Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anything is possible in the art room - pigs are flying!

Above, Dylan's happy little pig (left) and Kylie's splatter-pig fly over my desk, along with Cristina's lovely angel pig (unfortunately not photo-ed). I also don't have a photo of the Boston Celtics pig, complete with sweatband on head, or the rodeo pig with its lasso.

So the flying pigs are mostly done; 25 of them are currently 'flying' in my room with 8 more to complete. The unfinished pigs include a clown pig, and a sweet girl piggie with lace and ruffles and bows. Next week, several pigs are going to the public library to fly through the children's room for a few weeks. Here's a view of my art room:

The little kids are so excited walking into the room and seeing all the pigs flying!

Above is Cordell's devil pig, and Summer's angel pig.

Chloe's chef pig (complete with fried egg) and Delilah's pig.

Trey's "ninja superhero pig" is situated over the radiator vents, so that his cape constantly blows in the breeze.

Kylee and Olivia's two happy piggies

Quinn's red, white & blue pig with star wings

Xavier's pig (wish you could see it's cute smile)

Mason and Jay's army pigs (note the "bomb" - a pipe cleaner and button - hanging from the pig on the right)

I think the pigs came out pretty cute, but I had trouble convincing the kids of how I wanted them finished. I told them that eyes close together look goofy and cute, but most simply didn't want them that way. They could have added eyelashes, bows, belts, and more, but only a few went that far. Two of the most unique are a firefighter pig and a sheriff pig (both the dads' professions) and they have name badges and uniforms, but ironically both have earrings and glitter eye shadow. So I had to remind myself: I chose pigs as our papier-mache project this year, rather than some others that I might have done, because I KNOW THE KIDS. This year's 5th graders are sweet, nice kids, quite lovely actually, but they have trouble with multi-step directions. The pigs are easy to construct and the only real decision-making was the design of the wings and how they are painted/decorated in the end. Ironically, my 3rd graders are beginning some papier-mache masks right now, and they are decidedly more complex. Again, I know the kids. Do you adjust your lessons & projects based on the mix of kids in the class?

**I said this a couple of days ago and I'll bring it up again - is anyone else having weird spacing things going on with blogger? After all these months w/no problems, suddenly I have extra spaces jumping in, or spaces deleting, no matter how many times I try to adjust it. I don't like the way it looks but I can't seem to fix it. It's a mess! Picky, picky, huh? Are you having these problems with your blog?


  1. The pigs look fantastic -- PLEASE tell me you didn't climb up there and hang them all yourself!!!!
    I had some spacing problems a while back. I couldn't get the first photo on a post to be at the top -- there was a huge space between the top of the page and where the photo was placed and NOTHING I did seemed to fix the problem. Lately, things have been OK, though.

  2. Christie, I can't reach to put up the ceiling hooks, so I nab tall high school students or teachers passing by. But once the hooks are up, I stand on the tables and hang the pigs. Being barely 5' tall, I'm quite used to standing on furniture. YOu should see me climb the shelves in the grocery store if I need to!!

    As for blogger, I haven't had trouble getting the pics where i want them, but those spaces and gaps everywhere - eek!!! It won't let me fix it!!

  3. Oh noooooooo, pigs are flying! What strange things will happen now???

    And I have had some trouble with spaces too...
    Mostely when I want to use more than one picture. Hope they will fix it soon!

    Ilse @

  4. Oh, I love piggies! I've got to tell you- I'm about the same height as you & you should see me climbing around in my room. Most of my shelves are well out of my reach. I try not to stand on the counters when the kids are in the room but....
    How do you "get away" with hanging things from the ceiling? With fire codes and all- we are told nothing on the ceilings or 2 feet from the ceiling...
    And- I've ordered some art paste- one of the reasons that I haven't done more papier-mache is that I HATE the wheat paste that I inherited.

  5. Jenn, Hmmm about those fire codes. We've also got the 2 foot rule etc, and nothing is supposed to be hanging.

    So basically, here's the truth - we already had our fire inspection this year and as long as nobody says anything about the piggies, who am I to worry? My room doesn't seem to be on anyone's priority list to complain about. If they did, I guess I would play 'naive' and say "I thought it was OK since they are all hanging more than 2' beneath the ceiling." Honestly, there's way worse fire hazards in my room...

