In some previous posts I titled it Projects This Week/Lessons This Week, but that wasn't exactly right. Our special area schedule is on a 4 day rotation. There are only 4 related arts teachers utilized in our schedule (library & guidance is not in our rotation). So 4 of our 5 grade levels are split 1 1/4 classes. So every 4 days I have to have new lessons. Anyways...if anyone is a regular reader, I didn't want you to be confused by my posts.
August 30, 2021
August 29, 2021
This past week I was painting with my 3rd and 4th graders. As I was doing a quick demonstration of the day's project, I told them that I'd be providing them a variety of brushes, and that they should use the right brush for the job. As I walked around the room, I had to remind them that I had given them a variety of brushes, and that they should use the big brush for big spaces, medium brush for medium spaces, and the small brushes for small/thin/detailed spaces. After saying the same thing to several students, I asked the class to stop what they were doing and give me their attention. I went to my document camera and pulled the brushes from my water cup to show the students exactly what they had. I then showed the class why, how, and where I'd use each of the brushes. Each brush served a different & specific purpose that was important in the creation of their paintings. Without them... it would be more challenging and less effective. Knowing the purpose and practice of the different brushes will yield a stronger work of art.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12: 6-10
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
There are times that we do not realize or embrace how God has wired us. We may look at others and feel they are truly serving God, but feel we have little to offer. Each of us has been given gifts/talents/skills that the Lord desires to see used for his glory & to minister to/serve others. Our gifts are different & specific. This is for a reason. The body of believers is meant to work together to fulfill what the Lord has give us to accomplish. Each has a beautiful and unique contribution. Like the brushes I gave my students, one brush could be used to create the entire painting, but it would not be very effective. The painting would suffer because of it. We are all different. We have different personalities, skill sets, strengths, passions...just as God designed us. We have a specific purpose in God's plan. It may not look the same as mine. It might not look like anything you've seen before. THAT'S OK. As we seek God...to know him & serve him...we will see more of who we are meant to be. As we grow in this, we will grow in the confidence of who he has created us to be.
August 27, 2021
A local pool and spa business has a giant inflatable duck for advertising. We call him duck-duck. As I came over the hill on my way home today from school, I saw duck-duck and realized he was the perfect expression of how I was feeling from a very long long week! Thank you duck-duck for speaking for me when I had no words!
Also friends...can we please be about the business of encouraging and building one another up? We will not always agree on everything, and that is ok. We need to support, celebrate, and encourage each other to continue reaching students through arty goodness!!
August 26, 2021
( EDIT: THE TERM LEARNING LOSS IS WHAT IS BEING THROWN AROUND. PEOPLE HAVE VERY STRONG FEELINGS ABOUT THIS TERMINOLOGY. MY PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE IS THAT THERE IS NOT LEARNING LOSS, BUT KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCES THAT HAS YET TO BE ACQUIRED. LET US TALK ABOUT HOW TO ADDRESS THIS...WHICH IS THE HEART OF THIS POST IN THE FIRST PLACE. )
Hello Friends! I'm very curious to hear about what you are seeing & what you are doing in light of "learning loss" that has happened during the pandemic/virtual learning. I know that it will be different everywhere because our situations are different. I feel we need to be having these conversations so we can help one another as we navigate these waters!
Some students have not been in the building since the beginning of March 2020, and we had about a third of our population remaining virtual the entire 2020-2021 school year. One of the first things I noticed once students were back in my room was that they have forgotten how to be together & how to work together. This is going to take time. We have to be patient with our students as they reacclimate to school life. Those of us who taught virtually know that not all the students were not always in environments conducive to learning. Plus, they were often without social interaction with peers. A classroom teacher and I were talking about this, and felt that if we could help them get back in the rhythm of school....that the learning would jump by leaps and bounds. I truly believe this.
