Creating in 3-D: Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers

By Greenman, Geri | Arts & Activities, May 2009 | Go to article overview

Creating in 3-D: Tried & True Tips for Art Teachers


Greenman, Geri, Arts & Activities


May has arrived and it is time for us to surround ourselves with art, moving from the flat surface to the third dimension. It's time to frolic in the round and skip around the maypole of materials that will get your students excited about sculpture!

What a joy to it is to teach, watching our students think, design and create art. I've always felt that teaching is a privilege we're given, and I must admit that I've been somewhat arrogant, having taught the bigger kids.

After writing this column for two years, talking, writing and collaborating with teachers across the U.S., I must say that most of you who have written in are very busy, overworked elementary art teachers. I'm in AWE of your knowledge, affection, dedication, stamina and organizational skills. Oftentimes, you have these small children for only 25 minutes, teach them so much in so little time, and then repeat it with 1,000-plus students! To the art teachers out there, you are amazing and I applaud you!

tip #1

LAMINATION IS A WONDERFUL THING

This tip is from Nancy Staszak of Lisle, Ill. When Nancy has hundreds of little pots and sculptures and is trying to keep all the classes straight in their boxes, shelves and kiln-firing turns, she laminates 4" x 6" cards with the teachers' names on them. She makes four cards for each class, and then she's able to have carts, boxes and a lineup outside the kiln-room door with names of the classes and whether their pottery is drying, firing or waiting for glaze. Nancy tapes the cards to the cart, shelf, outside the kiln-room door wherever they're needed!

tip #2

BOTH SIDES NOW Nancy uses a lot of little paper plates to contain the mess of painting or glazing clay sculptures. She has the kids write their name on BOTH sides of the plate, because the top often gets covered!

tip # 3

REUSE AND RECYCLE Glenda Lubiner of Miramar, Fla., suggests finding a recycling store in your area, telling them you'll use their items in your classroom to teach conservation and recycling, and then using these materials to create sculptures! Most places will give teachers materials for free!

tip #4

FABULOUS FLUORESCENCE Glenda ran out of glazes one year so she cleverly diluted fluorescent paint in four different buckets. She had the kids dip their bowls in the different colors of watered-down paint and voila! They looked fabulous, almost like a tie-dye effect!

tip #5

PUT THIS IN YOUR PIPE Karyn Vine of Delaware County, Pa. …

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