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Friday, September 28, 2012

Bring On The Bow Ties!

Our school celebrates every Thursday as "Bow Tie Thursday" where students and staff alike are asked to come sporting a bow tie. Quite a few students and staff have been known to go all out with their attire and I couldn't help but notice a few particularly appealing duct tape bow ties! One student in particular has been fashioning them out of various duct tape prints (who knew there was such a variety of styles and colors of duct tape) and I was fortunate enough to recieve my first duct tape bow tie. She even chose a 'splatter paint' themed duct tape for me (I love it!). I can't wait to sport my new dapper, duct tape bow tie next Thursday! Try not to be too jealous...

Pretend this drawing dummy is me...wearing my bow tie...doing a heel click! Haha, enjoy!  I know I will!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Artsonia's Artist of the Week

Such great and exciting news!  One of my 6th graders has been selected by as a contestand for the Artist of the Week!  See the email I recieved and link below to vote for Zach and his Cut Paper Symmetry! 

Dear Valerie,

 Great News!  Zach4528, from Ballard Middle School, has been selected as a finalist for this week's "Artist of the Week" award for the 4th-6th age group.  The finalist who receives the most online votes between now and Saturday September 22 will be selected as our "Artist of the Week." 

To view the finalists and cast your vote, simply click on the link below.  Voting is limited to one vote per computer per day for each age group!


The "Artist of the Week" will be featured on the Artsonia homepage and will receive a commemorative plaque from Artsonia.  In addition, Blick Art Materials has generously donated $100 gift certificates to the winning teachers and $50 to the winning artists.

All fan club members from Ballard Middle School have just been sent an email inviting them to vote, but we encourage you to personally spread the word at school, making sure all your students cast their votes right away!

Thank you for submitting your artwork to Artsonia and helping every child be an artist!


Your friends at Artsonia

Zach's Nominated Artwork

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Digital Photography Picture Taking Assignment

Tips and Tricks to Great Photography

Students enlist the Tips and Tricks in their own photography

My 7th and 8th grade Digital Photography class just completed their first picture taking assignments!  After spending time on editing, composition and camera handling, I finally let them loose!  I armed my students with a camera, a photo log (chart to write down what they took pictures of, when and where) and took them down the road to a conveniently located park.  I asked that the students take photos for the following categories: Portrait, Landscape, Action, Abstract, Candid, Free Choice from a Unique Angle and a Macro Image.  I couldn't have been more pleased with their results!  So it's only natural that I post a few of my faves
Tips and Tricks to Great Digital Photography Art Lesson Plan Unique Angles Example

Tips and Tricks to Great Digital Photography Art Lesson Plan

 Tips and Tricks to Great Digital Photography Art Lesson Plan

Tips and Tricks to Great Digital Photography Art Lesson Plan Simplify Example

Tips and Tricks to Great Digital Photography Art Lesson Plan Leading Lines Example

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Cut Paper Symmetry

Cut Paper Symmetry

Students use Contrasting Colors to create a Symmetrical Design

I teach my students about the Elements of Art and Principles of Design through a series of lessons and projects which incorporate these key fundamentals.  I've started the 6th graders off with a project revolving around symmetry while incoporating line, balance (symmetry and asymmetry), shape and space (positive and negative as well as overlapping).  We discussed positive and negative space quite extensively during this project while focusing on making symmetrical shapes and creating symmetrical designs with the possibility for some asymmetrical touches. 

I love this lesson to start with because each student feels successful and strong in their artmaking through these simple tactics.  They have a lot of fun looking for shapes and figures within their cuts too!  My favorite so far is a student looking at the "bonus shapes" that I have as examples on my board (pictured below).  He told me "This black piece looks like a water buffalo and the two blue ones around the top of it look like lizards!"  I would have never seen the water buffalo and lizard trio!  They have such great imaginations, I love it!!!

 After students cut out all their shapes and have a good pile of "bonus shapes" I ask that they experiment with their layout before we glue antyhing. We review contrast, color distribution, how to use space and (of course) symmetry. They have a lot of fun coming up with their layouts and how they want things to overlap and sometimes weave together. They get really proud of their work (something I'm always eager to see!) and like to show off each idea to their classmates, it's a lot of fun to see how many different ideas they have.

Cut Paper Symmetry Art Lesson Plan with Color Contrast

When the students finished their work, I took a digital photo of each piece and uploaded it for parent access on  Check out our Cut Paper Symmetry Exhibit here