Saturday, June 11, 2011

Miscellany- last days of school

I absolutely feel remiss in posting things about school, after all I am the mad-artteacher!

So, I am sure, positively sure, that everyone is wondering what in the world I do to keep the kids occupied that last week of school!  Is that something that keeps you up at night?  How is she ever going to do it- keep the students busy and indeed learning, while having fun the last 2 weeks of school??  Well, I had an epiphany a month ago, when I was reading an art teacher chat board.  (This is a chat board that is not nearly as much fun as you think.  But it is full of really good information for and by art teachers.)  One person was offering suggestions for an end of school project- hence Turtle Races were discovered and indeed carried out!  Of course this was in the elementary school, the high school has it's own set of issues!  :)

2 weeks before the last day of art, I told the kids about the turtle races.  I only told them that they were going to race tagboard turtles, did not tell them how- at all.  They love mystery.  They guessed and guessed, but I was brutal and would tell them nothing!  So, they took some turtle patterns, traced them on tag and then cut them out and decorated.  A secondary bit of excitement was that I was going to have a mystery guest judge choose the most creative out of each class!  Prizes were promised!  More frenzied guessing ensued..... I was like a piece of ice- did not melt under the pressure.  

The last art period was race day, and I tied two big pieces of yarn, very thick yarn, to the table legs, which you can see in the pictures.  I punched a hole in the neck of the turtle, so it wouldn't tear and they threaded it onto the yarn.  Then they jiggled, wiggled, pulled and jerked the string to move the turtle down.  First one to hit the table leg wins!  No touching after you let it go/push it off!  And no enlarging the holes!!!  So I paired them up, we kept track of who won, everyone got at least one Laffy Taffy, and noisy, hilarity was the theme for the day.  The lovely turtles were carefully and studiously decorated, some realistic, some abstract, some funky!  It was great.  They were all winners!
Get ready, get set!
Stay behind the line on the floor!

wiggle wiggle

Jiggle, jiggle
And the winner is....
So I have always planned to post some High School art work, but I didn't really get to it!  But I had some things on the last Tuesday in the room, so I snagged a few photos.

The first thing looks a little, um, frightening, but I assure you it is more funny than anything else!  It was created by Tim, one of our foreign exchange students.  Time put a lot of time and energy into his zombie, even bought some clothes at the thrift shop that we put on the crazy thing.  It is constructed of 90% recycled cardboard!  For obvious reasons, Tim was not able to take this thing home with him, so I have the "pleasure" of watching over it.
I got a few photos of clay items from the last kiln firing of the year.  The top one was very cleverly glazed- she put tape on the bisque ware, glazed it, and then took the tape off and dabbed a bit of underglaze in the raw areas.  Very cool!

Here are a few more clay pieces that turned out pretty well:

Here are 3 paintings all by the same student.  I want to say that she never thought that she was a good painter a year or so ago.  I think she is safely a "good painter" now!
The following painting is very complex- 3 canvases assembled and the oval at the bottom has a mirror in it.  It is reminiscent of tessellation...

Tiger in Blue

So here is my little sampling of artwork, I hope you enjoyed it.  I feel better now knowing that I have taken care of my art room obligations...  :)  Now I need to finish putting all that art stuff away!!  Ugh!

Until next time, be a joy giver!  We will rule the world someday!!


  1. I love the turtle race idea! I know the kids loved this terrific ending to a great year in Art with Mrs. O. You're a wonderful teacher.

  2. Turtle races! Who would've thunk it! Great idea! Better idea than just taking them outside as I was told to do, when I subbed in art the penultimate day of the school year!

  3. Love the turtle races! You are so fun! The paintings and clay pottery are beautiful. Talented teacher, talented students :)