Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday, Feburary 28, 2014

116- I brought a group in to work on their symmetry drawings.  I had one of those amazing moment when a student who previously struggled with a concept finally understands it.  There was one girl who really didn't understand symmetry.  She was very frustrated after the last class.  I sat with her and demonstrated again and again and finally it clicked for her!  I'm not sure who was more excited about it- the student or myself! Every child in that group now understands symmetry- I'm fully confident of it- and they have such an understanding of balance after our inquiry.

118- I brought the same group in that we had yesterday and they completed their paper sculptures.

108- I brought the habitat students in to finish their pieces.

112- We had the most wonderful brainstorm about their ocean investigation.  We previously talked about what is under the ocean that SHOULDN'T be there. They created a great list of things that belong under the water that demonstrate a complete understanding of ocean habitats.  Then they created a list of things that might be under the water, though are not there naturally- shipwrecks, treasure, lost items from the beach, and garbage.  Today, they came in and we decided to create a large poster.  Rather than have them redraw their ocean creatures, I placed a large sheet of acetate paper on the table and the students traced their drawings. They then added plants, rocks, starfish- anything that belongs on the sea floor according to their recollection. We talked about how we would add garbage to the mural and through a discussion, we came up with the idea of adding real garbage (chip bags, bottle caps, etc.) with tape on top of the acetate.  This way it is easily removable and we can make a point about keeping the beaches, oceans and our lakes clean. More to follow after our next brainstorming session!

101- The students finished their sorting shapes project.

104- We brought in a small group for one more session of observational animal drawings.  I had two students make huge breakthroughs in observational drawing.  That's my favorite part of teaching art- the moment when the students breakthrough and instantly understand how to see the lines.  It's so exciting to see the connections being made.

(Photos to follow- I left the camera at school and updated the blog at home this time.)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

120- The girls finished painting their bridge.

118- Some students came in to work on their rolled paper Nancy Rubins-inspired sculptures.

108- We brought in a group to work on the habitat drawings/paintings.

103- The students continued their houses.

102- The students worked in two groups.  One group reflected on the farm trip, completing drawings and watercolor paintings of the horses and sleigh.  Another group reflected on the Burchfield field trip, created portraits similar to Burchfield's portraits of his daughters. The groups will switch next class and complete the opposite reflection.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We went on our second field trip to the Burchfield-Penney.  Today was the kindergarten's turn to go!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Today was the first day of our partnership with the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.  The Burchfield-Penney is a local art gallery that features a similar philosophy involving open-ended questions, a focus on calming aesthetics and ties to nature.

Our partnership will run through May.  The students in grades pre-k through second grade will visit the Burchfield-Penney Art Center three times. They will have a docent visit their classrooms at School #33. The final visit will also feature a trip to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, which is located across the street.

The students will be given time to draw and create art in the Art Center.  At the school, we will be reading excerpts of Burchfield's journals.  Burchfield lived in Buffalo and often took walks.  On his walks, he recorded what his senses felt. The students will have a chance to do that.  They will collect treasures they find (twigs, leaves, etc.) They will sketch outside.  They will photograph what they see.  From the photographs, they will create observational drawings and eventually watercolor paintings.  The students will be given journals and they will use the journals to record their experiences through the languages of art and the written word.

120- Esmeralda and N came in and painted their beautiful bridge.

116- I brought posters from the Burchfield-Penney into Room 116. They voted on the one they wanted to keep in their room. I was going to take a group to work on the balance project, but the students were really interested in the painting, so Mrs. Driscoll let me push in and direct an art critique!  We went through the four steps of art criticism, which falls under "text-based answers," one of the Common Core Standards for ELA in technical subject areas.  Some of the students really understood the benefits of looking closely at an artwork- a few mentioned that our critique made them change their minds from initially not liking it to appreciating it. 

At this point in the day, the Pre-K and I went to the Burchfield-Penney! 

"We're going to the future!" (One student kept saying "future" instead of "field trip.")

Sitting like the painting.

Developing new vocabulary words with a docent.

Seeing the recreated studio of Charles Burchfield.

This room had water flowing down the walls which matched the activity in the room. 

Sketching in their jounrals.

Learning about the installation.

"Mrs. Rose!  Look what I made!" 

Painting wet on wet. 

A beautiful artwork.

"We're drawing our shadows!"

The Burchfield has beautiful spaces.

Looking down from the second floor.

"I wish I could jump down to there!" One child said.

Daniel couldn't stop sketching. He was intrigued.

Making artwork.

Beautiful painting.

Very excited students!

112- Ms. Natal and I decided that we would take the study of the ocean to a different place.  "What is under the ocean, but shouldn't be there?" was the new question.  The students made a list of things that belong under the water and things that do not belong.  This was a stretch at first, but eventually they started picking up on the idea that human litter, shipwrecks, and "treasure" end up under the water.  I showed them this image from the Burchfield-Penney to inspire them and asked them to look for it on their field trip! :)

103- We reviewed our field trip experiences. The students made drawings with fine-tipped pens and then painted them with watercolor paints. I will post them later. 

104- My student teacher and I worked with small groups on observational drawings again, focusing on students who were understand.  We made a few breakthroughs, most notably Marianys.  She was drawing a ladybug and her first six or so drafts were symbolic of what a ladybug looks like to her.  I showed her how to break the parts of the bug down into shapes.  She immediately drew the bug more realistically and then she noticed that my one table looks like the ladybug's closed wing!  She was so excited.  She circled the table, feeling the edge, then showed me it on the paper.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday, February 24, 2014

120- We brought students in to work on building bridges. Esmeralda and N made a really interesting model for a covered bridge.

