August 20

BUT WHAT ABOUT CLAY???

grade 1 clay 29

It has come to my attention that lots of Visual Arts programs/classrooms don’t seem to be doing clay anymore!

grade 1 clay

grade 1 clay 57

I have developed this opinion after discussing it, off the cuff, at school, at network meetings, at our Outer West Visual Art Teachers Network Professional Learning Day, earlier this year, talking to colleagues at last year’s Art Education Victoria Conference, etc, etc, etc.

grade 1 clay 53

grade 1 clay 53

And, as far as I am aware, modelling is still a part of the Visual Arts Curriculum in Victoria.

grade 1 clay 54

grade 1 clay 54

I use clay for most of my modelling sessions. It’s fun. It’s messy! It’s cheap! And my students love it! And I love it!

grade 1 clay 65

grade 1 clay 65

And, let’s face it, the Visual Arts room is the last place in the school where you are not only allowed, but encouraged, to make a mess, while you express yourself!

clay man in boat

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So what is happening out there? Are you still doing clay at your school? Have you got a kiln that is no longer being used? Why not? Do you find it too messy? Seriously? Or is all the kiln firing too time consuming? is it an OH&S matter at your school? Why? Do you use alternative materials to clay for modelling or is it just not part of your Visual Arts curriculum any more???? Do you find it a bit scary – a bit out of your comfort zone? Would it be helpful if more networks or other bodies were offering more professional learning in this area?

grade 1 clay face 22

grade 1 clay face 22

Please reply and comment on my observation as I would really like to know what you think.

Shell

PS I have mentioned this to my students and they have been as horrified as I am that there are other students out there who seem to be missing out on such a wonderful material to learn and have fun with in the art room.

grade 1 clay face 27

grade 1 clay face 27

August 16

FIELD OF PAPER POPPIES APRIL 2015

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

April 25th 2015 was the 100th anniversary of ANZAC Day.

paper poppies field April 2015 2

paper poppies field April 2015 2

I am part of the Special Weeks committee, which organizes all sorts of Special Events as part of the school calendar, at Cambridge Primary School, and we thought that as a whole school we had to do something to commemorate the 100th ANZAC day!

paper poppies field April 2015 16

paper poppies field April 2015 16

So we came up with the very simple idea of each student and staff member making a paper poppy and planting it into the ground to create a field of poppies.

paper poppies field April 2015

paper poppies field April 2015

Each grade was supplied with enough wooden skewers for one for each child but after that it was up to the teachers how they put their poppies together. There were no other rules or instructions to follow as we really didn’t want them to look all exactly the same.

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 3

paper poppies field April 2015 20 They just all had to be planted by lunch time on the Friday before ANZAC day, in a rather bare patch of ground, near the office, at the front of the school.

paper poppies field April 2015 19

paper poppies field April 2015 19

I started the planting process off in the morning and then was running back and forth from the main art room during the day to take photos as the planting progressed. It was lovely to lift my head up from my work in the main art room and catch a glimpse of all the heads down and bottoms up action as the students and staff planted their poppies and then stood around admiring their work and the work of others. There was even quite a reverent, emotional atmosphere around the poppy field.

paper poppies field April 2015 17

paper poppies field April 2015 17

I did find I had to stand guard when I was on yard duty at snack time though as several Prep children thought it would be a great idea to run through and stomp on all the poppies – so much for being reverent, emotional and caught up in the atmosphere, when you are 5! paper poppies field April 2015 13

My battery died on my Ipad, of course, so I didn’t even get to photograph the complete field of poppies.

paper poppies field April 2015 12

paper poppies field April 2015 12

The photographer arrived from the local paper and took a lovely photo which luckily included my Georgie.(Yay! XXX) I think that is the only local newspaper photo Georgia has ever been in for her school so it was nice she got to be in one during her final year at Cambridge PS! As this photographer was there rather early in the day I don’t think he even saw the whole field of poppies.

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

field of paper poppies April 2015 Georgia

A Bright ANZAC tribute at Cambridge Primary School. “The gardens of Cambridge Primary School were a sea of red last Friday as the school marked Anzac Day. The Hoppers Crossing school wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli with something special, so it created a field of poppies. Assistant principal Nella Cascone said the school’s 935 pupils and 90 staff made the flowers. A planting ceremony was then held last Friday afternoon, giving everyone a chance to pay their respects. Grade 6 pupils Georgia, Ayaan and Shaubing (pictured) were among the children who helped plant the poppies.” – See more at: http://www.starweekly.com.au/news/1836763-poppies-a-bright-anzac-tribute-at-cambridge-primary-school/#sthash.a5wHAjMi.dpuf

paper poppies field April 2015 11

paper poppies field April 2015 11

At the end of the school day there was quite a crowd as plenty of families photographed and admired the poppy field, with all commenting about how it had been a fantastic idea, and some being very moved by it.

paper poppies field April 2015 8

paper poppies field April 2015 8

Susie, my Science teacher colleague, and I, waited until 4.00pm to make our sad, regretful decision. The weather was changing rather drastically, with the wind becoming quite ferocious and a heavy storm predicted for the early evening. We had intended leaving the poppies in the field and collecting them up on Monday morning but the thought of arriving at school to find the poppies shredded by the storm and dumped all over the school yard was just devastating. So regretfully, Susie, Georgie and I, and a few helpers from After School Care, packed up the magnificent field of poppies into boxes before the storm could destroy them.

paper poppies field April 2015 4

paper poppies field April 2015 4

‘They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.’

