Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reduction prints from styrofoam sheets, 5th grade

This lesson is an advanced version of the styrofoam printing done in my 4th grade classes, as students print multiple layers and colors after changing the printing surface. 
The original drawing was done on paper after a lesson on proportion, or comparing sizes and shapes. Students chose the subject of self-portraits or shoes and they drew them using proportion techniques, like "your eyes are one eye width apart" or "the opening of the shoe is about one-third the length of the whole shoe." Students found these proportions by measuring with their fingers, so it was not an exact measurement.
Once the drawings were complete, we taped the paper to a styrofoam plate and traced over the paper, creating a sunken line in the foam below. Next, we lifted the paper and drew the lines directly into the foam to ensure the lines were deep enough for printing. Any letters or numbers were drawn backwards, because printing happens in reverse.

Printing day one: each table of 4-5 students share a few inking trays and print a set of three. We try to follow the "messy middle/clean corners" approach, meaning keep the inky parts in the middle of the table, and do the clean paper printing on the corners, to keep ink from getting in places we don't want it. After printing, the foam plates are rinsed and dried and we prepare to "reduce," or take away, some more areas of the plate. We use pencil to add background designs, more details, and fill in a few areas.

The following week, we pass out the now dry printed papers, the printing plates, and a second color of ink. The only difference in today's printing method is the addition of registering the plate, or lining it up to make sure the print is directly over the first print. There are fancy ways to do this, but we simply do a slow line up of the corners, press the plate down, then flip over and rub the paper with flat hands.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mid-year updates from Mrs. Knight's Smartest Artists

Class Dojo Rewards Day was at the end of December - Congratulations to Ms. Alton's 4th grade class, who had the highest number of Class Dojo points for the whole school at the end of the second 9 weeks! They received the hand-printed Art Stars shown in the pic above. Other top classes were:
K - Cameron
1 - Petrina
2 - Shaffer/Popola
3 - Windle
5 - Holden
These students received these handmade Art Star crayons...

Individual students who had reached the 10 or 20 point levels received their rewards on the day before winter break.
You can read more about how I use Class Dojo in the art room in this post from earlier this year.

Dolvin families have been doing a great job following our Artsonia site and leaving wonderful comments for the students - it is so great to get feedback from outside the classroom! Students are becoming more and more confident in their publishing skills and we have really enjoyed using ipads to share our work in this way. Today's Artsonia counts for this school year so far:
15,003 visits to our gallery
2,280 published artworks
1,825 artist fans (family members who have connected)
516 comments from fans

Student portfolios are filling up with some amazing work and students can easily access vocabulary words and concepts on the word walls and track our media use with the media talley section - both found on the front covers of our portfolios. When the students take them home in the spring, after our big art show, they should be brimming with art learning!

Our third nine weeks is filled with kid favorites like clay, printmaking, weaving, and perspective drawing - stay in touch with daily updates on Instagram @smartestartists , and thanks as always for your support! #dolvinFAN