Monday, August 15, 2011

Clay Tips

I love to teach clay! It is my favorite medium, and the students really enjoy it. In the past, I have always had such a hard time with writing names on the clay. I usually have the students so this, but the writing is sometimes illegible or gets rubbed off. I have found a great solution to this problem from Arts and Activities, and it works really well. I bought alphabet pasta and dumped some in bowls at every table. When students are finished working for the day, they find the letters in their name and spell it out on the bottom of their clay piece. I also have them spell their teacher's name, so I can keep the classes together. The pasta goes in the kiln, and burns away, leaving the imprint of the name. Keep in mind, this only works if it is a one day project. It will be fine if the same group of kids are coming back the next day, but the pasta molds after a few days (I found this out the hard way). This has eased the stress of trying to read crazy handwriting on pottery.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Art Mural

I really cannot believe that summer is over, but here I am at the end of the first week of school. I meant to share this at the end of the school year, but I am just getting to it. I had a group of college students from Middle Tennessee State University do a community art class at my school. They were AWESOME! The professor, Dr. Sickler-Voigt, came out every day and worked with the college students as well as my students, and we had a great time. My students made puppets from socks, wooden spoons, marionettes, and various other materials. Students took turns painting on the mural, and everyone made a puppet and performed in a puppet show. You would think that students in 5th grade might be too old for puppet shows, but they loved it. I think it is something that they do not get to do much, so it was exciting. We focused on story telling, and our mural depicts the story of our town and county. We also had a guest speaker talk to use about wire sculpting. More on that later.