For me summer vacation is an enticing time filled will travel, iced coffee, sunshine, and TIME TO READ!!!!, but sometimes transitioning from my school's every day rhythm into summer vacay is a challenge for me. The end of the school year is always such a busy time filled with field days, returning work, art room supply clean-up, organization. Year end good-byes seem to happen in an instant and the energy that propelled an entire 180 days comes to an abrupt halt. School's been out for less one week and in order to provide myself with some personal closure to the school year, I felt compelled to make some art about our art room adventures this year.
"What does your classroom look like?" is a common question asked to many prospective teachers during interviews. Well, a picture's worth one thousand words, so here is my answer in a visual format!
Blogger friends, do any of you ever use the sights, sounds, conversations, artwork from your classroom as inspiration for your own art work?
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
This year I tried a fun, new project with my 5th graders called Rock Thoughts. I found out about the web-based story telling project that is Rock Thoughts via Mrs. Hahn’s Mini Matisse Blog. To read a detailed description of how the process works, you can visit Mrs. Hahn’s website by clicking here. She does a phenomenal job of describing each step of the process. You can also visit the official Rock Thoughts website by clicking here. The project is simplified when you work with great teachers like I do who help to make the project a school wide collaboration. For this project I teamed up with the Librarian at my school to help with the word processing component.
The project does entail a hearty amount of prep work, but the results are totally worth it! This project actually started last summer, when I ventured into a dried up tributary of the Susquehanna River with 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Barrett. We collected over 100 rocks, looking for shapes that would be inspiring for 5th grade artists.
So....how does this project work?
Students will design and paint a rock character in art class. A special, code number will be placed on the bottom of each rock.
Students will create the beginning of a story about your rock character.
Students will type, edit, and proofread this story in Library class. This story will be put up on the Rock Thoughts website.
Students will hide your rock somewhere out in the world! Anywhere you want. Seriously, anywhere!
A mystery person will find your rock, look up your rock’s number on the Rock Thoughts website and continue your rock’s journey through story!
Students rocks will circle the globe, achieving pure awesomeness!
The process was a little abstract for the students on the first day, so I provided the following two examples I whipped up myself. Here's a sneak-peak from my PowerPoint.
Below are some examples of finished student rock art showcased with their writing.
Old Dan Hoover
Old Dan Hoover is an old man who is 79 years old. He wants to stay healthy so he eats his fruits and vegetables and goes to the gym on Fridays with his other older friends to do stretches. One Friday, he met up with his buds at 12:00 p.m. to do their usual stretches. First, they did one lap around the gym. Next, they touched their toes and did jumping jacks. His friend Bill did extra everything, and looked really sweaty. Old Dan Hoover started worrying, but said nothing. Then after a few more stretches, Bill collapsed and started breathing heavily.
Hello, my name is Littledude. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I live in Sarasota, Florida, but I am originally from Sayre, Pennsylvania. I play football. I love to listen to rock music. I hang out with a group of hard rockers.I always dream about catching mice filled with catnip in an endless meadow. My favorite thing to eat is popcorn with catnip. I like to watch “Hawaii Five O”. I am very nice and outgoing.
One day I saw the door open. I wanted to go out to the meadow, but I was scared. What do you think I should do? How do you think the door got open?
Crocy the Crocodile
“Crocy the Crocodile” was a grouchy crocodile. He lived in Florida in a zoo. He wanted to go out in the sea so could be free. One day “Crocy the Crocodile got out of his cage. He ran to the nearest river and he jumped in. Right when he was about to swim away the zoo keeper grabbed a net, started walking towards Crocy, and BOOM! Just like that, Crocy Crocodile ran. He ran so fast that he did not know where he was. He found himself in Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie. He was happy but, THEN….
Hi, my name is Elvis Presley. I like to listen to rock and roll music. I like to eat ice cream. My favorite kind is Panda Paws. My voice is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
I live in Las Vegas. I have always had a dream. My dream was to be a rock star. I have all ways been a ladies man. I think I’m a ladies man because of my good looks.
Hi I’m Tena t-rex. I’m off to the dino. race! I have to pick up my race number. “Hi Rosey” I said “can I have my number?” “Here, take number 26”said Rosey “Thanks” I said, I got to the starting line. Everybody is in lime. The announcer announces “Ready…set…go!” 15 miles in I ….
I am Hershey the rock. I live on a windowsill in a pet store. I want to go to Myrtle Beach. My favorite song is “Drop the World” by Little Wayne. Also, my pet store is located in Florida.
I am always upset because I want to leave the pet store. Then one day the window opened and I fell out. Next, a squirrel picked me up and took me to her nest. I almost got eaten but luckily I fell out of her mouth just in time.
It was a brisk, cool morning when Dawn woke up. Dawn was a dove who was on vacation in the woods with her grandma, not far from her old nest on the H. Austin Snyder Elementary roof. Dawn’s grandma sent Dawn to the store. Then all of the sudden she heard the loudest boom she ever heard and at the same time pain shot through her as fast as a lightning bolt! To her dismay, Dawn realized hunting season had started.
WOLF the HUSKY.
This is my rock named Wolf. He’s from Alaska. He lives in Hawaii currently. He hangs out with MRS. KITTY (his girlfriend). He is always funny. He dreams of eating a 1,000 coconut flavored dog biscuits while surfing. He likes to eat coconuts at the beach. He likes the best rap music on the beach. He likes to go scuba diving. He likes to watch GOLD RUSH because he’s from Alaska...
Sally SombreroOnce upon a time there was a little rock named Sally Sombrero who lived in a hat store. She always wanted to see what it looked like outside .So one night she snuck off the rack .She saw a sombrero dancing, singing and laughing and more! She was curious and went and met her good friend Pedro. So they went to The Jumping Bean Café and saw a dance off. After they got done a girl named Juan came over and asked “Do you want to go dance against me?” Sally said, “Yes!” So they went to dance for hours and hours . Finally, the judges answered it was Sally sombrero the winner.
Hi my name is Rock Lewis JR. I live in the Baltimore Ravens Stadium. Something bad happened to me though I was on the field and I got stuck in Ray Lewis’s cleat while he sacked Andrew Luck. If you find me please return me to Rock Lewis, or Ray Lewis (that’s who I wanted to be named after.) I forgot to tell you, if you don’t hurry I will miss my tryouts for my favorite Rock Football League team the Baltimore Rocks. Hurry or I’ll be late. Please help!!!!
Monday, June 10, 2013
I tend to save some of my favorite lessons for the end of the year. This lesson is always a hit and is the perfect post field trip, post field day project. Believe it or not, tree house living is not just for kids! Tree houses are becoming more and more popular globally. A renewed passion for nature, combined with the growing availability of innovative building techniques and materials, has created a burst of imaginative treehouse construction on every continent.
"Treehouse Living: 50 Innovative Designs" Alain Laurens (Author), La Cabane Perchee Company (Author), Vincent Thfoin (Photographer), Yann Arthus-Bertrand (Preface)
I found this awesome book a few years ago that showcases some gorgeous tree houses from around the globe. The photographs are so beautiful the kids and I practically salivate over them and vow to devote our entire summer vacations to building our own elevated homes! For third graders, this project reinforces the concept of horizon line, foreground/background, architecture. I also emphasize perfecting colored pencil technical skills, showing the students how to layer and mix colors to create a gradient color effect.
We start with the horizon line and then set up our trees. At this point I have the students turn their paper over to create a "wishlist" of must haves that they would like to add to their tree house. From there, the architectural studies really begin to flow.