Monday, September 17, 2018

Collaborative Paper Quilt

I'm a person who is often inventing my curriculum over and over. I love the creative part of lesson plans. This year, I was greatly inspired by Don Masse of Shine Brite Zamorano who does a collaborative paper quilt every year with his students. I have always been impressed and this tradition is a highlight for Mr. Masse's school.  This year, as I moved schools, I thought... keep it simple, let the kids play, create something beautiful together... This led me to Don's collaborative lesson.  

Here is the deal... I believe that we build off from each other's ideas.  You will often see me highlighting other educators and Artist who have inspired my lessons. I'm sure it's never taught the same, or with the same emphasis, or even materials... That is why we share our ideas, to see where the seed can grow. Don planted this seed and over the years so many people from all over the world have planted that little seed into their own communities and classrooms. LOOK HOW IT HAS GROWN!!

I also believe that if you are going to use someone's lesson, share your tips and tricks with others too. So, here it the slideshow that was presented to my students (K-5) to teach this lesson. When going through the slideshow, you will see our inspirational Artist, Libs Elliot, as well as Don Masse and the links to his students' work. My students would ask me, do you know Mr. Masse, after I had introduced him as one of my BFF's. "When do you see him?" "How can he be your friend, he lives so far away." This was a great opportunity to talk about how I learn from educators and Artist all over the world. They would also ask, "Will you take a picture and show your friend?" Will I? Heck yes! I'll also share it with the whole world if you don't mind. 

Here are a few additional tips and tricks. 

I used the best paper cutter EVER. Every time I put this out there I have people ask... Where?? How?? I need one.  I get it.  I had to cut the white paper with my own 'traditional' paper cutter and it took me, no joke, 4 times longer.  So, yeah... get your self one. They ROCK! (click here)

When I was creating this lesson, I wanted to check off the list that I had reviewed with all my 3rd-5th graders how to glue with a glue stick and white glue. With my 2nd graders, it was an introduction to white glue... and with my K's and 1st graders... we used glue stick only for this lesson.  The 4th and 5th grade would laugh when they heard how I presented the instruction of the glue stick in my YouTube video... I would joke and say, "I know, Right? Well, this is how I teach my littles. You can teach little people in your life in the same way." They would all laugh and think that this was a good idea. But really, many of my 4th and 5th graders are still working on this skill of gluing and all the little tips and tricks really help. 

I had placed a tray at every table with the extra paper. They would put their scraps in there and I would add some little papers here and there. It allowed for the rainbow effect that you see on the wall. I would only divvy up certain colors at a time. The trays also had the scissors and glue in it so it was easy to pick up.  At the end of the day, I would go through all the trays and clean up the paper sheets and get it ready to go for day 2... then 3 and all the way through the 6th day of my digital day rotation. 

For my littles, I had them practice cutting a triangle together. It was many of these kids first day EVER in school (or in my art room) so we really broke it down... "Here is a square, everyone turn it and show me a diamond. Great, now pur the top corner and the bottom corner together.  Now press it down on your table. Now, what shape do you have??" They would call out together, "A triangle!" I love the wonder and enthusiasm of K's. 

I never said, "You're Wrong". See this is the first day in Art Class for these buddies... If a student didn't 'follow the rules', I would let it go. This was not a formal assessment, they will all look amazing on the wall, and if the kid is proud of their work, so am I! 

I would ask students to arrange their 'mini' quilt on a table when completed. This would give the work a little dry time and allow me time to arrange it on the large format after the students have left. This way we both got to practice our composition. As you can see below, I measured out the paper before attaching the individual sheet. I also numbered and marked it for the connecting points so it would be placed upon the wall correctly

I took some training on a practice called ENVoY this summer and I started implementing it right away. One of the practices of this is to have the directions posted on the board.  I'm sure there will be a LOT more writing on some of the ENVoY tips and tricks but in the meanwhile, check out their website

Because kids in the Art Studio have different times that they finished up (Art is an hour long at my school), I was sure to have some 'play' available. I had blocks, toys, cleaning tools, books, and free draw. Only some opportunities were 'opened' depending on the time left in class for the students. 

I had the quilt slowly growing over the last two weeks... this allowed for everyone to see the progress of the Art Project. 

I shared my lesson plan slideshow with my staff. This allowed them to understand what we were doing in class and what to expect.  It gave credit to the Artist, Libs Elliot, and the inspiring teacher, Don Masse. Plus, it gives others the opportunity to collaborate with you... as you see here, a coworker and friend of mine brought in a quilt that her grandma made and she shared it with her students and myself.  It was awesome and filled my heart. 

I labled the work and tried to educate more people with some little tidbits on Libs Elliot and pictures of her work. EVERYONE that uses the school (sports, scouts, and so on...) is in this area of the school at some point.

And yes... I took a picture with the Artwork. I was so proud of getting this done, up, and displayed! It was a big job but yep, I celebrate my students work too... That called for a picture upon completion. 

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