do two clay projects a year.  The first we are beginning this week.
First grade students are learning about clay, clay tools, how clay becomes a pot, etc.  They are also viewing and discussing pottery from different cultures and times.  The project the first grade students are working on is a clay pinch-pot.  So far they are amazing.
Second grade students, who already have some experience under their collective belts, are learning about animal effigy vessels.  We are focusing on Pre-Columbian effigy vessels.  The students view and discuss animal effigy vessels during a PowerPoint presentation, and then create their own.  The artworks we view and discuss,as well as their own artworks, are to be of an animal that they, or the person they are making it for, share a quality with.  For example, one students father works at night and sleeps during the day, so his effigy might be an owl.  I like to take naps and like people a lot, so my effigy might be a dog. 
Students create a pinch pot, then roll a slab and cut out ears, etc. for their animal.  They attach the pieces to the pot to create an animal effigy vessel.  I still have pictures of these from last year, so hopefully I'll upload them!
Oh, blog readers.  Please forgive my lapse in documenting what the wonderful artists of Paddock have been creating lately.  We have been studying color.  First graders are learning about primary and secondary colors while second graders are learning about complementary colors.  If you don't know what these are, ask your student.
First grade students learned about non-objective art.  This is art that is not of objects (objects=dog, person, landscape, etc.).  We studied some paintings of Modrian and Kandinsky and then students began their own non-objective artworks by drawing shapes and lines (no objects!) on a large piece of paper.  This week, students began painting within the areas of their non-objective artworks.  They are mixing secondary colors and painting with primary and secondary colors.

Second grade students also spent some time relearning how to use a color wheel.  Then, they did some complementary color exercises.  They learned about Japanese Childrens Day (which is in May-no time soon) and the carp flags, or Koi Nobori, that are made for this celebration.  Carp are admired for their ability to swim upstream and not stop swimming even if the process is difficult or if obstacles are in their way.  Japanese parents want their children to be like the carp, so that is why the carp, or koi, is the symbol for children's day.  The students created a koi nobori of their own by folding, cutting and drawing.  This week they started painting their carp flags.  One side must be painted using only complementary colors.  The other side can be painted any way they like.  Most students practice mixing many colors for their free side.

Paddock students seriously love painting!  They say that color mixing is, "like magic".  Please take the time to quiz your student on color mixing (primary and secondary colors).  You might learn something, too!
First and Second grade students have spent the past couple weeks working on self portraits.  All Students learned the elements of a self-portrait and spent some time looking at famous self-portraits.  We talked about what makes us who we are besides how we look.  Come by Paddock and look at the self-portraits hanging in the halls.
Now, students are doing some step-by-step drawing practice to complement the stories they write in Writer's Workshop.

Just a quick post today.  I'll return
Now that we've been back in school for a week, its time to write.  I've enjoyed meeting all the new first graders who have come to art for the first time this week.  Also, seeing last year's first graders in my second grade art classes makes me very happy.  They all remember, "Give me 5" and "Mr. Brush".  It has been fun getting to know everyone again.
Thank you to all the parents and students who stopped by to say hello during open house.  Also, a special thanks to this years third graders who stopped by to update me on their lives at Symons.  They will be learning a lot from Mrs. Barney in art this year.
Check back for updates on what we're doing in art class this year.  I hope to be better with posting pictures! 
I can't wait to see all the art created by the students of Paddock this year!

One more wake-up before summer break!  What a quick 2008/09 school year!  I am looking forward to the summer, but I will miss all my students.  I am excited to see next year's 1st and 2nd graders again as well as meeting our new kindergartener's!  I will miss this years 2nd graders especially since next year they will start at Symons as 3rd graders.  Mrs. Barney is the art teacher at Symons and she's great!
I hope Paddock students remember the things they learned in art class this summer.  Be on the lookout for public, or community art, practice weaving on your own, make a symmetrical design, visit a museum,  or just go cray with paint!
Please e-mail me this summer if you want to say hello or share any art experiences you have.
Have a great summer!


We are all gearing up for the end of the school year here at Paddock.  Some students learned about poster design and helped me by making posters of art class rules and things we do in art to be hung in the art room.  2nd graders will be 3rd graders at Symons next year, so they had to pass down their wisdom to the upcoming 2nd graders.  1st graders will be our oldest students next year, so they had to pass down their wisdom to next year's first graders (1st grade is the first year students at Paddock come to art). 
Also, each class gets a special last day in art.  Students get to choose their materials to create an artwork of their choice.  They also get to sit wherever they want.  If you want a young student to be happy, let them choose their seat!  We are also playing an art game and doing some more fun things on the last day of art.
I will miss all the students over the summer!  What a great first year of teaching.  There is no better place than Paddock!






First and Second graders are learning to weave.  All students are learning about weaving in different cultures, a little weaving history, as well as weaving vocabulary.  The weaving vocabulary the students learned was, loom (a frame you weave on), warp (the vertical yarn that creates your weaving skeleton), and weft (the yarn that is woven under and over the warp strings to create a weaving).  1st graders complete a small paper weaving using 2 colors and 2nd graders complete a large paper weaving using 3 colors.  I am impressed with the natural weaving skill at Paddock!  Please see the Videos page to see a fast-motion weaving video.






Since the students love clay so much, I have decided to do another clay lesson with them.  The first graders built on their pinch-pot skills by creating a clay "nest".  They learned about texture and how texture can be seen as well as felt.  They made their nests look like nests by giving them a rough texture.  Then, they made a bird to go in the nest.  A new skill they learned was how to make "clay glue".  "Clay glue" is really called slip and is a way of joining two pieces of clay together by scoring the clay and adding water.  They glued their birds in their nests using this new skill.  Before creating, we read a book about birds and nests so the students could learn that not all birds and nests look the same.  Some students used this knowledge to create large eagle nests and nests where the opening is on the side. 
Second graders built on their pinch pot skills as well as practicing the skills previously learned of joining clay to clay.  Second grade students created clay rattles and learned about the history of percussion instruments.  They created two pinch pots, filled one pot with small balls of clay wrapped in paper towel, and then joined their pots together.  They then decorated their rattles.  The reason the small balls of clay were wrapped in paper was so the clay would not stick to itself.  A rattle with nothing moving inside doesn't rattle!  When the rattles are fired in the kiln the paper burns up and you are left with hard balls inside of the rattle. 
While we were waiting for the clay to air-dry and be fired, 1st and 2nd graders created paper bead necklaces for their mothers.  Students learned about adornment and how people in different cultures decorate themselves differently.  The beads students made were made of old magazines and book covers, so this was also a lesson in reusing.

Paddock students are so artistic!  As a first year teacher I often wonder if I'm giving them more than they can handle (the rattle lesson is one that is often done in high school).  However, when I keep my expectations high, they always come through!