  6. I absolutely LOVE the flying pigs. I change my lessons according to my students as well. Sometimes, I will even change my lessons from one class to another. For example: I have one fifth grade class who happen to be very talented and gifted artists. For this class, I will periodically do lessons that are a bit more challenging because I know they can handle it. However, the other fifth grade classes will do something a little different.

  7. Love all the personalities of the pigs! Yes our fire inspection passed too. . . I had to take everything down also. Yes I do different projects with different classes. Some groups are sooo different it would be impossible to have a 3rd grade lesson a 4th grade lesson etc across the board (unless you want a total melt down!) So you've got to be on your toes:) to remember all the lessons going on.

  8. HaHa!I am still un-tenured, so I don't make big waves yet... I still have hooks on the ceiling that I could hang things from.
    I believe that most of the objects in the school are paper & would burn anyway...
    I'm doing papier-mache with my HS sculpture girls.

  9. Jenn, what are you using for your papier-mache? I love the art paste for elementary, but for high school I think I'd use Elmer's glue - it's so much stronger. What are the sculptures of?

  10. I had to laugh when I started thinking about how we all probably go about hanging our art. Until earlier this year I was still stacking chairs on top of tables and climbing to the top of it all so that I could reach the ceiling. Of course, I would close and lock the doors before doing this VERY foolish maneuver so that I wouldn't get "caught"!! I have finally decided I am too old to continue this practice and next time will go find the ladder (and maybe the custodian) to help me out!!

  11. Nice to know we all do these crazy maneuvers. I constantly am standing on the counter, the tables, my desk, the edge of the sink, etc at sink. HOWEVER - I have gotten a tad cautious, since I am rather accident prone. Last year, in my storage closet standing on four-legged chair (actually a stool), I stood too close to the edge and it flipped out from under me and I landed whack flat on my back on the hard floor. My chiropractor is my hero...

  12. Love your piggies, phyl! I haven't noticed any unfixable spaces while posting. Perhaps go to edit html. This symbol "
    " is the code that inserts an empty line. If you see a bunch of them delete what you don't want.

  13. Sorry, the code won't publish so I'll describe it instead. The code for break is the letters "br" in the brackets that look like "less than" and "greater than" signs.

  14. Phyl, I had the same problem with all those weird spaces. My husband found out it has to do something with a new editor.
    Go to Dashbord, choose for settings. Scroll down until you see Global settings. Choose for 'updated editor' instead of 'old editor' and most problems are over.
    There are few new things in uploading pictures, but I think it's working better now. I usually had problems with uploading pictures, because they caused a lot of extra spaces between numbered rows. I had to delete them then. That problem is over now, as well as the problems you describe.
    It's a bit strange we did'nt know about a new editor, isn't it? We should have been informed I guess?
    I thought I was the only one getting mad of pictures at places I did'nt want to have them! It started with my lesson about the Greek vases, about a week ago or something? But I' happy with the new editor now.

  15. I love this idea. I am going to have my students make flying pigs. What a clever idea. In answer to your question: A good teacher adjusts what projects based on his/her students. I use different teaching techniques in my classroom and different parts of a project for my students. I also take different steps with my kindergartens when they paint than I so with my seventh grade students. With my older students I point to the materials and let them go for it. I can do this because I have trained them for the last five years on how to use the art materials.

    For my younger students I go over scissor safety every time we take out scissors. I show students how to use their “crab claw” and “chicken wing” when cutting. We practice this. I also remind students not to cut their clothing, their hair, or their lips, and I stress ONLY paper. I have seen each of these before. The skin ones are usually accidents; nothing to serious. So yes, I adjust what I do with my students based on the group.
    -Christy Berry

  16. Oh my goodness....these are adorable!!! just adorable....I want to keep each and every one of them and look at them in my ceiling....

    Hugs from DC


  17. Ahhh! Oh my gosh ! I love love LOVE how they turned out!

  18. I was inspired by your idea that I had to try it out. I mention and link you in my blog post. I added a how to video for teachers who don’t know how to make the paper-mache pig. Thanks!
    Mrs. Berry


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