Final Montessori Post

•July 10, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Community Artwork

The Color Shapes lesson was suggested by my mentor teacher.

The objective is to create shapes using color mixtures while discussing warm and cool colors. After the painting dries, use a black crayon to circle the shapes that were made.

Materials:

  • Watercolor paper (or any paper that can hold paint without warping)
  • Tempera (poster) paint
  • Black crayons
  • Brushes
  • Plates for mixing

Student's Work

Student's Work

Lesson Notes:

  • Students had difficulty filling the entire paper
  • All of the students loved mixing the paints
  • The next time, I would have students mix paint on their plates and on their paper, maybe this would help them fill in the space

The last day at the Montessori school.  Final project that tied together the two-week theme, “Texture America Flag,”Since my students loved the textured rubbings so much, I made up a lesson using more texture plates and incorporating the two week theme, “America the Beautiful.”  All of the students participated and helped assemble the final touches.

Materials:

  • Texture plates
  • Crayons (red and blue)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Foam poster board (one)
  • Cotton balls (left over from the stain glass window lesson)

Community Flag

Close-up of Community Flag

My goal, besides integrating cross-curricular ideas into art, was to do lessons students would be able to replicate at home.  I am happy to say that I think both of these things were accomplished.  Art does not have to be made from expensive materials, especially at this level of development.  I enjoyed this experience very much, and I welcome more summer teaching opportunities at any Montessori schools.

Other projects we made that I did not list were Paper Marbleizing and Stain Glass Window lesson.

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Montessori Lessons, Part 4

•June 28, 2010 • 2 Comments

Student's Work

The Finger Print Art Lesson I borrowed from my Art Education professor.  Thanks Ann Marie!

This lesson required that the students use their imagination to find “things” in their fingerprint designs.

Materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Washable black ink
  • Markers
  • Pencils (optional)

Student's Work

Student's Work

Student's Work

Lesson Notes:

  • Students were very careful instead in being carefree, when making the dots
  • Had to work against connect the dots
  • They enjoyed getting their fingers dirty-the washable ink, takes awhile to wash off apparently

Student's Work

The Butterfly Blots lesson was a lesson I made during my studies at Marywood.  I wanted to blend inkblots with butterflies.

Materials:

  • Construction paper
  • Tempera paint
  • Brushes
  • Pictures of butterfly anatomy

Student's Work

Student's Work

Student's Work

Lesson Notes:

  • Paint dried too fast, need students to use more paint
  • Had older students as “helpers,” to prevent potential paint messes
  • Next time I would definitely emphasize blotting thicker amounts of the paint on-to avoid it drying so fast

Montessori Lessons, Part 3

•April 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Student's Kandinsky Circles

The Ant Tunnel lesson I borrowed from my mentor teacher.   

This lesson involves texture rubbings, but instead of purchasing texture plates (which can get expensive), we made our own.  The students glued buttons down to the pieces of cardboard and then I continued gluing texture lines and dots weaving in between their buttons.  The next day, we all went outside with white paper and crayons.  I show them how to use what is already around use (brick, stones, wood planks) to make texture rubbings.  The students enjoyed the rubbing the paper with crayon the most. When we came back inside, the students also used the texture plate we made, for rubbings.   

Next time we met, the students cut out the texture rubbings into organic shapes. Most of the pieces cut were used and glued to colored construction paper.  You’ll see in the student’s work how spaces were left for the ants to travel through. The final step is adding the ants. Since we were running short on time, I helped add the ants to their pieces.  The students were able to also keep the texture plates we made.  

Materials:  

  • construction paper (a rainbow of colors)
  • regular white paper
  • crayons
  • markers
  • scissors
  • glue
  • miscellaneous buttons
  • cardboard (5”x7”)-for texture plates 

Student's work

Student's Work

Student's Work

 Lesson Notes:  

  • Kids love to find texture!
  • Texture plates could have also been used for printmaking
  • Takes at least 2 sessions
  • Next time I would try to have them include ant hills

 

The Kandinsky Circle Lesson, was one that I developed during student teaching. You can click here to see that post again.  

Materials:  

  • watercolor paper (any paper that is really absorbent will do, tag board, mat board, Bristol paper, or higher quality drawing paper)
  • rulers
  • pencils
  • markers (water based, Crayola works well-the scented ones are the best)
  • brushes
  • water/cups

Student's Work

Student's Work

Student's Work

Lesson Notes: 

  • They looked like finger prints
  • Students got carried away with the water
  • Next time have students go back in with marker-after they’ve dried
  • Markers and water are a great and inexpensive way of creating a watercolor effect
  • I prefer scented markers because Kandinsky believed that we could experience color with all of our senses. Since we don’t want students to eat any of these materials, you can explain the link between smell and taste.

Montessori Lessons, Part 2

•February 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

American Flag

In order to improve my predegogy and art projects, I took notes after every lesson.  I learned very quickly that the students were working through the lessons as fast as they could-which is normal for the age group. I had adapted by creating more lessons with the materials I had already purchased, preparing two lessons each day we met. Some of the exercises, you will see, were building upon eachother, like the texture plates for the ant tunnels.

The first lesson was “Made-up flags,” following the theme of the two weeks.  Students looked at flags from different countries before creating their own.

