Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Science in the Art Room: Creative Zoology--- UPDATE!!!

My 3D student have finally finished their creative creatures, critiqued them and displayed them! I've received such excellent feedback from the students and from my colleagues. I'm really happy with the results.

For the painting portion of this project, students worked on their wet-on-wet painting techniques and also learned a little about dry brushing. The shading is a little difficult to see in some of the pictures, but the kiddo really did an excellent job!

I usually have 8th graders write artist statements for each of their pieces, but for these pieces I had them write discovery stories. I have included a few of the student's stories with their images. Check out those crazy Binomial Nomenclature (scientific names)! They are so creative!

"Carreta horologium"
(Rattlesnake + Clock)

"Vermiliphinae anacusis"
(Ant eater+ Antelope)

"chinchilladraco velociferox" 
(Chincilla + Dragon)

"Equoton feros"
(Frog + Unicorn+ Rattlesnake)

I, Autumn Teal, discovered the Toothless Dramurta on a boat trip to the Great White Sea,
(thats located by the Chimpanzee Island), during the 1980 time period. This ferocious beast took
flight from a tree off of Chimpanzee Island, he swooped through the water and came back up
with seaweed swarming his mouth. The beast looked between a ring­tailed lemur and a dragon,
this is why I have named it Toothless Dramurta. You're probably wondering why on earth I would
ever put the word toothless in front of the name of such a scary beast. Well, I would put it there
do to the fact that yes indeed, this creature had NO teeth. Although this ring­tailed dragon had no
teeth it still had the jaw of an snapping turtle, it would rip you to shreds if you were to harm it or
anything else it loves. Fortunately, the Toothless Dramurta was not at all evil, yes it had wings as
pointy as the needles used to sew your ripped clothing, but it was as gentle as a baby kitten
sitting your lap. Anyways, the creature saw me looking at him and swooped over and dropped
seaweed over my face, then he laughed with this dopey look in his eyes. This beast was pretty
cute, it had fur running down its tail and wagged it around like a little puppy dog.This creature
never grew old, he stayed with me through my entire life, so I told him that if I ever did die to go
back to Chimpanzee Island and be with his family. So, I am 100% positive he is sitting at
Chimpanzee Island with seaweed dangling out of his mouth right now, you just won't be able to
find him.

"Monoclonius ferox"
(Dragon + Unicorn + Snake + Candy)

Long, long, long ago (like we’re talking 1990) I found the Macropus Sylrilagus habros, which I call the Dunnyroo. The Dunnyroo was native in the Midwest. It’s long, fluffy ears had the best hearing in the whole wide world, but that doesn’t mean it listened to you. The Dunnyroo had the attention span of a toddler that just began to crawl/walk. The Marcropus Sylrilagus habros had a long, flexible tail that allowed it to knock stuff down, not only was the animal small and cute, it was destructive. Talking about its smallness and cuteness, this animal happens to be six inches tall, and its body is formed into a ball. The Dunnyroo’s nose and mouth is made like a duck. The reason it’s called a Dunnyroo is because it’s mixed, with a bunny, duck, and a kangaroo. I, Danielle Stadler, was the first person to find this animal. On September 11th, 2000, I popped out of my mom and I traveled back in time. I traveled all the way back to 1990 (I know, you are all wondering how I could go that far back in time, well I did it.) I landed right on top of a Dunnyroo, and I killed it. So not only was I the first to find the Dunnyroo, but I was the first one to kill, the Dunnyroo. After a while (yes I am still back in time) people started noticing the crazy small animal and then they realized it was a destructive, non-listening animal, so they killed them till they were extinct. After the last one was killed, I was sent back to the hospital room, much more stupid then the average baby. 

I am super excited with the outcome of this project and I know the students are proud of their work. I hope you enjoyed their creations. They would love to hear some feedback from you. Leave them in the comments sections!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Work Wells! Part 1

Slowly but surely I am figuring this whole teaching thing out. As a third year teacher, I've had to continually work out kinks after things being stolen or lost. Here are a few new thing I've added to keep me sane this year (some added last year)!

