Monday, January 11, 2016

January, 2016

Happy New Year!  

Our kindergarten class completed their study of Buffalo through blocks and it is on display now in the front of the school:

The gold dome building.

The tower, One Seneca Street, is the tallest building in Buffalo.

It wouldn't be Buffalo without the grain elevators.

First Niagara Center

The windmills

City Hall, with the fountain in front of it and the federal court building in blue.

The city in blocks, with the lake behind it.

The students had a lot of really great dialogue throughout this lesson. Below, I will list some of the highlights that really show their thinking.

Luis- Buffalo is in the United States of America.
Jeysiel- Buffalo looks like a hundred people live here!
Shainelly- 150!
Xavieliz- 154- that's a lot!
Luis- I love Buffalo because it has snow, rain, winter, summer, spring...
Dashalauna- And fall. It's fall time now.
Luis- And fall. And winter for Christmas.

What's fun about living here?
Dashalauna- It's really cool and it's awesome because it gots trains. I like trains.
Jolymar- Buffalo is so cool because my house is so big.
Shainelly- Buffalo is the best because it has a lot of houses.
Dashalauna- And apartment buildings, too.
Devin- They got a whole city in Buffalo. Hospitals, farms. They got a child's hospital, some people live on Filmore, Hagen, Eller and Bailey.
Jeysiel- There's a lake and a little bit of change. One time I was in my school bus and I saw the sky was pink and blue.
Devin- Thave have Buffalo, NY games. Like the Bills' football game.

Pre-K 106 and I went out for a winter walk to see if we could find traces of animals. We found multiple sets of tracks and a hole for a critter.

The first grade students have been investigating weather. In the atelier, we looked at paintings from around the world that featured weather as a theme. The following chart contains notes I took from their descriptions of the weather conditions and guesses as to the settings of the artwork. The circled locations are the settings.

The students chose a setting and we printed a landscape photograph of their choice. The students created observational drawings and learned to blend oil pastels to get realistic colors. Some students chose to add weather conditions to sunny photographs. The photo on the right shows a student adding rain clouds and drops of rain to a location that was sunny in the photograph. We were critiquing these drawings frequently and the children have become so attentive to detail. I'm very fortunate to watch their skills grow.

We compared the settings with the weather conditions that might occur in those locations. 

The kindergarteners in 108 and 102 are creating dolls to go with their doll houses. They are talking about identity and continuing their study of three-dimensional art and found object sculpture. We are hoping this will spark storytelling in the dollhouses during their center time. This was a very open activity- I simply put loose parts on the table and asked them if they could make a doll of themselves. It was interesting to see their process. Some students used tape for arms, while others used popsicle sticks and others chose to use string. Eyes were either buttons or googly eyes. One student made a skateboarder with jewel kneepads after seeing another child make a skater with a helmet.