My first class as a schoolroom art teacher

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empty frame and screenI have become an art teacher. Not just by giving a class in my home as I talk about starting an art class in my home, but in a real school.

It’s a new school with the oldest grade only at first grade level.

And even though I do not have an art background, it doesn’t hurt to be a really good friend of the principal of this new school, who went to the same graduate school as I did and has the same philosophies about education and art as I do.

This series of posts is going to chronicle what I experience and activities I give the children as an  art teacher. (not newbie for too long)

I  don’t really have a curriculum set  up yet and I do have the luxury of figuring things out as I go along.

I’ve said before I have no art background and I’m no artist but, I love art, I love kids, I know child development and I have done lots of research, so here I am.

I originally thought I was going to use this class to teach kids to draw and develop other skills as I am doing with my home art class but, there is not enough time in each time slot for that. I am only working with first grade and kindergarten (some schools call it primary or pre-1A).

So class one I started with the Kindergarten.

It was a bit hectic as I got the numbers mixed  up and got 21 kids instead of the 16 I was expecting but, we managed.

I decided to start by decorating papers which we will then use for some form of collage.

I chose four techniques. The first one that I thought was a brilliant  ended up being pretty much of a flop.

I found some window screen I had as shown above in the image above and had some empty picture frames. I remembered that if you use toothbrushes and paint over screen it is supposed to create spatter painting.

I taped the screen down to the frame and thought it looked great and functional.

finished screen

I then prepared a whole slew of bowls with paint.

bowls of paint

Since there were 4 tables each table got 2 colors and a different technique to use.  The first table got combs.

combs table

The second table got bubble wrap (look carefully and you will be able to see it)bubble wrap table

The third got my ill fated screens and toothbrushes.

screen table

And the fourth got some food wrap.

cling wrap table

They got to do one painting activity at each table and then were able to move to the next table for another activity.

With the combs they had to paint one or two colors and then make designs in the paint with the combs.

painting with combs

The screens didn’t work. Plain and simple.I thought if we dipped toothbrushes in paint and rubbed them on screen, they would spatter…they didn’t (anyone have success with this?) So they ended up painting with one color and then just making drips any way they could with the toothbrushes.

painting with screens

The bubble wrap was simple. Paint one color on paper and use bubble wrap with second color to print on top of first.

painting with bubble wrap

Fourth activity was to paint one color and then to paint some wrap with other color and mush it on top of first color

painting with cling wrap

I’m not so sure I would do an activity again with 21 girls where they got to move around so much. Then again I wasn’t expecting 21.

Below are their finished pictures drying.

finished papers

The next group was the 16 that I thought I was  originally going to have and  I decided to make color wheels with them.

I used some sort of template to make the circles on the tagboard.

drawing the circle

Drew the lines divided by 12.

empty color wheel

I wanted the girls to first put in their primary blue, red and yellow and was concerned that they wouldn’t know which triangle to put them in so I added colored marker dots to orient them where to paint the primary colors

paint set up

color wheel with marker dots

red and blue triangles

The first 2 colors went fine…The next 3 where they had to mix secondary colors didn’t go so easy since there were 12 spaces and some of them got confused as to where to put each mixed color.

shades added in

Below is what we did with some of the kids who painted in the wrong space. We added a paper piece for them to paint over.

mistakes covered over

In retrospect I think they were really too young to do 12 and doing it again I would only do 6…much easier.

Many of them couldn’t even finish as it was difficult to mix a secondary and a primary to get a tertiary color. (You know the shades in between).

color wheels

All in all they enjoyed it and next week I think I’ll do different shades and hues.

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