In Fall of 2018, I was working at a very large suburban school. I was asked by their District Office if I thought my students could create 100 placemats with student art for their State of the District Luncheon. Because of the large size of the school, this was only about 10% of our students so I knew I could do it.
I organized six after school workshops for all grade levels Kindergarten through Fifth grade. I even had a couple of preschool and TK students who came with an adult or older sibling.
The workshops were all done by me with occasional help from a parent. I had small groups of about 20 students. For the workshops, I had some idea lists for different careers that I thought they might want but I also told the students to come up with two to three career choices of their own so that we could have a lot of diversity. Because they knew these would not be returned, I allowed students to make two if they wanted to.
Each student sketched their work on a small paper then did a larger drawing in pencil then went over that in black marker. We then painted with watercolor paint. I was so impressed with all the different jobs they came up with from gardening to scientists to dancers to race car drivers and everything in between. It was really one of the most rewarding projects we did that year.
After they were dry, I labeled each artwork on the back with the student’s name, grade and their career title. It was a huge job and when they were delivered to the district office, the staff decided they were too pretty to use as placemats and instead put them up all around the meeting room. After the luncheon, they were returned to the school and went on display on the gallery wall in the lobby.
I recently attended the Mingei Museum’s Educator Open House. They often have leftover art supplies that they give out. Pretty much anything you can carry out of that room can be yours. I have oodles of supplies so I only took a few items. One of which was a bag of foam blocks.
There were not enough for a class set but I was able to cut them in half with my ceramic knife and supplement the project with old math manipulatives.
The preschool students and I talked about all the shapes, we named them, we looked at them, we talked about how some shapes fit into other shapes.
It was a fun discussion. They were given plates of paint with only one color and a few blocks. My tables fit 8 students so we used primary colors plus green. Students always share supplies in my class which helps me keep my supply budget low.
Students stamped as many of the shape in one color as they wanted to then we rotated the plates until every color had been used. art
I have seen several different mixed media jelly fish. This is my version created for the PM4 Preschool class. They are a very capable group with excellent art skills.
I was gifted a large amount of cardboard scrap so I cut it into half circles and gave it a swab of white tempera. I also have a roll of this cool looking iridescent paper that is from some business machine that was gifted to me as well. I cut that into strips. I also cut up pieces of yarn for the students.
When students arrived, they used the string and the paper to add tentacles to bottom of the half circles. I have already cut a few slits in the bottom so they could push the yarn or paper into the slots. I told them it was like flossing teeth. They then painted the half circles with glitter paint (another donation) and added foam shapes and googly eyes.
Once dry, I added a craft stick so they can use them as puppets.
Again using gifted cardboard, we created these bees. Three year old preschool students were gifted lengths of yellow and black yarn to wrap around an oval cardboard.
Once complete, they added wings (that had been pre-cut from donated paper) and wiggly eyes. One class told me their bees needed stingers so I got them some black paper for that. One child even added a mouth. I love when they teach me!