Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Today was the last day before our Winter break. (I will still get plenty of Atelierista practice at home with my daughters, though!)

116- I brought a group in, planning on finishing the foyer mobile triangles, but they asked if they could draw Santa Claus instead.  I put an image on the iPad and they practiced their drawing skills by drawing it. This was really exciting and important to them and they couldn't wait to take it home to their families.

118 had a visit from The Theater of Youth during their time with me, so I was able to watch the second graders watch a live performance in their classroom.  It was nice.  The students ask the best questions now. They are so inquisitive in that group.

108- I pushed in and helped them make their holiday craft- snow globes with their names on beads inside.

112- I pushed in and took dialogue as they had their recess, as there were only two students today.  We had an interesting discussion about cars, speed, ramps, gravity and explosions.

101- The students came in and saw my drawing of Santa Claus and asked if we could draw Santa instead.  I drew a simple Santa, using shapes they know and we practiced writing, "Santa."  These preschool drawings were awesome.

104 was having their Holiday Party so I pushed in.  One student came in to say "good-bye" to me on his way to the bus.  I told him I hoped he gets lots of presents.  "I have a present for you," he said, and gave me a huge hug. "This is your present."  And that was such a sweet, unexpected act that I felt compelled to record it here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday break. I can't wait to see what the new year brings us. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday December 17-19, 2013

I apologize for not updating the blog the last few days.  I'd been splitting my time between hanging artwork and writing my SLO/LMA for my APPR.  (For those of you not in the know, I'm speaking of the data-heavy documents we write for our evaluations.)

We've still been producing work faster than I can document, so I'm hoping to play catch-up today.


120- We worked on painting peace banners and posters for the Holiday performance.  They are finished with their masks. As they worked, I had my camera out and placed it next to me on a table as I talked to a student.  Two kids saw it and were totally fascinated that the camera has a live view image when it's just sitting there. They kept putting their hands behind it and waving to see their hands show up on the screen!

116- I took a small group to paint pieces for the foyer mobiles.
108- I pushed in and we worked on peace posters.
112- We created peace posters.
103- We added drawings to the backgrounds of our cut-shape houses.
104- We used patterns to create mobiles for the foyer mobile project.
120- I worked with small groups on creating and ordering scenes of the seasons.
112- We created Christmas trees as part of an ESL project.  I took notes as they spoke and it led to a discussion about how to find information (in this case, on the internet) and we eventually looked up different kinds of evergreen trees used as Christmas trees.
118- I've been working with this group on creating larger-than-life-sized props for the Holiday Program.  It was awesome.  Huge rulers, huge erasers, huge crayons.
102- Their teacher mentioned that she plans on having them create houses to help them memorize their house numbers and get a better sense of self, which is part of their social studies curriculum.  I did the same lesson I'd done with the pre-k on Monday. They created houses out of shapes and glued them to a background sheet.  I'll repeat this with the other half of 102 today.

104- Their teacher noticed that her students are very interested in the ocean and the beach.  She took a survey and twenty of them have been to the beach (many of the students come from Puerto Rico.)  I decided to see what they would do with an investigation of shells.  I placed shells, colored pencils, pens, and paper on a table and let them come in.  Their teacher wants to tie it into the senses, so we talked about the way the shells sound, smell and feel. I then let them create a drawing using the shells in any manner they wished. Some created elaborate scenes and others just traced the shells.

All morning was spent in the auditorium for the Holiday Program.  I watched all of our students perform and I was amazed by some of the things our students are able to do.  It's evident that our school is living the "ethic of excellence" described by Ron Berger. That's the glaring thought that came to mind as I watched this program.  The work the kids produce is high quality and it's something that they are proud of. The teachers and students work so hard and their efforts are well rewarded by the smiles and pride on the students' faces.

I was finally able to hang the Foyer Mobile!  I think it's been about a month that we've been working on this and it's installed now!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

120- I brought the last group in to paint their masks for the Holiday Program. They enjoyed painting.  When they finished, I let them paint superheroes on paper and I showed the girl in the group how to fold paper to make a paper doll chain.  She was really excited and I expect to see a bunch of these chains popping up in their classroom.

112- We made peace posters to go along with the first grade peace project. The students brainstormed what peace means to them, we read the Peace Book, they wrote what peace means to them and then drew a picture to go along with it.

108- I pushed into their classroom while they made illustrations for the video they're making on Peace. I watched them struggle to understand how to work as a group on one artwork. Some groups were more successful than others at figuring out how to do this.

Here's some dialogue from a group who was able to work really well together:
Roshelys: we can make the water here and a person throwing garbage in the water
Jayla: yes, that's good
Alex: but we don't want them to throw garbage in the water
Jayla: we're trying to show them that it's the wrong thing
Alex: they might think we're saying to do that
Roshelys: we can put a person saying "no!" That way they know we want them to stop throwing garbage in the water
Alex: ok
Roshelys: let's make an octopus
Jayla: we haven't heard from you, Megan, what do you want to draw?

Megan: I want to draw a fish.