My classroom...I was feeling a little left out

This is my favorite online stop watch that I use in my classroom DAILY! To start class I post 1:00 and this is to allow students to get materials, be in their seats with voices off. This SAVED my voice! Middle schoolers can be loud and shouting "Let's get started!" got old quick. I also use this for 5 mins of voices off at the beginning of each class, to help get students focused on the tasks for the day. Stopwatch=LIFESAVER!

At the beginning of the year students create their own portfolios. I like using the light paper so that students can decorate, but I was having issues with student putting folders in wrong slots. Solution? Patterned tape! I got some Washi Tape or Duct Tape and each class has a different one! It's worked like a dream for misplacing folders! 

Stole this idea from Kelsey Lapin from ArtsyFartsyArtRoom. Behavior chart to earn special rewards. Classes that are performing at at 3 or 4 get Free Music Friday and get to "choose" their own seats for next quarter! It's been great to have a talking point with students to check in and see how they're doing. They seem to be responding well, especially if a number is changed during class...

I know A LOT of teachers already do this, but if you're not then DO IT! It takes up almost no space and takes the ICK factor out of taking passes to the bathroom. 

BYOD stands for "Bring Your Own Device". Students use technology in the classroom constantly, especially in middle school! Ever have a student using a device during lecture but claim to be "researching"? My school has adopted this system. When on red students can't use any sort of devise, yellow means ask first and green means devices allowed as long as visible.  Sounds like "duh" but it really does help cut down on technology issues. 

These last two are merely examples of two very common things in the classroom. My "Did You Miss Something" bin and my handmade poster of my new favorite phrase. 

More to come! Stay tuned!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Science in the Art Room: Creative Zoology

I am super excited to share this project with you all! Some of you probably do something similar in your classrooms but perhaps you want some NEW ways to help incorporate science and contemporary artists.

This is an "in-progress" post so I promise to update once the students have finished painting these masterpieces.

I started this project by introducing artist Scott Musgrove, who is now one of my FAVORITE contemporary artists!

Scott is an artist who works in a variety of different mediums and subject matter, but for this project I focused on his "Specious Beast" collection. In this series, Scott creates one of a kind, outstandingly strange animals and then pairs them with proper species names. Check out his website here

This opened up an opportunity for me to teach "Binomial Nomenclature" (or scientific naming) to my students. They had so much fun picking out genus and species names that told the origins of their one of a kind creatures. I also plan to include a short  narrative writing assignment while we wait for these beauties to dry. (Scott writes a lot of his adventures where he "discovers" his creatures)

I also paired this lesson with a local exhibit of Dr. Suess' "Unorthodox Taxidermy" and gave extra credit for students who went and viewed the installation at our local museum. 

The students are at the firing stage of their projects so I thought I'd share (fingers crossed everyone remembered their clay rules and no explosions happen) an in-progress look at these outlandish creatures!


Anteater+ antelope 

Frog+rattle snake + unicorn

Fish+ Unicorn

Tiger + Turtle + Human

I want to emphasize that I left this project extremely open ended. I re-taught basic clay procedures and helped along the way, but the students could combine whatever they wanted to create their creatures. They also could think of other materials (besides clay) to add to their projects post-fire. Although most chose to combine animals/fantasy creatures, there are quite a few (not pictured) that combined inanimate objects and animals! 

Stay tuned for final projects! 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Where Have I Been? Part 2

Well it's been, as my good friend Kelsey would say, FOREVER since I've written my last blog post. The school year ended and, for the most part, so did my energy to focus on school. I'm usually a really high energy, ready-to-go kind of gal, but for some reason my heart just wasn't into the usual "getting ready for school" mode all summer. Crazy honest and I hope some of you understand.

