ARTS IN YOUR CLASSROOM 2015 13th Annual Teachers Conference at Montalvo Arts Center

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This is the second time I am participating in the ARTS IN YOUR CLASSROOM, the Annual Teachers Conference at Montalvo Arts Center.

This year I am presenting a Design Thinking workshop: Making a Toy from Recycled Material. The handout for teachers is here: http://bit.ly/1z2rFRY

I did this workshop with a combo class 4th and 5th grade recently and the photos taken during the project are here. The project is adaptable for upper and lower grades.

 

ART TREK: A one week summer camp at Montalvo Arts Center

Each day the students explore Montalvo’s beautiful grounds, get inspired by nature and choose things to observe and draw – things we may not take the time to usually pay attention to, like the pattern of a bark, the shape of a cone, a rock, a leaf. I take photos during the walk that I bring back printed the following day. Back to the outdoor studio the campers use different techniques to paint/draw some of the things we saw during our walks.

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Day 1
Outdoor studio: The students walked around and gathered leaves, twigs, cones, lichen and drew them. Decaying leaves are wonderful to draw!
Hiking around: Sketching one of the magnificent trees on Montalvo Grounds. I asked the students to ask me when they wanted to take a photo of something they were interested in and then I printed the images and brought them back the following day.

Day 2
Hiking around: sketching in the Phelan Cactus Garden.
Outdoor studio: watercolor and black oil pastel from photos taken the previous day.

Day 3
Hiking around: Sketching in the Redwood forest, on the Redwood Trail. At the top of the Lookout trail, embracing the view on the valley!
Outdoor studio:
Starting working on black paper with dry pastels, from photos taken the previous day in the Phelan Cactus Garden.

Day 4
Hiking around: A short hike to start the morning. Using a viewfinder, sketching from the top of the Orchard Trail: view on the artists residencies.
Outdoor studio:

Day 5
Outdoor studio:  Painting from photos taken in the Redwood forest. Tempera paint on paper. Preparing a show in the outdoor studio, and gathering all the sketches and drawings in our decorated portfolio.
Montalvo Arts Center

 

Sailing Through Sausalito History – Video Project with a group of 3rd Graders in Sausalito

A year-long project with two classes of third graders at Willow Creek Elementary School in Sausalito, CA. I am participating in a “Teaching Artist Program” with the Sausalito Arts Festival Foundation (SAFF).

The students story-boarded, filmed and edited this short video. They conducted interviews. They learned how to frame and record the sound. The project is an integration of the arts in the elementary curriculum, a STEM to STEAM initiative.

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ART TREK Summer Camp at Montalvo Arts Center

I am thrilled to have a summer camp at Montalvo in June!

Let’s walk, get inspired by the amazing nature around us and make some art!
Art Discipline(s): Drawing, collage, watercolor, painting.

Each day we will explore Montalvo’s beautiful grounds and choose things to observe and draw on a sketchbook. Things we may not take the time to usually pay attention to, like the pattern of a bark, the shape of a cone, a rock, a leaf. In our journey through the woods, meadows and hills of Montalvo, we will also encounter some of the wonderful contemporary art pieces created by artists from the bay Area and we will make some drawings about those pieces.
Some of the exercises (like painting, watercolor and some collages) will be done indoor. At the end of the week, the participants will leave with their “outdoor sketchbook” and an ensemble of paintings, watercolor and collage on 15”x22” paper.

And here’s a link to all the great summer camps Montalvo is proposing for this summer.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 1: Blow Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

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Session 1 – Blow Painting
medium:
Watercolor ink on paper

Vocabulary
science
: push force, pipette
art: primary colors, abstract, representational

Science Curriculum
The way to change how something is moving is by giving it a push or a pull. The size of the change is related to the strength, or the amount of force, of the push or pull.

Ressources
material: all media paper, watercolor inks (primary colors), straw, cups and pipettes, paper plates.

How it works
1. I give a short demo.

2. The students used the “push” force to make the watercolor ink move on the paper. We used the primary colors, and the students got all the color combinations in between. There are several ways to make the ink move on the paper. The position of the body is important – we can blow parallel to the paper or on top of it and the force is not the same. When we blow parallel to the paper the ink make a path and can go far, depending on the intensity of the blow. When we blow above the paper, the force hit the paper: we get fine lines going in multiple directions. We can blow with or without a straw and the results are different too.

