Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lenten Treasures

I'm still here... I haven't posted in several months. I joined Facebook, that's what happened. I spent so much time on Facebook, posting, commenting, reading other posts, messaging, gaming, that I forgot I even had a blog!

But it's Lent, and I've given up FB for the duration. Which allows me time to blog! Thus the title of this post. I don't plan on blogging to replace FB, otherwise I'm defeating the purpose of giving up FB in the firstplace. If you are a FB or blogging addict, you know what I'm talking about. There's no doubt I need to find a happy balance in my life.

But I am here, I've never been gone. I continue in my capacity as an elementary art teacher. I will post a few pictures here, of the earlier days of this school year. My classroom, my nameplate, some student work in progress. During the first week of school, all the teachers made their own nameplates from huge foam puzzle pieces, to fit in with our school theme for the year. We are pieces of a great puzzle, and our students benefit when our pieces all fit together.

What puzzles me, among other things, is where are the ends of my pencils going? Within two weeks of school, I find this... it appears I have a pencil eraser thief in one or more of my classrooms!

We had a little visitor, the Annual Cicada, which made its appearance back in July (we are a year-round school). Students that came to class that morning witnessed the cicada's emergence, another class watched the wings inflate, and still another class got to watch the Cicada's color change. The last class of the day helped me release it outside on the playground.

The newest addition to my classroom is the SmartBoard and the document camera that goes with it ... I am so thrilled to have one. I've been learning how to use it ever since school began. Mostly, my students have taught me what I didn't know. Seems they are more tech savvy than I. Having the SmartBoard allows me to have my demonstrations right up front so I can have a full view of my classroom as I work, rather than having my back to them as it was with the old projector I once used. Even better, now I can use the internet as I work. It's a whole new world!

 If you have read my blog before, you may recall a previous entry where I made some watercolor paints by soaking washable markers in water for a few days. The result was several bottles of all the marker colors. This year we used the 'watercolor' paints in this string art project.

I liked the colors that resulted. The kids loved painting with them, and I didn't have to use the palette paints, which are more costly.

Second graders started off the year with a line activity. They made playground scenes using strips of paper to create the various lines.

4th graders learned how to use overlapping in their drawings.

Currently, I have a shadow puppet project going with my 2nd graders, self-portraits with my 3rd graders, Kinders are working on texture. My 4th graders are working on a landscape to show 6 perspective techniques, and my 5th graders are working on a still life... 1st graders made some great art after reading "A Perfect Square". Those look pretty cool, I'll have some pictures in the next week or so. The video link I've provided gives you an animated preview of the book.

This year I'm finding my lessons are more rigorous, less project oriented, more Essential Standards oriented, more core-curriculum integration. Learning targets are posted for every class. It may very well be the reason I don't blog as frequently I have done in the past. I think by next year, I should have good grasp of the new routines... :-)