Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Thank you! You're the best!


I went to bed last night at 599 followers, and tonight have 601. WOW. I'm humbled and grateful, and hope you will continue to stop in and visit my little blog. I enjoy the dialogue and exchange of ideas, and even with looming retirement, don't worry, I have lots left to share!

By the way - the HUGE flowers above (the bloom is 18" in diameter and you can see how tall they are when you compare with the stool to the left) were made by my kindergartners! We spent one class making painted paper; another class painting paper bowl centers, and cardboard tube stems, and paper for leaves; and in today's class we traced the bowl and a petal template (yes, a template again) and cut the flowers out. Final step was to bring the parts to a hot glue station for me to ZAP it together! POOF! They are as almost as big as the kids!

And if that isn't enough - (remember my plan is to 'go out in a blaze of glory') - today - with just two weeks until my student art show, my 6th graders (who are already making GIANT seed packages to plant on stakes in the 'garden') with only 4 art class periods before the art show, dove into other big stuff for the garden: a ladybug, a caterpillar, a snake, a giant pea pod with peas inside, and ...? Speed art, anyone? Papier-mache! - YAHOO!

21 comments:

  1. That post left my head spinning, Phyl! I did a doubletake when I read that the big flowers were made by kinders! You Rock! And so do your wee ones! The flowers are so beautiful and I am looking forward to seeing the garden in all of it's glory! Congrats on reaching over 600 followers-I'm one of your biggest fans!

    :)Pat

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  2. WOO HOO!! Those kinder flowers ROCK! Pinning, Pinning, Pinning!!!!! Wow my head is spinning too! I have 2 more classes with my students 14 days left!!!! So I am taking artwork down and sending it home. I have loved seeing all the fun garden projects you have posted (Gnomes) and cannot wait to see the seed packets peapods! Congrats on 600 followers! :)

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  3. LOVE those giant flowers! You always have such great projects.

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  4. I LOVE paper mache!!! Those flowers are awesome! :) Cant wait to see all the new things you've started!! Thats going to be one awesome installation!

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  5. When I grow up I want to be you Phyl! Or better yet go back in time and be a student of yours. I love the go big attitude. You might as well! Enjoy your time.

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  6. you are amazing! I can't wait to see pictures of the final show!!

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  7. Aw shucks!! You are all so sweet! I'm definitely all about "go big or go home" these days. But my room is seriously stressed. I have 5 tables each labeled with a color, and I assign the kids a table each class with colored pop sticks. Today one of the kids saw the blue pop sticks and said "there's a BLUE table? WHERE?" I had to laugh. It is covered with materials for garden gnome decoration, piles of art for the art show, and random other stuff. And MORE in boxes UNDER the table. The custodian I think sweeps around it each night. It will be nice when it is clean again and kids can actually sit at the blue table.

    A quickie about the painted paper for the flowers - I actually gave the kiddos my PRINTMAKING rollers and they used them to spread a base color of paint, which they then embellished with brushes and other colors. It was a hoot - the kids LOVED the rollers and it made it easy to spread the paint. I had a different set of colors on each table - one had reds & pinks, another reds and oranges, and another pinks and violets, and another blues and violets. The kids each chose their table to sit at and it worked out evenly in every class!

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  8. Flowers are SO colorful. I cannot WAIT to see this garden all put together. I hope you take LOTS of pictures:))

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  9. After seeing these I had my 4 yr old daughter make something like this for her teachers and her brothers. I was trying to show you a picture but couldn't figure out how. I love love your blog. I teach high school art in Ohio. "Sutka and Art Education"

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    1. Thanks, Sutka. There's not really any way to leave a photo in a comment. I'd say "send me an email with the photo" but I'm not posting my email address any longer. If you want to send it via email, leave a comment with your email and I'll email YOU. Then you can respond with the photo. I'd be happy to delete the comment with the email once I've gotten it. Anyhow, thanks again for the compliment!

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  11. Your kinder flowers ROCK. Did you use construction paper for the petals? How did you get them to have so much body? Is there a back side to them? Can you feel the Art Show stress building in my email? Any hints would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks
    Chris in CA

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    1. Chris, first we used tempera paint on 90 lb.paper - the kids actually rolled the base color on with printmaking rollers, and then used brushes for the dots and swirls. I had some helper 4th graders who, during lunch, painted a tempera varnish over them to seal them and make them shiny. In another class period, the kinders painted cardboard rolls for the stems, paper bowls for the centers, and some paper for leaves. Again, my helpers sealed them with tempera varnish.

      Then, in yet another class period, the kinders traced the bowls, and traced a petal template around it. I don't usually use templates, but I made an exception for this! Then they cut out the flower, and we glued on the bowls. I hot glued them onto the stem, and glued on the leaves. The backs are raw/unpainted. The painted & varnished 90 lb paper with the heavy paper bowls were very sturdy.

      Unfortunately they did not stand up on their own, so they were leaned, or I believe some of them were secretly balanced with dowel rods inside them which were stuck into the bleachers rather creatively to make them stand (our show was in the gym; there's photos of it in a subsequent post).

