Saturday, 29 December 2012

Triangles in Our World

My Grade 5 art class is currently painting Picasso portraits.  However, because it was coming to the holidays and things were getting a little crazy with the Christmas concert and activities going on, I decided to put a hold on these projects and do a filler assignment.  Since Grade 5's focus this year is on shape, I had them do the following:

Triangles in Our World - Grade 5

They were each given one brown triangle (all the same size).  They were not allowed to cut the triangle but they could draw things on it if they wanted.  They then had to make the triangle into anything they could think of.  My favourites were the angry bird beak and the nacho.  A fun, little project if you are in need of a filler art assignment!

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Lost Snowmen

Winter is officially here!  Last night, Tim and I were caught in the first real snowfall I've seen yet this winter, as we were driving home from my in-laws Christmas celebrations.  It was a beautiful sight!  Winter is not my favourite season.  But if it has to be this cold, then why not add some snow to it?  It always makes me feel like the world is a different place - peaceful, calm, and cozy.

Before I left for the holidays I began to make my classroom also have that winter feeling to it.  I was inspired by this bulletin board:

Lost! Create a snowman, and describe the snowman so that others can find the one that is yours.

I adored this idea!  And so did my Grade 2's! :)  After designing my own bulletin board, this is how it turned out:

This is definitely one of my favourites yet!  It is so fun to see other kids in the school trying to guess who's snowman is whose.  There is still a lot of time to add this bulletin board for this winter.  Comment on this post if you are interested and would like the templates for the snowmen and the "Lost" clues sheet!  

I cannot believe it is already December 27 - Christmas has come and gone, the new year is almost here, and the holiday will soon be over...welll, let's not think about that quite yet!  I am enjoying the break a little too much :)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Simply Interactive

One more week until the holidays!  We finished our Christmas concert, and now have four more days of teaching and one field trip day.  I am looking forward to simply doing something different.  I love teaching, but I love time with my husband, family, and friends even more.  After being extremely busy for the past three and a half months, it will be nice to spend that long-awaited time needed with loved ones. 

In the meantime, I am finishing up our Christmas themes in the classroom.  The beginning of this week I put up a Christmas bulletin board.  It is my first interactive bulletin board for this year for my Grade 2's.  It is very simple, but still including activity from students.  We have been learning more and more about adjectives all throughout the past month or so, so I came up with the followng:

Now, I know there is not too much to it, but the fact that the students get to put up their own adjectives is exciting enough for them!  (Yes, there could definitely have been a bit more creativity done with this board, but it was the best I could do during this busy season!)  This is how it looked after the first morning of putting it up.  At this point the board is pretty much covered with different Christmas adjectives.  While at first they started with red, white, green, etc., students are now encouraged to think of more creative adjectives.  It is fun to see what they come up with!  Students are then encouraged to use these words in their writing as well.  

It's just a start into interactive bulletin boards for my classroom, but you have to start somewhere!  As for Christmas decorations, next year let's hope I am more on top of things so as to make my classroom a bit more exciting.  :)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Recent Art Projects Cont.

I had a minute or two to take some more pictures today, amidst the busyness of getting ready for the Christmas concert coming up this Thursday.  So, here are some more art projects that the kids have recently done.  

Comics - Grade 6

Grade 6 just finished making comics and are now beginning a project on pointillism after learning about Georges Seurat.  Comics was a fun project giving them the chance to be completely creative, using pictures to display a story.  I gave very minimal guidelines for this project.  

Faith Trees - Grade 6

These Faith Trees were made in order for students to have the ability to express their faith. They were to find words in magazines that reflected their faith life.  An easy and quick activity.  Looking through magazines is always a favourite!

Watercolour Landscapes - Grade 4

By far, these were my favourite projects in the last month.  We started with a class on experimenting with watercolours and blending colours and then moved into these landscapes.  Since my Grade 4 class is such a small class, I find it to be one of my favourite classes to paint with.  For many of these students it was one of their first times using watercolours.  I think they did a great job!  

Now, time to relax after a long day of practising, making and putting away costumes, and meetings... oh yeah.. and some teaching in between.  Two or three more days of that and a week left of teaching - I am ready for that break! :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Recent Art Projects

Just today I changed a bunch of my art bulletin boards for a fresh new look before the holidays.  Before I took them down I made sure to take some pictures.  Here are some examples of some art work I have been doing with my Grade 4 through 8 art classes.

Colour Wheels - Grade 6

These Colour Wheels were an introduction to the element of colour for the Grade 6s.  Colour is their focus for the year.  It was a great lesson for teaching the Grade 6s how to mix colours as we only used red, yellow, and blue paint.  They were able to use these colour wheels afterwards to help them with an opposites picture, which taught them more about complimentary colours.  (If interested just message me!)

Silhouettes - Grade 7/8 

These silhouettes were started off with learning about watercolours and how to blend watercolours.  Students were then to make a silhouette image on top of the dried watercolour with tempera black paint.  I enjoyed this project but didn't see the results that I was hoping for.  I must think of a way to enhance this lesson next time.  

Expressions with Line - Grade 4

Grade 4 is focusing on the element of line this year.  This assignment was taken from the previous art teacher.  Students had to come up with line designs when given an expression or feeling.  They then made one of these line designs into an oil pastel piece.  I loved how these turned out!  Not to mention the amount of creativity that was used when coming up with these!

Hopefully soon I can take pictures of the new projects that we have come up with.  Teaching art is turning out to be such a fun and interesting experience!  I love seeing the creative pieces that the students can come up with!  