3. Group discussion. Looking at all the pieces on the floor, the students talk about the artistic aspects and the scientific aspects of the exercise.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 2: Gravity Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

Session 2 – Gravity Painting
medium:
Tempera paint on paper

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Vocabulary
science
–gravity force, friction
art – primary colors, secondary colors, abstract, process

Science Curriculum
Gravity is a pulling force. Motion is the act of moving.

Ressources
material: cardstock paper, tempera paint (primary colors and secondary colors)
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6egUsZvWu4 about gravity work by new York artist Holton Rower.

How it works

1. We watch a short video (3mn) of New York artist Holton Rower, who works with gravity.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6egUsZvWu4

2. I give a short demo about the process we are going to use, which implies no use of tool, just the force of gravity.

3. The students experiment with the process.

4. Group discussion at the end of the session: we talk about abstract art and how it is open to interpretation. We talk about what we were seeing in the paintings. The students share their experiments/thoughts about gravity and paint, we comment the different results in front of us. We talk about the factors which matters when there is friction: in this case fluidity of the paint and smoothness of the paper.

5. After the art class the students write a few words about their experience.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 3: Ball Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center

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Session 3 – Ball Painting
medium: Tempera paint on paper, plastic balls and marbles

Vocabulary
science
–motion, friction, documenting
art – action painting, abstract, process, documenting

Science Curriculum
Objects in motion. Force changes the way an object moves.

Ressources
material: all media paper 15″x11″, tempera paint (primary colors and secondary colors), cardboard box the same size as the paper (one for two students), plastic balls (bouncing type), large marbles.
video: Jackson Pollock at work http://www.sfmoma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/249

How it works

1. We watch a very short video showing Jackson Pollock at work.
– One of our art words is action painting. Pollock broke the rules of painting by painting without the brush touching the canvas.
– Another art word is process. Pollock’s process includes a lot of “paint in motion”, splashed and dripped by the energy of his gesture. Pollock definitely used forces in motion in his process. Using the same process over and over, he made many pieces with a different result each time.
Documenting the process: when we see an art piece, most of the time we do not understand how it was made. Seeing the artist at work is invaluable to understand the process and it is extremely recent in history.  So that’s why today we have teams of two students, one making a painting, the other one documenting (videotaping) with an iPad. We talk about how to videotape, trying to stay still while things move in the frame.
2. I give a short demo
What are the material we are using today? (They are on the table: cardboard box, all media paper, plastic balls and big marbles, paint). They are the material necessary for our process. There are primary and secondary colors to work with. The students are free to use as many colors as they want but I tell them that interesting results can be achieve by only using 2. They have to try and see for themselves. I show them how to pour the paint on the paper (to try to avoid large unmanageable pools of paint in the middle of the paper!). I make 2 balls roll in the paint and on the paper. The balls start tracing their trajectories. The motion of the balls changes when I change the way I move the box. I asked them to think about the fact that they would have to stop at a certain point, their piece would be finished. How do you know that? How not to work too much a piece?

3. The students work on their piece, taking turns.
It is interesting to see that for a lot of students, documenting the process was only about what was going on inside the box and not necessarily about the movements of the person making the piece.

4. End of the session discussion (science aspect/art aspect of the project and special words).

5. After art class art class the students write a few words about their experience.

Art+Science: Forces and Motion (2nd grade) session 4: Pendulum Painting

Arts Integration Residency with Montalvo Arts Center – in Campbell, CA.
Village Elementary, Spring 2014.
Lynhaven Elementary, Spring 2014
Sherman Oaks Elementary, Fall 2014.

Forces: Push/pull, gravity and friction

For this exercise it is great to have quite a lot of space (to make the art and for it to dry).

material: 3 tripods, plastic bottles with Elmer glue caps, diluted student tempera paint, large sheets of black and white paper (sulfite paper is fine). One color per tripod/station. Use colors that can go either on black or on white paper. I use primary colors and white. One sheet of cardboard per tripod/station the size of the black/white paper (or a little bit bigger), to transport the painting once it is done.

