Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Art: Art Links

A few links to check out if you need some great art projects for kids:






Social Studies: Decades project

For our class's decades project, my group chose to research the 1940's. We divided up the responsibilities, with some of us looking into the fashions of the decade, others looking into scandals or inventions. My contributions to the group included creating a dimensional image of Mount Rushmore, which was completed in 1941, and bringing in a victory garden. During WWII, food was rationed and planting  a victory garden helped make sure that there was enough food for our soldiers fighting around the world. Because canned vegetables were rationed, Victory Gardens also helped people stretch their ration coupons (the amount of certain foods they were allowed to buy at the store).  So, I decided a fun way to represent a victory garden would be to make a victory garden cake! Love how it turned out!         


Friday, April 11, 2014

Art: Assessing Creativity

Today in class we talked about how you assess art, more specifically, how you assess creativity. Creativity fosters deeper learning and builds confidence. It provides students the opportunity to express themselves in ways that other forms of expression can't. But, when it comes to assessing, how do we place judgment on someone's creativity? What one person considers beautiful may or may not be another persons idea of beautiful. So, what do we do? Our class talked about the importance of setting specific objectives. We decided this would be one way to assess students. Another way is through improvement and growth. As a teacher you keep a portfolio of the students work and watch it throughout the semester or year. 

Social Studies: Paper Clips

This week we watched a documentary about a small school in Tennessee that did something amazing. In 1998 while the students were learning about the holocaust, they became overwhelmed trying to understand the massive amount of human lives lost during the war, specifically people who died in concentration camps and similar situations. They decided they wanted to try to collect something that could signify what 6,000,000 looked like, since 6,000,000 lives were lost under the authority of Adolf Hitler.
So, with their teachers support, they decided to collect paper clips. 6 million paper clips. As it turned out, paper clips were chosen in part because during the war, people in Norway wore them on their lapels as a symbol of resistance against Nazi occupation.

The project ended up taking about 3 years to complete. The students received paper clips from people all over the world, and many from people whose lives had been affected by the holocaust. It was an amazing movie and an amazing project.

Art: Integrating Art

This week we had to take a basal and integrate art into a weeks worth of lessons. This was a fun, but challenging, project. The basal we selected was for 2nd grade and the theme was animals and their homes. This was a pretty easy enough theme but we really had to stretch to fill in an entire weeks worth of art lessons.
One of the projects we decided to integrate was an illustration the students would do, after their reading, that helped to explain what they had just read. Because we think it is very important to expose children to different types of mediums, we included in the lesson that the children would use pastels for this project.
Another project we included requires students to act out their vocabulary words. we thought this was a good activity that would help our students to have a deep understanding of new words.
We also included collage projects, poetry, and dioramas in our unit. Here is a picture of a sample diorama we created:

Social Studies: 1940's

Our class has been working on projects that focus on a particular decade in history. Our group's decade is the 1940's. I have loved doing this project. We have had to research many aspects of life in the 1940's, from fashion and music to inventions and scandals. This week I started working on a war rations stamp-book. We plan on using these to hand out portions of m&m's (invented in the 40's)during our presentations.

Social Studies: Geography

Today we talked about teaching geography to our students. Teaching geography is more than just memorizing states and cities on a map. Geography includes things like land formations, how people and goods and information get places, how humans have changed particular locations, how humans adapt to the environment around them, and language and culture. Our teacher engaged us in another fun activity that we could do in our own classroom someday. We had to draw four images that symbolized a location on a map, each location being within the same state. Then, after looking at our drawings, our classmates had to try to figure out the cities we had drawn. If they were unable to figure out the cities we drew, we could give them the coordinates on a map and they could locate them using that tool.
Can you guess our cities?


Art: My Mural

This project has been my favorite so far. I put so much time and love into this project and I plan on somehow getting it mounted, maybe on foam board, so I can hang it in my classroom someday. I had a difficult time deciding what I wanted to make my mural about. I have always told my daughter that if you have an opportunity to shine, then shine.
With that in mind, I didn't want to just settle on a simple mural or something that has been overdone. I again spent a lot of time pouring through images on Google, searching for inspiration. I finally tried to figure out what I've seen in my life that I loved. One of the many things I thought of was Yellowstone National Park. I took my daughters there this summer, it had been my fourth time visiting. I love everything about this place, so I decided that would be the inspiration for my mural.
I looked online to see if anyone had ever posted a mural of Yellowstone and I came across the most awesome website; They Draw And Travel. I love maps...I love vintage maps...and this website had the most amazing drawings!!! I found the inspiration I was looking for and...here's what I made: