Friday, April 24, 2015

Star Wars Mosaics

My sixth graders have been busy these past two weeks. Since the 22nd was Earth day, I thought it would be great to do a recycled project. I try to incorporate pop culture as much as possible, and now that the new Star Wars is coming out in December, it was the perfect project.  Students and teachers brought in old magazines and we created two Star Wars mosaics. Sixth grade curriculum goes over Pompeii (if you recall the Minion mosaics) so we looked at different mosaics from Italy. Each student had a piece of construction paper and a handful of magazines. I pre drew R2-D2 and Darth Vader and they got to work.

This project took about 2 weeks (we only have about 35 minutes and there were tons of field trip and event interruptions but they worked hard the whole time (save a couple of instances of glue in hair and scissor incidents).

We still have work to do on Darth Vader but we are almost finished! Just in time for May the Fourth!

What have you been making? 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reviewing: Just Add Watercolor by Helen Birch

   Watercolor it seems is one of the most difficult mediums for my students to master. Initially when my kids find out that we are using watercolor in the classroom they are excited (just a refresher, most of my students have not experienced art at the elementary level, so my class tends to be their first one). Their excitement grows to frustration when they find that watercolor is not so easily manipulated. So when I learned about Just Add Watercolor, by Helen Birch I was really excited, and when I received it in the mail I was even more so.

    Just Add Watercolor, is packed with color illustrations from contemporary artists. I especially loved each artist's whimsical style (anything with bright colors and animals dressed as humans and I am hooked). Birch walks the reader through traditional watercolor, gouache, digital, mixed media and non-paper media, giving multiple examples of each, accompanied with more illustrations.

Though each painting (there are 189 in all) is accompanied with helpful hints on how to use watercolor, Birch goes a step further at the end of the book and give the reader a how- to guide on how to use watercolors. This is helpful not only for my classroom, but for myself as an artist. I would recommend this book for watercolor beginners like me! I am thrilled to add this book to our classroom library.

What books have you been reading lately?


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I will be honest. Since our school doesn't have a kiln on campus, I haven't done glazing till this year. I drive clay projects to the high school to get fired, and there is so much labor and accidents driving to and from the schools that I have given myself a pass on glazing. Until now. This year I ordered glazes in our school supply order and I wanted to see how they would turn out. The students from previous classes had used acrylic before to paint their ceramics so they were super thrilled with the shiny results.

They all turned out wonderfully (no explosions!!) but I especially love the student on the bottom rights creativity naming his gnome, Sylvester Stagnome... seriously amazing.

What about you, do you have a kiln at your school? What are your favorite glazes to use?


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