Thursday, January 2, 2014

Shapes, ShApEs and MORE SHAPES: Geometry with Children

50+ Creative Shape Projects (PreK thru 1st) via RainbowsWithinReach

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 
My first RoundUP of the newest year!


Welcome!!! I am so happy that you've found me! I am a former Elementary Art teacher now morphed into a picture book author-illustrator, creating my illustrations from fabric as small quilts. YUP. That's me up above with the Hubster. If you've met me in real life and are wondering if that really is me? HONEST. Our daughter was here and created the glam make-over. It was super-fun to have her give me the full blown princess treatment. I'm usually wearing polka-dots and stripes from head-to-toe as I dress like my first book when I come to visit schools. Most folks are NOT used to me all vamped up! Teeheehee. {Mom, can you believe it?} Just don't expect that much make-up when you see me out on the circuit! 

Now let's get down to all of the fun. The basics. Shapes. For today's RoundUP we're going to take a look at the literal building blocks of our world. I travel most frequently to visit the crowds in the Preschool, Kindergarten and First grade realms. Today's images are from those school visits across the country. 

Let's start with some anchor charts for shapes. Let's think math and the Common Core. Then we will quickly segway to the 'art' side of shapes. Merging the two together: Art and Math makes for the most meaningful learning, as it is engaging. That's where STEM learning turns into steAm learning!  

photo of: Making Math Meaningful with Shapes

photo of: Solid Shapes Explored in Kindergarten, Make Math Meaningful

photo of: Three Dimensional Shape Anchor Chart at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: 3D Shape Anchor Chart at RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Three dimensional Shape Attributes (Anchor Chart for Kindergarten) via RainbowsWithinReach

These next images are the absolute bare bones: primary colors and the three shapes: circle, square and triangle. Their simplicity lends itself to the sophistication of the finished work. These projects were created in the artroom of a private school, right up the road, here in Florida. I felt an immediate kinship to the art teacher. These beauties were created by first graders and were hanging by clothespins across the ceiling of her art room. They somehow speak to me of Mondrian.... though not directly. 






There were some who took their shapes into representational images.


Here you can get a glimpse of the clothes pins for hanging. 


As I mentioned. I'm a big fan of the circle. Polka-dots! 
Here are some images gathered from my files and shared in earlier articles. 

Yes! Paint with jumbo marshmallows and look at the fun that is created! 

photo of: Marshmallow Painting via RainbowsWithinReach

And from Painting/printing with marshmallows, just think of the fun with tubes as a printing device. As you can tell these next two projects are created by very young hands. The 'Green Eggs and Ham' prints are from NY and the circles created by the 3's are from Ohio.... yet they have a striking resonance, don't they? The pizzas further below are from a FL preschool. All manner of circles. 





photo of: Building Pizza Art Project as a Lesson in Delayed Gratification via RainbowsWithinReach




photo of: Concentric Circle Weavings in Elementary School via RainbowsWithinReach

photo off: Concentric Circle Weavings in Elementary School via RainbowsWithinReach

photo of: Kaleidoscopic Colors on UP-Cycled CDs via RainbowsWithinReach

Kandinsky in Elementary Art via RainbowsWithinReach

Kandinsky in Elementary Art via RainbowsWithinReach






photo of: Exploring Math in Primary Grades through Artistic Projects

From fairly mature shapes and genuine geometry, back to preschool for birds! 

shapes in children's art, preschool shapes, fun shapes

These 'Angry Bird' sculptures were on their clothesline in Indy. 
The adornments to the basic cylinder are all simple shapes in construction paper. 

photo of: Angry Bird Sculpture from Upcycled Tubes at RainbowsWithinReach

These next images were gathered here earlier under a wide banner of mosaic-like projects. 
The building blocks of which are simple squares and rectangles. 

Trees with "Mosaic-like" Tissue Leaves via RainbowsWithinReach


photo of: M is for Mosaic Bulletin Board for Name Recognition (from Bulletin Board RounUP via RainbowsWithinReach)

Rainbows from Construction Paper at RainbowsWithinReach

Mosaics with Paper: Horse Heads via RainbowsWithinReach

Mosaics with Paper: Horse Heads via RainbowsWithinReach

Shapes in the hands of the littlest ones can be the foundation for interpreting any number of themes. 
Here are trains as portrayed by the simplest selection of shapes. 

photo of: Preschool Trains and Shape Recognition via RainbowsWithinReach


This next winter group collaboration was orchestrated by a visiting artist to a preschool for children with special needs. Each 'triangle-tree' was created by a different student and then brought together in this superlative finished scene. Simple is our friend. 

photo of: Winter Quilt Collaboration via RainbowsWithinReach Quilt RoundUP

Simple Christmas Tree Craftivity for Children at RainbowsWithinReach

These happy little snow people were on display in the hallways of the Louisiana program that I visited. My conference presentations take me around the country and then I work to incorporate a school visit or two for a full-blown tour! Take note of the simple addition of the twigs-for-arms and what a clever detail that adds to the assemblage. Two thumbs up. 

photo of: Winter Cutie Snowmen with Sticks for Arms via RainbowsWithinReach Winter RoundUP

These snowpeople, with their circular shapes reside in marble-run snowglobes. 
The perfect combination of process and product! 

