Always End With Clay

Another two weeks has gassed and I am still chugging along. I drifted a little off of the lesson plans but really wanted to push and see what they can do. Our Superintendent said at the beginning of the year, “we are teaching students, not curriculum.” So I stuck to the elements of art, but I know these kids want to make!

I dumped an idea/concept on my sculpture class with minimal hovering. It was hard, I really just wanted to let them try, experiment with the medium. I only showed them attachment techniques and let the run with it. Some really freaked out, some tried to copy directly what they were finding online. Half of the class really stepped out and pressed on, creating something that I was truly moved by.

As I pressed on through other classes I was able to bridge that art gap into color theory. It is amazing how Jolly Rancher candies can truly ignite learning. It really took me back to my first years of teaching at Perry Middle School.

I gave color wheels to both my Art 2D and Intro classes. The 2D class was a little miffed that they only got 3 colors; red, yellow, and blue to work with, and the Intro class was equally concerned that they had to actually mix the the intermediate colors. I only responded in my Gru accent, ” I do it to watch the little children suffer, it gives me the warmth to sleep at night.” That always seems to make them laugh, although it might be out of joy, or they might just think I’m insane. Either way, it keeps their minds occupied along with their hands.

I was really impressed with one of my SPED students who created this masterpiece. She actually said the blue was contrasting the “bright” colors on the other side. Then made a Star Wars reference that took me over 10 minutes to register. She too only got 3 colors to work from. Awesomeness!

I did get myself a special piece of equipment this week to help with the dishes/paint trays in between uses. This lets them soak until actual cleaning. I now have two of them to alternate between classes. Looking ahead to bigger groups.

As we conclude this week of color, these are just a few of the decorative color wheels for Art 1.

The ‘bell ringer’, or 4 minute burn is still a little bit of a fight. Still a great way to start the class with a 4 minute drawing of an object that is rotated everyday to get a different perspective. Hats off to Michelle Mattoon for giving me that one.

Outside testing their final knowledge of the Elements of Art and Principles of Design. The week is ending on a high note.

So we finish off this week with clay. The second meeting of the Art Club. This was pushed by a tiny 6th grader that wanted to “hang out and do art stuff” after school. Slip casting is always a great intro to clay. Thanks to Fran Bolte who told me about these molds that no one wanted in far northern Oklahoma. I have been using them for almost 10 years now to get kids and adults into the ceramics groove.

So another successful week teaching art. I like sitting here on a Friday night with a glass of wine, listening to Chet Baker, with a dog and recollecting. Way cool.

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    Judythe Morgan

    14th Sep 2018 - 9:27 pm

    Where were you when my kids and grandkids were taking art and hating it? Kudos for getting kids excited about art. ?


      26th Sep 2018 - 6:12 pm

      There will always be those kids that either don’t like the teacher, the rules, or the subject. The thing to do is grab them with one thing that will over power the thing they don’t like. I also spend a lot of hours on campus I can interact more with them.

    Judythe Morgan

    14th Sep 2018 - 9:28 pm

    Kudos for getting kids excited about art. ?


    15th Sep 2018 - 6:02 am

    Talk about art! Talk about teacher! John, you are– Yes, I’m going to use that word–Awesome!

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