Wednesday, November 11, 2015

School Auction - Painting

So, my last post was all about our fall fun activities.
But I wanted to share one more thing that went into our school's Family Fun Night.
The auction.
After all the fun grade level activities wrap up at 7pm, or 7:45 in our case, there is a huge auction in our cafeteria. 
I had never ever been to an auction until attending our school's during my first year of teaching.
Businesses around town donate all kinds of things, some are extremely random.
In the past, each classroom has decorated a pumpkin to be auctioned off.
This year, many of us decided to do a classroom painting instead.
So here is our painting.
(If you follow me on Instagram you've already seen it)

This thing was a labor of love and took A LOT of work.
The original idea came from this pin on Pinterest.

I loved how the kids' fingerprints were used to create the Chicago skyline.
Well, I teach in rural TN and we don't have skyline.  So I decided to go with the state of TN instead since we're learning about maps in first grade.
The prep work for the painting actually started during fall break.

I found clip art of TN, cut it out, and traced it onto the canvas.
Then I thought about how there was no way every little finger would stay inside that water pencil line.
So I bought some painters tape.  The top and bottom of TN are pretty straight, but the left and right sides, not so much.  So I actually put painters tape on the edge of the paper TN I had used to trace.  Then I cut along the edge of the paper again, this time I was cutting all those little bumps right out of the tape.  So then I laid the cut tape onto the canvas right on top of the where I traced the lines.
I know, that sounded really confusing, but you can see the result in the picture above.  You can also see the little paper TN I used in the corner.
I was having way too much fun with the painters tape.  So I decided to create little rows and boxes so that each of my 20 students would have a box in which to write their name and put their fingerprint.  That way they weren't all over the place.

I was still having too much fun, and enjoying my Are You Afraid of the Dark marathon on dvd.  So I decided to go ahead and print out the letters and heart for the heading, cut them out, trace them onto the canvas, and paint them.
I put some sparkle paint on top of the pink heart.
Wow, this picture definitely shows the world that I am OCD.  But those 20 little boxes made me very happy.

I brought it to school the day we came back from fall break and had my students write their names in each box using an extra fine point Sharpie.
Then I set out all of my paint, I made sure that I had 20 different colors, and called my kids back to my reading table one at a time to choose their paint color and start finger painting.
It took two days to finish the finger painting.  After 10 kids painted, the colors started to squish together too much.  So I decided to let the first half dry over night and then the last 10 kids did their finger painting the next day.

I brought it home over the weekend to let it completely dry.  I also had the intention of pulling all the tape off while I was home.  But then I thought my kids might enjoy seeing the tape come off.  I had explained to them that all the blue tape would come off, leaving straight lines on our painting, but I don't know that they fully understood.
So the next Monday morning, we all sat on the carpet while I pulled off all the tape and wrote our class name and the year at the bottom with a sharpie.
They loved watching the tape come off.
Then I outlined TN and the heart with black paint, let it dry over night, and sprayed the entire painting with aerosol mod-podge. 
Did you know they made aerosol mod-podge? 
Because I didn't but I'm so glad they do!
I knew I needed to put some kind of protectant over the painting but was afraid that regular mod-podge might smear some of the paint.  So this was the perfect solution.

Here is our finished product!
I love that my kids can look at it and see each one of their own finger prints.
And it looks pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

I wanted to get a quick class picture with our painting before it was auctioned off.  So here we are taking our picture about 10 minutes before our first grade musical, while the office is calling for us to go to the gym. 
Nothing like the last minute, right?
My kids were all arguing over whose parents were going to buy the painting at the auction.  I wasn't sure if anyone would buy it, so I was fully prepared to buy it myself.  I figured I could display it in our room.
But someone did actually buy it, for way more than I was willing to spend.
All my kids could talk about that next Monday morning was whose parents bought our painting.
So I'm glad they enjoyed the experience.

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