Winter Art Project: Snowman in a Snow Globe via RainbowsWithinReach

Now let's look at architecture through simple shapes! 
We'll start in preschool and get increasingly more mature. 









You've just got to LUV LUV LUV these next architectural assemblages that incorporate the beginnings of the concept of one point perspective. I JUST saw these on the bulletin board in Ohio, immediately before the holidays. They just make me smile. As you might imagine, these were created in the artroom. You've got to LUV districts that are still providing brilliant direction from trained art teachers for their youngest students! 




Matisse in Elementary School via RainbowsWithinReach

Preschool Painting

photo of: Preschool Fish Painting Bulletin Board

photo of: Zoo art project for preschool, cutting practice for preschool, Head Start Art in zoo animals


photo of: This Little Piggy Art Projects


photo of: Tiger art project for zoo or jungle theme, tigers in elementary Art

geometry for children, geometry in early childhood, shapes in art paintings




photo of: Bulletin Board of Math Tessellations + Patterns (from Bulletin Board RoundUP via RainbowsWithinReach)

Now. For a word from our sponsor. Me! 
All of these shape projects are the bait, to have the opportunity to share a little of my work and the response students have created in anticipation of my arrival. 

This COLOSSAL collaboration is from my visit to Long Island. 
The entire building of 330 kindergarten students worked together to create this mammoth backdrop for my performances in their school gym. 


Here's an Ohio Kinder response. 
Much like parquetry blocks -- turned into quilt squares! 

photo of: Kindergarten Bulletin Board Group Collaboration in Preparation of Author-Illustrator School Visit with Debbie Clement

This is a geometric quilt created for my school visit in central Illinois. 
I was agog over the format of this mega cooperative piece. 
That's my hostess, Carie! 

photo of: Quilt Welcome to Washington School via RainbowsWithinReach


Since my book's text is based on a song I have written, 
I am able to share that Mp3 via digital download. 

This next work has people-as-shapes, with backgrounds of yet more shapes! 

Kindergarten Self-Portraits in Response to picture book & song "You're Wonderful" by Debbie Clement

Every now and then I get to work with 'mature' students. 
These next designs are the thank you cards created by 3rd graders after I visited their classroom, following my auditorium concert and program.


My newest picture book is patriotic as I wrote the song (book's text) immediately after 9-11. 
It is entitled, "Red, White and Blue." 
Often times the students have created a patriotic background for my arrival. 
Here are just a few of that ilk. 

photo of: Quilt Response to "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

Patriotic Hearts via RainbowsWithinReach


Patriotic Weavings in Elementary School Art at RainbowsWithinReach

"Red, White and Blue" Bulletin Board by Second Graders at RainbowsWithinReach

Hope that you've enjoyed this overview. 
Here's a RoundUP dedicated to quilts in the classroom.
Perfect dovetail for this conversion of all things 'shape.' 

All of my products are available on my website
Many are now available at TeachersPayTeachers.

Quilts in the Classroom: Art Meets Geometry RoundUP at RainbowsWithinReach

Literally. Just today. 
Our WonderPeeps (grandchildren) departed at dawn, from their ten days in our midst. 
I had uncovered a quilt that I'd begun several years ago. 
I've just gotten it out and re-ironed. 
My goal is to get it finished and hanging by the weekend. 

I just LUV LUV LUV getting old UFOs (UnFinishedObjects) completed. 
Having this new little house as a backdrop for all of my bright nonsense is the perfect motivation! 
Guess what? 
It's filled with simple shapes. 
No. There is no pattern. 
I just make this simple stuff up as I go along. 
Paper pieced triangle borders. 



Lots of DOTS & Spots and Circles: oh my! Roundup at RainbowsWithinReach

***Here's a FREE Resource you'll need to download from 
Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten shop at TpT: 

Solid Shape Sort

Would you be a helper-bee and pin from this article? 
Here's the header image, to help you out. 
I am so grateful for every pin -- as it creates another ripple of readership. 

50+ Creative Shape Projects (PreK thru 1st) via RainbowsWithinReach



Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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