I enjoy teaching at this time of year because it feels like the children come back older and more mature from the holiday break. We have our established routines and everyone is ready for action. I enjoy the second semester so much.
Pre-K has been studying animals. We reviewed line drawing and created observational drawing of animals. We do this every year because I think it is important for the students to realize the lines we learned about at the beginning of the year can be used to draw realistic images of anything they desire. This helps them in all of their project work for the rest of their years here.
After the line drawings, we worked with model magic clay to create marine animals. The students in this group seem to gravitate toward the language of clay. I have had success with both 3D projects I've done so far.
Kindergarten has been studying winter, and animals as well, but the focus is now on arctic animals and animals who hibernate. We are creating clay figures of animals from either the arctic (104, 106) or animals who hibernate (102.) We also created a snowman in 102. There was no snow, so we had to use plaster of paris! This was the messiest project I've ever engaged in with students (and we have done some messy, crazy things before) and, of course, the students LOVED it. The snowman and animals will be used as writing prompts.
The messiest, most fun project ever.
Our finished snowman.
A snowy owl, before firing and painting.
|A happy polar bear.|
First grade is studying weather. I wanted to use the studio to have them associate their senses (a previous lesson) with weather, so I kept asking them about how weather conditions feel. I want you to use lines to show how the weather feels, not how it looks. This was a challenge, but after a few drafts the students were able to reduce weather conditions down to a few lines.We used printmaking as the language for this. I thought it would be a good technique to teach them, so they can have a printing center when they start doing story workshop. The children were fascinated with the process and I'm sure they're going to have some amazing prints as illustrations in the upcoming months.
2nd grade is doing one of my favorite projects thus far. We are painting a rain barrel for a contest. After the contest, we are donating it to the Red Jacket Park, where we take the students for hikes so often. This is a project that combines community involvement with the major themes of the first semester. The students looked up the word "water" in the languages spoken in Buffalo. We found the word in English, Spanish, Karen, Bengali, Nepali, French, Burmese, Somali, Swahili, Arabic, Korean, Urdu and Ukrainian. The border will feature the words of the rain barrel theme, "Harvest a Resource, Recycle the Rain," and the phrase, "We need water." The students will use the word water in many languages on the vertical borders and top of the barrel. The drawings show images of weather, the water cycle and uses of water- big themes the second grade studied so far. What I love about this project, besides how well it looks, is that we are using it as an assessment of learning. We've made visible the information they've retained from the first semester of study in a beautiful way that will be shared with the community.
During Open Studio for the second grade, I took a small group to work on a special art project. There is an upcoming art show at El Museo that the district is sponsoring. It's called Look Up/Down/All Around. The show is for art teachers and their students to create pieces that are companion pieces. I wanted to show how we use photography, hikes and art media, creating an art statement that shows what Reggio-inspired investigation looks like.
For my artwork, I used a photo I'd taken on a hike. I cropped it and used filters to make it more dramatic.
The parts and the places get old and rusty
when they’re abandoned. It makes me sad
because the place needs help.
Bits and Pieces of Time: A teacher-student
art statement on abandoned places.
Second Grade and Mrs. Rose, 2017
It makes me feel sad for the place because maybe people worked there and now it's collapsed. Maybe they don't have jobs anymore.
The art show will be held at El Museo, 91 Allen Street. The opening is March 3, from 5-7, and the show runs through March 25th.