That being said, we are charged with educating our students. We need to provide activities that meet our students where they are at, and not where they "should" be in a "normal" school year. Now, many would say this should be what we do all the time, and to a point...I agree. However, we all know that there is some expectations that we have of what students can do by certain points based on age/grade. I know that many of my students did not have access to art supplies (even though I made art supplies available at different points while virtual). Lack of exposure/experience does cause us to reevaluate what we are teaching, how we are teaching, and when we are teaching. There may be a project I LOVE doing with third grade. It isn't that I can't do that project with them, but I may need to provide some projects that will lead them into that project so they are better prepared for the media, concept, and/or technique. I want them to be successful & feel confident in their work. It might just take some time to "warm up" to those big heavy hitter projects we love so much!! Also, consider how you can break a project down so the students can be more successful. I usually do a landscape collage with my 1st graders. However, they have had little opportunity to create collage, use scissors, and learn how to successfully apply liquid glue. To throw them into the project like "normal" would not provide the best experience for them to be successful. So I broke it down. On day one I show the students examples of different landscapes, reintroduced the idea of foreground, middle ground, and background, and then had them create the "base" of their landscapes. The base was a blue sky (unless they wanted to do sunset...had a few of those) & a couple different greens to create the ground. They had to completely cover the picture starting with the sky color first. The next class time students will be adding their details (trees, rivers, ponds, buildings, plants, animals, clouds..etc). This will yield a better/successful result. I really want my students to feel confident in what and how they are creating!
Most of all....your students need YOU!!! They need your smile. They need your encouragement. They need to feel safe. They need our boundaries. They need our expectations. We provide so much for our students that is not factored into testing/GPA's & such. They need us to gain back what they have lost.
August 23, 2021
August 22, 2021
Proper lighting plays an important part in the creation of art. It is as important as quality supplies for an artist. There have been many times that I've continued worked in poorly lit rooms thinking it was not a big deal. Why would I not just get up and open the blinds/curtains or turn on more lighting? My eyes adjust to the condition of the room, and I believed that I was able to see just fine. Sometimes, it was because I was too lazy to do a simple thing like flipping a light switch. Other times, I thought I was skilled enough to create in the diminished conditions. It wasn't until the work was brought into the light that I could see the glaring issues precipitated by lighting. At times, the issues were minor things that could be easily fixed. However, there have been times that I'd have to start completely over because the issues were too great to be fixed.
Allowing ourselves to believe we are "ok" to continue in the darkness will create issues that will have to be dealt with at some point.
August 20, 2021
I'm going to try to post my teacher examples for lessons I'm doing in my class with a quick discription...in case you need some inspiration! I hope that is helpful. Please feel free to message me with questions, but do not ask for the lesson plan. We all do them differently, have different state standards, and focus on different aspects.
August 19, 2021
Have you tried the Mondo Llama brand from Target? I've tested out their colored pencils, crayons, and markers. They are pretty much the same as the Up & Up brand that use to be at Target. I'm not sure if it is just a repackaging of the old brand or something totally. I will say that I tend to break the crayons a bit easier than Crayola (Crayola has been snapping easier the past few years too I've noticed!)
I decided to pick up some of the Mondo Llama Acrylic paint to see how they performed. I actually really like them! They are a bit thicker/creamier than Apple Barrel (that you can get at Wal-Mart). The finish is a satin, and I really love it! They won't replace your professional acrylics, but they are really nice. Get a few bottles the next time you are at Target and try them out!
August 15, 2021
August 14, 2021
The last step for me to be back in the clay business (teaching "real" clay lessons) is for them to hook up the vent system in my new kiln room. They showed up Friday morning....a little bit before my kindergarteners came to my room for the first time.
And they drilled.
And they pounded.
And they drilled some more.
Now, I was trying to keep the goal in mind....we'll be able to do clay again!!! It was a challenging hour. You can imagine the attention span of my kindergarteners when all that racket was going on. We made it through though. At lunch, they told they would have to finish the job on Monday, because they had an emergency job that they had to deal with at another school. I later went in to my kiln room to check out what they had accomplished. There was a hole in the wall for the venting to go through. WAIT A SECOND...THERE WAS A HOLE IN MY WALL!!!! Ummm...a hole to the outside. Now my room has courtyard type area outside of it that has trees and such. The and such....a ton of squirrels. These squirrels keep me from opening my window (no screen) because they look crazy...like they want to get in & take over. So...I knew I had to plug up that hole before they staged a coup! I took two art shirts and shoved them in there the best I could. I'm hoping when I go in Monday...that they did the trick!! ha ha
August 13, 2021
August 12, 2021
August 08, 2021
(This devotional is from Sept 17, 2017. Due to a death in our family, I decided to revisit a devo from the past with minimal changes!)