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 10

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 9

paper poppies field April 2015 6

paper poppies field April 2015 6

Thanks for reading,

Shell

 

December 5

GRADE 2 DAVE BEHRENS INSPIRED DETAILED DRAWINGS AT THE CAMBRIDGE PRIMARY SCHOOL ART SHOW

 

As mentioned in previous posts, the Grade 2 children were inspired by the work of Queensland artist Dave Behrens. We looked at his website on the projection screen and even watched a video of him in his workshop.

 

The children were itching to get started after looking at the amazing squiggles, lines and symbols that go together to make Dave Behrens amazing paintings.

 

We started off small with each child decorating a rectangle to add to a whole grade piece of work.

 

They then chose a template to trace from a heart, a circle or a person. Some children found looking at the whole empty shape daunting so they used rulers to break the space up into sections to fill.

 

They were so proud of their work when it was finished and they looked terrific displayed together at the Art Show.

October 3

GRADE 2 CLAY SNAKES

 

The Grade 2 children made snakes to celebrate it being the Chinese Year of the Snake!

Chinese-New-Year-Snake

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I was surprised at how much the children whinged and moaned about how rolling the clay hurt their hands! And there were more children than I expected that really struggled to roll a sausage at all. We had a chat and it was interesting that most of them couldn’t remember the last time they had played with playdoh. Most insisted that they had never done this at school and didn’t have it at home because it was TOO MESSY! And these days the amount of children that help to roll  out pastry in the kitchen at home would fit in a thimble. So how are these little people supposed to exercise these fine motor muscles? In the Art room I suppose!

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I was thrilled with how much effort the children put into painting their snakes once they were all finally fired. I’m sure this is directly related to the detailed work of Queensland artist Dave Behren’s that we were looking at and working on at the time!

 

October 2

GRADE 2 BUNTING

At the start of this year the main art room was looking terribly empty and I wanted something I dould get up quickly to brighten up the roomain .

I saw somw bunting, I thought it was on Pinterest but I can’t find the particular image I remember and thought it would work. When I stumble upon that image again, and I will, I will put it here a d acknowledge the inspiration.

I bought a couple of cheap plastic packs of bunting at the $2 shop so the chuldren would know what I was on about.

I then drew up a quick large triangle template and photocopied it. I could have turned this into a lesson about learning how to rule up an accurate triangle but I wanted to be quick, remember????

I then talked about how bunting was visible from both sides so my instructions then were to draw patterns all over one side, the other side was to say boldly, I LOVE ART, and have the child’s nam eand grade on it.

The grade 2 children worked so hard on their intricate patterning that the bunting pieces took two sessions to complete! I then swished slightly watered down food dye over them before throwing them on the rack to dry!

I then stapled them to a stri[p of ribbon and they were great! I hung them all up when they were finished and got all sorts of comments about how festive, cicussy, the Art room looked! I took one grade’s piece and put it in the hallway with anexplanation atached as to what bunting is!!!

I was sure I had better photos that these as it looks like the classroom photos have only about 1/3 of the bunting up but I’m sure you get the idea!

Thanks for looking,

Shelley

July 24

DAVE BEHREN’S STYLE!

A friend of mine sent me a message on Facebook during first term telling me that she had found an amazing website that belonged to an Australian Artist and I was going to love it. My friend Sue knows me really well and she was right. It’s a great website and DAVE BEHRENS is an amazing artist. He lives in Queensland.

http://www.davebehrens.com/
I sent him an email and told him I was going to do some work with my Grade 2’s and 3’s in the Dave Behren’s style. And in the end we sort of spent the whole term working in Dave Behren’s style and the work the children have produced has been absolutely stunning.

Dave Behren’s paintings are incredibly detailed and the” WOW!!!” factor was certainly there as the children all “oohed”, and “aahed”, while looking through the website together and watching a video interview, which was available on his website, on the projection screen in the classroom.

Viewing the website in the main art room 2013

Looking at the Dave Behrens website on the wall in the back art room.

 

We started off small. The grade 2 children had to decorate a rectangle of coloured paper. The grade 3’s had to do a star shape. I glued them onto a large sheet of black cover paper so they would look similar to the way Dave Behren’s arranges some of his paintings. There was a lot of discussion about what could be drawn, repeating patterns, shapes within shapes, symbols, etc. I drew up some idea sheets BODIES/SHAPES/LINES and asked everyone to contribute one idea  to at least one sheet. Once they were working though they all took inspiration from each other – “Ooh I like what you did just there. I’m going to try that one.”

Viewing Dave Behrens video interview main art room 2013 

viewing Dave Behrens video in back art room 2013

I have lots more photos to put up of this stunning work so keep looking for future posts.

Shelley