Tuesday, 15 August 2017

I became an uncle :)

Hello again!

On 9th July, I became an uncle for the first time when my wonderful sister gave birth to the beautiful Madeleine Rose.

Immediately, the new parents were inundated with all sorts of clothes, bibs and nappies. However, the request for me was to purchase a name sign for Maddie's new bedroom. I thought I'd go one better and create her own sign from scratch using the metled crayon method that I used before for this project.


Canvas (I used A3 size)
Super glue or a hot glue gun to assemble the crayons to the canvas
Heat source (I used a hairdryer which did the job nicely)
Stencils for lettering
Black paint or Sharpie to fill in letters

Here it is up on the door. I'm hoping Maddie will enjoy it for years to come. I'll make an artist of her yet!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Zapotec Weaving Mats


It has been far too long since I've updated this which is a shame. Although I've been involved in the Art Club this year, the projects haven't really suited blog posts.

However, all that has changed with our recent Aztec Day at school! I wanted to do a really fun art activity that wasn't already being covered in the boys' art lessons (sun god, masks). I came across this lovely post about art from Mexico on Ms Gram's super blog.

Things you need:
A4 black paper or card
Coloured strips of paper of different widths

1. First of all, the strips of paper were placed on the floor so they could easily be reached. The boys were then given their black paper that already had an even number of hole punches on either side.

2. Using a strip at a time, we showed the boys how to fold the paper twice and then cut patterns and shapes into it, similar to how you fold and cut snowflakes before revealing the result. We talked about layering the strips on top of each other to create different effects and choosing complementing colours.

3. The boys then glued their strips and designs onto the black paper to make it look like a weaved rug.

4. The final step was to tie a very simple double-knot through each hole to give the rug that authentic ruffled look.

Check out a handful of our beautiful results below!

Great job 3B! A wonderful way to close what has been an amazing year.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Super Hero 'About Me' Craftivity

Hooray for nearing the end of the year and having more opportunities to get creative.

I met my brand new group of Year 2s this afternoon who will make up 3B next year. We only had an hour with each other and half of that was going on a tour with their Year 6 buddies. I found this delightful super hero craft to make which I purchased for under £3. I also found a great super hero 'about me' here (although I did have to change 'color' to 'colour')

Some members of the current 3B were very helpful throughout the day and assisted me in chopping up the hair, faces, masks and capes. Of course, they couldn't keep themselves from getting involved and making their own super heroes! The instructions were very easy to follow and it's a lovely craft that I can use for a few years so I didn't mind the small cost. Here are the current 3B helpers with their efforts:

Next, here is a small selection of the efforts from the Year 2 boys. They worked so beautifully and were incredibly enthusiastic. Hopefully this is a positive sign for next year!

They quickly filled in their sheets with some of their favourite things. You'll notice the frame in the middle of the paper. We took a picture of each child in a super hero pose. These will be printed and stuck in ready to make a wonderful display in September.

A lovely end to the year.

Rokeby, it's been a blast! The year has gone so quickly. A huge thanks must go to my 3B gang of hard workers and happy gigglers. Thank you also to the parents who have been so supportive and kind. I've been blown away by the generosity shown and by the commitment to their boys.

I'm off to Cambodia, Vietnam and Australia over most of the holidays. Enjoy the break, I know I will! Maybe I can pick up some good art activities! I will be back in September with the return of the art club. See you there :)


Friday, 1 July 2016

Paper Cubes

We've had quite a few slots of free time this week to allow the boys to recover from a gruelling rehearsal schedule. They've worked SO hard on their play and delivered two wonderful performances on Friday.

I noticed that in some of this 'free time', a lot of the boys enjoyed making paper crafts and shapes. Therefore, I gave the class the choice to take part in a paper cube project that I had come across (of course!) on Pinterest. You can find this post with more detailed instructions here.

Strips of card that are the same length and preferably the same width

I gave each table lots of the strips that I had previously chopped up. With each strip used for the frame, the boy had to fold them in half vertically. They built up the frame one strip at a time as seen here:

After the frame was built, they wanted to go even further with their construction and decided to continue layering the strips all the way around the structure. This would make it stronger and of course, even more importantly, make it look better! There were plenty of frustrated huffs and puffs but eventually I think the majority were happy with their result. A few didn't quite manage to finish but the good thing about this is how easy it is to continue and how few resources are needed.

Great job, everyone!


Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Good news! Return of the Art Club

As you know, opportunities to become involved with art have been hard to come by at my new school this year. The possibility of co-teaching art to Year 3 was looked into but it was unfortunately not possible due to timetabling issues. We'll look at it again in the future and hopefully find a solution! 

