Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Scissor Skill Olympics

The Florida Art Education Association annual conference is always inspirational! I attended a wide variety of discussions and presentations and I look forward to using what I have learned in my own classroom. One class that inspired me right away was "The Cutting Edge" by Nan Williams. After she walked us through an abridged history of the popular cutting tool scissors we followed along through a series of activities that challenge and engage in cutting skills.

My brain resides in this make-believe world where every child has had an opportunity to use scissors and has been challenged well before they come to my art room. I put my students to the test with the Scissor Skill Olympics! I used the activities that Nan showed us in her workshop and a timer to challenge the table groups of my first and third grade classes and discover who was a true Scissor Olympian! 

Here is a Prezi that I used when I presented to fellow art educators about my experiences. You'll see the different events that I used as well as further inspiration from Henri Matisse to create cut paper collages. 

One thing I would like to do to improve this lesson is to have a brief presentation, perhaps a Prezi like the one above that shows a variety of scissors from different time periods, different cultures, and for different cutting purposes. One thing that Nan spoke about was building the background knowledge and an understanding of where the skills, concepts and ideas that we study come from. Building the connections is what learning is all about.

I have a feeling that these skills can be used to begin any number of paper projects. I am thinking about other lessons where students can create other collages, 3-D sculptural projects, masks, cards, pop-up books etc.

What kinds of cutting projects do you do with your students?

Thanksgiving Vacation

While many of my colleagues are travelling north to visit family or cruising to tropical destinations, I am just hanging out at home. I have not been able to vacate my thoughts from school. I am part of a team of art teachers in our district enlisted to revise the art curriculum to create a more specific timeline, include aesthetic and art criticism components among other revisions. In addition to this and the presentation that I'm working on as follow up to the FAEA conference I am churning on ideas for our Winter Arts Festival at our school the second week of December.

 I have, however, found some time to be creative for myself. 

I learned to make origami ornaments by watching YouTube videos. I am amazed at how much we can learn and do after making a simple search. Thank you to Hassan Reza for a great tutorial! 

I have worked on making some monsters of my own based on the monsters that my second graders have been working on. 

I used sparkle felt for the bodies of mine, perhaps I will have to get glitter felt for our projects next year. The kids would love it!

What did you do with your time away from school?