Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Kim & Karen 2 Soul Sisters

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summertime Boats in the Bay

Summertime Boats in the Bay....ah makes for a fun day! We created these in class the last 9 weeks on the middle school wheel. We discussed certain Elements and Principles of Art. Overlapping was a big part of this lesson. We focused on the techniques of the media. Blending the oil pastels and experimenting with the watercolor. (wet on wet and wet on dry)

Last year we created boat buoys. See link below:
The sand and the sea tend to lend themselves to this type of lesson especially in Florida.

Would love to see lessons that you have created like this. Please post in the comments so we can check them out.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Teachers and the Kids GET Schooled!

Our two 5th Grade teachers, Shelley Greer, and Donna Kelham, will never be "Schooled" by any other teachers on Planet Earth.  They did "GET" the book Schooled by Gordon Korman, and made awesome tie dye shirts to bring art and literature together at The Westfield School in Perry, GA.  Check out these amazing shirts and how the story evolved, well, from a story by Gordon Korman.
So what is the story?  Shelley and Donna read the book, Schooled by Gordon Korman.  Cute cover, huh?  The cover just draws me in and makes me want to read this book!
Click here for Gordon Korman Website.  From the website, I copied a brief summary of the book.  If I were in 5th grade, I would REALLY love this book!
Capricorn Anderson has never watched television. He’s never tasted pizza. Never heard of a wedgie. Since he was a little boy, his only experience has been living on a farm commune and being home-schooled by his hippie grandmother, Rain. But when Rain in unexpectedly hospitalized, Cap has to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. He knows a lot about the Beatles, tie-dying, and Zen Buddism, nothing could prepare him for the dog-eat-dog world of C Average Middle School.
While the teachers were reading the book to the 5th graders, Mrs. Greer and Mrs. Kelham approached me about tie dying with 5th grade in art.  Apparently, there is some tie dye action in book and they decided to attempt to "tie together" (ha) art and literature.  Hey, I really love these teachers and I love this idea, but there was no way that I could make 5th grade art class tie dye happen during the month of May.  I had already shot some other teachers down about tie dying class shirts for them in art.  So, it was a NO.  Honestly, it was a sad no.  I love tie dye.  I love these teachers.  I love them doing something extra for the kids, but I do not love having high blood pressure and stress, so I had to pass.  Now art teacher friends, you know how this story goes...If you say YES to all the requests, you are a very loved person.  But, if you say NO, you will face the "hate eyes" for several months. 

Guess what?  I said no, but the 5th grade teachers still loved me.  They still gave me their "happy eyes" and all was good.  Then, one day I see them on the playground and I noticed their cool shirts.  I was like, Wow, I LOVE THEM!  Then, the teachers explained to me that they found a process that would work for them.  Are these not cool? 

 Yes, these handsome and very talented guys are twins!

Here is a great video that explains the process that Shelley and Donna used to get the tie dye effect on these fun shirts.  In reality, you are tying together art, science, and literature.

The 5th grade kids liked the shirts.  How do I know?  I know because I live in a small town and I see the kids at the grocery store, the drugstore, and the neighborhood.  If a 5th grader wears a shirt in public, they like it.
What about these two teachers?  Honestly, they are great!  This was their first year as a team and boy, did they make a dynamic duo!   5th grade is a hard grade to teach because the kids are still elementary, but so close to the middle school madness.  As any teacher knows, middle school years are tough.  In my opinion, 5th grade (especially the end of 5th grade) is more difficult because the kids are so anxious about middle school and its unknowns.  These two teachers made the life of 5th graders less stressful and more fun. 
Will the kids always remember reading the book Schooled by Gordon Korman and tie dying shirts?  My guess would be yes.  Also, they will also remember these teachers doing a little extra to make these difficult "growing up" years a little less stressful.

In a few months, the teachers will be back in the classroom pouring out knowledge in a 1,000 different ways.  Hopefully, the teachers have had lots of rest and relaxation.  They will be excited and highly motivated to impart information to classes and to individuals.
A motivated teacher transfers this energy and motivates students.  It is education, folks.  If we lack ability to motivate students in 2016 with all the bells and whistles that we have available, it may be time to retire or change professions.  The last thing we want kids to feel is... 
like another brick in the wall.

Closing out with "Another Brick In the Wall" by Pink Floyd.