In the meantime, I've been offered the chance to run the weekly art club at lunchtimes. We start in September and I'm very pleased that I can repeat some of my favourite projects and can also find lots more to do, too! There are limited spaces for the club and they filled up in under two minutes once applications were live! This shows the huge interest which is fantastic and we might have to look into expanding the intake. 

So, stay tuned after the summer holidays for more activities. Despite not posting projects regularly for around a year now, the site is still recording over 100 views a day which I still can't quite get my head around. We've also just passed the 35,000 view mark and had recent visits from Brazil, Israel and Argentina. 


Thursday, 24 March 2016

Masking Tape Silhouettes

It has been FAR too long since my last update. I have been so incredibly busy at my new school and unfortunately I'm really not having too many opportunities to create art with the students. HOWEVER, that all changed this week as it's Rokeby's Arts Week! I was asked to lead a couple of sessions with the year 3 boys and quite quickly I thought of a project that would do the job perfectly: my masking tape silhouettes. I did these a while ago in art club on paper and the results were great. Luckily, I was able to give each boy a canvas this time around so I feel the results were even better and allows them to look after them for a much longer time.

Step 1
First of all, I took side-profile pictures of each of the boys before the sessions.

Step 2
The boys then cut out their side-profile picture and painted it black

Step 3
I gave each boy their canvas whilst the silhouette was drying. I showed them how the masking tape could be used to create patterns in the background. We talked through about using the tape 'randomly' but also to make patterns like grids, flags, trees etc. I stressed the importance of going across the canvas and smoothing it down so that paint couldn't seep in.

Step 4
The boys were then instructed to fill in the sections that they had created. They were advised to use one colour per section. It was up to them how many colours they used but they had to make sure they filled up all of the space and didn't go under the tape.

Step 5
When the paint was dry, the boys peeled off their masking tape carefully to reveal the beautifully clean white lines underneath. If any drops had seeped through we covered them with oil pastels or white paint.

Step 6
They then had to stick the silhouette onto their canvas. They were encouraged to try out different compositions and then glue it down once they were happy. After this, they could use black markers to write words to describe themselves or things that they liked to do.They could also do little illustrations in the sections. After that, they used bright oil pastels for extra patterns and decorations. Some of the boys were very creative with their decorations as you will see below!

Here are just a small handful of our results:

Fantastic work, Year 3. Well done!


Thursday, 27 August 2015

Some late additions to the classroom

We are now incredibly close to beginning the new school year and it's all getting very exciting! I popped back into school for a couple more hours to make some late additions to my increasingly busy classroom.

Here are some organisers that I decorated to fit in with the superhero theme. My dad was throwing out a lot of old comics and (after checking if any were rare and valuable!) I hastily grabbed them and started to tear them up. I used modpodge to glue comic pieces onto the cardboard. I'm very happy with the final products and they will slot into the room seamlessly.

I got some of these small, metal buckets from Amazon for around £5. The children are going to be given a lot of homework each week so I plan to use this as a way of knowing who has and hasn't handed in their work. Each child will be assigned a number on the first day and this will be used in many different areas of the classroom. When they hand in their homework for the day, the child removes their peg from the brim of the bucket and then places it inside. This allows me to quickly ascertain which students have not completed the task.

I've slightly changed around my teacher corner. I've hung a cork-board up to act as a notice board and have finally added my chimes that I love to use as a peaceful way of telling the children to be quiet. You can see a couple of postcards that two of my new children sent me from their summer adventures!

As I referred to earlier, each child will be assigned a number on the first day. This same number will be used for my new behaviour system. I will do a separate behaviour system post another time when I have some more pictures and examples. Behind each number is a small box with lots of tokens. When I award a token for good behaviour, the pupil then gets their numbered token and places it into the token bag which can also be seen below. I bought the bag from Amazon for less than £2. In the picture, you can see that above the bag is a poster with the names and numbers of each child so that they don't forget. Throughout the week, tokens will be drawn from the bag to award prizes/give jobs.

Next up is my improved 'Incredible Work' board. I hot-glued pins to pegs and placed these over some larger pieces of green paper. This will now enable me to display amazing pieces of work without damaging it or tearing up the display itself. Very handy.

The last addition is this lovely framed calendar that I've seen people make on pinterest. I used acrylic paint to show value in 7 different colours, one for each day. This is all then framed behind glass which gives me the ability to use a whiteboard pen to record important dates/things that the children need to remember. At the end of the month, all I need to do is wipe the numbers and notes off and then write the new month in correctly. I'll probably do a separate post about this too to give more details about how you can easily make your own.

Thanks for reading!