      Don't stress, you're show will be wonderful, and the kids will be proud of their work, whatever it happens to be.

      Don't hold my show up to any magical standard. I taught for 36 years, and this art show, complete with a garden filled with these flowers, giant vegetables, seed packets, and bugs, dragonflies, and papier-mâché garden gnomes was my last 'hurrah', so it had to be extra-special. And I couldn't have set it up myself. I had huge help from a (much taller) former student teacher, and the gal who replaced me, as well as assorted kids and the high school art teacher.

      Let me know if I can help any further; all blog comments come to my email, and i check my mail daily so I'm never long to respond to questions or comments.

      I'm glad you enjoyed our flowers - thanks!

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    2. You are so generous with your time and info. Thanks! We have an Art Show theme of fairy tales and these flowers reminded me of the Wizard of Oz when the house drops on the bad witch and everything turns to color. My kinders sponged paper today, will pattern next day, and assemble next week. They are already loving the idea of tall flowers. Again, many thanks.
      Chris

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    3. I just wrote a comment (below) intended as a reply to you, so I just wanted to let you know that it is there for you to read.

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  12. Ooh, I love the fairy tale theme and I'm a huge Wizard of Oz fan, especially that particular scene, which has personal significance to me in form of a special memory, watching the movie annually at my best friend's house, where they had one of the first color TV's in town!! What fun! Let me know how it all turns out!

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  13. Hi There

    If you don't mind i have a quick question about your process on making these flowers. I'm a student teacher and starting monday i am teaching kindergarden for the next month. I'd love to make these huge flowers with my kids but I'm concerned about time and space. How many kids did you do this with and how long approx. did it take? I have about 26 kids in each my morning and afternoon classes so I'm trying to think of a way we can do this to keep them interested enough to paint all that paper. When i did a big art project last time some of them quickly lost interest... I was thinking of doing it outside for space but was concerned about the running off to the playground instead of doing the art thing.

    Thanks for the help!
    -Rebecca

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    1. Rebecca,
      My kindergarten classes were small -about 15 kids each, and there were three classes. Our class time was 40 minutes. The paper we painted was 18x24". It was 2 years ago, but I'll try to remember what I did. I believe the tables were set up with two colors paint each. One table was red/pink, another was orange/yellow, etc. The kids selected which table to paint at. A other alternative I might suggest if you have several classes is to have one class use just, say, yellow and orange. Another class uses red and purple, etc. That way you instantly know which work belongs to which class. We used printmaking brayers and rolled on a base color of paint, and then they all got soaked in the sink after so cleanup was easy. They could use one or both the colors on their tables. Painting was done quickly and the whole paper was covered except the frame. Then I believe I put out toilet paper rolls and bottle caps for stamping, and some old paintbrushes and the kids stamped and swirled. I think they switched tables for different colors, or I switched the paints. This was done in the spring when I knew the kids really well and they knew me and our classroom routines. I normally teach kids to wash brushes but this time I probably put them all in a bucket to soak. With a limited color selection at each table the kids of not need to wash tools between colors. I wrote about the process a bit in a previous comment on this post, if you look through them. Another possibility for tools is cutting up sponges into small squares and putting them on clothes pins to use as stampers and spreaders. Easy cleanup! These were done very quickly with no time for anyone to lose interest. Demo, roll on the paint, decorate with stamps and swirls, cleanup time, class over!

      Keep in mind, these were for my last art show before retiring, and I wanted to go out with a bang. So everything was purposely big and we made a lot of mess to get everything done. And my 4th graders helped keep things moving by helping out, as i wrote about in a previous comment above. You could modify the project to make it easier by using colored construction paper rather than painted paper, though the painted paper is definitely stronger. Or, you could make a smaller version with paper towel rolls as stems, and using paper cut to maybe 12" or 15" square. I just happen to really like big art!

      For the leaves, to speed things up you could use green felt or foam or construction paper, and up you could wrap the cardboard tubes with green construction paper and glue if you didn't want to paint them. Honestly, painting the tubes was the messiest part! For the centers, we painted bowls but you could color them or just buy yellow bowls and use markers to decorate.

      Big suggestion for a student teacher like yourself. Try everything out yourself before you is it with kids to see how long it takes! And use the frame, as I said above. It will dramatically cut your cleanup challenges plus the paper won't curl as much either. Good luck, and if you need any more help, feel free to email me at plbrown3 at yahoo dot com

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    2. Rebecca, just retread your question, and I would definitely NOT do this so big with 26 kids in a class. It would be a lot to manage. Also, I'm in northern NY and the spring weather is very changeable, and my room was on the second floor anyhow. In other words, going outside was not an option, and I am always cautious with young kids outside for precisely the reason you mention. I like the confines of my classroom. Hope I've helped!

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  14. I love these flowers! I went looking for a picture of the show with the flowers and bugs on display but could not find them. Could you tell me where I can find them? We are going to have a show based on flowers and it would be helpful to see what you did!

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    1. Here's where I posted pics of the show: http://plbrown.blogspot.com/2012/05/bittersweet.html

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