I've finally met all my classes for the start of the year. Everything has gone smoothly! This is what we have been working on at Wood End and Birch Meadow.
Grades four and five have created sketchbooks. We use our sketchbooks for planning out our projects. When students have finished a project, I usually give out a sketchbook assignment for them to work on in their book. This way, everyone is working on something and not wondering what to do for the rest of the class. Sometimes students will get the option to "free draw". Their sketchbook will provide a place for them to draw in.
We used 10 pieces of paper, either 11x17 inches or 12x18 inches works. we folded them in half to create a book shape, then glued them together. I then placed 2 staples in the middle of the books for extra reinforcement. Then each class added a colored binding. the binding was a 3 inch strip of paper folded in half and glued on to the edge of the book. We added this so that it is easy to find our books in the sketchbook box.
Grades one through three played a drawing game called "A Unique Drawing Experience". I got this from http://www.kinderart.com/. I love that website for small activities like this one. It is also great for if you're looking for some kind of arts and crafts activity to do at home on a rainy day. The rules of the game for students are to listen carefully and to draw what they hear. The teacher reads out directions and the kids draw them. What is great about this is that every kid's drawing comes out totally different. This teaches them that although we all do the same project in art class, our work comes out different from each other. We all put our ideas down on paper differently than someone else does and that is OK.