After finishing the second week of distance learning, I thought that things were beginning to settle and find their place. I was working with a few of my teachers to develop a schedule where I could pop into their Unit of Inquiry lessons so that I could check in with the kids to see if they had any questions and go over the assignment for the week. I think I was wishful thinking. Today I sent out some reminders to teachers that I would be attending the meetings we had agreed upon only to be told that another specialist would be taking that time. I was also told that they didn’t want to confuse the kids with conflicting information. I have to admit that I was a bit flabergasted when I read this email. But then I paused and took a moment to reflect, something we all need to do from time to time. As I cooked dinner, I continued to think and process what was going on. Why were these teachers not wanting me to take some responsibility off their hands, why were they hogging the kids? As I worked through what I thought the reasoning might be, I realized that maybe I hadn’t been as transparent I needed to be and I hadn’t been as collaborative as I needed to be. So, going forward this will be my goal. To state my intentions and to truly work with my teachers to help us both arrive at a sane solution. My grandmother always told me I would catch more flies with honey than I would with vinegar so I am going to focus on that and try to work more with my teachers to have a genuine collaboration versus me trying to push in and upset the apple cart. Ugh! Being professional is so challenging.
On another more positive note, today I finished my I Spy the Alphabet in Art slide presentation and launched the choice board of archived “Come Draw with Ms. Beckie.” I think both resources will be great for my littles.
Week 2 down, 26 more to go.
“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”
Today was the first day of Distance Learning. This is my second year at PanAmerican School so I am thankful that I am familiar with the content and can build on to what I was working on last year. I am still teaching the P3-Grade 3 Art classes. Today I was able to set up some of my routine weekly meetings.
The plan this far is to meet with each grade level once a week during either their Morning Meetings or UOI meetings. I am working with the PE and Music teacher to create Bitmoji Board for students in P3 – K5 for Homeroom Teachers to post once a week and then they will post it with their weekly overview of lessons for the following week. Students will complete their choice of assignments and then post it to SeeSaw. Fingers crossed it will go well but I can see that there may need to be adjustments.
I am trying to add Screencastify videos with explanations as well as voice memos to help build connections and community with the students and parents. I’m not sure if this will be helpful or create more confusion but time will tell.
I am also becoming more proficient at making my tutorial videos and have now learned how to insert images and handwritten text to them using Adobe Sketch and iMovie.
I’m working on a workbook for each of the grade levels for those who would like extended activities. I will probably only do one for G1, 2 & 3. Maybe for KG and not G3. G3 is more technologically proficient and I can send them more things through SeeSaw and what not.
Day 1 down. 189 to go.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”
This has been a busy week for sure and I feel as if I’m still trying to play catch up. Today is the end of my first week teaching at PASPOA here in Porto Alegre, Brazil. I am splitting my time between two campuses and see two section of each grade level Pre 3-G3 twice in a 6 day cycle. On one campus I have a dedicated art space but on the other campus I’m teaching art on a cart which has been a bit of a challenge. I think that amidst all the meetings and inconvenience of not having the experience of knowing the system it has been a successful week.
Starting from scratch.
This week the G1-3 worked on colored pencil and marker techniques while creating their name tags. I love this lesson and have used it for years with multiple grade levels. Procedures and techniques get packed into a little bit of getting to know more about the students.
My KGs worked on creating artworks with shapes using oil pastel and watercolors. I showed them how to do dry brush and wet on wet and several of them gave it a go.
Pre4s worked on Line artworks using watercolor and oil pastels. Some of these kiddos aren’t speaking a lot of English yet so it’s a bit of a challenge since I don’t speak Portuguese but we’ll get there.
In Avishai’s podcast, some of points she discusses in regards to this event are the fact that this was no ordinary vandalism job but done in love, to restore one woman’s favorite local depiction of Jesus Christ and prior to the “restoration,” no one really knew about this work of art.
This was the first episode I have listened to in this series but the mix of art history and the easiness of Avishai’s voice provides a lot of promise for me to continue listening.
I was just looking through some old photos and videos trying to free up storage!! I came across these G4 students marionette puppets. During their UOI Sharing the Planet they were exploring the concept of conservation and focusing on trees. I had them do a little research on paper coffee cups and then we saved coffee cups for a week. Students then created these marionette puppets. So cute!
Always happy to #collaborate with fellow teachers to integrate art in their lessons. G3s we’re exploring the elements of fairytales during library and we came up with this project. We both dedicated time and readjusted a few schedules. Students and teachers were so excited to work on this during their library time.
A few years ago Grade 1 students were inquiring about communities in their UOI. I snapped a few photos of them creating these cardboard buildings of our community here in Qatar. It was such a great lesson. You can really learn a lot about them as you listen to them chat with each other. They mostly talked about all the hotels and tall buildings there are in Qatar and then some would talk about the hospitals and police stations, etc. After all the buildings were created we turned them into a relief wall hanging.
Grade 3 students explored color theory with watercolor painting. I wanted students to work on mixing colors instead of just using the colors straight from the palette. Previously I have had students use oil pastels to create the barriers that would prevent colors from mixing and turning into a puddle of brown muddy colors. This year I decided that if I had them practice and focus on controlling the amount of water and use Analogous colors then we could eliminate a step and then develop more skills in regards to creating texture and leaning about color mixing.
I think that students were more successful in building their knowledge in color theory but I want to work with them more on drawing bigger so that they have more space to mix the colors. Some of their drawings were so small that they didn’t have the space to work with mixing colors.
Take aways from last weekends iSTEMed conference in Doha…
From Cesar Harada, “Imagination is the most precious stuff the children have.” Many of the conversations and workshops focused on stimulating students creativity through empathy.
At the conference I attended a workshop with Suzanne Presinal and we were challenged with creating a playground for animals. We first brainstormed different animals we were interested in and then once the group decided on an animal we began to create the playground from paper and recycle bits. As we were building the playground we began to think about what the characteristics of our animal, a meerkat, were and what they would like best. Our playground eventually included a widescreen TV that would play videos of meerkats, because meerkats like to mimic each other as well as hammocks and slides and places for them to climb. Everyone was in charge of different areas and we worked as a team to build a playground that meerkats would enjoy.
There were other workshops that I attended that gave some useful information but the overarching theme from all of them was to begin with empathy to engage the children. I will definitely be paying more attention to appealing to the students empathy side in the future when asking them to design.