Wednesday, August 22, 2012

First Week Likes

1. I like what I've done with my classroom. I've worked in it for 8 years previously and it didn't change all too much. Now that I've moved to be there more full time I made some changes.

Before: Lots of stuff on the shelves felt cluttered to me
After: I put panels of fabric on the shelves with velcro. I can lift and pin up the fabric to access each shelf. I like it! It just seems a little more organized.
Also added fabric panels that are hung with curtain rods under the bottom window shelves. Woo! Less clutter visible and the kids have less interest in going over there.
2. I like the activity I chose to do with my primary kids this week. We did the usual rules and such then read the book Pete the Cat - I Love My White Shoes. My students then designed their own shoes that "stepped" in anything they wanted... stripes, polka dots, hey even pizza if they chose to. I'm starting to hang them outside my classroom next to my own Pete!


3. I like my sign that I use the first few weeks. Its terribly effective!

4.. I like my class incentive plan I'm going to put into place with my 1st and 2nd graders.

I found this on Pinterest! Great idea! Each class has a paper crayon box that will be adhered to the classroom wall with the teacher's name on it. Each week they work quietly in the art room I will add a crayon to their box. Each time they reach 8 crayons I will give their class 3 box tops! (Our school collects them and it has turned into a large competition).  At the end of the year the class who collected the most crayons over time will win a prize from me.
First week has been hard though. Kindergarteners are still learning the routines and are lost about 90% of the time. Any time you step out of my door you are more than likely to find a lost child. Thank goodness for our 1st and 2nd graders to help remind us all that there is an end in sight. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Made that Summer Count, School is back in session

School started this week here! I had a fantastic summer and really made it count. This next school year calender is lacking a lot of the usual time off to accomodate a recent state policy. Though the policy is well intentioned, I'm not a fan.  However, I am so grateful for the extra week we had off before returning to work.

I traveled... oh did I travel!

At the end of July, I went on a mission trip to a Native American Reservation in North Dakota and learned so much about the people there. The children are beautiful. I would have taken so many home with me if I could.

Our team worked on building decks so that the residents could get in and out easily of their homes. So many of the house doors were 3 or 4 feet above the level of the ground.

North Dakota is amazing. Such big skies!

Showing that wheel chair ramp who's boss


The poverty and desperation there is huge, but the pride of the people and their culture is so very much intact. I loved every single moment. 
We did a little art with children in one of the communities. Put food coloring in bottles of bubbles then had them blow bubbles onto their papers. Later when they were dry we colored with crayons. I'm not sure whether art makes it onto their plates or not there, but I saw several with very creative inclinations. Oh how I wish I could have brought so many of them home.
My favorite part of the week was the Pow Wow. I learned about all the different types of dancers and their style of dress. Each person took such pride in their costumes. Oh and this was the place to try a bison burger if the urge has ever hit you. Tasty tasty!
The second day after I returned home from N.D. Mom and I hopped on a plane to Italy. We saw Venice, Florence, and Rome. It was art teacher heaven!

Reflecting back on my art history classes made me realize they only scratch the surface. To see these amazing monuments in person leaves one truly in awe.

Pantheon. So much larger than I imagined.

Trevi Fountain

I'm having Italy withdrawls.

North Dakota has left me feeling the urge to do some "Western" art this year, perhaps closer to Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what Italy has done to influence my classes yet.

Perhaps Italy can just me for me.
The experience has left my heart and mind open to new possibilities.