Today, I had the first graders visit the studio to continue working on their wire sculptures of animals. After that, I spent the day with the second graders. We went to Tifft Nature Preserve where we were immersed in nature for the day. We saw a deer, snakes, a turtle, many tadpoles, red winged black birds (including a pair protecting their nest,) evidence of beavers and bats, and lots of Canadian Geese.
When we got back to school, we reviewed the photos I'd taken and shared out about the experience. Since they were in four separate groups on the walks (I bounced among the four groups to get photos of all of the students) they had a lot to share.
The first graders continued to progress with their wire animal sculptures. We should have a few finished pieces ready to photograph tomorrow!
Some of the second graders from 116 have finished their books on plants!
|Bilingual books on how plants grow.|
|A bilingual book on how paper is made.|
I brought another group of students in to study insects and test out the language of wire. The students played with different types of wire and some metal objects and got the hang of the medium. Here are a few examples of the insects they began to create:
|A bee. I love the use of the spiral for the stinger.|
Pre-K finished two projects today- their houses (which helps them remember their house numbers, something our Brigance data shows as lacking) and their book on the alphabet, which was a wonderful emergent project that sprung up when we took a walk outside to look at lines and they saw letters instead.
Second Graders worked on butterfly drawings for a book about butterflies they're creating in Story Workshop. We did an Austin's Butterfly style critique using butterflies as the subject- it was perfect.
Now that the weather is finally nice, we've been taking a lot of nature walks to the Valley Nature Habitat Trail. Today, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade made a visit. On Friday, the second graders will have a chance to visit. We will incorporate the walks into our curriculum. Some have plans before we head out and others are using it for inspiration.
I've been asking the Pre-K and K to think about the living things in our community, so that they can be aware of the things we want to find on our hikes and have an awareness for the living things we are creating in the atelier. They are using both languages to answer the question.
We are starting a partnership with Imagine Community Gardens, a non-for-profit organization who is building a beautiful pair of gardens for Hope House, a shelter in the city of Buffalo. Our student artists are going to be creating some garden artwork for this garden, learning about insects and community service in the process.
Pre-K 103 started theirs this week. They are creating insects out of wood pieces donated by another local non-for-profit that we love- The Teacher's Desk- which gives tons of free supplies to schools. The wood pieces look like hot air balloons, as the students pointed out at first, but as we turned them around different ways, they began to see how we could make them into insects. We looked at the insects, either models or photographs, to make sure that we were paying attention to the colors we needed to use. For the wings, the students are trying to make sure they are looking at the size and shape. The students have to count out enough wire for their insects' legs, to incorporate counting into the lesson.
Once they finish their sculptures, we will have the students research the insects and draw them, then dictate facts they've learned. We will add photos of their sculptures and compile it all into a book about the experience.
Second Grade 116:
116's story workshop is heading in a new exciting direction. The students have been interested in comic books. Ms. Passino knew of a website recommended for ESL students in which they can make themselves into comic book stories. This led to their interest in drawing comics. We noticed that they are interested in reflecting on the year, so we're turning the comics to the theme of "advice for next year's new second graders." We talked about story boards, how stories are created, sequencing, the idea of beginning, middle and end, and the concept of having a problem and a solution to make the story interesting. The students are really coming up with great stories and advice.
When I got to school, I was nervous to go to the classroom and it was hard. I got my nervous off and now I'm not nervous. The miss told me not to be shy and be myself and so I did and then I was not nervous.
My problem was that when I came here, I didn't know English and I was being a little bad. When I didn't know English, my problem was that I wanted to talk and I couldn't because I was shy. I started watching TV- tons of TV- and I got better at it. If you try really hard, you can do anything.
This was a nice reflection for J and it brought us closer because I can sympathize with his feelings. I understand much of the conversational Spanish I hear, but I only use it when I'm reading vocabularly words off the translator on my iPad because I'm afraid that I'll say the wrong words and the students will think I'm weird. We had a nice conversation about it and I really should take J's advice.