Monday, September 26, 2016

Three and a Half Weeks Until Parent/Teacher Conferences!

I just love Parent/Teacher Conference time! Now don't misunderstand, I don't have loads of conferences, not too many come to see me (although I'm happy to see them when they do), but it IS a great time to showcase some amazing student work!  I've held back these beauties (I call them "It's Great to be King"):

It's similar to this lesson, except we used a bit of technology (thanks to student chrome books and Schoology) to add some selfies to truly be royalty. We added a bit of writing to explain the items we were holding and our overall look.

My original plan was to hang all three fifth grade classes of Royal Portraits by the front office, but now I'm torn.  Second grade made some pretty amazing self portraits--

We started working on frames for them today.
Sometimes CHOOSING is the hardest part.  Amazing Royalty Portraits?

Or amazing self portrait paintings by the front office?

Decisions, decisions!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Another Trip To Market To Market

Several years ago I wrote about this same lesson and I hadn't done that (this?) lesson since.  The book is so fun and rhyme-y and sing-songy that I really wanted to do it again.  First we read To Market To Market by Anne Miranda and drew a practice stack of animals in our sketchbooks.  

I bought this hard-backed copy on Amazon for a RIDICULOUSLY low price.

Next we printed our shopping carts.  This year I used old lamination (the extra part when something is laminated) taped to some random paper I had left over (I wrote their name on the lamination in Sharpie) and we used black acrylic paint to do the printing:

I ordered strawberry baskets on Ebay to print with.

Imagine a name written in Sharpie--this is one of my extras.
Students drew their stores with pencil and then traced in Sharpie:

I also gave each student a piece of paper to draw their animal stack on.  The paper was the right size to fit in their cart (assuming they drew a vertical stack of animals).  I believe (this is the moment where I leave my computer and go searching for the paper to measure) it was 12" x 4".  Students were encouraged to draw a "silly stack" of animals.  They drew with pencil, traced with extra-fine Sharpie and colored their animals with Crayola color sticks. 

When they were all colored, students cut out their animals, all in one continuous stack.
I then used my new Cool Shot hot glue gun to their animals into their carts:

Students then glued their animals (now in their carts) to their stores and wrote their own to-market-to-market on a small paper I gave them.  I just printed a few lines and a clip art of a shopping cart on paper (last time they did the writing in their classrooms but it took FOREVER and I'm not in a taking-forever sort of mood).

Oh, the frustration of not being able to rotate these pictures.
You have no idea of the time I've wasted trying to ROTATE.
Picture Ross screaming "PIVOT!!! PIVOT!!!!" on that stairwell on Friends,
and that's pretty much me right now.
And a few final shots of them hanging in the hall (though I'm not super happy with how they photographed--too much white):

Thursday, September 8, 2016

But What If It Rains?

Who here travels? Like, gets in the car part way through your day and drives to another school? Maybe one ten or so miles away? Hand in the air over here.  Now, I don't travel every year.  It's usually every other, or sometimes there's a bit of respite in there for a while.  But this year is my traveling year, and I was all prepared in my mind to spend one morning every third day of school at a school closer to my house, and BAM! few days before school started, the plan changed.  So I'm driving every third day around 1:45 to another elementary school and teaching two sections of second grade. I find it easiest to just teach exactly what I'm teaching to the second graders at my home school at the 'bonus' school, thus, the rolling cart:

On the mornings of my travel day, I teach second grade first thing and put everything I used in the cart for the afternoon/travel school.  Because I can't handle things rolling around while I'm driving I seat belt it in the front seat. Looking at that thing, I could not handle all the dust in every little crevice--guess when it sat unused in the corner of my room dust got everywhere and it's DISGUSTING.

Hmmm, doesn't look as dusty in the photo,
but TRUST, it was GROSS.
And then, (maybe because I'm the teensiest bit neurotic) I started wondering what happens when it rains? How will I keep all the supplies and examples in this cart dry? And I spent way too long thinking about it: if I simply cover it with a garbage bag it'll drip or won't cover it all or rip . . . I needed something better.
Yesterday was my travel day, Mr. One Happy Art Teacher was working late, and rain was in the forecast for this morning, so the time to act was right the very second I got home from school. I put my children to work cleaning everything with cleaning wipes while I pulled out fabric scraps from the mountain in my art and sewing room:

And got to work.  I want it to be water resistant, so I used some leftovers from my diaper making days (if you're looking for reasonably priced cloth diapers, check out one of my Etsy stores here).  No pattern, just a vague plan in my head lead me to lots of pinning:

This is the water proof diaper fabric (PUL), and if you're going
to make anything with it, a walking foot is a must for your sewing machine.
After sewing the lining, I got this:

Then I did the same pinning process for the outside:

It took a while, and I had to take a brief break to cook a nutritious meal for my children heat up Labor Day barbecue leftovers and throw some chips on plates. It would of been faster but I realized I couldn't sew the lining completely to the outer layer or in wouldn't go on (duh) and I still wanted to be able to seat belt the crate in.  Here's almost finished:

 Finally, I added flaps to the side to cover the cut outs for the seat belt holes, and buttons to keep everything secure.  This morning it DID rain, and I had to bring everything in, and it worked perfectly:

Now that it's done and working, it'll probably never rain on my travel day again.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Overflowing Drying Racks

There is so much going on right now, we're so busy and in the swing of school FOR REAL these days.  Every morning I come to work and face overflowing drying racks (I love super-productive days like these)--this morning I put away paintings for kindergarten, first and fourth, collages from fifth and Gelli prints from sixth (and some make up acrylic paint prints in second).  
Our sketchbooks in sixth are still not done, but we're getting closer.  Here's the last (? maybe ?) video on how to bind sketchbooks:

I've been dropping videos in Schoology, and the students are really getting used to checking for them.  It's also nice because they can watch them over and over if they're confused and they get the same information every time.
I'm still trying to find a minute to have them print their nature papers to add to the back, and I've altered my idea (like that? It's a fancy way to say I totally changed my mind) to make sure that all are successful.  Stay tuned!
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