My fifth graders started these sunburst paintings today. They were fully engaged and enjoying the freedom to experiment with color mixing. I can’t wait to see their finished products! Thanks to Small for Big for such a great idea!
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
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. ❤️
Made it! Rules and procedures: taught. 600 fish: created. First week: done.
Thank goodness for a long Labor Day weekend to recover. Next week will include some fun elements of art projects!