We got a jump on February and celebrating Black History Month with this collaborative project. Students looked at this article on Beanz (a magazine for kids, code, and computer science) about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson the ladies also known as The Hidden Figures. They are all mathmeticians, engineers, and pioneers who worked for NASA and helped pave the way for other women in math and science, especially women of color. We also watched this great video from Flocabulary and the kids loved it and even requested to hear it again before class was over.
The project is a two class project and each student will be making a piece of a large poster that features the three Hidden Figures along with a quote from Katherine Johnson. I found this poster on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Can’t wait to share the finished poster hanging proudly in the halls of our school!
Fourth grade is making these snowy nighttime scenes using value and blending with paint. Before we started in on the real deal, we practiced first with color pencils then with paint. Sharing our steps here!
I’ll share the students’ work when we are finished!
Here’s some of the student work. They were still so creative with the limited use of only silhouettes.
Oh man, I have been so excited to share these little boxes of fun with my students and with you all. I love hearing all about STEAM and how other regular classroom teachers are integrating art into their classes. I’m all like, “Welcome to my world. I told y’all it was fun over here!”
So anyway, I wanted to create some projects and lessons where the ultimate goal wasn’t to take a perfect little picture home to mom and dad to hang on the fridge. I wanted the goal to be one of social interaction and creative design. Teamwork and imagination. It’s all about the process, baby!
The thing that finally got me moving on my idea about this was our school’s family engagement coordinator brought me some empty sight word flash card boxes. They were pretty small but they were brightly colored and had a cute little yellow handle. There were only 10. What can a teacher of 650+\- do with 10 little boxes?
I started by finding that bag of random stuff that people give you… you know the one. It’s filled with bits and pieces of scrapbook stuff, toys from kids meals, lost puzzle pieces, marbles, dominoes, etc. Yeah, that one. I divided it up between 6 of the boxes (I have 6 tables in my room) and then set to making some prompts. I know I could throw caution to the wind and let the kids just have a go with no prompts but I want to keep a loose grip on the reins. I think it would be best to have a common goal at each table so we don’t bicker about step 1.
There are so many great places to find prompts, resources, and ideas for materials for this sort of thing. Here are a few of my sources:
They LOVED it. Of course they did. I say this not because of my amazing boxes of random crap, but because kids love to tinker and play with little things, and use their imaginations. After they completed the tasks, we cleaned up the boxes and then traded for a new box. We only traded once in the 45 minutes of class.
I shall not lie to you – there were arguments in some of the groups. Kids have strong opinions about stuff, especially what the propeller of an airplane should be made from. But it was opportunity to work on social skills and learning to talk through problems instead of yelling, whining, and fussing. But that’s what’s so great about STEAM and art class in general: it’s applicable to real life. Problem solving (with people and machines), designing, creating, sharing, giving, taking, directing, leading, choosing a good leader, being a great team player, and the list goes on.
This was a wordy, lengthy post and I apologize. Here’s some pictures:
A mini rocket and a big rocket
My fourth graders have started on some metaphorical self-portraits and they are looking so great! We expanded our vocabularies by looking up adjectives about ourselves on thesaurus.com and using those to write an “I am…” poem. We drew it all out in pencil, traced in Sharpie, and painted each line with tempera paint. They are really looking fabulous.
I’ll post pics of the kids’ artwork when complete!
I love the winter holidays. I love the time together with family and friends. I love the decorations and I love the crafts. An art teacher I follow posted that she is not a Hallmark factory for her school and therefore does not do holiday artwork. I absolutely respect that but I do love making holiday art so I thought I would share some of what we’ve been doing since I haven’t posted in forever. 😳
Elf legs! Ornament piles! And Kinder Rudies!
How I’ve been feeling this season:
As much as I love the traditions and art of Dia de los Muertos, I’ve never really been around or involved in any legitimate celebrations. I read about it. Watch movies about it. Make art with my students about it. But I’ve never had an opportunity to see it and be a part of it in real life. All that changed on Sunday.
I found out about a Dia de los Muertos festival happening in Charlotte. It was held at the Levine Museum of the New South and it was great! There were T O N S of people there so we didn’t get to do everything. But we looked, and read, and observed, and listened to everything we could.
Before we even walked in the door, we were greeted by La Catrina! Photo op!
After a long day at the festival, I went back to my first love (French everything) and ate crepes and macarons in Romare Bearden Park. It was a perfect day and I enjoyed spending it with family, learning about a different culture together. ❤️