Their final piece. There was debate about whether or not the garbage-throwing girl should be smiling.
Teacher- Explain to me what you're doing
Ar- everyone is eating chicken wings and pizza
Av- the chicken wings are different because we don't know how to draw chicken wings that much
We look up photos of chicken wings and draw one from observation. Ariana sets to work correcting their chicken wings.
M- are we done yet?
Av- no! We just started.
M- do you want to help me draw a chicken wing?
Av- I can help you draw a chicken wing! Hey- isn't the skin of the chicken wing orange?
Ar- it can be brown, too. The red means it's really hot. The orange is more greasy.
M and Av discuss Mo's lost voice, after Mo silently points to show me her work.
Ar- these are enough pieces for everyone in the world. Look at all of the chicken wings in the world! We have to draw more people!
She tries to motivate some less enthusiastic group members, while coloring most of it herself.
M- we are done!
Ar- no, we aren't! We still need to draw more people.
M- oh and we need to color the pizza cheese.
I suggest that maybe the other three group members take Ariana's suggestion and draw more people.
J- I'll draw a baby.
M- I still don't know how to draw a chicken wing. Is this right? I'll color it gray.
Teacher- Are chicken wings ever gray?
M- my mom likes the color gray.
Ar- but chicken wings aren't gray.
Teacher- Is everyone cool with the gray chicken wing?
They don't mind.  I asked because I thought the lack of realism would bother them, but they are more creative than that! 
Ar- that can be a chicken wing from the future.
M, incredulous- how do you KNOW that?!
Ar just keeps coloring.
Ar: hey! Why didn't you guys color this in?
J- I did! Here.
He colors it more.
Av draws what looks like blood on someone.
Ar- Don't draw blood on them!
Av- it's not blood! It's just his shirt.
Peace is having enough pizza for everyone.

118- I brought some students down for various projects.  Two students continued to make a large paper doll chain for the Holiday Program. One student needed to make a large pink eraser. Two other kids needed to make a plastic ruler. Lastly, I had the peace project students continuing their peace projects for the art show. 
The plastic ruler is SO COOL. I offered acetate paper and the kids were like, "YES! THIS IS PERFECT!" We folded the piece to mark where the center was and we used a regular sized ruler to measure where the lines were supposed to go.  There are a few mistakes, but that won't matter on stage- you'd have to look closely to see that some centimeters are a bit too close to each other. They wanted to color it with marker, but I offered paint and they quickly accepted that idea instead. 
Making a large "plastic" ruler.

The leftovers from the paper dolls looked like icicles, so we hung them. :)
No one will accuse us of wasting anything! 

Rolling paint onto the plastic ruler


A strand of paper dolls, ready to be decorated.

101 and 103- The preschool classes need help with their fine motor skills, so I decided to give them construction paper, scissors, pencils and glue.  I reviewed sqaure, rectangle and triangle shapes with them and wondered if we could cut out those shapes and somehow make houses with them. They went right to work. Some are more clear-cut than others, but the intention is there and when you speak to them about it, they will tell you exactly what they are making. 

Hunter's house has a circle of shapes arranged around it in a specific manner.

Jazlyn- "I'm making downtown. I'm showing a lot of things and a lot of stuff. Some of the houses have elevators and windows." 

Keity's house is very obvious.

Aiden's house is also very obvious.  He chose to cut his background paper.

Angel was excited about his triangles and rectangles. 

Brian has good cutting skills. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday, December 13, 2013

120- I brought a group in to papier mache their masks. They are the last mask group and will join me on Monday to paint them, just in time to practice for the Holiday Program.

Robian finished his paper mâché early, so he was given free time to explore the studio. He grabbed four pieces of gray paper and began to draw a city that covered all four sheets. Skyscrapers and houses were drawn side-by -side, with one building extending from the bottom paper to the paper above it.

"This is going to be a city of monsters, like Monsters University," he announces as he works.  A little while later, his drawing is now full of superheroes instead of monsters.

Teacher- Tell me about your superhero city.

Robian- The green lantern, cat woman, bubble man

Edwin- Where's batman? I'm going to make batman. He has a cave.

Robian is interested in this new idea and begins to draw a pretty awesome Batman. Robin is dressed like batman and Robian voices them and says, "what are you doing in my cave, robin?"

Edwin suggests that robin is stealing his stuff.

Robian talks as batman. "That's okay, I am going to hug you. I want to share with you."

Edwin, "why would he be nice? Stealing is bad."

Robian, "but batman is really is really nice, so he would share."

Robian thinks about this and decides that Robin probably wouldn't steal from batman. He draws a new robin and makes the original batman-dressed robin as a bad guy and puts a jail cell around him. He draws robin again, but doesn't like it, so that person becomes another bad guy and a successful robin is added to the drawing at last.

Robin, Batman, the bad guy who was originally Robin and a second bad guy.
The Bat Cave in the context of his large city scene.

116- A small group came in and painted foyer mobile pieces again.  We are really close to being finished with these! 

108- The entire class came in again to create a huge peace sign out of handprints. 

118- I brought the peace project students in and a group who was working on props for their Holiday Program.  They made a giant pencil out of a box I just received.  It is awesome and I kind-of want to keep it forever. :)

This is the before and after for Justin's Peace Project Entry- he's still adding details, but what a difference!

"Peace is a Waterfall of Love" is coming along nicely. 

102- I brought half of the kindergarten class in and we talked about the repurposed mobiles.  They brought up the idea of bubble wrap as packing material, which told me they understood what I was saying.  I assume that packages are arriving in some of their homes and so packing material might be more common at this time of year.  We talked about pattern.  The students were eager to make their mobiles using patterns. 

101- The pre-K students were building gingerbread houses as a special treat.  I went in and worked with some of the students in there. One girl, Kierra, told me that we had to be very quiet because Santa was sleeping in the house.  Later, I wanted to wake Santa up, but she told me he'd already left to "be with Rudolph."  I love that she was telling stories with her gingerbread house- it was more than an art project or a holiday experience for her.  As we were preparing for dismissal, the students laid on the floor, crowded around the radio, listening to holiday music.  It was a nostalgic image- children listening intently to the radio- and I felt like we were back in time.