Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Book Review- The Day the Crayons Quit

When I moved to the middle school I was sure I would never teach elementary again... WRONG!  Here I am preparing for the new year at Hassan Elementary.  All of the books that I have collected over the years, I gave a way to the other art teachers of my district.  Bad choice.  Oh well... I guess I start the collection again.  I have bought a couple of books for the classroom this year.  The Day the Crayons Quit, was one of them.  Cute book.  The drawings were so innocent.  Being a lover of student art, I was impressed with how 'kid' the book looked.  It's a book written from the crayons persecutive.  I could see this being used in the classroom for a great collaborative project between language arts and visual arts.  Maybe 4th or 5th grades are going to take an art object and write a letter from it's perspective.  It could be illustrated in the same manner as the book.  It's a bit wordy for our K's.  I can see them spinning around as I read though the clever notes from each crayon.  I think I will use this book for my upper levels... They might giggle when I pull out a children's book to have it read to them, but even when I did this with my middle schoolers, in the act of reading the book, the class is silent, they are engaged.  Books are powerful!

Is there lessons out there that you have tried in conjunction with this book?  I would love to hear about them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Austin's Butterfly- Video on the power of models, critique, and descriptive feedback

Holy smokes... Mind blown!  Maybe some of you have seen this video before but it's new to me.  I WILL be using this for sure in my classroom this year.  The description is as follows,

Ron Berger from Expeditionary Learning demonstrates the transformational power of models, critique, and descriptive feedback to improve student work. Here he tells the story of Austin's Butterfly. 1st grade students at ANSER Charter School in Boise, ID, helped Austin take a scientific illustration of a butterfly through multiple drafts toward a high-quality final product.
This video is one of 27 videos that accompany Expeditionary Learning's new book, Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools through Student-Engaged Assessment. For more information visit: elschools.org/leadersoftheirownlearning.

Be sure to watch and show Austin's Butterfly to your kids at school... I think it's quite powerful.  

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Monster Medium: Title Frame

OK.  I'm getting ready to hang all my monsters in the room next week.  I can't wait to see them all hanging together.  This is going to be such a fun activity for the whole year long.  All the students will understand what a medium is, and will be exposed to several throughout the school year.  I will be reporting how this little experiment is going as it unfolds.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Monster Medium: Fibers

This is Ross, and he works construction.  He builds commercial buildings like the stores you shop in.  He always has a smile on his face.  Everyone loves when Ross walks in the room.  He works hard all day and plays volleyball with some of his monster friends at night.  His team always wins because they practice a lot.  They also communicate well when they play the game.  Ross is known for his silky fur.  He has to comb it several times a day but it's worth it because it's really soft. 

Can you guess what medium Ross is?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Monster Mediums: Yarn

A couple more monsters... 

This is Hannah and she is a Veterinarian.  She has always loved animals and now as an adult, she get's to work with them all day long. She will come to visit animals on the farm and at the circus.  She has a business where people bring their animals to her as well. She has some pets at home too, two cats and a dog named Nipper (don't get to close to him, he nips) and a bird named Petey.  Hannah also has a large vegetable garden in the backyard where she grows tomatoes, zucchini, peppers and sweet corn.  She also grows some beautiful flowers, just because she loves to stop in smell them right away in the morning.  

Can you guess what medium Hannah is?

This is how Hannah was made...

I cut a foam ball in half and cover it with glue.  I wrapped the yarn around and around the ball.  I did the same thing for Hannah's face.  I placed a knot at the end of the yarn and glued it down.  I then wrapped the yarn around and around using glue to keep it in place.

I tried to use a lot of different textures for the yarn.  It makes you want to look at it really close.  I love fibers for this reason.

 I wrapped cardboard for the teeth and placed them and the mouth on with glue as well.

Finally, I cut long stands and placed them on the board and gave it a little braid.  She is upside down because Hannah's a little silly. If you look really close at the bottom of this picture below you will see some preplanning for my monsters.  Even Mrs. Hahn has to pre plan her projects!