Art Test

   The end of the year was fast upon us. 1st grade had one more day of art class before the "Good Behavior Art Party" day. Should I have them watch a movie or free draw.... Neither.
   I decided to see what my little 1st graders had learned from the year. In 1st grade we begin to apply the "basics" to projects that reflect around the Elements and Principles. We concentrate on drawing with pencils, coloring like an artist, painting, and collages. So I decided to test them to see how much they had retained. Will they remember to draw lightly? Swish, wipe, and blot? Let's find out...
Students were told that this was a test. I wanted to see if they remembered elements, principles, procedures and processes we had worked on all year in class. 
Create a flower: Any kind. Real or imaginary. 
You have 3 choices of how to make it: Drawing and coloring with crayon, Collage with scissors and glue, or draw and paint. 
All students were given 9"x12" white paper. All materials they needed were out and ready. The rest was up to them. 
Tracing the drawing with a black crayon to make it "POP" when it is painted.

Some students made two types and wanted to turn in the best one. Here you can see paints and crayons out. 

Correct paint procedure setup!

When I asked this student where his sky would stop he said, "All the way to the ground SILLY!"

Me: "Why is this flower so much bigger?"
Student: "It's in the foreground!" 

This student went on to paint the rest of the sky blue and leave the clouds white. It made the cloud shapes more organic. 

One student creating a collage and another one coloring. Notice how her petals are in a stack. She stacked the papers together and cut them all at the same time. "Why did you do that?" I asked. "Because I wanted them all the same." she said. 

Many imaginary color choices!

This little girl pointed out to me that she let one color dry, painted something somewhere else, and then came back to paint beside the first color. She remembered that the colors may bleed together. 

Paint setup for two. You can tell that they did some good blotting on their paper towel.

I was very pleased with all the results. Only 2 students forgot a couple of things. I believe I will now give a test at the end of the year similar to this for all grades. It was a HUGE SUCCESS and the students loved showing me what they learned. One even told me that this should be on the TCAP! 



   May 5th, 2011 marked our 2nd Annual Art Show. Here is how it all went from start to finish. (Thanks Phyl for getting my brain engaged with your post.)
   I am very fortunate to have the use of the school’s all purpose room (playroom). Think mini gym without the basket ball hoops and no bleachers. With the help of some close friends and parents the show went up without a hitch. I am not given release time to hang the show so my parent volunteers and I will have the classes that I have that day help out. I send home volunteer letters at least 2 weeks ahead. 
   I have the show in the Spring because I want students to have lots of work to choose from for the show. This year the Kindergarten teachers and I have struck a deal. The Pre-k and K registration is the Monday after the Thursday evening art show. They always decorate for registration and now I have taken care of that. They want the art show left up as decoration and they will have their teacher assistants take the whole thing down the following day!! No take down for me!! We're going to keep this arrangement next year. 
   I display the work of all students. They choose on portfolio review day! About two weeks before the show. The art show is not a competition. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I do however have door prizes. I have a volunteer take names at the door. They register students for the prize they wish to win. I draw names once the show is over and announce the next day at school.
   I send flyers home with students two weeks before and little art tickets the week of. I also have a giant poster that I staple to a display board that I put out for car riders to see at arrival and dismissal the week of the show.
   The walls are concrete. I use 2” masking tape to hang everything. 2 – 3 pieces of tape to hang each work. My 5th grade class that morning makes tape rolls and places them on drawing mats for us to use while hanging. Because of this, I saved about an hour during setup. I do have 6 display boards which I staple work to. I also use hot glue to attach to those less tape friendly services. As you can see below. It's our climbing wall with the floor mats hanging from it. 

   I don’t mount, just not in the budget… I write the students’ names on the bottom right hand corner of their work as they choose their art show piece.
   The highlight of the show is always the slideshow. I create a slideshow of students working during the year and display it with a white board, laptop, and projector which is set up on a table. 
   Last year's show was a huge success and I was anxious to have a good turn out this year. I really talked it up to the kids, made art show “tickets”, a countdown calendar, and displayed the door prizes that could be won (Thanks Erica!). I had a guest book for people to sign in so I would know the numbers. A donation jar is also set up outside the entrance to the playroom. 
   I serve fruit punch and cookies. This year I asked teachers to bring in one package of cookies!! Thanks Mr. E for the idea. A volunteer or two mans the refreshment table.

   Turn out was a bit lower than last year's, but we still raised a lot of money in donations. The families that attended thanked me for having a such an event. Next year, I may have the show on a Friday evening and include art activities.
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