Materials:

  • paper
  • markers
  • crayons
  • scissors

Student Flag

Student's Flag

Student's Flag

Student's Flag

Lesson Notes:

  • Student’s needed a lot of directions for this lesson.  In their defense, it was our first lesson together, so they were still getting to understand my teaching style. 
  • If I did this lesson again, I would focus more on the possible shapes that we could incorporate into their flags and possibly let them cut out shapes on colored construction paper, to give it more of a mixed media feel.
  • Over all thought, spend more time on shapes, and less time on color (color will be covered in later lessons)

The Folk Art American Flag Lesson I borrowed from the High Museum’s Toddler Thursday activity.  We looked at the American flag for visual aid and  inspiration. 

Materials:

  • cardboard
  • paint
  • wire
  • buttons
  • paper (some of the paper I had already punched stars into)

Student's American Folk Flag

Student's American Folk Flag

Student's American Folk Flag

Student's American Folk Flag

Lesson Notes:

  • Very messy, but fun
  • Students had a hard time understand that we didn’t need to use glue, to have the paper stick (we used the wet paint as an adhesive)
  • Next time use an even higher gage (easier to bend) wire-student’s needed help threading the buttons through the wire
  • I love how every student’s white paper strip widths were different and unique to their personalities

Montessori Art Teaching, Part 1

•January 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Students Artwork

For two weeks, I taught art through a summer program at a Montessori school in Atlanta.  This was only a temporary job, but I could not pass up the opportunity to gain more teaching experience.  This post is the introductory post of my experience at a Montessori school and the lessons that I taught.  An interesting note-I am now reflecting on these moments while currently teaching at a public school, a couple of hours away from Atlanta.

If you are not familiar with the Montessori Method, it is a non-traditional way of teaching.  Its student center and intended for students to learn more organically, self-paced, and at the same time as learning with students within 3 years of age with you.  At a young age, students begin to learn how to grow plants, clean, cut/cook food, pour drinks.  These are just some of the skills taught that I witnessed.  I was impressed to see how motivated the children were to learn and master the educational (manipulative) toys.

Prior to beginning the program, I met with the instructor that explained what she would be teaching throughout the two weeks.  The summer program was only for the ages 3-6 and the theme was “America the Beautiful.”  My intention was to have the majority of the lessons applicable to this theme as well as having lessons that a student can create at home with recycling materials, such as cardboard.

The atmosphere everyday that I arrived was calm and quiet.  As I set up the materials, the students were taking a nap to soothing music.  When they awoke, the students had their snack, which they made before taking their nap.  I observed how well the students were taking directions and how they cleaned up after themselves.

Here are a few pictures of the snack that the students prepared.

Students making bagel pizza

Apple pie made by the students

More observations:

  • Students called their teachers by their first names
  • Voices were never raised
  • When getting a student’s attention, you would walk over to them, approaching them gently
  • Students didn’t need help at the sink
  • Students found productive activities to do without being asked

In my next posts, I’ll be sharing the lessons taught and they will be accompanied by lots of pictures.

Chasing Vermeer Illustrator

•September 20, 2009 • 1 Comment

chasing_vermeer

My school will be doing a “School-wide Read,”  using the book “Chasing Vermeer,” written by Blue Balliett and Illustrated by Brett Helquist.  I have been asked to have a community canvas created by all of the students (and parents, if they want) of the school.  Our inspiration comes from this great book and excellent illustrations.  I contacted Brett’s agent to get permission to use his character renderings and was surprised to get a welcoming response. I promised to send him a picture of our final product.  I am excited to be in charge of this activity and looking forward to displaying the school’s first permanent artwork.

bad-cover

I’ve added Brett’s blog to my blog roll.  You can see his newest pieces and what books he’ll be working on next!  My first exposure to his artwork was from the “Series of Unfortunate Events,” by Lemony Snicket.

The High Museum Special Exhibitions

•April 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment

high-museum

Last Saturday, I attended an introductory meeting for people interested in volunteering at the High Museum.  This was my first visit to Atlanta’s fine art museum.  After the meeting I was able to look through the museum and through the special exhibitions which include;

The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army

Louvre Atlanta: The Louvre and the Masterpiece

The Treasure of Ulysses Davis

terracotta-army1

The First Emperor exhibit was very crowded, but it was during the weekend.  The exhibit was design well, compensating for the high traffic.  I wasn’t able to read all of the educational posters but may go back again before it ends, which is on April 19th. I was most impressed with the terracotta soldiers of course, along with the miniature horse drawn carriages-these were to help the emperor travel in the next world.  The terracotta figures were amazing, over six foot tall, in immaculate condition ( especially considering when they were created), and had incredible detail. I could talk about these pieces and the history of them for hours.

pisanello

The Louvre and the Masterpiece was also impressive.  I usually gravitate toward the paintings, but in this case, I stayed in the room with all of the Antonio di Puccio Pisanello drawings for a while.  Pisanello was  an Italian Renaissance artist during the same time as  Leonardo da Vinci, but he wasn’t nearly as recognized. The drawings were thought to have been created by da Vinci, but in light of new research, it was discovered that the drawings were Pisanello’s.  I find all of this fascinating.

artstor_103_41822000368736

The Treasure of Ulysses Davis exhibit was more removed from the emporers traffic, which let me take my time to appriciate the collection of his life’s work.  Ulysses Davis was a comtempory artist from Georgia.  Davis’ was a self-taught folk-like style, three dimensional artist, primarily working with wood.  He was a creative and spiritual man who was very proud of his country.  The piece he is most famous for are of the American presidents.  The entire piece was at the museum which included President Washington-President Bush (Sr).

If you live or will be in the Atlanta area anytime soon, I would recommend visiting these exhibitions. The special exhibitions are only temporarily here, the Terracotta Army ends in a couple of weeks (April 19th) , the Louvre artwork it there until September 5th,  and Ulysses Davis work will be at the museum until April 5th.