Monthly Archives: April 2013

Art – Portfolios


If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s seeing kids spend an incredible amount of time and effort on a project, and having it get ruined because there’s no where to put it.  Yes, as parents, we would like for all of our childrens’ art to go up on the walls, but sometimes that’s not feasible.

Even in my classroom, I only have enough space, so I have to rotate through all the different art projects.  Once they’re done with one, an ealier piece gets “bumped.”  Where do they put it?  In their portfolios, of course!

I had them bring in two of those white, cheap poster boards.  They put their names on one side of one of the posters in some artistic way, and then I stacked the two posters together, making sure they were lined up.  I duct-taped three sides together to make an over-sized pocket.  Bam!  A portfolio.

This is a great way to keep them all together until our art show at the end of each semester!  Nothing gets lost, torn up, or ruined.

Here’s one of the portfolios from an older kiddo:

Here's Faith's (duh!).  I love how this one turned out!

Here’s Faith’s (duh!). I love how this one turned out.  It looks almost… forensic.

Level 2 Art – Finding Poetry in Book Pages

Schooled in Love:  Poetry

“When they all journey together, it had always been among a great many places, like the lake and delightful gardens.”

I really love having an older group to work with.  We can do all the intricate things and get great results!  Plus I get to do the art projects right along with them at the table.  It’s a very relaxed environment for them AND me.  Bonus!Here’s what we did:  I grabbed a book off my shelf.  We’re homeschoolers, so there’s no shortage of books, and we sometimes even have duplicates.  In this case, I used A Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series (great series, by the way!).  We actually have the complete series in one giant book, and having an additional copy of A Horse and His Boy was unnecessary, so we sacrificed it in the name of Art.

I went through the book and clipped the strings that held the sections together, resulting in having two pages separated by the binding crease.  The left side (that had the title of the book) was going to be our resulting page, and the right side was to be our scratch paper.

Once everyone had a page, I made a duplicate of each one on the copy machine.  We used the copied version to find words that cascaded down the page that created a complete thought.  By using the copied version, were able to make mistakes, erase them, cross them out, or whatever.  After we found a sentence we were happy with, we circled each word, and connected them.

After that, we had fun drawing all manner of lines around the page.  Some of us added color with watercolor pencils, and some stuck to grey-scale.  Finally, we mounted the pages to a black mat.


“The fresh set grave, mysterious and free, was ready for his life. It cried out, “There he is!” and seized him by the moment.”


“Gooseberry really thought he was dazed about fine, little, promised years.”

Level 2 Art: Monster Blobs


I totally got a kick out of this project.  These kids of mine (yes, I claim them ALL) are so dang funny!

I thinned out some black acryllic paint with water.  Then, the students each had a straw and made a couple of drops of the paint on a piece of paper.  They took said straw and blew into it, moving the paint until they were happy with the form. (Note:  Blow VERY close and forcefully, if you want a nice feathering effect.)  Can you say dizzy?

Once that was done, at least 3 times in different spots on the paper, they dripped a few small droplets of paint on there as well, and left them that way to dry.  After all the paint dried, they got out their Sharpies (I love me some Sharpies, by the way) and kept turning their paper until they saw a “monster.”  Really, the only rule I had was that the monster had to have a definitive mouth and at least one eye.  All the rest, they could play with.

After the doodling, they used a light wash of watercolors to give it more personality.  I’m secretly hoping they accidentally leave them here at the end of the year.  They’re all so different!

Here's Annika's.  She's very detailed in her drawing.  I love her wings!

Here’s Annika’s. She’s very detailed in her drawing. I love her wings!

Here's Katies.  She's got some fun ideas!

Here’s Katies. She’s got some fun ideas!

This one's Faith's.  I like how she used different watercolors to emphasize parts of her monsters.

This one’s Faith’s. I like how she used different watercolors to emphasize parts of her monsters.

Here's mine!  The younger kids appreciate good toilet humor when they see it...

Here’s mine! The younger kids appreciate good toilet humor when they see it…


Math: 50’s Club


In math, we have speed drills for multiplication.  I try to make it as fun as possible, because a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down, right?

Our speed drills are called, “The 50’s Club.”  I give them a sheet of 50 times tables that they are to fill out correctly in 3 minutes.  If they get it right, they get a snack, and then they get to move up to the next level.  Almost all of my students are competitive with not only each other, but with themselves.  We use Times Table Challenge, and I highly recommend this book!  Just make sure you make copies of the pages – do NOT use the book as a consumable, because the student might need more practice than just twice!

To make it fun, I took pictures of the kids in silly poses, but with at least one hand reaching up(I didn’t want to end up sticking a thumbtack through a head, after all).  Then, I had the pictures developed, cut them out, and pinned them up according to their level.  Now they get to see themselves moving along.  They loved it!

There are the kids - all lined up and ready to move on to the next level!

There are the kids – all lined up and ready to move on to the next level!

Level 2 Art – 3-D Op Art


Schooled in Love:  Op ArtOne of the things I love about the older students is their cognitive abilities.  Although many of them haven’t had a formal art class, they are old enough to where most of them have taken the initiative to start drawing and such on their own.  Just simply doodling helps them have the motor skills and recognition of terms.


For this project, I wanted to give them a taste of op art.  It was a simple idea, and almost everyone finished it within one class hour.






Fist, the students drew a horizontal, wavy line in the middle of the paper.  Then they drew vertical, wavy lines; not all of them went from top to bottom.  They followed the “flow” of the lines to determine where to add the next line.  After that, the students made semi-circles above and below the horizontal line.  This gave it the appearance of a bubbled or swollen effect.  To add to this. they used colored pencils to color the “bubbles.”  They made sure to keep the center lighter than the edges.

Partially done, so you can see the original lines.

Partially done, so you can see the original lines.

Another completed project.

Another completed project.