Sunday, November 13, 2011

my(our) best creation yet!


Well bite my tongue, I guess some babies DO come right on their due date because mine did! Looks like he won't be a procrastantor like his mom, but will like to be right on time like his dad.
Born Thursday November 10th at 4:52pm our little Drew. 7 pounds and 7 ounces and 21 inches long. One awesome little baby! Don't be surprised if the blog is pretty quiet for a while.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

waiting for baby and sunflowers

Not my best photos ever....sorry. The colors are much brighter in real life.

Tomorrow is the big day, the due date of my first child. Of course we know babies rarely come on their due date so we are not getting our hopes up. My husband really wants an 11/11 or and 11/12 baby. I don't even know what to think at this point. Especially after my Dr. appt LAST Tuesday when the midwife told me...and I quote..." I will be shocked if you don't have the baby by Monday!". I got so excited and spent all of last week waiting and prepping to leave my classroom. On Sunday night I started to feel really strange and icky...like I was getting a flu or a cold, hadn't I read that feeling like you are getting a cold/flu is a sign you are about to go into labor! I called my maternity sub and asked her to go in for me the next morning and went to bed thinking I would wake up in the night in labor.

Turns out that strange, sick feeling...yah that was me getting sick... not having a baby. Having a nasty cold is never fun, having a cold when 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant is not fun at ALL.
For me the hardest part has been staying home sick. I never stay home from school...I admit I went to teach while I had the swine flu a few years ago. I went to teach the morning I found out my dad had died last year. So far in my pregnancy I had not missed a single day of teaching.
keep reading and you'll get to the lesson...

I'm not a callous, germ spreading, horrible person. I just can't really relax the way most people can. Being occupied is what helps me get through things and what keeps you more occupied than teaching! However, I knew that with my due date this close I had to walk away from my classroom, stay home and get well ASAP. I also was about to snap from the adults at the school asking me if I should be there and if the baby had come yet. Hello, if I am still standing here and my belly still looks like I swallowed a beach ball then NO I have not had the baby!
keep reading...

My poor sub has had to put up with pages and pages of overly detailed and controlling lesson plans and "suggestions". I'm sure she is equally ready for me to have the baby so I don't have hours upon hours of time to be fixated on my classroom.
I'm bummed I won't be able to post all the lessons going on in my room while I'm gone. Maybe I can talk her into taking some photos .
now for the lesson!
I realized I never posted this sunflower lesson that we did in September and is heavily inspired by Gail at That Artist Women and this lesson. We know I hate chalk pastels so I make sure to to at least one chalk pastel lesson per term so I don't create another generation of students that hate them. So we did Gail's glue resist sunflowers and then we zoomed in. I wanted the kids to work on their OBSERVATIONAL drawing skills so we really observed one sunflower petal and then zoomed in one more time to view the veins of a sunflower leaf. We used oil pastel and watercolor for these zoom ins. All three parts were mounted onto a big sheet of construction paper. Man these photos did not turn out well. I promise the looked good in person. The kids really liked taking apart the sunflowers to observe like scientists. I think it would be really cool to do this with a fruit or veggie where you could do some dissecting or flowers like Lilly's or maybe a small household appliance like a clock or toaster. I bet that would really interest some young men (and women) to take apart and draw a broken toaster or game controller.

you know the deal...click to enlarge

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Franz Marc results-6th grade

LOVE IT!!!

I don't think I've been this happy with the results of a lesson in a LONG time... this may go down as one of my top 5 fav lessons ever. Thanks to everyone who gave input into the lesson design process and for the many of you who expressed an interest in Franz Marc I would highly suggest using him as a spring board for student art.

I put a lot of class time/prep into this lesson and I think it was well worth it. I made two slide shows about Franz Marc...one more about his life and one more focused on looking for the elements of art in his work. Students had to follow along with handouts for both slide shows. They also had to work individually and in groups to brainstorm personality traits that went with 12 animals and 12 colors. We did practice coloring with the oil pastels to understand how to apply them thick and use value and we talked extensively about how to choose the colors we used in our work of art.

In the end each student had to choose an animal that symbolized them along with a color or selection of colors that symbolized them. They had to be able to write about AND verbalize to me why they choose both their animal and color before moving forward. I also asked for the animals to be in a position that related to the personality traits (crouched for shy, slinking for sly, looking upward for positive....so on). Each animal had to have light, med and dark of the color used. Each animal was to be in an environment and student's were to use the complementary color of their animal in either a space that touched their animal or in a large part of their background.

Beyond that I tried to back off and let each student draw in the style they wanted and go about coloring how they wanted. I did ask several students to outline their animals in black or a dark color so they would stand out. I wish I had asked this young lady to do so as her AMAZING dolphin is a bit lost in her equally cool background.

I was really surprised by how far the students pushed themselves and how inventive they were. Really I think with middle school students you get better results when you back off and give them some space to do their thing. They get so much more invested in the process.

To end it all I made them write a formal artist statement about their work....their least favorite part and come up with a title for their work....a part they did enjoy. This lesson re-confirmed my belief that Crayola oil pastels are superior to all others that working on either letter size or a tinny big bigger sized paper is perfect for most middle school student attention spans and that the more choices you give a student regarding a lesson the better things will turn out.

I will admit to meddling in one part of this lesson. Many students just could not draw big enough to make a good composition. I admit I took about 75% of the student drawings to the photocopier and enlarged them. I feel ok with this choice. I also allowed students to look at a LOT of how to draw books to help them draw their animal.

I really hope a lot of the kids will choose this to be their work of art that hangs in the spring art show...but I won't pressure them because I really want it to be their choice.