I spent a lot of my summer working on myself as an artist. I've always created and I take great pride in continuing to make my own Art, but I always feel I lose a little of my artist self during the school year. I've set a goal to make 10 mixed media works throughout the school year to make sure this doesn't happen again. Doing student examples (as fun as they can be) just isn't cutting it for my artistic soul.

Most of my art this summer included large scale murals with a bit of a dark undertone.

 These first two were done in an empty construction space during Appleton's "Mile of Music". I was honored to be a part of a pop-up art gallery call "Feather and Bone: Fearsome Creatures of Lumberwood". Super fun time and got to collaborate with lots of talented local artists! 

These final two were done on the bare walls of the studio where my husband works. The horror series below is LARGE! Each section is about 7'x4'. Very happy with how it turned out :)

This last image is my arm newly tattooed up with beautiful art supplies. Now I'm ready for the school year!

I'm back to feeling re-energized and looking forward to starting a lot of new practices in my art room. I hope your school years a going swimmingly so far, and I look forward to sharing with you all this 2014-15 school year!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Walking Gallery Makes its Debut

I was so excited to do this "Walking Gallery" that I kind of jumped the gun on the blogging. The kids were really into it and on my end of the year survey, a good majority of my 8th graders said it was their favorite project this year. I think it was for two reasons. One because they got to make something functional. They spent time and energy to really make sure their shirts turned out well. Two was because I left it 100% choice based. My students respond so well to general guidelines with lots of freedom on subject matter. Giving a middle schooler choice is like giving the $1000. They are in that "be my own person" phase, but still too young to be on their own. Why not let them explore themselves and their world through art? As the final part of this project, I had a "Walking Gallery" day. Students wore their shirts to school (for a little extra credit at the end of the year) and it has been fun to watch them re-wear their shirts time and again. Check out their awesome designs!

That's me on the left wearing the second T-shirt I made. I just had too much fun making the first one :)

This 8th grader is all set for high school next year. Made her shirt for the High School she's attending!

Hope you enjoyed our little "Walking Gallery". I've never repeated a project, but this one might need to be done again next year. How fun! Thanks for viewing and I hope your summer is relaxing and ART FILLED!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Creative Cups!

Well what can I say? All the best artist steal and I would like to thank "The Lost Sock" for springing this lovely idea on me. My 7th grade students were in a bit of a slump. Maybe it's the end of year syndrome or perhaps I need to step up my game, but I just needed to get the creative juice flowing in these kiddos. When I stumbled across this amazing post, along with this video from Sharpie, I finally found the perfect project to get my kiddo back on that creative wagon. Simple enough. Just a styrofoam cup and a bunch of Sharpie markers. The struggle for my kids? I didn't answer ANY questions! I checked their thumbnail sketches and let them fly. To celebrate all their creativity we had ourselves a little party. Check out the photos of these delightful cups!    

This little lady decided to pace on the beverages and picked some flowers for it instead :)

I also have this little video of one of the cups in the round! Check it out and feel free to steal. I did. Thank you "The Lost Sock"

Monday, May 26, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Well geez! It feels like I haven't made a blog post in forever (10 days is forever!) so I wanted to let you all know where I've been. I have been in the blissful Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I got word last week that my beloved Uncle Tom passed away :( The funeral gave a rare opportunity to see family and a blessed opportunity to remember the wonderful man that was Tom Safford.

After the funeral Adam (my husband) and I enjoyed a little vacation at my family's cabin. The time was spent doing one of my favorite things, being with family. Here are some images from our little adventure up in the UP. (or da UP)

Fires are one of Adam and my's favorite things to do at the cabin. Armed with wacky hats we made or our own "American Gothic"

A UP passed time (might seem strange). We got on the score board for the Biggest Stump Burn!

Lots of bugs, but the lake is so beautiful. A little Fog made it better but Adam fogged me instead :(

Look at that fashionable bug net! It's a look, that's for sure. Little baby fish too :)

A little memorial day fun. America. 

So this is why I've been off the grid for awhile. I hope you understand. Sometimes unplugging is needed and now I'm 100% ready to finish off the school year. Two weeks left!