Sick Day!  We have been back in school for more than a month and this was my first sick day and hopefully my last for a while.

I left instructions for the sub and got wonderful results from my 2nd and 3rd graders (thank you, substitute teacher, awesome job!).  Next time I see them we will be painting over their underwater scenes, a wax resist, so we can put the ocean onto their papers.

sea life wax resist

The above image is just a closeup of a teeny part.  Their oceans were full of life, schools of fishes, crabs, teasure chests, sharks, really great stuff.


7th grade has been working very hard on their Rhythm, Movement, Pattern project.  Critique was done as a class this week and the projects are waiting to be graded this weekend.

pattern rhythm movement project

One student had a different idea, he may have been gone when we started, not paying attention (sadly), or just had his own thing going.  I was walking around the room checking on them and noticed he hadn’t created his organic shapes in the way instructed and asked if he had something different in mind.  Sure enough, he did and I said he could go right ahead and do it so that I would know what he was planning.

pattern rhythm movement project2

I am glad I gave him the leeway to follow his own idea.  he worked really hard and it will stand out when all the projects are displayed, even though they are all stand-out pieces.

Post Modern Art.

I had to go to a day of training.  Now, when I’m gone I don’t like to leave any art supplies art because as a rule they are trashed or gone when I return.  I’m not suggesting it is the substitute teacher’s fault, the kids get squirrely when they have supplies without constant supervision.  So my students watched a video about post modern art movements and took notes.  We reviewed a part of the video when I came back and then tried to create some of our own po-mo art with oil pastels.  This was with the low level 8th grade class, which comes with a host of challenges I do not have with my other 7th and 8th grade classes.

In the style of Jackson Pollock

In the style of Jackson Pollock

I’m rethinking this blog.  A picture a day, more or less, showing something I see at work.

Today I worked with 1st and 2nd grade students.  We finished lessons about animals in the jungle and a pre-drawing before we learn about how to show depth in a drawing.


Pattern making lesson plan

by Autumn Bates

Grade Level: kinder-1

Supplies: paper, crayons, math manipulatives (the wooden geometric shapes that are painted colors, they have squares, diamonds, hexagons, etc)

Intro:  We revieved what a pattern is and they gave me an example of a pattern, which I drew on the board.  patterns are a big kinder standard that they are learning in their classrooms right now, so doing the lesson in the first month or two of school will really help reinforce what the classroom teacher is doing.

We make patterns on the board, they suggest shapes and colors and then copy the pattern (ABABAB) onto their paper too.  You can do the same shape and different colors, but I like to ask them what shape they would be if they were that color crayon so that they have different shapes and colors.

After making patterns on the paper, hand out buckets of manipulatives to the groups and practice making AB patterns (ex: square, diamond, square, diamond or blue, green, blue, green)

Because I saw so many students who just wanted to build with the manipulatives I went ahead and showed the more advanced kids how to create an all around, radiating pattern and about half the class really took off on that once they understood it.  The results were beautiful!

What I learned: Kinder’s are very kinesthetic, which is something I am not.  By allowing them to play with the manipulatives and make on their own for a bit I was able to move the lesson in a new direction that expanded their knowledge of patterns and allowed them to build and play at the same time.

Poor kidlets were so happy to have me take their pictures and I went and cropped their faces to protect their privacy…

My school, Hoover, is next to an Orthepedically Handicap school in the district.  One day in my bi-weekly art schedule is spent over at that school working with the OH kids.  I have had a hard time developing lessons that they are able to all do.  I’ve found on the crayola website resources for teachers, including a section about teaching art to special needs students that I feel would be an aid to us all.

Crayola Success Guides

-Autumn Bates