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Classroom Management with Marbles

Ohh.. classroom management.. I can't count the amount of times I have heard discussions about this in the past year and a half, yet still I am working on that in my classroom.  I have been blessed with mostly well-behaved students for my first year of teaching, yet I still find that this is one area I need to work on.  

Recently, I was able to attend a conference for teachers with a number of different workshops.  There were many things that stuck out to me, some of which I will possibly blog about at a later time.  I attended a workshop for Grade 2 teachers and at this workshop our many focus was on (of course) classroom management.  The one idea that really stuck out to me in this discussion was the idea of having a Marble Jar in the classroom to enforce good behaviour.  The idea is that there is a jar at the front of the classroom with a bag of marbles beside it.  Any time exceptionally good behaviour is noticed from the class as a whole, you can feel free to add marbles to the jar.  Any time the class is not listening or obeying instructions, marbles can be taken away.  Once the jar is filled the whole class will be allowed to have a party. (I personally would have a class game or community building activity we could do for an afternoon.)

I like this idea for two reasons.  One: it includes the class as a whole.  Therefore the class must work together in order to earn marbles.  This promotes community in the classroom and reminds the students that their actions impact others, not only themselves.  Two: it is a visual reminder at the front of the room.  

On Pinterest I also came across this visual printout to remind students how they can fill the jar:  

I love all of these ways in which the jar can be filled!

I hope to start this new classroom management strategy within the next two weeks.  I will update with the results!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

A New Month

I am thankful tonight for a little extra time this evening to just take some time to relax.  Really, I am in need of it with this tiresome cold I am battling.  With a conference for the next two days, I don't have any classes to plan for (...Just lots of report cards to prepare of course :) so why not take the time to show one of my earlier projects?  

It is a new month and therefore time for a change of bulletin boards!  Before I do that however, I must share my favourite bulletin board from October.  Having 5 bulletin boards to change each month (two for my Art room and three for my Grade 2 classroom) it is tough to continue to think of creative ideas each month for all boards.  I've made it my goal therefore to come up with at least one especially thought out, creative bulletin board per month.  For October I came up with a 'Fall into a Good Book' Bulletin Board.  A fabulous idea, which I took from much searching for book report bulletin board ideas on Pinterest.  

I made the idea my own and this is what I came up with:

"Fall into a Good Book"
I simply printed letters off, along with a leaf template book report and added a fall coloured bordered and leaves.  The tree was also a nice touch, which the school had already. The leaf book reports were a hit with my students.  It was a great way to introduce book reports with a fun twist. 

For one of my next bulletin boards students are currently writing letters to Veterans for Remembrance Day. I am looking forward to seeing how these turn out!  

Sunday, 28 October 2012

2 Months in..

My original intent for this blog was to write about my first year of teaching.  I figured I'd write in it at least once a week, but hoping for twice a week.  Whether it be to simply talk about my experiences as a first a year teacher or to share ideas I've found or come up with for my classroom.  Well, it is now coming to the end of October and here is my second post.  They were all right when they said I would be the busiest I could be my first year of teaching.  

So far the experience has been indescribable.  Thinking back to 2 months ago, I could not have imagined myself here at this point.  I have grown so much through mistakes made every day, encouraging and extremely helpful colleagues, and just simply through getting to know my students.  

God has been faithful through it all.  Through those days I did not think I could get through because of misbehaved students, lesson plans gone wrong, and complaining parents, He has been there giving me patience and endurance.  I praise Him for this.  

Now I come to approach the time of report cards for my first time.  Assessing my students is something I feel anxious about.  Will I display each child as best as can be?  In some way it seems that these grades and marks are what define these children.  Oh how I wish that could be different!  

Before I close up I just want to share one project I have done with the students of my school.  For Thanksgiving we have the privilege of having a big feast to celebrate the goodness of God.  I was in charge of some of the art work for this feast.  I wanted to come up with something that involved the entire school on one project.  My reasoning was that this would be an opportunity for the students to see the school as a community - all connected with the love of Christ.  This is what I came up with:

(I simply made a tree on Bristol board and had each student in the school add their fingerprint to act as fall leaves.  My hope was that the tree would be filled more with fingerprints, but with a such a small school, it makes for a difficult task.)

I call it the Thankful Tree, indicating that we, as a school, are thankful for God's love, and that is what connects us as a community.   Next year I would like to do a project that shows this a bit more.  Though, I still liked the way this one turned out, I am not sure if the whole idea behind it came across to the students as well as I hoped.

Hopefully, soon I will be able to add more projects I am working on with my Art students as well as my Grade 2's.  I'd like to say that will happen later this week, but I make no promises. :)

Monday, 3 September 2012

Tomorrow, Tomorrow, I love you, Tomorrow...?

Tomorrow is the day it all begins. It is surreal.  After so many years of schooling, I am no longer a student but a teacher.  To think that those years of schooling came to a purpose is incredible.  What a blessing!  God has a purpose for me, and right now it is being a Grade 2 teacher and an Art teacher.  Wow.  It is hard to find the right words for what I am feeling right now - Apprehension, fear, excitement, joy ...those are just a few.  

I think about what the worst is that could happen. I have even looked up horror stories of the first days of teaching online.  The first day can't really be that bad can it?  I am nervous to meet my students, nervous that they won't like me, nervous that I won't be the right teacher.  Nervous for this new beginning.  Did I make the right decision in taking this profession?  Did I make the right decision in taking this specific job?  Can I really do this?

Above all I must remember the purpose behind this all.  Why do I teach?  Why am I starting this crazy adventure?  Why am I taking on this huge challenge?  To glorify God.  I chose to live for Him and I firmly believe this is where He wants me right now.  What a comfort this is.  What a reassurance.  

My trust is in Him.