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Today we finalized the set up for our CIG spotlight through a lot of collaboration. We discussed logistics and Angie did some sketches of our set up and individual tables. We decided to make our area full of interaction using techniques from our own classrooms inquiry projects. Our mascot has become the Cat in the Hat Balancing with an umbrella, which  Dave is creating. The cat in the hat  reflects our inquiry question in which we are finding the balance between student based inquiry and direct instruction. I am bringing in clips for hanging out props from the ceiling, and Amanda has recorded our voices and taken our pictures so that  she can make an animation intro video. As a group we are bringing in artifacts as well as materials for our interactive collaborative projects. We feel prepared and are planning a short Skype meeting to make sure all our ducks are in a row. All and all a very productive day! 


After teaching my students about Picasso and self portraits, I wanted to transition from realism to cubist style. Collage seemed to be a good choice for both a newer medium as well as a great student inquiry based project to explore. I began by showing a PowerPoint of artists working in the collage technique and asked my students questions like “What shapes, colors, lines… do you see repeated? Why is repeating these elements important? What is unity?. The students, especially the older classes,were able to answer the questions after I mirrored the correct responses for the first slides. The next step was allowing students to create an idea through looking through magazines and sketching. They were each given an envelope to keep all their materials; the requirements are a theme and repeated elements of art. The next two classed were devoted for students creating their collages and maintaining a theme to keep them on track. I was pleasantly surprised with many of the results …




Several of my students shared with me that they created their own collage over Easter break, which really informed me that they enjoyed the lesson, and they were confident enough to uses the acquired skills independently. I am very pleased with the outcome of this lesson.

Today was a catch up, get organized, and get blogging day. We are hard at work making check lists to ensure the Balancing Act is all on the same page. After I caught up on my blogging, I began commenting on my fellow team members posts,( who are busy at work sharing the latest news from their classroom and what they are brainstorming, and trying out). I also have been paying  visits to  both Camille’s and Cory’s blogs so I can learn new ways to spice up my blogs. Incorporating picture helps me to tell my story, I would like to record some videos to show others what is going on in my classroom . 





I’ve been moving through art history recently in my teaching, we’ve dreamed with Rousseau blending with oil pastels, Now we have been looking at self portraits while discovering facial proportions… trying to teach a child to draw what they see is a much harder then it sounds. I was pretty impressed with the results of many of my students. Students in grades k-2 created their self portraits in one class period and colored with skin tone crayons as well as regular crayons. I will be finishing up self portraits next week for grades 3-5, I wanted to hit value and shading with my students…If anyone has any effective way of teaching this I would like your input…These self portraits are jumping off points for more student centered inqury in which I would like to highlight Picasso, cubism, and possibly collage. Creativity with the younger students (k-2) seems to escape me and by the end of this CIG meeting or at least this weekend I would like to plan/frame my lesson . I’m looking for resources and ideas and I am welcoming suggestions.


I have been teaching about Henri Rousseau and his jungle scenes. Foreground, middle ground, and background are the other focus of this lesson. After I have shown a Powerpoint or Rousseau’s life and work I have students do an imagination exercise:” You have just been dropped off in the middle of the jungle, you look in the distance what do you see behind everything else, is it daylight or nighttime… are there mountains or volcanos… What is in the Background? Now look at what is closer to you, are there fruit trees, vines, or flowers… do you see birds, monkeys? Now look at the things closest to you, are there lions, crocodiles, gorillas… what do you see in the foreground?. After my students open their eyes I tell them to draw what you saw. The results were very different for each student’s sketch looked different even though they heard the same descriptions. I love that we were made to be creative beings 🙂 and its apparent through simple guided imagery






September 2020

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