Monday, August 29, 2016

Day one lesson: school wide mural

Last year for my day 1 lesson I read and did "the Dot." Each student created their own dot, and I had two marvelous parent volunteers that helped hang it for me. Here's a glimpse of what that looked like...

This year I decided to read "Only One You" by Linda Kranz. It's a great day one story and I love any book that encourages students to embrace what makes them unique. Here is the cover of the book. I think it's also worth the mention that Kranz also recently came out with another book similar to this one called "You Be You," which I haven't gotten a hold of yet, but I'm looking forward to it! 

Each student was given a half sheet with the outline of a Kranz fish on it that I actually found on her website here under the teacher tools link, there are all sorts of activities for the classroom that tie into her book! 
Each student in grades K- 4 were asked to create their own patterns on their fish using markers, and color them in using crayons. I didn't give kindergarteners crayons on the first day, that's a lesson for day 2. The next time I saw my students, they were asked to cut out their fish, and given a sheet of construction paper and a tracer. I explained it as they were making a picture frame for their fish. Each grade was given a different color. 

Finally I had one class that I see more often than the rest, they were assigned to create painted paper on the butcher/ bulletin board paper that later became the water underneath. A few trips to the die-cut letters, and a little hot glue, my mural is finished and ready for open house! 

So many fish they wrapped around the corner! 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Back to school... Classroom set up!

It's been a while, my apologies! I wanted to post a few things I have done different with my classroom this year so far, and the "day one" art lesson. 
First off, I am completely in love with and satisfied by my new set up this year! The first major change is that I covered my windows with butcher paper and used them to hang posters on rather than having them as Windows. My principal didn't seem super keen on the idea and I'm sure you're thinking, why would she want to do that? Well directly outside my classroom is the PLAYGROUND! Probably the biggest distraction that there could ever be adjacent to any classroom! After teaching in this room for 4 years, I decided this would be a major improvement and so far it is :)! Here is an in progress shot of the room. 

I also love that it naturally is giving me more wall/ bulletin board space. It's really helped allow me to spread out some of necessities that I needed to hang on the wall like the rules. Before I tried jamming them in around my front wall and it just was overwhelming. 

A new addition to the room that is pictured below is my crescent shaped/ guided reading table. This has already been amazing for demonstrating techniques to students! I do have a cheap version of an Elmo or document camera that I use in the room for drawing demonstrations, however when it comes to painting, especially color mixing the colors are off and the picture quality is extremely poor. Having this table has already changed the way I demo lessons and the kids seem to love it as well. Everyone fits pretty nicely around it, a few sitting and most standing, every view is a good view! If you have the space and the resources to add this to your room I highly recommend it! 

Another must for teaching elementary is a floor space where you can read to your students and introduce lessons, as well as have class discussions. I purchased this rug from "at home" which is kind of like a pier one on steroids, last summer for around $95 on sale. I'm able to use it again, however this year I took the additional step of duck taping all of the edges down. If you teach elementary kiddos then you know that no matter how many times you tell them not to run, inevitably someone runs across the floor anyway, and then the rug slides from under them, and there's a crash. I had seen another fabulous metro art teacher who had bought a rug and taped it down. I'm not sure why I didn't do this last year, but so far so good this year! The tape is one of the best decisions I made during my classroom set up for sure! (Tape is not pictured below, but I used a navy blue duct tape that matched the carpet.) 

One last addition I made to the room are the new and improved "no no board" and my beautiful oops board, aka what to do if you make a mistake. I used my little boho birds to explain what/ how you can improve your 'no no's' in your drawings. 
And of course we all have students that want a new paper immediately after making mistakes without even trying to erase what they've done, so I thought some sort of mistake board would make a bulletin board this year. 
Thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with day one lesson later!