To protect the floor: a large plastic sheet when making the paintings, and lots of butcher paper to protect the floor while the paintings are drying.

iPads to document the process

WARNING: very long drying time – about half a day – you will need a lot of spaces, the sheets are large, there is one per student. You will need a lot of space for the tripods. The process is easy but can be messy if a quick cleanup is not done after each painting.

Only use one color per painting. Two would be complicated.

Preparation

Prepare the plastic water bottles
You will need at least one per color. You will need more bottles than the ones you are using, in case something happens.

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Glue gun and duct tape an Elmer glue cap on the water bottle

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Cut the bottom of the bottle, duct tape it to make it strong, make 3 holes on the side and attach a string through the 3 holes. Attach them together and attach a paper clip.

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Prepare the tripods – 1 tripod for 7 students is OK
A string has to hang from the center of the tripod. Attach that string to the paperclip attached to the water bottle. The nose of the bottle should be between 1 and 2 inches from the paper (the paper is on a piece of cardboard).

Prepare the tempera paint
Filter the tempera paint through a thin sifter, to avoid clogging the Elmer glue cap when the paint will go through.
Add 50% tempera paint and 50% water. You will need a lot of paint. Prepare 32 OZ for each color for each class.

Prepare the room
Make lots of room. Place the plastic sheet on the floor, and the 3 tripods far enough from each other. The students need space to walk around them.
Prepare a bucket filled with water and several clean sponges that you place in the center of the plastic sheet. The students will have to do some clean –up AFTER EACH PAINTING is done.

Attach the bottles on the tripods. BE SURE that the Elmer caps are closed.
THEN fill the bottle half with diluted tempera.
Prepare a small empty container on the side for the dripping.
Be sure to have lots of dry rags handy.

How it works with the students

If you can set up 3 stations, you will approximately have 7 students per station. The students take turn. One is making the art, another one or more is documenting. The other ones can help and/or watch.
The organization is a little bit tricky but it is definitely feasible.


– The course of the bottle can be changed.
– There should be NO clean up while the art is being made – it can damage the art!

1. – One student puts a sheet of paper on the floor, underneath the tripod, on a piece of cardboard, as big as the paper. One student at a time does his/her pendulum painting, while the other students are watching or documenting with an iPad, making short videos.
2. The student takes the bottles towards her/him and keeps it above the small plastic container to avoid any spilling on the paper.
3. THEN he/she opens the cap, the paint start dripping in the container.
4. The student can let the bottle go and see what happens. The bottle starts making a geometric pattern on the paper.
5. When it is about to stop, the students have to grab swiftly the bottle, take it out of the surface of the paper and close the cap above the small plastic container.
6. The student take the paper AND the cardboard and go to the place in the room covered with newspapers for the painting to dry (it will take half a day).
7. Then it is clean up time before doing another painting. Clean up the spill on the plastic and on the cardboard piece with dry rags. Provide as many dry rags as needed.
8. The station is ready for another painting.

TIP: The bottles hanging underneath the tripods should be always half full. You need to have quit a lot of paint in the bottle for the weight to be big enough and gravity to work.


9. The whole class take some time for a group discussion looking at all  the paintings on the floor. Describe what happened when making the exercise. What are the forces, why? Can you find two paintings which look the same? Why?

10. Cleanup.

Waterwheel Symposium with the 4th and 5th grade students presenting their projects about water

March 21, Cumberland Elementary, Sunnyvale, CA.
The student from a 4th and 5th grade combo class presented two projects about water during the WATERWHEEL World Water Day online symposium. Waterwheel is a platform where scientists, artists and youth from around the world share their studies, art work and thoughts about water.

4th and 5th grade Students presenting a series of waterscapes from around the Bay area.

The series is about waterscapes around the Bay Area: the Pacific coast and the San Francisco Bay.
See lesson about California Landscapes here:

Part I – Drawing.
Part II – Watercolor.

4th and 5th grade students presenting a series of posters made on their iPads with the app PosterMaker.

The series is about water conservation awareness in the midst of the severe drought California is going through right now.
See how to make posters with Poster Maker here.
Waterwheel platform here.