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Empty Bowl Project

Are you familiar with the Empty Bowl Project? If you want to learn more click the links below:

I did this project several years ago and just thought about it last night. I wanted to blog on it to help raise awareness. I am going to really try this year to reach out into the community to give back and be a part of this type of awareness in education in our community. Check out the links for more information. It is amazing just how much we take for granted with just one bowl. Think about it...

Monday, June 27, 2016

What Can Daddy's Little Girl Give Dad? 2 Blue Doggies!

Callie's dad got 2 Blue Doggies for Father's Day.  Was it a George Rodrigue influence?  Was it Angela Alexander influence?  Who and What inspired Callie?  Read below to find out the doggone truth!

You see, Daddy's little doggies have always liked Callie.  As you notice in the photo below, Callie has not always felt the same way towards Daddy's doggies.

 In early June of 2016, Callie and I took a Mother/Daughter trip to Asheville, North Carolina. During our visit, we went to the River Arts District.  The River Arts District Click here for more info is a pretty amazing place for the art lover.  Anyway, we came upon the cool work of Angela Alexander.  Have a look at her work
Callie and I both loved her fun art.  While we were there, I told Callie that Dad would love a painting of our dogs, Blue and Barley.  I told Callie she should attempt the painting and give it to Dad for Father's Day.  And so, Callie was inspired by Angela Alexander's Art in the River Arts District.
Callie is Daddy's little girl.  In the pictures below, you can see the love of a daddy for his little girl.  He is one of those men that looks ahead, clears the way, and helps make a path for his girl.  Over the past 22 years, he has held her, ran ahead of her, and walked with her to get Callie to a happy and safe place.    
Once we returned from our mother/daughter trip (fun trip), Callie began the Father's Day painting. 
 Step One:
I suggest choosing a canvas that will fit into your car.  I purchased the large canvas at the local Hobby Lobby.  After making the purchase, I realized the canvas would not fit in my car. I do recall my very dear friend mentioning a concern about the canvas size before I pulled out the cash for payment.  As always, I ignored such negative thought to be a possibility because it just had to fit.  I do not recall hearing stories of Jackson Pollock or Pablo Picasso encountering problems with artwork transport.  Why should I?  Fortunately, I relied on that same very dear friend to hold the canvas on the right side as I held it on the left side on the top of my car, as we cruised about 10 miles down a very busy road at no more than 40 miles per hour.  Sorry, no picture because my hands were totally occupied!  I can assure you, we got some looks!
Step Two:
Getting a picture of the dogs was about as bad as getting the canvas transported.  Finally, we gave up.  Callie took about 200 pictures and used the program Paint to get a complete picture.
Step Three:
We were pushed for time.  Callie used a projector and got the details drawn on a 4 ft x 4 ft canvas.  She drew them with a pencil and went over with a sharpie.

Step Four:
Callie began the painting process.  She relied on the picture to carve in the details with paint.  A big thanks to her high school art teacher, Laura Harrison, for teaching her "how to" blend colors!
Why did she choose greens and blues?  Well, her dad loves the color green.  I have to think George Rodrigue's Blue Dog influenced the dog color.  George Rodrigue passed away in 2013, but his amazing Blue Dog Art and influence lives on!  Have a look
Callie started with Barley.  He is actually a chocolate lab.  A blue dog is much more interesting that a brown dog, right?
Then, she began painting our other dog, Blue.  Yep, his name is Blue.  Someone actually left Blue in a buggy in the Walmart parking lot with all his siblings.  Sad, but true story.  Blue Ray has been the best guard dog a family could ask for! 

Step Five:
Here is the unveiling for Dad!

He's a happy Dad.  He gives Callie his best hug and admires his large, Callie-made, blue dog art!
Here is the final artwork of the 2 blue dogs.  Done and Done!
The last picture is one with my two favorite dogs, the Georgia Bulldogs!  As of May 2016, they are both alums of the University of Georgia.
Friends, time flies.  Like Crosby, Stills & Nash sing, "Teach your children well.  The past really is just a good bye."

"The story of life is quicker than the blink of an eye
The story of love is hello and goodbye
Until we meet again"

-Jimi Hendrix last words in a poem found next to him on his deathbed.

For the music lover, teaching your children includes passing on respect for the great Jimi Hendrix.  On a recent family vacation to Seattle, Washington, we traveled an extra hour to see Jimi's grave in Renton, Washington.
Pass it ON!