118- I brought students to the studio to create their rolled paper sculptures.  The students and I had a conversation on working collaboratively.  I wanted to know if they noticed the difference that I've seen in this building- that students are seeing each other as assets and useful collaborators. They feel that school is better this year because there are so many projects that allow for group work.  

Gabriella- We feel happy and proud of ourselves that we can work together. 
Patty Ann- There are a lot of nice things you can do when you work together. We can listen to each other and it feels good to be nice to each other. 
Gabriella- I like our school because we can have fun while playing in our groups, but we can also learn in them. There's learning things in our groups- we learn lots of stuff, like science and social studies.

I think I'm going to ask some other classes how they feel.  It was nice to get feedback and I think it's good for the students to reflect on the fact that they enjoy being a part of our school. 

101- The students finished using the sorted beautiful materials to write their names.

103- The students worked on their houses again. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Today is a different kind of day, as it's Valentine's Day and many of the classes are celebrating!

120- We had an Honors Assembly during this class. I am very proud of all of the students who are growing and achieving, both academically and behaviorally.

116- We pulled the last group of students to begin the symmetry lesson.  This group happens to be a group who needed more instruction on their math lesson last time.  Something I noticed between the last group and this group is that the students who are excelling at math were able to demonstrate symmetry without any problems.  They aren't necessarily the strongest artists I teach, but with this lesson, it didn't matter at all! They knocked this out of the ballpark, so to speak. :)  With the group I had today- the students who needed extra help with math- this was a struggle for the most part and some of these students are really strong artists!  We know that symmetry and math go hand-in-hand, but it was really obvious in this comparison.  I will remix the groups so that some who are stronger at math will work with those who struggle and the children can teach each other about symmetry.

108- We had the fire alarms go off during this class and the students had to .  Some of the teachers were able to quickly grab coats (myself included, as I leave it on my chair) and as we waited for instructions, I saw that the teachers, myself included, wrapped our coats around as many kids as we could, huddling close to them and joking with them to keep them calm. (I told them, "It's Valentine's Day, feel free to hug your friends for warmth!")  We had no idea how long we would be out there, or if there was a real emergency, and it's about 25 degrees outside, but our first priority was to keep the kids comfortable and that speaks volumes about the level of commitment of the teachers of School #33.  Fortunately, this only lasted a few minutes and it was a false alarm. Our local fire department and administration handled the situation quickly!

We came back inside and the students did their daily exercise to warm them up.  This is usually done at a different time, so it ended up using up some of my time in the classroom.  Instead of pulling students out, I pushed in and worked at the playdough center. The students made cookies and charged other students invisible money to "eat" the cookies.  I demonstrated ways to smooth out the dough and make it even for the cookie cutters, then asked them to take it a step further and "decorate" the cookies.

118- I brought a group in to work on symmetry.  This group was outstanding.  Everyone understood by the end of the class and they did a fantastic job.

101 had a Valentine's day party.

102 also had a Valentine's day party.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

116- We brought group one in to finish their asymmetric paper sculptures.  We critiqued Nancy Rubins' sculpture at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

I recorded this dialogue about the Nancy Rubins' piece:
 Yair- I've seen that!
Jornand- Me, too!
Teacher- What is this?
Jornand- it's boats!
Teacher- It is boats! It's canoes. Do you think we could make something like this?
Jornand- No. We'd need ropes.
Nataniel- And these things.
Jornand- These are wires. And a truck to move the boats.
Teacher- I wonder if we could make a sculpture that is like the Nancy Rubins sculpture, but uses our paper rolls instead.
They all agree that we can definitely do that.

 They begin to build and they really get into it.  Everyone seems pretty excited as the sculptures take on forms of their own.

Yair makes what Isaac calls a three-legged giraffe.
Isaac- Mine is balanced!
Gloriana has created a sculpture that looks like a horse.
Luis says that her sculpture looks like a big gun, but others disagree.

Daniel- it looks like wood. Or a ball machine. The ball is in here and comes out here.

Issac- mine looks like an airplane. Yours looks like an animal.
Jornand- A zebra.

Glorian-  I think mine looks like a dog.

Jornand- It's not balancing no more.
Issac- Because you took it apart.
Daniel- it's not balancing because it had nothing standing down.

Gloriana finishes hers and offers to help Justyn, who was absent on the first day and slightly behind the others.

Issac- Tomorrow, we get candy.
Jornand, sings- Candy, Candy, Balancing, Balancing

Daniel takes the envelope we were using to store the pieces and decides to add that to his sculpture.

Issac- Luis' sculpture looks like a spider that was putting the legs down.
He makes a gesture with his hands like spider legs.

118- We had another group of students come in to do the "What is Balance?" provocation. They were really silly and funny today. 

"It's a sad Cyclops!"

We can balance our mustaches under our noses!

G created this and said, "It's showing balance because the side that's up
has nothing on it and the side that's down has two beads."

A's work

108- I brought the students in who are working on the habitats.
Our beautiful watercolors in progress.

112- The group came in and worked on designing bridges with wood. 

101- The students needed practice with sorting, so we sorted beautiful stuff.  I asked them to sort it and they chose to sort by color.  They will now use one color per letter and write their names with the pieces.

104- The other half of the class worked with my student teacher on drawing animals that hibernate.  These will be used to decorate the bear cave they made, like cave art.